in the Gnostic tradition the women could make Jesus risen

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MrMacSon
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Re: in the Gnostic tradition the women could make Jesus risen

Post by MrMacSon » Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:02 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:21 pm

This makes me remember the following decisive quote of Robert M. Price (p.1028 of his Incredible Shrinking Son of Man: How Reliable Is the Gospel Tradition? ...
Interesting. I note, with underlining and different bolding, -

.
Couchoud's insight, if we accept it, might enable us to make a whole new sense out of the Nag Hammadi Gnostic texts that feature a beloved savior,* whether Mechizedek, Seth, Derdekas, or Zoroaster, who is only late in the day identified with Jesus. We need some sort of new key to unlock the meaning of these enigmatic texts and the mystery of where and how they fit into the evolution of early Christianity. Couchoud's theory might provide it.

What did the unquoted portion of the Philippians hymn call its Christ figure before his exaltation and possession of the throne-name "Jesus"? Could it perhaps have been one of these names? It would imply that the Christian Jesus was merely a more recent stage in the development of a much more ancient mythic character, just like Seth, Enosh, and the other ancient figures venerated by the Gnostics despite an utter lack, in the nature of the case, of any biographical or historical data about them.

Couchoud has indicated the final door we must pass through if we are to be consistent with the methodology that has served us so well thus far.

Dare we step through that door to what Schweitzer called "thoroughgoing skepticism"? Even if doing so will mean that the historical Jesus will have shrunk to the vanishing point?

.

* [eta] I'm not sure stating 'a [singular] beloved saviour' would be appropriate here especially when "Mechizedek, Seth, Derdekas, or Zoroaster" and "Seth, Enosh, and the other ancient figures" are clearly multiple, plural characters.

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:21 pm

But so also this extraordinary finding:
MrMacSon wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:55 am
Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:59 pm
I can easily imagine a "Mark" (author) who replaces a celestial trial before demons with an earthly trial before Pilate, but hardly can I imagine a Gnostic author who replaces an earthly trial of Jesus before Pilate with a celestial trial of Adam before demons.
I agree.
What? That I agree with you?

I find it extraordinary that people think that 'Gnostics' would have universally or almost universally taken NT texts and reverted them to what is almost certainly some sort of pre-Christian, Platonic or [early] Middle-Platonic theology. And I find it noteworthy that the Church Fathers like Irenaeus seems to have devoted far more ink to discussing so-called Gnostic theology than Christian theology - it's almost as if Christian theology was in its infancy when Irenaeus is supposed to have written.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: in the Gnostic tradition the women could make Jesus risen

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:07 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:02 pm
And I find it noteworthy that the Church Fathers like Irenaeus seems to have devoted far more ink to discussing so-called Gnostic theology than Christian theology - it's almost as if Christian theology was in its infancy when Irenaeus is supposed to have written.
What do you find surprising about a work entitled Refutation and Overthrow of the Knowledge Falsely So Called devoting most of its space to the refutation and overthrow of knowledge falsely so called? Does that not seem like exactly what one would expect from such a work? If something strange can be divined from it, I do not know what it could be.

Even in the modern Christian church, after nearly two millennia of theological development, there are Christian authors whose books are principally dedicated to the refutation of cults, sects, and New Age religions. Their books are most often shallow and quaint, regardless of how deep the streams of theology behind them may be.

However, if you want to read something by Irenaeus which has little to do with the heretics, try the Demonstration. He mentions the heretics maybe two or three times altogether in it. (Irenaeus himself even sounds a tiny bit gnostic a couple of times in it.)

Also, recall that we do not possess everything that Irenaeus wrote. We have lost more of his works than we have preserved.

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Re: in the Gnostic tradition the women could make Jesus risen

Post by mlinssen » Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:38 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:02 pm
I find it extraordinary that people think that 'Gnostics' would have universally or almost universally taken NT texts and reverted them to what is almost certainly some sort of pre-Christian, Platonic or [early] Middle-Platonic theology.
Especially the degree at which they copied up until Paul, Acts... they must have copied something of every book in the NT just about. They were better organised than the Church itself, to have access to all of it
MrMacSon wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:02 pm
And I find it noteworthy that the Church Fathers like Irenaeus seems to have devoted far more ink to discussing so-called Gnostic theology than Christian theology - it's almost as if Christian theology was in its infancy when Irenaeus is supposed to have written.
Kind of like an ex smoker or drinker hey, they almost give more attention to their previous addiction than what they gave when they were still "in their old habits"

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Re: in the Gnostic tradition the women could make Jesus risen

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:44 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:02 pm
Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:21 pm

This makes me remember the following decisive quote of Robert M. Price (p.1028 of his Incredible Shrinking Son of Man: How Reliable Is the Gospel Tradition? ...
Interesting. I note, with underlining and different bolding, -

.
Couchoud's insight, if we accept it, might enable us to make a whole new sense out of the Nag Hammadi Gnostic texts that feature a beloved savior,* whether Mechizedek, Seth, Derdekas, or Zoroaster, who is only late in the day identified with Jesus. We need some sort of new key to unlock the meaning of these enigmatic texts and the mystery of where and how they fit into the evolution of early Christianity. Couchoud's theory might provide it.

