WHO is this god: the "Father of Truth" ?

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Re: opinion on NT

Post by mlinssen »

billd89 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 6:44 pm I wonder if a Gnostic Jesus (an historical personnage) may have lived, well-versed in (Egyptian) 'Sethian' myths. Or that JCers grafted on to a relic (Sethian) Gnostic cult relatively early on, c.50 AD?

I suspect that Gnostic material in John originates from Egypt. That could include: a Jewish Gnostic writer (or small Diaspora network) who carried Sethian/Therapeut ideas away from Alexandria 38-75 AD.

I also suppose this fragment's philosophy is OLDER than the JC bits tacked on to it, that a Samaritan Woman & the Sethian Guru Myth was co-opted by John, from the older cult. It may have been a local Egyptian myth, worked-over and exported by 90 AD, before John's plagiarism. There were communities of 'Samaritans' (or Semites, so-called) in Egypt for hundreds of years; not in Turkey.

I think that Jerusalem still existed when this myth first appeared. It is proto-Valentinian but ascribed to a later teacher-author who may well have copied it from a source 175yrs older, adding bits. We cannot be sure WHEN.

Everything canonical was heavily worked-over, so 1 anachronism may be telling but not conclusive. Overwriting has made a muddle of the NT. That's just my two cents: I've no opinion on your particulars, sorry gryan.

** minor edits for clarity **
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblica ... anuscripts

Going by that list at a mere glance confirms your theory.
To base conclusions on data sets requires a certain volume of them so we have to be careful, but there is John and Matthew and then nothing much of anything.
Paul? As scarce as Mark and Luke

John from the Chrestian camp as I'll continue to label it, Matthew from the Christian one. I'll take the dates for granted and think they're in the ballpark but to assume that there was a fourfold set before +/- 350 becomes a difficult task.
Yet John? He surely was the first gospel and perhaps it was even him who started the narrative - yet he contains virtually nothing of Thomas save for a handful that are far from verbatim.
But he breathes all of Thomas with his father and such, the poetic style, etc

Egypt and Sethians, yes - even though ⲥⲏⲧ doesn't exist in Thomas as the proper word penis that it is. Samaritan, yes. Salvation is from the Judeans - yes; no mistaking there about what that really meant, and it is out of the question that anything was rooted in Judaism so I disagree with you only there

Egypt and Samaritans; the very own North and South of the region there where fierce hate between Judeans and Samarians, as well as Judaics and Samaritans, was perfectly legit.
People are dumb and short sighted: I can tell you that I hate you but when it turns out that you're black I'll suddenly be accused of being racist. A Chinese can say he hates Chinese, no problem there, but you and I can't because we'd allegedly be racist.
A black man can state he hates Africans but a white Africaner can't, even though he likely is more intimate with and involved in "the situation" and may even have his reasons (and let's agree that anyone hating anyone else always is a dumb thing to do, let alone voice to that)

Samarians hating Judeans (and vice versa)?
Perfectly legit, perfectly reasonable and allowed, under any and all circumstances - just like North US hating South US and vice versa.
I am seriously digging into Thomas having Samarian origins given his general makeup and especially logion 43 and 61: in the latter he describes how a Samaritan is trying to make peace with Judeans by bringing a lamb to them, only to convict that in the end when he accuses the disciples of also seeking a Repose - which is of the Dead of course

So yeah billd, you're on the right track
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Re: Horos, Pt.3

Post by billd89 »

Thank you for that.

Philo's De Plantatione recognizes the Horos and elaborates the theme as a scientistic-theological fact, without the folkloric Deity. The Horos Deity must have been well-known c.25 AD, and it seems unlikely that Philo Judaeus would develop a then-known heretical theme or scandalous interpretation in the Jewish community.

Tertullian, Against the Valentinians. Chapter 10.
Hereupon the Father by and by, being moved, produces in his own image, with a view to these circumstances the Horos whom we have mentioned above; (and this he does) by means of Monogenes Nus, a male-female (Æon), because there is this variation of statement about the Father’s sex. They also go on to tell us that Horos is likewise called Metagogius, that is, “a conductor about,” as well as Horothetes (Setter of Limits). By his assistance they declare that Sophia was checked in her illicit courses, and purified from all evils, and henceforth strengthened (in virtue), and restored to the conjugal state: (they add) that she indeed remained within the bounds of the Pleroma, but that her Enthymesis, with the accruing Passion, was banished by Horos, and crucified and cast out from the Pleroma,—even as they say, Malum foras! (Evil, avaunt!) Still, that was a spiritual essence, as being the natural impulse of an Æon, although without form or shape, inasmuch as it had apprehended nothing, and therefore was pronounced to be an infirm and feminine fruit.

