Do O'Neill and McGrath ignore or deny Valentinian Mythicists?

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Giuseppe
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Re: Do O'Neill and McGrath ignore or deny Valentinian Mythicists?

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:59 pm

Only some conclusive notes in addition:
  • Tertullian distinguishes clearly between the Sophia's passage ("ab Horo separatam") through Horos and its crucifixion ("et crucifixam") by Horos himself as two distinct actions. Hence logically the second can't be an allegory/symbol of the first.
  • Curiously, in full Dark Age, the Cathars believed also in two crucifixions of two distinct Christs, just as the Valentinians.
  • So Irenaeus:

    Moreover, they affirm that the Apostle Paul himself made mention of this cross [i.e. Horos] in the following words: The doctrine of the cross is foolishness to those who perish, but to us who are saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 And again: God forbid that I should glory in anything save in the cross of Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world.

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103103.htm

    There is something, apart the clear Valentinian identity (totally unexpected under historicity) between the cosmic cross (Horos) in outer space and the cross where Jesus was crucified according to Paul, that shows a Valentinian preservation of the original belief of the apostle: just as the Valentinians, the historical Paul didn't consider the crucifixion a motive of embarrassment, not even when he quotes Deuteronomy about the divine cursing of the hanged. If the crucified Christ provokes embarrassment, then that crucified Christ is not the crucified Christ of which Paul is talking. This is precisely the point where Paul sounds so "Valentinian" ante litteram.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Do O'Neill and McGrath ignore or deny Valentinian Mythicists?

Post by GakuseiDon » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:12 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:56 am
Now, I would like to apply the Argument from Silence to GDon's absence of a his answer about the evidence of a crucifixion in outer space of Sophia just while she is said to go through Horos.

I would be curious to know if GDon will give the same idiotic answer of Joseph D.L ("the crucifixion in outer space of Sophia is mere symbolism"). Or if he means the crucifixion of Sophia in outer space as a fact, while the crucifixion of Christ in outer space as symbolism. In the latter case, GDon will be totally unable to explain why he is conceding the status of reality only to the crucifixion of Sophia in outer space and not to the crucifixion of Christ in outer space.
I think the crucifixion of Sophia is symbolic of her being purified by Horos. Irenaeus also describes Valentinians' beliefs on the same topic:
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... book1.html

The Father afterwards produces, in his own image, by means of Monogenes, the above-mentioned Horos, without conjunction, masculo-feminine. For they maintain that sometimes the Father acts in conjunction with Sige, but that at other times he shows himself independent both of male and female. They term this Horos both Stauros and Lytrotes, and Carpistes, and Horothetes, and Metagoges. And by this Horos they declare that Sophia was purified and established, while she was also restored to her proper conjunction. For her enthymesis (or inborn idea) having been taken away from her, along with its supervening passion, she herself certainly remained within the Pleroma; but her enthymesis, with its passion, was separated from her by Horos, fenced off, and expelled from that circle.

So 'crucifixion' is symbolism of her purification, and the separating of her passions. Did it require an actual crucifixion, with a cross? No. Irenaeus goes on to show how 'Horos' and 'Stauros' are used symbolicly:

They show, further, that that Horos of theirs, whom they call by a variety of names, has two faculties,-the one of supporting, and the other of separating; and in so far as he supports and sustains, he is Stauros, while in so far as he divides and separates, he is Horos. They then represent the Saviour as having indicated this twofold faculty: first, the sustaining power, when He said, "Whosoever doth not bear his cross (Stauros), and follow after me, cannot be my disciple; " and again, "Taking up the cross follow me; " but the separating power when He said, "I came not to send peace, but a word." They also maintain that John indicated the same thing when he said, "The fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge the floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable." By this declaration He set forth the faculty of Horos. For that fan they explain to be the cross (Stauros), which consumes, no doubt, all material objects, as fire does chaff, but it purifies all them that are saved, as a fan does wheat. Moreover, they affirm that the Apostle Paul himself made mention of this cross in the following words: "The doctrine of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but to us who are saved it is the power of God." And again: "God forbid that I should glory in anything save in the cross of Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world."

"Take up the cross and follow me", "The word is crucified to me, and I unto the world". These are symbolic uses of the terms, obviously.

Horos separates out Sophia's passions, and from those -- fear and ignorance -- the substance of the material world was made:

Wherefore also she is called by two names-Sophia after her father (for Sophia is spoken of as being her father), and Holy Spirit from that Spirit who is along with Christ. Having then obtained a form, along with intelligence, and being immediately deserted by that Logos who had been invisibly present with her-that is, by Christ-she strained herself to discover that light which had forsaken her, but could not effect her purpose, inasmuch as she was prevented by Horos. And as Horos thus obstructed her further progress, he exclaimed, Iao, whence, they say, this name Iao derived its origin. And when she could not pass by Horos on account of that passion in which she had been involved, and because she alone had been left without, she then resigned herself to every sort of that manifold and varied state of passion to which she was subject; and thus she suffered grief on the one hand because she had not obtained the object of her desire, and fear on the other hand, lest life itself should fail her, as light had already done, while, in addition, she was in the greatest perplexity. All these feelings were associated with ignorance. And this ignorance of hers was not like that of her mother, the first Sophia, an Aeon, due to degeneracy by means of passion, but to an [innate] opposition [of nature to knowledge]. Moreover, another kind of passion fell upon her her (Achamoth), namely, that of desiring to return to him who gave her life.

