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The Teachings of Jesus according to the Catholics and to the Gnostics Compared
Vivificat - from contemplation to action ^ | 22 September 2009 | TDJ

Posted on 09/22/2009 10:48:30 AM PDT by Te骹ilo

Speaking of Gnosticism (since yesterday we were speaking about C.G. Jung) , I want to share with you yet another table, this one comparing two diametrically opposed “Jesuses” and what they say and think, the biblical Jesus held by Catholics and other Christians as “the Only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages,” and the one proposed by the Gnostics, today’s dabblers in the Occult, hermeticism, religious syncretism, and the New Age on the other. The table is inspired by the one printed in the book Stolen Identity: The Conspiracy to Reinvent Jesus, by Dr. Peter Jones, a professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary in Escondido, California. I added some details where I thought needed it, since I don’t have the same limitations Dr. Peters faced on the printed page, and changed one or two details to bring a couple of statements in line with Catholic teaching.

Jesus’

Gnostic

Biblical

God

Universal, impersonal spirit God in everything  who hates the blind creator God – the God of the Bible

God of creation, good Father; Redeemer who reveals himself and requires obedience from His creatures

Message and Ministry

Speaks of no kingdom because there is no king; states that the Kingdom is completely within, that created reality is evil and that anyone claiming to be “king” must be defeated.

God rules over his creation; He is the rightful King over his people; His Kingdom is not univocally within; transforms the earthly into the heavenly.

Birth

Jesus not  born physically, no family lineage, not born of a woman.

Jesus of Jewish lineage, really born as a human baby from a real woman; born under the law, in time and space.

Humanity

No interest in history; no chronology; no context for Jesus’ life.

Jesus really embodied; suffered temptation; knows physical weakness.

Divinity

Everyone is divine, nothing special about Jesus’ divinity; not His disciples’ Master; everyone’s a Messiah.

Jesus is the only begotten (monogeneis) God; the disciples fear Jesus; He’s Master over his creation; with God before creation.

Spirituality

Quiet the mind; knowledge, not worship; meditation, not prayer; spirituality of “joining opposites.”

Faith, not gnosis; rational reflection; prays to the Father in heaven.

Sexuality

Sex a spiritual experience; androgyny; ecstatic unity with all things; extreme libertinism or extreme asceticism.

God-created heterosexuality; meant for producing physical offspring; unity, communion, and communication between one man and one woman.

Morals

No law, therefore no sin (“Sin is ignorance”); the Creator regarded as evil; we make our own law; we have no king, no master.

Sin is judged; sin demands punishment; God’s law defines sin; we are made righteous by the Spirit of God.

Death

Physical life is to be despised; death cannot touch divine soul; someone else died in place of Jesus; the death of Jesus illusory.

Death is an enemy; Jesus’ death is redemptive; it was a real, physical death; death was defeated by His resurrrection.

Resurrection

Resurrection is symbolic; it’s a escape from the body’s prison; it’s spiritual, not physical.

Resurrection is physical; a transformation; a New Creation.

I believe we can recognize the Gnostic “Jesus” in many major religions, movements, and “spiritualities” throughout the world past and present. The Gnostic Jesus is the Jesus of Islam, who didn’t die in the Cross but who was replaced by Judas; is the Jesus of Theosophy, one “ascended master” among many others and not necessarily the highest or most important one; it’s the Jesus who blesses homosexual activity, same-sex marriage and gender identity-ism for whom objective masculinity and femininity do not exist. He’s Nietzsche’s Übermensch who transcends every value and moral category by forging his own; a Jesus who would’ve approved of something like the Heaven’s Gate cult, whose members thought their bodies hindrances and suicide a liberation.

One item that is not recorded in this table but that I think should be in it is that the Gnostic Jesus is both Anti-Semitic and Anti-Judaic, that is, he hates Jews as a people and Judaism as a religion. That’s why Gnostic hate the Old Testament or Hebrew Scripture, because they were inspired by the evil creator or demiurge of this world, and also hates the Jewish people as the standard-bearers of these Scriptures. Throughout history we have seen where this has led and what has happened whenever and wherever we have allowed this Gnostic illness to infect the attitude of too many Catholics against the Jews.

