Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Paul was not a Gnostic Part 2

Part 2
(from Wikipedia for ease since I am running out of time):

Alexandrian followers said that Valentinus was a follower of Theudas and that Theudas in turn was a follower of St. Paul of Tarsus. Valentinus said that Theudas imparted to him the secret wisdom that Paul had taught privately to his inner circle, which Paul publicly referred to in connection with his visionary encounter with the risen Christ (Romans 16:251 Corinthians 2:7 2 Corinthians 12:2-4[[/SIZE]Acts 9:9-10)when he received the secret teaching from him. Such esoteric teachings were becoming downplayed in Rome after the mid-2nd century.

they imitated apostolic ascendancy by making their own bogus truth tree. prove they really did pass along a chain of testimony like this?

where's your documentation? you never document your assertions.

So it is ironic that now orthodox Christians like Metacrock (and he is orthodox!) want to make you believe that there is no connection between Paul and gnosticism.

that's some kind of dirty word for you isn't it? that's just a synamym for "fundie" right? shows you know very little about any of this.

what's wrong "Orthodox?" what does it mean anyway?

But it isn’t out of character for the orthodox to do so: In fact, the challenge of Marcion is what propelled the Church to create Luke/Acts in which the apostleship of Paul is downplayed (in Acts, Paul cannot be called an apostle due to the definition of an apostle:

that is absolutely ludicrous. totally without grounds, and way too late. It's well established that Luke is authored both Luke and Acts. that's just more faldirol of the new ageie thinking.

you haven not basis in fact of any kind, it's based entirely upon your need to service the ideology!

one had to witness the resurrection). Our Gospel of Luke is a rewrite of Marcion’s Gospel of the Lord (Marcion has priority here, but for space and time I won’t go into the arguments).

that is totally ridiculous. No schoalrs believe that its' empricially not true. It's cleary based upno Matth. You can't look at a Gospel paraell and say this. It's nuts!

moreover, where do you have a copy of Marcion's gospel? Marcion is not known to have written a gospel, he compiled a list of books, a canon. He did not write a gospel and if he did we don't have it. I think you are confusing the calling of his canon as "the gosel" which means the four fold gospel because it was the combined four canonical.

Also, it is from this time period that the Pastorals which explicitly depict Paul as anti-gnostic first appear (first reference Irenaeus around 190). The anti-gnostic Paul tracts are all a response to the gnosticism of Paul in his authentic letters.

you have no evidence that is. I doubt that you have any idea when the timothy books would have been written. But you made this up because there is' no evidence at all except that you don't like what it says.

Originally Posted by grog225 View Post
In case there is anybody who might be fooled by you, I will provide a single clear demonstration of how your arguments are really dishonest. Here you quote Ephesians, but when we look at Ephesians, we find it says this:

Eph 6:12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

"the powers of this dark world" are the evil elemental spirits, as I've already documented:

it doesn't' make a hill of beans worth of difference. what could possess you to think that if he means demons he's a gnostic? If he means demons in roman soldiers he not a gostic? that's a crazy dichotomy.

I don't care if he does mean demons in and of themselves that doesn't make him a gnostic.

why do you think Jesus casts out demons int he Gosepls? does that make him a gnostic? Jews believed in demons. that does not make them gnostics. do you get that? You are so incredibly dishonest.


that is nothing short of crazy. there's about that that makes it gnostic any moer tahn it would be anything else. What you miss and you pretend wasn't said is that the kind of gnosticism that existed at Nag Hammadi where they named powers to get by them in death, was not in the first century. ge it?

that comes from the introduction to the NH liberary prublished by the uN. understand that now?

Also, Metacrock wants to think that Paul is referring to the Romans as "the powers of this dark world" but, as I've pointed out, that view is irreconciliable with his view in Romans 13:

why is it so hard for you to understand thing? I said it is a reference to demns possessing the Romans. do you understand now? It's spiritual forces but as they pertain to the earthly forces to. see now?

I got that by reading Whiteley you got the Whitely book and you take it up with him. he was the top Pauline schoalr so you go argue with him ok? you think know moer than the top scholars so you go argue with them.

