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Comment: I stand corrected...Thank you

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Asclepius's picture

I stand corrected...Thank you

After doing some reading, I will concede that calling the writings "Early Christian" as the article implied (by the association with John the Baptist) was a stretch and I will change the title to Pre-Christian. The problem with using the word "gnostic", like the word "pagan" is that these words have lost their original meaning by the revisionists of History.

A common characteristic of most pre-Christian groups was the teaching that the realization of "Gnosis" (esoteric or intuitive knowledge) is the way to salvation of the soul from the material world. What few people realize today is that this viewpoint was broadly accepted and clearly evident by the vast collection of writings, 100's of thousands of books of knowledge spanning 1000's of years collected in various libraries in Egypt, such as the one in Alexandria. In contrast, we know the concept of original sin was first alluded to in the 2nd century by Irenaeus.

The Nag Hammadi library is a mere tiny fraction of the vast knowledge that was destroyed. Much if it was written in Coptic, which is a sort of short hand and makes interpretation difficult. Thus, the library as a whole probably should not be viewed as a single cohesive belief system, but rather various points of view that challenged the prevailing power structure at the time it was hidden in the cave.

BTW, the answer to your last question RE the Gospel of Thomas is NO. In fact, I don't think women should have been punished to begin with.

Giving Eve equal status was another thing that I liked about the article that I posted:

"Adam is referred to as the soul-endowed man while Eve is referred to as the spirit-endowed woman. Thus, we are given an image of complementarity between the sexes, of completion, which is entirely lacking in conventional Christian texts. The high regard that the writer of the book has for women is made clear in the passage where Adam is awakened from his sleep. “It is you who have given me life;” he says, on seeing her, “you will be called 'mother of the living.' – For it is she who is my mother. It is she who is the physician, and the woman, and she who has given birth.”

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds. - Bob Marley