Gnostic Doctrine

Saturday, 26 December 2020

Samael Aun Weor Cult


Is the gnostic teacher Samael Aun Weor actually a cult leader who harms people with false ideology?

Yes. The Samaelians fulfill all criteria for being a really dangerous destructive cult.

  • Cult Information and Family Support: “22. This group presents itself as a benign cultural "educational" meditation group, but behind this mask their main objective is to recruit more members to be part of their bizarre occult rituals and the worship of Samael.”
  • Cult Education Forum: When the outcome of an organization is that several of its students end up getting absolutely alienated from society, in several cases living in mental hospitals, unable to have any social life beyond the organization... that's NOT GNOSTIC AT ALL.
  • Semenal Gnosis: Samael Aun Weor’s Sex Cult: This paranoia, and focus on inter-group betrayals and “dark forces” working against the group from without, has continued on for today’s disciples of Aun Weor.

They also aren’t Gnostics like they claim: Samael is a name on Satan or an alias for Yaldabaoth his father in Gnostic mythology. That name is evil, but the guy Victor Gomez Rodriguez calling himself “Samael Aun Weor”, was more like a depraved ineffectual moron. The point of being a Gnostic is that the truth is buried within you, not provided by an authoritarian hierarchy teaching balderdash like the so called Gnostic Movement.

Non-Historical Gnostic

Samael Aun Weor, whose parents called him Victor Manuel Gomez Rodriguez, (1917-1977).

Samael Aun Weor and his brand of gnosticism (which is apparently not related at all to historical gnosticism)

Samael Aun Weor is not very well known among the English speaking world because he books are only recently being published in a widely available manner.

The Gnostic Priesthood

The Gnostic Priesthood
Do Gnostics Need Priests?

Since the Jewish priesthood is referred to in some texts of the Nag Hammadi we should look at the Jewish priesthood normally referred to as the the Levitical priesthood

The idea of a Priesthood comes from the Old Testament

In the Bible we can read how a priesthood was set up for the people of Israel in Old Testament times, by God's command to their leader Moses. A considerable proportion of the priests' duties was in connection with animal sacrifices which the people offered to God for the forgiveness of sins, or as an act of thanksgiving. The offerings were only accepted if offered through the service of a priest. 

In the New Testament it is made very clear that for the Christian, Christ has taken over the function of High Priest and that in offering himself on the cross, for the sins of the world, he has removed the value of any other sacrifice. He has also removed the need for any other priest. as we can read in the apostle Paul's letter to the Hebrews :

"Consequently he is able for all times to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them" (Heb. ch 7 v 25 RSV)

The need for no other mediator except Christ is put very strongly by the Apostle Paul in his second letter to Timothy:

"For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. ch 2 v 5 AV )

Wherever we look in the New Testament it is clear that the early churches did not have priests. We read in Acts chapter 3 verse 46, that they went from house to house breaking bread and praising God.

Later on in time, Paul writing to the church in Corinth said that:
". . . . God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets,. third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues". ( 1 Cor. ch l2 v 28 NIV )

He makes no mention of the need for priests.
Bishop and Deacons
elders, sometimes called "bishops" (meaning shepherds or overseers had, as we have seen, responsibilities towards their fellow believers. The bishop's role was that of a shepherd. He was not in Jesus' place in the community, but had to display the same concern for the "flock" - of which he was also a part. 

Other tasks, also of service, were entrusted to men and women qualified to fulfil them. Whereas elders' responsibilities were directed more to the spiritual needs of believers, "deacons" were involved with their physical needs. In the New Testament only the Lord Jesus Christ is recognised as a priest. Nor do any of the descriptions of the work of elders, bishops or deacons suggest that these had any priestly function. None of the other church "offices" are Bible terms either: they have all been invented by men. 

