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Dating the Gospel of Thomas - Very Clear Clues to a Late Date

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posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 07:53 PM
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I have taken the last 5 hours to follow the advice so cheerfully given in this thread and research the Nag Hammadi Library Online. (NHLO).

I utilized the comprehensive search feature available on the site and located EVERY incidence of the word Jesus.

There are 217 references to "Jesus" in the NHLO. I have visually inspected EACH reference this afternoon in the last five hours. (217 References to Jesus at the NHLO)

There are absolutely NO REFERENCES to Jesus as an angel or archon or aeon.

Aeon is defined in several places literally as "the eternal realm."

Archons are the lesser powers that usually fall far down the line of creation but generally serve the Demiurgos, or the god of this world.

Jesus is referred to variously as
a) The Son of God
b) The Son of Man
c) The Savior
d) The Word
e) The Light

If those sound familiar, they should. That is the way that all Christians refer to Jesus.

I have visually reviewed each instance of "Jesus" mentioned in the following Books on the NHLO:

The Sophia Of Jesus Christ
Gospel of Thomas
The Apocryphon of John
The Gospel of Philip
The Gospel of Thomas
The Gospel of Truth
The Apocalypse of Peter
The Apocryphon of James
The Letter of Peter to Phillip
Melchizedek
The Book of Thomas the Contender
The Treatise on the Resurrection
The Second Treatise of the Great Seth
The Teachings of Silvanus
The Gospel of the Egyptians (closest)
The Testimony of Truth
The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles
On the Eucharist
A Valentinian Exposition
On the Annointing
Trimorphic Protennoia
On the Baptism
The Concept of Our Great Power
The Prayer of the Apostle Paul
The Tripartate Tractate
On the Origin of the World
The Secret Book of John
The Interpretation of Knowledge

Even a simple review of the titles will show that the Gnostics that left the volumes contained at NHLO were early Christians just as surely as those groups that later became the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, if not more so.

The Gnostics were as clearly Christians as any who came before or after them.

One cannot read these works and not be convinced of that fact.

Please use the links and this guide.

Go look at the facts for yourself.




posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 08:18 PM
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Whether the Gospel of Thomas is or is not older or younger than the so-called canonical Gospels (M, M, L, J) is a matter for scholars to debate. The earliest fragments (physical evidence) of Thomas have been dated to 120 CE. The earliest evangeline gospel fragment is dated to 125 CE. It's not an exact science, type of script, type of papyrus, syntax, etc. allow for these dating schema. Scholars vary the dates by 10 or 20 years either way.

Thomas is a "sayings" gospel rather than a biographical treatment. Most scholars believe that the stories about Jesus were passed on in oral tradition in the first few centuries after his "death." Most scholars put Mark, the oldest canonical Gospel, at around 80 CE in authorship. There is also the document referred to as "Q" which is a lost precursor to Mark and Thomas, and certainly predates Matthew, Luke and John.

The opinion presented in OP of this thread, however, is full of mere personal opinion, and mistaken understandings as shown above. I have read many of the Nag Hammadi scriptures in the past, looking for references to my own interest in Hermeticism, not Christianity. I went back through today, with the help of the advanced search methods available on the site at Nag Hammadi Library Online, and looked at every Jesus scripture.

I did this for two reasons A) I wanted to check my own memory and look for something I had missed or never read and B) stand up once again for the Gnostic Christians that were slowly eradicated over the next few centuries by the Organized Church.

Do the research for yourself. Do not trust any statement that doesn't have backup.



posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 08:46 PM
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reply to post by Gryphon66
 


You apparently missed this (from The Sophia of Jesus,) among other things:


The perfect Savior said: "Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear. The first aeon is that of Son of Man, who is called 'First Begetter', who is called 'Savior', who has appeared. The second aeon (is) that of Man, who is called 'Adam, Eye of Light'. That which embraces these is the aeon over which there is no kingdom, (the aeon) of the Eternal Infinite God, the Self-begotten aeon of the aeons that are in it, (the aeon) of the immortals, whom I described earlier, (the aeon) above the Seventh, that appeared from Sophia, which is the first aeon. (Source)

Searching Nag Hammadi for instances of "Jesus" and then looking to see if the word aeon is nearby is not a particularly effective method of research. Try reading The Apocryphon of John or the Gospel of Truth in their entirety.



posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 09:52 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


That doesn't say what you're saying it says and I believe you know that. AN AEON IS A PERIOD OF TIME. THE AEON IS ETERNITY! Your statement was that the Gnostics believed that Jesus was an archon or angel. Where is the reference to Jesus again here? Where is he called an angel or an Archon? HE ISN'T. I think you just found that out.

