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God Is An Exalted Man, The Restoration Of Ancient Doctrine?


Olavarria

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I was reading the Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels

http://www.amazon.com/Gnostic-Gospels-Elai...1992&sr=8-4

and I found this interesting quote by Ireneus. In this quote, Irenieus is describing the belifs of a "heretical" group. So keep in mind, these are not his beliefs but his interpretation of another groups beliefs:

"the primal father of the whole, the primal begining, and the primal incomprehensible, is called Anthropos...and that this is the great and obntruse mystery, namely, that the power which is above all others, and contains all others in its embrace, is called Anthropos".

Compare this to Joseph Smith:

"God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make Himself visible,â??I say, if you were to see Him today, you would see Him like a man in form..."

thoughts?

Who knows that Ireneus means by this. As far as I know Anthropos means humanity.

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I was reading the Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels

http://www.amazon.com/Gnostic-Gospels-Elai...1992&sr=8-4

and I found this interesting quote by Ireneus. In this quote, Irenieus is describing the belifs of a "heretical" group. So keep in mind, these are not his beliefs but his interpretation of another groups beliefs:

"the primal father of the whole, the primal begining, and the primal incomprehensible, is called Anthropos...and that this is the great and obntruse mystery, namely, that the power which is above all others, and contains all others in its embrace, is called Anthropos".

Compare this to Joseph Smith:

"God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make Himself visible,â??I say, if you were to see Him today, you would see Him like a man in form..."

thought?

Anthropos=man

Man=Adam

Yikes!

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Anthropos=man

Man=Adam

Yikes!

I personally believe that Heavenly Father is not Michael.

Adam is a name title,

34) And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.

Michael deserves the name title Adam because he is the father of our physical bodies.

Heavenly Father, the Great Elohiem, deserves the name title Adam because he is the Father of our spirit bodies.

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I personally believe that Heavenly Father is not Michael.

Adam is a name title,

34) And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.

Michael deserves the name title Adam because he is the father of our physical bodies.

Heavenly Father, the Great Elohiem, deserves the name title Adam because he is the Father of our spirit bodies.

I agree. I was just teasing (sort of). It is interesting that they gave the name Anthropos to [a] God, however.

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I was reading the Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels

http://www.amazon.com/Gnostic-Gospels-Elai...1992&sr=8-4

and I found this interesting quote by Ireneus. In this quote, Irenieus is describing the belifs of a "heretical" group. So keep in mind, these are not his beliefs but his interpretation of another groups beliefs:

"the primal father of the whole, the primal begining, and the primal incomprehensible, is called Anthropos...and that this is the great and obntruse mystery, namely, that the power which is above all others, and contains all others in its embrace, is called Anthropos".

Compare this to Joseph Smith:

"God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make Himself visible,â??I say, if you were to see Him today, you would see Him like a man in form..."

thoughts?

Who knows that Ireneus means by this. As far as I know Anthropos means humanity.

Irenaeus is talking about gnostic, who believed in supernatural beings called aeons. In the gnostic mythology, the aeons had all kinds of fancy names like Boundary and Widom and such. These proper names all have analogies in the material world but do not necessarily express the nature of the aeons themselves,who are immaterial.

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Irenaeus is talking about gnostic, who believed in supernatural beings called aeons. In the gnostic mythology, the aeons had all kinds of fancy names like Boundary and Widom and such.

Then we get into defining gnostic.

These proper names all have analogies in the material world but do not necessarily express the nature of the aeons themselves,who are immaterial.

Good point

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Her Amun,

Like the Book of Moses, Philo interpreted Genesis 1 as a spiritual creation and Genesis 2 as a material creation. So when Genesis 1 says that God created Man, Philo interpreted this as a Platonic form: the primal Man, who emanated from the realm of Divine Light and serves as a mediator between it and the physical world (which is a lower emanation). Philo seems to waffle a bit on the question of whether this primal Man-- the highest of the emanations-- can actually do anything. Jewish and Christian gnosticism are a sort of advanced form of Philo's Judaeo-Hellenistic synthesis, and they treat Sophia, Logos, Anthropos, and Kristos in a similar fashion: they are aeons emanated from the incorporeal Pleroma, which is "God"/the realm of Divine Light.

-Chris

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Hey, Christ is the Son of Man.

