The logic of the Nag Hammadi collection.

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DCHindley
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Re: The logic of the Nag Hammadi collection.

Post by DCHindley » Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:12 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:38 pm
DCHindley wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:21 pm
Here's a PDF version.
File received! Thanks. I am adding the Greek text now.
This great thing that has just been done can be found here:

The original file had to do with the parallels between the Coptic translation of Plato's Republic and the Gospel of Thomas (several sayings), so for those who get into this kind of thing, here is Ben's updated file. The Greek is the edition preserved on www.Perseus.org.

NHL Codex VI, 5. Translated by James Brashler, in James M. Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library, revised edition. HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1990
The Republic: With an English translation by Paul Shorey. Revised Loeb Edition: Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vols. 5 & 6. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1969 (sic) [1937]
The Republic of Plato: translated into English, with introd., analysis, marginal analysis, and index, Translated by Benjamin Jowett, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 3rd revised edition, 1888
Platonis Opera, ed. John Burnet. Oxford University Press. 1903.
Coptic paraphrase of Plato's Republic 588a-589b, Plato, Republic, Book IX (588a-589b) Plato, Republic, Book IX (588a-589b) Ἡ Πολιτεία τοῦ Πλάτωνος IX (588β-589β)
"Since we have come to this point in a discussion, let us again take up the first things that were said to us. [588b] “… And now that we have come to this point in the argument, let us take up again the statement with which we began and that has brought us to this pass. and now having arrived at this stage of the argument, we may revert to the words which brought us hither: [588β] ... ἐπειδὴ ἐνταῦθα λόγου γεγόναμεν, ἀναλάβωμεν τὰ πρῶτα λεχθέντα, δι᾽ ἃ δεῦρ᾽ ἥκομεν.
And we will find that he says, 'Good is he who has been done injustice completely. He is glorified justly.' Is not this how he was reproached?" It was, I believe, averred that injustice is profitable to the completely unjust man who is reputed just. Was not that the proposition?” Was not some one saying that injustice was a gain to the perfectly unjust who was reputed to be just? ἦν δέ που λεγόμενον λυσιτελεῖν ἀδικεῖν τῷ τελέως μὲν ἀδίκῳ, δοξαζομένῳ δὲ δικαίῳ: ἢ οὐχ οὕτως ἐλέχθη;
"This is certainly the fitting way!" “Yes, that.” Yes, that was said. οὕτω μὲν οὖν.
And I said, "Now then, we have spoken because he said that he who does injustice and he who does justice each has a force." “Let us, then, reason with its proponent now that we have agreed on the essential nature of injustice and just conduct.” Now then, having determined the power and quality of justice and injustice, let us have a little conversation with him. νῦν δή, ἔφην, αὐτῷ διαλεγώμεθα, ἐπειδὴ διωμολογησάμεθα τό τε ἀδικεῖν καὶ τὸ δίκαια πράττειν ἣν ἑκάτερον ἔχει δύναμιν.
''How then?" “How?” he said. What shall we say to him? πῶς; ἔφη.
"He said, 'An image that has no likeness is the rationality of soul,' so that he who said these things will understand. “By fashioning in our discourse a symbolic image of the soul, that the maintainer of that proposition may see precisely what it is that he was saying.” Let us make an image of the soul, that he may have his own words presented before his eyes. εἰκόνα πλάσαντες τῆς ψυχῆς λόγῳ, ἵνα εἰδῇ ὁ ἐκεῖνα λέγων οἷα ἔλεγεν.
He [...] or not? [588c] “What sort of an image?” he said. Of what sort? [588ξ] ποίαν τινά; ἦ δ᾽ ὅς.
