Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

The gnostic gospels & acts authored as a literary reaction to the political appearance of the Bible

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the cross...

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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#21  Postby iskander » May 24, 2015 5:42 pm

Gnosis is the common Greek noun for knowledge (in the nominative case γνῶσις f.). In Christian, Islamic, or Jewish mysticism, mystery religions and Gnosticism gnosis generally signifies a spiritual knowledge or "religion of knowledge", in the sense of mystical enlightenment or "insight".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosis

Every religion is a Gnostic product. The people writing about the gods, angels, hells, paradise., what souls do after the body dies etc are using a process to acquire knowledge that we now identify with Gnostics. It is an invention applied to religious literature in general.

Harnack equates allegorical interpretation with gnosis , and said that it was applied to the Hebrew Bible by the Jewish philosophical teachers.
Christianity's theologians were Gnostic from the beginning of the that religion, Harnack writes .

The Torah ,the Gospel of Mark, and the Gospel of Thomas are examples of Gnostic literature from different cultures and different times , but all of them sharing in the ability to acquire knowledge of the invisible.

This necessary allegorical interpretation, however, brought into the communities an intellectual philosophic element, γνώσις, In this γνώσις, which attached itself to the Old Testament.,
What a wealth of relations, hints, and intuitions seemed to disclose itself, as soon as the Old Testament was considered allegorically, and to what extent had the way been prepared here by the Jewish philosophic teachers!

“Nothing was what it seemed, but was only the symbol of something invisible.

From this point of view the position to be assigned to the Gnostics in the history of dogma, which has hitherto been always misunderstood, is obvious. They were, in short, the Theologians of the first century.305 They were the first to transform Christianity into a system of doctrines (dogmas).



History of Dogma - Volume I, by Adolf Harnack
Christian Classics Ethereal Library page 172
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#23  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 15, 2015 2:01 am

This comment is from page 2002 of the HJ thread ....

proudfootz wrote:The stories make no sense, and trying to 'harmonize' them is really just writing a new 'gospel narrative' just like the authors of gMark, gMatthew, gLuke, gJohn, Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Marcion, Gospel of Basilides, Gospel of Truth, Gospel of the Four Heavenly Realms, Gospel of Mary, Gospel of Judas, Greek Gospel of the Egyptians, Gospel of Philip, Pseudo-Gospel of the Twelve, Gospel of Perfection, Gospel of the Hebrews, Gospel of the Nazarenes, Gospel of the Ebionites, Gospel of the Twelve, Armenian Infancy Gospel, Protoevangelium of James, Gospel of the Nativity of Mary, Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, History of Joseph the Carpenter, Infancy Gospel of Thomas, Latin Infancy Gospel, Syriac Infancy Gospel, Gospel of the Lots of Mary, Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Eve, Gospel of Mani, Gospel of the Saviour, Coptic Gospel of the Twelve, Gospel of Cerinthus, Gospel of Apelles, Gospel of Valentinus, Gospel of the Encratites, Gospel of Andrew, Gospel of Barnabas, Gospel of Bartholomew, Gospel of Hesychius, Gospel of Lucius, Gospel of Merinthus, Gospel of the Adversary of the Law and the Prophets, Memoirs of the Apostles, etc, etc, etc.


I think that everyone must agree that there are a lot of "Jesus and Apostle" Stories. The problem seems to be how to sort them all out in terms of the chronology of their authorship. The "party line" of all the "Church Fathers" is that the texts which we now call "canonical" were authored first, and then the rest of the texts which we now call "non canonical" were authored second, and these "mimic" the stories of the "canonical texts".

This "party line" is reflected in the comments of modern (as well as ancient) "Biblical Historians" upon the nature of the non canonical texts. Here are a few examples:

    An Index of Summary Comments on the "Non Canonical" [Gnostic] texts

    "insipid and puerile amplifications" [Ernest Renan]

    "excluded by their later and radical light" [John Dominic Crossan]

    "severely conditoned responses to Jesus ... usually these authors deny his humanity" [Robert M. Grant]

    "they exclude themselves" [M.R. James]

    "The practice of Christian forgery has a long and distinguished history" [Bart Ehrman]

    "The Leucian Acts are Hellenistic romances, which were written to appeal to the masses" [Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey Bullard]

    "The key point ... [NT Apocrypha] have all been long ago considered and rejected by the Church.

    "The names of apostles ... were used by obscure writers to palm off their productions; partly to embellish and add to ... partly to invent ... partly to support false doctrines; decidedly pernicious, ... nevertheless contain much that is interesting and curious ... they were given a place which they did not deserve." [Tischendorf]

    "Gnostic texts use parody and satire quite frequently ... making fun of traditional biblical beliefs"[April Deconick]

    "heretics ... who were chiefly Gnostics ... imitated the books of the New Testament" [Catholic Encyclopaedia]

    "enterprising spirits ... pretended Gospels full of romantic fables and fantastic and striking details, their fabrications were eagerly read and largely accepted as true by common folk who were devoid of any critical faculty and who were predisposed to believe what so luxuriously fed their pious curiosity." "the heretical apocryphists, composed spurious Gospels in order to trace backward their beliefs and peculiarities to Christ Himself." [Catholic Encyclopaedia]

    "the fabrication of spurious Acts of the Apostles was, in general, to give Apostolic support to heretical systems, especially those of the many sects which are comprised under the term Gnosticism. The Gnostic Acts of Peter, Andrew, John, Thomas, and perhaps Matthew, abound in extravagant and highly coloured marvels, and were interspersed by long pretended discourses of the Apostles which served as vehicles for the Gnostic predications. The originally Gnostic apocryphal Acts were gathered into collections which bore the name of the periodoi (Circuits) or praxeis (Acts) of the Apostles, and to which was attached the name of a Leucius Charinus, who may have formed the compilation." [Catholic Encyclopaedia]


Until the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library it seems to be agreed that the authors of the non canonical texts actually had the canonical texts before them as they wrote their truly weird and wonderful OBVIOUSLY FICTIONAL stories. This is exemplified by the modus operandi of the authorship of the non canonical stories, which take bits and pieces of the canonical texts (people, events, sayings) and then recombine them in various combinations and permutations, adding bits and pieces to them in order to platform their obvious "gnostic" doctrines.

With the discovery of texts like "The Gospel of Thomas" many mainstream academics suggested that these must be really early and some academics place a 1st or 2nd century date on gThomas. It must be stressed that the only evidence for such an early date are a series of "mentions" of some of these texts by the "Church Fathers" of the first 3 centuries prior to Nicaea. These testimonies explode after Nicaea.


There just seems to be an obsession with Jesus which leads some people feel compelled to compose a new story with the same characters, but there's no real reason to suppose the latest version of 'Jesus' is in any way superior to the thousands which went before.


