The "Gnostic" Gospels: who else is a fan?

Discussion in 'Spirituality & Religion' started by FlashMan, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

    Jan 6, 2000
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    The Gospel of Thomas has become one of my favorities. I have this little pocket-sized edition and occasionally I walk around with it in my pocket, and pull it out and read beautiful esoteric Jesus' sayings. (Reading other analysis of this book can certainly help the initiate, as some of the parables are particularly elliptical and not easy to grasp.)

    I especially enjoy Gospel of Mary too. There's somethin' miraculous about this vision of this woman having "inside" knowledge of Jesus. The spirituality in it is out of this world, at least what is left from the fragments still available. (O to have Chapters 1-6.)

    The fact that the Mary of this Gospel is well known (in this Gospel) for having kissed the Lord in a different manner than most only adds to the spice.

    Just getting to the Gospel of Judas. Now that should be a noir if there if ever was one.
     
  2. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

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    I put "gnostic" in quotes, as the term itself has become largely meaningless.

    "Gnosis" on the other hand is still in play.
     
  3. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

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    I haven't read one in aeons.








    <rimshot>
    Thank ya very much - I'll be here all day.
     
  4. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

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    Should be explicit that this refers to the Gospel of Mary of Magdala; or even more properly understood, the Gospel of Miriam of Magdala.

    I'm not sure what an aeon is. Is that the same as aion?

    I should go look it up.

    "Be a passer-by."

    Thomas, #42.
     
  5. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
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    I dig the Gospel of Thomas quite a bit, but I have to say... that last line in (at least in the translation I have) is really, really strange.

    Though I have to say, I kinda wish Thomas made it into the canon. I would love to hear priests preach on that puppy.
     
  6. argentine soccer fan

    Staff Member

    Jan 18, 2001
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    the gospel of Judas is cool, because it gives a whole new perspective on the most famous betrayal of all time.

    Really in my view the gospel of John should also be considered a gnostic gospel, with its major differences from the other three canonical gospels and its emphasis on Greek themes, such as Jesus being 'Logos'.

    But I am glad John was put in the canon, because it is the most interesting of all. It is the one gospel that really kicks ass.
     
  7. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

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    I've been looking forward to getting a hold of the G of Judas. Your post shall further encourage me.

    I even have an Elaine Pagels' book entitled "The Gnostic Paul". I haven't read this book but basically I think it's trying to give a Gnostic interpretation to many of, if not all, of Paul's letters. One reason I haven't read it is 'cause I ain't sure I'm ready to dive into that. As for the G of John, I'm no expert, but your comments are well taken.

    In the context of times like ours, I liked this one from the G of Thomas:

    "A man said to him, "Speak to my brothers so that they will divide my father's belongings with me."

    Jesus said to him, "Man, who made me into a divider?"

    He turned to his students and said, "Really, am I a divider?" "

    G of Thomas, #72
     
  8. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

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    Color me unimpressed by the Gospel of Judas (which is available on-line somewhere). The TV documentary played up the controversial aspects of the gospel (Judas is Jesus' friend, etc.), but left out the fact that much of the writing is full of gnostic claptrap about "aeons" and demi-urges.
     
  9. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

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    will have to get to the bottom of it myself. will look for it online...
     
  10. argentine soccer fan

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    I agree that there is not a whole lot that is practical in there, as there is in John or to some extent in Thomas. But it is still an interesting read, because it shows some of the different ideas that were around during the early stages of Christianity. And of course the whole idea of Judas as the hero and martyr of Christianity is appealing from a literary standpoint.
     
  11. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

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    I got a hold of a copy of The Gospel of Philip.

    The copy I got was translated by a French dude named Jean-Yves Leloup. He is the same guy who translated one of the copies of The Gospel of Mary that I possess. He brings a singular vision to the whole thing; I have a feeling the translations of these old documents are vital in the end for the mere reader, such as ourselves.