I actually read both The Apocryphon of John AND the Gospel of Truth in their entirety this afternoon along with Philip and Thomas and about 6 other books. You're barking up the wrong tree at the moment.

You're not familiar with the Gnostic writings, or the Gnostics. You're trying to demonize the Gnostics and disqualify Thomas from competition with your "canonical" gospels. You're wrong on all counts, and you've just overplayed your hand.

Badly.



posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 10:00 PM
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reply to post by Gryphon66
 


What are you talking about? The Gnostics believed that an Aeon is an emanation from God -- I showed you the text, but here's an explanation, since you don't seem to understand what "The first aeon is that of Son of Man, who is called 'First Begetter', who is called 'Savior', who has appeared" means. Aeon (Gnosticism) wiki entry



posted on Jan, 24 2014 @ 10:37 PM
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adjensen
reply to post by Gryphon66
 


What are you talking about? The Gnostics believed that an Aeon is an emanation from God -- I showed you the text, but here's an explanation, since you don't seem to understand what "The first aeon is that of Son of Man, who is called 'First Begetter', who is called 'Savior', who has appeared" means. Aeon (Gnosticism) wiki entry


You should have said your only understanding of gnosticism came from Wikipedia. An Aeon is an "age" of the world that has a certain character. THE Aeon is both eternity and the realm of eternity, as I will show by direct quote in a moment. The nuances require a bit of contextual Greek, however ... and you don't seem to have that understanding available to you.

Let's start with The Concept of Our Great Power:

"Know how what has departed came to be, in order that you may know how to discern what lives to become: of what appearance that aeon is, or what kind it is, or how it will come to be. Why do you not ask what kind you will become, (or) rather how you came to be?"

What becomes? What will come to be? Those are descriptors of TIME. Here, let me make it a bit easier for you:

"Know how what has departed came to be, in order that you may know how to discern what lives to become: of what appearance that AGE is, or what kind it is, or how it will come to be. Why do you not ask what kind you will become, (or) rather how you came to be?"

Here's another easy one:

See what it is like, that before it comes into being it does not see, because the aeon of the flesh came to be in the great bodies.
See what it is like, that before it comes into being it does not see, because the AGE of the flesh came to be in the great bodies.

See? AN Aeon is the embodiment or the personification of an Age of the world as a sort of deified time. An Emanation (radiation) from the One that creates time and quality.

I can see how Wikipedia confused you though.

While you were on that Wiki page, you might have noticed a reference at the bottom to Aion (diety):

"Aion (Greek: Αἰών) is a Hellenistic deity associated with time, the orb or circle encompassing the universe, and the zodiac. The "time" represented by Aion is unbounded, in contrast to Chronos as empirical time divided into past, present, and future. He is thus a god of eternity, associated with mystery religions concerned with the afterlife..."

Here's a few more examples from Nag Hammadi.

Gospel of Philip: "The winter is the world, the summer the other Aeon (eternal realm)"

On the Origin of the World: "Now the eternal realm (aeon) of truth has no shadow outside it, for the limitless light is everywhere within it."

The Gospel of Truth: "For if this aeon (realm) had thus received their perfection, they could not have come [...] the Father. He retains within himself their perfection, granting it to them as a return to him, and a perfectly unitary knowledge."

That wraps up Aeons then. It's always a CONTEXTUAL reference. They are ages of time that are like entities, entities that are like ages of time, as well as eternal realms of being and time. It's a mystical reference not a simplistic one.

What about a Gnostic quote that says "Jesus was an angel" or 'Jesus was an Archon?'

That should be easier since you've learned to use the Search function over at NHLO now.

edit on 22Fri, 24 Jan 2014 22:49:13 -060014p102014166 by Gryphon66 because: Still trying.



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 12:15 AM
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reply to post by Gryphon66
 



You should have said your only understanding of gnosticism came from Wikipedia.

