Gnosticism and John

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Gnosticism and John

Okay, so I've run into a few comments here on the forums about the writings of John being influenced by Gnosticism and using that alleged influence as a means for dating the books.  I would like to discuss/debate this topic here if any of you would be interested.  Just in case you were wondering, I would be defending the negative position that John's writings were not influenced by Gnosticism.

 


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Would you like to debate

Would you like to debate this live?


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I would rather debate this

I would rather debate this in written form because I feel that written debates give both sides plenty of time to completely source their material as opposed to a live debate where you and your team gang bang poor hapless souls.  I don't think that a live debate would be most conducive to an informative, effective debate.


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irrespective wrote: I

irrespective wrote:

I would rather debate this in written form because I feel that written debates give both sides plenty of time to completely source their material as opposed to a live debate where you and your team gang bang poor hapless souls.

Don't you have god on your side? What about the bravery of Daniel in the lion's den?

Seriously, only Rook would take part in the debate. 

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no reason for it to be live

no reason for it to be live when it can be done right here.  If rook won't do it here, then it's not gonna happen.


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Then it won't happen. 

Then it won't happen.  Don't volunteer a debate if you're going to puss out about it.  If you're not honest enough to debate me live, and perhaps have to admit you don't know enough ebout a subject in front of others, you're not worth my time.  Every one of us get on the air every wednesday and friday and have to face the possibility of being wrong.  IT just so happens that we never have to admit it because generally our debatee is not up to par with us knowledge-wise.  If it came down to admitting being wrong, we'd be the first ones to admit it.  If you feel you're not mentally secure enough to honestly do that (which is why I'm guessing you're not interested in live debate) then you might as well never ask to debate anybody ever again.  You'll just wind up having your fragile ego hurt.

  Otherwise, PM me your number, and let's do this.   

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Correct me if I'm wrong,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this a DEBATE SITE?

Where the purpose of this board is to debate about the bible?


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Not all of us can sit

Not all of us can sit around a computer all day responding to every person who thinks they know what they are talking about.  It is an established consensus (every authoritative source!) as per the dating of John and the gnostic influence.  It's not even a debate, because the language and style, the manuscript evidence and attestation are clear indicators as such.  I don't have time to waste spending hours responding to this guy when those hours could be spent working on my book.  If he wants to wait a few months, read my book, and then write his own refuting it, then he can do so.  But if he wants to have an honest debate where he should be seeking knowledge instead of conversion, then live for an hour and a half should be plenty of time.  He can take notes and come on again later. 

Obviously his constiguents can handle debating live, Crossan, Wright, Licona, Habermas, Caner, Slick, etc....can do things live and they don't feel they are missing out on much.  This should not be a problem.  Especially since HE initiated the desire to debate.   Any other silly objections from th peanut gallery then?  If not, I'll go back to my book.

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Rook, I am not pussing out

Rook,

I am not pussing out of a debate I volunteered for.  I volunteered for a debate here in this forum, not for one live. 

My not wanting to debate you live has nothing to do with my ego.  Don't project your own internal motivations onto me.   I don't want this debate to be about which  of us knows more facts off the top of our heads.  I would like this debate to be about facts and k nowledge and history.  I would like it to have substance behind it.  A live debate is not conducive a debate of that nature. 

I think what this boils down to is you are an egotistical self-promoter rather than a true historian or seeker of the truth.  There is no reason for you to insist that this be a live debate other than that you want to have another live smackdown that you guys can play on your webcam when you're not on the air.  It's about showing everybody out there just how much you think you know.  And that's fine.  If y ou're more interested in self-promotion than the truth then more power to ya.

I didn't invite you personally to this debate.  I simply brought up an interesting topic for debate.  If you would rather not participate in it, then that is your cho ice.  I don't really care because I am not intimidated by you in the least.  I suspect that you aren't any more a "ancient text expert" than I am a hydro-geology expert.  But you can be whoever you want to be.  I am interested in quality debate in this forum with interested parties.


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Quote: It is an

Quote:
It is an established consensus (every authoritative source!) as per the dating of John and the gnostic influence.  It's not even a debate, because the language and style, the manuscript evidence and attestation are clear indicators as such.

 

Um. No it is not an established consensus and it is very much a debate among scholars.  In fact, I'm quite sure I could cite 2 scholars for your every one.  What this is really about is your desire to be demonstrated a great historical scholar.  I admit I am not Wright, Crossan, Borg, etc.  I do not have the breadth of knowledge they have.  But then again neither do you.  You can offer me no reason why you will not debate me here, because you don't have any...other than your ego.


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irrespective

irrespective wrote:

Rook,

I am not pussing out of a debate I volunteered for. I volunteered for a debate here in this forum, not for one live.

 "If rook won't do it here, then it's not gonna happen."  

Quote:
My not wanting to debate you live has nothing to do with my ego. Don't project your own internal motivations onto me.

"If rook won't do it here, then it's not gonna happen."

Explain that, then? 

Quote:
I don't want this debate to be about which of us knows more facts off the top of our heads.

Fine, research the subject THEN offer a debate.  If you don't know enough to counter what I'm going to bring to the table what makes you think you can offer a valid rebuttal at all? 

Quote:
I would like this debate to be about facts and k nowledge and history.

Well, d'uh!  If I'm bringing up FACTS then they'll obviously be about facts.  How will a debate about whether John hadgnostic influence have anything to do with knowledge?!  If you want to debate about knowledge that is a subject entirely of its own.

Quote:
I would like it to have substance behind it. A live debate is not conducive a debate of that nature.

 You have not listened to or watched many live debates then.  Live debates tend to be the most conducive.  That is why they are so popular among universities (Such as public debates at Pennsylvania State or UCLA) and high school/college debate teams. 

Quote:
I think what this boils down to is you are an egotistical self-promoter rather than a true historian or seeker of the truth.

Right.  Now prove it. 

Quote:
There is no reason for you to insist that this be a live debate other than that you want to have another live smackdown that you guys can play on your webcam when you're not on the air.

I thought this wasn't about you having an ego?  Thanks for proving my point.  Seekers of knowledge would have no worries about being wrong, and they wouldn't call a debate that was handled civily a "smackdown." If this is a representation of the type of logic you'll use in a debate about John, I'm not worried.

Quote:
It's about showing everybody out there just how much you think you know.

If I'm showing somebody something, it apparently goes beyond thinking.  It means I actually know it.   

Quote:
And that's fine. If y ou're more interested in self-promotion than the truth then more power to ya.

And you say I project?

Quote:
I don't really care because I am not intimidated by you in the least.

 You're shaking in your boots, and your words will not hide that.

Quote:
I suspect that you aren't any more a "ancient text expert" than I am a hydro-geology expert.

Prove it. Put your money where your mouth is jackass.

Quote:
But you can be whoever you want to be. I am interested in quality debate in this forum with interested parties.

Good luck finding somebody to debate you after the incredible ignorance you displayed just in the previous post. 

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irrespective

irrespective wrote:

Quote:
It is an established consensus (every authoritative source!) as per the dating of John and the gnostic influence. It's not even a debate, because the language and style, the manuscript evidence and attestation are clear indicators as such.

 

Um. No it is not an established consensus and it is very much a debate among scholars. In fact, I'm quite sure I could cite 2 scholars for your every one. What this is really about is your desire to be demonstrated a great historical scholar. I admit I am not Wright, Crossan, Borg, etc. I do not have the breadth of knowledge they have. But then again neither do you. You can offer me no reason why you will not debate me here, because you don't have any...other than your ego.

Check any established authority on the subject! The ODoCC, Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible, Eerdman's Commentary of the Bible, the Anchor Bible, the Oxford Annotated Bible, etc....

In Monographs, the VAST amount of JBL essays on this subject would fill volumes if combined into series. This isn't a debate. This has been an established consensus since 1959! Read Fuller, J. M. Robinson, Crossan, Price, Carrier, Cross, Talbert, McDonald, Pagels, Meyer, Barnstone, Ehrman, Metzger, J.R. Hoffman, Kasemann, Wells, ...the list goes on! You do NOT know what you are talking about.

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See Rook?  I knew it was a

See Rook?  I knew it was a bad decision to even consider debating you.  You're already calling me names and beating your chest.  You could never carry on a civil debate live or here.  It doesn't matter now, I have no interest in debating you.  You are clearly an immature sophomore.  Definitely not worth my time.