We [...] is for me. But all [...] who told them [...] ruler, these now have become natural creatures - even Chimaera and Cerberus and all the rest that were mentioned. They all came down and they cast off forms and images. And they all became a single image. “One of those natures that the ancient fables tell of,” said I, “as that of the Chimaera or Scylla or Cerberus, and the numerous other examples that are told of many forms grown together in one.” An ideal image of the soul, like the composite creations of ancient mythology, such as the Chimera or Scylla or Cerberus, and there are many others in which two or more different natures are said to grow into one. τῶν τοιούτων τινά, ἦν δ᾽ ἐγώ, οἷαι μυθολογοῦνται παλαιαὶ γενέσθαι φύσεις, ἥ τε Χιμαίρας καὶ ἡ Σκύλλης καὶ Κερβέρου, καὶ ἄλλαι τινὲς συχναὶ λέγονται συμπεφυκυῖαι ἰδέαι πολλαὶ εἰς ἓν γενέσθαι.
It was said, 'Work now!' “Yes, they do tell of them.” There are said of have been such unions. λέγονται γάρ, ἔφη.
Certainly it is a single image that became the image of a complex beast with many heads. Some days indeed it is like the image of a wild beast. Then it is able to cast off the first image. And all these hard and difficult forms emanate from it with effort, since these are formed now with arrogance. “Mould, then, a single shape of a manifold and many-headed beast that has a ring of heads of tame and wild beasts and can change them and cause to spring forth from itself all such growths.” Then do you now model the form of a multitudinous, many-headed monster, having a ring of heads of all manner of beasts, tame and wild, which he is able to generate and metamorphose at will. πλάττε τοίνυν μίαν μὲν ἰδέαν θηρίου ποικίλου καὶ πολυκεφάλου, ἡμέρων δὲ θηρίων ἔχοντος κεφαλὰς κύκλῳ καὶ ἀγρίων, καὶ δυνατοῦ μεταβάλλειν καὶ φύειν ἐξ αὑτοῦ πάντα ταῦτα.
And also all the rest that are like them are formed now through the word. For now it is a single image. [588d] “It is the task of a cunning artist,” he said, “but nevertheless, since speech is more plastic than wax and other such media, assume that it has been so fashioned.” You suppose marvelous powers in the artist; but, as language is more pliable than wax or any similar substance, let there be such a model as you propose. [588δ] δεινοῦ πλάστου, ἔφη, τὸ ἔργον: ὅμως δέ, ἐπειδὴ εὐπλαστότερον κηροῦ καὶ τῶν τοιούτων λόγος, πεπλάσθω.
For the image of the lion is the one thing and the image of the man is another. [...] single [...] is the [...] of [...] join. And this [...] much more complex than the first. And the second is small." “Then fashion one other form of a lion and one of a man and let the first be far the largest and the second second in size.” Suppose now that you make a second form as of a lion, and a third of a man, the second smaller than the first, and the third smaller than the second. μίαν δὴ τοίνυν ἄλλην ἰδέαν λέοντος, μίαν δὲ ἀνθρώπου: πολὺ δὲ μέγιστον ἔστω τὸ πρῶτον καὶ δεύτερον τὸ δεύτερον.
"It has been formed." “That is easier,” he said, “and is done.” That, he said, is an easier task; and I have made them as you say. ταῦτα, ἔφη, ῥᾴω, καὶ πέπλασται.
"Now then, join them to each other and make them a single one - for they are three - so that they grow together, “Join the three in one, then, so as in some sort to grow together.” And now join them, and let the three grow into one. σύναπτε τοίνυν αὐτὰ εἰς ἓν τρία ὄντα, ὥστε πῃ συμπεφυκέναι ἀλλήλοις.
“They are so united,” he said. That has been accomplished. συνῆπται, ἔφη.
and all are in a single image outside of the image of the man just like him who is unable to see the things inside him. But what is outside only is what he sees. And it is apparent what creature his image is in and that he was formed in a human image. “Then mould about them outside the likeness of one, that of the man, so that to anyone who is unable [588e] to look within but who can see only the external sheath it appears to be one living creature, the man.” Next fashion the outside of them into a single image, as of a man, so that he who is not able to look within, and sees only the outer hull, may believe the beast to be a single human creature. περίπλασον δὴ αὐτοῖς ἔξωθεν ἑνὸς εἰκόνα, τὴν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, ὥστε τῷ μὴ δυναμένῳ τὰ ἐντὸς ὁρᾶν, ἀλλὰ τὸ [588ε] ἔξω μόνον ἔλυτρον ὁρῶντι, ἓν ζῷον φαίνεσθαι, ἄνθρωπον.
“The sheath is made fast about him,” he said. I have done so, he said. περιπέπλασται, ἔφη.
