Comment: err.. as in the verb.

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err.. as in the verb.

Re: "That Gnosticism was, at least briefly, in the mainstream of Christianity is witnessed by the fact that one of its most influential teachers, Valentinus, may have been in consideration during the mid-second century for election as the Bishop of Rome.3 Born in Alexandria around 100 C.E.,"

This seems like modern gnostic spin. The primary source document mentioning the subject is found in the writings of Tertullian, and if you look at what Tertullian actually said, it seems more like Valentinus was not a potential candidate for bishop in anyone's eyes but his own:

From: The Writings of Tertullian
Part Second - Anti-Marcion (Cont.)
III. Against the Valentinians.
chapter 4:

"Valentinus had expected to become a bishop, because he was an able man both in genius and eloquence. Being indignant, however, that another obtained the dignity by reason of a claim which confessorship had given him, he broke with the church of the true faith. Just like those (restless) spirits which, when roused by ambition, are usually inflamed with the desire of revenge, he applied himself with all his might to exterminate the truth; and finding the clue of a certain old opinion, he marked out a path for himself with the subtlety of a serpent."

Phillip Schaff's history of the christian church volume 2 section 125 on Valentinus:

"Tertullian reports, perhaps from his own conjecture, that he(Valentinus) broke with the orthodox church from disappointed ambition, not being made a bishop"

This is far from the modern gnostic spin that would have us believe that Valentinus was someone of some sort of standing within the christian church. Looking at the primary source shows that their argument boils down to trying to call him a notable Christian because he merely thought he could be one. Just because someone thinks they can jump to the moon doesn't mean that they were ever in a position to.

Re: "The Lost Sayings Gospel Q"

Q is just short for the German word 'Quelle' which translates as "source". There is no "Q" document. It's just an idea that there might have been one, but that Idea has no real manuscript evidence, it's pure conjecture.

Re:"As far as the "Gospel of Thomas" is concerned, it is no surprise it is not part of "the churches established by Thomas," as Thomas is no more likely to have founded them than Peter the Roman Catholic Church."

That's like comparing apples and oranges, but it's so convoluted that I don't even want to get into it.

Re:" If Jesus said this, why would a disciple found a church, when clearly one is not necessary. If Thomas made it up, would he deliberately appear, for all the world to see, as a hypocrite who rejected Jesus' teaching?"

So you agree that there is a conflict between the Thomas Christians of India and the Gospel of Thomas, but instead of rejecting the Gospel of Thomas, you reject the Thomas Christians? That's fine if you want to do that, but would you argue that no churches were established by the apostles? How do you account for Polycarp being appointed bishop of the church of Smyrna by the apostle John? How do you account for the Churches mentioned in the New testament if you don't believe churches were part of the apostolic belief system? What about the book of Titus where Paul tells Titus to appoint church leaders? And What about the other numerous references to church stuff in the Bible, like the solemn assemblies, the Church offices with requirements for elders and deacons, the lists, the collections at meetings, and anathema's kicking people out of churches, etc.

Hebrews 10:24-25 "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

Also, doesn't it seem to be a bit conflicting to say that Gnostics don't believe in churches and to also suggest that Valentinus was a notable Christian who wanted to become a leader of that kind of church?

Re: "Yes, as the Roman Catholics argue, the earliest written parchments of the "Gospel of Thomas" are 2nd and 3rd Century AD. That is also true of the entire New Testament."

There is more to textual criticism than dates, and even if one were to grant an early date to the Gospel of Thomas, there are so many other reasons to reject it as authentic. But there are new testament manuscripts(i.e. p52) clearly earlier than the Gospel of Thomas. Also consider this argument which puts some new testament gospels in the 1st century: http://www.str.org/quickthoughts/a-short-argument-for-the-ea...

Re:"As a group, mainstream or fundamentalist Christians have been predicting the "Second Coming" at least since 70 AD. Such a poor track record should at least humble you enough to accept the possibility that there is more to the story of the Christ than taught in Sunday School"

That seems like category error. What does getting the date wrong in eschatological prophecy have to do with the acceptance of theology completely antithetical to the teachings of the Bible?