Богомил (bogomilos) wrote,
Богомил
bogomilos

THE ANCIENT CHRISTIANITY AND THE GNOSTICISM – 3.

Johannine corpus. The Gospel and the Epistles of John differ from the other books of the New Testament in their ideological content essentially. In his fundamental work "Gnosis" Kurt Rudolph directly specifies, that the one body of writings within the New Testament which holds a very special position and is particularly relevant for Gnosis is Johannine. Dualistic thinking pervades the presentation: light and darkness, truth and lie, "above" and "beneath", God and devil, or the world (κοσμος), stand opposite one another. The world is subordinate to the evil one, viz. the devil (Joh., 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; compare 8:23 and 8:44). In the presence of the heavenly envoy who reveals the true God, mankind it is divided into two classes: those who know God and thus come from him, and those who do not know him and thus are of the world, or of the devil… Knowledge is synonymous with faith, is part of it (the word "Gnosis", however, does not occur). The eschatological ideas are spiritualized, or realized: the redeemer brings judgement, division, or κρισις. Resurrection already takes place in the act of faith (Joh., 5:24f; 11:25f). Freedom from the world means also freedom from sin (Joh., 8:31-36). (Rudolph, 1987, 305)

The major for understanding of John is concurrence of some key concepts, on the one hand, with Coptic Gnostic texts, and on another - with Nazorean sacred books. This allowed the German scientist R. Macuch to tell, that a number of positions of this Gospel could be absolutely clear only to the pupils from Nazoreans (Macuch, 2002, 53). For John the phenomenon of Christ is the unique event in the history of mankind, the self-revelation of the Unknown God, instead of realization of the Old Testament’s prophecies connected more likely with the "prince of this world".

The Judaizing edition of John connecting those or other actions of the Savior with the "spoken by the prophets", is secondary. Editors were too lazy to withdraw the words that Jews do not know the God (Joh., 8:55), have kept in the text the phrase having not moral, but ontological value - "Ye are of your father the devil" (Joh., 8:44), and the doctrine about "the children of God" and "the children of the devil". Christ’s words "All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers" were not been removed from the text though it is clear, that in Palestine of the 1st century these words could not be connected with Zoroaster or Buddha, but exclusively to "Moses and the prophets". Very interesting is the verse 1 Joh., 3:12: "Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother", - an allusion on Eve's words in the Gen., 4:1: "I have gotten a man from the LORD", - in the Hebrew original "from Yahweh" (this example was widely known already in an antiquity - see: NHLE, 1977, 19). We are to recognize that the references on Jewish Scripture are the insertions roughly destroying the sense of the original. This is especially obvious in the cases of the refrain "that the scripture might be fulfilled" and the mentions of "Moses and the prophets" in a positive context also.

A vivid example of interpolation is a unique in the canonical Gospels passage Joh., 4:22 where in the lips of the Savior is enclosed the notorious "salvation is of the Jews". It is necessary to note, that Joh., 4:22, is a unique passage in which Jesus professes himself to be a Jew (in conversations with the Jews he names the Mosaic Law "yours", instead of "our" Law). The literary form of Joh., 4:21-23 also allows to notice an inept editing. Moreover, in one of the manuscripts containing a huge literary heritage of John the Chryzostomos, the original text of the Gospel, is quoted without Joh., 4:22: "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, and now is, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." (The Sermon about the Woman of Samaria).

Fortunately, the Johannine corpus suffered from pious diligence of the "editors of Holy Ghost " much less, than Pauline one. Probably, it has occurred owing to that in the 2nd-3rd centuries any of "heretical" movements did not use John's name as its banner, and later his Gospel has been too widely widespread and well known, and the jealous adherents did not dare to spoil the manuscripts any more. The editing is so superficial, and the accessory of the Gospel of John to the Gnostic Christianity is so obvious, that else in 19th century the German researcher Volkmar has put forward a curious hypothesis, as if the author of the Forth Gospel was Marcion.

