Tuesday, June 21, 2011

DID GNOSTIC CONCEPTS INFLUENCE 2ND CENTURY CHRISTIAN THINKING?

MARTIN WERNER: "...Consequently one now began to talk of a divine 'Trinity'. In the Nicene Confession-formula of A.D. 325 this concept had been, significantly, lacking. 'Trinitas'- Trias did not signify a kind of 'unity of three', but simply 'three-ness'. In the adoption of this concept the Gnosticising tendency also showed itself. For the 'Trias' -'Trinitas' was first adopted as a doctrinal terminus technicus [technical term] in the period of the Church's controversy with Gnosticism. AS A DOCTRINAL CONCEPT, 'trinitas' WAS OF GNOSTIC ORIGIN. Trias - trinitas was one of a number of numerical-concepts employed in Gnostic pleroma speculation, where there was, with the trias, a dyas, tetras, hexas, an ogdoas, dekas, and dodekas. The VALENTINIAN GNOSTIC had been, accordingly, so far as the existing sources permit us to know, the FIRST Christian theologian to designate the Father, Son and Spirit specifically as a Trias..." (The Formation of Christian Dogma, An Historical Study of its Problems; Martin Werner, p252)

Proof the Gnostics and Valentians used the word TRINITY before Tertullian in the writings of Tertullain himself and also from Clement of Alexandria:

LATIN TEXT: “...Hae [1.] sunt doctrinae hominum et daemoniorum prurientibus auribus natae de ingenio sapientiae saecularis quam Dominus stultitiam uocans stulta mundi in confusionem etiam philosophiae ipsius elegit. [2.] Ea est enim materia sapientiae saecularis, temeraria interpres diuinae naturae et dispositionis. [3.] Ipsae denique haereses a philosophia subornantur. Inde aeones et formae nescio quae infinitae et TRINITAS hominis apud VALENTINUM: Platonicus fuerat...” - (Tertulliani Liber De Praescriptione Haereticorum VII.)
http://www.tertullian.org...iptione_haereticorum.htm

TERTULLIAN: “...These are "the doctrines" of men and "of demons" produced for itching ears of the spirit of this world's wisdom: this the Lord called "foolishness," and "chose the foolish things of the world" to confound even philosophy itself. For (philosophy) it is which is the material of the world's wisdom, the rash interpreter of the nature and the dispensation of God. Indeed heresies are themselves instigated by philosophy. From this source came the AEons, and I known not what INFINITE FORMS, AND THE TRINITY OF MAN IN THE SYSTEM OF VALENTINUS, WHO WAS OF PLATO'S SCHOOL. From the same source came MARCION'S better god, with all his tranquility; he came of the STOICS...” – (Tertullian. The Prescription against Heretics, Chapter 7. TRANSLATED BY PETER HOLMES. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 3. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

TERTULLIAN: “...THESE are the doctrines of men and of daemons, generated for itching ears by the ingenuity of that worldly wisdom which the Lord called foolish-ness, and chose the foolish things of the world to confound even philosophy itself. For philo-sophy is the theme of worldly wisdom, that rash interpreter of the Divine Nature and Order. And
in fact, heresies are themselves equipped by philo-sophy. THENCE COME VALENTINUS' "AEONS" AND I KNOW NOT WHAT INFINITE "IDEAS" AND "TRINITY OF MAN." HE WAS A PLATONIST...”  – (Tertullian. The Prescription against Heretics, CHAPTER VII Chapter 7 Pages 44-46) TRANSLATED BY BINDLEY.
http://www.tertullian.org.../bindley_test_07prae.htm