"And I spoke to him who said that there is profit in the doing of injustice for the man. He who does injustice truly does not profit nor does he benefit. “Let us, then say to the speaker who avers that it pays this man to be unjust, and that to do justice is not for his advantage, And now, to him who maintains that it is profitable for the human creature to be unjust, and unprofitable to be just, λέγωμεν δὴ τῷ λέγοντι ὡς λυσιτελεῖ τούτῳ ἀδικεῖν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ, δίκαια δὲ πράττειν οὐ συμφέρει,
But what is profitable for him is this: that he cast down every image of the evil beast and trample them along with the images of the lion. that he is affirming nothing else than that it profits him to feast and make strong the multifarious beast and the lion and all that pertains to the lion, let us reply that, if he be right, it is profitable for this creature to feast the multitudinous monster and strengthen the lion and the lion-like qualities, ὅτι οὐδὲν ἄλλο φησὶν ἢ λυσιτελεῖν αὐτῷ τὸ παντοδαπὸν θηρίον εὐωχοῦντι ποιεῖν ἰσχυρὸν καὶ τὸν λέοντα καὶ τὰ περὶ τὸν λέοντα,
But the man is in weakness in this regard. And all the things that he does are weak. As a result he is drawn to the place where he spends time with them. [...]. [589a] but to starve the man and so enfeeble him that he can be pulled about whithersoever either of the others drag him, but to starve and weaken the man, who is consequently liable to be dragged about at the mercy of either of the other two; τὸν [589α] δὲ ἄνθρωπον λιμοκτονεῖν καὶ ποιεῖν ἀσθενῆ, ὥστε ἕλκεσθαι ὅπῃ ἂν ἐκείνων ὁπότερον ἄγῃ,
And he [...] to him in[...]. But he brings about [...] enmity [...]. And with strife they devour each other among themselves. and not to familiarize or reconcile with one another the two creatures but suffer them to bite and fight and devour one another.” and he is not to attempt to familiarize or harmonize them with one another --he ought rather to suffer them to fight and bite and devour one another. καὶ μηδὲν ἕτερον ἑτέρῳ συνεθίζειν μηδὲ φίλον ποιεῖν, ἀλλ᾽ ἐᾶν αὐτὰ ἐν αὑτοῖς δάκνεσθαί τε καὶ μαχόμενα ἐσθίειν ἄλληλα.
Yes, all these things he said to everyone who praises the doing of injustice." “Yes,” he said, “that is precisely what the panegyrist of injustice will be found to say.” Certainly, he said; that is what the approver of injustice says. παντάπασι γάρ, ἔφη, ταῦτ᾽ ἂν λέγοι ὁ τὸ ἀδικεῖν ἐπαινῶν.
"Then is it not profitable for him who speaks justly?" “And on the other hand he who says that justice is the more profitable affirms that To him the supporter of justice makes answer that οὐκοῦν αὖ ὁ τὰ δίκαια λέγων λυσιτελεῖν φαίη ἂν
"And if he does these things and speaks in them, within the man they take hold firmly. all our actions and words should tend to give the man within us [589b] complete domination over the entire man he should ever so speak and act as to give the man within him in some way or other the most complete mastery over the entire human creature. δεῖν ταῦτα πράττειν καὶ ταῦτα λέγειν, ὅθεν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὁ ἐντὸς [589β] ἄνθρωπος ἔσται ἐγκρατέστατος,
Therefore especially he strives to take care of them and make him take charge of the many-headed beast— He should watch over the many-headed monster καὶ τοῦ πολυκεφάλου θρέμματος ἐπιμελήσεται
and he nourishes them just like the farmer nourishes his produce daily. like a farmer who cherishes and trains the cultivated plants like a good husbandman, fostering and cultivating the gentle qualities, ὥσπερ γεωργός, τὰ μὲν ἥμερα τρέφων καὶ τιθασεύων,
And the wild beasts keep it from growing." but checks the growth of the wild— and preventing the wild ones from growing; τὰ δὲ ἄγρια ἀποκωλύων φύεσθαι,
and he will make an ally of the lion's nature, and caring for all the beasts alike will first make them friendly to one another and to himself, and so foster their growth.” he should be making the lion-heart his ally, and in common care of them all should be uniting the several parts with one another and with himself. σύμμαχον ποιησάμενος τὴν τοῦ λέοντος φύσιν, καὶ κοινῇ πάντων κηδόμενος, φίλα ποιησάμενος ἀλλήλοις τε καὶ αὑτῷ, οὕτω θρέψει;