That is not my source of understanding, I gave it to you as an introduction, since you seem to be unable to grasp the basic concepts of the Gnostic Christians. The use of the term "Aeon" differs, based on whom is using it, but the Gnostic Christians used it to refer to entities who were emanations from God. The fact that others used it to refer to time is of no consequence, because we are talking about the beliefs of the Gnostic Christians.


Aeons: God's essence goes through emanations that spontaneously expand into pairs of male and female entities that the Gnostics call Aeons. Gnostics believe that these eternal beings emanating themselves from the God. in successive generations result in destabilizing the primordial cosmos. (Source)

And, with that, I'm done with you. The scholarly consensus is that the Gnostic Christians viewed Aeons as entities, and that Jesus, as the "Bringer of Gnosis", was one of them. I'd direct you to the excellent book on the subject by Bart Ehrman, Lost Christianities, the Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew, but I doubt you'd read it, and if you did, you'd dismiss it, because Ehrman's conclusions as to how the Gnostic Christians viewed Christ coincide with mine.


edit on 25-1-2014 by adjensen because: oopsies



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:49 AM
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adjensen
reply to post by 2012newstart
 



I vote for Thomas to be included in the canonical books in the next ecumenical council!

You are, of course, welcome to your opinion, but Thomas would never be included in the canon because a) the canon is closed, and b) Thomas is a book from another religion.

Doesn't keep people from trying, though, witness The New New Testament, by the same clowns that brought you the Jesus Seminar. Because Christianity doesn't support the far-left beliefs of the JS crowd, they're happy to just invent one that does.


I do not agree with your self-assumed christian righteousness positions, what the Christianity churches support and what they don't. It is too vague far from any specific.

Perhaps an inquisitor's secretary would be happy of such kind of study with online posters. Especially when their posts do matter.

edit on 25-1-2014 by 2012newstart because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 02:53 AM
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I've read several of Erhman's books actually. You're right, OP, I don't always agree with him, but at least he does sound scholarly work. He doesn't say anywhere in his books that the Gnostics thought Jesus was an angel though.

Unlike what you've done here. You've been caught out on your claim that that the Gnostics did view Jesus as either an angel or an archon, and while you are desperately trying to turn what the search function yields to you to fit your thesis, you STILL offer no proof other than your ill-tempered bluster.

The Gnostics are actually a tangential issue to the topic through, aren't they? As primers in sound scholarship and perhaps examples to learn from would be Elaine Pagel's excellent series including The Gnostic Gospels, as well as Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas. Start with those and I'll be glad to offer more in private message.

Sadly, the level of understanding exhibited toward the Gnostics and their scriptures is quite similar to the attempts at textual exegesis offered in the OP.

Here are the issues with the original argument broken down clearly:

1. Analyzing one saying out of 113 offers nothing in terms of the remaining 112. That's over 99% of the work that the argument doesn't even attempt to address. No scholar of any New Testament text, Gnostic text or any text anywhere would base the dating of an entire work on one small sample.

2. It is argued that individual names are vitally important in the canonical gospels, and yet, the evidence bears out that there were multiple Marys, several SImons, Johns a plenty and then, poor nondescript Matthew that is called by name several times, but yet, has no importance. The text of the Gospel of Matthew, of course, does not claim Matthew as the author (because it was very likely composed at least a hundred years later.)

3. Gospel of Thomas, as with the theorized Q Gospel, as with parts of the fundamental structure of Mark (the oldest "canonical" Gospel) were structured as "Sayings Gospels" which were derived from the apparent oral traditions among early Christians at the end of the first century. They didn't attempt to offer the extensive apologetics and cohesive study of "the life of Jesus" because that wasn't necessary for belief among early believers; the sayings of "Jesus" were what was important. Only when the need arose a century or so later to establish orthodoxy (and control) among the Christian groups as they were organized (or subjugated depending on your perspective) into "the Church" were such detailed and coordinated efforts needed as is reflected in Matthew, Luke and John.