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irrespective wrote:

irrespective wrote:
See Rook? I knew it was a bad decision to even consider debating you. You're already calling me names and beating your chest. You could never carry on a civil debate live or here. It doesn't matter now, I have no interest in debating you. You are clearly an immature sophomore. Definitely not worth my time.

As you run away with your tail between your legs. The only person wasting their time here is me. I have to go deal with real historians and real theologians now...People who can bring more to the table then attacks at my ego.  As Brian would say, you've read three pages of the hypothetical "Rook Hawkins" book and think you know what the other 600 pages are all about.  Anybody with a rational mind who takes five minutes could listen back to the many debates I've had where the entire thing was rational and civilized.  Caner for example?  Crossan?  Slick?  Don't be silly.  You're a silly person.  You are dodging this debate because you have nothing, and you know it.  It's not my ego being bruised here.

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lol.  It's a pity this

lol.  It's a pity this debate is a no-go.  I wouldve enjoyed wiping your ass all over this forum, but oh well.


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irrespective wrote: lol.

irrespective wrote:
lol. It's a pity this debate is a no-go. I wouldve enjoyed wiping your ass all over this forum, but oh well.

 Keep dodging the debate.  You only prove my point with every post.

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irrespective

irrespective wrote:

Quote:
It is an established consensus (every authoritative source!) as per the dating of John and the gnostic influence. It's not even a debate, because the language and style, the manuscript evidence and attestation are clear indicators as such.

 

Um. No it is not an established consensus and it is very much a debate among scholars. In fact, I'm quite sure I could cite 2 scholars for your every one.

If you're so sure then why don't you go on the air to debate him?

See the contradiction? 

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I've already delivered.

I've already delivered. He has cowered away.

 

Check any established authority on the subject! The ODoCC, Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible, Eerdman's Commentary of the Bible, the Anchor Bible, the Oxford Annotated Bible, etc....

In Monographs, the VAST amount of JBL essays on this subject would fill volumes if combined into series. This isn't a debate. This has been an established consensus since 1959! Read Fuller, J. M. Robinson, Crossan, Price, Carrier, Cross, Talbert, McDonald, Pagels, Meyer, Barnstone, Ehrman, Metzger, J.R. Hoffman, Kasemann, Wells, ...the list goes on! You do NOT know what you are talking about.

 

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irrespective wrote: lol.

irrespective wrote:
lol. It's a pity this debate is a no-go. I wouldve enjoyed wiping your ass all over this forum, but oh well.

 

Again, you sound pretty confident here, why not go on the air?

 

Seeing any contradictions yet?

 

 

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He's afraid that I'll

He's afraid that I'll "slaughter" him with all of my facts that I think I know. His argument for not going live is so pathetic and full of holes it makes me cringe just thinking about what sort of backwards ass logic he'll present for his real case on John. One can only shudder at the ignorance.

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Quote: If you're so sure

Quote:

If you're so sure then why don't you go on the air to debate him?

See the contradiction? 

 

Nope.  I've explained my reasons.  There is no way a live debate can deliver the quality of information that a written debate can.  Live debates have their place in the scholarly world to be sure.  But I don't want this debate to be about who knows the most off the top of their head.  I'm sure that would be Rook.  But there would be no way to fact check mid-debate like one can in a written one.  No way to effectively quote sources, etc.

Rook has no reason to not debate me here.  I didn't invite him to this post, nor did I invite him to debate me.  I am not running away with my tail between my legs.  I will continue to post here, demolishing the whole gnostic theory for all to see.  Rook is welcome to respond if he so chooses.


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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this a DEBATE SITE?

Debate occurs here however no, this is not a "DEBATE SITE"

 

Quote:
Where the purpose of this board is to debate about the bible?

The purpose is whatever Rook says the purpose is.   We built this section for him.

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All I see from him is

All I see from him is "dogde, dodge, dodge..."

 

Check any established authority on the subject! The ODoCC, Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible, Eerdman's Commentary of the Bible, the Anchor Bible, the Oxford Annotated Bible, etc....

In Monographs, the VAST amount of JBL essays on this subject would fill volumes if combined into series. This isn't a debate. This has been an established consensus since 1959! Read Fuller, J. M. Robinson, Crossan, Price, Carrier, Cross, Talbert, McDonald, Pagels, Meyer, Barnstone, Ehrman, Metzger, J.R. Hoffman, Kasemann, Wells, ...the list goes on! You do NOT know what you are talking about.

 

Present your counter argument or shut up already. 

 

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what? you want to debate me

what? you want to debate me HERE? On this forum?  now I'm getting confused.  Ohhh! you're making me brain hurt already.

 

Listen, due to the existence of the Chester Beatty ms. of John, the most one can say is that Gnosticism and the gospel of John had similar backgrounds or whatnot.  Gnosticism sprang up as a movement long after the gospel was written, hence it could not have influenced the author of john.  Plenty of scholars question whether the gospel even has gnostic tendencies (Schweitzer, Percy, Buschel, Brown, Wright, etc.)

 

For example, Brown writes "As far as we can determine, John would be out of place among the Gnostic works found at Chenoboskion.  We do not mean that John could not have been used by the 2nd Century Gnostics, but that it is not a typical 2nd century gnostic composition" (Anchor Bible Commentary, liii.)


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irrespective

irrespective wrote:
Quote:

If you're so sure then why don't you go on the air to debate him?

See the contradiction?

 

Nope.

 

Actually, it's a contradiction. You're sure you'll do well, but here you are, whining about not debating rather than just taking part in what he's offered. Obviously, if you did well, you could hit him up for a written debate on the air.

I'm betting that you're actually happy that he's not taking you up on a written debate, and that you'll just whine a lot in this thread and do nothing else. If you really want the debate, you'd take him up on his offer.

 

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Quote: Actually, it's a

Quote:

Actually, it's a contradiction. You're sure you'll do well, but here you are, whining about not debating rather than just taking part in what he's offered. Obviously, if you did well, you could hit him up for a written debate on the air.

I'm betting that you're actually happy that he's not taking you up on a written debate, and that you'll just whine a lot in this thread and do nothing else. If you really want the debate, you'd take him up on his offer.

 

See, thats exactly where you're wrong.  It's not about me doing well in a live debate.  I'm quite sure as i've already implicitly admitted that i would do poorly in a live debate.  but its not about who does well.

 

I want to debate this topic in a sourced-fact rich environment.  I don't do well under pressure, that doesn't mean my viewpoint is flawed.  I would rather the debate be about the facts than about me.  this is my last post on why i willl not debate rook live. 


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irrespective wrote:

irrespective wrote:

what? you want to debate me HERE? On this forum? now I'm getting confused. Ohhh! you're making me brain hurt already.

 

Listen, due to the existence of the Chester Beatty ms. of John, the most one can say is that Gnosticism and the gospel of John had similar backgrounds or whatnot. Gnosticism sprang up as a movement long after the gospel was written, hence it could not have influenced the author of john. Plenty of scholars question whether the gospel even has gnostic tendencies (Schweitzer, Percy, Buschel, Brown, Wright, etc.)

Schweitzer? Try naming somebody not dead, and who didn't die a century ago. Wright? Which one? Because N.T. Wright agrees with me. If you mean E.G. Wright, he's been falsified by many including Hayes, Miller, Thompson et al. So that leaves Percy, Buschel and Brown. Aside from your slither from Brown, tell me, what monographs did they publish and what year?

Quote:
For example, Brown writes "As far as we can determine, John would be out of place among the Gnostic works found at Chenoboskion. We do not mean that John could not have been used by the 2nd Century Gnostics, but that it is not a typical 2nd century gnostic composition" (Anchor Bible Commentary, liii.)

If this is all Brown said on the subject then he is wrong, otherwise you are using him wrong. This appears as if Brown thinks that Gnosticism is a perversion or heresy of Christianity when this is not the case. Such claims have been so thoroughly refuted that there are only very few scholars who would state such a thing now. (Meyer, The Gnostic Discoveries; James M. Robinson, The Gnostic Library; The Coptic Gnostic Library; Barnstone, The Gnostic Bible; Bart Ehrman, Lost Christianities; etc...)

"The Gnostic Movement did not arise as a Christian heresy. Although there are no Gnostic works that in their present form are demonstrably pre-Christian, several treaties are certainly non-Christian or so superficially Christianized that the non-Christian original is still clearly recognizable." (p. 414; Article: Gnosticism 1: Gnostic Religion, D: Christianity; Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism. 2006, Brill Academic Publishers) - Shortened to DoGWE

 

Further, if as Brown admits the 2nd Century Gnostics used his work, and we have the manuscripts from second and third century Gnostics, what makes Brown think the Gospel of John is out of place? What a silly argument.  Of course the very idea of Christianity is gnostic in nature. (Gnosticism was found in all sorts of mysticism cults before the first century CE.  Orphism influenced early Judaic belief, to the point where Jews were acting Greek.  Josephus refers to the Essenes as followers of Pythagoras, etc... See my book for complete bibliography, being peer reviewed by the Copenhagen International Seminar.)  