Thanks Ben! :cheers:

DCH [Edit: 10/26/2020, corrected the table to remove a pesky bug that was duplicating the two English translations.]
Last edited by DCHindley on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The logic of the Nag Hammadi collection.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:22 pm

No problem! :cheers:

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Re: The logic of the Nag Hammadi collection.

Post by Geocalyx » Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:48 pm

Wish I'd seen this topic earlier. I don't have the time now! But anyway.

The writings of NHC have one common theme once you get to the bottom of them: they all emphasize autonomy of mind. The ones that at first glance do not, take their religious outlook to ludicrous extreme and that's where the disclamer of "those of understanding mind will understand" starts to make sense. Self-centered people that swear by one book or one immutable teaching, can make no contribution to a pluralist society and are thus weeded out and told to leave.

The mind is the Father's greatest gift. The only proper way to glorify the highest, then, is using this gift in the best possible way, and the best possible way to glorify it is in a counsel (ekklesia), wherein harmony is reached in one voice - the communal consensus. Self-government.

Compare this "Father" of community to "archon" - an external ruling figure who can only prescribe, but has no idea what's actually going on in a case-to-case basis. External rule is ignorant (blind to higher things), while autonomous knows what's up.

Picture this. People of all winds are forced to live together in a remote desert village. Jewish, Nestorian, Egyptian, Zoroastrian, whatever - they need common ideological ground to get along, and find it in common aversion to Roman rule, but rather than being negative about it, they build a philosophy of getting along from everything they know.

The NHC is not some academic collection. Its existance was necessary.

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Re: The logic of the Nag Hammadi collection.

