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Author Topic:   Why did we stop inventing gods?
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Message 118 of 203 (789803)
08-19-2016 5:22 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Faith
08-15-2016 12:56 AM

Re: Growing pains
There were incidents where God did order the slaughter of a whole people though. He always gives warnings and time to repent, however, and if the babies' parents didn't repent the babies wouldn't have either.
I find it very ironic that you would say that about the Canaanites. Look at this link for biblical quotes showing who built the Temple and the Holy of Holies. The Canaanites!
I won't quote from those texts but they are interesting indeed.
However,here is some of the Biblical text showing where they were supposed to be killed and dispossessed.
Joshua 13
1Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the Lord said to him: You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed. 2This is the land that yet remains: all the territory of the Philistines and all that of the Geshurites, 3from Sihor, which is east of Egypt, as far as the border of Ekron northward (which is counted as Canaanite); the five lords of the Philistinesthe Gazites, the Ashdodites, the Ashkelonites, the Gittites, and the Ekronites; also the Avites; 4from the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians as far as Aphek, to the border of the Amorites; 5the land of the Gebalites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrise, from Baal Gad below Mount Hermon as far as the entrance to Hamath; 6all the inhabitants of the mountains from Lebanon as far as the Brook Misrephoth, and all the Sidoniansthem I will drive out from before the children of Israel; only divide it by lot to Israel as an inheritance, as I have commanded you. 7Now therefore, divide this land as an inheritance to the nine tribes and half the tribe of Manasseh.
Joshua 17
10Southward it was Ephraim’s, northward it was Manasseh’s, and the sea was its border. Manasseh’s territory was adjoining Asher on the north and Issachar on the east. 11And in Issachar and in Asher, Manasseh had Beth Shean and its towns, Ibleam and its towns, the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, the inhabitants of En Dor and its towns, the inhabitants of Taanach and its towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and its townsthree hilly regions. 12Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities, but the Canaanites were determined to dwell in that land. 13And it happened, when the children of Israel grew strong, that they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out.
But they remained for ever it seems. They were specifically given the towns according to Kings.
1 Kings 9
10 At the end of twenty years, during which Solomon built these two buildingsthe temple of the Lord and the royal palace 11 King Solomon gave twenty towns in Galilee to Hiram king of Tyre, because Hiram had supplied him with all the cedar and juniper and gold he wanted. 12 But when Hiram went from Tyre to see the towns that Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them. 13 What kind of towns are these you have given me, my brother? he asked. And he called them the Land of Kabul,a name they have to this day. 14 Now Hiram had sent to the king 120 talents of gold.
15 Here is the account of the forced labor King Solomon conscripted to build the Lord’s temple, his own palace, the terraces, the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. 16 (Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He had set it on fire. He killed its Canaanite inhabitants and then gave it as a wedding gift to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. 17 And Solomon rebuilt Gezer.) He built up Lower Beth Horon, 18 Baalath, and Tadmor in the desert, within his land, 19 as well as all his store cities and the towns for his chariots and for his horseswhatever he desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon and throughout all the territory he ruled.
20 There were still people left from the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites (these peoples were not Israelites). 21 Solomon conscripted the descendants of all these peoples remaining in the landwhom the Israelites could not exterminateto serve as slave labor, as it is to this day. 22 But Solomon did not make slaves of any of the Israelites; they were his fighting men, his government officials, his officers, his captains, and the commanders of his chariots and charioteers. 23 They were also the chief officials in charge of Solomon’s projects550 officials supervising those who did the work.
The Sidonians were allies and friends during the time of David.
2 Samuel 5
New International Version (NIV)
David Becomes King Over Israel
5 All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, We are your own flesh and blood. 2 In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’
3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.
4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.
David Conquers Jerusalem
6 The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there. The Jebusites said to David, You will not get in here; even the blind and the lame can ward you off. They thought, David cannot get in here. 7 Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zionwhich is the City of David.
8 On that day David had said, Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water shaft to reach those ‘lame and blind’ who are David’s enemies. That is why they say, The ‘blind and lame’ will not enter the palace.
9 David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the terraces inward. 10 And he became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him.
11 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent envoys to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David.
The Canaanites and Israelites were essentially a united people during the Monarchy period.
This is an interesting recent story out of the land of Israel. (fairly long)
Did the Phoenicians Even Exist?
Everybody in the Mediterranean around 3,000 years ago hated and envied these masters of seafaring, but who exactly were these Phoenicians?
Philippe Bohstrom | 
Jul 28, 2016 8:19 PM
The Old Testament never actually mentions Phoenicians. The only reference to that name is in ancient Greek writings, and they were referring to merchants living in cities along the coast of modern-day Lebanon.
In other words, the "Phoenicians" mentioned by the ancient Greeks were part of what the biblical authors called "Canaanites", in terms of archaeology, religion and language. There was not much setting them apart from other Semitic cultures.
Back in the Holy Land, the city-state of Tyre was said to have helped make King Solomon rich and to construct a navy (Ezekiel 27). These Tyrians were among the Phoenicians of whom the Greek were so sour. This era, around the 10th century BCE or so we are told in the bible, was the only period in which the "united kingdoms" of David and Solomon actually flourished, if they existed at all, or to what degree, a matter of some debate.
The Canaanites became Jewish and then Christian and to this day there are those who identify with their ancestors.
Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%
note: many Christian Lebanese do not identify themselves as Arab but rather as descendents of the ancient Canaanites and prefer to be called Phoenicians
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They seemed to have become followers of the religion you prefer.