What did the unquoted portion of the Philippians hymn call its Christ figure before his exaltation and possession of the throne-name "Jesus"? Could it perhaps have been one of these names? It would imply that the Christian Jesus was merely a more recent stage in the development of a much more ancient mythic character, just like Seth, Enosh, and the other ancient figures venerated by the Gnostics despite an utter lack, in the nature of the case, of any biographical or historical data about them.

Couchoud has indicated the final door we must pass through if we are to be consistent with the methodology that has served us so well thus far.

Dare we step through that door to what Schweitzer called "thoroughgoing skepticism"? Even if doing so will mean that the historical Jesus will have shrunk to the vanishing point?

.

* [eta] I'm not sure stating 'a [singular] beloved saviour' would be appropriate here especially when "Mechizedek, Seth, Derdekas, or Zoroaster" and "Seth, Enosh, and the other ancient figures" are clearly multiple, plural characters.

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 1:21 pm

But so also this extraordinary finding:
MrMacSon wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:55 am
Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:59 pm
I can easily imagine a "Mark" (author) who replaces a celestial trial before demons with an earthly trial before Pilate, but hardly can I imagine a Gnostic author who replaces an earthly trial of Jesus before Pilate with a celestial trial of Adam before demons.
I agree.
What? That I agree with you?
I would like to resume my observations:
  • Robert M. Price found an extraordinary finding the fact that Couchoud had realized that a dying and rising deity receives the name 'Jesus' only after the resurrection, because the implication is that that deity had as previous name a particular name taken from Nag Hammadi collection.
  • I and you agree about the fact that the episode of Pilate questioning Jesus is derived midrashically from a Nag Hammadi text like On the Origin of the World, where the divine hero being questioned by the rulers was: the celestial ADAM.
I think that the two points above make it strong the case that the 'heretical' tradition behind Nag Hammadi precedes our Gospels, therefore the Gospels were written AGAINST said 'heretical' tradition.

I am expecting still an asnwer by Neil Godfrey about this point. Not to persuade him. I am only curious to know where precisely we diverge in the analysis of the evidence.

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Re: in the Gnostic tradition the women could make Jesus risen

Post by neilgodfrey » Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:40 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:44 pm
I would like to resume my observations:
  • Robert M. Price found an extraordinary finding the fact that Couchoud had realized that a dying and rising deity receives the name 'Jesus' only after the resurrection, because the implication is that that deity had as previous name a particular name taken from Nag Hammadi collection.
  • I and you agree about the fact that the episode of Pilate questioning Jesus is derived midrashically from a Nag Hammadi text like On the Origin of the World, where the divine hero being questioned by the rulers was: the celestial ADAM.
I think that the two points above make it strong the case that the 'heretical' tradition behind Nag Hammadi precedes our Gospels, therefore the Gospels were written AGAINST said 'heretical' tradition.

I am expecting still an asnwer by Neil Godfrey about this point. Not to persuade him. I am only curious to know where precisely we diverge in the analysis of the evidence.

There is nothing unusual about the interpretation of the Philippian Hymn that has the son receiving the name Jesus after his resurrection but it does not follow that a previous name that is found in the Origin of the World, as far as I can see.

I don't know what grounds there are for dating the Origin of the World prior to the Gospel of Mark. A few similar tropes does not prove that point -- they could be interpreted either way or even without any sort of dependence on one another, could they not?

To discuss the Origin of the World seriously I'd need to take the time to study it in depth. I'd be looking at the full range of concepts in it and where those concepts appear in other sources, and when. Maybe some time in the future I will have the time to take up that study.

Everything about the Gospel of Mark looks to me like its taken from Jewish Scriptures.

I am not very up to date on the Nag Hammadi texts. I think others will have more informed opinions than I do.