More over, the Gospel of John has several very important Gnostic themes discussed in the DoGWE. For example the similarities between the prologue of John and the Trimorphic Protennoia, the three fold descent and what is found in the Hymn of Pronoia at the end of the Apocryphon of John; both of which derive from Jewish understands of the three descents of wisdom (a Jewish Gnostic theme found in Sethian works, some predate Christianity). (See van Broek, Studies in Gnosticism, Brill Academic Publishers; 1991. Also, "The Present State of Gnostic Studies," Vigiliae Christianae, 1981. And, Studies in Gnosticism and Alexandrian Christianity, Brill Academic Publishers, 1996). A full Bibliography of some 100+ academic resources found in the DoGWE, article by Roelof van den Broek.

This work can be definitively "called Gnostic" (DoGWE, pg. 414) due to the dependance on the salvific meaning of Gnosis (John 1:18, 17:3). Pagels writes that "John easily lent itself to Gnostic exegesis." (ibid.) Broek states, "If this Gospel had been unknown and had first come to light with the Nag Hammadi Library, it would certainly have been classified as a Gnostic or "gnosticizing" work." (ibid.)

Barnstone writes, "These features of the portrait of Jesus (See previous paragraoh in source - Ed) in the Gospel of John are reminiscent of themes found in a number of Gnostic sources." (pg. 71, The Gnostic Bible, New Seeds Publishers, 2003.) Of this there can be no doubt that being there are about seven other Gnostic works known to be attributed to John, it is certain that this work would not only fit in with Nag Hammadi texts, but certainly would be considered Gnostic.

Other jewish-gnostic works include the poem Orphica which is a Jewish Pseudepigrapha, found in the two volume set by James Charlesworth, which is a written to Orpheus. There are depictions of Orpheus on Jewish synagogue walls, and the Essene theme of dualism is directly related to that of Orphism.  The Pharasaic ideas of the resurrection stems directly from Greek and some Egyptian mythology, and later bled into other parts of Jewish life.  The Jewish apocrypha like 1 Enoch relay a very strong dualist message full of Greek mysticism.  And just as John is dated almost unanimously to the end of the first century start of the second, so to around this time Gnosticism was florishing.  A good book on the influence of Gnosticism on Jewish traditions in the early first centuries CE, see Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism, Howard Schwartz (Oxford University Press, 2004)

I simply don't have the time to go through every source I listed and pull direct quotes, needless to say they are there and you should busy yourself with finding them. Perhaps you'll learn something useful.

 

 

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Congratulations,

Congratulations, irrespective.

You managed to force Rook into a debate on your terms.

He's presented evidence and refuted much of what you presented.

What else do you have?  Where's the ass-wiping you promised?

Or did you mean that yours was the ass to be wiped? 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Rook,   Just so ya know, I

Rook,

 

Just so ya know, I am currently formulating my response and will post it probably tomorrow.  Some of us have to work for a living. Wink


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I'll ignore that ignorant

I'll ignore that ignorant comment.

Edit:  Second thought, no I won't.   I have three jobs.  1.) I work full time on two radio shows, the RRS and Rook's Nook.  2.) I have a part time job at a local bookstore, working 32 hours a week.  3.) All other time is spent on my book - which could be a part-time job on it's own.  Yet I still manage to have time to post a well cited response to you.  Sorry, but your job excuse only goes so far.  For this topic, however, it doesn't even reach half way.

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irrespective

irrespective wrote:
Quote:

Actually, it's a contradiction. You're sure you'll do well, but here you are, whining about not debating rather than just taking part in what he's offered. Obviously, if you did well, you could hit him up for a written debate on the air.

I'm betting that you're actually happy that he's not taking you up on a written debate, and that you'll just whine a lot in this thread and do nothing else. If you really want the debate, you'd take him up on his offer.

 

See, thats exactly where you're wrong. It's not about me doing well in a live debate. I'm quite sure as i've already implicitly admitted that i would do poorly in a live debate. but its not about who does well.

It's clear from your posts that this is the real reason, but you've explicitly stated that you'd be 'teamed up on', i.e. you've bascially been lying as to why you wouldn't go on the air.

Had you been honest about this from the start, things would have gone differently.

Quote:
 

 

I want to debate this topic in a sourced-fact rich environment. I don't do well under pressure, that doesn't mean my viewpoint is flawed.  

Understood, but if you have facts at your disposal you'd be able to present some of them live...

 

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irrespective

irrespective wrote:

Rook,

 

Just so ya know, I am currently formulating my response and will post it probably tomorrow.  Some of us have to work for a living. Wink


You goad him into a time-consuming forum debate rather than a quick phone interview, and you're actually going to bash him for taking the time to respond to you?


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I knew from the start this

I knew from the start this was going to be a huge waste of time.  How much do you want to bet he'll use John A.T. Robinson and William F. Albright as sources?

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Rook_Hawkins wrote: I knew

Rook_Hawkins wrote:
I knew from the start this was going to be a huge waste of time. How much do you want to bet he'll use John A.T. Robinson and William F. Albright as sources?

He's already going back a long way for his citations... perhaps he was wise to avoid a radio appearance. 

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No, a wise person would have

No, a wise person would have realized they had no leg to stand on and never tried to debate somebody (let alone threaten to whoop their ass in a debate!) with 500 books in his personal library that all deal with the subject of New Testament/Old Testament scholarship and classical civilization, who has been studying the subject for now nine years and being peer reviewed by a scholarly monograph.  At least, a wise person would have realized that about this particular subject.  On other subjects, a challenge might be welcomed.  This is not one of those subjects, as no wise person would have made the challenge to begin with.

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What I don't get is this.

What I don't get is this. Why spend so much time worrying about getting the debate in the format you like? It's an Internet forum. If you have an argument that John has no Gnostic influences, and want to debate about it with the people here, why not just dump your argument in the first post? Why dick around about the format when you could just start things off yourself? It's a busy forum, someone will respond eventually. Even Rook might stop by. We could be in the middle of a Gnostic John debate right now, and we could all be learning all kinds of fun things about Gnosticism and John. But we're not! Why not? Just spit it out! Why not start off the thread by saying "I don't think that Gnosticism influenced John, and here is my argument: <paragraphs go here>" If Rook doesn't want to do a forum debate, why do you need to confront him directly? There's lots of people here who have similar views to Rook and could probably fill in for him in a pinch.

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Quote: Wright? Which one?

Quote:
Wright? Which one? Because N.T. Wright agrees with me.

About what exactly?  That John is gnostic? Probably not, though he hasn't really written much about the Fourth Gospel.  That Christianity started from Gnosticism?  Certainly not.  He spends the entirety of ch. 14 in New Testament and the People of God  and chapter 2 of Judas and the Gospel of Jesus disproving this very thing.  That there is a scholarly consensus about the Gnosticism of John?  He dismisses it as a by-gone theory on p. 38 of JGJ.

As far as Schweitzer, he didn't die a century ago, he was a student of Bultmann and at first agreed with his reconstruction of early Christianity but later had his doubts, particularly in Ego Eimi, 1964.  Percy was a ways back there, I agree, which doesn't, of course, negate his opinion.

Quote:
If this is all Brown said on the subject then he is wrong, otherwise you are using him wrong. This appears as if Brown thinks that Gnosticism is a perversion or heresy of Christianity when this is not the case.

He has a lot of scholarship on his side.  Pagels in her most recent book Beyond Belief clearly seems to think that John's gospel was opposed to gnosticism, given the fact that she contrasts John with the gospel of Thomas throughout the book.  Ehrman in the New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings also clearly stops short of callling John a gnostic gospel.  He admits that there must be some sort of relationship g iven the similarities in llanguage, but refuses to say that gnostics wrote the gospel.

Other scholars who doubt the gnosticism of John include C.H. Dodd (Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel), Robert Wilson (Gnosis and the New Testament), Yamauchi (Pre-Christian Gnosticism), Schnackenburg (Gospel According to John), Harpers New Testament Commentary.

 I'm going to ignore what you say about Gnosticism not springing from Christianity because Brown did not say or imply that it did; in fact, he specifically denies it did.