    Anyway, The Gospel of Philip is beautiful, I had no idea. A stunning piece of work. There are 127 "logions" (as Leloup calls them), or sayings.

    #1 gets us out of the gate:

    A Hebrew who makes someone else a Hebrew is called a proselyte.
    But a proselyte does not always make other proselytes.
    Authentic beings are who they have always been,
    and what they engender is authentic:
    simply becoming who one is.

    #2 - #5 kind of run together:

    2. The slave desires freedom; the extent of his master's wealth is of little importance.
    The Son, he who is Son, possesses the heritage of the Father.
    3. To inherit from the dead is to die, to inherit from the living is to live.
    The Living One gives us birth and death as our heritage.
    The dead do not inherit; how could they inherit?
    If the dead were to inherit from the living, they would live.
    4. Atheists do not die, because they have never lived.
    Only those who hold to the truth know what life is.
    They may well fear death, because they live!
    5. The Presence of Christ creates the new world;
    He brings order and beauty among us;
    death recedes.
     
  12. Fah Que

    Fah Que Member

    Sep 29, 2000
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    I am sort of a fan, but I don't think there was ever a seperate sect called the gnostics. They were imagination people invented by modern scholars from the orthodox tradition. And the gospel of thomas weren't actually a "gospel".

    If you really want to know the meanings of those text, I suggest you study the esoteric religion text of other religions because they cross explain each other really well. That's is because all true religions came from the same "Source", and that is why they have a lot in common. "gnostic", buddhism, sufism, kabala, toltac all very similar.
     
  13. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

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    I agree with much of you say. I believe I referred to that in my original post. "Gnostics" is sort of a made-up term applied from the present back upon the tradition. The word "gnosis", on the other hand, was indeed a word some of these early groups used as a way of participating in what they perceived to be "direct knowledge of the Truth".

    I've studied many esoterica. I understand a lot of it though my knowledge is always increasing.

    As far as the same "source" - that's true as far as it goes. Whether they all say the "same things" is open to debate, though I agree there are many similarities across the spectrum.

    More from Philip:


    7 Those who sow in winter reap in summer; winter is this world, summer is the world of Openness. Let us sow in the world, so as to harvest in summer.
    To pray is not to prevent winter, but to allow summer.
    Winter is not a time of harvest, but of labor.
    8 Without seeds, the earth bears no fruit;
    indolence is not the Repose and Power of the Shabbat.
    9 Christ came to deliver some and to save others.
    He made strangers his own;
    in their differences, they manifested his will.
     
  14. Fah Que

    Fah Que Member

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    I think gospels of thomas, phillips, mary magdalene, etc...are too hard for beginners. They were written 2000 years old using metaphors for the audience who think a lot differently from we do. Check out the work of Boris Mouravieff who wrote the gnosis trilogy! Don't buy it. Try to see if you can locate a PDF file online somewhere or in library because it is pricy and you might not like it - the style is very "western". It is for people with a western brain.

    Also I think the orthodox text contains better information than other text about gnosis, especially the Pauline letters. But because all of them have been corrupted systematically, and they are all written in a cryptic language, decoding them is difficult for beginners. I recommend the Gnostic Paul by Elaine Pagels. It is amazing! The 4 gospels also contain invaluable informations but they have been mutitated and translated from another language, possibly Aramaic.
     
  15. monop_poly

    monop_poly Member

    May 17, 2002
    Chicago
    Thank God that the untouched and unquestionably authoritative gnostic gospels exist to disprove those helplessly mutitated and corrupted other gospels, not to mention that stuff written by that megalo-ego-maniac Paul.

    Who knew that Elaine Pagels was 2000 years old?

    Merry Christmas!
     
  16. Mr. Bandwagon

    Mr. Bandwagon Member

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    Do the Gideons ever put gnostic gospels in motel rooms? 'Cause that would be much more interesting.
     
