Sorry for bumping a second page topic, I still kind of have my hands full.
Geocalyx i think fundamentally this myth seeks to explain the origin of Christian orthodoxy from a 'gnostic' perspective, given these folks really did think they were the 'real church', that is what they thought.
They did thing they were a proper ekklesia
, yes. But there are two ways to read ἐκκλησία - the Church reading was "church", while the Pagan reading was "people's assembly". Evidence (emphasis on mind, reflection, self-examination and piety towards things that "actually exist") points towards the latter.
Yes, they thought they had the right to rule themselves. In that sense, they did think they were "the real Church".
So here we see the split in the 'gnostics'. This guy wants to explain the imperfect orthodoxy as a necessary part of the divine economy, against others who wanted to condemn it outright as a fabrication (eg Sethians).
Split? Division? Animosity "between opposing gnostic groups"?
Yet these "divisive" texts are found in a single unifying collection. Whoever compiled such a collection, be it Basilidean or Valentinian or Orthodox, was definitely not a dogmatic man!
I suspect it is Paul who plays the role, or who is hinted at here
So you recognize the takeover of the Highest described here, since you mentioned the founder of the Church?
Because, name aside, I recognize "the founder of Christianity" in those paragraphs, too.
Anyway, this Valentinian perspective fits what the church fathers complained of, that the Valentinians considered them lessor Christians - below, merely physical compared to the spiritual ones
True. There must've been a reason for "Valentinians" to consider them as such, though. Who would willingly make a state religion its enemy, and why?
So it looks like nonsense at first but actually this is the means of communication to those in the mystery, they knew what these things meant
But yeah - also i think they believed the myth worked timelessly so to explain the origin of the church and of the universe was essentially the same thing to them. One myth to rule them all if you like
I agree. The mystery being "state Jesus is false", I'd add; myth being "beware the usurpers of mind".
The 'spiritual gnostics' were of course very divided among themselves as you may suspect already!!
My sole point here is that they as gnostics
weren't divided at all. The NHL was means to getting pagan philosophers to agree with one and another and unite, countering the new reality which outlawed their former philosophies.
The label 'gnostic' was a reaction of the new Law to point out all their differences and divide them again.