The logic of the Nag Hammadi collection.

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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billd89
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Re: Well, No.

Post by billd89 »

Leucius Charinus wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:21 pm
billd89 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:33 pm In other threads, I've shown how 'new literature' was typically responded to 60-80 years later, not even in the same generation.
That is equivalent to trying to demonstrate that all geological and topographic land forms are the result of sedimentary deposits over long periods of time. It's clearly false. The topography of the land forms around Mt St Hellens by pyroclastic processes was altered in one day. The same applies in some cases to new literary output.
Some, or few? No: exceptions prove the rule. And slow accretion is the logical process seen in religious/cultural development along historical lines in Antiquity. Against plodding reality, Americanists/Modernists are warped by a mindset of novelty -- that veritable fanaticism of recent generations. Traditionalists, however, were not.

The idea that Gnosticism is the product of Christianity (or even a response to it) is false. Constantine is overrated generally, but wildly and absurdly exaggerated in your fervid, skewed imagination. I can't help you, frankly.
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Leucius Charinus
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Stay with the Primary Evidence Luke

Post by Leucius Charinus »

billd89 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 7:08 pm
Leucius Charinus wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:21 pm
billd89 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:33 pm In other threads, I've shown how 'new literature' was typically responded to 60-80 years later, not even in the same generation.
That is equivalent to trying to demonstrate that all geological and topographic land forms are the result of sedimentary deposits over long periods of time. It's clearly false. The topography of the land forms around Mt St Hellens by pyroclastic processes was altered in one day. The same applies in some cases to new literary output.
Some, or few? No: exceptions prove the rule. And slow accretion is the logical process seen in religious/cultural development along historical lines in Antiquity.
That is the traditional model. An alternative model was proposed by Russell Gmirkin in relation to the development of the Hebrew bible. The slow accretion modelled by the Documentary Hypothesis has a rival theory involving some sort of "Big Bang" when all the raw materials were available within an elite literary school with unlimited library resources and support provided by a ruler.

I am strongly suggesting that we temporarily put down the standard models and go back to the primary evidence. The primary evidence is a time capsule known as the NHL which was created during the imperially supported Christian revolution of the 4th century. We have to ask what actually happened between the years of 325-360 CE prior to Julian's brief rule?
The idea that Gnosticism is the product of Christianity (or even a response to it) is false.
This idea has not been tested before (AFAIK) because:

(1) PRIMARY EVIDENCE: All the primary evidence is mid 4th century. The Gnostic apocrypha (which includes the texts in the NHL) are dated around the middle of the 4th century or later. Fragments of NHL / NTA texts in Greek from Oxy are dated early only by paleographical dating in isolation. It is not unreasonable to relax the upper bounds of these manuscripts to the 4th century. The C14 results are 4th century. The archeology becomes unambiguous in the 4th century. Imperial 4th century coinage carries the Chi Rho.

The idea that Gnosticism is the product of Constantine's Christianity (or even a response to it) is not refuted by the primary evidence. It is consistent with a timeframe where orthodox Christianity is pushed hard by Constantine and his army from 325 C. There was an immediate literary "Gnostic" reaction in Alexandria. There is a window of opportunity for Gnostic material to have been authored as a reaction to the NT Bible circulated (325 CE or earlier) by the lawful Pontifex Maximus and Emperor Constantine.


(1a) Primary Evidence and the Arian Controversy: If the above is reasonable then Arian controversy was about the authorship of these unofficial Gnostic gospels and Other Interesting Acts of the Apostles. It's the exact same time period. Ergo the Arian controversy was over books. This fact has been buried by the church industry because it was embarrassing to have to admit that the NT Bible Story Book got bad press when it was released.

So the idea that Gnosticism is the product of Constantine's Christianity (or even a response to it) is able to explain the political nature of the Arian controversy as a literary controversy (base on books we have - the NT apocrypha) in addition to a purely rhetorical and/or philosophical controversy described in all sorts of wishy-washy ways by the 4th and 5th century FF.


2) SECONDARY EVIDENCE: Has this been fabricatedThe secondary evidence is not being recognised as pseudo-historical dissembling. By this I mean the narratives of the heresiologists. These guys give us our chronological backbone to the evolution of the conflict between the heresies and the orthodoxy. They are fabricated sources IMO. How can this be tested?

Here is the classic example: the "Blessed" Saint, and now Doctor of the Church, and Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons picks up his stylus and writes:

"I have just read the Gospel of Judas"

And the paradigm says we believe the 2nd century secondary evidence provided by the Bishop of Lyons to deduce that the Gospel of Judas was extant in the 2nd century.

This is almost an example of irresponsible use of the historical method. What if Irenaeus is not a reliable historical source? As I suspect. I suspect the FF are part of the fabrication of the Christians.

