The Gnostic School Notes

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The Gnostic School Notes

This is specifically for those who missed my classes on the gnosis.  Nobody else is allowed to post here except Initiates of the school.

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ON Romans 1

 ROMANS 1 NOTES

 

1: Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God

 

  • “Slave” of Christ –a faithful servant willingly instead of the “chosen” he has been “called” which is psychic instead of pneumatic.  This expresses dualism where Paul reveals that although he is volunteering his services as somebody called he is also born into servitude which relates back to pneumatic ideology.  He is set apart by birth through the conjoining of Logos (his God) and that of Grace or Sophia (wisdom) which can be seen via Romans 1:5 and 1:11.  Note he does not say “Gospel of Christ” but “God” – the Good News is NOT Jesus but God – whom was revealed by Christ as the higher God by which Yahweh did not know of.


2: which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures,

  • ο προεπηγγειλατο δια των προφητων αυτου εν γραφαις αγιαις
  • pro – epangello – previous promise

 

3: the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh

·        In the Greek, γενομενον can mean “generate” or “make,” not necessarily referring to a birth.  In fact, the word used most often to signify the actual births of somebody are variants such as gennhtoς or genoς which signify “birth, those that are born” and “born, stock, offspring” respectively.  Such words would have been better suited to explain a biological birth.  Instead it is the root genomai which is “to generate,” “become of” or “come into being” as in Genesis 1 where god creates light.  Such words resonate as impractical to use had Paul literally meant the birth of Christ on a natural plain.  Instead the Mythicist position makes more sense here. (LSJ, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

 

4: and designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

  • Price translates this verse as ‘by the resurrection of the dead’ instead of ‘his resurrection from the dead.’  The Greek is εξ αναστασεως νεκρων or ex anastaseos nekon
  • Christ was designated by God – not that he was God’s son via birth.  Also anastasis can mean to “awaken” and in this passage if taken correctly translates, “and designated Son of God in the power according to the Spirit of holiness by the awakening of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord” – awakening the dead  the flesh, the deceived of the demiurge.
  • Other words would work better here instead of anastasis if Paul was referring to an actually resurrection – like the word palingensis which means to come “back to life” or “regeneration” and is used in Mark and Philo, as well as others.  Also the word anabiosis which also means to “return to life.”

 

5: through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,

 

  • Received grace and apostleship from Christ - δι ου ελαβομεν χαριν και αποστολην εις υπακοην πιστεως εν πασιν τοις εθνεσιν υπερ του ονοματος αυτου
  • “of his name among all nations” could also be translated “of his name among all gentiles” – as Paul again shows his desire to teach to the Gentiles who have been born with the birthright of the knowledge he possesses, and that he continually feels that the Jews have squandered the gift, and are still lead by false prophets – he is a firm believer that judiazing the gospel of God is an abomination to the Logos.

 

11: For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you,

  • pneumatic charisma or χαρισμα υμιν πνευματικον (charisma humin pneumatikon) which means “spiritual gift.”  In that as he follows up with:

 

13: I want you to know, brethren, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles.

  • IN actuality this verse should start “I would not want you to remain ignorant, brethren…” or ου θελω δε υμας αγνοειν αδελφοι.  Agnoein or agnoeio is the word for ignorant here. This is important as Paul feels the only way to communicate the truths of the gnosis is verbally or orally, and not written in words, as he states in 1 Cor. 2:6, “we speak wisdom among the initiates.” (τελειοις or teleioto make perfect: to inaugurate or consecrate)  It’s interesting the words he uses here as well when he says to reap harvest – almost as if he is the field tender and they are the field in which he will secure the crop

 

14: I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish:

  • One of my favorite quotes in Paul because it stresses the initiation of the Greeks over the Jewish-Christians so foundationally.  The Greeks are the wise, the barbarians the foolish – in that he is bound to teach the lesser Christians as well as the initiates of the faith in which Paul perceives as the true church – this comes back to the pneumatics vs. the psychics.  Of which two are greater?  Obviously the pneumatics, as Paul would have believed.  They were the real hearers of the true God while the Judaizers like that of Peter and James who tried to hold on to the Hebrew prophets and scriptures were really the ones still under the spell of the demiurge.
  • This last point is made by Gnostics as shown in Against Heresies by Irenaeus, that the Jews were deceived by this demiurge and in which spoiled (4:30:3) and that Peter and the other Judaizers were imperfect and not fully initiated (3:12:6-7).  

 

16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

  • The wording of this is interesting for we have already established that Paul feels the Greeks are superior, so why put the Jews before the Greeks who are the wiser?  It resembles that parable in which Christ asks the Pharisee Simon, “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt." And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” (Luke 7:41-43)  In this parable we see a similar theme – although probably unknown to Paul – of needing to help those who require it more then those who don’t.  Paul feels that the Jews need more help at attaining salvation then the gentiles.

 

18-22: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools,

  • Paul is referring to the Jew Christians – why they must come first – as they are deceived and foolish, although they think themselves as wise.  That the true God has been in front of them all along, inside of them, yet they instead are under the spell of the other God – the demiurge.

 

23: and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles.