4. I really anticipated that the OP would answer the challenges to his claim that "Gnostics thought Jesus was an angel" with Peter's answer in Saying 13 since it was literally sitting right in front. Even though that would be a tautological effort it would have at least been an effort. Of course, it would have been as poorly placed as the rest of the argument, as the author of Thomas is not attempting to substantiate dogma as were the canonical writers or as is the OP, but is merely telling a story that was already familar. Of course, angels are not the same as the archetypal Aeons (as has been beaten to death here already) and certainly not to the Archons (which are usually the servants of the flawed Demiurgos the creator of the material world, Sophia's folly, and the being that Jesus, as son of the Highest Father, came to thwart.) Peter's answer is obviously intended to "fall short" of the glorious reality of Jesus, demonstrating further the fallen consciousness of mankind. THAT is in keeping with Gnostic thought.

5. Few reputable scholars believe that the so-called Apostolic Gospels are actually the work of the named Apostles themselves. This attribution is made decades later. Matthew is not the author of Matthew the Gospel. The OP's own argument bears that out in which Matthew is described as a minor supporting character, which indeed he was in the story. I am aware of literalist arguments to the contrary, but that is not the consensus opinion of the majority of scholars which put the authorship in late first century early second century at best. This flies in the face of the argument made by the OP, who has pugnaciously refused to offer scholarly support for his claims, and who does not have the specialized training (by his own statement) that would allow these assertions to be taken seriously on their own face. Scholarship is ongoing, and new discoveries are made.

6. THEREFORE the crux of the whole argument made by OP, to wit, that Gospel of Thomas is an answer or critique to Gospel of Matthew is simply not borne out. Thomas' structure places it closer to the Q Gospel as a "sayings gospel" and Matthew's structure (in line with the other synoptic gospels) as a Christic life apology places it later in the development of the scriptures. It is utterly irrational and bad scholarship to make such an absolutist if not absurdist claim with no references to the works of accepted scholars in the field, no specialized training or facility in the languages of the texts themselves, and no other textual evidence aside from an attempt to twist Saying 13 into something it very obviously isn't. Mere circular reasoning is offered, by the claim "we know it cannot possibly be older" merely because ... the argument is claiming that it cannot possibly be older. No proof.

Bad form.

edit on 3Sat, 25 Jan 2014 03:11:36 -060014p032014166 by Gryphon66 because: crossed a t



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 05:14 AM
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adjensen
reply to post by 2012newstart
 



I vote for Thomas to be included in the canonical books in the next ecumenical council!

You are, of course, welcome to your opinion, but Thomas would never be included in the canon because a) the canon is closed, and b) Thomas is a book from another religion.

Doesn't keep people from trying, though, witness The New New Testament, by the same clowns that brought you the Jesus Seminar. Because Christianity doesn't support the far-left beliefs of the JS crowd, they're happy to just invent one that does.




I have to explain it better, sorry. You put quite big questions in quite few phrases, but I cannot go that unanswered properly.

Your suggestion of today's Christianity is far from any hard evidence. The real world tendency goes in the other direction. Of a freer, more liberal, more democratic, less theological, less canonical, more human-oriented and everyday-problem-related model of Christianity. That is seen in the traditionally catholic countries as all Latin America practically is. That may not be necessarily seen in every parish in the developed West, but it is a tendency of the worldwide Christianity.

If you don't recognize THAT, you lack knowledge OR you don't want to recognize the real world picture, for whatever reason you might have. Instead you assume some very outdated model of Christianity. Perhaps in those centuries we discuss the books from.

You cannot possibly talk of "left-wing christianity not to be supported by churches", in the time when the churches' heavy administrations find it difficult to explain to their own flocks, (both right-wing and left-wing politically), about the expensive buildings, cars, bank accounts. The real problems of Christianity are of practical character and not of dogmatic character. I don't know why you bring up that problem here of left and right, but if you did you probably know. And I will answer once more (the previous post ended the possible editions).

The call to go back to the roots surfaced not only in the pre-conclave 2013 sessions and expectations of post-conclave real results. It is an ongoing call in the Eastern Orthodoxy and elsewhere. People want a change in the way the Christian values are lived everyday, the way the hierarchy lives those values it preaches. Especially in poorer countries where the difference between preaching and lifestyle are more evident than in a wealthy Western diocese.

