Re: I didn't think Adam had the capacity for error until Eve was created...

Date: Wed Jan 22 2003 - 08:12:43 EST

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    In a message dated 1/22/03 12:08:04 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

    > But it seems to me that interpreting Biblical teachings through
    > non-canonical works is essentially a contradiction. Most (all?) writings
    > like the Gospels of Thomas and Philip were eliminated precisely because
    > they were not consonant with the core consensus of the voices of the canon.
    > It’s not inappropriate to read them for context of the times and
    > understanding of various groups’ beliefs, but the Gospels of Thomas and
    > Philip in particular were passed over when making the several canonical
    > cuts [Gospel of Thomas specifically excluded by Origen, for example, and
    > the Gospel of Philip doesn’t seem to have been in the running]. So, why
    > would one look to them for clarification and subtle meanings of passages in
    > the canon itself. I’m not even talking about inspiration here, just logic.
    > Case in point: “Then on page 227, "Man and God are each only a half
    > finished, incomplete form.”

    You are quite right to question my use of these sources, but whether or not
    a political decision was made to include these texts in the canon, it is not
    historically correct to ignore them completely and to refuse to find their
    place in the development of religious thought. In this particular instance,
    the philosophical thread that begins with the Kabbalah and ends with the Nag
    Hammadi texts is instructive in the story of Adam and Eve. You can see
    yourself what Jesus is talking about in the coptic texts so perfectly if you
    examine his words in light of the Jewish philosophy. Because the thread
    helps me to understand the allegorical nature of the story of Adam and Eve I
    share it. It is not dogma or canon but real history and real philosophy and
    it doesn't mar the story of Adam and Eve but reveals it.
    I believe you do see the utility of understanding the development of such
    texts in light of our own accepted texts.

    I want to know as surely as you do what was "not consonant with the core
    concensus of the voices of the canon." That's why I try to understand the
    origin and development of that "core concensus."

    There is little more in our canon that helps elucidate the story of Adam and
    Eve than a "rib."

    as for your right remark re: p. 227 - Jews believe they are on a par with God
    in a way Christians do not. They try to "trick" God using his own law. But
    then I can see that aspect of their philosophy and account for it in the
    remarks because I know Jewish philosophy. What I didn't have from our texts
    was the notion that perfection/unity was a combination of male and female
    principles which we find in Jewish and gnostic religious philosophy that
    developed around the same time as the canon and in roughly the same area.


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