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 Message 63 by Faith, posted 08-15-2016 12:56 AM Faith has not replied

Posts: 2497
Joined: 12-22-2015

Message 119 of 203 (789804)
08-19-2016 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Faith
08-14-2016 4:01 PM

When does Faith ask "WHY" it is that Christians were super intolerant without excuses
Here is her commentary on the issue of Christians killing others. GIA said that gnostics (which he should know that the vast majority of "gnostics" were Manicheans and they just adored Jesus, but that is another issue) were killed after the Roman Empire became Christian.
The Catholic Church is not Christian, its murders were/are the work of Satan, its Inquisitions, its Crusades, the lot (the Inquisition is continuing in some third world Catholic countries today, hidden from view of course). Not that there aren't true Christians who are Catholics, I'm talking about the Institution, the papacy, the power structure, all the work of the devil.
ABE: The RCC is really the continuation of the Roman Empire that threw the early Christians to the lions. They transformed all Rome's pagan gods into Christian "saints" and kept all the pagan rituals and superstitions, just tacked on some of the Christian gospel here and there to confuse everybody.
Always accept the Catholic theology up till when Faith? The Byzantine Empire (East Roman Empire that is called "Byzantine Empire" after 476 A.D.)killed Christians in large numbers.
Consider this historical fact (aside from the silent and ignored side issue that Manicheans likely made up the bulk of the "Christian" majority in Iraq in the 7th century) of tolerance among the Persian Empire (that started around 224 A.D.) which stretched east of the Roman/Byzantine Empire all the way to India and China. Then I want to ask you a question.
A History of the Muslim World to 1405: The Making of a Civilization
By Vernon O Egger
Routledge; 1 edition (June 30, 2016)
In Iraq. the westernmost territory of the Sasanian Empire, Zoroastrianism was a minority religion ...The Sasanian policy of granting refuge to non-Orthadox Christians from Byzantine territories affected the demography of the empire. So many Christians emigrated to Iraq that by the early seventh century Christians may have formed the largest single religious community in Iraq. Many Nestorian merchants based in Iraq made their way along the trading routes to China and the Indian Ocean basin, establishing Nestorian communities in Central Asia and India. By the late sixth century, even some members of the Sasanian royal family were converting to Nestorianism.
A History of the Muslim World to 1405: The Making of a Civilization - Vernon O Egger - Google Books
(This wasn't a quote mining operation on my part (as I am frequently accused), but was the first hit under a book search on Iraqi population of the 7th century.
Google )
Now my question is why we have to keep making modern day western Christians innocent of this shameful reality of intolerance? The Persians took Jerusalem in 614 C.E. and held it for a few decades. The Jews and Christians were free to travel and worship in Israel/Palestine during those 2 decades. Otherwise the Christians were persecuted badly by Byzantine Empire and it was all the way back at 500 A.D. and earlier when the persecution existed and the Holy Land was free of the Roman Papacy after 476.
I'm trying to figure out why you keep describing yourself as one of the persecuted (you obsessed over the pre-Constantine Roman Empire a million times over as a time when YOU would be thrown to lions), yet you seem to love the post-Nicea period up to a point.
When exactly did you start to disagree with the theology of the Roman Empire? Remember that Christians in Egypt, Palestine, Syria were very much persecuted in the days BEFORE Justinian and Theodora. The records are very clear on that one.

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 Message 50 by Faith, posted 08-14-2016 4:01 PM Faith has not replied

Posts: 2497
Joined: 12-22-2015

Message 120 of 203 (789805)
08-19-2016 6:14 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Greatest I am
08-13-2016 11:48 AM

GIA on Gnostic Christians.
Gnostic Christians always saw those invented gods, specifically Yahweh, Jesus and Allah, as immoral and not worthy of us and that is why they named those gods as immoral and vile demiurges
Gnostic Christianity had a negative view of Jesus?
Try that one again.
It does seem that "Gnostic" thought evolved out of Christian religion, though as many historians say that Gnosticism and Christianity had independent origins then the two merged into Gnostic Christianity.
It is certain that the "demiurge" strains of Christian Gnosticism came later than the initial Gnosticism. Christian Gnosticism didn't start till after 100 A.D. and it was very much fundamentalist and Jewish Christian when it first started (based on the evidence I have seen). There wasn't an anti-Jesus strain at all however. Not in the endless varieties of Gnosticism (early or late). Do you know something we don't?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Greatest I am, posted 08-13-2016 11:48 AM Greatest I am has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by Phat, posted 08-19-2016 11:58 PM LamarkNewAge has not replied
 Message 123 by Greatest I am, posted 09-07-2016 2:27 PM LamarkNewAge has replied