Post by Geocalyx » Sun Oct 25, 2020 12:00 pm

Now that I'm off my duties, I should elaborate. Maybe pull some random examples?
Einar Thomassen, Tripartite Tractate wrote: But every name which is thought //66//or spoken of him is brought forth in glorification as a trace of him, according to the capacity of each 5 one of those who glorify him. The one who dawned forth, then, from him, extending himself for the All's procreation and knowledge - he is all these names without 10 falsehood, and he is truly the Father's only first man. This is the one whom I [call] the form of that which has no form, the body of the incorporeal, the face of 15 the invisible, the logos of the [inex]pressible, the mind of the inconceivable, the spring which flowed forth from him, the root of those who have been rooted, the god of those who lie down (?), the light 20 of those whom he illuminates, the will of those whom he has willed, the providence of those for whom he provides, the understanding of those whom he has made to understand, the strength of those whom he gives strength, the congregation 25 of those with whom he is present, the revelation of that for which they search, the eye of those who see, the spirit of those who breathe, the life of those who live, the unity of those who are mingled. As the All 30 is entirely in the single one, he being completely clothed with himself and within the one and the same name, he is never called by it. And in 35 this same way they are, on their part, in unification (?), the one and the same and the All.
- for the All's procreation and knowledge: two things actually matter in life, giving life and knowing stuff
- mind of the inconceivable: a single person cannot think in a way community does
- unity of those who are mingled: council
- form that has no form: ever seen a mass of people?
etc.
Malcolm L. Peel & Jan Zandee, Teachings of Silvanus wrote:Live with Christ and he will save you. For he is the true light and the sun of life. For just as the sun which is visible and makes light for the eyes of the flesh, so Christ illuminates every mind and the heart. For (if) a wicked man (who is) in the body (has) an evil death, how much more so (does) he who has his mind blind. For every blind man goes along in such a way that he is seen just as one who does not have his mind sane. He does not delight in acquiring the light of Christ, which is reason.
For everything which is visible is a copy of that which is hidden. For as a fire which burns in a place without being confined to it, so it is with the sun which is in the sky, all of whose rays extend to places on the earth. Similarly, Christ has a single being, and he gives light to every place. This is also the way in which he speaks of our mind, as if it were a lamp which burns and lights up the place. (Being) in a part of the soul, it gives light to all the parts.
Furthermore, I shall speak of what is more exalted than this: the mind, with respect to actual being, is in a place, which means it is in the body; but with respect to thought, the mind is not in a place. For how can it be in a place, when it contemplates every place?
But we are able to mention what is more exalted than this: for do not think in your heart that God exists in a place. If you localize the Lord of all in a place, then it is fitting for you to say that the place is more exalted than he who dwells in it. For that which contains is more exalted than that which is contained. For there is no place which is called incorporeal. For it is not right for us to say that God is corporeal. For the consequence (would be) that we (must) attribute both increase and decrease to the corporeal, but also that he (God) who is subject to these will not remain imperishable.
Now, it is not difficult to know the Creator of all creatures, but it is impossible to comprehend the likeness of this One. For it is difficult not only for men to comprehend God, but it is (also) difficult for every divine being, (both) the angels and the archangels. It is necessary to know God as he is. You cannot know God through anyone except Christ, who has the image of the Father, for this image reveals the true likeness in correspondence to that which is revealed. A king is not usually known apart from an image.
Consider these things about God: he is in every place; on the other hand, he is in no place. With respect to power, to be sure, he is in every place; but with respect to divinity, he is in no place. So then, it is possible to know God a little. With respect to his power, he fills every place, but in the exaltation of his divinity, nothing contains him. Everything is in God, but God is not in anything.
Now what is it to know God? God is all which is in the truth. But it is as impossible to look at Christ as at the sun. God sees everyone; no one looks at him. But Christ, without being jealous, receives and gives. He is the Light of the Father, as he gives light without being jealous. In this manner he gives light to every place.
And all is Christ, he who has inherited all from the Existent One. For Christ is the idea of incorruptibility, and he is the Light which is shining undefiled. For the sun (shines) on every impure place, and yet it is not defiled. So it is with Christ: even if he is in the deficiency, yet he is without deficiency. And even if he has been begotten, he is (still) unbegotten. So it is with Christ: if, on the one hand, he is comprehensible, on the other, he is incomprehensible with respect to his actual being. Christ is all. He who does not possess all is unable to know Christ.
My son, do not dare to say a word about this One, and do not confine the God of all to mental images. For he who condemns may not be condemned by the one who condemns. Indeed, it is good to ask and to know who God is. Reason and mind are male names. Indeed, let him who wishes to know about this One, quietly and reverently ask. For there is no small danger in speaking about these things, since you know that you will be judged on the basis of everything that you say.
And understand by this that he who is in darkness will not be able to see anything unless he receives the light and recovers (his) sight by means of it. Examine yourself (to see) whether you wholly have the light, so that, if you ask about these things, you may understand how you will escape. For many are seeking in darkness, and they grope about, wishing to understand, since there is no light for them.
My son, do not allow your mind to stare downward, but rather, let it look by means of the light at things above. For the light will always come from above. Even if it (the mind) is upon the earth, let it seek to pursue the things above. Enlighten your mind with the light of heaven, so that you may turn to the light of heaven.
Do not tire of knocking on the door of reason, and do not cease walking in the way of Christ. Walk in it so that you may receive rest from your labors. If you walk in another way, there will be no profit in it. For also those who walk in the broad way will go down at their end to the perdition of the mire. For the Underworld is open wide for the soul, and the place of perdition is broad. Accept Christ, the narrow way. For he is oppressed and bears affliction for your sin.
Note the bolded part: Christ is reason. And the other bolded part, which equates God with community. Everyone is in community, but community is not in anyone, it has features of power, but not divinity etc. As go through this, I see no part played by faith or salvation or both of them in any combo, so could someone please explain in simple terms to a lowly security guard like me, how is this an orthodox text??? Because the ones I've read usually place their bets on faith and salvation and the cross and suffering and such, but never mind and reason.
John D. Turner, Zostrianos wrote:So they both suffered; they said she laughs since she remained alone and imitated the Uncontainable One, while he said she laughs since she cut herself off from her consort. [...] Indeed Jesus and Sophia revealed the creature. Since, after all, the seeds of Sophia are incomplete and formless, Jesus contrived a creature of this sort and made it of the seeds while Sophia worked with him. For since they are seeds and without form, he descended and brought forth that pleroma of aeons which are in that place, since even the uncreated ones of those Aeons are of the pattern of the Pleroma and the uncontainable Father. The Uncreated One brought forth the pattern of the uncreated, for it is from the uncreated that the Father brings forth into form. But the creature is a shadow of pre-existing things. Moreover, this Jesus created the creature, and he worked from the passions surrounding the seeds. And he separated them from one another, and the better passions he introduced into the spirit and the worse ones into the carnal.
Nothing about Father as community here, but the bolded part ties this text into the mythology of Apocryphon of John while it's doing its own thing. And regardless of whatever its own thing is supposed to be, like Thisism or Thatism, it still manages to present mind as exalted somewhere in there, in a single sentence which I won't bother looking up.
Alexander Bohlig & Frederik Wisse, The Holy Book of the Great invisible Spirit wrote:I honor you completely. You are my place of rest, O Son ES ES O E, the formless one who exists in the formless ones, who exists raising up the man in whom you will purify me into your life, according to your imperishable name. Therefore, the incense of life is in me. I mixed it with water after the model of all archons, in order that I may live with you in the peace of the saints, you who exist really truly forever.
I've chosen the books randomly, so this one's tough, because it reaches junkie's fever dream levels in style and content. But if the colophon wasn't enough to give it away as parody, this paragraph does - the author admits to mixing his own made-up stuff with Water, just like the archons did...