The non canonical Gospels and particularly "Acts" are assessed as being "Hellenistic Romance Stories" which were written for popular appeal (almost like Mills and Boon Stories about Jesus and the Apostles). They are CLEARLY embellished fiction, and in many cases their genre might be assessed as forms of parody (or even satire) of the earlier canonical texts.

The genre of the canonical texts is probably best described as "holy writ". I think they are also fictional, but they were the first stories to be written and the non canonical texts seem to be a literary reaction to them.

All this has lead to the suggestion in the OP that the non canonical texts were written AFTER the NT Bible and "Jesus Story" was widely published in the Roman Empire by Constantine as a political instrument.
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#24  Postby RealityRules » Jun 16, 2015 1:47 pm

There were several Gnostics that Christianity tries to claim were part of early-Christianity

Simon Magus1 who supposedly taught Cerdo who supposedly taught Marcion

and Simon Magus supposedly taught Menander who supposedly taught Basilides2 who taught Valentinus

    1 Simon Magus was supposedly baptised by Philip the Evangelist; and supposedly recorded in Acts 8:9–24

    2 Basilides claimed to have inherited his teachings from Matthew

Theudas (a follower of Paul) also supposedly taught Valentinus
    (though Theudas is supposed to have died ~ 50 yrs before Valentinus was born)
Tatian is supposed to have been a follower of Valentinus (as well as being taught by Justin Martyr)


Iraeneus's Against Heresies (c. 180) was anti-Valentinus
as was Tertullian's Adversus Valentinianos

Some gnostic concepts have a pre-Christian 'feel'

The Primeval Man (Protanthropos, Adam) occupies a prominent place in several Gnostic systems. According to Irenaeus[17] the Aeon Autogenes emits the true and perfect Anthrôpos, also called Adamas; he has a helpmate, "Perfect Knowledge", and receives an irresistible force, so that all things rest in him. Others say[18] there is a blessed and incorruptible and endless light in the power of Bythos; this is the Father of all things who is invoked as the First Man, who, with his Ennoia, emits "the Son of Man", or Euteranthrôpos.

According to Valentinus, Adam was created in the name of Anthrôpos and overawes the demons by the fear of the pre-existent man (tou proontos anthropou). In the Valentinian syzygies and in the Marcosian system we meet in the fourth (originally the third) place Anthrôpos and Ecclesia.

In the Pistis Sophia the Aeon Jeu is called the First Man, he is the overseer of the Light, messenger of the First Precept, and constitutes the forces of the Heimarmene. In the Books of Jeu this "great Man" is the King of the Light-treasure, he is enthroned above all things and is the goal of all souls.

According to the Naassenes, the Protanthropos is the first element; the fundamental being before its differentiation into individuals. "The Son of Man" is the same being after it has been individualized into existing things and thus sunk into matter.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Kadmon#Gnosticism

17 Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, I, xxix, 3

    "Until the discovery of the Library of Nag Hammadi in 1945, Against Heresies was the best surviving contemporary description of Gnosticism."
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#25  Postby 2Curious » Jun 24, 2015 5:43 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote:Another mainstream assumption (with which this alternative view disagrees) is that this gnostic (non canonical) literature was written by "Christians" who believed in the "Official Canonical Jesus Story".

If the gnostic gospels and acts are parody, were the authors necessarily "True Believing Christians"?

One point here is that a parody story need not be written by true believers. The question is how can a parody be distinguished from a non parody. Context seems to be key.

Are Biblical historians mistaking [non canonical] parody of the genuine [canonical] "Jesus Story" for a genuine "Jesus Story". IMO I think it is reasonable to believe that they may well be doing this. How is it possible to determine whether this is the case? Any ideas anyone?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe's_law

Poe's law may be relevant.

    Poe's law, named after its author Nathan Poe,[1] is a literary adage which stipulates that, without a clear indicator of an author's intention, it is often impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of such extremism.[2] Someone will likely mistake the parody for a genuine article, or vice-versa


Are these examples of parody and/or satire?

1) Acts of Thomas: Jesus sells Thomas in the slave market and receives a bill-of-sale. Thomas sucks in the King of India as a builder.
2) Acts of Andrew and Matthias: In Homerian style Jesus drives a water taxi to rescue Matthias in the "Land of the Cannibals"
3) Clementines (c.330 CE?): Peter and Simon Magus engage in miracle battles before large crowds. Pagan mythology is defended.
4) Greater Questions of Mary: Jesus has explicit sex on a mountaintop.
5) I could add a 5th example which might be far more widely recognised as a lampoon or a satire against the "Canonical Jesus Story" and that is the Toledot Yeshu - a Roman centurion rapes Mary (at the wrong time of the month) to sire Jesus.

There are some truly weird "Jesus and Apostle Stories" in the set of non canonical literature. I think that the possibility that these stories are parodies and satires has gone right over the heads of most mainstream biblical scholars and academics.

In identifying parody and satire context is critical. Following Nicaea, with the Christian revolution in the rule of Constantine, the academics and philosophers at Alexandria would have been very interested in reading the NT Bible. It had just become the holy writ of the centralised monotheistic state religion of the Roman Empire.

What did the Alexandrian Greeks think of the NT Bible about that time?

The sources say the Greeks ridiculed the NT Bible when
it was first received in the rule of Constantine.


Parody and satire is a form of [political] ridicule.

Did a Roman centurion rape Mary and sire Jesus? Is the Toledot Yeshu true?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledot_Yeshu



Leucius Charinus wrote:Another mainstream assumption (with which this alternative view disagrees) is that this gnostic (non canonical) literature was written by "Christians" who believed in the "Official Canonical Jesus Story".


The Gnostic gospels promote false teachings about virtually every key Christian doctrine. There are countless contradictions between the Gnostic gospels and the true Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. What would have been the purpose of "Christians" writing them?
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#26  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 25, 2015 4:33 am

2Curious wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:Another mainstream assumption (with which this alternative view disagrees) is that this gnostic (non canonical) literature was written by "Christians" who believed in the "Official Canonical Jesus Story".


The Gnostic gospels promote false teachings about virtually every key Christian doctrine. There are countless contradictions between the Gnostic gospels and the true Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. What would have been the purpose of "Christians" writing them?


IMO, no purpose whatsoever. Whoever wrote these things obviously had an axe to grind against the Christian doctrine. Prior to the Christian doctrine being used as a political instrument of the Emperor and Roman State, who in their right mind would have even bothered with it? However once it became a political instrument of the centralised monotheistic state c.324/325 CE, it would have become the natural and prime target for Hellenic dissidents.