“All you are brothers,” Jesus had said to his disciples. “Your Leader is one, the Christ.” (Matt. 23:8, 10) So there was no clergy class within Christian congregations of the first century. As to organization, each congregation was supervised by a body of overseers, or spiritual elders. All the elders had equal authority, and not one of them was authorized to ‘lord it over’ the flock in their care. (Acts 20:17; Phil. 1:1; 1 Pet. 5:2, 3) However, as the apostasy unfolded, things began to change—quickly. (The Watchtower)

Yet by A.D. 200, the situation had changed. Christianity had become an institution headed by a three-rank hierarchy of bishops, priests, and deacons, who understood themselves to be the guardians of the only "true faith." (The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels)

The author accuses them of having misinterpreted the apostles' teaching, and thus having set up an "imitation church" in place of the true Christian "brotherhood." Other gnostics, including the followers of Valentinus, did not challenge the bishop's right to the common apostolic tradition. Nor did they oppose, in principle, the leadership of priests and bishops. But for them the church's teaching, and the church officials, could never hold the ultimate authority which orthodox Christians accorded them. All who had received gnosis, they say, had gone beyond the church's teaching and had transcended the authority of its hierarchy. 
(The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels)

Gnosis offers nothing less than a theological justification for refusing to obey the bishops and priests! The initiate now sees them as the "rulers and powers" who rule on earth in the demiurge's name. The gnostic admits that the bishop, like the demiurge, exercises legitimate authority over most Christians—those who are uninitiated. But the bishop's demands, warnings, and threats, like those of the demiurge himself, can no longer touch the one who has been "redeemed." (The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels)

Speaking about the organisation of the Valentinian church Einar Thomassen writes 

The community would meet on Sundays (whether before sunrise or in the evening—or both—we do not know).

Valentinian initiates took turns performing the various liturgical tasks ensuring a high degree of participation by the membership. According to Tertullian, "Today one man is bishop and tomorrow another; the person who is a deacon today, tomorrow is a reader; the one who is a priest is a layman tomorrow. For even on the laity they impose the functions of priesthood." ( Tertullian Against the Valentinians 1) He goes on to relate that even women could take the role of bishop, much to his horror.
The Priesthood in Gnostic Gospels
The Gospel of Thomas and the Apocarphon of John refer to the Pharisees

Pharisee a Jewish religious party Josephus claimed that Pharisees received the full support and goodwill of the common people, apparently in contrast to the more elite Sadducees, who were the upper class. 

Sadducees represented the authority of the priestly privileges and prerogatives established since the days of Solomon, when Zadok, their ancestor, officiated as High Priest.

only those of the family line of Arron could be a priest who would serve at God’s altar, this is called the Levitical priesthood. 

The word priest is used in the gospel of Philip in relation to the Jewish priesthood:

If some are in the tribe of the priesthood, these shall be permitted to enter within the veil (of the Temple) with the High Priest. Therefore the veil was not torn at the top only, else it would have been opened only for those who are above; nor was it torn at the bottom only, else it would have been revealed only to those who are below. But rather it was torn from the top to the bottom. Those who are above opened to us who are below, in order that we shall enter into the secret of the truth. (Gospel of Philip)

the word priest is used again in the second apocalypse of James

This is the discourse that James the Just spoke in Jerusalem, which Mareim, one of the priests, wrote. (second apocalypse of James)

And I was with the priests and revealed nothing of the relationship, since all of them were saying with one voice, 'Come, let us stone the Just One.' And they arose, saying, 'Yes, let us kill this man, that he may be taken from our midst. For he will be of no use to us.' (second apocalypse of James)

Mareim: Scribe said to have written down the words of James the Just in the Second Revelation of James.