On that background, the re-surface of ancient forgotten texts show an image of a different Jesus than that of the endless canonical rules and lists of sins. Jesus didn't create any canon rule. Nothing. All of that is created post factum by people. The world reached the time when finally a pope admitted that. If you fail to recognize that, or if you choose to defend the other side, you remain encapsulated in a model of Christianity that is quite outdated, may be a century or two back in time. That also reflects into your nonacceptance of clear evidence of more texts with equal value to be added to the already existing texts of the Bible. It is clear not everything has been added, not only because of theological reasons (as you try to argue) but also because of purely political reasons. Including the lack of concern for the wellbeing of the common people in the first centuries. The idea of a real kingdom of heaven on earth with more equality in sharing goods was something the emperors and kings would never accept. So did the bishops. Today we are not in that time, thanks God. The churches realize if they are meant to survive the information boom they have to re-fix their priorities back to the original roots that are nowhere else than in Jesus Christ the lord. The real Jesus and not the distorted image created for centuries. If He comes today, will He be recognized, will He be crucified again? Thanks God, He is powerful now and never dies again. When He comes He will exersize judgment. Although a hypothetical perspective, the churches cannot go on as if never heard of that. Because the angels are everywhere. As i posted Melchizedek's text, a coming of a God's representative may be sooner than expected. Such as Melchizedek himself, or Enoch and Elijah.

Setting that aside, I believe my views and those of other open minded Christians will be quite welcome as supportive to the new course of change both in the Vatican and in other main churches' .quarters. They have no other way a. than the way of change. They have already become irrelevant on a number of everyday issues. They need the support of the people for that course of change. The people need to stop fearing someone from someone on the top who can always punish them even for words said, or may be thoughts. That should come to an end. I hope the churches of today will find the strength not only to cross the social barriers, as it is spoken a lot today. ( and I really wonder why you have opposite impression of the state of churches TODAY). But also the churches will find the strength to look back and see the real image of Jesus in its entirety. All of that is a part of the same game called life. Precisely life in 21st century.

When preachers of smaller yet influential Christian congregations speak of to the final generation to live on earth before the end times. When adding to the nuclear option we have asteroid danger and also still unofficial Alien presence.

I cannot prove or disprove whether we are in the end times. But that notion exists in big countries, USA and others, who are not dominated by one church only (as it were in middle centuries and roman time).

That all matters. That all should be talked about. The idea of secluded Christianity in some early century model doesn't work. It might have worked at that time. Gospels might have been banned for reasons of importance at that time (although I do not agree on that). Today we need the full truth. Not only the Gnostic gospels, not only the Dead sea scrolls. We need the truth of Jesus Christ for 33.5 years earthly life. As well as for His glorious reign for already 1980+ years as resurrected God and Lord. If He decides to make it known, who are we to oppose it? Let be open for God's actions in our time.

P.S. about the canons, OP, you are just not right. They can be changed any time. They have been changed many times. Both on east and on the west. Dogmas can't. Still new dogmas are allowed because we will never know God in his entirety. New interpretations of old dogmas too. Whether Jesus was married or not, it is not a dogma. It would be strange to determine a fact of the life of Jesus by a dogma. There isn't a such, thanks be to God.
edit on 25-1-2014 by 2012newstart because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 07:03 AM
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Even the anathemas are not forever. For example the mutual anathemas between Rome and Constantinople in the Great Schism of 1054 AD en.wikipedia.org... that lasted for 9 long centuries, were mutually lifted at the end of Vatican 2 council, both in Rome and in Constantinople

In 1965, Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Athenagoras I nullified the anathemas of 1054

Notice the differences were about DOGMAS not just canons that were different always. Similar were the differences in the previous schism en.wikipedia.org... about one of the main dogmas.
Today it is agreed upon between Eastern and Orthodox churches. If one could agree on difference in dogmas, what to say about the things that are changeable?

Many people are just afraid because all those theological things they do not know or understand, afraid they could possiby make sin or say something wrong. Wrong approach! The clergy did a lot to make that fear exist. That should come to an end. If the current churches' structures are meant to continue. Because they are also a fruit of certain canons that can be changed. Jesus didn't build those structures with all their variances. He just appointed 12 men one of whom betrayed Him. He didn't tell them what to do later, and how to manage their churches in the middle centuries. I doubt He would possibly approve much of it.

If tomorrow the 8th ecumenical council agrees on new dogmas and canonizes a number of books, certainly there will be people or branches of churches who would not agree with that. So what, to wait until everyone agrees? it is clear something is already done in history the way it is. Much has been done, and much remains to be done. So let do it. We cannot stay like that and wait the Second Coming of Jesus. Nobody will be congratulated for missed opportunities.