Posts: 2497
Joined: 12-22-2015

Message 178 of 203 (792145)
10-05-2016 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by Greatest I am
09-07-2016 2:27 PM

Re: GIA on Gnostic Christians.
[Greatest I am]
Gnostic Christians always saw those invented gods, specifically Yahweh, Jesus and Allah, as immoral and not worthy of us and that is why they named those gods as immoral and vile demiurges
Gnostic Christianity had a negative view of Jesus?
Try that one again.
[Greatest I am]
This does take a bit of explaining as my view is the modern one that was developed after Christianity merged Yahweh and Jesus into one.
FTPOV, the morality of Jesus and Yahweh are tied as well as all the foul actions attributed to Yahweh/Jesus.
There is more than one Jesus in scriptures. You have the Rome created one who is a kind and gentle pacifist who kowtows to Rome.
That Jesus is quite immoral if you look at his no-divorce and substitutionary atonement policies, as well as others.
There is the older esoteric Jesus that Gnostic Christianity has some respect for but to us he is just an esoteric teacher and archetypal good man.
Do you know something we don't?
[Greatest I am]
I don't know what you know but the above may show a modern twist to Gnostic Christianity that you did not know. We have to evolve or will end in stagnation and idol worship the way Christianity and Islam have.
As to my Gnostic Christian origins, I see us as first being a group of Jews, pagans and gentiles who called themselves Chrestians.
Christianity then usurped that name in their efforts to wipe us off the earth. We may never know though as the sands of time and Christianity's burning of our scriptures when they decimated us may have hidden the tracks.
How do you deal with Islamic Gnostics like the Alawites of Syria then?
They hold that Jesus is divine (i.e. God).
I don't see any evidence to back up your claims. That is true of both modern day gnostics and the older (dead) ones in the historical reports and archaeology.
(Also, when do you think gnosticism started? How did it get started? What was the flame that flickered it? What king of gnosis/Gnosis was the forger of the Pastoral Epistles referring to?)

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 Message 123 by Greatest I am, posted 09-07-2016 2:27 PM Greatest I am has not replied

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Joined: 12-22-2015

Message 179 of 203 (792147)
10-05-2016 4:56 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Greatest I am
08-13-2016 11:48 AM

Greatest I am and Jesus in the eys of gnostics.
Gnostic Christians always saw those invented gods, specifically Yahweh, Jesus and Allah, as immoral and not worthy of us and that is why they named those gods as immoral and vile demiurges
But what about this evidence?
Light Against Darkness: Dualism in Ancient Mediterranean Religion and the Contemporary World (Journal of Ancient Judaism. Supplements (JAJ.S)) Hardcover — January 3, 2011
by Armin Lange (Editor), Eric M Meyers (Editor),
Series: Journal of Ancient Judaism. Supplements (JAJ.S) (Book 2)
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht (January 3, 2011)
Bennie H Reynolds III (Editor), Randall Styers (Editor)
The Gnostic supreme divinity bears all kinds of names: the Great Boundless Power, the First Power, ... The central figure of orthodox Christianity is Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus Christ. ... There is still an Islamic-Gnostic sect, the Nusairi-Alawites.
Light Against Darkness: Dualism in Ancient Mediterranean Religion and the ... - Google Books
That was a scholarly work that described Alawites as modern day gnostics.
Here is a Reuters piece. There is also a good New York Times piece. Here is the link.
Syria's Ruling Alawite Sect - The New York Times
But here is Reuters journalism, which I will quote.
But several beliefs differ sharply from traditional Islam. Named after Ali, Alawites believe he was divine, one of many manifestations of God in a line with Adam, Jesus, Mohammad, Socrates, Plato and some pre-Islamic sages from ancient Persia.
To orthodox Muslims, this eclectic synthesis of Christian, Gnostic, Neoplatonic and Zoroastrian thought violates Islam's key tenet that "there is no God but God."
Syria's Alawites are secretive, unorthodox sect | Reuters
You would have to demonstrate that the early Christian Gnostic sects were originally of a view that Jesus was not divine. But look at the modern day gnostics and their views.
John the Baptist and the Last Gnostics: The Secret History of the Mandaeans
By Andrew Philip Smith
The Alawites believe in reincarnation, as do the Druze and the Yazidis, but not the Mandaeans. Like Christians, Alawites believe in a kind of trinity, but theirs has three divine beings who most recntly incarnated as Ali, Muhammad and Salman the Persian. They also hold a form of communion using wine.
John the Baptist and the Last Gnostics: The Secret History of the Mandaeans - Andrew Phillip Smith - Google Books
The 1st century gnostic Jewish Christians (Elkesaites) held views similar to these. They said Melchizedek was reincarnated as Jesus. Did they see Jesus as divine? I think so, but perhaps not. The Ebionites/Nazarenes (Jewish Christian followers of James the brother of Jesus, who fundamentalist protestant Paul Maier jr. admits that Jesus appointed to be the head of the apostles before his death. A & E had a documentary on Christianity and said both scripture and tradition agree that James was made the head of the church and Peter was only the leader of the apostles during Jesus' lifetime, but James was the appointed head by Jesus and was after his death.) did seem to have a Gospel of Matthew that lacked the first 2 chapters, so perhaps they rejected the divinity? (Side note, I have had some real interesting conversations with multiple Yazidis (refugees from Syria and Iraq) here in Lincoln on many of these issues, but they are an OLD religion, not to be confused with Gnostics of any type)
Do you have any evidence for your claims?