In any case, even in spite of the fact that the process of damaging was stretched for one and a half millennia (from the 2nd century up to cardinal Kaetan and Erasm of Rotterdam) in the scriptures of the New Testament practically all ideologically caused "corrections and additions" come to light evidently enough. We are to mention that the name "New Testament" is one of such Judaizing "additions", made on the basis of Jer., 31:31. The central problem of the "editors of Holy Ghost" was their inability to reveal in the text the elements of the terminological apparatus common for Old and New Testaments. Therefore their editing still remained rough and not distorting the bases of the text, but only obscuring some expressions too obviously contradicting their representations about "the sensible doctrine" and inserting already fantastic elements like the "salvation is of the Jews" and the family trees of the "son of David".

The duality of tradition in the New Testament. It is paradoxical, but two understandings of Christian faith, both actually Christian, and syncretized with Judaism are present in the canonic scriptures of the New Testament. Thus if the Christianity has really arisen as messianic sect within the borders of traditional Judaism, and then, not having met understanding in its ethnic and cultural environment, has extended among Greek speaking Jews of Diaspora and proselytes, but Christian Gnosis was a secondary phenomenon, "sharp hellenisation of the initial Christianity" as Adolph Von Harnack believed, the situation would be not only obscure, but directly impossible. Contrary to the non-critically apprehended by some modern researchers traditional opinion, that Gnostics composed their apocryphal scriptures altering already existing scriptures of the New Testament, we see that the central place in the New Testament occupy just Gnostic on the origin texts, later suffered the Judaizing editions, and the texts composed in Orthodox-Catholic environment include the elements borrowed from Gnostic sources.

Rudolf Bultmann speaks about it also: "the New Testament induces to criticism already that in its symbolical world separate representations are not coordinated among themselves, even contradict each other. So, a number of images of Christ’s death as sacrifice and as space event, Jesus’ interpretation as the Messiahs and as second Adam. Contradict each other the representation about kenosis of the Preexisting (Phl., 2:6 ff.) and the narratives on miracles with which Jesus certifies his Messianizm. In the same way representation about virgin conception contradicts an idea on preexistence of Christ, the belief in creation and the recognition of the non-created spiritual essences contradict each other. (1 Cor, 2:6 ff.; 2 Cor., 4:4; Gal., 4:3). Incompatible are the belief that the Law is given by the God and representation, according to which it proceeds from angels (Gal., 3:19 f.)" (Bultmann, 2004, 14-15).

The reason is that the Catholic orthodoxy and, first of all, the Roman orthodox community, has generated its doctrine and has realized itself as the certain ideological movement in opposition with Marcion and other Christian theologians, representatives of higher Gnosis in the first half of the 2nd century. Thus though Jewish-Christian syncretism became the weapon in the struggles against the hated Gnostics, it is very hard to suspect the orthodoxes in sympathies to the historically real Judaism. Moreover, they have managed simply "not to notice" the relics of the Jerusalem temple grasped by Titus in 70 CE and for a long time stored in Rome (Nikolaev, 1995, 293). "Judaizing" sectarians have appeared for arising orthodoxy not smaller enemies, than Gnostics. The canon of the New Testament was created as the alternative to the scriptures of other Christian groups, and inclusion in it of the Pauline and the Johannine corpuses has been caused by desire to pull these authoritative texts out of the hands of "heretics". It had been caused their editing in spirit of "the sensible doctrine", that is ideological installations orthodoxy.

These ideological installations have been stated in so-called "apostolic rule of faith" (regula fidei). Irenaeus formulates it so: "We believing in one God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and all things therein, by means of Christ Jesus, the Son of God; who, because of His surpassing love towards His creation, condescended to be born of the virgin, He Himself uniting man through Himself to God, and having suffered under Pontius Pilate, and rising again, and having been received up in splendor, shall come in glory, the Savior of those who are saved, and the Judge of those who are judged, and sending into eternal fire those who transform the truth, and despise His Father and His advent (Adv.haer. III.4.2). It is easy to notice, that this text cannot be apostolic even because is entirely constructed on anti-Marcionite polemic, but it has served as criterion for the selection of the texts in the New Testament canon.