In fact, this might be the theme of the whole genre: mixing your own stuff with Water, just like the archons did. After all, the gospel of Truth is supposed to the living book of the living. Everyone participates! Or rather, the All participates.

None of these books speak in circles like Chrysostome & co. do. None of them mention "faith in salvation of our Lord Jesus" or anything like that, which I'd consider a pious man writing. In fact, here's a challenge: find a single sentence which speaks favorably about any "gnostic heresy" known from history. Vanity is supposed to be the sign of heresy, so where are the names, the signatures, the self-praises, the fame?

And if all these are supposed to be religious texts, why is none of them ever selling faith?

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Re: The logic of the Nag Hammadi collection.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Oct 25, 2020 12:34 pm

Geocalyx wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:48 pm
The writings of NHC have one common theme once you get to the bottom of them: they all emphasize autonomy of mind. The ones that at first glance do not, take their religious outlook to ludicrous extreme and that's where the disclaimer of "those of understanding mind will understand" starts to make sense. Self-centered people that swear by one book or one immutable teaching, can make no contribution to a pluralist society and are thus weeded out and told to leave.

The mind is the Father's greatest gift. The only proper way to glorify the highest, then, is using this gift in the best possible way, and the best possible way to glorify it is in a counsel (ekklesia), wherein harmony is reached in one voice - the communal consensus. Self-government.
Is there a possible overlap here, do you think, with what Andrew wrote in two previous posts?
andrewcriddle wrote:
Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:20 am
IMVHO the texts were collected by monks pursuing an Evagrian "Origenist" spirituality which the mainstream church from c 400 CE came to regard as heretical. The texts drew a distinction between the physical world and spiritual reality which these monks found helpful and they were able to overlook elements in these texts which at face value both they and the mainstream church would have regarded as unorthodox.
andrewcriddle wrote:
Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:44 am
I quite agree that a lot of early Egyptian monasticism was unorthodox by later standards.
They followed Origen, Evagrius and Didymus the blind and developed the ideas of these thinkers in extreme directions.
Or are your ideas very different from one another?

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Re: The logic of the Nag Hammadi collection.

Post by Geocalyx » Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:29 pm

Overlap makes sense actually, like taking others' ideas and developing them in extreme directions, but I'm not sure of the authorial intent behind all this. Are the authors still monks, when no prayer to Father apparently does him justice?

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Re: The logic of the Nag Hammadi collection.