Romans 13:1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.

Now, in my reading of Paul, I could easily consider Romans 13 a later interpolation. But that's neither here nor there. For metacrock to consider this as anything other than Paul's view on the 'governing authorities', clearly the Romans would be special pleading. He's stuck with it and an irrconciliable position: that Paul, on the one hand considers the Romans to be the "dark world powers" and on the other hand "established by God."

You don't have the slightest idea what you are talking about. I really didn't reailze how hard it is for you to understand things. Obviusly Paul did consider the Romans that way becaue he was a Jew. But he also was a Roamn. so he has conplex view. sure they took over the homeland of his people, but thsoe who know what they are doing can become citizens the laws can work for them. But the ultiamte point he makes is that the Chrsitains need to obey the law so they will be left alone. That's a good indication that it's before Nero that this is written.It would nto possible to say this after Nero or after the fall of temple.

Paul understands that the whole world is in the power of God, but there are rebel forces that set themselves up against God. man rebels against god and sides with the rebel angels and worships creation rather than the creator.

When he talks about the principalities and powers he's not just talking Romans by themselves, he's not just talking about demons by themselves he's talking a whole rebel hierarchy that extends to all aspects of earthy government but at the top (or the bottom) is spiritual forces that move beyond their own understanding..

Now go read Whitely so you can see how real scholars do it.

Now on Sophia: Metacrock is wrong that Sophia was unambiguously the good guy. I documented that, as well. He just makes a bald assertion that I am wrong. Here, read this and decide for yourself:

Sophia communicates wisdom and revelation to men (Wis. passim). The parallel in the Gnostic sources is obvious in the fact that it is Sophia who is responsible for the element of light that is in man 6). One might further compare Sophia's bringing light into creation to the statement of Wis. vii 26-27 about Wisdom as the ToCXlayocapi p9cTroo .a.ou ... x oaC aroa y oVa 4ts X a L66C ptaaocPavoucra. One must bear in mind that Sophia is an ambivalent figure in Gnosticism: through her fall she is blamed for the existence of evil matter, but because she belongs to the world of light as an Aeon of the Father and is sometimes in the myth reinstated to it, she is credited with the presence of the divine or of revelation in man.

I document from Koester who says John's prologue is an anti-Sophia biography of the logos. It is saying Sophia can't have a biography because she is just an abstraction, but the logos can have a biograhy because it became felsh and blood. In setting that up he saying that the sophia was the Gnostic version of the logos, the goddess.

go read Ancient Christian Gospels.

Quote:Me quoting Koester
Creation and revelation are moral opposites for the Gnostic, the one a tragedy, the other the saving gesture. Only in an ambiva- lent or split personality can they be regarded as the work of a single agent 1). The ambivalence of Sophia-and consequently the ambi- valent attitude of Gnostics toward Judaism-may be seen clearly in her role as revealer in the system described by Irenaeus, Adv. haer. I. 30. Here Sophia acts in opposition to Ialdabaoth and his powers by speaking through the prophets about the world above. One should compare the very common motif in which it is the voice of Sophia or Zoe which rebukes the arrogant Demiurge for his boast "I am God and there is no other."

I'll show you anther one beside Koester.

The Genesis Factor by Stephan A. Hoeller

The following article was published in Quest, September 1997. It is presented here with permission of the author.

Nowhere is Eve's superiority and numinous power more evident than in her role as Adam's awakener. Adam is in a deep sleep, from which Eve's liberating call arouses him. While the orthodox version has Eve physically emerge from Adam's body, the Gnostic rendering has the spiritual principle known as Eve emerging from the unconscious depths of the somnolent Adam. Before she thus emerges into liberating consciousness, Eve calls forth to the sleeping Adam in the following manner, as stated by the Gnostic Apocryphon of John:

I entered into the midst of the dungeon which is the prison of the body. And I spoke thus: "He who hears, let him arise from the deep sleep." And then he (Adam) wept and shed tears. After he wiped away his bitter tears he spoke, asking: "Who is it that calls my name, and whence has this hope come unto me, while I am in the chains of this prison?" And I spoke thus: "I am the Pronoia of the pure light; I am the thought of the undefiled spirit. . . . Arise and remember . . . and follow your root, which is I . . . and beware of the deep sleep."