So...how much more we have to learn. Gnostic knowledge will be like a childish knowledge when the full knowledge appears. Today we see as thru the window, says Paul.
edit on 25-1-2014 by 2012newstart because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 08:23 AM
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At OP's suggestion, I took down Ehrman's Lost Christianities off my shelf this morning and started reading it again. Interestingly, I found that it was the book I remembered instead of the one that was presented earlier by the OP. Also, I bought the Kindle version as well just to facilitate searches and make sure that I didn't overlook anything.

For example, here's a great example of the depth of Ehrman's scholarship that actually makes sense of the confusion situation in first century Christianity:

"I can point out that if some other form of Christianity had won the early struggles for dominance, the familiar doctrines of Christianity might never have become the“standard” belief of millions of people, including the belief that there is only one God, that he is the creator, that Christ his son is both human and divine."

A few sentences down, Dr. Ehrman actually addresses our topic in a way:

"The New Testament as a collection of sacred books might never have come into being. Or it might have come into being with an entirely different set of books, including, for example, the Gospel of Thomas instead of the Gospel of Matthew, or the Epistle of Barnabas instead of the Epistle of James, or the Apocalypse of Peter instead of the Apocalypse of John."

(Citation: Ehrman, Bart D. (2003-10-02). Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew (p. 6-7). Oxford University Press.)

I want everyone to remember that OP's comment was that Dr. Ehrman, and this book, supported the OP's conclusions and positions. To wit:


adjensen
I'd direct you to the excellent book on the subject by Bart Ehrman, Lost Christianities, the Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew, but I doubt you'd read it, and if you did, you'd dismiss it, because Ehrman's conclusions as to how the Gnostic Christians viewed Christ coincide with mine.


PS: Ehrman NEVER claims that the Gnostics thought Jesus was an angel. QED
edit on 8Sat, 25 Jan 2014 08:37:57 -060014p082014166 by Gryphon66 because: Italics and Citation added.

edit on 8Sat, 25 Jan 2014 08:42:02 -060014p082014166 by Gryphon66 because: Added some formatting



posted on Jan, 25 2014 @ 06:41 PM
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After much thought and additional study today, I think I should make first an apology and then a clarification.

First off, Adjensen, I have argued against some of your comments unfairly, and I apologize for that. I reacted to your tone. I have always had an understanding of the Aeons of the various Gnostic systems (there isn't just ONE Gnosticism) as incarnations of an age or an idea, an utterly superior kind of being that was not personal, but was also not a god or an angel, deva, demigod, etc. As I mentioned my primary interest from the period is in Hermeticism, which concentrates on the other natures of Aeons, that these are Ages that have a certain overwhelming character, like "Aeon (Age) of Aquarius." So, there's my mea culpa.

I still maintain that the Gnostic Christian perspective on Jesus is not exactly what you stated. Their position was multi-faceted, as were many of the bundle of Christian beliefs before Orthodoxy won out. Some of those ideas are important to me personally and I think important to modern Christians. By and large, they referred to Jesus as the Son of God (the Primal Source not the Demiurgos) and Savior (Sotor). Some thought that Jesus was a human into which the Christos (a later generation aeon) came and taught humanity how to escape the bounds of the material world that had been formed as a prison by The Demiurgos for human "sparks" or souls.

There is no reason for the Gospel of Thomas to be at odds with the canonical Gospels. There's no reason one has to be better over another. Things just are what they are. I have never understood the obsessive need to push the New Testament, or the Bible or any Scripture back any further into history than they go. It is after all a matter of FAITH not FACT, right?



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 03:57 AM
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I'd rather not apologize to anyone, even less to the OP. The attacks of posters from self-assumed quite outdated catholic positions became too often and from different "users". They just don't stop and don't exhaust their energy. I wonder, when did they have the time to read even 1% of what I wrote for so many hours? Or they just catch up a phrase to "respond" to it with prepared in advance statement, with the intent to bring even more negativism as response? Until the moment I (or anyone else) will feel compelled to just stop that absurd "dispute"? This is not a dispute. We have dispute when we read each other's posts and when we respond to logical statements based in whatever facts (history, books, may be some theology if needed).

