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Orthodox & Gnosos, personal perspective

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franciscosan View Drop Down
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    Posted: 19 May 2020 at 10:49
In college, I did not want to take Bible classes, because I felt that they would be preaching to me, however, there was a visiting Jewish professor that was filling in for a professor on sabbatical, and that, in my mind, was okay.  So first I took Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) from him, then next semester, I took New Testament from him.  He wasn't familiar with the material, but didn't pretend to be, he did however, do his homework and was able to present things basically.  But, as far as Orthodoxy is concerned, he was Orthodox, Jewish, I do not remember much about the debate between Orthodox Christianity and non-Orthodoxy.  Point is, I was not exposed so much to the religious debate about Nicene Creed and Orthodoxy.  The New Testament was in ways, inclusive, not exclusive as people like to insist.  I still that is accurate, in a reaction to Marcion, who wanted to abolish the OT, and all but Luke, Acts and Pauline letters, the church decided to include the OT, and eventually, the NT that we have today, including not one but four gospels, that do not fully agree with one another.

In class, we had to do a project for most of our grade, for New Testament, I did Gnosticism, which the professor was open to, (I am sure he didn't care either way, but showed courteous interest).  I read Pagels first book, Hans Jonas, scanned Kurt Rudolph, and the Nag Hammadi collection.  Drove to a Jungian Conference in Seattle on Gnosticism.  Intellectually that did not offer much fat to chew, but it was interesting seeing all the figures in the field being interviewed.  Academically, I have become a philosopher, which means that I don't necessarily endorse the orthodox view on Christianity, neither am I antagonistic to orthodoxy, or for that matter, Orthodoxy.  Likewise, while I recognize for me that the non- canonical and heretical texts have insight, I also feel that the best of the mix from a literary perspective got into the New Testament.  But, I have a friend who says that the Gospel of Thomas is canonical, by which she means, it ought to be in the canon.  That is not a problem as long as it is a minority opinion, something to spur the imagination.  I don't feel a usefulness to people who want to destroy the orthodoxy (a weird notion, especially in regards to protestantism), just to set up a new orthodoxy.  A new orthodoxy that never knew the old Orthodoxy of Church Fathers and Desert monks.

Recently read Karen King's "Gospel of Mary Magdalene" where she attacked the term Gnostic and heretic as, well, not "helpful" in describing early extra-canonical texts.  It is all very interesting what she is doing, she is saying, "no, you can't use that word 'Gnostic' to explain this," "no, you can't use the word, 'heretical' to explain this.  What is left?  She calls them 'Christian.'  Which, I would agree they are, in an asterisk, see note below kind of way.  But, they are also Gnostic and heretical, and if that means that they were defined that way by the victors, then they were defined that way by the victors.  That does mean that we throw two thousand years of orthodoxy, because a bit of linguistic jujitsu.  The trick is to deal with the status quo in a way that "evolves" and grows, not in a way that cuts down main limbs, the trunk even.  The Gospel of Mary and the Gospel of Thomas are advanced texts,  as Xenophanes of Kolophon said, "you pour in the water first, and then the wine."  The Bible is water, for ordinary folk, 'Mary' and 'Thomas' are wine.  
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Novosedoff View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2020 at 11:15
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Point is, I was not exposed so much to the religious debate about Nicene Creed and Orthodoxy.  

The point is do you consider the Council of Nicaea to be legal? Smile The guy called Constantine summons only 300 bishops out of 1800 Christian bishops of Roman empire, and out of those 300 bishops a significant part did not even have a congregation behind them  because they were appointed to be bishops by Constantine and his advisors. It is almost as if in the US the vote has been cast only by 17% of population and the result has been recognized and became universally accepted.    

Btw besides resolving the Arian heresy controversy at the same council they also voted for prohibiting clerics from engaging in usury, which is indicative of the moral state of the Christian clerics, on the one side, and, on the other side, it proves that Constantine must have offered them something in return, namely, rich endowments and exemptions from taxes (a way of corruption to ensure their loyalty).


Edited by Novosedoff - 19 May 2020 at 11:25
I teach history to children and I am proud that they leave my classes permeated with sh*t and hatred to meet the real world..
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Vanuatu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2020 at 04:11
fransicosan, is the Creed still part of the protestant mass? Have any of the pronouns changed?Wink

Aryans shut down! Just like that, interesting. If we are talking about Roman authority and Constantine convened the council, it would be legal. Is there a reason why it wouldn't be?

One purpose of the council was to resolve disagreements arising from within the 
Church of Alexandria over the nature of the Son in his relationship to the Father: in particular, whether the Son had been 'begotten' by the Father from his own being, and therefore having no beginning, or else created out of nothing, and therefore having a beginning.[12] St. Alexander of Alexandria and Athanasius took the first position; the popular presbyter Arius, from whom the term Arianism comes, took the second. The council decided against the Arians overwhelmingly (of the estimated 250–318 attendees, all but two agreed to sign the creed and these two, along with Arius, were banished to Illyria).[8][13]
Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate. (J. R. R. Tolkien)
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franciscosan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2020 at 05:36
I believe so, but I do not usually go to church service.  As far as pronouns are concerned, no, not yet.

I am not sure what is meant by legal, definitely doesn't follow separation of Church and State.  The other Bishops probably had better things to do than dangerous travel.  Like the majority of Americans on a non-Presidential election year, they probably had to wash their hair.

Democrats believe that things are not easy enough, and they want to make it easier, no voter ID, voting before the election, mail in voting, vote early vote often (I joke).  Vote harvesting.  I think that they should do the opposite, emphasize the responsibility, the duty, the participation.  The point about voting is not representation (although the democrats will tell you so, and reward you with benefits for your special interests), it is participation, and non-participation is a form of participation.  It says that the choices are not "real" choices, that it is a matter between choosing tweddle-dum and tweddle-dummer.  It believes that it cannot get worse than this, but the fact is that it can, so I believe you make the best of it that you can and don't worry and don't let anyone else worry you that you may have made a mistake, it is the process that is important (including the electoral college), not as much the result.
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