Some Gnostic texts refer to the Catholic Priesthood: 

The Gospel of Judas

THE DISCIPLES SEE THE TEMPLE AND DISCUSS IT They [said, “We have seen] a great [house with a large] altar [in it, and] twelve men— they are the priests, we would say—and a name; and a crowd of people is waiting at that altar, [until] the priests [… and receive] the offerings. [But] we kept waiting.” [Jesus said], “What are [the priests] like?” They [said, “Some …] two weeks; [some] sacrifice their own children, others their wives, in praise [and] humility with each other; some sleep with men; some are involved in [slaughter]; some commit a multitude of sins and deeds of lawlessness. And the men who stand [before] the altar invoke your [name], [39] and in all the deeds of their deficiency, the sacrifices are brought to completion […].” After they said this, they were quiet, for they were troubled. 

JESUS OFFERS AN ALLEGORICAL INTERPRETATION OF THE VISION OF THE TEMPLE Jesus said to them, “Why are you troubled? Truly I say to you, all the priests who stand before that altar invoke my name. Again I say to you, my name has been written on this […] of the generations of the stars through the human generations. [And they] have planted trees without fruit, in my name, in a shameful manner.” Jesus said to them, “Those you have seen receiving the offerings at the altar—that is who you are. That is the god you serve, and you are those twelve men you have seen. The cattle you have seen brought for sacrifice are the many people you lead astray [40] before that altar. […] will stand and make use of my name in this way, and generations of the pious will remain loyal to him. After him another man will stand there from [the fornicators], and another [will] stand there from the slayers of children, and another from those who sleep with men, and those who abstain, and the rest of the people of pollution and lawlessness and error, and those who say, ‘We are like angels’; they are the stars that bring everything to its conclusion. For to the human generations it has been said, ‘Look, God has received your sacrifice from the hands of a priest’—that is, a minister of error. But it is the Lord, the Lord of the universe, who commands, ‘On the last day they will be put to shame.’” [41] Jesus said [to them], “Stop sac[rificing …] which you have […] over the altar, since they are over your stars and your angels and have already come to their conclusion there. So let them be [ensnared] before you, and let them go [—about 15 lines missing—] generations […]. A baker cannot feed all creation [42] under [heaven]. And […] to them […] and […] to us and […]. Jesus said to them, “Stop struggling with me. Each of you has his own star, and every[body—about 17 lines missing—] [43] in […] who has come [… spring] for the tree […] of this aeon […] for a time […] but he has come to water God’s paradise, and the [generation] that will last, because [he] will not defile the [walk of life of] that generation, but […] for all eternity.” (Gospel of Judas)

The Apcapsel of Peter

And as he was saying these things, I saw the priests and the people running up to us with stones, as if they would kill us; and I was afraid that we were going to die. 
And he said to me, "Peter, I have told you many times that they are blind ones who have no guide. 
If you want to know their blindness, put your hands upon (your) eyes - your robe - and say what you see." 
But when I had done it, I did not see anything. I said "No one sees (this way)." 
Again he told me, "Do it again." 
And there came in me fear with joy, for I saw a new light greater than the light of day. Then it 
came down upon the Savior. And I told him about those things which I saw. 
And he said to me again, "Lift up your hands and listen to what the priests and the people are 
And I listened to the priests as they sat with the scribes. The multitudes were shouting with their voice. 
When he heard these things from me he said to me, "Prick up your ears and listen to the things they are saying." 
And I listened again, "As you sit, they are praising you". 
And when I said these things, the Savior said, "I have told you that these (people) are blind and deaf. Now then, listen to the things which they are telling you in a mystery, and guard them, Do not tell them to the sons of this age. For they shall blaspheme you in these ages since they are ignorant of you, but they will praise you in knowledge." (The Apcapsel of Peter) 
The Priesthood of the New Covenant
On Pentecost day of the year 33 C.E., the Law covenant came to an end and the “better covenant,” the new covenant, was inaugurated. (Heb 8:6-9) On that day God made manifest this change by the outpouring of holy spirit. The apostle Peter then explained to the Jews present from many nations that their only salvation now lay in repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ. (Ac 2; Heb 2:1-4) Later, Peter spoke of the Jewish builders rejecting Jesus Christ as the cornerstone and then said to Christians: “But you are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession.’”—1Pe 2:7-9. (Watchtower)