Ironically, it is the Gnostic Jesus the one that gets all the good press nowadays, while the real one is reduced to the status of fable, legend, and “big misunderstanding.” Place the template of Gnosticism against many of the things that are happening today in the world and you will understand the meta-text behind the history of our times better.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Other non-Christian
KEYWORDS: catholic; gnostic
Typos. Blunders. Mine.
1 posted on 09/22/2009 10:48:30 AM PDT by Te骹ilo
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To: NYer; Salvation; bornacatholic; mileschristi; rrstar96; Nihil Obstat

PING!


2 posted on 09/22/2009 10:49:19 AM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: Te贸filo

Good comparison!


3 posted on 09/22/2009 10:53:32 AM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: Godzilla

Thanks! :-)


4 posted on 09/22/2009 10:57:11 AM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: Te贸filo

Verrrryyyy Interrreeesssttttinnnnnggg.


5 posted on 09/22/2009 11:19:30 AM PDT by ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton (To those who believe the world was safer with Saddam, get treatment for that!)
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To: Te贸filo
Would you mind listing some of the Gnostic sources used for this compilation?

Gnostics were a diverse and rather heterodox group. I think trying to lump them all into one theology is disingenuous. Most of the books the Church disagreed with were destroyed by the Church, so we mostly know what the Church says the Gnostics believed. In other words, we are reading only the case made by the prosecution and not the defense. Pretty one-sided, don't you think?

Gnostics actually pre-date Christianity. Some Gnostic groups were attracted to early Christian proponents, especially to SS. Paul and John, in whom they found many of their own beliefs, because there are aspects in their writings that suggest the line between Gnostic beliefs and early hellenized Christian beliefs were not always clear cut, because Christian theology was not clearly defined for the first 300 years after Christ, especially regarding the nature of God, the concept of Trinity, and Mariology.

We could just as easily collect some of the contemporary saying and writings of various posters on FR, diverse Internet sites identified as Christian, or actual churches in existence today, and make comparable charts that show that an amazing array of what those who who call on Christ as their Savior believe regarding any of these topics, and the spectrum of the list would not be too far from what you posted.

6 posted on 09/22/2009 11:46:03 AM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: kosta50
Most of the books the Church disagreed with were destroyed by the Church, so we mostly know what the Church says the Gnostics believed.

Which Gnostic books "were destroyed by the Church"? And, why is it that what the Fathers said about the Gnostic can't be trusted?

To answer your question, I can't. The table seems to be a distillation of what the author says in the book. Fortunately, the book is online in Google. The table is found on Chapter 10 and may be accessed here.

Check out also the Bibliography and the chapter notes.

-Theo

7 posted on 09/22/2009 12:02:45 PM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: Te贸filo
Yet the question which begs to be asked is why Catholicism/Orthodoxy failed to timely respond to the twentieth century's definitive work on Gnosticism, “The Gnostic Gospels” published in 1979. I read this work by Elaine Pagels and it was an outright attack on the validity of Catholicism/Orthodoxy. She claimed present day Christianity is the fruit of Irenaeus work. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons , had written the definitive work against Gnosticism around 180 A.D.. Pagels alleges Irenaeus wrote his book on Gnosticism to keep “Men” in power to the exclusion of women. Sexual repression was also one of the aims of these early church fathers. In fact notwithstanding its title, Pagel's book the Gnostic Gospels really isn't about the lost Gnostic Gospels. The Gnostic Gospels is a feeble attempt by Pagels to explain which side of Christianity won and why it was victorious. We all know Catholicism was the villain.
At the time of the release of the Gnostic Gospels in 1979, only Joseph Fitzmyer S.J writing in “America” and Phem Perkins in another review offered any meaningful analytical criticism of Pagels “Intellectual Gem”. Fitzmyer really excoriated her book resorting to some name calling which surprised me given his lofty status and the status of the magazine publishing his review.
It took twenty five years before another member of the Society of Jesus finally revealed to the world that Elaine's masterpiece which served as her PHD dissertation at Harvard, was in fact the result of academic fraud since the little dear had manufactured references from Irenaeus to serve her intellectual dishonesty.
Since Pagels was questioning the legitimacy of the institutional church I could never fathom why the church took so long to refute her outrageous allegations or her faulty logic as when she claimed "Winners Write History". So what Elaine, that doesn't make their history inaccurate. In essence I consider her to be a questionable scholar. The fun of reading the Gnostic Gospels is to read Jesus telling Mary Madaline, His wife/girlfriend , oh wait, that is a different comedy. Anyway Jesus tell Mary she has to become like a man to enter heaven. Yet Pagels is telling us Catholicism/Orthodoxy is sexist not the Nasty Gnostics. In addition these Gnostics are very Antisemitic, but Pagels skips over this problem.
8 posted on 09/22/2009 1:01:08 PM PDT by bronx2
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To: Te贸filo
Which Gnostic books "were destroyed by the Church"? And, why is it that what the Fathers said about the Gnostic can't be trusted?