Quote:
More over, the Gospel of John has several very important Gnostic themes discussed in the DoGWE.

This is actually more interesting to me, and really where i'd like this debate to move.  If your reasons for believing John is Gnostic are based solely on who or who many scholars say so, then that's kind of sad.  I'm more interested in the nitty-gritty textual issues of why you think John is Gnostic.  His emphasis on Jesus being the only way of salvation is very un-Gnostic, as well as his emphasis on Jesus become flesh and dwelling among men.  What themes in John are specifically Gnostic?  And please don't bring up vocabulary here, because the specific words John uses doesn't prove anything.


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Quote: Wright? Which one?

Quote:
Wright? Which one? Because N.T. Wright agrees with me.

About what exactly?  That John is gnostic? Probably not, though he hasn't really written much about the Fourth Gospel.  That Christianity started from Gnosticism?  Certainly not.  He spends the entirety of ch. 14 in New Testament and the People of God  and chapter 2 of Judas and the Gospel of Jesus disproving this very thing.  That there is a scholarly consensus about the Gnosticism of John?  He dismisses it as a by-gone theory on p. 38 of JGJ.

As far as Schweitzer, he didn't die a century ago, he was a student of Bultmann and at first agreed with his reconstruction of early Christianity but later had his doubts, particularly in Ego Eimi, 1964.  Percy was a ways back there, I agree, which doesn't, of course, negate his opinion.

Quote:
If this is all Brown said on the subject then he is wrong, otherwise you are using him wrong. This appears as if Brown thinks that Gnosticism is a perversion or heresy of Christianity when this is not the case.

He has a lot of scholarship on his side.  Pagels in her most recent book Beyond Belief clearly seems to think that John's gospel was opposed to gnosticism, given the fact that she contrasts John with the gospel of Thomas throughout the book.  Ehrman in the New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings also clearly stops short of callling John a gnostic gospel.  He admits that there must be some sort of relationship g iven the similarities in llanguage, but refuses to say that gnostics wrote the gospel.

Other scholars who doubt the gnosticism of John include C.H. Dodd (Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel), Robert Wilson (Gnosis and the New Testament), Yamauchi (Pre-Christian Gnosticism), Schnackenburg (Gospel According to John), Harpers New Testament Commentary.

 I'm going to ignore what you say about Gnosticism not springing from Christianity because Brown did not say or imply that it did; in fact, he specifically denies it did.

Quote:
More over, the Gospel of John has several very important Gnostic themes discussed in the DoGWE.

This is actually more interesting to me, and really where i'd like this debate to move.  If your reasons for believing John is Gnostic are based solely on who or who many scholars say so, then that's kind of sad.  I'm more interested in the nitty-gritty textual issues of why you think John is Gnostic.  His emphasis on Jesus being the only way of salvation is very un-Gnostic, as well as his emphasis on Jesus become flesh and dwelling among men.  What themes in John are specifically Gnostic?  And please don't bring up vocabulary here, because the specific words John uses doesn't prove anything.


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irrespective

irrespective wrote:

Quote:
Wright? Which one? Because N.T. Wright agrees with me.

About what exactly? That John is gnostic? Probably not, though he hasn't really written much about the Fourth Gospel.

YOU don't even know and you cited him?! That is pretty pathetic.

Quote:
That Christianity started from Gnosticism? Certainly not.

Says who?

Quote:
He spends the entirety of ch. 14 in New Testament and the People of God and chapter 2 of Judas and the Gospel of Jesus disproving this very thing. That there is a scholarly consensus about the Gnosticism of John? He dismisses it as a by-gone theory on p. 38 of JGJ.

If that is true then he'd be wrong. Even still Wright is NOT a historian, and instead an apologist. He should be dismissed as a citation on this very issue.

Quote:
As far as Schweitzer, he didn't die a century ago, he was a student of Bultmann and at first agreed with his reconstruction of early Christianity but later had his doubts, particularly in Ego Eimi, 1964. Percy was a ways back there, I agree, which doesn't, of course, negate his opinion.

I certainly hope you're not refering to Albert Schweitzer! He published his work on the historical Jesus in 1906! He died in 1965, granted, but he published within early in his life! The revision of his The Quest of the Historical Jesus was in 1911! A student of BULTMANN?! Are you insane?! Where did you get that idea from?! Bultmann's Theology of the New Testament was published in 1955, which would mean that Bultmann was tutoring somebody some decades his elder! You didn't do any research here did you?  Schweitzer got his doctorate in 1899 from Tubingen! If anything, Bultmann was educated by Schweitzer (which was not the case).

Further, you claim that we shouldn't discount Percy because he was "way back" - please do not insult the intelligence of members of this board.  Historical ideas and perspectives from even ten years ago are no longer valid today.  Some of the greatest theories proposed historically (the documentary hypothesis suggested by Wellhausen; Noth, Alt and Albright and their opinions on the origins of Israel as a monarchy; the means by which the Romans fought wars) have been overturned as new evidence has been brought to light.  Using somebody who would never had read the Nag Hammadi works to judge Gnosticism by, and then saying his works are still valid, is a slap in the face to all modern scholary academia.  Seriously, are you joking?  What a waste of my fucking time you are. I have not cited one historian's work past twenty years, and where there is an edition of old, I made sure to post other works from the same author within a shorter time period (like Reolof.)  You have given me NOTHING worth any verisimilitude.  

Quote:
Quote:
If this is all Brown said on the subject then he is wrong, otherwise you are using him wrong. This appears as if Brown thinks that Gnosticism is a perversion or heresy of Christianity when this is not the case.

He has a lot of scholarship on his side.

No he doesn't! I am getting sick and tired of your blanket statements! I just quoted you the AUTHORITY on Gnosticism, the DoGWE, which is responsible for obtaining the CONSENSUS on scholarly material. You're pulling things from your ass now.

Quote:
Pagels in her most recent book Beyond Belief clearly seems to think that John's gospel was opposed to gnosticism, given the fact that she contrasts John with the gospel of Thomas throughout the book.

Page citation and quote PLEASE. Since Elaine Pagels and I have actually discussed this issue in private via e-mail, I'm amused to see exactly what you think she said.  Why don't you pick up her book the Gnostic Gospels while you're at it.

Quote:
Ehrman in the New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings also clearly stops short of callling John a gnostic gospel.

That was never the original claim. You've now officially changed the subject of the debate. Your initial claim was that it didn't have any gnostic influence. That is a FALSE claim. It has MUCH gnostic influence. Bart is correct in stating that. That was never the claim. The claim was if John had gnostic influence, and he does. Just as Paul did, and many other early Christians. To deny this is to ignore the obvious. Or perhaps you're not well read enough on the period to form an intelligent opinion on the matter. 

Quote:
He admits that there must be some sort of relationship g iven the similarities in llanguage, but refuses to say that gnostics wrote the gospel.

This is still you changing the point of the debate. In other words it is a ad hoc.

Quote:
Other scholars who doubt the gnosticism of John include C.H. Dodd (Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel), Robert Wilson (Gnosis and the New Testament), Yamauchi (Pre-Christian Gnosticism), Schnackenburg (Gospel According to John), Harpers New Testament Commentary.

These aren't historians. These are theologians and apologists. Yamauchi, especially! I've had dialogs with him, and he is nuts! Please cite a historian.

Quote:
I'm going to ignore what you say about Gnosticism not springing from Christianity because Brown did not say or imply that it did; in fact, he specifically denies it did.

You can ignore it all you want, YOU made the claim in how you cited him. SO far you haven't refuted a single point I made. You are such a waste of my time.

Quote:
Quote:
More over, the Gospel of John has several very important Gnostic themes discussed in the DoGWE.

This is actually more interesting to me, and really where i'd like this debate to move.

How can we when you simply have not read enough of the information and textual criticism that exists out there, citing dead scholars and people who wrote 90 years ago. You then bring apologists to the table, and theologians who do not have the framework in historical methodology to the table as if you have a point. OF course Yamauchi would suggest that John wasn't gnostic, because it suits him. He's a very strong fundamentalist Christian. I've read his books, and he uses scholars from the beginning of the redaktiongescheicte!!! He then cites, who else, but John A. T. Robinson and William ALbright, again people who have not only been refuted but are in the MINORITY! (ODoCC, 3rd Edition, Article on Gospel of John) You have basically done nothing here but prove you know nothing.

Quote:
If your reasons for believing John is Gnostic are based solely on who or who many scholars say so, then that's kind of sad.