Peter explained also that the new priesthood is “a spiritual house for the purpose of a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1Pe 2:5) Jesus Christ is their great High Priest, and they, like Aaron’s sons, make up the underpriesthood. (Heb 3:1; 8:1) Yet, different from the Aaronic priesthood, which had no part in kingship, kingship and priesthood are combined in this “royal priesthood” of Christ and his joint heirs. (Watchtower)

Wisdom summons you in her goodness, saying, "Come to Me, all of you, O foolish ones, that you may receive a gift, the understanding which is good and excellent. I am giving to you a high-priestly garment which is woven from every (kind of) wisdom." What else is evil death except ignorance? What else is evil darkness except familiarity with forgetfulness? Cast your anxiety upon God alone. Do not become desirous of gold and silver, which are profitless, but clothe yourself with wisdom like a robe; put knowledge on yourself like a crown, and be seated upon a throne of perception. For these are yours, and you will receive them again on high another time. (The Teachings of Silvanus)

In the Teachings of Silvanus from the Nag Hammadi Library we find the author speaking about a "high-priestly garment"  which is "woven from every kind of wisdom." 

Let Christ alone enter your world, and let him bring to naught all powers which have come upon you. Let him enter the temple which is within you, so that he may cast out all the merchants. Let him dwell in the temple which is within you, and may you become for him a priest and a Levite, entering in purity. (
The Teachings of Silvanus)

Revelation 7:7 12,000 from the tribe of Levi,

In the list of 12 tribes in Revelation 7 Joseph replaces Ephraim, suggesting that it is the Israel of God (Gal. 6:16), and not natural Israel, to which reference is made. Levi is listed as possessing a tribal inheritance whereas under the Law he had none, suggesting that the Melchizedek priesthood has replaced the Levitical (Ezek. 44:15; Rev. 5;9-10).

The Temple, the naos, only priests could lawfully enter. Both the individual believer (1 Cor. 6:19), as well as the Ecclesia (Eph. 2:21; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 6:16) are treated as the Temple, or naos.

In the Valentinian Exposition from the Nag Hammadi Library Jesus is the "true High Priest" and "the one who has the authority to enter the Holies of Holies"

When he willed, the First Father revealed himself in him. Since, after all, because of him the revelation is available to the All, I for my part call the All 'the desire of the All'. And he took such a thought concerning the All - I for my part call the thought 'Monogenes'. For now God has brought Truth, the one who glorifies the Root of the All. Thus it is he who revealed himself in Monogenes, and in him he revealed the Ineffable One [...] the Truth. They saw him dwelling in the Monad and in the Dyad and in the Tetrad. He first brought forth Monogenes and Limit. And Limit is the separator of the All and the confirmation of the All, since they are [...] the hundred [...]. He is the Mind [...] the Son. He is completely ineffable to the All, and he is the confirmation and the hypostasis of the All, the silent veil, the true High Priest, the one who has the authority to enter the Holies of Holies, revealing the glory of the Aeons and bringing forth the abundance to <fragrance>. The East [...] that is in Him. He is the one who revealed himself as the primal sanctuary and the treasury of the All. And he encompassed the All, he who is higher than the All. 
(A Valentinian Exposition)

According to Herakleon, the Fullness is "the Holy of Holies, into which only the High-Priest enters, into which the spiritual go" (Herakleon Fragment 13). The Gospel of Philip links the opening provided by Christ with the tearing of the veil at the time of Jesus' death (Matthew 27:51). According to Philip,