There actually are some biblical scholars who interpret that phrase in the light of Philonic/gnostic cosmology. I doubt this interpretation is amenable to Saintism, however, unless you're referring to Joseph Smith's beliefs in 1833.

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and I found this interesting quote by Ireneus. In this quote, Irenieus is describing the belifs of a "heretical" group. So keep in mind, these are not his beliefs but his interpretation of another groups beliefs:

"the primal father of the whole, the primal begining, and the primal incomprehensible, is called Anthropos...and that this is the great and obntruse mystery, namely, that the power which is above all others, and contains all others in its embrace, is called Anthropos".

Compare this to Joseph Smith:

"God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make Himself visible,â??I say, if you were to see Him today, you would see Him like a man in form..."

thoughts?

But that man with whom the Word dwells does not alter himself, does not get himself up; he has the form which is of the Word; he is made like unto God; he is beautiful; he does not ornament himself: his is beauty, the true beauty, for it is God; and that man becomes God, since God so wills. Heraclitus, then, rightly said, "Men are gods and gods are men". Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor 3:1

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But that man with whom the Word dwells does not alter himself, does not get himself up; he has the form which is of the Word; he is made like unto God; he is beautiful; he does not ornament himself: his is beauty, the true beauty, for it is God; and that man becomes God, since God so wills. Heraclitus, then, rightly said, "Men are gods and gods are men". Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor 3:1

You have got to be joking. Why don't you read this in context:

The Instructor (Book III)

Chapter 1. On the True Beauty

It is then, as appears, the greatest of all lessons to know one's self. For if one knows himself, he will know God; and knowing God, he will be made like God, not by wearing gold or long robes, but by well-doing, and by requiring as few things as possible.

Now, God alone is in need of nothing, and rejoices most when He sees us bright with the ornament of intelligence; and then, too, rejoices in him who is arrayed in chastity, the sacred stole of the body. Since then the soul consists of three divisions; the intellect, which is called the reasoning faculty, is the inner man, which is the ruler of this man that is seen. And that one, in another respect, God guides. But the irascible part, being brutal, dwells near to insanity. And appetite, which is the third department, is many-shaped above Proteus, the varying sea-god, who changed himself now into one shape, now into another; and it allures to adulteries, to licentiousness, to seductions.

"At first he was a lion with ample beard."

While he yet retained the ornament, the hair of the chin showed him to be a man.

"But after that a serpent, a pard, or a big sow."

Love of ornament has degenerated to wantonness. A man no longer appears like a strong wild beast,

"But he became moist water, and a tree of lofty branches."

Passions break out, pleasures overflow; beauty fades, and falls quicker than the leaf on the ground, when the amorous storms of lust blow on it before the coming of autumn, and is withered by destruction. For lust becomes and fabricates all things, and wishes to cheat, so as to conceal the man. But that man with whom the Word dwells does not alter himself, does not get himself up: he has the form which is of the Word; he is made like to God; he is beautiful; he does not ornament himself: his is beauty, the true beauty, for it is God; and that man becomes God, since God so wills. Heraclitus, then, rightly said, "Men are gods, and gods are men." For the Word Himself is the manifest mystery: God in man, and man God. And the Mediator executes the Father's will; for the Mediator is the Word, who is common to bothâ??the Son of God, the Saviour of men; His Servant, our Teacher. And the flesh being a slave, as Paul testifies, how can one with any reason adorn the handmaid like a pimp? For that which is of flesh has the form of a servant. Paul says, speaking of the Lord, "Because He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant," Philippians 2:7 calling the outward man servant, previous to the Lord becoming a servant and wearing flesh. But the compassionate God Himself set the flesh free, and releasing it from destruction, and from bitter and deadly bondage, endowed it with incorruptibility, arraying the flesh in this, the holy embellishment of eternityâ??immortality.

There is, too, another beauty of menâ??love. "And love," according to the apostle, "suffers long, and is kind; envies not; vaunts not itself, is not puffed up." 1 Corinthians 13:4 For the decking of one's self outâ??carrying, as it does, the look of superfluity and uselessnessâ??is vaunting one's self. Wherefore he adds, "does not behave itself unseemly:" for a figure which is not one's own, and is against nature, is unseemly; but what is artificial is not one's own, as is clearly explained: "seeks not," it is said, "what is not her own." For truth calls that its own which belongs to it; but the love of finery seeks what is not its own, being apart from God, and the Word, from love.