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 Message 1 by Greatest I am, posted 08-13-2016 11:48 AM Greatest I am has not replied

Posts: 2497
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Message 180 of 203 (792150)
10-05-2016 5:24 PM

Gratest I am, a video for you.
Here is link to documentary showing James is leader of church. A&E describes it as a fact and Paul Maier is interesting as he points out that the leader of the early church was not Simon Peter as you "might expect".
It can be viewed on YouTube actually.
The first 20 minutes or so will get around to talking about James. It drops off rather abruptly, however, and the documentary would better be called a history of European Christianity. No coverage of the Nazarenes/Ebionites, Persian Christians, Semitic Christians. etc. (except persecution of Syrians and Palestiniants around the time of the Council of Chalcedon in around 451 A.D.)
But the James issue could be important as to early views that came to be called gnostic.
There were pure European authored letters that made their way into today's Bibles (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Hebrews, Gospel of John) and claimed to be authored by famous Jewish Christians. Scholars claim they can't identify the opponents of "Paul" that are criticized in the Pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy,2 Timothy, Titus). I might post my theories if you are interested.
Roman Catholics made up the Peter/Pope/Bishop issue to counter (and smother) the Nazarenes/Ebionites and James the Just issue.
Protestants (like Maier) only mention the James issue as a convenient way to attack Catholics IMO. Then they drop the implications quickly. No mention of the Ebionites/Nararense/Elkesaites.
The Elkesaites are the earliest recorded gnostic group btw.
Also, here is some stuff from Maier when I put his name and Jame Just into googles engine.
Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.

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Posts: 2497
Joined: 12-22-2015

Message 182 of 203 (794090)
11-09-2016 4:25 PM
Reply to: Message 181 by Greatest I am
11-07-2016 9:24 PM

1 issue at a time. I have a question for you GIA (based on a sentence of yours)
and that may be a part of why we wrote our myths to put against Christianity and not against Judaism.
What texts are you talking about?
You keep saying "we" this and "we" that.
I have no clue what texts you are talking about.
I'm so lost that I'm wondering if I even have the slightest clue what you are describing.
I will no longer ask for any dates. Can you quote me the name of a text or a sentence or something? No need to date it. Just a text please. Or give me the name of a certain group that might give me a clue to the text. Something please.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 181 by Greatest I am, posted 11-07-2016 9:24 PM Greatest I am has replied

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Message 184 of 203 (794646)
11-18-2016 5:00 PM
Reply to: Message 183 by Greatest I am
11-09-2016 7:35 PM