"If others belong to the order of the priesthood they will be able to enter within the veil with the High Priest. For this reason the veil was not torn at the top only, since it would have been open only to those above; nor was it torn at the bottom only, since it would have been revealed only to those below. But rather it was torn from top to bottom. The upper realm was opened to us in the lower realm, in order that we may enter into the hidden realm of Truth....The Holies of the Holies was uncovered, and the Bridal Chamber invites us in. " (Gospel of Philip 105).
The Modern Gnostic Priesthood
The following is written by Tomas Kindahl

It’s either paleo-Gnostic (old Gnostic) Mandaeans tarmidas, like these:

or it is neo-Gnostics (new Gnostics), for example like these guys (Ecclesia Gnostica):

The only surviving paleo-Gnostics are the Mandaeans, they branched from Judaism probably before Jesus. They refer John the Baptist — not Jesus.

The neo-Gnostics are (almost always) Christians that has added some beliefs from what’s considered Valentinian scriptures in the Nag Hammadi library. Among them are a lot of annoying New-Age self-elected prophets. There are many branches among the neo-Gnostics.

There are a lot of pseudo-Gnostics (fake Gnostics) too: the common trait being that they don’t care about the Mandean Scriptures nor the Nag Hammadi scriptures, but instead refer to some self-elected prophet, either Aleister Crowley, or Gurdjieff, or Victor Gomez-Rodrigues (calling himself Samael Aun Weor). They’re not in any way useful.

To be “gnostic” means that you claim to have “secret knowledge;” in other words, knowledge revealed only to you which you are meant to reveal to the world in your own time and your own way.

This is a direct contradiction of ancient Christian belief which says that public revelation - that is, new knowledge revealed by God for all people - ended with the death of the last Apostle, the last person given authority directly by Christ.

Thus, a “gnostic priest” is not a “mystic,” which is a person who studies and lives the depth of the public revelation given to the Church (both in Sacred Tradition and in Scripture), but is simply a person who claims to have knowledge from God that no one else has

These people should be avoided, for the sake of your soul.

Monday, 21 December 2020

Gnostic Teaching on Purgatory

Traditional Gnostic Teaching on Purgatory 

Is there a purgatory ? 
And if so, can the priest by his masses bring the faithful out of it ?''

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that the undying souls of men leave their bodies at death. The wicked (those who die in mortal sin) go to hell for eternal torment. The righteous, dying with unforgiven venial sin or undischarged temporal punishment, go to a painful purification before being fit for heaven.

Purgatory is a half-way house between 'heaven' and 'hell'. The Roman Catholic church teaches that Purgatory is a place of purging, in which the soul will suffer for a while before being fit to gain salvation in heaven. The prayers, candle-burning and financial gifts to the church of a person and his friends is supposed to shorten the length of time that the soul suffers in 'purgatory'.

The word Purgatory is not used in the Bible nor the nag hammadi texts 

Gnostic sects like the Bogomils, Pauliciani, Cathars rejected the doctrine of Purgatory

Ralph of Coggeshale goes into considerable detail of the doctrines of the Pauliciani in Flanders and England, and thereby establishes their complete identity with the Bogomils. They held, he says, to two principles-of good and evil; they rejected purgatory, prayers for the dead, the invocation of saints, infant baptism, and the use of pictures, images, and crucifixes in the churches ;

The Albigenses (also known as Cathari), named after the town of Albi, where they had many followers. They had their own celibate clergy class, who expected to be greeted with reverence. They believed that Jesus spoke figuratively in his last supper when he said of the bread, “This is my body.” (Matthew 26:26, NAB) They rejected the doctrines of the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, hellfire, and purgatory. Thus they actively put in doubt the teachings of Rome. Pope Innocent III gave instructions that the Albigenses be persecuted. “If necessary,” he said, “suppress them with the sword.” 

Protestants, like Cathars, rejected the medieval Roman doctrine of transubstantiation and infant baptism. Like Cathars and Waldensians, Protestant Churches encourage laymen to read the scriptures for themselves. Most accept women as ministers, and most affirm the dignity of labour. Churchmen themselves are increasingly working for a living rather than living off tithes. Protestant theology is that of mitigated dualism, embracing predestination and rejecting the Catholic position on Free Will. Protestants, like Cathars, reject the medieval Roman Catholic notion of Purgatory, along with the practice of praying for the dead, and the entire system of indulgences.