2. This collection [of passions] they declare was the substance of the matter from which this world was formed.

No talk of crucifixion there! Of course, it may have actually involved a real crucifixion, but you can see that the symbolism is the important thing. You might also insist "Take up your cross and follow me" as literal, but you can see the symbolism of it anyway even if you do.

In fact, within Valentinian gnosticism there is lots of symbolism. Even the life of Christ on earth provides clues about the cosmos. Consider the following from the same page:

The thirty Aeons are indicated (as we have already remarked) by the thirty years during which they say the Saviour performed no public act...

The production, again, of the Duodecad of the Aeons, is indicated by the fact that the Lord was twelve years of age when He disputed with the teachers of the law, and by the election of the apostles, for of these there were twelve. The other eighteen Aeons are made manifest in this way: that the Lord, [according to them, ] conversed with His disciples for eighteen months after His resurrection from the dead. They also affirm that these eighteen Aeons are strikingly indicated by the first two letters of His name ['Ihsou=j], namely Iota and Eta. And, in like manner, they assert that the ten Aeons are pointed out by the letter Iota, which begins His name; while, for the same reason, they tell us the Saviour said, "One Iota, or one tittle, shall by no means pass away until all be fulfilled."

3. They further maintain that the passion which took place in the case of the twelfth Aeon is pointed at by the apostasy of Judas, who was the twelfth apostle, and also by the fact that Christ suffered in the twelfth month.

As I've already said, even a symbolic celestial crucifixion may be useful for celestial mythicism. But when it comes to Valentinian gnosticism, I think seeing things in symbolic terms is a reasonable starting point.
It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

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Re: Do O'Neill and McGrath ignore or deny Valentinian Mythicists?

Post by GakuseiDon » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:24 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:59 pm
  • So Irenaeus:

    Moreover, they affirm that the Apostle Paul himself made mention of this cross [i.e. Horos] in the following words: The doctrine of the cross is foolishness to those who perish, but to us who are saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 And again: God forbid that I should glory in anything save in the cross of Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world.

    http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103103.htm
"The world is crucified to me, and I unto the world". That is nice use of symbolism by Paul! Good find, Giuseppe!

On a more serious note: if Paul did see the cross in terms of a Horos -- i.e. a purifying boundary -- between the Pleroma and the material world (I'm not saying that Paul is a Valentinian gnostic, just if he was viewing things in that way), then that puts an interesting perspective on what he is saying.
Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:59 pm
There is something, apart the clear Valentinian identity (totally unexpected under historicity) between the cosmic cross (Horos) in outer space and the cross where Jesus was crucified according to Paul, that shows a Valentinian preservation of the original belief of the apostle: just as the Valentinians, the historical Paul didn't consider the crucifixion a motive of embarrassment, not even when he quotes Deuteronomy about the divine cursing of the hanged. If the crucified Christ provokes embarrassment, then that crucified Christ is not the crucified Christ of which Paul is talking. This is precisely the point where Paul sounds so "Valentinian" ante litteram.[/list]
So Paul believed in a historical Jesus, just like the Valentinians?
It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

Giuseppe
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Re: Do O'Neill and McGrath ignore or deny Valentinian Mythicists?

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:26 pm

GakuseiDon wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:12 pm
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... book1.html

The Father afterwards produces, in his own image, by means of Monogenes, the above-mentioned Horos, without conjunction, masculo-feminine. For they maintain that sometimes the Father acts in conjunction with Sige, but that at other times he shows himself independent both of male and female. They term this Horos both Stauros and Lytrotes, and Carpistes, and Horothetes, and Metagoges. And by this Horos they declare that Sophia was purified and established, while she was also restored to her proper conjunction. For her enthymesis (or inborn idea) having been taken away from her, along with its supervening passion, she herself certainly remained within the Pleroma; but her enthymesis, with its passion, was separated from her by Horos, fenced off, and expelled from that circle.

So 'crucifixion' is symbolism of her purification, and the separating of her passions. Did it require an actual crucifixion, with a cross? No.
Yes, at contrary. To begin, the term used by Tertullian is "crucifixam". It has to be translated as "crucified", not as you do, "fenced off" (since the idea of separation is already vehicled by "separatam": "separated"). Hence the separating of her passions is a distinct action from the action of crucifixion. Logically, the crucifixion, as a distinct action, can't be a symbolism of another distinct action, even more so when both the two distinct actions are enumerated in the same proposition.
Last edited by Giuseppe on Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Do O'Neill and McGrath ignore or deny Valentinian Mythicists?

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:34 pm

GakuseiDon wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:24 pm
"The world is crucified to me, and I unto the world". That is nice use of symbolism by Paul! Good find, Giuseppe!