GREEK TEXT: “...εἰς [2.] Ὀγδόαδα. Καὶ ἀποθνῄσκουσιν μὲν τῷ κόσμῳ, ζῶσι δὲ τῷ Θεῷ, ἵνα θάνατος θανάτῳ λυθῇ, ἀναστάσει [3.] δὲ ἡ φθορά. Διὰ γὰρ Πατρὸς καὶ Υἱοῦ καὶ ἁγίου Πνεύματος σφραγισθεὶς ἀνεπίληπτός ἐστι πάσῃ τῇ ἄλλῃ δυνάμει, καὶ διὰ ΤΡΙΩ͂Ν Ὀνομάτων πάσης τῆς ἐν φθορᾷ ΤΡΙΆΔΟΣ ἀπηλλάγη· "φορέσας τὴν εἰκόνα τοῦ χοϊκοῦ, τότε φορεῖ τὴν εἰκόνα τοῦ ἐπουρανίου...” (4.80.2,3; Patrologiae cursus completus. Series graeca. Edidit Migne, J.P., LIBRARY OF RUSLAN KHAZARZAR)
http://www.hypotyposeis.org/papers/theodotus.htm

CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA (circa. 153 to 217 C.E.) QUOTING THEODOTUS: “...They say … He whom the Mother generates is led into death and into the world, but he whom Christ regenerates is trans­ferred to life into the Ogdoad. And they: die to the world but live to God, that death may be loosed by death and corruption by resurrection. For he who has been sealed by FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT is beyond the threats of every other power and by THE THREE NAMES has been released from the whole TRIAD of corruption. "Having borne the image of the earthly, it then bears the image of the heavenly...” - (EXTRACT 79 and 80 FROM THE WORKS OF THEODOTUS AND THE SO-CALLED ORIENTAL TEACHING AT THE TIME OF VALENTINUS [Theodotus, a second-century Valentinian gnostic, that were compiled by Clement of Alexandria]. Translation by Robert Pierce Casey, The Excerpta ex Theodoto of Clement of Alexandria (Studies and Documents 1; London: Christophers, 1934), 40-91.)


Perhaps the Long Recension of Ignatius is correct when it says Gnostic heretics were "...introducing the idea of ... that the Father and Son and spirit of holiness are identical..."


LONG GREEK TEXT: “...τὸν μὲν γὰρ Χριστὸν ἀλλοτριοῦσι τοῦ πατρός, τὸν δὲ νόμον τοῦ Χριστοῦ. τὴν ἐκ παρθένου γέννησιν διαβάλλουσιν, ἐπαισχυνόμενοι τὸν σταυρὸν τὸ πάθος ἀρνοῦνται καὶ τὴν ἀνάστασιν οὐ πιστεύουσι· τὸν θεὸν ἄγνωστον εἰσηγοῦνται, τὸν Χριστὸν ἀγέννητον νομίζουσι, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα οὐδὲ ὅτι ἔστιν ὁμολογοῦσι. τινὲς δὲ αὐτῶν τὸν μὲν υἱὸν ψιλὸν ἄνθρωπον εἶναι λέγουσι, ταὐτὸν δὲ εἶναι πατέρα καὶ υἱὸν καὶ πνεῦμα ἅγιον, καὶ τὴν κτίσιν ἔργον θεοῦ, οὐ ( διὰ ) Χριστοῦ, ἀλλ' ἑτέρου τινός, ἀλλοτρίας δυνάμεως...” - (LONG RECENSION Chapter VI(6) Toward Trallians ( ΠΡOΣ TΡAΛΛIANOΥΣ ) Patrologiae cursus completus. Series graeca. Edidit Migne, J.P., LIBRARY OF RUSLAN KHAZARZAR.)

IGNATIUS (c. 30-107 C.E.): “...But, they portray Christ as belonging to another Father, even the law of the Christ. They speak slanderously and missrepresent his being born of a virgin, they are ashamed of the torture stake, they disown and cast aside the suffering, and they are not putting faith in the resurection, THEY - ( INTRODUCE ) - THE - ( IDEA ) - THAT GOD IS UN-KNOWABLE, THEY HOLD OUT THE CHRIST TO BE UNBEGOTTEN, and neither are they acknowledging the spirit. Some of them, lay down the Son to be an ordinary man, ALSO THAT THE FATHER AND THE SON AND SPIRIT OF HOLINESS ARE IDENTICAL, and that the creation is not the work of God - [ Gk., διά ] through the intermediate agency - of Christ, but instead to be of another strange power of a totally differen't kind...” - ([LONG RECENSION FOURTH - SIX CENTURY]: Translation by Matt13weedhacker Re-Revised 20/5/11)