The scriptures, included into the canon, were opposed to the "apocryphal", that is, literally, "secret" scriptures which already Irenaeus directly names "false" (Adv.haer. I.20.1). It is characteristic, what the term "apocryphos" is borrowed from the unique scripture directly entitled by a word Αποκρυφος in the manuscripts, - the Apocryphon of John survived in Coptic translation. Irenaeus though had not possessed this scripture in hands (the character of citations in Adv.haer. I.29 allows to admit, that he, at least, did not possess the full version of the Apocryphon), was acquainted with its authentic enough retellment. For a substantiation of preference of some documents to another had been invented the following scheme: the apostles (Matthew and John) and the pupils of apostles (Mark and the Luke) have made their gospels, either testifying what saw and heard, or writing down the evidences of eyewitnesses. Much more later already in the 2nd century, "bred as mushrooms" Gnostics have composed their own "gospels", and for giving them an authority inscribed them by the names of apostles.

This artificial scheme of fathers-heresiologists has been put in a basis of "a critical consensus" according to which all the apocryphal gospels and any apocryphal scriptures in whole have been created later, than canonical. That for any scripture not included in the New Testament is dated back to the 2nd-3rd centuries even if there are no bases for this purpose besides the "critical consensus". We shall note, that the ardent desire of the confessionally determined researchers to date Gnostic scriptures later period frequently leads them to the curious collision with another orthodox myth that Gnostics have suddenly appeared in the first half of the 2nd century, and then, been frightened, obviously, by the "refutations" of Irenaeus and Hippolitus suddenly disappeared. There is a paradox - Christians-Gnostics, such as Valentine and Basilides have managed to create the impossible outside of some tradition, perfectly thought over theological systems not later the middle of the 2nd century. But put in a basis of these systems scriptures have been composed in the end of the 2nd century, whether in the 3rd century and hardly any more in the 4th and 5th centuries. (It is impossible to disagree with Afonasin that "Gnostic systems of the middle of the second century are the first experiences of the Christian theology" (2002, 67). We are to quote also the much disputable work of R.J. Vipper "Rome and early Christianity": "Gnostics did not separated from anybody and from anything. They have appeared earlier and independently of the doctrines which later have received a place in the Gospels and have been accepted in the New Testament. Besides, the theories of Gnostics have formed a basis for the doctrines in turn accepted in the "corrected" kind in the New Testament" (1954, 188)). At the same time all canonical books of the New Testament have been written in the 1st century, and then began the period of the dumbness, not did not leave to us not only some intelligent works of orthodox theologians, but also the simple evidences on existence of the scriptures, entered subsequently in the canon. The fact that the compositions of early orthodox authors reflect the extremely primitive level of a theological idea though they were created on a background of the already existed deeply thought over systems higher Gnosis is also the significant circumstance. At least, the writings of Justin the Philosopher and Irenaeus of Lyons allow any interested person to be convinced independently, the philosophers and the theologians of what sort these authors were.

Even if the community, to which the Jewish-Christian syncretism was inherent, already existed on the boundary of the 1st and 2nd centuries, we have no any evidences of it. The written monuments of Catholic orthodoxy, both included into the New Testament canon and remained behind its limits, are to be dated from later period. The only exception is the Gospel of John, which is testified by the fragments of the comment by Heracleon, the Gnostic lived in first half of the 2nd century, and papyri fragment of Ryland 457 (P52). We can approve, that they were known even in first half 2nd century only concerning the Gospel of John and the included into the Apostolicon epistles of apostle Paul.

