"him who judges justly" is allegory of the demiurge: Pilate

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Giuseppe
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Re: "him who judges justly" is allegory of the demiurge: Pilate

Post by Giuseppe »

MrMacSon wrote: Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:04 pm I've just been doing some reading about [pure] gnosticism and I don't think it generally means 'hate against the creator god' (as Marcion's theology seems to be)
I am interested to inquiry the possibility that the Earliest Gospel was Gnostic only if gnosticism is essentially hate against the creator. I am following this author in this definition:

https://www.amazon.com/No-Longer-Jews-G ... 0801047706
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.
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Joseph D. L.
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Re: "him who judges justly" is allegory of the demiurge: Pilate

Post by Joseph D. L. »

MrMacSon wrote: Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:39 pm or kind of both, with 'the earliest Gospel' written as theodicy for the abomination of the desolation of Jerusalem - not being able to rebuild the Temple - and as an allegory to represent hate against the imperial forces, using some Gnostic tropes.
That's just it, however. Giuseppe is not considering the "earliest Gospel". He's going off of what he presumes the earliest Gospel should be--in his case, Marcionite--and wrapping his theories around that.

But that is not what the earliest Gospel was or could be. The earliest Gospel would not contain any allegorization, or biographical information. It would be an actual gospel, εὐαγγέλιον, an edict or declaration.

And we have two defining pieces of evidence of when this text emerged, and what it contained, in the Genesis Rabbah and the Epistle of Barnabas. The former states that Hadrian had reached out to Jews to rebuild the Temple, while the latter explicitly states that the Temple is being rebuilt by those who destroyed it, i.e. the Empire.

So the original εὐαγγέλιον had to be something similar to the Epistle of Barnabas. This is made even more necessary when considering the supposed primary source for our canonical texts was a collection of epistles. The Gospel of Marcion, which is a pseudo text, in no way fits in with the greater Pauline epistles it is attached to, meaning either it was a later (post-Marcion) text, or was completely misattributed to the Marcionites.

Keeping that in mind, Giuseppe's insistent back and forth over "Judiazers" becomes redundant, because Christianity was predominantly a pill for Jews to swallow; to accept Hadrian as the messiah. Everything else came later.
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Joseph D. L.
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Re: "him who judges justly" is allegory of the demiurge: Pilate

Post by Joseph D. L. »

Gnosticism doesn't mean hatred for the creator, Giuseppe. Plato was a proto-Gnostic, yet he said the demiurge was benevolent. Certain sects--Valentinians--held the demiurge as neutral, or lawfully just--Marcionites. Very few, and still later, groups actually thought that it was evil. What you're doing is deliberately twisting things to fit your own agenda. Which is fine, if that agenda actually makes sense.

Gnosticism just means mystical knowledge, Giuseppe. Nothing else. If you weren't blinded by your own ignorance that you mistake as brilliance, you would know that. But much like Sophia, if you have mistook the reflection of the Light as the source of the Light.
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MrMacSon
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Re: "him who judges justly" is allegory of the demiurge: Pilate

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Giuseppe wrote: Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:09 pm
MrMacSon wrote: Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:04 pm I've just been doing some reading about [pure] gnosticism and I don't think it generally means 'hate against the creator god' (as Marcion's theology seems to be)
I am interested to inquiry the possibility that the Earliest Gospel was Gnostic only if gnosticism is essentially hate against the creator.
That's not logical. You're putting unreasonable conditions or qualifications on both gnosticism and the earliest gospel.

As Joseph D.L. says -
Joseph D. L. wrote: Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:32 pm Gnosticism doesn't mean hatred for the creator, Giuseppe ...

Gnosticism just means mystical knowledge, Giuseppe ...


Giuseppe wrote: Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:09 pm
I am following this author in this definition:

https://www.amazon.com/No-Longer-Jews-G ... 0801047706
A review says
Smith's basic theory is that Gnosticism came out of the Jewish religion of Egypt as a response to the devastaion caused by the suppression of the Jewish Revolt of 115-117 AD.

Most of Gnosticism came out of Hellenization of the Egyptian mystery religions. Our best written record of one might be the Codex Hermeticum/ the Hermetica
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Joseph D. L.
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Re: "him who judges justly" is allegory of the demiurge: Pilate

Post by Joseph D. L. »

Egyptian Gnosticism extended as far back as the Pyramid Texts. Orphism was the Grecian Gnosticism.Jewish Gnosticism probably derived from Zoroastrianism.
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MrMacSon
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Re: "him who judges justly" is allegory of the demiurge: Pilate

Post by MrMacSon »

Jewish Gnosticism in the late Second Temple period and maybe beyond probably derived from a number of theologies in a number of places including from Egyptian Gnosticism (which was spreading through the eastern Mediternean) and from Grecian Gnosticism.

This article - http://gnosis.org/hermes.htm - discusses how aspects of Egyptian gnosticism and Grecian gnosticism took on characteristics of each other.
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Joseph D. L.
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Re: "him who judges justly" is allegory of the demiurge: Pilate

Post by Joseph D. L. »

Jewish Gnosticism, particularly in its earliest iteration, would be Persian given how the Jews exalt the Persian empire. I would argue that Judaism as an autonomous religion did not begin until this period. Of course Jews in Alexandria would be exposed to both Greek and Egyptian Gnosticism under Ptolemy, and Jews in Turkey would be exposed to Greek philosophy and Eastern mysticism under the Seleucid Kingdom.