This proves your ignorance of modern methodologies. It's also a shady statement. It makes you appear to be covering up for the fact that you're not nearly as well read as you claim to be. Not only that, but without a firmly established method established by a community of historians and scholars there cannot be a historical-critical method by which to adequately base ones opinions on anything. Just looking at John without considering the vast amount of other works that exist from that period and before, even after, is not going to bring you any knowledge of the context of the socio-cultural landscape in which the author of John wrote.

You basically want to ignore what the consensus says and move right along with your own flawed conclusions. Sorry, but you're a nobody in the world of scholarship, and such nonchalant attitudes towards the progress of critical scholarship will not fly in this forum.

Quote:
What themes in John are specifically Gnostic? And please don't bring up vocabulary here, because the specific words John uses doesn't prove anything.

That is the icing on the cake. This is the most ignorant claim one can make. Vocabulary is the most important part of the TEXT, fool! Until you adequately refute my previous post to the standards I set forth in my post, there is no reason to continue this dialog. In other words, you can't move on until you can show me reason enough to distrust the authorities on the issues of gnosticism, and the 200 scholars who participated in the authoring of the authority of the DoGWE.

I also suggest you pick up a book on modern historical methods, to see that it isn't just what scholars think that matters (what your vague and obscure point earlier seemed to imply), but the evidence they present. The fact that I gave you a weeks worth of reading to do - and to see you post a day later - is not inspiring in the least, and makes me question your honesty in this debate. Have you adequately looked over the sources I cited? Of course not. So get to it.

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ROOK:Wright? Which one?
ROOK:Wright? Which one? Because N.T. Wright agrees with me.

IRRESPECTIVE: About what exactly? That John is gnostic? Probably not, though he hasn't really written much about the Fourth Gospel.

ROOK:YOU don't even know and you cited him?! That is pretty pathetic.

I know that he doesn't buy the Christianity-came-out-of-Gnosticism theory.  I was j ust being cautious given that he hasn't really written about the Fourth Gospel much.  Be that as it may, I'm about 95 percent sure he does not agree with you on that point.  All of this is beside the point, given that YOU claimed that he agreed with you.  How do you justify that claim?  Or were j ust pulling that out of your own ass?

IRRESPECTIVE: That Christianity started from Gnosticism? Certainly not.

Says who?

LOL.  Says the very next sentence in my post where I cite two different books he has written in support of my statement.  I mean, really, Rook.  Try to follow me here.  I know its hard, but please try. 

ROOK:Even still Wright is NOT a historian, and instead an apologist. He should be dismissed as a citation on this very issue.

It's statements like this that demonstrate why you have a long way to go before you can be taken seriously as a Ancient Text Expert.  This sounds to me like citing Wright for your side didn't work out for you so now he's no historian.  There are plenty of scholars you respect and quote who would very seriously disagree with your assessment of him.  Crossan and Borg to start.  Besides, it displays your basic naivete, which is sad in a way.  You are still operating on the Enlightenment premise that pure history is possible.  That one can approach a historical issue free from prejudice with no intention of an apologetic.  Of course since your stated desire is to destroy the Christian faith, you are as much an apologist as any one of the many scholars you have here dismissed because they are apologists.  I guess I can safely dismiss every thing you say because you are also an apologist.

ROOK: I certainly hope you're not refering to Albert Schweitzer!.....blah, blah, blah...A student of BULTMANN?! Are you insane?!...blah, blah, blah...etc. etc. etc.

Since I was not referring to Albert Schweitzer I will disregard this entire paragraph.

IRRESPECTIVE:Pagels in her most recent book Beyond Belief clearly seems to think that John's gospel was opposed to gnosticism, given the fact that she contrasts John with the gospel of Thomas throughout the book.

ROOK:Page citation and quote PLEASE. Since Elaine Pagels and I have actually discussed this issue in private via e-mail, I'm amused to see exactly what you think she said.

Just read Beyond Belief.  It's the theme of the book.  She really starts in on it though about page 30 I believe.  Doesn't matter, though, cuz I'm currently emailing her at the moment and I'm sure we'll have this whole thing ironed out soon.

ROOK:That was never the original claim. You've now officially changed the subject of the debate. Your initial claim was that it didn't have any gnostic influence. That is a FALSE claim. It has MUCH gnostic influence.

Thats very true, Rook.  It was not MY original claim.  But in your first post YOU made that claim in many of your quotations from the DoGWE.  I was merely responding to that claim.  Ehrman is one of many scholars who does not believe that John is a Gnostic gospel.

ROOK:He then cites, who else, but John A. T. Robinson and William ALbright, again people who have not only been refuted but are in the MINORITY!

When and where?  Just out of curiosity.

ROOK:This proves your ignorance of modern methodologies. It's also a shady statement. It makes you appear to be covering up for the fact that you're not nearly as well read as you claim to be. Not only that, but without a firmly established method established by a community of historians and scholars there cannot be a historical-critical method by which to adequately base ones opinions on anything. Just looking at John without considering the vast amount of other works that exist from that period and before, even after, is not going to bring you any knowledge of the context of the socio-cultural landscape in which the author of John wrote.

I am not suggesting we look at John in a vacuum.  What I am suggesting is that we not get into a citation war here.  You have quoted some people.  I have quoted some people.  Let's move past the whole citation thing and look at the actual text in question.  Let's take the Gnostic works from Nag Hammadi and compare them to the text of John.  Let's take the known characteristics of Gnosticism like dualism, etc. and compare those characteristics with John and see if he can be fairly called Gnostic.  That's what I'm after.  If you just want to throw names around then what's the point of the debate?  To show who's read the most books?  Who cares?  If you want to be a real scholar, Rook, it doesn't matter in the end what Dr. Pagels or whoever said.  What matters is what do the historical documents in question say?  We both know what Gnosticism was, so now the question is does John reflect that philosophy.

ROOK:You basically want to ignore what the consensus says and move right along with your own flawed conclusions. Sorry, but you're a nobody in the world of scholarship, and such nonchalant attitudes towards the progress of critical scholarship will not fly in this forum.  

Pardon me for being just a little suspicious of scholarship but let's see here.  In the same post you have already said that historical scholarship changes its mind every decade.  Why spend the time reading it unless you want to interact with it?  I'm not suggesting that one ignore scholarship, but that should not be the sum total of one's study.  If we want to learn the relationship between John and the Gnostic writings, for example, it is time far better spent to look at the original materials and come up with our own hypotheses about the situation.  That is true scholarship.  Elaine Pagels is a great scholar on Gnosticism not because she has read what Bart Ehrman had to say but because she studied the Gnostic texts themselves.  Her books flow out of a deep and intimate knowledge with the original material.

BTW, just as a reminder you are also a nobody in the world of scholarship. 

IRRESPECTIVE:What themes in John are specifically Gnostic? And please don't bring up vocabulary here, because the specific words John uses doesn't prove anything.

ROOK:That is the icing on the cake. This is the most ignorant claim one can make. Vocabulary is the most important part of the TEXT, fool!

And here you are so wrong, once again.  Vocabulary is NOT the most important part of the text.  CONTEXT is key to interpretation.  For example, I might ask you what the word mystery means.  Well that depends on whether you are a gnostic or you just like to read Agatha Christie stories.  That is my point here.  It will not do to say, well John used the words Logos, Light, Truth, Life, etc. which the Gnostics also used therefore he was Gnostic.  One must prove that he used those words in the WAYS a Gnostic would have used them.  LOL. A linguist you are not, Rook.

ROOK:In other words, you can't move on until you can show me reason enough to distrust the authorities on the issues of gnosticism, and the 200 scholars who participated in the authoring of the authority of the DoGWE.

Is it really the modern historical method to base your entire thesis on a single work written from apparently a single point of view?  How am I supposed to show you reason to doubt it if we don't dive into the text itself?  How many historians do I have to quote to make you doubt what DoGWE has to say?  That's not a very scholarly method in my view.  Far better to look at the text.


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Please learn HOW to use the

Please learn HOW to use the quote function.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
irrespective wrote:

ROOK:Wright? Which one? Because N.T. Wright agrees with me.

IRRESPECTIVE: About what exactly? That John is gnostic? Probably not, though he hasn't really written much about the Fourth Gospel.

ROOK:YOU don't even know and you cited him?! That is pretty pathetic.

I know that he doesn't buy the Christianity-came-out-of-Gnosticism theory.

That has nothing to do with the subject matter. This is now the second time you have created a non-sequitor.