The mainstream paradigm continues to rely upon whatever the (unquestionable) "church fathers" had to say in the matter. Tertullian wrote that the author of the Acts of Paul wrote this text "out of love for Paul". This is total bullshit, in the "Acts of Paul", Paul baptises a talking lion in the wilderness and is saved by the same lion when he is thrown to the lions. One good turn deserves another. Paul is the mouse, from Aesop's "The Lion and the Mouse". It could not possibly be true that the author parodied or satirized Paul "out of love", and yet the mainstream paradigm repeats this sort of stuff as historical truth.

Why? Because mainstream researchers have not yet learnt to be able to question the integrity of the "church fathers" IN WHOM THEY TRUST.
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#27  Postby 2Curious » Jun 25, 2015 4:01 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote:
2Curious wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:Another mainstream assumption (with which this alternative view disagrees) is that this gnostic (non canonical) literature was written by "Christians" who believed in the "Official Canonical Jesus Story".


The Gnostic gospels promote false teachings about virtually every key Christian doctrine. There are countless contradictions between the Gnostic gospels and the true Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. What would have been the purpose of "Christians" writing them?


IMO, no purpose whatsoever. Whoever wrote these things obviously had an axe to grind against the Christian doctrine. Prior to the Christian doctrine being used as a political instrument of the Emperor and Roman State, who in their right mind would have even bothered with it? However once it became a political instrument of the centralised monotheistic state c.324/325 CE, it would have become the natural and prime target for Hellenic dissidents.

The mainstream paradigm continues to rely upon whatever the (unquestionable) "church fathers" had to say in the matter. Tertullian wrote that the author of the Acts of Paul wrote this text "out of love for Paul". This is total bullshit, in the "Acts of Paul", Paul baptises a talking lion in the wilderness and is saved by the same lion when he is thrown to the lions. One good turn deserves another. Paul is the mouse, from Aesop's "The Lion and the Mouse". It could not possibly be true that the author parodied or satirized Paul "out of love", and yet the mainstream paradigm repeats this sort of stuff as historical truth.

Why? Because mainstream researchers have not yet learnt to be able to question the integrity of the "church fathers" IN WHOM THEY TRUST.


Leucius Charinus wrote:Whoever wrote these things obviously had an axe to grind against the Christian doctrine.


And it may be the simple fact that, just as the Word Faith Movement which is based on New Thought, Christian Science, and Meta Physical principles, that whoever wrote the Gnostic Gospels did as they (WoF) are doing today and tried to start a new religious movement.

If as you say,
Leucius Charinus wrote:(non canonical) literature was written by "Christians" who believed in the "Official Canonical Jesus Story",


it makes no sense that a person that believed the "Official Canonical Jesus Story" would write the GG's, they would have been in accord with the New Testament writers.

People tend to ignore a good century of Christian existence in which the gnostics were simply not around, and a lot can change in that kind of time frame.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#28  Postby duvduv » Jun 29, 2015 4:45 pm

Leucius Charinus, please clarify something. IF Arius existed and was a Platonic philosopher and not a "Christian" at the time of the Nicean Council, then that means that the entire scenario of the struggle against the "Arian heresy" is not what people think it was, AND the Council meeting itself did not focus on "Christian" bishops specifically, but rather a collection of all types of clergy to merely introduce the Eusebian-Constantinian Christian religion as the new religion of the empire.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#29  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 30, 2015 4:19 am

2Curious wrote:

If as you say,
Leucius Charinus wrote:(non canonical) literature was written by "Christians" who believed in the "Official Canonical Jesus Story",


it makes no sense that a person that believed the "Official Canonical Jesus Story" would write the GG's, they would have been in accord with the New Testament writers.


What I wrote was ...

    "Another mainstream assumption (with which this alternative view disagrees) is that this gnostic (non canonical) literature was written by "Christians" who believed in the "Official Canonical Jesus Story".

All the mainstream biblical historians and academics are running with the (implicit) hypothesis that the gnostic (non canonical) literature was written by "Christians" because it features stories about (the post-resurrection) Jesus and the Apostles. I disagree with this hypothesis. I have cited Poe's Law which basically states ...

    (1) “Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.”, or alternatively,

    (2) without a clear indicator of the author's intent, parodies of extremism are indistinguishable from sincere expressions of extremism.[1][2] Poe's Law implies that parody will often be mistaken for sincere belief, and sincere beliefs for parody.

My position is that this is precisely what is going down with the gnostic acts and gospels. My position is that these texts are not expressions of sincere belief at all. They contain all sorts of outrageous claims, situations, miracles and events. My position is that these texts are in fact parodies of the canonical Jesus Story, and were all written in the 4th century as a direct literary reaction to Constantine's publishing the NT Bible.

We have to ask "Why do mainstream believe these are the texts of Christians" (aside from the fact that the characters in the stories are from the NT Bible?). The answer to this question is simply that this is what the church fathers (Eusebius, Origen, Justin, Irenaeus, Tertullian, etc, etc) asserted. 21st mainstream scholarship continues to uncritically accept the testimony of the church fathers as being connected to the historical reality.



Retrojecting ideas from one era into another

This is a fundamentally important concept to understand, a concept which dominates the history of the bible and the history of the church organisation from its transcendental origins. The transmission of literary evidence preserved by the church organisation (from antiquity to present) is highly likely to be corrupt in this specific manner. By controlling what appears in Irenaeus, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, Clement and other supposedly ante Nicene writers, the church organisation of later centuries slowly built up and fabricated their own version of the rise of the orthodox Christians over their political enemies the heretics and gnostic authors.

The classic case of the exposure of 4th century orthodox Christian writers, retrojecting ideas, claims, and other false flags deliberately into the writings of an earlier epoch is provided in the history of the scholarship about the authorship of the "Clementine literature". Because references to the Clementines were found in the writings of Origen it was firmly believed that the Clementines were known to Origen and therefore must have been authored at the latest in the 3rd century.

However scholars now understand that these references in Origen to the Clementines were actually interpolated into the writings of the 3rd century Origen by Basil and Gregory of Nazianzus c.360 CE

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clementine_literature

    It was long believed that the early date of the Clementines was proved by the fact that they were twice quoted by Origen. One of these quotations occurs in the Philokalia of Sts. Gregory of Nazianzus and Basil (c. 360). Dr. Armitage Robinson showed in his edition of that work (1893) that the citation is an addition to the passage of Origen made by the compilers, or possibly by a later editor. The other citation occurs in the old Latin translation of Origen on Matthew. This translation is full of interpolations and alterations, and the passage of Pseudo-Clement is apparently an interpolation by the translator from the Arian Opus imperfectum in Matt.[4]

    Omitting Origen, the earliest witness is Eusebius. In his Ecclesiastical History, III, xxxviii (AD 325) he mentions some short writings and adds:

      "And now some have only the other day brought forward other wordy and lengthy compositions as being Clement's, containing dialogues of Peter and Appion, of which there is absolutely no mention in the ancients."