Post by Geocalyx » Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:04 pm

I'm gonna add a few things to this, and maybe risk a ban? Hope not. I don't know anything about early Christian movement or heresies, because I try not to draw my sources from Latin (masters of propaganda and conquest by division, these Romans, and even proudly such), so I'm not gonna say anything about any of that, BUT it appears that mountainman bloke was on to something. Many the finger from NHC points to Constantine the Great himself being the Archon, Ialdabaoth:
- archon came from the West, cities burn
- Egypt has become kind of godless and full of death lately due to rampaging strangers (written circa 340, as said)
- representing Rome, he is the lion's head that took over the snake's body (when Jesus came to high abode, the (old) archons were surprised, shocked and promptly destroyed, as per Pistis Sophia), and funnily enough, his coins do depict a Roman flag spearing a serpent
- the power with the lion's head brings a false highest light; follow it and fall into chaos, your own volition will begin punishing you (Pistis Sophia)
- Ialdabaoth established the week in tale. Constantine established the week in fact.

Then there are the insinuations that Jesus himself is the Archon, both are of virgin birth for one. Jesus can now also be Seth, the now literal god of foreigners, conveniently tied to Adam and Eve myth by pure coincidence with word-play only an Egyptian would understand - which might be why he is used so much. But according to Revelation of Peter, there is also a fake Jesus, nailed onto a cross, so it's alright - the virgin-birth one that the Archon promotes must be the fake one.

I don't know what happened before or in the West, but these NHL people certanly don't sound too happy about the state they found themselves in, or the world this lion monster laid out - created - for them. Remember this was also the guy who made "heresy" capital punishment - Father and Son are equally important to you, or you die and your books burn.

... not in Tripartite Tractate though, where the Father is roughly ten times as important as the Son. The book may or may not never state that outright, just dedicates 10x as much attention to the former - and yes, this is an example of how these books mock the organized state religion imposed onto their authors, and tie it to ignorant rule.

I think I'm going to read some unrelated apocrypha on Pachomius now, I kind of wonder what it has to say.

Geocalyx
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Re: The logic of the Nag Hammadi collection.

Post by Geocalyx » Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:37 pm

Just one more thought, tangentially related.

So then I remember doing some work with Theban Magical Papyri and those fake Sybilline Oracles a long time ago ... I saw Nero Redivivus, saw some spells and references to Nero as a benevolent deity ... and thought, why would anyone want to do supernatural business with Nero? After all, he is known to have burned half of Rome and persecuted and killed Chris...

... yeah so that makes sense now, if Egypt was indeed raped by Rome with the Cross as the NHC suggests

davidmartin
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Re: The logic of the Nag Hammadi collection.

Post by davidmartin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:11 am

Geocalyx wrote:
Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:29 pm
Overlap makes sense actually, like taking others' ideas and developing them in extreme directions, but I'm not sure of the authorial intent behind all this. Are the authors still monks, when no prayer to Father apparently does him justice?
there was a known gnostic community living near where the texts were discovered, maybe it was their collection? yep a known gnostic group in exactly the right spot
also if monks wrote them then they were just as likely to be making money by copying heretical works and selling them, that might explain the odd slightly more orthodox text in unexpected places. that's the monks conscience deciding that this will 'make it ok'

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mlinssen
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Re: The logic of the Nag Hammadi collection.

Post by mlinssen » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:52 am

DCHindley wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:12 pm

This great thing that has just been done can be found here:

(Hindley, David C) Analysis of Plato Republic Bk IX (588a-589b) NHL & 2 Translations (2013-02-16).pdf


The original file had to do with the parallels between the Coptic translation of Plato's Republic and the Gospel of Thomas (several sayings), so for those who get into this kind of thing, here is Ben's updated file. The Greek is the edition preserved on www.Perseus.org.
Dear DCHindley, that sounds interesting! Do you have those parallels somewhere? Thomas certainly got some from Philo, and Socrates / Plato shadows much of the Western world of course

Martijn

[EDIT] You likely refer to your pdf, sorry.

I find Philo very enlightening in the light of logion 7
(40) Unless, indeed, any one would say that a man who has bought a lion has become the master of the lion, when if he merely look with a threatening glance at him he will soon learn to his cost what kind of a master, what a savage and ferocious tyrant he has purchased. What shall we say then? Shall we not look upon a wise man as more difficult to enslave than a lion, when he in his freedom and invincible soul has much more courage than any creature can have which consists of a body which is by nature a slave, however great his strength may be by which he resists his masters.

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