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Points To Ponder Lesson 9

#1 User is offline   drlmorris 

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 10:39 AM

Please enter your answers to the questions given in this lesson here.
Instructor: Master of the Historical Jesus
Founder: The Historical Jesus Project
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#2 User is offline   graham 

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 09:17 AM

1. This is an interesting question given that one is asked to probe the mindset of a man who lived nearly two thousand years ago and may well not have written the fragmentary document ascribed to him! According to my reading of the letter, Clement does not say that one should swear an oath not to tell of the contents of the gospel even if the accusations therein were to be true. Rather, he states on page 1, lines 8-10, that the lover of truth should not agree with them (the Carpocratians) even when they say something that is true. He seems here to distinguish between truth as discerned and identified by human beings and the 'true truth' that is recognised and sanctified by faith. That which human opinion considers truth is not to be valued in the same way as this transcendent truth.

On page 2, lines 10-12, Clement does mention the swearing of an oath when he states that the teaching of the Carpocratians is a mixture of holy narrative and shameless lies and, consequently, one should deny forcefully that their immoral version of the secret gospel is from Mark. The inference is that their vile tampering with the secret gospel denatures it so much that it is right to deny its authorship in this way. The purpose of this oath is, therefore, to protect the secret gospel from being identified in this adulterated version.

2. Innuendo is seldom, if ever, present in the gospels and it would seem to be a modern approach to read implications into this encounter of Jesus with the young man. The only difference between this episode and many in the gospels where Jesus explains patiently and at length, God's purpose and the promise of salvation is that the dialogue is not reproduced verbatim and the phraseology is rather more allegorical in nature. The notion that Jesus is stirred by the young man's devotion and spends many hours in imparting a message that others of his followers have been able to absorb over weeks and months, is quite credible.

3. Clement explains that the 'secret gospel' is intended to provide a more profound and esoteric message for a particular cadre of believers to enable them to enter the 'shrine of truth'. This chimes very strongly with the gnostic persuasion which held that 'gnosis' would be vouchsafed only to an elite of believers who were spiritually and intellectually equipped to embrace it. This is very different from the mainstream Christian movement which maintained that the essential message was freely available to all those who opened themselves up to receive it. The early church fathers, indeed, worked hard to prevent such ideas from percolating insidiously into Christian belief and this was a lengthy and difficult process given the multiplicity of creeds that preceded Christianity and the impossibility of eradicating all past worship systems from the minds of fledgling Christians.
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#3 User is offline   rev c watson 

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:14 AM

Clement believed in the canonical gospels, and seemed to want to protect the teachings of the church rather than letting people make up their own minds about the secret gospel of Mark. :banned:


I would have to presume that Jesus would have guided him through a self appraisal of himself, since his ministry was of the "Kingdom of God", and the truth lie within ones self.


Possessing knowledge(Gnostic) :biggrinthumb: with a big "tadah"!
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#4 User is offline   rev c watson 

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:17 AM

Don't you just hate it when people ramble on! blah blah blah! :nw:
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#5 User is offline   Wync 

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 09:59 AM

1. To me it is obvious that Clement wanted to insure that Carpocratians' credibility was never validated. I am sure that his concern was protecting the institution of the Church more than anything else. Otherwise he was suggesting that either he believed the writings to be false or that he was secretly a Gnostic.

2. I have no idea and would not even care to speculate because if Jesus wanted it to be known then he probably would have publicly proclaimed what he had told him.

3. The secret Gospel of Mark is Gnostic in that it is for those who are enlightened and have wisdom of a higher plain than regular Christians and people. It alludes to some secrets that can not be know by the mere lay person.
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#6 User is offline   jdania 

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 11:10 AM

HISTORICAL JESUS LESSON 9 – Dr. Morris
POINTS TO PONDER: LESSON NINE
• Why do you think Clement said that even if the accusations in the Secret Gospel of Mark were true, one was to swear an oath not to tell of the contents of the gospel?
I did not see any reference to oath but to belief. He speaks about two types of truth. Things that may be true as we commonly know it on earth and the truth. The latter maybe referring to the divine or ultimate truth. One could maybe accept what was written as true, according to our worldly experience, but should not take it as the truth backed by faith. Believing some of the writings as the TRUTH would be detrimental to the spreading of the teachings of Jesus to the common people, and thus to the establishment of the Christian faith and church. The writings would be misunderstood by the initiates and should have been kept only for those more advanced in the scriptures whom were on the path of true knowledge.

• What do you think Jesus told the young man?]
It is very difficult to know or even to guess what could have been said. One could only speculate as to what could have been said. It could be that they were talking about his death experience and the heavenly kingdom of God.

• In what sense can the Secret Gospel of Mark be considered Gnostic?
Gnostic in the sense of keeping secrets by writing two versions of the same gospel; one for the common person being initiated in the faith and one containing exoteric information for the more advanced, who could comprehend and analyze the hidden meaning in the words contained in the gospel.
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