Not just Gnostic books, Teofilo, all non-orthodox books. There are no Arian writings that survived, no Pelagian manuscripts. We only know about Arian beliefs and Pelagian heresy from their accusers, as they paraphrased them. The Book of Enoch, which was originally red in churches and was very popular among early Christians (and is in fact part of the canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church) has been destroyed to the last copy at least in Greek and Latin versions, etc.

Even Gospels whose versions did not conform to the 4th century orthodoxy as established by the First and Second Ecumenical Councils and the subsequent late 4th century Christian canon, have disappeared. We know they existed indirectly from quotes of various Christian writers who quote from Gospel versions no longer extant. An example is Eusebius, who quoted Matthew's Great Commission no less then 17 times without the Trinitarian formula prior to the First Ecumenical Council and five times with Trinitarian formula following the Council.

Thanks for the links. I will review them.

9 posted on 09/22/2009 1:02:35 PM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: bronx2
Yet the question which begs to be asked is why Catholicism/Orthodoxy failed to timely respond to the twentieth century's definitive work on Gnosticism, “The Gnostic Gospels” published in 1979.

I can think of two reasons: 1., No one thought she was going to be taken seriously and, 2., I was too young! ;-)

-Theo

10 posted on 09/22/2009 1:04:30 PM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: bronx2; Te贸filo
In addition these Gnostics are very Antisemitic, but Pagels skips over this problem

I have no problem with your criticism of Elaine Pagels, and her agenda, but let's not try to diminish the anti-Semitism of the Church as well, because then your criticism of her questionable schoalrhsips becomes equally questionable.

Nothing Irenaeus wrote can be taken for granted since the oldest surviving copy of his complete works is a later 4th century Latin copy. So, using Irenaeus to prove or disprove anything is equally dubious. A scholar should know that. That Elaine Pagels doesn't is not surprising.

11 posted on 09/22/2009 1:15:10 PM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: Te贸filo

Most of the books the Church disagreed with were destroyed by the Church, so we mostly know what the Church says the Gnostics believed.

This is not true. Anybody can read the Gnostic Nag Hammadi writings, I have the book, “The Nag Hammadi Library” myself, moreover, I haven’t tried, but I suspect it is available on the net somewhere.

I have read them and they are bizarre occult-like drivel.


12 posted on 09/22/2009 1:16:46 PM PDT by sasportas
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To: kosta50
...Even Gospels whose versions did not conform to the 4th century orthodoxy as established by the First and Second Ecumenical Councils and the subsequent late 4th century Christian canon, have disappeared...

There were, in fact, 40 other writings which where called "Gospels." I've read a bunch of them. They are clearly pseudoepigraphical and dependent on the four canonical Gospels. They are also very arid reading.

We know they existed indirectly from quotes of various Christian writers who quote from Gospel versions no longer extant. An example is Eusebius, who quoted Matthew's Great Commission no less then 17 times without the Trinitarian formula prior to the First Ecumenical Council and five times with Trinitarian formula following the Council.?

Isn't that an argument from silence? Just because Eusebius didn't quote it doesn't mean he didn't know about it. The verse is quoted by other Fathers before Eusebius.

And to my knowledge, there are several Pelagian manuscripts, just not contemporary with the controversy. Most Augustinianists know and quote from them. I believe that a bibliography of them is contained in Peter Brown's Augustine of Hippo: A Biography (New Edition, with an Epilogue). You are right on the Arian books, I can't think of any right now. But the assertion that there was a systematic book-burning by the Catholic/Orthodox Church is one that needs to be substantiated to my satisfaction. After all, we still have those books around.

-Theo

13 posted on 09/22/2009 1:18:16 PM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: Te贸filo

Gross misinterpretation of Gnostic views and bad comparison...distorting Gnostic views by lumping in a hodge-podge of others, with no sourcing.


