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Points To Ponder Lesson 7

#1 User is offline   drlmorris 

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 10:37 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 25 January 2010 - 01:56 PM

1. Gnostics believed in the existence of two separate and irreconcilable worlds, the world of the spirit and that of matter. The world of the spirit was the pure realm of spirit presided over by the one true god whilst the world of matter was an abomination witihin which the elect were trapped until such time as the divine spark was released and they could return to the Pleroma.

2. The material world was viewed as a cosmic disaster which had been brought into existence by the demiurge, a fallen aeon, who had created it in order to imprison the scattered elements of the aeon Sophia (wisdom). To all intents and purposes, therefore, the material world was a prison within which the divine spark was trapped.

3. According to the Gnostics, Christ is a divine redeemer imparting knowledge (gnosis) to the elect in order to help liberate the divine spark within them. His message will only speak to the elect as not all men are endowed with the divine spark and the capability of reunion with the true god. Some gnostics viewed Jesus as fully divine, whilst others saw him as a holy man chosen to accommodate the divine Christ temporarily whilst the task was undertaken.

4. The discovery of the Nag Hammadi collection was of great significance to the ongoing quest for the historical Jesus. Although it had been in progress for centuries in various forms, it had long been regarded as an eccentric and marginal branch of study or be more vehement opponents as a tawdry challenge to the predominant cult of the Christ of faith. The vernacular translation of the canonical scriptures and the wealth of commentary in the post-Reformation period, had been regarded largely as illuminating and informing the faith-based view of Christ whereas the discovery of an extensive collection of varied contemporary documents breated new life into the quest especially in the light of new research methods and investigative techniques that modern scholars have at their disposal. The collection enables theories and speculation that has evolved over time about the historical Jesus to be tested in the light of this new material.
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#3 User is offline   rev c watson 

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 06:58 AM

Gnostic beliefs were in Spirit and Matter, two separate realities opposed to one another. That these realities were not created by the one true God, that matter was created at a different time.

A cosmic disaster, an Aeon named Sophia emanated from her self a flawed being, and that being created Matter.

The Divine redeemer, one belief was he was not really human, that he just appeared to be human. The other belief was he was human, a holy man, and the host for the divine Christ.

It restored the Quest, and brought a new field of study to the New Testament.
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#4 User is offline   Wync 

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 04:08 AM

1. Gnostics were considered dualists because they believe in two distinctly different worlds that that can never be reconciled. The divine spirit world and the material world.

2. The Material came in to existence by way of a cosmic disaster created by an imperfect aeon.

3. There were two schools of belief about who Christ was. The first was that Jesus was Christ but was not human, he only appeared to be human. The second, is that Jesus was a holy man and when the dove appeared, it was the Christ who had decided to inhabit the body of Jesus but then exited the body of Jesus before Jesus suffered and died but then later returned to raise Jesus from the dead.

4. The discovery helped scholars further understand Gnostic beliefs beyond what was stated by their opponents in the orthodox Christian Church.
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#5 User is offline   jdania 

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Posted 01 November 2015 - 02:50 PM

Historical Jesus Lesson 7
POINTS TO PONDER: Dr. L Morris

• Gnostics were considered dualists. Can you explain what this means?

The Gnostics believed in a spiritual and a material world. At first there was only a spiritual world, and later the material world was created. This material world was completely different from the spiritual world. The spiritual world was good and the material world was bad or evil.
The Gnostics did not believe in one true God, as the Jews and Christians believed. Their God was unknown and unknowable. Nor did they believed that this true God created the material world, because it was evil and God could not create anything evil. They believed the creation of the material world was a cosmic disaster, and that before its creation there existed only a pure realm of spirit inhabited by the true God.

• According to Gnostic myth, how did this material world come into being?

The material world was created by the offspring’s of the offspring’s of God. Demiurge emanated from Sophia, but this being did not know his Godly or divine origin. All of his offspring’s were imperfect, malformed beings, and they created the material world.
They wanted to capture Sophia and strip her of her divine powers. They did so and cut her up in pieces so she would not be able to go back to the divine realm. According to the Gnostics, Sophia’s parts are entrapped in the material world, thus the divine is entrapped in human bodies.

• Who was Christ according to the Gnostics?

To the Gnostics, Christ was the divine redeemer or savior. There were two views about Christ. One, that he appeared to be human but was really not a human being. Christ came from the divine realm and was not human. Being divine meant he could not be of this earth nor be born of this earth or be made of flesh and blood. He could not bleed and much less die. This means then that Jesus was a spiritual being imparting the spiritual knowledge to his disciples so they could attain liberation. And they would in turn spread the same knowledge to their followers.
The second view is that Jesus was of flesh and blood and not divine. Christ chose Jesus, a holy man, to inhabit his body empowering him to teach the “gnosis necessary for salvation”. Christ left the body of Jesus once the knowledge was transmitted and before the death of Jesus, for “Christ could not experience suffering or death”.

• Why was the discovery at Nag Hammadi so important to scholars searching for the historical Jesus?

Because now they had discovered, material evidence, writings of sayings attributed to Jesus which were written many years before the scriptures of the new testament were written. They were more contemporary to the times of the life of Jesus. This was a sort of corroboration that Jesus existed. Also, it was an independent source of information rather than a “biased” one from the followers of Christ
jdania
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