Understanding the complex social dynamics of these periods is the hardest thing to keep a hold of. That's why most scholars just these nuances and influences off as unimportant.
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Joseph D. L.
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Re: "him who judges justly" is allegory of the demiurge: Pilate

Post by Joseph D. L. »

Let me also add that I am of the Samaritan persuasion, meaning that I believe Samaritanism is the authentic tradition, or at least a closer version.
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MrMacSon
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Re: "him who judges justly" is allegory of the demiurge: Pilate

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Joseph D. L. wrote: Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:36 am Jewish Gnosticism, particularly in its earliest iteration, would be Persian given how the Jews exalt the Persian empire. I would argue that Judaism as an autonomous religion did not begin until this period.
I agree (I presume you are also referring to the Babylonian exile period; after the destruction of the first Temple, I think).

Joseph D. L. wrote: Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:36 am Of course Jews in Alexandria would be exposed to both Greek and Egyptian Gnosticism under Ptolemy, and Jews in Turkey would be exposed to Greek philosophy and Eastern mysticism under the Seleucid Kingdom.

.
The Roman imperial fleet was one of the main gateways for diffusion of Egyptian cults into the Roman world, and both merchant and war fleets had significant role[s] in that diffusion ...

Egypt opened its gates to the whole Mediterranean in the time of Ptolemaic Dynasty(305-30 BC). The consequence of this action was opening of Egyptian cult centers to Greek and Eastern influences and as the result the new Hellenistic cults were born (Serapis, Harpocrates). At the same time the Egyptian cults and the objects connected with their beliefs and funeral ceremonies, together with other Eastern cults, started their diffusion through the sea and land ...

... The first temples of Isis and Serapis in Rome were built around 220 BC. At the end of the 2nd Punic War the symbols of oriental religions were removed from the Roman Pantheon. The diffusion started again more intensively at the end of the Republican era. In the 1st Century BC the cults of Isis and Serapis made their way into Italy as the religious beliefs mainly of the lower classes.

The first Egyptian community in Rome was registered in the time of the Roman dictator Lucius Conelius Sulla. But at that time the diffusion of Egyptian cults was disapproved by the Romans. In the late Republican era, a few years before the death of Iulius Caesar, the first statue of Isis was placed in the temple of Venus Genetrix. The first Roman Emperors Augustus and Tiberius didn’t look at that diffusion with approval.

In 38 AD the Emperor Gaius Caligula built the Isis temple in Rome at the Campus Martius and with that act he acknowledged her into the rank of the official goddesses of the Roman Empire. In the time of the Emperor Caracalla the god Serapis was introduced to the rank of the official gods. He built him a temple at the Roman hill Quirinalis with [the] dedication Serapidi Deo.

In the same time the cult of the Emperor was linked up with Egyptian cults. From the time of Domitian to Trajan various Egyptian gods (Horus, Anubis) can be found with the warrior symbols of the Roman Empire (spear, shield). Isis and Serapis became the protectors of the Emperor from the time of the Emperor Caracalla.

The Roman Emperors Hadrian, Trajan, Commodus, Septimius Severus, and Diocletian were the great admirers of Egyptian culture. They decorated their palaces with Egyptian elements delivered directly from Egypt ...

... Merchants werevery movable and they brought over some new ideas and religious beliefs throughout theRoman Empire. Most of them were originally from Egypt and the East. In the places werethey raised their families they often formed, with other members who shared the same believes, religious collegiums of Isis and Serapis. A lot of ships sailed along both coasts of the Adriatic with Egyptian sailors on board ...

https://www.academia.edu/905620/Egyptia ... 05_241-253


Apparently Rodney Stark argues in Cities of God: The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conquered Rome, 2007, that -

  • The "oriental" faiths —such as those devoted to Isis, the Egyptian goddess of love and magic, and to Cybele, the fertility goddess of Asia Minor— actually prepared the way for the rapid spread of Christianity across the Roman Empire.
  • Contrary to generations of historians, the Roman mystery cult of Mithraism posed no challenge to Christianity to become the new faith of the empire — it allowed no female members and attracted only soldiers.


eta: Carl B Smith in No Longer Jews: The Search for Gnostic Origin, 2004, concluded -

that Egypt following the Jewish Revolt under Trajan (115-117 CE) provides a ripe context for Gnosticism's most unique and definitive innovation, the rejection of the cosmos and the Creator God of the Jews. [Smith] argue[d] that individuals closely connected with Judaism --whether Jews, Jewish Christians, or gentile God-fearers-- may have responded to the rebellion by rejecting the God and religion that inspired this apocalyptic and messianic ferment. "No longer Jews," they were now free to follow a higher God and way of life. https://www.amazon.com/No-Longer-Jews-G ... 0801047706


Joseph D. L. wrote: Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:36 am Understanding the complex social dynamics of these periods is the hardest thing to keep a hold of. That's why most scholars just these nuances and influences off as unimportant.
Yep, and Christian biased scholars have an extra motivation to do so.
Last edited by MrMacSon on Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Giuseppe
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Re: "him who judges justly" is allegory of the demiurge: Pilate

Post by Giuseppe »

I'm sorry, my dear friends, but you seem not see the my point. There are two lines of inquiry of the Earliest Gospel:

1) the traditional line (of which even the 'radical' view of Joseph is a mere instance) that assumes that Jesus (I mean: in the Earliest Gospel with narrative form) is the son (adopted or natural) of the Jewish god,

2) the radical line, that assumes that the author of the Earliest Gospel hated the Creator-God.

So please don't dispel your attention. Anything you say is just and true, but only under the line 1.

What do you think about the line 2?

About that I am interested, sincerely.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.
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