14 posted on 09/22/2009 1:25:14 PM PDT by FTJM
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To: FTJM

Link to the sources has been provided. Look it up on the thread.

The table is a summary of the author’s research. The book is also good. A link has been provided both to Amazon and to Google Books for your inspection.

With very few reservations of a Catholic nature, I recommend the book. Its indictment of Gnosticism is devastating.

-Theo


15 posted on 09/22/2009 1:42:28 PM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: Te贸filo

Again, the contents are a gross misinterpretation of Gnostic cosmology, and include other beliefs from several esoteric “groups”. I encourage you to educate yourself independently on Gnostic views for a true comparison. There is no specific sourcing for each or any of the contents, a link to a book on Amazon (sic) notwithstanding.


16 posted on 09/22/2009 1:46:14 PM PDT by FTJM
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To: sasportas

I have read them and they are bizarre occult-like drivel.

I might add, I have also read Ireneaus’ rebuttal of Gnostism. Irenaeus was spot on, reading the Nag Hammadi writings, only recently discovered, validates Irenaeus. In his writings against Gnosticism, he was making an accurate representation of what Gnostics believed.


17 posted on 09/22/2009 1:51:49 PM PDT by sasportas
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To: kosta50

My critique of Pagel’s casual dismissal of Gnostic anti Semitism has no relevancy to any such prejudices exhibited by institutional churches. It is an entirely discrete matter. Any attempt to conjoin the two is a project of flawed interpretation. As for the common complaint the the “Pure” Gnostic sources have been destroyed and we are forced to rely on the adversaries of the Gnostics, this complaint has been registered and found wanting by many scholars. To mention just one common refutation of your comment, Phillip Jenkins in his work the “Hidden Gospels” mentions this banal criticism and replies that the writing of Irenaeus was one of the most comprehensive polemics on this subject. Jenkins states that while Irenaeus writings made no pretense at objectivity, they were richly informative about the core ideas of various Gnostic movements and as more heretical texts have been found scholars can see that the early church fathers were quoting their enemies opinions quite fully and accurately . Orthodox writers plausibly felt that the views they were quoting were so contorted and ludicrous that the Gnostics were best condemned out of their own mouths. Given judgments rendered on this subject by present day scholars, and absent the introduction of empirical evidence to refute the his credibility of Irenaeus , your contentions must be summarily dismissed as having no substantive basis.


18 posted on 09/22/2009 2:35:39 PM PDT by bronx2
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To: Te贸filo; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

Ping!


19 posted on 09/22/2009 3:11:00 PM PDT by NYer ( "One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone"- Benedict XVI)
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To: sasportas
Anybody can read the Gnostic Nag Hammadi writings, I have the book, “The Nag Hammadi Library” myself, moreover, I haven’t tried, but I suspect it is available on the net somewhere

Nag Hammadi scrolls were hidden lest they be destroyed like the rest. That they survived is a miracle, which is what makes them that much more valuable.

The Nag Hamamdi collection represents only one of the many heterodox Gnostic groups and only some of the Gnostic many beliefs.

From the Christian point of view, Gnostic as well as any other belief is "drivel," so that's hardly an objective assessment.

To outsiders, the idea that one eats the flesh of a dead man and drinks his blood may seem occult-like drivel too. Obviously, such an assessment would be a superficial and inaccurate characterization of the theology behind it.

Awareness that condmenations are often based on ignorance should be a guiding principle when approaching any belief on a superficial level, such as thisd article.

20 posted on 09/22/2009 3:27:05 PM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: bronx2
My critique of Pagel's casual dismissal of Gnostic anti Semitism has no relevancy to any such prejudices exhibited by institutional churches.

What kind of a nonsense is that? How is Gnostic anti-Semitism different form the Church's anti-Semtism?

It is an entirely discrete matter. It is an entirely discrete matter. Any attempt to conjoin the two is a project of flawed interpretation.

Anti-Semtism is just that. Both groups engaged in it, even if for different reasons, and accusing one of it while the other side is equally guilty of it is hypocrisy, plain and simple.

Gnostic sources have been destroyed and we are forced to rely on the adversaries of the Gnostics, this complaint has been registered and found wanting by many scholars

I am sure, and I can guess which ones.

