Gnostic Doctrine

Monday, 10 August 2020

Valentinian Teaching on the Resurrection

Valentinian Teaching on the Resurrection
or
Christian Gnostic Understanding of the Resurrection

Greek anastasis resurrection


anastasis




13. They affirm that many of his disciples were not aware of the descent of Christ into him; but that, when Christ did descend on Jesus, he then began to work miracles, and heal, and announce the unknown Father, and openly to confess himself the son of the first man. The powers and the father of Jesus were angry at these proceedings, and laboured to destroy him; and when he was being led away for this purpose, they say that Christ himself, along with Sophia, departed from him into the state of an incorruptible AEon, while Jesus was crucified. Christ, however, was not forgetful of his Jesus, but sent down a certain energy into him from above, which raised him up again in the body, which they call both animal and spiritual; for he sent the mundane parts back again into the world. When his disciples saw that he had risen, they did not recognise him--no, not even Jesus himself, by whom he rose again from the dead. And they assert that this very great error prevailed among his disciples, that they imagined he had risen in a mundane body, not knowing that "flesh(3) and blood do not attain to the kingdom of God."
14. They strove to establish the descent and ascent of Christ, by the fact that neither before his baptism, nor after his resurrection from the dead, do his disciples state that he did any mighty works, not being aware that Jesus was united to Christ, and the incorruptible AEon to the Hebdomad; and they declare his mundane body to be of the same nature as that of animals. But after his resurrection he tarried [on earth] eighteen months; and knowledge descending into him from above, he taught what was clear. He instructed a few of his disciples, whom he knew to be capable of understanding so great mysteries, in these things, and was then received up into heaven, Christ sitting down at the right hand of his father Ialdabaoth, that he may receive to himself the souls of those who have known them,(4) after they have laid aside their mundane flesh, thus enriching himself without the knowledge or perception of his father; so that, in proportion as Jesus enriches himself with holy souls, to such an extent does his father suffer loss and is diminished, being emptied of his own power by these souls. For he will not now possess holy souls to send them down again into the world, except those only which are of his substance, that is, those into which he has breathed. But the consummation [of all things] will take place, when the whole besprinkling of the spirit of light is gathered together, and is carried off to form an incorruptible AEon.

Some people are afraid that they may arise from the dead naked, and so they want to arise in flesh. They do not know that it is those who wear the [flesh] who are naked. Those who are [able] to take it off are not naked.
“Flesh [and blood will] not inherit God’s kingdom.” What is this flesh that will not [57] inherit? It is what we are wearing. And what is this flesh that will inherit? It is the flesh and blood of Jesus.
For this reason he said, “One who does not eat my flesh and drink my blood does not have life within.” What does this mean? His flesh is the word and his blood is the holy spirit. Whoever has received these has food, drink, and clothing.
And I also disagree with others who say that the flesh will not arise. Both views are wrong. You say that the flesh will not arise? Then tell me what will arise, so we may salute you. You say it is the spirit in the flesh, and also the light in the flesh? But what is in the flesh is the word, and what you are talking about is nothing other than flesh. It is necessary to arise in this sort of flesh, since everything exists in it.
In this world those who wear clothes are superior to the clothes. In heaven’s kingdom the clothes are superior to those who wear them. (The Gospel of Philip)

The lord rose from the dead. He became as he was, but now his body was perfect. He possessed flesh, but this was true flesh. Our flesh isn’t true. Ours is only an image of the true. (The Gospel of Philip)

It is commonly said that the Gnostics denied the resurrection of the flesh on the ground that the flesh (being material) was evil and could have no part in the world of the spirit but Philip and the Treatise on the Resurrection addressed to Rheginus show that the situation is somewhat more complex.

the readers are warned in another saying in the Gospel of Philip "neither to fear nor to love the flesh" but at a distinction is apparently drawn between the true flesh and a flesh which is only an image of the true

Flesh and blood are allegorized as the logos and the holy spirit. while literal flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom the word and holy spirit surely can

Ignatius identifies the flesh with faith and the blood with love (Trall 8 Ign Rom 8:3)

The exposition of john 6:53 forms the transition between the two parts of this saying and is possibly the link which connects them. The flesh and blood we now have will not inherit the kingdom but the flesh of Jesus is true flesh and will inherit.

"It is necessary to arise in this sort of flesh, since everything exists in it."

The idea is that the true believer must rise in this mortal flesh in order to put on immortality to be clothed with the heavenly garment

By the words “it was at the point of death,” the teaching of those who claim that the soul is immortal is refuted. In agreement with this is the statement that “the body and soul are destoyed in Hell.” (Matthew 10:28) The soul is not immortal, but is possessed only of a disposition towards salvation, for it is the perishable which puts on imperishability and the mortal which puts on immortality when “its death is swallowed up in victory.” [1 Corinthians 15:54] (Heracleon: Fragments from his Commentary on the Gospel of John)

As Christ rose from the grave and had his mortal body changed to an immortalized body, so the true believer will share his reward (Phil. 3:21). Through baptism we associate ourselves with Christ's death and resurrection, showing our belief that we, too, will share the reward which he received through his resurrection (Rom.6:3-5). Through sharing in his sufferings now, we will also share his reward: "Bearing about (now) in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body" (2 Cor. 4:10). "He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit" (Rom. 8:11). With this hope, we therefore wait for "the redemption of our body" (Rom. 8:23), through that body being immortalized.

For if you remember reading in the Gospel that Elijah appeared and Moses with him, do not think the resurrection is an illusion, but it is truth! Indeed it is more fitting to say that the world is an illusion, rather than the resurrection which came into being through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (From The Treatise on the Resurrection)

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the author here is defending the doctrine of the resurrection.

No comments:

Post a Comment