HISTORICAL RETROJECTION

A fundamental concept to understand about the literary evidence of the church organisation.

My claim is that the gnostic authors and their texts appeared in the 4th century ONLY, as a reaction to the NT Bible. The church organisation of the later 4th century (and beyond) used this process of historical retrojection (i.e. FORGERY) by inserting mentions and attestations to these 4th century texts in the writings of 2nd and 3rd century sources of the "Church Fathers", over which they had complete control. The business in the back office of the church organisation was always about very important manuscripts, and common forgery.
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#30  Postby Leucius Charinus » Jun 30, 2015 4:36 am

duvduv wrote:Leucius Charinus, please clarify something. IF Arius existed and was a Platonic philosopher and not a "Christian" at the time of the Nicean Council, .....


The arguments for these claims, and evidence supporting these claims, are outlined in an essay.
http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/N ... Christ.htm

    A Pageant of Christian Identity Frauds masquerade in the Academy of Plato

    ABSTRACT

    Evidence is presented to substantiate the presence of at least a trinity of Christian Identity Frauds masquerading in the Academy of Plato during the 3rd century. (1,2,3) From the 4th century mention is resurrected of Porphyry's Christian Identity Fraud and the likelihood is explored that the Christian Presbyter Arius of Alexandria, is just another Identity Fraud in a pattern of similar evidence. (4,5) The events of the Council of Nicaea are reconstructed in such a manner as to narrate from the profane perspective, the heresy, the exile and the "damnatio memoriae" of Arius of Alexandria, a non christian theologian/philosopher associated with the Alexandrian academy of Plato c.324 CE. (6,7) •(0) Introduction - The Nondual God of Plato, Plato's Canon and its Apostolic Lineage

    •(1) The Two Ammonii - Ammonius Saccas the Platonist and Ammonius the Christian

    •(2) The Two Origen's - Origen the Platonist and Origen the Christian.

    •(3) The Two Anatolii - Anatolius of Alexandria the Platonist and Anatolius the Christian Bishop

    •(4) The Two Porphyrii - Porphyry the Platonist and Porphyry the Christian author

    •(5) The Two Arii - Arius of Alexandria the Platonist and Arius the Christian Presbyter.

    •(6) Reconstructing a Profane History of Nicaea - The Gods in the books of Plato and Constantine

    •(7) Identity Frauds, conclusions and recommendations - Condemnation of pious forgery.

    •(8) Reference: the Apostolic Lineage of the Academy of Plato - a chronological tabulation



    Identity Fraud: - A criminal activity involving the use of a stolen or misappropriated identity. The process usually involves either stolen or forged identity documents used to obtain goods or services by deception.

    Image


... then that means that the entire scenario of the struggle against the "Arian heresy" is not what people think it was, AND the Council meeting itself did not focus on "Christian" bishops specifically, but rather a collection of all types of clergy to merely introduce the Eusebian-Constantinian Christian religion as the new religion of the empire.


The model used to reconstruct the Council of Nicaea is that furnished by the writings of "Eusebius" and his continuators of the 5th and subsequent centuries, because these are the histories over which special care was taken to preserve by the church organisation. Many other histories of the Council of Nicaea were written in the 4th and 5th century (and later) but they have been passed over and largely lost. One exception however are the fragments of the history written by Philip of Side.

This history declares a different model. The council was attended by a great many philosophers and Christian bishops and these two parties were opposed to one another.

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/phili ... gments.htm

    Fr. 5.6
    [Supporters of Arius at the Council of Nicaea]


    Anonymous Ecclesiastical History 2.12.8-10 [p. 47, lines 5-19 Hansen][160]

    (8) When these things were expressed by them—or rather, through them, by the Holy Spirit—those who endorsed Arius' impiety were wearing themselves out with murmuring (these were the circles of Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis of Nicaea, whom I have already pointed out earlier), and yet they were looking with favor on the "hirelings" of Arius, certain philosophers who were indeed very good with words; Arius had hired them as supporters of his own wickedness, and arrived with them at that holy and ecumenical council.

    (9) For there were present very many philosophers; and having put their hopes in them, as I have said just now, the enemies of the truth were reasonably caught, along with the one who actually taught them their blasphemy. The Holy Scripture was fulfilled in him and in them, which says, "Cursed is everyone who has his hope in a mortal man, and whose heart has departed from the Lord."[161]

    (10) For truly, the blasphemous heart of the fighter against God, Arius, and of those who shared in his impiety, departed from the Lord—they dared to say that the Son of God, the creator of the universe and the craftsman of both visible and invisible created natures, is something created and something made.

This is a different model of "what happened" than Eusebius's story of 100% bishops deciding when to take tea and coffee on the lawn.


The following fragment is a homily.

I think the "simple old man" in this story is probably one of Constantine's old centurions. (IOW he hard a sword and he knew how to use it). In this manner was the Arian philosopher baptised.


    Fr. 5.7
    [The Arian Philosopher and the Simple Old Man]


    Anonymous Ecclesiastical History 2.13 [p. 47, line 20 - p. 50, line 5 Hansen][162]



    2.13

    (1) A certain one of the hirelings of Arius, a philosopher, who was marveled at much more than all the others, contended much, indeed very much, on Arius' behalf with our bishops for very many days, with the result that there was a great lecture every day arising from their verbal encounters: the crowd of those who were gathering would rush together, and the philosopherwould put forward the impious blasphemies of Arius against what was said by the holy council, saying about the Son that "there was a time when he was not," and that "he is a created being, made from nothing, and from a different substance[163] and existence[164] [than the Father]."

    (2) On behalf of these abominable doctrines of Arius, he had a great struggle, and [sent forth] his "showers" of arguments, as he raved against the Son of God and attacked the chorus of those holy priests[165]--the enemy of human salvation was speaking in him and through him.

    (3) But the defenders of the truth, our bishops, calmly brought to bear against him the necessary and appropriate counter-arguments, on behalf of the Apostolic doctrines, imitating the great prophet and king, David, who said, "I was made ready, and I was not disturbed."[166] For they burned through the philosopher's convoluted propositions by means of the divine word, as though with fire through hempen fibers.

    (4) But even so, the philosopher continued to be confident in his diabolical facility with arguments, and began to shoot his arrows against the truth proclaimed by the bishops, applying good and glib responses to all the considerations advanced against him—so he thought—and, slippery as an eel, he struggled to solve the issues raised. For in the midst of what he thought he was contriving for his own benefit, slipping out of the logical arguments that were being brought quite powerfully against him, he was caught, on the basis of is own words, and collapsed along with them.