To mention just one common refutation of your comment, Phillip Jenkins in his work the "Hidden Gospels" mentions this banal criticism and replies that the writing of Irenaeus was one of the most comprehensive polemics on this subject

I repeat: the oldest copy of Irenaeus' complete works is a late 4th century Latin copy. There is no original Greek. One can't take copies to be originals. Ancient copying methods and styles were prone to errors and redact ions to keep up with evolving doctrines. Neither you nor Philip Jenkins have any proof that what we have from Irenaeus is indeed what Irenaeus wrote. You an only say that a later copy of his work says such and such...

Jenkins states that while Irenaeus writings made no pretense at objectivity, they were richly informative about the core ideas of various Gnostic movements and as more heretical texts have been found scholars can see that the early church fathers were quoting their enemies opinions quite fully and accurately

Which early Church Fathers outside of Irenaeus? Even using the term "heresy" would be an oxymoron given than no set doctrine or canon existed in the Church as a whole until the 4th century. There were groups within the heterodox Christian movement that has serious disagreements with each other theologically and canonically.

Given judgments rendered on this subject by present day scholars, and absent the introduction of empirical evidence to refute the his credibility of Irenaeus , your contentions must be summarily dismissed as having no substantive basis

You have the nerve to talk about empirical evidence when the only evidence you rely on is a copy of Irenaeus' work 200 years later? You better summarily dismiss yourself if you think this is "evidence." The only thing we can conclude from the preserved Irenaeus' works is to determine which faction of the heterodox Christian amalgam became dominant, namely the one that calls itself (naturally) orthodox.

21 posted on 09/22/2009 3:50:57 PM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: kosta50
You need to tailor and fashion your argumentation to specifics without introducing extraneous ideas. In my original statement I merely mentioned the fact that Pagels fails to mention the obvious anti-Semitism of the Gnostics. This point has been mentioned by many of her critics and stands by itself as a simple fact . For some strange reason, you had to introduce the anti-Semitism of the institutional church. I have no idea why you felt obligated to enter this concept into the discussion since I hadn't mentioned Orthodoxy's bent towards anti-Semitism in my post. Far be it from me to discern your intentions. However, this tactic is often utilized in open court, and it always is rejected.

It appears that you are greatly troubled by the failure to possess the original copy of the Irenaeus work . Since published reputable scholars such as Raymond Brown Fitzmyer and others have noted this fact and after rigorous intellectual scrutiny have accepted its validity, I find your commentary without merit. These academics are published are you? Again, what empirical evidence can you produced to vitiate their arguments? None; that is what I thought. The Burden Of Proof rests with you and your efforts to refute have been found wanting.
The unmitigated audacity in steadfastly holding to such a fragile position is not an efficacious avenue for success. You need to remember that most evidence introduced in courts is circumstantial evidence. You must specifically refute the sources I have provided but you are at a loss to do so. Offering your own self serving testimony is without value.

22 posted on 09/22/2009 5:40:55 PM PDT by bronx2
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To: Te贸filo
Problem is that there were no “orhtodox” Gnostic's. In that there was no uniformity within the various Christian and non Christian gnostics.

But this is a decent summary of some of the various beliefs.

23 posted on 09/22/2009 6:23:41 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Te贸filo
Isn't that an argument from silence?

Not at all. The argument is not that there were no other versions, but precisely that there were, which are no longer extant. They were all replaced by "orthodox" versions. Conveniently.

The verse is quoted by other Fathers before Eusebius.

In the extant copies, all of which are, conveniently, post-Nice.

The only copies of books the Church destroyed survive in Nestorian Syrian churches, and the Ethipian Orthodox Church. The conspicuous absence of any non-"orthodox" sources is too obvious.

And to my knowledge, there are several Pelagian manuscripts, just not contemporary with the controversy.

Which ones? There are two expositions, one a 9th century copy of an earlier Italian manuscript, and another a 15th century copy. There are also some 7th century fragments. The complete copies are apparently the expositions of Pelagius in the form of his commentaries on Pauline Epistles. The two expositions differ to a degree, both missing some of the material the other includes. But non has Pelagius' name on it.

Let me just remind you that no one has had a copying machines for the past 2,000 years and that all copying until Gutterberg in thew 15th century took place by manually copying word for word with plentitutde of errors.

There were also no laws regulating or proofing the copies. Copies were used to make more copies and all the errors contained within were multiplied in addition to new errors being made. Many times, someone's marginal comments on manuscripts were made part of the text thereby being peddled as "inspired" in the case of biblical text.