Re: 1 issue at a time. I have a question for you GIA (based on a sentence of yours)
When speaking of our myths, I am speaking mostly of the ones in the Nag Hammadi Library and when I say we, I mean Gnostic Christians.
Nag Hammadi Library
The Gospel of Thomas is the most important of these myths.
A thing to remember while reading them is that they were created for debate against other supernatural myths and that is why the old Gnostic Christians took liberties with the supernatural.
This saying shows that we did not believe anything of the supernatural.
The Gospel of Thomas was responding to the current Gnostics of the day?
What about Thomas saying 15?
BLATZ translation of Gospel of Thomas
(15) Jesus said: When you see him who was not born of woman, fall down upon your faces and worship him; that one is your Father
This is about angels.
What about Gnostics and angels?
What was that a response to?
Perhaps this is an answer:
James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls
Robert Eisenman
1998(Penguin Books)
Even Pliny in the early 70s is already locating a group he calls the 'Nazerini' in northern Syria. Lucian of Samosota, a second century, Hellenistic traveler and writer, who contemptuously dismissed Jesus as 'a magician' and 'revolutionary,' gives us a marvelous contemporary picture of Daily Bathers on the Euphrates in northern Syria in his own time. They ate nothing but wild fruit, milk, and honey - probably the food John the Baptist also ate.
Hippolytus (c. 160-235), a century later, tells how a book by the individual he calls 'Elchasai', was brought to Rome, and he describes the followers of this Elchasai as having an incarnationist doctrine of many 'Christs', Jesus 'continually being infused into many bodies, manifested at many [different] times'. This, of course, is nothing but the 'Imam' doctrine of Shi'ite Islam, which we have already compared to the 'Primal Man' in the Ebionite Pseudoclementines. Calling Elchasai 'a Righteous Man', Hippolytus also attributes the doctrine of 'the Standing One' - already encountered in the Pseudoclementines above and one of the variations of 'the Primal Adam' - which he says Elchasai transmitted to the Sobiai. We are back to the daily bathing or Hermobaptist 'Sabaeans' again.
Epiphanius also identifies the 'Standing One' doctrine as Elchasai's, saying the Ebionites got it from him. As he puts this, they 'think that Christ is some Adam-like figure invisible to the naked eye, ninety-six miles high' ... 'they say that Christ is Adam, the First Man created'. Earlier too he expressed this in terms of Christ being 'a Power', [p.327] some 'ninety-six miles high' - once again, the Power' language of the Gospels.
One should also note that Hippolytus' 'Nassenes' - whom he seems to think are an earlier group of 'Priests', following the teachings of James, have more or less this same doctrine of 'the Perfect Man'. They call him either 'Man' or 'Adam' - the 'Primal Adam' ideology delineated in the Pseudoclementines, ...'the Standing One is Exalted Power which is above the Creator god and can be thought of as being the Christ' or 'the Great Power of the High God ['that is, in other words, the Christ'] superior to the creator of the world.
Not only do these doctrines peer through the Gospels even in their present form, for instance, in the references to 'the Great Power' and repeated allusions to 'standing', but their antiquity is attested to by Paul himself, who knows that Adam is 'the First Man' (that is 'the Primal Adam') and that Jesus, 'the Son of Man' or the 'Lord out of Heaven', is 'the Second Man' and 'Heavenly' or a 'Heavenly One' - what he also refers to as 'the Last Adam' (1 Cor. 15:45-49). This, in turn, means that the knowledge of these doctrines and their identification with "the Christ' comes before the Gospels in their present form and, true enough, reflections of the Primal Adam' ideology and the 'standing' vocabulary are to be found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
What did Paul mean here? Is this supernatural?
1 Corinthians 15:45-49
So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.
Thomas is dated by most scholars as around 140 A.D. The Elkesaites are dated at around 100 A.D. , though their ideas could be earlier. They are the oldest known "gnostic" group though many don't think they should be considered "gnostic" but rather just an early Jewish Christian sect. (Gnostics are then considered to be even later than 100 A.D.)Hippolytus was a major figure in early Christianity too. Hippolytus of Rome - Wikipedia
Here is an important source for the discussion of whether the Alawite and Elkesaite First Man concept dates as far back as the time of Paul.
Adam Kadmon is a phrase in the religious writings of Kabbalah meaning "original man". The oldest mainstream rabbinic source for the term Adam ha-Ḳadmoni is Numbers Rabbah x., where Biblical Adam is styled, not as usually Ha-Rishon ("the first"), but "Ha-Kadmoni" ("the original"). In Kabbalah, Adam Kadmon ("above") is the first of the comprehensive Five spiritual Worlds in creation, distinguished from Biblical Adam Ha-Rishon ("below"), who included within himself all future human souls before the sin of the Tree of Knowledge. The spiritual realm of Adam Kadmon represents the sephirah (divine attribute) of Keter ("crown"), the specific divine will and plan for subsequent creation.