  • Sound familiar?

 

24-25: Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.

  • The Creature is the demiurge, while the creator is that of the aeons – not of the world.  The truth is the Logos, the lie is the Demiurge.  The lusts are the lusts of the flesh – the lusts of the false God.
  • Elaine Pagels translates this as “…and exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and they revered and worshipped the creation and not the one who created, who is blessed among the aions.” 
  • Hammers in the fact that we are discussing the problems with those who are not fully initiated.

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Paul and the Mystery of Sophia

Paul and the mystery of Sophia.


When Paul speaks of the "spirit of man" in Corinthians it requires an imaginative 'leap of faith' on

my part, being an atheist, monist and philosophical materialist. However that's part of the fun.

Here's a summary of my interpretation as an initiate...


Jesus' story, for Paul, represents two forms of knowledge (gnosis): the esoteric and exoteric. The

esoteric can be understood as the outer mysteries. In their most diluted form they correspond to the populist version of the Christ myth used by various churches: emotionally

potent simplifications for the sarkic 'herds', since a “natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him” [1 Corinithians 2:14].


The exoteric or inner mysteries - which function at the pneumatic level - are reserved for an elect few, akin to the Philosopher Kings of Plato's Republic:

The responsible men capable of handling deeper truths and eternal gnosis. Pneumatic charisma, in

Romans , refers to the process by which one moves from exoteric knowledge of the sarkic to the

elevated consciousness of Sophia. Common with many mystery schools of the time, it expresses a kind

of spiritual contract or vow of secrecy for the initiated. One piece of evidence for this is the re-use of a vow common to other schools at the time: "As it is written, 'Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what God has prepared for those who love him.'" [1 Corinthians 2:9]. This is commonly assumed to mean a life that follows the Laws, but procludes any deeper understanding of enlightenment of the 'soul' through knowledge of higher truths.For example Paul writes, in more inaccurate translation from the Greek: "We speak of sophia among the initiated" [Sophia has been mistranslated as 'wisdom', initiated as 'perfected'] 1 Corinthians 2:6.

If correct then the conventional literalist interpretation of the resurrection, makes

little sense as Paul states: "The secret is this: Christ in you." For Paul, it has already happened and 'Christ' is all around, and

has been personified, externalised and objectified by a conscious process of historical selection to lend support to the authoritative ethics that lie at the core of Christian dogma.


Questions:

Paul speaks explicitly of crucifixion which, to me, implies a historical Christ. Is there an explanation as to why he says: “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” [1 Corinthians 2:2]

Surely this is one and the same person?

He also states explicitly “for if they had understood it [sophia] they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” [1 Corinthians 2:8]


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Galatians 1 CHAPTER

Galatians 1

CHAPTER NOTES:
greeting the church of Galatia

talks about how there are "ages" and how this one is evil

P (paul) is saying this church has a "perverted" gospel; he also calls this gospel "man's gospel"

P claims he got his gospel thru revelation (from Jesus Christ)

P talks about his "former life in Judaism"

P says he was "set apart" by god before he was born and that his Son was revealed to him to preach

when this happened he didn't talk to people about it but "went away"

he came back then went to the churches he "persecuted" when apart of Judaism; they praied because of P's change

MAIN IDEA:
Paul was of another faith and was given the gospel from revelation. It sounds like the 'new' faith had been around and he was trying to destroy it. Now Paul is trying to give other churches the correct gospel, the one reveled to him.


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The Gnosis School will meet

The Gnosis School will meet today at 5-7pm EST in the "Gnosis" room on stickam.  The Password is: christos

All interested are more then welcome to attend.  We're going to hash out some details about specific things.  PM me or e-mail me with any comments or concerns.  

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This is brother Bahana. I

This is brother Bahana. I didn't make it to the Sunday meeting. Here are my notes from Phllippians 2:

1. Have encouragement in Christ,

incentive to love with participation in the Spirit, with affection and sympathy.

2. Be of one mind, one love, with the same goal. (unity)

3. No selfishness or conceit. Put others first. (humility)

5-11. Christ was in the form of God, but did not seek equality with God. He humbled himself by taking human form, and dying. God gave him the name Jesus. (after his death, which is not orthodox)

13. Work out your own salvation, and be serious because God is working with you. (do it yourself since he's inside you)

14. Do your job without complaining, and be blameless. You will shine like the stars. (the stars were thought to be eternal in Paul's time)

15. Hold onto the Word of life. (the Logos, the Wisdom) Make Paul proud.

19. Paul will send Timothy first and he will come later. He's also sending Epaphroditus.

 

Ok, those are my informal notes on the points Paul made in that chapter. We can all see the familiar terms like the Word of Life (like the Logos in John), and the participation in The Spirit. It seems like the Spirit is something they all share together. That goes along with the appeal for unity in verse 2 (one mind, one spirit, one goal). One of the most interesting parts of the chapter is the hymn Paul quotes in verses 6-11,

"being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (NKJV)

Verse 9 says Jesus was exalted and given his name after his death. The Pre-Nicene NT makes it even more clear with, "Which is why God super-exalted him, and granted him the name ranking above all others," (pg. 475)