Possibly that is not symbolism. The origin of the world was an outcome of the crucifixion in outer space. Remember that, as effect of that crucifixion, the Christ "gave form to the abortion" (=matter) but not the gnosis of salvation (hence requiring a second coming on earth for Valentinus). The world was shaped by that act and the cosmic Horos became forever a Limit who separates the world (the passions) from the pleroma.
GakuseiDon wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:24 pm
So Paul believed in a historical Jesus, just like the Valentinians?
I have already said you which is the basic difference between Paul and Valentinus about the historical Jesus.

Valentinus broke the silence about the historical Jesus, despite of the his believing also in a crucifixion of Christ in outer space.

Paul didn't break the silence about the historical Jesus. Just as Hebrews. Just as the Book of Revelation. Just as Didachè. Just as the Odes of Solomon. Just as Josephus and Pliny and Tacitus.


Even a blind would realize (and like) the first logical implication of that difference. But not an apologist.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Do O'Neill and McGrath ignore or deny Valentinian Mythicists?

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:47 pm


"The doctrine of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but to us who are saved it is the power of God."

...is definitely not symbolism. The doctrine of the cross is "Christ and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 1:23). Decisively not a symbolism, for Paul! Hence Paul wasn't preaching "Christ and him purified" (sic) — not even "Christ and him gone through a cosmic boundary" — as GDon's view of crucifixion by Horos as symbolism would require.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Do O'Neill and McGrath ignore or deny Valentinian Mythicists?

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:21 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:12 pm
As I've already said, even a symbolic celestial crucifixion may be useful for celestial mythicism. But when it comes to Valentinian gnosticism, I think seeing things in symbolic terms is a reasonable starting point.
While I disagree totally with the second part, since I follow Robert Price when he says:
Put it this way: as Paul Veyne once asked whether the ancient Greeks believed their myths, I ask whether the Gnostics believed in their myths of the Demiurge, Sophia, the Primal Man, the Aions, the archons, etc. I suspect that they did.

http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/ ... oddess.htm

...I would agree partially with the first part of GDon's quote.

I don't think there is a so great difference between a symbolism and a fact, when one is talking about events happened in outer space. Afterall, both are not-existing things!

The my point here is that the historian can't raise questions of the kind:

"did Paul believe really in the reality of the crucifixion?"

Or, that is the same, questions of the kind:

"did the Valentinians believed really in the reality of the crucifixion in outer space?"

The historian can only show the evidence of these dogmas (as I think that I have done in this thread). What the historian can not do is to measure the degree of belief in the reality of a dogma.
Last edited by Giuseppe on Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do O'Neill and McGrath ignore or deny Valentinian Mythicists?

Post by GakuseiDon » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:22 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:34 pm
I have already said you which is the basic difference between Paul and Valentinus about the historical Jesus.

Valentinus broke the silence about the historical Jesus, despite of the his believing also in a crucifixion of Christ in outer space.

Paul didn't break the silence about the historical Jesus.
Paul called Jesus a "man" (anthropos) who had flesh. Was the superior Christ of the Valentinians a man who had flesh?
It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

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Re: Do O'Neill and McGrath ignore or deny Valentinian Mythicists?

Post by GakuseiDon » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:25 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:26 pm
GakuseiDon wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:12 pm
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... book1.html

The Father afterwards produces, in his own image, by means of Monogenes, the above-mentioned Horos, without conjunction, masculo-feminine. For they maintain that sometimes the Father acts in conjunction with Sige, but that at other times he shows himself independent both of male and female. They term this Horos both Stauros and Lytrotes, and Carpistes, and Horothetes, and Metagoges. And by this Horos they declare that Sophia was purified and established, while she was also restored to her proper conjunction. For her enthymesis (or inborn idea) having been taken away from her, along with its supervening passion, she herself certainly remained within the Pleroma; but her enthymesis, with its passion, was separated from her by Horos, fenced off, and expelled from that circle.

So 'crucifixion' is symbolism of her purification, and the separating of her passions. Did it require an actual crucifixion, with a cross? No.
Yes, at contrary. To begin, the term used by Tertullian is "crucifixam". It has to be translated as "crucified", not as you do, "fenced off" (since the idea of separation is already vehicled by "separatam": "separated"). Hence the separating of her passions is a distinct action from the action of crucifixion. Logically, the crucifixion, as a distinct action, can't be a symbolism of another distinct action, even more so when both the two distinct actions are enumerated in the same proposition.
Yes, but Irenaeus doesn't use the word "crucified" there. He describes the same event, but says that Horos "purified and established" her. Why didn't he say she was "crucified", in your opinion?
It is really important, in life, to concentrate our minds on our enthusiasms, not on our dislikes. -- Roger Pearse

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Re: Do O'Neill and McGrath ignore or deny Valentinian Mythicists?

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:26 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:22 am
Paul called Jesus a "man" (anthropos) who had flesh. Was the superior Christ of the Valentinians a man who had flesh?
ethereal flesh, yes, certainly. His body was distinct from the body of the carnal Christ (the Gospel Jesus) to be crucified on a distinct cross in a distinct place.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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