    (5) But even so, in an arrogant frenzy, he moved against the most peaceful council, hoping to defeat the invincible power of the unconquerable Spirit of Christ that was in them.

    (6) But God, "who catches the wise in their cunning,"[167] in order to demonstrate that his kingdom does not stand "on talk but on power,"[168] not only powerfully silenced the wicked demon that was speaking in the philosopher, but even cast it out, through one of his servants who was there.

    (7) For a certain man, one of the holy confessors who was present at the council, with as simple a nature as any other of the saints [has had], and one who knew nothing "except Jesus Christ, and him crucified"[169] in the flesh according to the Scriptures, was with the bishops and saw the philosopher swooping down to attack our holy bishops, and arrogantly engaged in his malicious disputation; he asked the bishops, the priests of God, to give him an opportunity for discussion with the philosopher.

    (8) Then, the holy bishops on our side, perceiving the man's simplicity and his lack of experience with letters, tried to persuade him not to put himself into the fray, for fear that it would provoke laughter among the malicious enemies of the truth.

    (9) But he, not content with this, approached the philosopher and said to him, "In the name of Jesus Christ, the Word of God who is always with the Father, listen to the doctrines of truth, O philosopher." And the other said to him, "Go ahead and speak." And the saint said to him, "There is one God, who created the heavens and the earth and the sea, and all things that are in them, who also formed man from the earth and subjected everything to his Logos and to the Holy Spirit.[170]

    (10) This Logos, O philosopher, we know and worship as the Son of God, believing that for the sake of our redemption he was made fleshand was born and became a man, and that through the suffering of his flesh on the cross and his death he freed us from eternal condemnation, and that through his resurrection he procured eternal life for us; and we have hope that as he went up into the heavens he will come back and will judge us concerning all that we have accomplished. Do you believe in these things, O philosopher?"

    (11) And the philosopher, as though he had never had experience of words spoken in opposition to him, was dumbfounded and fell silent just like that, as though he were mute and speechless, after saying to him, in a most pitiable voice, only the following: "I too think this is so, and I think no differently that as you have just said."

    (12) And the old man said to him, "If you believe that this is so, O philosopher, stand up and follow me, and let us hurry to the church, in which you will receive the sign of this faith."

    (13) And the philosopher, transforming his whole self toward the true reverence for the God of the universe, stood up and followed the old man and, turning around, said to his disciples and to all those who had gathered to hear [the discussion], "Listen, men. As long as I was enthusiastic for arguments, I would place words in opposition to words and would overturn the matters presented to me by my skill in speaking;

    (14) but now that instead of words, some divine power has come forth from the mouth of my interlocutor, my words no longer had the strength to resist this power. For neither is a human being able to stand in opposition to God. Therefore, if any of you is able to understand, as I have now come to think, he shall believe in Christ—and let him follow this old man, in whom God spoke.

    (15) In this way, the philosopher recovered and, being illuminated and becoming a Christian, rejoiced to have been beaten by the old man.

    And when this philosopher had been baptized and was joined to the Church of God and found relief and exulted, the council rejoiced over the mighty acts of God.


Is this what happened at the Council of Nicaea? Is the history of Philip of Side recording something a little closer to the historical truth?
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#31  Postby Leucius Charinus » Aug 20, 2015 11:25 pm

Thanks for citing this RR.

RealityRules wrote:

At the November meetings in San Diego, the first major sign emerged that Westar’s Christianity Seminar may play a significant role in how scholarship and the American public rethink early Christian history. The Christianity Seminar took votes of historic proportions, collectively setting aside what had been assumed for the last five generations and opening up a new collaborative path forward.

With at least twenty-five internationally known scholars in attendance, the Seminar voted with substantial majorities to rule “gnosticism,” the reigning boogey man of early Christian history, out of order. In successive votes, the following dramatic positions were taken:

  • The category of gnosticism needs to be dismantled. (Voted Red)
  • Michael Williams and Karen King have made compelling cases that the category “Gnosticism”—whether it names an ancient religion equivalent to “Judaism” or “Christianity” or it functions as a typological category for the grouping of various teachers, writings, and movements—no longer works. (Voted Red)
  • The relegation of gnosticism to the scholarly sidelines removes a confusing category for our ongoing Christianity Seminar work in rethinking the history of early Christianity. (Voted Pink)
It is difficult to overestimate what these decisions mean for the Seminar’s resolve to rewrite the history of early Christianity and for broader historical positions long held about how Christianity came into being. For at least a century “Gnosticism” has been understood as the primary and earliest major heresy that threatened a pre-ordained trajectory from the message of Jesus to the “Church Eternal.” Now, according to the Christianity Seminar, the idea that such a thing as “gnosticism” even existed is simply off the table.

The Christianity Seminar’s collective actions at its San Diego sessions so blatantly contradict the commonly-held story of how Christianity emerged that these votes must be summarized clearly. The Seminar did not vote that heretical gnosticism was so wrong in its ideas and beliefs that it can never be considered “Christian.” Nor did it conclude that “gnosticism” was not really so bad, and therefore was not a heresy. Rather, after strong discussion of major papers, the Seminar said clearly that most historians of the past 100+ years were wrong in thinking that such a phenomenon as “gnosticism” ever existed. In other words, historians must rethink the entire assumption that a unified heretical “gnosticism” played a primary role in how early Christianity came into being.

How Did This Happen?
The Seminar’s votes at the November meeting were informed by cutting-edge scholars who, over the past fifteen years or more, have made a thorough case against the existence of gnosticism.

Primary among these is Karen King, Harvard Divinity School Hollis Professor of Divinity, who participated in the San Diego sessions. King has spent much of her career mapping out the consequences of the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library in 1945 and reframing the way early Christian history can be written in the wake of Nag Hammadi. Two of her major books, What Is Gnosticism? and The Secret Revelation of John, have thoroughly critiqued the ways nineteenth- and twentieth-century scholars formulated the “gnosticism” thesis. In doing so, King has laid the foundations for reformulations of how Christianity began. King’s work about “gnosticism” was summarized in a long paper by Hal Taussig (soon to be published in Westar’s Forum).

Other leading scholars also wrote papers for the San Diego sessions. Michael Williams, long-term colleague of King and author of the 1996 book, Rethinking Gnosticism, presented a clear history of recent scholarship undermining the idea of “gnosticism.” David Brakke, author of the recent book, The Gnostics, laid out his position against “gnosticism” and advocated for a smaller and much less central phenomenon he calls “gnostics.” Denise Buell demonstrated how the notion of “gnosticism” developed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the context of controversies between various church and spiritualist movements. Seminar Fellows Maia Kotrosits and Brandon Scott appreciated King’s The Secret Revelation of John as a prime example of how to think about early Christianity’s emergence without using the notion of “gnosticism” at all.