Cornelis Petrus Tiele, Comparative History of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian Religions: Egypt, Babel-Assur, Yemen, Harran, Phoenicia, Israel [1882], pp.50-4:
In remote antiquity there can be no doubt Set was a sun-god. This is evident from his being properly the complement, not the adversary only, of Horos the sun-god. Like him. Set is found on the deck of the bark of the sun, ready to ward off the serpent of darkness, with which, by a curious fatality, he was one day destined to be identified. Like Horos, he is god of war and executioner in the underworld ; and he would never have been raised, as god of Upper Egypt, to the level of Horos, god of Lower Egypt, had he not corresponded to him in general significance, however much he differed from him in character. As sun-god he is sometimes called the great lord of heaven, and the spy.^ In contrast to Horos, the sun-hero from whom proceed life and fertility, and who is to be dreaded by none save those who are friends of darkness, and in contrast especially to Osiris, Unnefer, the good being, the good nature-power, the beneficent though concealed sun-god, his position was just like that of Melek, the fire-king, the severe Semitic god, who was worshipped in Judah also, in contrast to the luxurious life-giving Canaanite Baal ; or like Qiva in contrast to Vishnu. He was the personification of the sun's terrible desolating power, of the sun as devouring fire, the god of exterminating war, with all its terrors. Hence he speedily was made god of death. Elevated soon a little above nature, and conceived of as more human in form, he grew to be not only the fell adversary of Horos, the lord of light, but also the being who causes all that is evil in nature — earthquakes, scorching heat, tempests, thunder and lightning, pestilential vapours that pollute the air and the water, and even mount up towards the moon, in order to make her and all that glitters in heaven dim and dark. It is he who wounds, or puts out, or swallows up the one eye of Horos, ...Finally, after having been completely dissociated from nature, apparently, as I said, by Persian influence in the first place, he became the evil principle in the creation, and in the moral world as well. It was at this stage that his name began to be removed and his images supplanted by those of Thoth and Horos. Even on the tomb of Seti I., father of Ramses II (Sesostris), the king's name was altered into Osiris.

The lot of his rival Horos, usually Osiris' son, and avenger of his father, was totally different, for throughout the course of centuries he remained one of the most honoured of the gods of Egypt. In a sense, it may be {p.52} said of him as of Baal (as regards whom, proof of the assertion we make will be found in Book III. of this work), that his name was not so much that of a definite deity, as the common title given to a particular class of gods. In support of this opinion, we can adduce the following facts : we rarely find the name of Horos used without attribute or epithet; nearly every locality has its particular Horos, designated by a special surname:— thus Harhut at Edfu, Harsamto and Ahi at Edfu and at Dendera, Harmachu, he who is Ea, Harkamutef, he who is Chem and Harka, the young one, son of Chem and of Ament, at Thebes, &c.,— in fact, one frequently sees several different Horos deities represented side by side on the monuments: moreover, some divine beings, like the star Sirius (Rar-sapd), have the title of Horos bestowed upon them when they are masculine ; and in later times at least, the name of Horos in the plural is always used as synonymous with the nuteru, the gods. The signification of the name of Horos accords perfectly with this use of it. Har, or ffer, means really the most exalted, the Highest, the Lord, accordingly the principal divinity, the god considered as king of the country.

Three classes of Horos gods are to be distinguished: the first includes Horos the old (Hor-ur) brothers of Osiris and of Ea; the great Harmachis (Harmachu, Horos on the horizon), of Heliopolis ; Horos Amun, and the ithyphallic god Hor Chem. The second is composed of the various sons of the preceding, in particular, the famous son of Isis (Har-se-ise), the avenger of his father, just as is Har-hut, the god of the winged bark of the sun at Edfu, the executioner of the judgments of Osiris in the under world, the king of the kings after whom, correctly speaking, no king reigns, since all the kings are only his lieutenants. Lastly, the third class is that made up of the infant Horos gods (Har-pe-chruti). Ahi and Samtoti, the youthful fTods represented in the flower of the lotus, and which are "very modern, having been, as Dr. Pleyte believes, borrowed from India in the centuries immediately before our era, belong to this category.