Now is launched : "Because Christianity doesn't support the far-left beliefs of the JS crowd". As if taken from some book, show or whatever. But in responce to my long posts. Perhaps the OP alludes I am among those crowds? This is not a responce to my post. This is a qualification attack on my views, as if OP determines they are "far-left beliefs" that the Christianity doesn't support. I categorically reject such kind of attitude, clothed in outdated catholicism!

This is not defense of the contemporary Catholic church that wants to bring in change. This is defense of fanatic old positions of people who would feel better under pre-Vatican-2 or even older governance.

The attack on the Gospel of Thomas seems well prepared in advance by groups of people who do not want that included and canonized in a new Ecumenical council. And that is mulled for quite some time after the election of pope Francis.

In anyway, OP does not have the right to assume "impeccable catholic position" from self assumed authority. Even if he/she is a covert person with some real position in society. For the purpose of this forum he/she is just a member/user as I am and everyone else is here. And he/she would do better to start responding more precisely to reasonable, legitimate and based in facts answers to his/her statements thrown out in the air. If this is not understood well, I don't know what might be.
edit on 26-1-2014 by 2012newstart because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-1-2014 by 2012newstart because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 04:00 AM
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double post
edit on 26-1-2014 by 2012newstart because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 04:31 AM
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Adjensen:
Thomas would never be included in the canon because a) the canon is closed, and b) Thomas is a book from another religion.

Canon is not closed and I will repeat it as many times as needed. This is neither catholic nor orthodox nor early church view. New canonical books were accepted later after the first wave. Vatican-3 or Ecumenical council-8 could accept Thomas and any other book. Including the Dead sea scrolls. (I wonder how much of the Old Testament the OP recognizes as Jewish-Christian heritage inseparable from the NT.)

Papyrus 98 physical original document of Apocalypse 1, 2:1 dating back to late 2nd century. The book of Apocalypse was canonized sometime in 5th century according to modern scholars. I said it several times and posted the link to the image several times, when the Adjensen asked me to present "proof". It was not answered in any of the several threads that discuss these books and where Adjensen is active poster. en.wikipedia.org... Perhaps Adjensen will answer here.

This is evidence how a later canonization of a book not included in the first wave on Nicaea council did occur in history. Other books were canonized later too. Please read the entire history of Apocalypse's canonization and the heated debates by then church leaders should it be done and why not. An early saint supported the idea it should not be canonized for the possible abuses in the future (as we see today how many people make money and fame out of that book and predict everything). I should say, I ACCEPT the book of Apocalypse as de facto book of the Bible, until proof is found to show the book had been changed in the time between 90 AD and late 2nd century. Such proof is not found until this moment. I have studied this book in detail and have comments in one of my OP threads. (click my profile). I will not present them here. I list that evidence as proof of what I am discussing, and to reject the false statements of Adjensen that appear popping up without any back up proof except for Adjensen's own logic.




Adjensen : " Thomas is a book from another religion. "

"Thomas" is not a book of another religion. This is again a purely personal view of Adjensen. The so called "heretics" are also Christians with valid Baptism, that was accepted as valid as early as Nicaea and other early centuries' councils. The HERETICS ARE CHRISTIAN according to both Catholic and Orthodox churches' view. Their view however differs on that point with the view of Adjensen. Please make that important difference. While Adjensen pretends to defend Churches' view (perhaps early catholic), Adjensen's views are at odd on the point what both the early church and the contemporary church declared in their teachings regarding the so called HERETICS.

If the OP Adjensen keeps not responding to such very precise data and proof, presented with links, reasonable debate, I don't know why this thread should be further visited and posted. I don't like the idea Adjensen to appear sometime later with another "response" of a tiny bit, phrase or part of paragraph, taken out of the entire logic of well structured posts, (that I spent hours to compose), only for Adjensen to cover it with yet another self-justified statement what is right and what is wrong. Stamped by the words "church' view or catholic view" by no one else but the poster Adjensen. That is not why I am here, really. A bad style that unfortunately makes its way more and more often. It makes it impossible to lead normal discussion, and ends up in infuriated posters who are driven out and prefer to abandon discussions altogether. Perhaps that is the real goal. To remain the predetermined view of certain poster as the "valid church view" or whatever. Bad politics of people who want to dominate the cyberspace, particularly in the view of religious views and discussable new discoveries that may change old status quo. I never said I am 100% right or that those discussable views are 100% right. I search the truth. Not like the posters with the style of Adjensen though.