The first to use the expression "original man," or "heavenly man," was Philo, in whose view the γενικός, or οὐράνιος ἄνθρωπος, "as being born in the image of God, has no participation in any corruptible or earthlike essence; whereas the earthly man is made of loose material, called a lump of clay."[4] The heavenly man, as the perfect image of the Logos, is neither man nor woman, but an incorporeal intelligence purely an idea; while the earthly man, who was created by God later, is perceptible to the senses and partakes of earthly qualities.[5] Philo is evidently combining philosophy and Midrash, Plato and the rabbis[citation needed]. Setting out from the duplicate Biblical account of Adam, who was formed in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and of the first man, whose body God formed from the earth (Genesis 2:7), he combines with it the Platonic doctrine of ideas; taking the primordial Adam as the idea, and the created man of flesh and blood as the "image." That Philo's philosophic views are grounded on the Midrash, and not vice versa, is evident from his seemingly senseless statement that the "heavenly man," the οὐράνιος ἄνθρωπος (who is merely an idea), is "neither man nor woman." This doctrine, however, becomes quite intelligible in view of the following ancient Midrash.
The remarkable contradiction between the two above-quoted passages of Genesis could not escape the attention of the Pharisees, for whom the Bible was a subject of close study. In explaining the various views concerning Eve's creation, they taught[6] that Adam was created as a man-woman (androgynous), explaining זָכָ֥ר וּנְקֵבָ֖ה (Genesis 1:27) as "male and female" instead of "man and woman," and that the separation of the sexes arose from the subsequent operation upon Adam's body, as related in the Scripture. This explains Philo's statement that the original man was neither man nor woman.
This doctrine concerning the Logos, as also that of man made "in the likeness,"[7] though tinged with true Philonic coloring, is also based on the theology of the Pharisees. For in an old Midrash[8] it is remarked:
'Thou hast formed me behind and before' (Psalms 139:5) is to be explained 'before the first and after the last day of Creation.' For it is said, 'And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,' meaning the spirit of the Messiah ["the spirit of Adam" in the parallel passage, Midr. Teh. to cxxxix. 5; both readings are essentially the same], of whom it is said (Isaiah 11:2), 'And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him.'
This contains the kernel of Philo's philosophical doctrine of the creation of the original man. He calls him the idea of the earthly Adam, while with the rabbis the spirit (רוח) of Adam not only existed before the creation of the earthly Adam, but was preexistent to the whole of creation. From the preexisting Adam, or Messiah, to the Logos is merely a step.
Pauline Christianity[edit]
The above-quoted Midrash is even of greater importance for the understanding of the Pauline Christology, as affording the key to Paul's doctrine of the first and second Adam. The main passage in Pauline Christology is 1 Corinthians 15:45-50. According to this there is a double form of man's existence; for God created a heavenly Adam in the spiritual world and an earthly one of clay for the material world. The earthly Adam came first into view, although created last. The first Adam was of flesh and blood and therefore subject to deathmerely "a living soul"; the second Adam was "a life-giving spirit"a spirit whose body, like the heavenly beings in general, was only of a spiritual nature.[contradictory][clarification needed]
As a pupil of Gamaliel, Paul simply operates with conceptions familiar to the Palestinian theologians. Messiah, as the Midrash remarks, is, on the one hand, the first Adam, the original man who existed before Creation, his spirit being already present. On the other hand, he is also the second Adam in so far as his bodily appearance followed the Creation, and inasmuch as, according to the flesh, he is of the posterity of Adam.
With Philo the original man is an idea; with Paul He is the pre-existent Logos, incarnate as the man Jesus Christ. With Philo the first man is the original man; Paul identifies the original man with the second Adam. The Christian Apostle evidently drew upon the Palestinian theology of his day; but it can not be denied that in ancient times this theology was indebted to the Alexandrians for many of its ideas, and probably among them for that of pre-existence. The Midrash thus considered affords a suitable transition to the Gnostic theories of the original man. (Cf. Original Man (Nāā Qaḏmāyā in Aramaic) under Manichaeism#Cosmogony.)
Clementine literature[edit]