As god of the visible sun, he is father and brother as well as son of Osiris, for in truth, the sun at night may equally well be called a son of the sun that shone the day before, as father of the sun that rises next day. Thus both sun-gods may be also conceived of as a pair of brothers, and this occurs not unfrequently in other mythologies. Horos is accordingly as Har-oer, Horos the great, the elder, son of Seb like Osiris, and husband of Isis or Hathor ; he is found, however, most often as son of Osiris, and Isis or Hathor, and is called Har-pe-chruti, the infant Horos, the young, scarcely born sun at its first rising again in the morning. The Egyptians did not find these conceptions inconsistent with each other; they felt, on the contrary, that the elder and the younger Horos were one and the same, that the new-born sun, though apparently another than that they had seen die, was not in reality a different one, and they expressed this feeling of their identity in the mythological paradox, "Horos, (or Min, or Chem), husband of his mother." Horos also is a warrior god who, standing on the deck of the sun-bark, contends with the serpent Apap, the demon of darkness, or, in the character of avenger, with his father's enemy Set. ... But, notwithstanding this, he, equally with Osiris, is a good deity who fights against darkness only, and the pious need not be afraid of him. Formidable to his enemies, the enemies of his beloved Egypt, for his sparrow-hawk always hovers aloft over the head of the Egyptian kings as they go forth to battle, he is yet a guardian to his worshippers, and speaks as a father to the king, whom he calls his beloved son. "I make you," thus he speaks to the king — "I make you a terror to evil-doers, and spit before you on the hearts of your enemies." ^ But he is likewise the beneficent creator of the full harvest, the lord of the grain. His beauty, especially that of his countenance, is frequently celebrated. Hence he is represented as the Sphinx (hu), whose face, turned eastwards under its broad projecting head-dress, is the radiant sun, and whose body in the form of a lion is emblematic of his divine strength. As the winged sun's disk — a representation found in Egypt as well as in Babylon and in Assyria, from which latter country it was introduced into Persia — he is named Hut, the great god, the lord of heaven ; and he imparts "life, vital power, long life, health, and all good fortune, as the sun in eternity." In this form he was worshipped even in the most remote antiquity, especially at Edfu (Hut).


J. Redwood-Anderson, "The Ladder of the Luminous Cross" The Theosophical Review, Vol. 41, Issue 243 [1907], p.267:
The Demiurge, the Devil and Beelzebub are, equally with the Paraclete, manifestations of God. Evil and Good, though in strife and opposition from man's point of view, must be regarded as harmonised and reconciled from the Divine standpoint ; nay, for God there can be neither Good nor Evil, only His own omnipresent Energy in divers forms. It is no place here to enter into any consideration of the stupendous problem of Good and Evil, but it was unavoidable to touch upon it in dealing with the Ladder of the Luminous Cross; for Evil is a form of that down-flowing Energy which is Horos and Batos, which is itself at once the Limitary Spirit and the Paraclete, the transverse and vertical beams of the Cross of Light.

No doubt in later developments of Gnostic thought, such as the Manichean, the Paulician, and others, this idea of a “senseless and blind Demiurge " in contradistinction to the “good and all-wise Deity," became a real Dualism, a belief in two eternal, coexistent Principles of Good and Evil, who were regarded in very much the same light as popular theology regards God and Satan. But in the earlier and more philosophical schemes which we have been considering, this is clearly not the case; Good and Evil are joint-manifestations of one Power, the Universal Energy or Will of the Supreme, and both work for the same end, harmoniously in the counsels of the Most High. This does not mean that Good and Evil are the same as far as man is concerned. Man must adhere to Good and abhor Evil ; for only thus, as he is resisted and overcome, does the Devil become his friend and helper; only thus does Satan accomplish the good he is sent into the world to do!

Archibald Henry Sayce, The Ancient Empires of the East: Herodotus I.-III. [1911], pp.340-:
God in the abstract, with which each of the gods was identified in turn by the worshipper, or, in the later pantheistic period, into which they were all resolved, was conceived as one perfect, omniscient, and omnipotent being, eternally unchangeable, yet eternally begetting himself in the liquid chaos called Nu, The sun, which afterwards symbolised him, was primarily the object of adoration itself And since the sun rises as the youthful Har-makhis or Horos, shines in his full strength at midday as Ra, and sets in the evening as Tum, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity found its counterpart in Egyptian religion from the dawn of the historical period. Even the sun that shines at night in the lower world received also his name and worship, and ended by becoming the enemy of light and of the sun that illuminates the day. By the side of the Sun-god stood Isis, the dawn, the mother, sister, wife, and double of the Sun-god himself. Out of the manifold myths that described the relations of the sun to the dawn and the evening arose various deities and conceptions of the divine, each of which assumed a different form in different localities, and eventually found a place in the syncretic religion of the united empire.