PaulSceptic said...

Can you harmonize Paul with Paul? If you can, either do so in my combox at in my challenge post, or post your harmonization on your own blog and drop me a link in my combox. It will be MUCH appreciated. I look forward to you settng my doubts on Paul!

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

I'll read your article and consider answering it. in the mean time see this:

PaulSceptic said...

Just remember, I want to be convinced out of my doubts. I'm no Judaizer or Gnostic and I have no problem with the Paul of Acts. BTW, I have the answer to one of the questions you ask in your post here to your antagonist whoever he is, "moreover, where do you have a copy of Marcion's gospel?" Nobody has the actual text itself in full, but the answer is that Tertullian's Five Books Against Marcion tells us that MArcion's gospel is a mutilated version of Luke with the first three chapters removed and that Marcion's gospel begins "In the 14th year of the reign of Tiberius Ceaser, Jesus came down to Capernaum." So to claim that Marcion's gospel was a 4-gospel harmony, you have to call Tertullian a liar (which is fine if you want to do that!) The problem (that is, the reason why some suspect that the proto-Catholics added to Marcion's gospel to make Luke rather than Marcion subtracting from Luke to make Marcion's gospel) is that Tertullian wrote his Five Books Against Marcion in A.D. 207-208, whereas Marcion published his gospel in or before A.D. 140. So, 68 years have passed. Is Tertullian really able to establish that Luke came first and Marcion subtracted? Not really. So the possibility that the proto-Catholics took Marcion's entire canon, his gospel and his Pauline epistles, made them longer, filled them with OT quotes and allusion, and added them to their own canon (and even wrote Acts at the same time) is at least like a 2% possibility, right? So, when you say "It's well established that Luke is authored both Luke and Acts" you do not meet your antagonists argument, since the argument is really that a proto-Catholic redactor added Paul's epistles to the canon and at the same time wrote Luke (by adding to Marcion's gospel) and Acts. Now, I don't buy that myself. I believe Acts is authentic and Luke too, even though there is still the matter of why Luke claims John the Baptist knew Jesus before he baptized him while John emphatically denies John B knowing Jesus beforehand. I have to side with John on that one, whatever that means.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

First of all I doubt very seriously that you "want" to be convinced. I think what you want is to feel Superior. So given that I doubt sincerity up front, move on to number 2, which is that I don't mind calling Tertullian a liar at all.

you miss the point. I know we don't have a ms of Marcion, they guy I was arguing acted like we did. That was the whole issue.

PaulSceptic said...

But if Tertullian is lying, all our information about Marcion is totally unreliable now. So, how can we even any longer be sure that Marcion's canon consisted of a Gospel and 10 of Paul's Epistles? Maybe in reality it consisted of only a harmony of the four gospel, the book of Acts, and the General Epistles? Perhaps Tertullian lied and made Marcion out to be a Paulinist to lend credibility to a guy with HUGE credibility issues?

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

I think it's your burden to establish a likelihood of that. Nevertheless Marcion is not our only source of Pauline corpus. We have the canon, Apostolic fathers speak of Pauline letters.

PaulSceptic said...

But no quotations of Paul pop up in the fathers until after Marcion. Justin Martyr who is even contemporary with Marcion doesn't quote Paul. That is what you are missing.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

But no quotations of Paul pop up in the fathers until after Marcion. Justin Martyr who is even contemporary with Marcion doesn't quote Paul. That is what you are missing.

I'm not sure if I buy that. I'll have to check a couple of sources. People before that time do speak of Paul in glowing important terms. He was clearly regarded highly befoer the end of the first century.

For what was he known if not the letters he wrote?

Anonymous said...

For what was he known if not the letters he wrote?

His missionary role in the book of Acts.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

I hardly think that would be enough to give him the kind of importance he had just a century latter without having written anything.

PaulSceptic said...

Jesus never wrote anything and he was very important. :)