If someone is to apologize, it is Adjensen. Not for his/her views that "Thomas" is heretical, because as everyone of us Adjensen has the right of his/her private views and to express them publicly in this excellent forum. Even as OP of a popular thread. But to apologize for her self-assumed positions of catholicism and impeccability that are actually not a such. (as I discussed more than enough). Because the non-suspicious reader would have no way to prove it, if there aren't fools like me to spend so much time on that.
edit on 26-1-2014 by 2012newstart because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 05:17 AM
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"Thomas" is not a book of another religion. This is again a purely personal view of OP. The so called "heretics" are also Christians with valid Baptism, that was accepted as valid as early as Nicaea and other early centuries' councils. The HERETICS ARE CHRISTIAN according to both Catholic and Orthodox churches' view. Their view however differs on that point with the view of Adjensen. Please make that important difference. While Adjensen pretends to defend Churches' view (perhaps early catholic), Adjensen's views are at odd on the point what both the early church and the contemporary church declared in their teachings regarding the so called HERETICS.


I agree with you here. The OP has significant faults in the original argument. Posts subsequent to the original argument were less than cordial or in good faith. Sadly, I allowed that to influence my responses. I made a mistake in not allowing for a general Gnostic belief in the Emanations of the True God (Aeons) and stubbornly tried to suggest otherwise. I believe in honest debate, and so, I apologized for my error.

The critique of the OP stands. It's a flawed argument. I also stand behind the statement that it was not a general belief of the Gnostics that Jesus was an archon or an angel. In some ways the Aeons are like Archons and Angels, but in general that's not an adequate comparison.

OP is trying to claim that the Gnostic Christians were not "True" Christians. That's an argument that has been made for 1800 years. It offends me personally. Orthodoxy offends me. Blind faith offends me. But that's me.

If I argue at the same blind level, I become blind. Clarity and honesty are best.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 05:25 AM
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reply to post by Gryphon66
 

Actually I am not so competent to comment on the belief side. I am glad you found arguments in support of books long banned and now resurfaced. I could speak more of the historical logic behind that, as I tried to do for those who would go thru my lengthily posts.

Perhaps new threads are needed where the interpretations of these virtually unknown books will be presented by honest researchers like yourself. And where the people will be made aware of what the Gnostic books are about. Until now, frankly, most people care whether Jesus was married or not, an important fact yet not the entirety of these books.
Thanks!

P.S. I'd be glad if you comment also the published online Dead Sea Scrolls, but somewhere else.



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 05:54 AM
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My own way of looking at the Gospel of Thomas ... it's historical fiction. If it can be proven to be accurate and historical fact, then I'd be very willing to accept it and listen intently to what it says. But until then, I take it as historical fiction.

LOTS of authors nowadays write historical fiction ... books with stories surrounding actual people and events, but the stories are 'fill in' and totally made up. There are tons of historical stories out there around famous people in Egypt (like Cleopatra or King Tut) and famous people in Ancient Rome. There are TV movies made about Genghis Khan and others. That kind of thing. Historical fiction.

It's done nowadays and I have no doubt that it was also done 2,000 years ago.
edit on 1/26/2014 by FlyersFan because: Edited for punctuation ... I"m not fully awake yet ....



posted on Jan, 26 2014 @ 08:20 AM
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reply to post by FlyersFan
 


I hear you Flyers Fan. That's a reasoned way to look it it. An interesting statistic is that 74 of the 113Thomas Sayings are attributed in the canonical Gospels ... so almost 2/3rds of the book merely echoes MMLJ. I'm not a Biblical literalist nor an orthodox Christian, so I have some flexibility in considering what Thomas does or doesn't represent. That doesn't mean that I've "got it, by George" ... just means, yeah, could be, could be not.

With the exception of the generally-accepted-as-forged Saying 114, the sayings still contain a mystical message that is mostly positive, so, what the heck?

There are worse books to live one's life by.

edit on 9Sun, 26 Jan 2014 09:18:33 -060014p092014166 by Gryphon66 because: For some reason I had a real priggish comment right in the middle that I didn't mean.



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