  17. Fah Que

    Fah Que Member

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    bible corruption

    http://reluctant-messenger.com/biblical-corruption.htm

    Merry, uh...the birthday of Sun God.
     
  18. monop_poly

    monop_poly Member

    May 17, 2002
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    What in the Old Testament would lead you to conclude that a person would arrive on the scene so that one could be reconciled to God by self-awareness?
     
  19. Fah Que

    Fah Que Member

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    Nothing probably. The OT is mostly about ET's who violated the prime directive and interfered with the natural development of planet earth. During the ancient time, they collectively were known as the Demiurge. A person has to be pretty stupid to believe the OT is actually God talking, the infinite creator and provider of the universe. Those beings created human as slaves to grow food and build things for them. In NT Jesus came to rescue human kind from the devil, the gods of the OT.
     
  20. monop_poly

    monop_poly Member

    May 17, 2002
    Chicago
    Interesting - is that why Jesus keeps quoting the law, the prophets and the psalms as pointing to him? What a colossal fool, that Jesus guy must have been!
     
  21. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

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    I don't know what you mean by "beginners". I agree it is good to be versed in some levels of esoteric philosophy. I also think a grounding in the traditional gospels is very helpful and healthy. For me, Thomas is probably the most accessible, followed by Philip, then Mary. Philip is particularly "profound" in some sense, however, and I believe that all of them should be read first on their own, but then with critical commentary and scholarly exegesis to help one with the full resonance of the vision.

    [/quote]Also I think the orthodox text contains better information than other text about gnosis, especially the Pauline letters. But because all of them have been corrupted systematically, and they are all written in a cryptic language, decoding them is difficult for beginners. I recommend the Gnostic Paul by Elaine Pagels. It is amazing! The 4 gospels also contain invaluable informations but they have been mutitated and translated from another language, possibly Aramaic.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for the recommendation. I actually have the Gnostic Paul by Pagels on my shelf and have had so for years now, but have never actually read it. Maybe it's time to dust it off.
     
  22. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

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    While the "Gnostics" (for lack of a better word) do fascinate, I wouldn't want to throw away the traditional gospels of the New Testatement in any way, shape or form.

    For me, that would be like throwing out the baby with the bath water. For me both canons exist side by side, and the NT gospels are still many of the known earlier gospels they have (many of the Gnostic texts are dated later, and therefore further away from the actual eschatological event), and clearly tell an incredible story that needed to be told and is still needs to be told to this day.
     
  23. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

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    yea, i didn't read all of Fah Que's link yet, but the Christ clearly came to "fulfill the law, not to abolish it". Moses' law may be the one true path the Israelites had to liberate themselves from the "Demiurge" and their world, but from the little I know I think the picture is more complicated - and not so simple - as that.

    but maybe I should go read Fah Que's link to post on it further.
     
  24. FlashMan

    FlashMan Member

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    G of Philip: # 67 [Page 69, Plate 115]

    as translated by Leloup:

    67 Truth did not come into the world naked, but veiled with images and archetypes [typos]; otherwise it cannot be received; there is a rebirth through the image of rebirth. One must truly be reborn from this image; this is resurrection.

    In passing through the image, the bridegroom is led into the truth

    which is the renewal of all things in their integrity [apocatastasis].

    This is approrpriate for those who not only know
    the names of Father, Son, and Spirit,
    but have integrated them in themselves.
    Those who have not integrated these names within themselves
    will have their names taken away.
    The name of Christian is welcomed with anointing,
    in the fullness and energy of the cross,
    which the apostles call the union of opposites;
    then one is not just Christian, one is the Christ.


    Merry Late X-Mas everybody, and a Feliz Ano Nuevo as well.
     
  25. Val1

    Val1 Member+

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    Quite true. A fun read, as are most of the Gnostics. But, as a fundamental Christian, I read 'em, enjoy 'em, and then ignore 'em.
     
    Dr. Wankler repped this.

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