The oldest and most widespread of these myths was that embodied in the legend of Osiris. The Sun-god Osiris, like his sister Isis, was the child of Nut, the vault of heaven, and of Seb, the earth. While still in their mother's womb they produced the ever-youthful Horos, who is one with his father, and yet a different divinity. Set or Typhon, the husband of his sister Nephthys or Neb-hat, and brother of Horos, imprisoned Osiris in an ark or chest, which, with the help of seventy-two of his followers (the seventy-two days of summer drought), he flung into the sacred Nile. The ark was borne across the sea to the holy city of Phoenicia, Byblos or Gebal, and there found by the disconsolate Isis. Isis, however, after hiding the corpse of the god, made her way to Horos, who had been banished to the marshes of Buto, and during her absence Set discovered the body of Osiris, which he cut into fourteen pieces and scattered to the winds. They were again carefully collected by Isis and buried in a stately tomb, while Horos made ready to avenge his father's death. But Osiris had died only to rise again, after ruling for awhile, during the hours of night, in the dark regions of the under world. It was thus that he became the judge and monarch of the dead. The struggle between Horos and Set was long and fierce ; but at length the god of light triumphed, and Set, the symbol of night and evil, was driven from his throne in the upper world. Horos became the mediator and saviour of mankind, through whom the righteous dead are justified before the tribunal of his father.

Wm F. Cobb, Mysticism and the Creed [1914], p.340:
There is, however, apparently a second and somewhat different conception of the mode in which the second Sophia is made to do service in explaining the problem of Evil. According to this, matter does not stand over against spirit as the cause of evil, but the Fall, under a monistic scheme of thought, is made to take place in the Pleroma itself. For the youngest Aeon of the dodecad which sprang from Anthropos and Ecclesia became the victim of an impatient desire to explore the mysterious secrets of the Father's nature, and was only prevented from being resolved through this desire into His absolute essence by another Aeon called Horos.3 But a variant explanation makes this erring Sophia bring forth an amorphous substance (having no form, such as it was the function of Horos to supply), which was afterwards extruded from the Pleroma and fenced off by Horos. Later on,4 Horos is given two functions, one of dividing and separating (the horizontal bar of the Cross), called properly Horos, and one of supporting and sustaining (the upright beam), called properly Stauros.5

3 This Horos or Boundary of the Pleroma is called by Hippolytus (Refutation of All Heresies 6.26) Stauros, because “He is fixed inflexibly and inexorably, so that nothing of the Hysterema can come near the Aeons who are within the Pleroma.” The Stauros, or Cross, had a celestial pre-existence as well as Ecclesia.
4 Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.3.5.
5 The “Perfect Sermon” of the Corpus Hermeticum 30??., says: “In the very life of the Aeon is the world moved, and in the living Aeon is the world-Space; therefore it will never stop or be destroyed for it is pallisaded round, and as it were bound together by the eternal Aeon.” Cf. Bousset, ubi supra, p.342.

The Bousset reference (Hauptprobleme der Gnosis [1907], p.342) is in error. This fragment recalls several passage in CH 9 'Mind Unto Hermes' (9.2, 9.7, 9.13-15, etc.), translated differently. See instead 'The Perfect Sermon', or 'The Asclepius' 1.30: "For in the very Life of Aeon is Cosmos moved: the very Everlastingness of Life [itself] is the Topos of Cosmos, because it is impossible that it should at any time come to a stand, or be destroyed, since it is walled in and bound together (so to speak) by eternal life." and G.R.S. Mead's explication in Fragments of a Faith Forgotten [1900], p.342: “Moreover that the formlessness of the Abortion should finally never again make itself visible to the perfect Æons, the Father Himself also sent forth the additional emanation of a single Æon, the Cross [or Stock, τὸν σταυρόν], which being created great, as [the creature] of the great and perfect Father, and emanated to be the Guard and Wall of protection [lit. Paling or Stockade—χαράκωμα, the Roman vallum] of the Æons, constitutes the Boundary (ὅρος) of the Plērōma, holding the thirty Æons together within itself. For these [thirty] are they which form the divine creation.”

Asclepius 30:
"Deus ergo viventium vel vitalium, in mundo quae sunt, sempiternus gubernator est, ipsiusque vitae dispensator aeternus. Semel autem dispensa vi t(a) vita vitalibus cunctis aeterna lege praestatur hoc more, quo dicam. In ipsa enim aeternitatis vivacitate mundus agitatur et in ipsa vitali aeternitate locus est mundi, propter quod nec stabit aliquando nec corrumpetur sempiternitate vivendi circumvallatus et quasi constrictus"

Walter Scott, Hermetica Vol. 1 [1924], p.348:
The Kosmos moves & within the very life of eternity, and is contained in that very eternity whence all life issues; and for this reason it is impossible that it should at any time come to a stand, or be destroyed, since it is walled in and bound together, so to speak, by eternal life. And the Kosmos is itself the dispenser of life to all things in it here below, and the place in which are contained all things which are subject to control beneath the sun. ...