The Jews had originally had no concept of an afterlife, but under Greek influence they had developed an ill-defined belief in an afterlife by the time of Jesus Christ. (The words translated as hell in the Old Testament actually mean grave or rubbish-tip). In the 2nd Century BCE the Jews had 
developed a  belief that there was a afterlife in heaven or hell. Ideas such as Purgatory and Limbo were developed much later. More conservative Jews at the time of Jesus still held ideas of an afterlife to be an offensive novelty. As they pointed out the many punishments promised by God in scripture are all punishments in this world. None is promised for an afterlife.

Man has conceived that there is such a condition as life separate from God, and obedient to man’s thought; he has produced such a state of mind. When man changes his mind he will find that he lives in heaven continually, but by the power of his thought has made all kinds of places: earth, purgatory, heaven, hell and numerous intermediate states

The righteous are never promised salvation in heaven. The granting of salvation will be at the judgment seat at Christ's return, rather than at some time after death when we supposedly leave 'purgatory' (Matt. 25:31-34; Rev. 22:12).

All the righteous receive their rewards at the same time, rather than each person gaining salvation at different times (Heb. 11:39,40; 2 Tim. 4:8).

Death is followed by complete unconsciousness, rather than the activities suggested by the doctrine of purgatory.

We are purged from our sins through baptism into Christ and developing a firm faith in his work during our present life, rather than through some period of suffering after death. We are told to "purge out therefore the old leaven" of sin in our lives (1 Cor. 5:7); to purge ourselves from the works of sin (2 Tim. 2:21; Heb. 9:14). Our time of purging is therefore now, in this life, rather than in a place of purging ('purgatory') which we enter after death. "Now is the day of is the accepted time" (2 Cor. 6:2). Our obedience to God in baptism and development of a spiritual character in this life, will lead to our salvation (Gal. 6:8) - not to the spending of a period in 'purgatory'.

The efforts of others to save us through candle-burning and other donations to the Catholic church, will not affect our salvation at all. "They that trust in their wealth...none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him...that he should still live for ever" (Ps. 49:6-9).

Gnostic Doctrine Website

 Gnostic Doctrine Website 

God has Breasts El Shaddai

 The Breasts of the Father Ode 19

In this study we will look at the feminine aspects of God but first we will start with an opening reading from the Odes of Solomon Ode 19:

Ode 19 
A cup of milk was offered to me, and I drank it in the sweetness of the Lord's kindness. 
The Son is the cup, and the Father is He who was milked; and the Holy Spirit is She who milked Him; 
Because His breasts were full, and it was undesirable that His milk should be ineffectually released. 
The Holy Spirit opened Her bosom, and mixed the milk of the two breasts of the Father. 
Then She gave the mixture to the generation without their knowing, and those who have received it are in the perfection of the right hand. 
The womb of the Virgin took it, and she received conception and gave birth. 
So the Virgin became a mother with great mercies. 
And she labored and bore the Son but without pain, because it did not occur without purpose. 
And she did not require a midwife, because He caused her to give life. 
She brought forth like a strong man with desire, and she bore according to the manifestation, and she acquired according to the Great Power. 
And she loved with redemption, and guarded with kindness, and declared with grandeur.

The teaching that the Father has feminine breasts might seem shocking at first but if we look deeper into this we will find that this is very common among early church writings  

Church Father: Irenæus, bishop of Lyons from 178-ca. 200 ce wrote in his major work Against Heresies, "Those who do not have a share in the Spirit are not nourished to life by the Mother's breasts." (Irenæus, Against Heresies (Adversus Omnes Hæreses), book 3, ch. 24:1; in Stramara, 'El Shaddai ...' ibid., p. 7)

Clement of Alexandria is perhaps the best known patristic author in this regard, with his use of images of mothering and nurturing—but no common development akin to the Syriac tradition of the feminine Spirit took place.