At least the part of Pauline epistles undoubtedly belongs to one real historical figure, and to approve, that the author lived not in the 1st century or was not the apostle Paul, is simply senseless. Their traditional dating, even in view of the work of Couchoud, we are to recognize convincing enough. Certainly, the author of epistles is infinitely far from the literary image created in 2nd century by the author of canonical Acts even if he used any documentary sources. It is not necessary to consider seriously the question on an accessory to the apostle of the epistles, which were not included into Markion’s Apostolicon (1 and 2 Timothy; Titus and Hebrews). A question, whether all the ten epistles, included into Apostolicon, really belong to Paul, remains opened as it should be considered, only leaning on the original text of the epistles. We are to mention in this connection, that though Paul-Louis Couchoud in 1926 specified necessity of the critical edition of the epistles of Paul with removal of the interpolations and editorial corrections besides the limits of the text, into the marginal notes (Couchoud, 1926, 263), such edition is not carried out to this day.

If to speak about the others scriptures, both canonical and apocryphal, the Gospel of Thomas and of Mary Magdalene can belong to apostles with no smaller probability at all, than the Gospel of Mark and of Matthew, Sylvan, the author of the Teachings, could have been the satellite of apostle Paul in the same way as "the beloved doctor Luke", the author of canonical Acts, and at Epistle of James to Kerinth and the Apocryphon of John even more chances to belong to apostles, than at canonical Epistle of James and the Apocalypse of John as they, unlike canonical scriptures, are not the Jewish documents suffered the secondary christianisation.

However, there is a group of the apocryphal writings corresponding the scheme of Irenaeus completely. Their authors really used canonical scriptures of the New Testament as literary samples, supplementing with their various fables. But all these apocrypha’s are not Gnostic in their origin and were composed within the limits of an orthodox community. These are the Gospel of childhood (of Thomas), the Gospel of Nicodemus, the 3 Epistle to Corinthians and the brief Epistle to Laodiceans, attributed to apostle Paul, Peter’s and Paul’s Apocalypses and the Gospel of James played a great role in an establishment of a cult of Virgin. Probably, it is necessary to include in the same group the Gospel of Peter, known by the significant survived fragment, and so-called "Jewish-Christian" gospels, the survived fragments of which demonstrates the dependence of the New Testament canonical scriptures.

Orthodoxal-Catholic paradigm. During the syncretization of Christianity with Judaism the tribal deity Yahweh esteemed in the Jerusalem temple cult has been declared to be God the Father from Whom Christ has come, the phenomenon of Christ became the actualization of artificially interpreted prophecies of the Old Testament about arrival of the Messiah, and the Spirit the Comforter was identified with repeatedly mentioned in the Old Testament "spirit of Yahweh" (In KJV "Spirit of LORD"). On these identifications was built the doctrine about Trinity, borrowed from Gnostics, but filled by other considerably maintenance later. Accordingly, within the limits of this paradigm the Christ became the Creator and the Savior simultaneously though such approach generates the unsolvable logic and theological contradictions, in particular problems of the origin of a harm and sense of Christ’s victim. One more difficulty became automatic inclusion in structure of the Christian Bible of all the scriptures of the Old Testament, many key fragments of which reflect archaic even for antiquity theological and ethical representations, have not lost the acuteness and in noticeably softened Greek LXX translation.