The way the Christianity Seminar is appropriating the innovative works of King, Williams, Buell, Brakke, and others in order to rethink an entire wing of work on early Christianity resembles the ways the Jesus Seminar in the late 1980s and early 1990s was responding to new perspectives on the historical Jesus in scholarship just prior to the Seminar’s work. That is, the Jesus Seminar’s collective work was not possible without the prior scholarship of John Dominic Crossan, Robert Funk, Burton Mack, Marcus Borg, Elisabeth Schuessler Fiorenza, and John Kloppenborg.

An Overview of the Voting in San Diego
Additional relevant ballot results from the San Diego session are:

Scholarship now needs a less blunt tool/analytical category than gnosticism for examination of the Jesus/Christ(ian) literature of the second and third centuries. (Voted Red)
  • The wealth of documents that Nag Hammadi provides to both scholarship and the public has been blocked or caricatured by the imposition of the gnostic label on them. These documents offer important information to scholarship about the Jesus/Christ(ian) movements in the second and third century. (Voted Red)

  • The Secret Revelation of John is Christian. (Voted Pink)

  • Without an intense scrutiny of what we label Christian and why, orthodox coherence and directionality will be the implicit underwriters of our history. (Voted Red)
  • In describing pre-Nicene Christianity we should discard the category variously called “the Great Church,” “(emerging) Catholicism,” “mainstream Christianity,” or “proto-orthodoxy.” (Voted Red)
  • Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and company should be liberated from “proto-orthodoxy” and allowed to “be their own idiosyncratic selves.” (Voted Red)
  • The post-Constantinian project of creating a “catholic” Church, characterized by uniform theologies, structures, and practices, co-opted selected earlier Christian persons and groups to legitimate that project and should not determine our understanding of those persons and groups. (Voted Red)
  • The Gospel of Judas should lead historians to discard the present category “Sethianism” and its reconstructed history and instead to create a new one, called “the Gnostics,” and start over on its history. (Voted Pink)
http://www.westarinstitute.org/projects ... ng-report/


Why should The Secret Revelation of John be voted as being "Christian"?
http://gnosis.org/naghamm/apocjn-davies.html

The following about the Inexpressible One is straight out of Plotinus and belongs to the Platonist theologians.


The Secret Revelation of John wrote:

The Inexpressible One


The One rules all. Nothing has authority over it.
It is the God.
It is Father of everything,
Holy One
The invisible one over everything.
It is uncontaminated
Pure light no eye can bear to look within.

The One is the Invisible Spirit.
It is not right to think of it as a God or as like God.
It is more than just God.

Nothing is above it.
Nothing rules it.
Since everything exists within it
It does not exist within anything.
Since it is not dependent on anything
It is eternal.

It is absolutely complete and so needs nothing.
It is utterly perfect
Light.

The One is without boundaries
Nothing exists outside of it to border it
The One cannot be investigated
Nothing exists apart from it to investigate it
The One cannot be measured
Nothing exists external to it to measure it

The One cannot be seen
For no one can envision it
The One is eternal
For it exists forever
The One is inconceivable
For no one can comprehend it
The One is indescribable
For no one can put any words to it.

The One is infinite light
Purity
Holiness
Stainless,

The One is incomprehensible
Perfectly free from corruption.
Not “perfect”
Not “blessed”
Not “divine”
But superior to such concepts.
Neither physical nor unphysical
Neither immense nor infinitesimal
It is impossible to specify in quantity or quality
For it is beyond knowledge.

The One is not a being among other beings
It is vastly superior
But it is not “superior.”

It is outside of realms of being and time
For whatever is within realms of being was created
And whatever is within time had time allotted to it
The One receives nothing from anything.
It simply apprehends itself in its own perfect light

The One is majestic.
The One is measureless majesty

Chief of all Realms
Producing all realms

Light
Producing light

Life
Producing life

Blessedness
Producing blessedness

Knowledge
Producing knowledge

Good
Producing goodness

Mercy
Producing mercy

Generous
Producing generosity

[It does not “possess” these things.]

It gives forth light beyond measure, beyond comprehension.

[What can I say?]

His realm is eternal, peaceful, silent, resting, before everything.
He is the head of every realm sustaining each of them through goodness.



None of these Westar’s Christianity Seminar illuminati question the chronology of the so-called "Gnostic texts". They all are completely aware that the Nag Hammadi Library was assembled in Coptic in the mid 4th century. They then ignore the possibility that these texts may be part of the Greek literati reaction to the reception of the Christian State and instead prefer to see Greek originals of these texts as being authored in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. These elite mainstream scholars are taking their chronology of authorship directly from the literary testimony of the "Church Fathers". [DOGMA]

For example The Secret Revelation of John can easily be explained as a response by the Platonist theologians and philosophers of Alexandria to the appearance of the "Jesus Story" as a political instrument of the Roman Empire. In this text they are plugging for a Supreme God as defined by the theological and literary models of Plato recently published in the Enneads of Plotinus.

The author(s) of The Secret Revelation of John IMHO were attempting to compete with the books of the NT which their very newly supreme Emperor Constantine had brought forth. Their efforts met with the fire and the sword.


FWIW compare the above extract headed as "The Inexpressible One" to the following reconstruction of the writings of Arius of Alexandria by Rowan Williams, Arius: Heresy and Tradition, Revised Edition, 98-116.

Rowan Williams on the original basic beliefs of Arius wrote:

He claimed that God Himself, as he really is, is inexpressible to all.

He claimed that this inexpressible essence alone has no equal

He claimed that this inexpressible essence alone has no one similar (homoios)

He claimed that this inexpressible essence alone has no one of the same glory.

He claimed that he and his supporters called this inexpressible essence unbegotten,
in contrast to an essence who by nature is begotten.

He claimed that he and his supporters praised this inexpressible essence as without beginning
in contrast to an essence who has a beginning.

He claimed that he and his supporters worshipped this inexpressible essence as timeless,
in contrast to an essence who in time has come to exist.



The political reality which was suppressed by the orthodoxy was that these Gnostic authors were post Nicene dissidents writing additional and unauthorised Jesus Stories AFTER the Emperor had produced the canonical Jesus Stories and the Shepherd of Hermas.

The ecclesiastical victors (church industry) of the later 4th and subsequent centuries effected this suppression by a process called retroscription or retrojection. They essentially forged a lot more into Irenaeus et al.

