In a recent discussion in the blogosphera between historicists and mythicists, the historicist O'Neill does this criticism against Richard Carrier:
There are way more linguistic problems with Carrier's silly "cosmic sperm bank" argument than that. It is without doubt one of the most contrived, ad hoc arguments I have ever seen in print in a supposedly "peer reviewed" book.
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionp ... 4585568934
A guy named Gary, probably a Jesus Agnostic
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionp ... 4587794522
Gary • 3 days ago
Instead of answering a comment directly, I’ll place this as a new comment, since multiple people questioned my “Cosmic Sperm Bank” comment, and Paul versus Gnostics.
I wasted my time doing this, so I hope people will check my facts, and verify them, so at least it was worth the effort of providing these references:
1st, apparently you are not very familiar with Nag Hammadi documents.
2nd, in no way am I supporting Raphael Lataster or Carrier’s statements, in any way, shape, or form. I disagree with them completely.
However, my comment has only to do with Cosmic Sperm Bank and Nag Hammadi. And related, the thought that Paul COULD be interpreted as Gnostic. Not that he actually was Gnostic. See “The Gnostic Paul”, Elaine Pagels. Let me also say, she does not see Paul as Gnostic. However, her book supports how OTHER people could see Paul as Gnostic. Valentinus and his followers, for instance.
“The Nag Hammadi Scriptures”, edited by Marvin Meyer, 2007:
Background - pg 191, “The Nature of the Rulers”, also translated, “The Hypostatis of the Archons”, Note 2, “Apparently the authorities are the same as the rulers or archons.”
On pg 193, same document,
“The authorities approached their Adam. When they saw his female partner speaking with him, they became aroused and lusted after her. They said to each other, “Come, let’s ejaculate our semen in her,” and they chased her.”
“On the Origin of the World”, pg 213,
“Then the chief creator voiced his opinion about humankind to those that were with him. Then each of them ejaculated his semen into the middle of the navel of the earth. Since then the seven archons have formed humanity with a body resembling their own body...”
“The Revelation of Adam”, pg 354,
“The tenth kingdom says of him, His god loved a cloud of desire. He produced him by his hand and ejaculated some of the droplet upon the cloud near him, and he was born.”
“The Testimony if Truth”, supposedly written by Valentinus, pg 617,
“The Son of Humanity came forth from an imperishable realm as one who was a stranger to defilement...The water of the Jordan is the desire for sexual intercourse.”
“The Gospel of Judas”, pg 766,
“Now, the multitude of those immortal beings is called ‘cosmos’, that is, corruption, through the Father and the seventy-two luminaries with the Self-Generated and his seventy-two eternal beings. There, the first human appeared, with his incorruptible powers. The eternal being that appeared with his generation, the one in whom are the cloud of knowledge and the angel...”
Again, against the reiterated criticisms by O'Neill and McGrath, the same "Gary" replies by this comment (he quotes from Elaine Pagels's book):
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionp ... 4588534283
Gary • 2 days ago
Just hypothetically, considering:
pg 191, “The Nature of the Rulers”, also translated, “The Hypostatis of the Archons”, Note 2, “Apparently the authorities are the same as the rulers or archons.”
Is not David, a dead person, at Jesus’ birth, also a “ruler”? And didn’t Valentinus followers believe Paul was a Gnostic? So, laugh, but a community around 200AD called Valentinian, woudn’t find it funny. David represents a archon, and archons maintained “Cosmic Sperm Banks”.
Elaine Pagels, “The Gnostic Paul”,
“The initiated reader learns from secret tradition that here again Paul is speaking symbolically. “David” signifies the demiurge himself - an appropriate metaphor, first in that he dominates his creatures like any petty king, and second, in that as demiurge, he has formed and “fathered” mankind “according to the flesh”. Paul characterizes in 1:3, then, the psychic preaching of the savior “according to the flesh,” as son of the demiurge (“David”); But in 1:4 the pneumatic proclamation of Christ “according to the spirit” as “one designated son of God” - of the Father.
The initiate, trained to read the deeper structure of the text, then, could see from 1:1 how Paul identifies himself both as a psychic and as a member of the pneumatic elect, and from 1:3-4 how he demonstrates two different modes of his preaching.”