I mean what are the earliest extant Greek manuscripts for Irenaeus? Irenaeus has been swaddled by the Latin church industry ever since c.380 CE. Irenaeus has been doctored.

The idea that Gnosticism could not be the product of 4th century imperial style Christianity (or even a response to it) is more or less completely dependent upon whether you accept or question the historical integrity of Irenaeus as a 2nd century literary source.

The reliability of the mainstream paradigm is based on the reliability of the secondary (heresiological) evidence. This is not being a responsible follower of the historical method. Historical reconstructions should as far as possible ===> stay with the primary evidence Luke.
Constantine is overrated generally, but wildly and absurdly exaggerated in your fervid, skewed imagination. I can't help you, frankly.
We don't know what went down in Constantine's rule. You may - in which case why do you think he is overrated? Many find it reasonable to conclude he sponsored Christianity, circulated the NT Bible, made the Bishops tax exempt, got rid of the pagan opposition "Religious Industry" and elevated the "Nicene Church industry" to the purple. At the end of his rule Christians (in lip service or otherwise) held the top positions in the army and the business sector.

The Thrice Blessed Constantine, in the wildly and absurdly exaggerated / fervid, skewed imagination of Eusebius, is compared to Moses three times.

If it were not for Constantine Christianity would have become an extinct cult.
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Re: Well, No.

Post by mlinssen »

billd89 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 7:08 pm
Leucius Charinus wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 5:21 pm
billd89 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:33 pm In other threads, I've shown how 'new literature' was typically responded to 60-80 years later, not even in the same generation.
That is equivalent to trying to demonstrate that all geological and topographic land forms are the result of sedimentary deposits over long periods of time. It's clearly false. The topography of the land forms around Mt St Hellens by pyroclastic processes was altered in one day. The same applies in some cases to new literary output.
Some, or few? No: exceptions prove the rule. And slow accretion is the logical process seen in religious/cultural development along historical lines in Antiquity. Against plodding reality, Americanists/Modernists are warped by a mindset of novelty -- that veritable fanaticism of recent generations. Traditionalists, however, were not.

The idea that Gnosticism is the product of Christianity (or even a response to it) is false. Constantine is overrated generally, but wildly and absurdly exaggerated in your fervid, skewed imagination. I can't help you, frankly.
No one can, really.
I've tried, with pretty much all that I have - and given up.
And I never give up unless I know that the fight is lost

The scribal signs, xrhstos vs xristos, nomina sacra being covered not at all or only half with a superlinear. The absence of XS in Thomas, the "xrhstos-ness" in the NHL, the "IS the Xrhstos", the single Ihsous in Melchizedek, the rejection of Christianity by Philip, the fundamental sayings nature of Thomas, the undeniable Thomasine priority over dozens of canonical "logia": Pete ignores it all and labels it "good questions" that must be investigated, but not by him

Even though he has oceans of time on his hands as his research is limited to repeating the same free lines over and over again.
Pete is lost. Now all we can do is to wait for him to get lost :whistling:
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Leucius Charinus
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Re: Well, No.

Post by Leucius Charinus »

mlinssen wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:20 pm
billd89 wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 7:08 pm The idea that Gnosticism is the product of Christianity (or even a response to it) is false.
The scribal signs, xrhstos vs xristos, nomina sacra being covered not at all or only half with a superlinear.
Runes = "nomina sacra"

What other book collections in antiquity feature runes?
I can't think of any. Can you? They are rather unusual.

Why does the NHL dated mid 4th century use any runes at all? What is there to have prevented Gnostic authors (325-336 CE) responding in kind to the Emperor's New Runes by including (with some embellishment and novelty) these same runes in their own tracts? They had to respect the role of the Pontifex Maximus by law. The role had been boss (chief of all head priests) since Julius Caesar.

We know that a NT and LXX book produced and widely circulated in 325 CE features a proliferation of runes. The NHL books produced 350 CE feature a proliferation of the same kind of runes. Are the latter runes responding to the runes of the former? Is this not a reasonable conclusion? If not why not.