Historical Church documents, including the Bible, must never been confused with pristine originals of which practically none are extant in most cases.

But the assertion that there was a systematic book-burning by the Catholic/Orthodox Church is one that needs to be substantiated to my satisfaction. After all, we still have those books around

I never said it was systematic. But we know that, beginning with the late 3rd century and onward, especially during the 4th century, and early 5th century, books were destroyed. Nestorian books, for example, survive only in Syriac. None of the Gnostic Gospels survived except those that were buried in the Egypt. None of the Enoch's copies exit except in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which is completely outside the loop.

So, to put it plainly, we don't have any such books. We only have "orthodox" versions.

24 posted on 09/22/2009 8:18:11 PM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: bronx2
For some strange reason, you had to introduce the anti-Semitism of the institutional church.

The only thing that's strange is the fact that you chose to mention in it since it was not part of the topic discussed, but it was an attempt to further downgrade Pagels and Gnostics.

My reasons are simple, not strange: it's hypocritical to talk about Gnostic anti-Semticism (as if it were relevant here), and ignore the fact that anti-Semticsm (indeed Torah burning) was part of the developing "orthodoxy."

I hadn't mentioned Orthodoxy's bent towards anti-Semitism in my post

What's Orthodoxy got to do with the 4th century Church? If you mean, eastern, Greek Fathers, St. John Chrysostom's homilies are a perfect example that anti-Semtism, based on anti-Judaizing agitation, was part of the early Church, East and West.

But, that's not one thing the Gnostics and Christians differed on very much, was it? Which is perhaps why it wasn't one of the topics in the chart. Which is why it was completely uncalled for to be introduced as a topic by you. Why would you introduce something both sides were guilty of in a topic which deals with their differences?

It appears that you are greatly troubled by the failure to possess the original copy of the Irenaeus work

Not greatly troubled, just cognizant that it is not the original and that copying error and developing doctrine had played a significant part in the copying process in those days. In fact, it is impossible to ascertain that the extant copy is the exact true copy of the original and therefore cannot be used with absolute certainty.

Since published reputable scholars such as Raymond Brown Fitzmyer [sic] and others have noted this fact and after rigorous intellectual scrutiny have accepted its validity, I find your commentary without merit

You mean Raymond E. Brown, S.S., and Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J.? Neither exactly non-partisan authors...

And just how was it established that a copy is an 'exact' and trustworthy replica of the original, having been made 200 years after the original? What sources do you have to offer?

These academics are published are you?

Elaine Pagels is published, yet you question her scholarship. It seems to me you have your own criteria, and being published is just an obfuscation when it suits you. What have you published?

Again, what empirical evidence can you produced to vitiate their arguments? None; that is what I thought

About as much as you have. Besides, I am not making extraoridnary claims of authenticity, when there is sufficient justifiable doubt in a copy, especially when the original doesn't exist...

The Burden Of Proof rests with you and your efforts to refute have been found wanting

The burden of proof about what? Doubt in someone's extraorindary claims? Or proof of the anti-Semtisim in the Church?

One of the problems with the Latin copy from the late 4th century is that Irenaeus refers to Mary as advocata. Your scholarship should tell you that, translated into Greek, it means the Paraclete! In other words, Irenaeus is equating Mary with the Holy Spirit! How 'orthodox' is that?

You must specifically refute the sources I have provided but you are at a loss to do so. Offering your own self serving testimony is without value

All you did was accuse Gnostics of anti-Semitism as if it was something the Church is not guilty of, and mentioned a couple of names without even mentioning specifically the name of the sourse, page and pragraph itself. You call that testimony? More like self-flattery. All in all, you provided zilch and plenty of high-ended condescension.

25 posted on 09/22/2009 9:15:27 PM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: kosta50

I acknowledge receipt and read all you’ve said.

Pardon my intrusion, but, I thought you were Greek Orthodox. It sounds to me that you’re asserting that Orthodoxy is at the very least a partial corruption of “original” Christianity.

I don’t know where are you going with all this, but would advice caution.