Quote:
I was j ust being cautious given that he hasn't really written about the Fourth Gospel much.

So why the hell did you cite him as a source? Why not cite somebody who has a background in gnostic works and the forth Gospel? You're a silly person, you know that?

Quote:
Be that as it may, I'm about 95 percent sure he does not agree with you on that point. All of this is beside the point, given that YOU claimed that he agreed with you. How do you justify that claim? Or were j ust pulling that out of your own ass?

Um...have you read his book on the resurrection?

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IRRESPECTIVE: That Christianity started from Gnosticism? Certainly not.

Says who?

LOL. Says the very next sentence in my post where I cite two different books he has written in support of my statement. I mean, really, Rook. Try to follow me here. I know its hard, but please try.

I'm sorry, were you planning on backing up your claim? It is hard to follow because you can't seem to prove a point with any verisimilitude.

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Quote:
ROOK:Even still Wright is NOT a historian, and instead an apologist. He should be dismissed as a citation on this very issue.

It's statements like this that demonstrate why you have a long way to go before you can be taken seriously as a Ancient Text Expert.

So you're going to seriously claim that he is a Historian? Really?

Quote:
This sounds to me like citing Wright for your side didn't work out for you so now he's no historian.

You cited Wright you dolt. This is just a dodge on your part as you HAVE nothing to discredit the argument with. Are you GOING to back up your claims or aren't you? This is the tenth-something post of yours where you have claimed a lot and proved nothing.

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There are plenty of scholars you respect and quote who would very seriously disagree with your assessment of him. Crossan and Borg to start.

Certainly they would, but Borg is not a historian either, and I have no respect for Borg. Crossan may respect Wright, but Crossan admits he has his presuppositions about the historical Jesus. SO to me there is no reason to take their opinions as validating Wrights positions, or in any way concluding that Wright is an authority. Sorry, but you were wrong to use Wright.

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Besides, it displays your basic naivete, which is sad in a way. You are still operating on the Enlightenment premise that pure history is possible.

Strawman, ad hom. Are you ever going to prove a claim?

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That one can approach a historical issue free from prejudice with no intention of an apologetic.

You can. The fact that you feel you cannot is evidence that you are deluded by your theist background. This is a projection of your inability to do so, not a discription of the actual position of scholarship.

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Of course since your stated desire is to destroy the Christian faith, you are as much an apologist as any one of the many scholars you have here dismissed because they are apologists.

That makes no sense. DO you have any idea what an apologist even is?! In the words of Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

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I guess I can safely dismiss every thing you say because you are also an apologist.

Again, you are completely unaware of that words meaning.

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ROOK: I certainly hope you're not refering to Albert Schweitzer!.....blah, blah, blah...A student of BULTMANN?! Are you insane?!...blah, blah, blah...etc. etc. etc.

Since I was not referring to Albert Schweitzer I will disregard this entire paragraph.

I'm sorry, since you're completely incompetent, and can't cite your sources properly, I thought of the only Schweitzer that I am aware of. Who were you citing so I can verify your claim?

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IRRESPECTIVE:Pagels in her most recent book Beyond Belief clearly seems to think that John's gospel was opposed to gnosticism, given the fact that she contrasts John with the gospel of Thomas throughout the book.

ROOK:Page citation and quote PLEASE. Since Elaine Pagels and I have actually discussed this issue in private via e-mail, I'm amused to see exactly what you think she said.

Just read Beyond Belief. It's the theme of the book. She really starts in on it though about page 30 I believe. Doesn't matter, though, cuz I'm currently emailing her at the moment and I'm sure we'll have this whole thing ironed out soon.

Good. I'm interested on what she has to say too.

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ROOK:That was never the original claim. You've now officially changed the subject of the debate. Your initial claim was that it didn't have any gnostic influence. That is a FALSE claim. It has MUCH gnostic influence.

Thats very true, Rook. It was not MY original claim. But in your first post YOU made that claim in many of your quotations from the DoGWE.

No I didn't make any such claim. I actually CITED the book! You have yet to do a single adequate citation of ANYBODY! You claim a lot and prove nothing. And when I refuted your point, you changed your argument like somebody who knows they havebeen beaten, anddefensively latches on to something for dear life. I never said that John was written by the Gnostics - I specifically said he was influenced by them, to the point where as cited in the DoGWE, he would have fit in with the manuscripts found at Nag Hammadi. You used Brown to suggest that this wasn't the case and I brought up several instances in which Brown was wrong. You have yet to refute me.

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I was merely responding to that claim. Ehrman is one of many scholars who does not believe that John is a Gnostic gospel.

Again, this is you changing your argument. You seriously are a waste of my time. If you don't start supplying this debate with more then ad hoc's and shifty obscure statements, I'm going to lock this thread and be done with it. This is a warning. I'll do it on three foundations.

1.) You claimed you would whip my ass in a debate and have not done any such thing.

2.) Your excuse for not doing this live is because you wanted a debate full of citations when you have no adequately cited one.

3.) You have responded several times and have not once refuted the claim, when given time (that you claimed was so vital to a forum debate which you don't seem to be utilizing) to thoroughly fact check everything I've said.

These three reasons alone are sufficient for calling you out as somebody who is all talk and no walk.

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ROOK:He then cites, who else, but John A. T. Robinson and William ALbright, again people who have not only been refuted but are in the MINORITY!

When and where? Just out of curiosity.

I was wrong concerning J.A.T. Robinson, it was John M. Robinson. William Albright is cited in his bibliography. Additionally I wanted to add that Yamauchi has not yet taken into account the new themes of Gnostic thought. His book, Pre-Christian Gnosticism, was published in 1973, with a revision ten years later, which effectively makes Yamauchi's claims severely outdated in scholarship. The works of Barnstone, Meyer, Wells, Price, etc...have not been challenged by anybody in the community. Van den Broek is additionally somebody who has published extensively on this subject, and while Van den Broek is the author of the article on Gnosticism I, he cites 63 seperate scholars and around 100 works by those authors. I already explained this to you.

Even worse, the sources cited in Yamauchi's work are even more out of date then his book. Many date to the 50's and 60's (a vast majority of them!). His book is either in desperate need of revision, and new arguments need to be presented to counter the new wave of scholarly consensus. That is where your problem is. You cite OLD scholars from a different period with a different sort of consensus. The scholarly community today is not the community that existed even ten years ago. I suggest you compare some of the types of dissertations published via the JBL today to those published even 15 years ago. By citing these sources you prove you are nothing but a fossil in the field.

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ROOK:This proves your ignorance of modern methodologies. It's also a shady statement. It makes you appear to be covering up for the fact that you're not nearly as well read as you claim to be. Not only that, but without a firmly established method established by a community of historians and scholars there cannot be a historical-critical method by which to adequately base ones opinions on anything. Just looking at John without considering the vast amount of other works that exist from that period and before, even after, is not going to bring you any knowledge of the context of the socio-cultural landscape in which the author of John wrote.

I am not suggesting we look at John in a vacuum.

If I misunderstood your argument, then I will retract my statement. Otherwise, you may also want to consider how you present your positions. You are not presenting them clear enough, and when you do present something you don't cite properly.

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What I am suggesting is that we not get into a citation war here.

What are you, some Matt Slick fan? The whole point of citing scholars is that they have already presented the dissections of the documents in question. They have already done the work! It is YOUR job to review the scholars work and determine if their presentation of the evidence is adequate or not. Your job is to determine if the conclusions they raise are in line with modern schoalrship in other fields as well, such as sociology, archaeology, and papyrology to name a few. If you can do that, and determine the nature of the said work is coherent then citing that scholar is validated. If you can't, and you just cite to cite, then yes your claim is correct. Then it becomes a "how many more scholars I can cite then you" debate, but apparently you seem to feel that is what this is. Perhaps that is why you haven't cited a single thing properly, and why you throw out names of scholars from decades ago.

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You have quoted some people. I have quoted some people. Let's move past the whole citation thing and look at the actual text in question.

How can you adequately determine the nature of the text without the use of modern methods to apply? You are not up to par on the necessity of scholarship.

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Let's take the Gnostic works from Nag Hammadi and compare them to the text of John.

That is what Scholarship has already done. Do you not understand this?

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Let's take the known characteristics of Gnosticism like dualism, etc. and compare those characteristics with John and see if he can be fairly called Gnostic.

This.Has.Already.Been.Done.

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That's what I'm after. If you just want to throw names around then what's the point of the debate?