See for example Carrier here (talking about Ignatius - IMO just another literary "plant")

http://richardcarrier.blogspot.com.au/2 ... ation.html

    Oh, by the way, did I also mention the manuscripts even of the "authentic" letters of Ignatius don't agree with each other, often containing entirely different sentences or even radically altered paragraphs? And that there may be evidence of retroscription? (That's later scribes correcting "inaccurate" quotations with "correct" quotations, a phenomenon that is definitely found in the manuscripts of Irenaeus, for example, thus calling into question any reliance on Irenaeus for the original readings of biblical passages, hence it might be circular to say Irenaeus confirms a biblical reading...yeah, because medieval sneeks rewrote his text to, but I digress). If we can't even know for sure what the original text of Ignatius' letters said, you can only imagine how much more this multiplies the task of sorting out issues of quotation or paraphrase.
Last edited by Leucius Charinus on Aug 21, 2015 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#32  Postby RealityRules » Aug 21, 2015 12:25 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
None of these Westar’s Christianity Seminar illuminati question the chronology of the so-called "Gnostic texts". They all are completely aware that the Nag Hammadi Library was assembled in Coptic in the mid 4th century. They then ignore the possibility that these texts may be part of the Greek literati reaction to the reception of the Christian State and instead prefer to see Greek originals of these texts as being authored in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. These elite mainstream scholars are taking their chronology of authorship directly from the literary testimony of the "Church Fathers".

I'm not sure they Westar illuminati have got that far with the so-called 'gnostic texts' or the Nag Hammadi texts.

They say

  • The wealth of documents that Nag Hammadi provides to both scholarship and the public has been blocked, or caricatured by the imposition of the 'gnostic' label on them. These documents offer important information to scholarship about the Jesus/Christ(ian) movements in the second and third century.
  • "... the category “Gnosticism”— whether it names an ancient religion equivalent to “Judaism” or “Christianity” or it functions as a typological category for the grouping of various teachers, writings, and movements— no longer works."

They want

  • The category of 'gnosticism' to be dismantled.
  • The relegation of 'gnosticism' to the scholarly sidelines

And they said -

  • Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and company should be liberated from “proto-orthodoxy” and allowed to “be their own idiosyncratic selves.”
  • The post-Constantinian project of creating a “catholic” Church, characterized by uniform theologies, structures, and practices, co-opted selected earlier Christian persons and groups to legitimate that project and should not determine our understanding of those persons and groups.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#33  Postby RealityRules » Aug 21, 2015 12:34 am

2
One of the main effects of the dependence on “gnosticism” for understanding the processes within Jesus and Christ movements of the second and early-third century was that the wide range of Jesus/Christ-related documents discovered since 1850 were, by and large, deemed to be “gnostic.” They were therefore regarded as either heresy or second-rate theology. This meant, for instance, that fifty-two such documents discovered at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945 were almost immediately considered “gnostic,” and as such either problematic or damaging to what early Christianity was really about.

The Jesus Seminar was one of the first scholarly venues to contradict this picture of such recently discovered documents, when it rejected earlier scholarship that defined the Gospel of Thomas as both “gnostic” and from the second century. Instead, the Jesus Seminar led scholarship over the last thirty years in noticing the relative impossibility of defining this gospel as “gnostic.” More recently, similar work has been done on a number of these discoveries such as the Secret Revelation of John, the Sayings of Sextus, the Odes of Solomon, the Letter of Peter to Philip, the Gospel of Mary, the Thunder: Perfect Mind, and the Gospel of Truth.

But many more of these discoveries still lay hidden under the assumption that they are a part of “gnosticism,” automatically marginalizing their relevance. With the Christianity Seminar now rejecting “gnosticism” as a viable analytical category for the study of early Christianity, an even stronger possibility exists to integrate many of these newer documents into more diverse and complex pictures of the emerging Christian phenomena. In two different ballot items in San Diego, the Christianity Seminar affirmed strongly the necessity to claim Nag Hammadi and other recently discovered works from the first two centuries as an integral part of rethinking early Christian history.

http://www.westarinstitute.org/projects ... ng-report/

See - http://www.westarinstitute.org/projects ... y-seminar/
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#34  Postby Leucius Charinus » Aug 21, 2015 12:54 am

RealityRules wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
None of these Westar’s Christianity Seminar illuminati question the chronology of the so-called "Gnostic texts". They all are completely aware that the Nag Hammadi Library was assembled in Coptic in the mid 4th century. They then ignore the possibility that these texts may be part of the Greek literati reaction to the reception of the Christian State and instead prefer to see Greek originals of these texts as being authored in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. These elite mainstream scholars are taking their chronology of authorship directly from the literary testimony of the "Church Fathers".

I'm not sure they Westar illuminati have got that far with the so-called 'gnostic texts' or the Nag Hammadi texts.

They say

  • The wealth of documents that Nag Hammadi provides to both scholarship and the public has been blocked, or caricatured by the imposition of the 'gnostic' label on them. These documents offer important information to scholarship about the Jesus/Christ(ian) movements in the second and third century.


The modern church industry follows Eusebian chronology for the history of the heretics. They have not yet managed to convince themselves that these documents may offer important information to scholarship about the Jesus/Christ(ian) movements in the fourth century, when Jesus became a political instrument for Christ's sake.



  • "... the category “Gnosticism”— whether it names an ancient religion equivalent to “Judaism” or “Christianity” or it functions as a typological category for the grouping of various teachers, writings, and movements— no longer works."



TRANSLATION: It has been in the "TOO HARD" basket for too long.

Everyone has been trained to think that an ecclesiastical history is required, when what is required is a political history.


They want

  • The category of 'gnosticism' to be dismantled.
  • The relegation of 'gnosticism' to the scholarly sidelines



I wonder why they want this for their industry?

Who were the heretics? Of course! There were none!



And they said -

  • Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and company should be liberated from “proto-orthodoxy” and allowed to “be their own idiosyncratic selves.”


What if the literature references in the idiosyncratic church fathers to their ecclesiastical enemies in the 2nd and 3rd centuries were simply forged in the 4th century after the event of the political Jesus? After there was a great war between the Emperor and the Eastern Empire over books? The politics of heresies and an explosion of many Christ's and Christianities make more sense after 325 CE. The Emperor started the war of books by suddenly and unexpectedly converting to the underground Christian cult.




WESTAR PRESS RELEASE:

  • The post-Constantinian project of creating a “catholic” Church, characterized by uniform theologies, structures, and practices, co-opted selected earlier Christian persons and groups to legitimate that project and should not determine our understanding of those persons and groups.



WTF does that actually mean? I need a translator.
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#35  Postby RealityRules » Aug 21, 2015 1:38 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
RealityRules wrote:
I'm not sure they Westar illuminati have got that far with the so-called 'gnostic texts' or the Nag Hammadi texts.