In Christ,
-Theo


26 posted on 09/23/2009 5:18:54 AM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: FTJM
Again, the contents are a gross misinterpretation of Gnostic cosmology, and include other beliefs from several esoteric “groups”. I encourage you to educate yourself independently on Gnostic views for a true comparison. There is no specific sourcing for each or any of the contents, a link to a book on Amazon (sic) notwithstanding. The link to the Amazon book is also available for reading online in Google Books, for which I also provided the link. The book displays a large bibliography. The chapter in question has 52 notes. I can't make all the homework for you. On the other hand, I'm yet to see a positive "Gnostic Credo" displayed here to countermand my "misinformation." Perhaps the Gnostics in this forum could share their beliefs systematically with the rest of us so that we then can see how far away the comparison table drifts away from "true Gnosticism." -Theo
27 posted on 09/23/2009 5:23:15 AM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: Te贸filo
I thought you were Greek Orthodox. It sounds to me that you’re asserting that Orthodoxy is at the very least a partial corruption of “original” Christianity. I don’t know where are you going with all this, but would advice caution.

Thank you Theo. I was baptized Eastern Orthodox, and have been an active member of the Church for many years, and have read much about the topic, so I am familiar with the liturgy and theology of the Church.

While I think nothing but the best of the Church in spirit, I also find a divergence between the image, teaching and the canon painted by the Church and the one presented by historical evidence. This may place y posts in better context.

The EOC remains mostly unchanged liturgically since the 4th century (minor changes notwithstanding the Divine Liturgy is the same as it was 1600 years ago).

Eastern Orthodox is of course corruption of original Christianity. Original Christianity was Judaism, not Eastern Orthodoxy or Roman Catholicism.

I don't understand what "caution" are you implying.

28 posted on 09/23/2009 6:06:32 AM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: kosta50
I don't understand what "caution" are you implying.

Well, for a moment it seemed to me that you were "going Gnostic." I caution you against it, as I would caution anyone else.

Have you read the books by N.T. Wright?

-Theo

29 posted on 09/23/2009 6:25:49 AM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: FTJM
Well, I didn't have to dig much for an orderly presentation of Gnostic beliefs. This one does the job:

The Gnostic Catechism

-Theo

30 posted on 09/23/2009 8:28:59 AM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: kosta50
Once again, your comical assertions are without merit given the salient fact that you have never offered any evidence to support your contentions. Perhaps it would serve you well to read scholarly literature concerning Gnosticism to facilitate your knowledge of said subject . Kathleen McVey of Princeton, Susan Garrett of Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, Jeffery Burton Russell of Univ of California, and Frederica Mathewes Green have all written extensively on the subject of Gnosticism and they might be a good starting point for you to immerse yourself into a scholarly study of Gnosticism.Your replies are without any substantive verification so these aforementioned authors/scholars may provide you with an introduction to an educated analysis of the subject.
Your comment regarding copying error and development of doctrine stands naked with just your self serving testimony as verification.In like fashion, labeling Raymond Brown and Joseph Fitzmyer as “Partisan” is folly since this is merely the testimony of one without any apparent credentials.
Yet the most egregious point of your reply is your mindless assertion of the existence of “Sufficient Justifiable Doubt” concerning the use of a copy. You never define what constitutes “Sufficient Justifiable Doubt” and thus your contention must be summarily dismissed without the introduction any objective criteria to use in making an informed judgment.

You would be well advised to study Gnostic works and their attendant critiques before entering a discussion of this topic as to avoid embarrassment. Provide source materials as verification for your contentions.

31 posted on 09/23/2009 9:12:38 AM PDT by bronx2
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To: Te贸filo

Great, start there. It certainly doesn’t compare to the contents of your chart.


32 posted on 09/23/2009 5:34:11 PM PDT by FTJM
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To: FTJM
Great, start there. It certainly doesn’t compare to the contents of your chart.

Glad to see you approve of the Gnostic site.

I posted about it today. I didn't see anything there that would dissuade me that my chart was incorrect. In fact. It confirms it.

Do you wish to go "blow by blow"?

-Theo

33 posted on 09/23/2009 6:00:45 PM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: FTJM
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2346563/posts
34 posted on 09/23/2009 6:03:38 PM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: Te贸filo

Go for it.


35 posted on 09/23/2009 6:10:16 PM PDT by FTJM
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To: FTJM

OK. Give me some time.


36 posted on 09/23/2009 7:29:27 PM PDT by Te骹ilo (Visit Vivificat! - http://www.vivificat.org - A Catholic Blog of News, Commentary and Opinion)
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To: Te贸filo

BTW, your chart didn’t confirm it unless you have a very poor interpretation of Gnostic beliefs. That’s why I made my initial comment in the first place.