It is in this point that I am surprised by the colossal ignorance of James McGrath:
James F. McGrath Mod Gary • 2 days ago • edited https://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionp ... 4589248475
Thanks - now that is indeed interesting! The obvious question, of course, is whether one thinks the Valentinian reading of Romans is what Paul intended. If not, then this doesn't really provide anything that would support mythicism. Indeed, even if one thinks that Valentinus preserved precisely what Paul meant and taught, that still wouldn't help mythicism, since Valentinus thought Jesus had appeared in history. But I clearly have things to learn about Valentinianism, and am really grateful you shared this!
(To answer your question, no, dead people were not thought to become celestial rulers in ancient Gnosticism or other religions in this region that I am aware of.)
I have not followed the rest of the discussion, but note the way of James McGrath:
McGrath denies that Paul reads himself as Valentinus reads him.
but McGrath concedes the possibility that, at least about a particular point (Rom 1:3: davidic sperm) Paul could read himself as Valentinus reads him.
even so, McGrath denies that Paul is mythicist since Valentinus was not mythicist.
Now, I have found evidence that the Valentinians placed the Death of Jesus in outer space:
Giuseppe wrote: ↑
Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:51 am
The animal and carnal Christ, however, does suffer after the fashion of the superior Christ, who, for the purpose of producing Achamoth, had been stretched upon the cross, that is, Horos, in a substantial though not a cognizable form. In this manner do they reduce all things to mere images — Christians themselves being indeed nothing but imaginary beings!
Where is this cross
(called Horos) placed
, according this Valentian myth?
It is the celestial wall between the upper spheres and the lower heavens.
In order, then, that the shapelessness of the abortion might not at all manifest itself to the perfect Aeons, the Father also again projects additionally one Aeon, viz., Staurus. And he being begotten great, as from a mighty and perfect father, and being projected for the guardianship and defense of the Aeons, becomes a limit of the Pleroma, having within itself all the thirty Aeons together, for these are they that had been projected. Now this (Aeon) is styled Horos, because he separates from the Pleroma the Hysterema that is outside. And (he is called) Metocheus, because he shares also in the Hysterema. And (he is denominated) Staurus, because he is fixed inflexibly and inexorably, so that nothing of the Hysterema can come near the Aeons who are within the Pleroma.
In short: the cosmic
That the my interpretation of that evidence as evidence of a Valentinian Mythicism
is not fruit only of the my own speculations, is proved by the fact that the scholar Jean Magne argued the same thing, when he wrote:
Adam et Eve viennent d'obtenir la connaissance tandis que le dieu de ce monde, envieux précisément de cette partie spirituelle qu'il ne possède pas, restera toujours dans son ignorance. Par contre, le serpent, qui les détrompe et leur permet de déjourer la ruse du créateur, apparait comme un envoyé de ce monde d'en haut qu'il elur donne le moyen de connaitre: il sera, de fait, honoré comme tel par les Nassènes (de nahash, «serpent», en hébreu), les Ophites (ophis, «serpent», en grec), les Pérates, etc., sous le nom de Jésus, et, de simple «instructeur» ou «illuminateur», il deviendra «sauveur» par sa crucifixion céleste sur la Limite, le stauros, par les archontes du créateur (les planètes), détruisant leur pouvoir (la Destinée, l'Heimarmené) au moment où ils pensaient détruire le sien, et triomphant d'eux par où ils croyaient triompher de lui.
(Sacrifice et Sacerdoce
, 1975, p. 131)
Adam and Eve have just obtained the knowledge while the god of this world, envious precisely of this spiritual part which he does not possess, will always remain in his ignorance. On the other hand, the serpent, which unthers them and allows them to let go of the creator's trick, appears as an envoy from this world from above insofar he gives them the means to know: he will, in fact, be honored as such by the Nassenes (from nahash, "serpent", in Hebrew), the Ophites (ophis, "serpent", in Greek), the Perates, etc., under the name of Jesus, and, of simple "instructor" or "illuminator", he will become "savior" by the his celestial crucifixion on the Limit, the stauros, by the archons of the creator (the planets), destroying their power (Destiny, Heimarmené) at the moment when they thought they were destroying the his power, and triumphing over them when they thought they could triumph over him.
Hence note the great contradiction by McGrath:
he would like to show himself as one who is open to follow the interlocutor by conceding a possibility
(in the specific case: the possibility that Paul could have the same view of the davidic sperm held by the Valentinians later)...
...but then he finds himself de facto
obliged to deny
that the Valentinians, even only some of them, had a Mythicist view of the same crucifixion of Jesus. Against the evidence. Against even a such possibility
raised by an evidence as that shown by myself above.
I call this hypocrisy.