For in these scriptures the deity is described as aggressive, jealous and, the main, anthropomorphic and immanent to the created world being, it was necessary to reinterpret the corresponding fragments by means of an allegorical method of interpretation. For this reason one can name the original "founder" of the Christian orthodoxy the philosopher-eclectic Philo of Alexandria. He was the first who applied to the Septuagint the revolutionary, but absolutely incorrect method of the so-called "allegorical interpretation". This method was developed by the Greek thinkers for the interpretation of Hesiodes and of "the most atheist from all the men" Homer. The research of the scriptures and the search of their secret sense always were the central theme of the Jewish religious culture, and in this respect Philo was its bright representative. At the same time his method was rejected by the adherents of the normative Judaism, and first of all by the wise men of Talmud as illiterate and incorrect. But then it was with pleasure picked up by the Christian apologists for it allowed to find in the Jewish scriptures a certain secret spiritual sense about which even the authors of these scriptures did not suspect. The reason of Philo’s popularity at apologists became an opportunity to give to the Jewish scriptures included into Christian Bible any interpretation and thus to ignore their literal sense, simple, clear, but too often absolutely unacceptable for ethical reasons. There was also other, so incorrect, but already specifically a "Christian" method of so-called "typological" interpretation, the application of which allows to interpret practically any fragment of the Jewish Scripture as a prophecy on events of the Gospel. The application of this method is noted already in the New Testament (similar methods of exegetic, and also the relapse of pagan mythology in the initial chapters Luke caused during the centuries the aversion and sneers in the Jewish environment).

We are to note also that the Gnostic doctrine about God the Father as the kind and transcendental God was declared to be the "heretical", but then it was substantially acquired and adapted for the purposes of the Catholic orthodoxy. Actually, the allegorical reinterpretation of the Jewish Scripture was required that, having kept a number of important elements of an archaic Near-Eastern myth and first of all the description of the "fall" in Genesis, 3, to impose to the Old Testament the alien to it doctrine about the God as the heavenly Father.

Within the limits of an orthodox paradigm the Christianity becomes simply the next stage of the development of the Old Testament’s revelation. The preached by Jesus Christ God the Father is identified, on the basis of allegorical interpretation and contrary to all the literal sense of the Old Testament, with the tribal deity Yahweh. But if the allegorically reinterpreted Old Testament becomes the revelation of the true God, the historically real Judaism becomes an eternal and every minute present doubt that the church really is the new Israel and that on it should be executed the promises of the Old Testament’s deity to his people. Claims for a role of the selected "Divine people", new Israel, with inevitability demanded the refusal of a recognition of indissolubility of the Testament concluded with "shabby" Israel, that has found the expression in the New Testament, and then and in the Koran. The continuing existence of the "stiffnecked" Jewish people, its fidelity to the religion of ancestors and the more than skeptical attitude to the leaning on the incorrect interpretation of the Old Testament new religious movements should generate uncertainty all over again at Christian orthodoxes, and then and at followers of the Islam. This uncertainty became the source of religious anti-Semitism (the early enough example of the reinterpretation of the Old Testament in an anti-Semitic spirit is noted by P.-L. Couchoud at the editor of epistles of apostle Paul on the material of Gal., 4:26-31 (Couchoud, 1926, 263), see also the Epistle of Barnabas, especially its IV chapter).

In this perspective Christ should return to the earth once in the end of times as severe Judge for eschatological court above guilty mankind which is thought in the recognizing images of the "day of Yahweh" ("The day of LORD", see: Joe., 1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; Zep., 1:7, 14; 2:2-3; Zec., 14:1; Mal., 4:5; see also.: Acts, 2:20; 2 Pet., 3:10) and then the sinners will be doomed to burn eternally in a hell, while the righteous persons who have entered into the Heavenly Kingdom will observe their eternal and hopeless sufferings with the feeling of deep satisfaction.
Subscribe

  • Да, убийца!

    Но за подохших ублюдков Немцова и Политковскую мы на него честно-честно не обижаемся и привлечь к суду не требуем. В 1991 году моя ныне уже давно…

  • Совки - не "большинство"

    Совки - кучка безумных маргиналов и нерусских ублюдков, зарабатывающая своим ублюдством деньги, как лидер партии "За Деньги", политическая…

  • Совкам нравится валяться в говне:

    ... а потом безумные совковые недолюдки ещё и удивляются, почему это русские не считают их полноценными, равными себе людьми. ****** рушили до…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 2 comments