They say

  • The wealth of documents that Nag Hammadi provides to both scholarship and the public has been blocked, or caricatured by the imposition of the 'gnostic' label on them. These documents offer important information to scholarship about the Jesus/Christ(ian) movements in the second and third century.

The modern church industry follows Eusebian chronology for the history of the heretics. They have not yet managed to convince themselves that these documents may offer important information to scholarship about the Jesus/Christ(ian) movements in the fourth century, when Jesus became a political instrument for Christ's sake.

What documents? The Nag Hammadi texts?

Why are you obsessed with the fourth century? There were 'gnostics' before then. The church has both claimed them as 'Fathers' and disses them as 'gnostics' and as 'heretics'. Hence the need to look at them again without such labels.



  • "... the category “Gnosticism”— whether it names an ancient religion equivalent to “Judaism” or “Christianity” or it functions as a typological category for the grouping of various teachers, writings, and movements— no longer works."
Leucius Charinus wrote:TRANSLATION: It has been in the "TOO HARD" basket for too long.

Everyone has been trained to think that an ecclesiastical history is required, when what is required is a political history.

Yes, hence the desire to look at them through a different 'lens'.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#36  Postby Leucius Charinus » Aug 21, 2015 10:10 am

RealityRules wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
RealityRules wrote:
I'm not sure they Westar illuminati have got that far with the so-called 'gnostic texts' or the Nag Hammadi texts.

They say

  • The wealth of documents that Nag Hammadi provides to both scholarship and the public has been blocked, or caricatured by the imposition of the 'gnostic' label on them. These documents offer important information to scholarship about the Jesus/Christ(ian) movements in the second and third century.

The modern church industry follows Eusebian chronology for the history of the heretics. They have not yet managed to convince themselves that these documents may offer important information to scholarship about the Jesus/Christ(ian) movements in the fourth century, when Jesus became a political instrument for Christ's sake.

What documents? The Nag Hammadi texts?


Yes.

The mainstream position is that more than 80% of the 50 odd NHL texts were authored in the 2nd or 3rd century.

I disagree.

My position is that the Greek originals were not from the 2nd or 3rd century but from the epoch 325-336 CE in Alexandria.



Why are you obsessed with the fourth century? There were 'gnostics' before then.


I do not believe that any of the "Gnostic Gospels and Acts" etc were written before Constantine's Bible had made its appearance.

I have listed the evidence FOR and AGAINST this position.

The fourth century was the century in which the Jesus Story became the political instrument of a Roman Emperor.
Hell bent on unifying the Roman Empire under the protective umbrella of a centralised state religion with a holy writ.
This is a monopoly buSine$$.
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#37  Postby RealityRules » Aug 21, 2015 11:33 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
I do not believe that any of the "Gnostic Gospels and Acts" etc were written before Constantine's Bible had made its appearance.

I thought you'd softened that stance. It will be interesting to see how the study of the Apocryphia pans out over the next 20-30 yrs.

There are, at least, various people described as gnostic or heretic before the 4th C - Valentinius, Cerdo, Marcion, etc.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#38  Postby duvduv » Aug 21, 2015 12:39 pm

Leucius has made the extremely interesting argument that the Church misrepresented pagan philosophers as varieties of Christians, so it's impossible to say these people lived before the 4th century. As misrepresented scoffers they would easily be backdated just like the rest of the religion. Besides, inventing heretics only serves the purpose of reinforcing the claims of the official religion through the back door.
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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#39  Postby Leucius Charinus » Aug 22, 2015 1:27 am

RealityRules wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
I do not believe that any of the "Gnostic Gospels and Acts" etc were written before Constantine's Bible had made its appearance.

I thought you'd softened that stance.


The stance I have softened is that upon the chronology of the authorship of the canonical books. I will allow that the canonical books could have been authored in the 1st or 2nd or 3rd centuries. People are free to plug whatever theory they may like for the authorship of the canonical books. My position is that whenever the canonical books were authored they were transmitted to Constantine who published them in the Roman Empire.

At that time c.325 CE, when the NT Bible was first published, I contend that there were no "Gnostic Gospels and Acts". The case being argued here is that the Gnostic Gospels and Acts were authored after 325 CE as a literary reaction to the NT Bible from the Alexandrian Greek philosophers and literati. Authorship is thus not spread out over the 2nd and 3rd and 4th centuries but is focussed during the post Nicene epoch 325-336 CE and is also related to the figure of Arius of Alexandria. For example the Clementine literature is now thought to have been authored by an Arian c.330 CE.

It will be interesting to see how the study of the Apocryphia pans out over the next 20-30 yrs.



Yes it will. There may be more new manuscripts. Maybe new scientific non destructive dating technologies.


There are, at least, various people described as gnostic or heretic before the 4th C - Valentinius, Cerdo, Marcion, etc.


I believe these sources are forged - retroscription; retrojection - by the 4th (and subsequent) century heresiological orthodoxy. Irenaeus is a highly suspect Greek source known through the Greek of Eusebius's quotations, but primarily through some late 4th century Latin manuscript. The idea is that there was a massive war of books. The Emperor started the war by publishing the NT Bible. The Greeks responded by publishing the Gnostic Gospels and Acts (i.e. the "heretical" non canonical books). Under this scenario there is also good reason to suspect that Arius of Alexandria may have been the author of some of these heretical books. The Arian controversy as we know it through the ecclesiastical histories is just a church industry veneer. Beneath this veneer, the political controversy was about which books were going to become canonical, which were going to get burnt (and their preservers beheaded), etc.

The myriad of Christianities and philosophies that scholars see in the Nag Hammadi Library are IMO capable of being generated during the epoch 325-336 CE during the rule of Constantine. These Greek books were sought out and destroyed in Alexandria by Constantine's agents and the only reason the NHL survived was because someone took a copy of the Greek originals 400 miles up the Nile where they appear to have been translated to Coptic and physical codices manufactured. Quite possibly highly related to the Pachomian monastic settlement there 325-348 CE.

I hope that clearly explains my position at the moment RR.
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Gnostic authors as post Nicene dissidents

#40  Postby Leucius Charinus » Aug 22, 2015 2:28 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
RealityRules wrote:

WESTAR PRESS RELEASE:

  • The post-Constantinian project of creating a “catholic” Church, characterized by uniform theologies, structures, and practices, co-opted selected earlier Christian persons and groups to legitimate that project and should not determine our understanding of those persons and groups.



WTF does that actually mean? I need a translator.


I do not understand this statement by the Westar Institute. Can someone paraphrase it? Or maybe provide an example of what these "earlier Christian persons and groups" were? Are these the so-called "Valentinians" or "Sethians" or other categories used by NHL academics to split the NHL into "communities" of authors?
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

Emperor Julian (362 CE)
User avatar
Leucius Charinus
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 806

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