So...do you want this to be a rich debate full of sources and citations, or do you just want to blindly dabble about concerning the passages in John? You seem to not be able to make up your mind.

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To show who's read the most books? Who cares?

Your apparent objectification of somebody being well read is disturbing. If you are not well read, you should not be having this debate. If you feel you are well read, this objection makes no sense at all.

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If you want to be a real scholar, Rook, it doesn't matter in the end what Dr. Pagels or whoever said.

I'm sorry, are you being peer reviewed? I highly doubt you have any room to talk here, especially considering I'm the one submitting papers for review for publication, and am actually engrossed in the process of generating consensus. You really need to check yourself.

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What matters is what do the historical documents in question say? We both know what Gnosticism was, so now the question is does John reflect that philosophy.

You think you know what Gnosticism is? Please, tell me what Gnosticism is without citing a source, and we'll determine how accurate it is. I want you to TRY and do that. What is Gnosticism?

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ROOK:You basically want to ignore what the consensus says and move right along with your own flawed conclusions. Sorry, but you're a nobody in the world of scholarship, and such nonchalant attitudes towards the progress of critical scholarship will not fly in this forum.

Pardon me for being just a little suspicious of scholarship but let's see here. In the same post you have already said that historical scholarship changes its mind every decade.

That is a misquote and dishonest. Or maybe you're not reading things accurately. I specifically said scholarship UPDATES its perspective based on additional information. You really have no clue what you are talking about. Why would you ever think you could spar with me?

Quote:
Why spend the time reading it unless you want to interact with it?

Part of how you interact with it is comparing methodologies to determine which one is accurate. Being well read has something to do with how well you can compare methods and determine validity. This is why your earlier objection made no sense. It seems you want to replace your not being well read with somethng else. You certainly SHOULD be skeptical of scholarship, but modern scholarship is generally much better then old scholarship. Now you can understand why citing somebody from even twenty years ago is a "sin" in historical methods. Being well read on modern scholarship is what enables people to determine whether or not such methods ARE acceptable in light of the evidence INTERNALLY (i.e. within the text itself.)

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I'm not suggesting that one ignore scholarship,

Could have fooled me.

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but that should not be the sum total of one's study.

That is a strawman.

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If we want to learn the relationship between John and the Gnostic writings, for example, it is time far better spent to look at the original materials and come up with our own hypotheses about the situation.

First you need to establish what you THINK Gnosticism is. I think you have a very flawed opinion or understanding about it.

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That is true scholarship.

You don't even know the meaning of the words you use. You are just tryingto be poetic to make up for the fact that you cannot refute me.

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BTW, just as a reminder you are also a nobody in the world of scholarship.

That is why I am being peer reviewed. If you ever tried to submit your claims you bring up NOW to scholarship through peer review, you'd be laughed out of the board room.

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IRRESPECTIVE:What themes in John are specifically Gnostic? And please don't bring up vocabulary here, because the specific words John uses doesn't prove anything.

ROOK:That is the icing on the cake. This is the most ignorant claim one can make. Vocabulary is the most important part of the TEXT, fool!

And here you are so wrong, once again. Vocabulary is NOT the most important part of the text. CONTEXT is key to interpretation.

Again your ignorance of the Greek language is astounding. There is a whole section of scholarship dedicated to word usage and function. Please acquaint yourself with this, and once you do you can explain why you feel that word usage is unnecessary and irrelevant. I'll be interested in your refutation of the methods employed by these scholars.

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ROOK:In other words, you can't move on until you can show me reason enough to distrust the authorities on the issues of gnosticism, and the 200 scholars who participated in the authoring of the authority of the DoGWE.

Is it really the modern historical method to base your entire thesis on a single work written from apparently a single point of view?

In other words you did not read my refutation to your work, at all? That explains a lot.

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I really hate these

I really hate these exchanges.

A big mouth lays down a challenge.

The pathetic weakness of his case is exposed.

He demonstrates that he doesn't even know what the fuck he's talking about.

Rook demonstrates his points over and over, even demonstrating that the original poster has moved the goalposts from 'gnostic influence' to 'gnostic work'.

And yet the exchanges continue?

Why?

Irrespective, can you at least concede that Rook has exposed the flaws in your citations? Can you at least concede that you're not actually prepared for this discussion?

I'm betting no..... 

 

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Here a few comments on some

Here a few comments on some of the less important parts of your post.  I'll post more on Saturday after I've had time for another trip to the library.

 

Irrespective wrote:
That one can approach a historical issue free from prejudice with no intention of an apologetic.

Rook wrote:
You can.

I can see already that we're going to have a problem because it is accepted fact that EVERYONE approaches every subject with a certain amount of preconceptions that color the decisions they make.  No historian can approach the subject of Christianity and Gnosticism without believing one of two things: 1. Christianity is a crock or 2. Christianity is true to one degree or another.  One's position on that will affect how one treats sources, etc.

You ESPECIALLY have an agenda and that agenda WILL affect the research you do.  You cannot study this subject without prejudice.  You are incapable of doing pure, unadulterated history.  If you think you are, you are completely naive when it comes to historical method.  If you intend on dismissing every citation I make because this or that person is a Christian, I will start dismissing your sources because they are not true Christians.  We can both play this little game.

Rook wrote:
Um...have you read his book on the resurrection?

Gonna have to be more specific than that.  Page number please.  I'm not going to read through that entire book just to find the place where Wright agrees with you (about what I'm still not clear).

 

Rook wrote:

So you're going to seriously claim that he is a Historian? Really?

How about you prove that he isn't.  All scholars I have seen who refer to him, cite him, critique him, etc. have immense respect for his abilities.  There's no reason for me to doubt his credibility unless you have something I don't know about.

Rook wrote:

That makes no sense. DO you have any idea what an apologist even is?! In the words of Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Again, you are completely unaware of that words meaning.

I do appreciate your citation of Princess Bride, but  I hate to disappoint you--I do know what the word apologist means.  Look it up.  Prove to me I'm misusing it.  Back up your claim or take it back.

You are an apologist, Rook--for atheism.  You want to prove that Christianity is not a unique movement born out of the womb of Ancient Judaism.  You want to use the Bultmannian paradigm of History of Religions to prove that Christianity is nothing more than an amalgamation of various ancient religions and philosophies.  There is nothing unprejudiced about your method here.  If you are going to dismiss sources on the basis of prejudice, than you must dismiss yourself as well.  This is my point.  Am I clear?

Rook wrote:
The whole point of citing scholars is that they have already presented the dissections of the documents in question. They have already done the work! It is YOUR job to review the scholars work and determine if their presentation of the evidence is adequate or not.

How can you determine if the scholars presentation of the evidence is adequate is you do not look at the original works?  This is precisely how misconceptions and myths get passed down from one generation of scholarship to the next.  No one checks the sources.

Rook wrote:

So...do you want this to be a rich debate full of sources and citations, or do you just want to blindly dabble about concerning the passages in John? You seem to not be able to make up your mind.

Look, citations and so urces are fine.  But the primary sources are exactly that.  Primary.  Gospel of John and the Library of Nag Hammadi.  You say the work of comparison has been done.  Fine, go through the 500 books you have in your library, find some key points of similarity and present them as proof that GoJ had Gnostic influences.  Quoting some scholar who says, "GoJ was Gnostic," doesn't prove anything to me.  It's not the citations that bother me.  It's how you go about it.  I want specifics.  i don't want some kind of generalized statement.  If you can't deliver then why did you even come here. If all you're going to do is list a bunch of books I should read, then exit this debate right now because I'm not interested in that.  I want to debate the details of the Gnostic philosophy that allegedly appear in John.  Where are they because I don't see them. 

Rook wrote:
I'm sorry, since you're completely incompetent, and can't cite your sources properly, I thought of the only Schweitzer that I am aware of. Who were you citing so I can verify your claim?

I gave you the book title and year of publication.  What do you want, his home phone number?  Look at the post.

Rook wrote:

Your apparent objectification of somebody being well read is disturbing. If you are not well read, you should not be having this debate. If you feel you are well read, this objection makes no sense at all.

Let's see.....objectification......

"to present (something or someone) as an object; depersonalize." (American Heritage Dictionary)  That definition doesn't seem to fit here so maybe you could clarify what you mean.

I didn't say it's not important to be well-read.  I am quite well-read.  But who cares?  In the end what matters is can you use what you've read in a practical way?  The winner of this debate will not be the person who has read the most books.  It will be the person who has demonstrated that John does or does not contain Gnostic tendencies.  That can only be proven by looking at waht the Gnostics believed and then comparing that with GoJ.  Which means that we have to agree on the basic beliefs of Gnostics and then compare those to the GoJ.  That's the only way this debate will move forward.