Refutationis omnium haeresium, 6.31:
Ἵν οὖν μηδ ὅλως τοῖς αἰῶσι τοῖς τελείοις καταφανῇ τοῦ ἐκτρώματος ἡ ἀμορφία, πάλιν καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἐπιπροβάλλει αἰῶνα ἕνα τὸν σταυρόν, ὃς γεγεννημένος μέγας, ὡς μεγάλου καὶ τελείου πατρός, εἰς φρουρὰν καὶ χαράκωμα τῶν αἰώνων προβεβλημένος, ὅρος γίνεται τοῦ πληρώματος, ἔχων ἐντὸς ἑαυτοῦ πάντας ὁμοῦ τοὺς τριάκοντα αἰῶνας· οὗτοι γάρ εἰσιν οἱ προβεβλημένοι. Καλεῖται δὲ ὅρος μὲν οὗτος, ὅτι ἀφορίζει ἀπὸ τοῦ πληρώματος ἔξω τὸ ὑστέρημα, μετοχεὺς δέ, ὅτι μετέχει καὶ τοῦ ὑστερήματος, σταυρὸς δέ, ὅτι πέπηγεν ἀκλινῶς καὶ ἀμετανοήτως, ὡς μὴ δύνασθαι μηδὲν τοῦ ὑστερήματος καταγενέσθαι ἐγγὺς τῶν ἐντὸς πληρώματος αἰώνων.

Thomas Alfred Gurney, The Church of the First Three Centuries [1911], p.85:
Religion thus became esoteric; Knowledge, superior to Faith; Salvation, for the enlightened only. The 'gnostic' took the place of the Christian. The reality of the Fall and man's sin, the supremacy of Christ as Mediator, the redeeming work of the Cross, the universal destination of salvation, the spiritual freedom and equality of all men, were all alike denied. Redemption became rather "a redemption of the philosophers from matter rather than of mankind from sin." With Valentinus the Cross is merely a Boundary (Horos) guarding the Pleroma from intrusion. Basilides taught that, although Christ appeared on earth as a man, He was not really such, and never suffered on the Cross, but stood by unseen, mocking, while Simon the Cyrenian suffered in his place.

John M. Dillon, The Middle Platonists, 80 B.C. to A.D. 220 [1977/1996], p.387:
Sophia sins through her desire to know her origin, to comprehend the nature of the Forefather. She plunges recklessly into the abyss where he dwells, causing a disequilibrium in the Pleroma, and is only brought up short by the intervention of an entity previously not heard of, termed Horos ('Boundary' — a variant, perhaps, of the Pythagorean peras, 'limit'). This entity seems to be an aspect of the Forefather generated by the imbalance within the Pleroma. It may be seen, in more philosophic terms, as the Logos in its regulating aspect, or, in Philo's system, the 'regal power' of God (which is Philo's sole principal).

Sophia is restored to her place, but the result of her disruption remains, objectified as a 'formless entity', and causes pain to the other aeons. They cause a further aeon, Christos, to be produced, in order to deal with this formlessness. Christos, like Horos, is a logos-figure. He separates off the formless entity, and expels it from the Pleroma. It becomes the 'lower' Sophia, or Achamoth, a projection of the higher Sophia outside the intelligible world. It corresponds to the irrational World Soul of Middle Platonic metaphysics, an irrational entity which yet yearns for what is above it, and grieves because of its separation from the higher world. Its emotions, grief, fear, bewilderment and ignorance, all become hypostatized, and give rise to the four elements of the material world, while a fifth quality of Achamoth, its 'turning back' (epistrophê) to what is above it, produces Soul.

John D. Turner, Sethian Gnosticism and the Platonic Tradition [2001], p.465:
Plutarch offers the first clear example of an irrational and hostile cosmic principle inimical to the divine principle of rationality. Nevertheless, the world (Horos) that results from the interaction of form (Osiris) and irrational matter (Isis) remains a fit image of the intelligible world. A proactive cause of evil (Seth-Typhon) is there, but can never overcome the logos (Osiris).

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Re: The Flammarion Engraving

Post by mlinssen »

billd89 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 11:22 am (I was in quite a psychedelic state, I should add.)

Rarely found a better fit :cheeky:
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