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Re: in the Gnostic tradition the women could make Jesus risen

Post by Giuseppe » Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:47 am

neilgodfrey wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:40 am

Everything about the Gospel of Mark looks to me like its taken from Jewish Scriptures.
yes, obviously. But you would like to inquiry about the motivation behind a so great and deliberate effort of midrash from Jewish Scriptures and I think that if in a so pivotal episode (=the trial before Pilate, so embarrassing therefore the oldest item of the Gospel tradition, not the more historical) we observe a midrash from Origin of the World (or his source), then the motivation is clear: "to prove" via Scriptures that Jesus, the suffering deity of the Christians, was the Jewish Christ predicted by the Scriptures, against Christian deniers.

To doubt about the historical reality of Jesus, one needs to know:
  • how the Gospel Jesus was built (about the how, any reader here is more expert than me)
  • why it was necessary
The midrash from Origin of the World may answer to the second question, I think.

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MrMacSon
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Re: in the Gnostic tradition the women could make Jesus risen

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:54 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 10:44 pm
I would like to resume my observations:
  • Robert M. Price found an extraordinary finding the fact that Couchoud had realized that a dying and rising deity receives the name 'Jesus' only after the resurrection, because the implication is that that deity had as previous name a particular name taken from Nag Hammadi collection.
  • I and you agree about the fact that the episode of Pilate questioning Jesus is derived midrashically from a Nag Hammadi text like On the Origin of the World, where the divine hero being questioned by the rulers was: the celestial ADAM.
I think that the two points above make it strong the case that the 'heretical' tradition behind Nag Hammadi precedes our Gospels, therefore the Gospels were written AGAINST said 'heretical' tradition.

I am expecting still an answer by Neil Godfrey about this point. Not to persuade him. I am only curious to know where precisely we diverge in the analysis of the evidence.
I agree. I would modify the end of the first dot-point to say -
  • "...that [new] dying and rising deity likely previously had a name [such as one (or more) of those names of Saviours found in texts in the] Nag Hammadi collection."
and I'd modify the second to say
  • the episode of Pilate questioning Jesus [could well be] derived midrashically, albeit via a couple of steps, at least, from the Nag Hammadi text On the Origin of the World

    neilgodfrey wrote:
    Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:40 am
    There is nothing unusual about the interpretation of the Philippian Hymn that has the son receiving the name Jesus after his resurrection. but it does not follow that a previous name that is found in the Origin of the World, as far as I can see.
    I think the proposition is that a previous name could have been any one of a few names in various documents in the Nag Hammadi collection, not Origin.
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Re: in the Gnostic tradition the women could make Jesus risen

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:01 am

neilgodfrey wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:40 am
Everything about the Gospel of Mark looks to me like its taken from Jewish Scriptures.
Maybe not everything. The proposition I've put forward is the passage in question from Origin of the World could well have influenced 1 Cor 2:6-8 and from there Mark used it, ala Tom Dykstra, rgprice, Carrier, and perhaps David Oliver Smith.
Last edited by MrMacSon on Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: in the Gnostic tradition the women could make Jesus risen

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:07 am

mlinssen wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:38 pm
MrMacSon wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:02 pm
I find it extraordinary that people think that 'Gnostics' would have universally or almost universally taken NT texts and reverted them to what is almost certainly some sort of pre-Christian, Platonic or [early] Middle-Platonic theology.
Especially the degree at which they copied up until Paul, Acts... they must have copied something of every book in the NT just about. They were better organised than the Church itself, to have access to all of it
Hi. I presume you mean "the degree to which the Gnostic writers would have had to have copied from just about every book in the NT [means] they would have had t have been better organised than the Church itself (to have had access to it all."

This point reminds me of your recent argument about why Matthew and Luke likely used Thomas, not vice versa.

mlinssen wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:38 pm
MrMacSon wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:02 pm
And I find it noteworthy that the Church Fathers like Irenaeus seems to have devoted far more ink to discussing so-called Gnostic theology than Christian theology - it's almost as if Christian theology was in its infancy when Irenaeus is supposed to have written.
Kind of like an ex smoker or drinker hey, they almost give more attention to their previous addiction than what they gave when they were still "in their old habits"
lol, yes (or like the narcissist who leaves their spouse or partner but then spends an inordinate amount of time fussing over what they're doing).

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Re: in the Gnostic tradition the women could make Jesus risen

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:28 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:07 pm

... if you want to read something by Irenaeus which has little to do with the heretics, try the Demonstration. He mentions the heretics maybe two or three times altogether in it. (Irenaeus himself even sounds a tiny bit gnostic a couple of times in it.)
This Demonstrations? The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching?

Yes, it does seem a little gnostic in a couple of places.