And that the Lord Himself was uncomely in aspect, the Spirit testifies by Esaias: "And we saw Him, and He had no form nor comeliness but His form was mean, inferior to men." Yet who was more admirable than the Lord? But it was not the beauty of the flesh visible to the eye, but the true beauty of both soul and body, which He exhibited, which in the former is beneficence; in the latterâ??that is, the fleshâ??immortality.

Pax Christi,

Catholic Guy

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But that man with whom the Word dwells does not alter himself, does not get himself up; he has the form which is of the Word; he is made like unto God; he is beautiful; he does not ornament himself: his is beauty, the true beauty, for it is God; and that man becomes God, since God so wills. Heraclitus, then, rightly said, "Men are gods and gods are men". Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor 3:1

You have got to be joking.

Not joking I promise.

Why don't you read this in context:

I've read it all many times. I gets quite humorous later on. So tell me Catholic Guy, how does the greater surrounding text change or modify what Clement said? What was Heraclitus right about in Clement's opinion?

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Hi BC,

Clement seems to be expressing the basically Neoplatonic view that God exists in all of us-- since we are sparks of the divine-- and that since God is immutable, the way to become more like God and to ascend to him is to ourselves become inwardly immutable (by eliminating our passions).

An important characteristic of Heraclitus's thought was the synthesis of opposites. For example, he suggested that good and evil were really the same thing. His saying here-- also sometimes translated "Mortal immortals, immortal mortals"-- I think is intended to stress the elemental unity of everything. He was a monist: everything was composed of fire, which was the substance of the Logos. Clement may be using his statement to indicate the soul's identity with God.

-Chris

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Jewish and Christian gnosticism are a sort of advanced form of Philo's Judaeo-Hellenistic synthesis, and they treat Sophia, Logos, Anthropos, and Kristos in a similar fashion: they are aeons emanated from the incorporeal Pleroma, which is "God"/the realm of Divine Light.

-Chris

I've yet to see scholars come to a solid conclusion...let alone a concensus...about gnostic groups. How nice to be so sure.

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Clement seems to be expressing the basically Neoplatonic view that God exists in all of us-- since we are sparks of the divine-- and that since God is immutable, the way to become more like God and to ascend to him is to ourselves become inwardly immutable (by eliminating our passions).

Seems more gnostic to me......

For if one knows himself, he will know God; and knowing God, he will be made like God, not by wearing gold or long robes, but by well-doing, and by requiring as few things as possible.

...though it is true his main focus is appealing to the Greek mind.

Eliminating passions and becomming subordinate to godly things is a Christian teaching.

On top of all that Clement, is head of the catechetical school in Alexandria. He's orthodox Christian.

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I've yet to see scholars come to a solid conclusion...let alone a concensus...about gnostic groups. How nice to be so sure.

Your sarcasm is unwarranted. I didn't suggest that my statement is the immutable word of God. Nor do I mean to suggest a developmental connection from Philo to gnosticism. I just mean that both Philo and gnosticism represent a sort of Hellenistic-Jewish synthesis and that gnostics utilize some of the same ideas as Philo but elaborate them much further.

Seems more gnostic to me......

Neoplatonism inspired many of the later gnostics, just as Platonism and Stoicism inspired many of the earlier ones. Their metaphysics share much in common.

Eliminating passions and becomming subordinate to godly things is a Christian teaching.

On top of all that Clement, is head of the catechetical school in Alexandria. He's orthodox Christian.

It's true that Clement is considered orthodox. However, he also had decidedly gnostic and philosophical leanings. The elimination of passions is a Christian teaching largely because of Hellenistic influence, in my opinion. I suspect that Clement took it considerably farther than you or I would be willing to do.

-Chris

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Seems more gnostic to me......
Neoplatonism inspired many of the later gnostics, just as Platonism and Stoicism inspired many of the earlier ones. Their metaphysics share much in common.

Indeed, such as the concept of the demiurge.

On top of all that Clement, is head of the catechetical school in Alexandria. He's orthodox Christian.
It's true that Clement is considered orthodox. However, he also had decidedly gnostic and philosophical leanings. The elimination of passions is a Christian teaching largely because of Hellenistic influence, in my opinion. I suspect that Clement took it considerably farther than you or I would be willing to do.

Sure. But this is beyond the intent of my quoting him in the first place.

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