Bishop Joe Blow from FFatherville may have had a NT book of runes in earlier centuries but how important was Bishop Joe Blow? What was his circle of influence? FA. Which pagan philosopher was interested in the NT book of runes before the Emperor decided it was to be the Holy Writ of the Graeco-Roman civilisation? Celsus? Who else?
The absence of XS in Thomas
Where did Thomas actually get the "IS" rune from? Out of his Ego? Did Thomas invent the rune "IS"? The NTA btw literature is not restricted to Thomas.
the "xrhstos-ness" in the NHL,
The NHL texts mimic the One True Canonical text.
the "IS the Xrhstos",
So what? The gnostics de-encrypted XS to Chrestos.
the single Ihsous in Melchizedek, the rejection of Christianity by Philip,
All the texts in the NHL reject - or at least present their own spin on - Christianity. Who was pushing Christianity other than the legal Pontifex Maximus?
the fundamental sayings nature of Thomas,
The author improves the fundamental sayings of the canonical "IS".
the undeniable Thomasine priority over dozens of canonical "logia": Pete ignores it all
You say the canonicals busted up and farmed out the logia of Thomas. Others say Thomas gathered up the the agreements in the canonical logia and recombined them. This will remain a duel of assertions at ten paces until some form of external evidence is able to be produced.
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mlinssen
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Re: Well, No.

Post by mlinssen »

Leucius Charinus wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 12:16 am You say the canonicals busted up and farmed out the logia of Thomas. Others say Thomas gathered up the the agreements in the canonical logia and recombined them. This will remain a duel of assertions at ten paces until some form of external evidence is able to be produced.
I have produced that external evidence, in abundance.
But you refuse to engage with it because it would ruin your theory

I must admit that your nuttiness keeps attracting though, there's a strong pull to the extremity with which you just wave things away. I guess I'm intrigued by it somehow, as any other religiot I would have devoured whole long ago already.
I really have no idea why I still bother Pete, it is a puzzle - and there's something behind it, at the back of it, but I just can't see what it is
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billd89
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Well...

Post by billd89 »

We're here to argue about and work through hypotheses/theory. This forum is a virtual drafting table and ideas lab, IMO. It's also something of a kooky Tower of Babel, tho (tbh).

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Leucius Charinus
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Re: The logic of the Nag Hammadi collection.

Post by Leucius Charinus »

We're here to argue about and work through hypotheses/theory. This forum is a virtual drafting table and ideas lab, IMO.
It is a fact of comparative chronology that the Nag Hammadi library (dated sometime after 348 CE) was physically produced at least 20 years after Constantine patronised and legislated on behalf of the establishment and rise of the Christian Nicene church (325 CE). Part of Constantine's support consisted in the sponsorship for the preparation and the widespread circulation of the Christian Bible (i.e. Greek NT + LXX).

A logical deduction from this fact is that the NHL may represent a literary and polemical reaction to the imperial agenda of implementing a centralised monotheistic Christian state.

What did the pagan academics think about these developments? The Christian academics who first translated the NHL have all assumed that at least some of these NHL tracts were authored by Christians. This may be a false assumption.
  • Without a clear indicator of the author's intent, any parody of Christian views can be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the views being parodied
Is there any evidence for this? Are there any possible 4th century historical allusions in the Nag Hammadi Library? Yes - I believe that there are:

Possible Historical Allusions in the Nag Hammadi Library
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10013

(1) The Concept of Our Great Power (NHC 6.4) - "The archon came, with the archons of the western regions to the East". Described as "the archon of the western regions" is this a direct allusion to Constantine, and "the archons of the western regions" a direct allusion to the chieftains of the barbarian tribes which constituted Constantine's army? He (the Archon of the West) according to this tract "wants to nullify all teaching". From the perspective of the author, is it that Constantine wants to replace Hellenistic teaching with Christian teaching? That was indeed Constantine's agenda.

(2) The Apocalypse of Peter (NHC 7.3) - If the Savior was sitting in the temple in the three hundredth (year) of the covenant is the Savior described as being in the 4th century?

(3) The Gospel of Thomas (NHC 2.1) - The Greek noun μοναχός (“single one/monk”) only appears in the 4th century and occurs multiple times in the NHL. Was this noun interpolated into an existing Gospel of Thomas in the 4th century? Or was the Gospel of Thomas authored in the 4th century?

(4) The Gospel of Thomas (NHC 2.1) - Why does Jesus get handed a "gold " in Logion 100 in relation to "Caesar's agents exacting taxes"? Imperial taxation demanded payment in gold only from the rule of Diocletian and Constantine. Is this to be viewed as another 4th century interpolation into the Gospel of Thomas? Or was the Gospel of Thomas authored in the later 3rd or 4th century?

(5) Asclepius 21-29: NHC 6.8 - Destruction and looting of major temples. This tract depicts a discussion between Hermes and Asclepius in which Asclepius is asking questions of Hermes. The answers given reflect the looting of the temples, and the persecution of the priesthood, of Asclepius. The large scale destruction and the looting of the major Asclepieia (healing temples of Ascelpius) is not attested in antiquity prior to the appearance of Constantine's army in the eastern Roman empire in 325 CE

(6) "The All" as a technical term in the NHL appears to follow Plotinus' use in the Enneads

More details about the above here:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10013

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