It reads to me like a pre-Gospel document: general theological rhetoric; quite a few appeals to major Jewish prophets throughout, with a few references to Moses, David, Isaiah, and Jerimiah; a few general statements about Christianity, including vague references to disciples of the Apostles, presbyteri apostolorum discipuli; several appeals to the Logos among the rhetoric; a couple of references to Paul, one reference to John the Baptist and one to the disciple John, but no references to Mark, Luke or Matthew.

Now, of course one shouldn't expect much recitation of the Canonical Gospels of other BT book in a work like this, but one might expect more and much better citation or representation of what the Gospels say Jesus is said to have said or said to have done.

There is "invocation of the name of Jesus Christ, crucified under Pontius Pilate,293 [as] a separation and division among mankind" near the end, but no other circumstances, and 293 cites, "II, xlix. 3: Ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, τοῦ πταυρωθέντος ἐπὶ Ποντίου Πειλάτον. Cf. Just. M. Ap. ii., 6, Dial. 30, 76, 85" - I'm not sure what 'II, xlix. 3' is reference to.

Some examples of passages therein -

... man is a living being compounded of soul and flesh .. For what profit is it to know the truth in words, and to pollute the flesh and perform the works of evil? ... Wherefore the Holy Spirit says by David: Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly: that is, the counsel of the nations which know not God: for those are ungodly who worship not the God that truly is. And therefore the Word says to Moses: I am He that is

.. Now faith occasions this for us; even as the Elders, the disciples of the Apostles,66 have handed down to us. First of all it bids us bear in mind that we have received baptism for the remission of sins, in the name of God the Father, and in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was incarnate and died and rose again, and in the Holy Spirit of God.


And, since God is rational, therefore by (the) Word He created the things that were made; and God is Spirit, and by (the) Spirit He adorned all things: as also the prophet says: By the word of the Lord were the heavens established, and by his spirit all their power. Since then the Word establishes, that is to say, gives body and grants the reality of being, and the Spirit gives order and form to the diversity of the powers; rightly and fittingly is the Word called the Son, and the Spirit the Wisdom of God.

Well also does Paul His apostle say: One God, the Father, who is over all and through all and in its all. For over all is the Father; and through all is the Son, for through Him all things were made by the Father; and in us all is the Spirit, who cries Abba Father, and fashions man into the likeness of God.

Now the Spirit shows forth the Word, and therefore the prophets announced the Son of God; and the Word utters the Spirit, and therefore is Himself the announcer of the prophets, and leads and draws man to the Father.

This then is the order of the rule of our faith, and the foundation of the building, and the stability of our conversation: God, the Father, not made, not material, invisible; one God, the creator of all things: this is the first point of our faith. The second point is: The Word of God, Son of God, Christ Jesus our Lord, who was manifested to the prophets according to the form of their prophesying and according to the method of the dispensation of the Father: through whom all things were made; who also at the end of the times, to complete and gather up all things, was made man among
men, visible and tangible, in order to abolish death and show forth life and produce a community of union between God and man. And the third point is: The Holy Spirit, through whom the prophets prophesied, and the fathers learned the things of God, and the righteous were led forth into the way of righteousness; and who in the end of the times was poured out in a new way a upon mankind in all the earth, renewing man unto God.

And for this reason the baptism of our regeneration proceeds through these three points: God the Father bestowing on us regeneration through His Son by the Holy Spirit.


41. And His forerunner was John the Baptist, who prepared and made ready the people beforehand for the reception of the Word of life; declaring that He was the Christ, on whom the Spirit of God rested, mingling with His flesh. His disciples, the witnesses of all His good deeds, and of His teachings and His sufferings and death and resurrection, and of His ascension into heaven after His bodily161 resurrection—these were the apostles, who after (receiving) the power of the Holy Spirit were sent forth by Him into all the world, and wrought the calling of the Gentiles, showing to mankind the way of life ...


I make thine enemies thy footstool. And that He ascended thither, whence He had come down, David says: From the end of heaven is his going forth, and his cessation even at the end of heaven. Then he signifies his judgment: And there is none that shall be hid from his heat.

86. If then the prophets prophesied that the Son of God was to appear upon the earth, and prophesied also where on the earth and how and in what manner He should make known His appearance, and all these prophecies the Lord took upon Himself; our faith in Him was well-founded, and the tradition of the preaching (is) true.

And that not by the much speaking of the law, but by the brevity of faith and love, men were to be saved, Isaiah says thus: A word brief and short in righteousness: for a short word will God make in the whole world. (Cf. Isa. x. 23) And therefore the apostle Paul says: Love is the fulfilling of the law: for he who loves God has fulfilled the law.

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:07 pm
Also, recall that we do not possess everything that Irenaeus wrote. We have lost more of his works than we have preserved.
Sure, but what is preserved do not seem to be substantial Christian documents.

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