It has been said that the Midrash already speaks of the spirit (πνεῦμα) of the first Adam or of the Messiah without, however, absolutely identifying Adam and Messiah. This identification could only be made by persons who regarded only the spirit of the Scripture (meaning, of course, their conception of it) and not the letter as binding. In such circles originated the Clementine Homilies and Recognitions, in which the doctrine of the original man (called also in the Clementine writings "the true prophet") is of prime importance. It is quite certain that this doctrine is of Judo-Christian origin. The identity of Adam and Jesus seems to have been taught in the original form of the Clementine writings. The Homilies distinctly assert:[11]
If any one do not allow the man fashioned by the hands of God to have the holy spirit of Christ, is he not guilty of the greatest impiety in allowing another, born of an impure stock, to have it? But he would act most piously if he should say that He alone has it who has changed His form and His name from the beginning of the world, and so appeared again and again in the world until, coming to his own times, . . . He shall enjoy rest forever.
The Recognitions also lay stress upon the identity of Adam and Jesus; for in the passage[12] wherein it is mysteriously hinted that Adam was anointed with the eternal oil, the meaning can only be that Adam is the anointed (מָשִׁיחַ). If other passages in the "Recognitions" seem to contradict this identification they only serve to show how vacillating the work is in reference to the doctrine of the original man. This conception is expressed in true Philonic and Platonic fashion in i. 18, where it is declared that the "interna species" (ἰδέα) of man had its existence earlier. The original man of the Clementines is, therefore, simply a product of three elements, namely, Jewish theology, Platonic-Philonic philosophy, and Oriental theosophy; and this fact serves to explain their obscurity of expression on the subject.
Other Christian sects[edit]
In close relationship to the Clementine writings stand the Bible translator Symmachus and the Jewish-Christian sect to which he belonged. Victorinus Rhetor[13] states that "The Symmachiani teach EumChristumAdam esse et esse animam generalem." The Jewish-Christian sect of the Elcesaites also taught (about the year 100) that Jesus appeared on earth in changing human forms, and that He will reappear.[14] That by these "changing human forms" are to be understood the appearances of Adam and the patriarchs is pointed out by Epiphanius,[15] according to whom the Jewish-Christian sects of Sampsans, Ossenes, Nazarene, and Ebionites adopted the doctrine of the Elcesaites that Jesus and Adam are identical.
The "Primal Man" of the Elcesaites, was also, according to the conception of these Jewish Gnostics, of huge dimensions; viz., ninety-six miles in height and ninety-four miles in breadth; being originally androgynous, and then cleft in two, the masculine part becoming the Messiah, and the feminine part the Holy Ghost.[16]
The Primeval Man (Protanthropos, Adam) occupies a prominent place in several Gnostic systems. According to Irenaeus[17] the Aeon Autogenes emits the true and perfect Anthrpos, also called Adamas; he has a helpmate, "Perfect Knowledge", and receives an irresistible force, so that all things rest in him. Others say[18] there is a blessed and incorruptible and endless light in the power of Bythos; this is the Father of all things who is invoked as the First Man, who, with his Ennoia, emits "the Son of Man", or Euteranthrpos.
According to Valentinus, Adam was created in the name of Anthrpos and overawes the demons by the fear of the pre-existent man (tou proontos anthropou). In the Valentinian syzygies and in the Marcosian system we meet in the fourth (originally the third) place Anthrpos and Ecclesia.
In the Pistis Sophia the Aeon Jeu is called the First Man, he is the overseer of the Light, messenger of the First Precept, and constitutes the forces of the Heimarmene. In the Books of Jeu this "great Man" is the King of the Light-treasure, he is enthroned above all things and is the goal of all souls.
According to the Naassenes, the Protanthropos is the first element; the fundamental being before its differentiation into individuals. "The Son of Man" is the same being after it has been individualized into existing things and thus sunk into matter.
The Gnostic Anthrpos, therefore, or Adamas, as it is sometimes called, is a cosmogonic element, pure mind as distinct from matter, mind conceived hypostatically as emanating from God and not yet darkened by contact with matter. This mind is considered as the reason of humanity, or humanity itself, as a personified idea, a category without corporeality, the human reason conceived as the World-Soul. The same idea, somewhat modified, occurs in Hermetic literature, especially the Poimandres.
Adam Kadmon - Wikipedia
I'll post some sources and references so you can look into it more.
What do you think though?
So far?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 183 by Greatest I am, posted 11-09-2016 7:35 PM Greatest I am has replied