Rook wrote:
That is a misquote and dishonest. Or maybe you're not reading things accurately. I specifically said scholarship UPDATES its perspective based on additional information. You really have no clue what you are talking about. Why would you ever think you could spar with me?

Hmm...."updates its perspective"...sounds like scholar speak for "changes its mind."  You have said that works written ten years ago are "not longer valid." Sounds a little more drastic than an update.

Rook wrote:
Again your ignorance of the Greek language is astounding. There is a whole section of scholarship dedicated to word usage and function. Please acquaint yourself with this, and once you do you can explain why you feel that word usage is unnecessary and irrelevant.

Show me where I said that word usage is unnecessary and irrelevant.  I DID NOT say that.  Go back to my post, read what I said, and THEN respond.


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As always, Todangst, you

As always, Todangst, you snipes from the gallery are welcome anytime.  Rook has done nothing but summarily reject my citations for no good reason and bluster about for a bit.  No I was not prepared to cite various historians who agree with me because that is not my purpose here.  The only way this debate will continue is for the following things to happen:

1. Rook stops all the chest beating.  It's very annoying.

2. We move to the t opic I really wanted to debate about which is Gnosticism in John.

 

I am a married man with a child and a business to run.  I do not have time to run off to the library every time Rook demands I interact with some source he particularly reveres.  I have access to the Nag Hammadi Library and to the GoJ.  Let's debate these issues.  I started this debate and I have the right to choose the parameters.  All the back and forth going on now has nothing to do with what I originally wanted to discuss.  I was ho ping for an informative discussion in which somebody who knew something about Gnosticism would be kind enough to take waht they know and apply it to the text of the GoJ and enlighten me on how it is in fact gnostic.  Is there anyone here willing to do that?


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irrespective wrote:

irrespective wrote:

As always, Todangst, you snipes from the gallery are welcome anytime.

It's more like advice, to help you out. Coz you're looking really bad right now.

 

Quote:

Rook has done nothing but summarily reject my citations for no good reason

Please save these sort of face-saving lies for yourself, I can read what he's done to your arguments, and he's ripped you to shreds. You can't lie when the truth's here for us to see.

You don't even have the courage to concede all the issues he ripped you to shreds on...   you either just don't acknowledge them at all, or you just try to write them off without a real argument.

 

Quote:

I am a married man with a child and a business to run.

But you have the time to shoot your mouth off about how you can take him on in a written debate.

So it's funny that when you actually get one, you suddenly are real busy.

Whatever burden you have, mine's double - doctoral student, working an internship 60+ hours a week, writing my disseration, I hve family too.

But the last thing you'd find me doing is whining like a bitch over it as an excuse as for why I can't continue a challenge that I initiated!

What a pussy you are.

Quote:

I do not have time to run off to the library every time Rook demands I interact with some source he particularly reveres.

But you have the time to shoot off your mouth that you can take him on in a written debate. Then when he responds, you whine like a bitch that you're not prepared.

And he doesn't just 'revere' them, he cites them because of their value as good sources.. why must you lie about his reason for citing these works? Why say he merely 'reveres' them rather than acknowledge that he cites them for good reasons...

Why do you say this when you clearly haven't even read the sources...?

Because you've been exposed, and you need to save face. That's why.

So, go on and whine about your kid and your business.... why not tell us that you've got an illness too?

What a fucking pussy you are. This thread's locked, what a waste of time. 

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    I think they're both

    I think they're both looking kinda bad by conducting this "my scholar can kick your scholar's ass" contest.  I was looking forward to reading this exchange and am quite disappointed. 

I actually hold irrespective's point of view, but always look forward to Rook's insights.  Can we get down to trying cases, please?

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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totus_tuus wrote: I

totus_tuus wrote:

I think they're both looking kinda bad by conducting this "my scholar can kick your scholar's ass" contest. I was looking forward to reading this exchange and am quite disappointed.

I actually hold irrespective's point of view, but always look forward to Rook's insights. Can we get down to trying cases, please?

I lost interest in this when irrespective launched into "Just because my major sources are decades old and have been refuted by more recent scholarship doesn't make them any less valid" 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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irrespective wrote:

irrespective wrote:

As always, Todangst, you snipes from the gallery are welcome anytime. Rook has done nothing but summarily reject my citations for no good reason and bluster about for a bit. No I was not prepared to cite various historians who agree with me because that is not my purpose here. The only way this debate will continue is for the following things to happen:

1. Rook stops all the chest beating. It's very annoying.

2. We move to the t opic I really wanted to debate about which is Gnosticism in John.

 

I am a married man with a child and a business to run. I do not have time to run off to the library every time Rook demands I interact with some source he particularly reveres. I have access to the Nag Hammadi Library and to the GoJ. Let's debate these issues. I started this debate and I have the right to choose the parameters. All the back and forth going on now has nothing to do with what I originally wanted to discuss. I was ho ping for an informative discussion in which somebody who knew something about Gnosticism would be kind enough to take waht they know and apply it to the text of the GoJ and enlighten me on how it is in fact gnostic. Is there anyone here willing to do that?

I'm not sure I can debate you, irrespective, but i am curious about what you propose. What do you understand about Gnosticism?

Gnostic faith is quite asymmetrical to structured literal Judaism. I wonder if your having come up short of confirming GoJ as a gnostic text has anything to do with having attempted to correspond Gnostic symbols with Judeo-christian structures. Gnosis is not exclusive to the texts labelled "Gnostic", it is more like an alternate structure built equally upon the same text as Judeo-christianity. in gnosticism, everything is gnostic. Thus whether the author of John was influenced by the gnostic movement or not, the GoJ will have gnostic themes.

Historically may be the only hope for deciding in a satisfying way whether the author of John was gnostic. A thing wholly uninteresting to me as a person who is somewhat a gnostic christian in my theistic leanings and unconcerned with where Sophia runs as long as she runs.

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So by that logic, would it

So by that logic, would it be true to also say that the GoMt or the GoL is also gnostic?  Or does that descriptor only apply to GoJ?  My question was whether the author of GoJ was gnostic or strongly influenced by gnostic t hought to the point that his gospel can be described as gnostic along the lines of what we find in the Nag Hammadi library.  In ot her words, it would have dualism, an idea of the divine spark in man, asceticism, etc.  Much has also been made of the "redeemer myth" although this appears in every part of the NT and hence has no bearing on the dating of GoJ, which was the ultimate destination of this debate.  Can we learn anything about the provenance of GoJ based on its alleged gnosticism.  Thus far no one has offered any evidence of said gnosticism, other than Rook, who has used the "everyone believes it, therefore it must be uncritically accepted as true," argument, wh ich is, of co urse, illogical.


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irrespective wrote:

irrespective wrote:

So by that logic, would it be true to also say that the GoMt or the GoL is also gnostic?

err... Yeah, that's kind of the point I was making. Apocrypha = Jesus was a revealer of Gnosis.. ergo.. all Gospel is Gnostic.

irrespective wrote:

My question was whether the author of GoJ was gnostic or strongly influenced by gnostic t hought to the point that his gospel can be described as gnostic along the lines of what we find in the Nag Hammadi library.

From a Gnostic point of view the answer is inescapably yes as per the above. On the other hand I realise the question here is more specifically, was the GoJ penned under the influence of the "official account" historical Gnostic movement. I'm not inclined to argue in that field, history is not a major interest of mine, at all, and I claim no expertise on it.

Quote:

In ot her words, it would have dualism, an idea of the divine spark in man, asceticism, etc.

asceticism? That's hardly unique to Gnostic practice, I disagree that the endorsement of ascetic virtue is relevant. OTOH the John Gospel does deal in dualism and inner divinity, how does it not?

 

irrespective wrote:

Much has also been made of the "redeemer myth" although this appears in every part of the NT and hence has no bearing on the dating of GoJ, which was the ultimate destination of this debate.

Can we learn anything about the provenance of GoJ based on its alleged gnosticism.

And this is what I meant by my post, I have doubts that Gnostic precepts are an accurate mark upon which to date a gospel. I'll leave it to the historians to debate ultimately, but I have my doubts on the grounds that gnosis wasn't just thought up out of thin air, it claims its roots in the same way as any other christian movement, ie the old text. That said, I must ultimately leave it to the historians to decide what satisfies them, because, like I said, I have no interest or expertise in that field.

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