37 posted on 09/23/2009 7:33:22 PM PDT by FTJM
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To: bronx2
You are providing more entertainment and laughs than a whole season of sitcoms. I don't know where to begin. For one, you never respond to anything but simply regurgitate an endless array of banal phrases in different order.
 
Perhaps it would serve you well to read scholarly literature concerning Gnosticism to facilitate your knowledge of said subject
 
I don't see your qualifications to give scholarly advice. You even failed to answer what have you published. But, then, you failed to answer everything else. Conveniently.

You seem to think that just because someone is a scholar he or she is automatically right. Being a scholar doesn't mean that at all.  There are good drivers and bad drivers, yet they are all licensed to drive.

 
I see that after some Google search you found a list of five names of Gnostic experts, of which I am familiar with only one, Federica Matthews Green, mainly because of her articles on Eastern Orthodoxy, which are spot on, but she is not a big time acadmeician (although she has a Masters in biblical studies). The other four names you list don't even appear in Wikipedia (or if they do appear they are not associated with the institutions you associate them with). But given that you lumped two previous references into one name (Raymond Brown Fitzmeyer!), I am not surprised.
 
If you had any idea what Irenaeus was arguing about you wouldn't even be listing different scholars. It wasn't about Gnosticism as compared to orthodoxy (which was as of yet not defined); rather, it was a matter of the different interpretation of two of Paul's verses, 1 Corinthians 15:53-54. The Gnostic and his interpretations are like night and day. They see a gnostic Paul in those verses and Irenaeus saw an orthodox Paul in them. 

How much of his interpretation is what was in the original manuscript, and how much was added with developing doctrine 200 years later remains undetermined because the original is missing. Given some of the other things he wrote, his orthodoxy was probably not as orthodox as some try to make him. Based on the canon of his Bible (which included some books now rejected) that is almost a certainty.

 
You don't have to "immerse yourself into the scholarly study of Gnosticism" to see how they interpreted the verses differently. They believed in two different things. What makes Irenaeus "orthodox" and them "heretical" except who is writing it?
 
There is also no extant original copy of Irenaeus' work, but a translation of his work dated 200 years after Irenaeus. Because there is no original to compare it to, the best one can come up with as regards the extant copies is how probable is it that they are true copies of the original.
 
Since you seem to support the idea that they are very probably if not certainly true copies, please provide evidence, which you have failed to do so far. 
 
There is sufficient doubt that it is not because some of the writings of Irenaeus, when retro-translated into koine Greek, lend themselves dubious (such as calling Mary an advocata). Having written in Greek, he would not have made the mistake of calling Mary a Paralclete, as the translation does,  unless his own orthodoxy is questionable. Bust since there is no Greek original to compare it to, we really don't know what he called her, do we?
 
My comment regarding copying errors and redactions to keep up with the developing doctrine does not stand "naked with just [my] self serving as verification," as you say. The fact that you would write something like that that tells me about your lack of scholastic qualifications more than anything else you have written so far because well-known academicians have documented this trend. 
 
Which brings me to your advising me what to do. I believe I did not solicit your advice, so you can take it with you or shove it some place big enough where it will fit. I am sure you will have no problems finding one.
 
I am not interested in your dead-end references, self-arrogated advisory authority, your banal phraseology and your apparent lack of ability or willingness to discussing the context. You appear only to insult, albeit ineffectually, by making your posts personal. I am not flattered that you spend so much time and effort writing posts dedicated to me personally. I think you'd be better off trolling somewhere else. Good bye.
 

38 posted on 09/23/2009 8:22:19 PM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: kosta50

As I have asked throughout this “Discussion” show me the scholarly verification for your contentions not mere conjecture. Since you have offered nothing of substance case closed. I wish I could face you in open debate as you would be easy to refute Good By


39 posted on 09/24/2009 12:54:39 PM PDT by bronx2
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To: bronx2

And in an open debate you would present evidence that you can’t present in a written debate? Thanks for making me laugh.


40 posted on 09/24/2009 1:51:28 PM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: kosta50

The operative word being “Evidence” which is soundly lacking and wanting in your replies. You do provide self serving testimony which is amusing.


41 posted on 09/24/2009 5:13:35 PM PDT by bronx2
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