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 Message 186 by Greatest I am, posted 11-18-2016 6:14 PM LamarkNewAge has not replied

Posts: 2497
Joined: 12-22-2015

Message 185 of 203 (794649)
11-18-2016 5:38 PM
Reply to: Message 183 by Greatest I am
11-09-2016 7:35 PM

A short post that gets to the gist of my point (but please respond to the longer post
You said that the Gospel of Thomas speaks against the supernatural. I quoted the Gospel approving of angels and infact describing them as God. I think it was an allusion to the monumentally important Elkesaite sect (whether they are lebeled "Jewish Christian" or "Gnostic Christian") and their angelic revelation.
Hippolytus (c 170 — c 236)[edit]
Hippolytus of Rome (Philosophumena, IX, 8-13) records that in the time of Pope Callixtus I (217-222) a Jewish Christian called Alcibiades of Apamea, came to Rome, bringing a book which he said had been received from Parthia by a just man named Elchasai.[2] According to Alcibiades the book had been revealed by an angel ninety-six miles high, sixteen miles broad and twenty-four across the shoulders, whose footprints were fourteen miles long and four miles wide by two miles deep. This giant angel was the Son of God, who was accompanied by His Sister, the Holy Ghost, of the same dimensions.[3] Alcibiades announced that a new remission of sins had been proclaimed in the third year of Trajan (AD 100), and he described a baptism which should impart this forgiveness even to the grossest sinners.
Hippolytus' commentary starts in Book 10 Chapter 8.[4] In his next section Hippolytus recounts that Alcibiades teaches the natural birth, preexistence and reincarnation of Christ which may relate, per Louis Ginzberg (1906) to the kabbala concept of Adam kadmon, and also that Alcibiades teaches circumcision and the Law of Moses
Elcesaites - Wikipedia
You have Jewish Christian sect that is "gnostic" (they have features of gnostics like vegetarianism and Avatar views though the alawites aren't vegtarians). The Gospel of Thomas talks about James the brother of Jesus being the leader in teaching about righteousness and rules. A Jewish Christian environment clearly is on the mind of the unknown author of the Gospel of Thomas.
People know about the Gospel of Thomas because of Elaine Pagels work. She doesn't consider it "gnostic" anymore.
Bart Ehrman still does though. He is discussing the gnostic gospels and Nag Hammadi.
Jesus and His First Followers: What Current Archaeology and Biblical Research Are Telling Us
2005 Biblical Archaeology Society, Washington D.C.
[3rd hour long lecture titled:]
Discoveries of New Gospels: The Case of the Gospel of Thomas
By Bart D. Ehrman
The books themselves were manufactured in the 4th century, the mid to late 4th century. The reason we know when the books themselves were manufactured is because the people who made the books strengthened the bindings with scrap-paper and the scrap paper included dated receipts. .And so we know when the books were manufactured. Now knowing when the books were manufactured isn’t the same thing as sayingthat you knowwhen the documents within the books were actually composed. I’ve got a Bible in my book-bag here. The Bible was manufactured in the year 1997. But the books within that manufactured book are 2000 years old. how old are these [ Nag Hammadi] books within them? When were they composed? .They’re written in the Coptic language. .Originally these books were all composed in Greek. We know that. There’s nobody who doubts this.This one is pretty secure. [They were certainly] original Greek compositions. So. 13 leather bound volumes, written on papyrus, in the Coptic language, translations from Greek [to Coptic], a total of 46 writings-most of which we did not know before including the one that has been the most significant- the Gospel of Thomas.
there exists then 114 of Jesus’ sayings .There are no narratives here. No stories of Jesus’ miracles, or his confrontations, or his activities, nothing about his death and resurrection. One saying after the other, Jesus said, the other saying, Jesus said, the other saying. Sometimes you’ll have a discussion between the disciples [who] will ask Jesus something and Jesus will reply. So you do get narrative sometimes to the extent that you have an actual conversation going on between Jesus and the disciples but other than that it’s just sayings.
One of the leading questions on scholarship of the Gospel of Thomas that has become an even hotter issue over the last decade involves the character of [this Gospel] I maintain the view that used to be the view that everybody had but now it’s come under some dispute. I continue to maintain the view that this is a Gnostic gospel. . There have been people recently, including Elaine Pagelsand some others, who have come to dispute whether it’s best to understand Thomas as a Gnostic gospel. I continue to stick to my guns on this one.
There are some sayings in the Gospel of Thomas that are Synoptic like. By that I mean this-the word Synoptic is a word used of three gospels in the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called Synoptic Gospels because Matthew, Mark, and Luke, in the New Testament, tell many of the same stories often in the same wordsso that it’s possible to put Matthew, Mark, and Luke in parallel columns next to each other and read them at the same time. .The Greek word for being seen together is synoptic and so these are called the Synoptic Gospels-Matthew, Mark, and Luke-as opposed to John-he is very different from the other three. There are some sayings in the Gospel of Thomas that are very much like sayings found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke in fact some of them are the same sayings with some slight variations.
[Now as to the relation between] Thomas, the canonical gospels, and the historical Jesus. Thomas then contains sayings that are very much like the sayings we get in the Synoptic Gospels. It’s different from the Synoptic Gospels because the Synoptic Gospelshave sayings like you find in Thomas but the sayings are subservient to a broader theology, which, in the Synoptic Gospels, is the theology of the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s his death and resurrection that brings salvation, not the sayings. It’s the opposite with the Gospel of Thomas.To be a believer in Jesus means to understand his teachings and if you understand them then you have the knowledge; when you have the knowledge you have what is necessary for salvation. The death and resurrection is irrelevant in the secret sayings of Jesus.
So, you’ve got the Synoptic Gospels- Matthew, Mark, and Luke-and what scholars in the 19th century argued-almost everybody still thinks this today is that Mark was the first gospel and Matthew & Luke both copied some of their stories from Mark. They sometimes changed the stories, sometimes they kept it the same- that’s why there are similarities and differences. But Matthew and Luke have other stories not found in Mark; The Lords Prayer,The Beatitudes,Where did they get these sayings? They’re almost all sayings common in Matthew and not found in Mark? Where did they get them from? The hypothesis is there was another source that existed, a source that contained mainly sayings of Jesus that Matthew and Luke had access to [but] not found in Mark. The German scholars came up with this idea of a sayings source, called it the source- Quelle- German word for source. It starts with a q. And so, in short, Quelle is Q. And so that’s what the Q source is. A hypothetical document probably written in Greek, used by Matthew and Luke-not found in Mark. Scholars objected to the theory of Q for decades on the grounds that there could be no such document that contains sayings of Jesus without an account of the death and resurrection. They objected to the existence of Q until they discovered Thomas which is a collection of the sayings of Jesus without an account of his death and resurrection. Now it’s not that Q can be Thomas and that Thomas can be Q because there’s all sorts of Q material not found in Thomas and all sorts of Thomas material not found in Q but they’re similar kinds of documents probably. Q was a document like Thomas-a collection of the sayings of Jesus but I would argue not a Gnosticized collection as Thomas is.
Thomas is useful for scholars who want to know something about the historical Jesus because it contains sayings of Jesus not found in our other sources. Now it‘s not [certain at all the these were actual Jesus quotes or slightly re-worded traditions that originated with Jesus]. Jesus didn’t say a lot of these things but he may have said some of these things that survive in Thomas and so it’s a useful additional source for knowing some of the things Jesus may have said. It has to be used critically just like our other gospels. Thomas is best understood as an early Christian gospel that has a Gnosticized orientation I think. Its best understood as a gospel that came out of a gnostic circle in which sayings of Jesus had been circulating-some of them found also in the Synoptics, some found in other sources, but these sayings are understood in a Gnostics way.
Ehrman considers it "gnostic" but is it actually a "Jewish Christian" gospel?
What do you think of the Elkesaites?
(sorry my post ended up being a bit long because f my Ehrman quote).

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 Message 183 by Greatest I am, posted 11-09-2016 7:35 PM Greatest I am has not replied

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