Elaine Pagels writes: 

Clement characterizes God in feminine as well as masculine terms:

The Word is everything to the child, both father and mother, teacher and nurse . . . The nutriment is the milk of the Father . . . and the Word alone supplies us children with the milk of love, and only those who suck at this breast are truly happy.  For this reason, seeking is called sucking; to those infants who seek the Word, the Father's loving breasts supply milk.

One can recall Jerome's admonition that the word for Spirit is feminine in Hebrew, masculine in Latin, and neuter in Greek, instructing us that God is without gender. But Jerome's comment may well indicate that debate on this matter was taking place.
El Shaddai
The idea that God has breasts comes from the Hebrew word El Shaddai:

The main Hebrew lexicons, Brown-Driver-Briggs (BDB) and The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (HALOT, also known as K-B for its editors, Kohler and Baumgartner), both offer various possibilities for the etymology of the word shaddai. One possibility is that it derives from the verb שדד shadad. שדד shadad means “to deal violently with,” but none of the lexicons or theological word books suggest that shaddai means “God of violence.” Another possibility, found only in BDB, is that the name comes from שדה shadah , which means “to pour out,” and refers to God as “rain giver.” The Kohler-Baumgartner lexicon (HALOT) suggests that the word could be based on the Akkadian shadu which means “mountain.” Thus, El Shaddai means “The God of the mountain(s).” This seems to be the current favorite among scholars. HALOT also suggests another possibility, such as the idea that El Shaddai refers to one of the ancestral gods, but the meaning of the name is uncertain.

One possibility that is not mentioned in either BDB or HALOT is found in both the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (TDOT) and also in the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDOTTE). And that is that the name Shaddai comes from the word thdw/y which means “breast” (or “mountain.”) (See TDOT, I:257; NIDOTTE, I:401). Although TDOT concludes that “God of the mountain” is the best translation, the fact that it recognizes “The God of Breasts” as a possibility is significant.

In Hebrew the word שד shad means “breast.” The noun itself is masculine in form even though it refers only to female breasts. TDOT notes that shaddai follows a common pattern for divine name formation using a “natural element plus an adjectival suffix. One thinks of ‘Artsay, Tallay, and Pidray, wives of Ba`al whose names mean “One of the Earth,” “The Dewy One,” and “the Misty One” (TDOT, I:256). Thus Shaddai would mean “The Breasted One.” [1]

The etymology of El Shaddai remains uncertain and contested. As HALOT concludes, “Despite several attempted and suggested explanations the etymology of שדי has still not been completely clarified” (II:1421). For this reason, we should not dismiss possibilities like “The God of Breasts” simply because some scholars have come to an admittedly uncertain consensus on “God of the Mountain(s).”

El Shaddai literally translated means the strong breasted one

He provided for the people of Israel when He "led" them in the wilderness (Deut. 32:10 12). It was He that (Exod. 20:2) "led" them out of Egypt. He, also, said to Abraham (Gen. xvii. i 2) "I am thy God (Heb. El Shaddai), be-well-pleasing before me." Thus, "in the manner of a true Child-leader, He secretly fashions Abraham so as to be a faithful" a remark that would seem more to the point if we could suppose that Clement had some vague notions about "Shaddai" as being connected with the All-sufficing Father, and perhaps with "breasts." 

Compare the early Jewish interpretation of the Abrahamic title of God, Shaddai the All-sufficer

El Shaddai All-Sufficient Sustainer

God is One Person but there is a dual aspect to God's nature the Deity is both Father and Mother The very name God, Almighty, in its original Hebrew form El Shaddai, reveals the infinite quality. El, God, its first meaning, Strength: Shaddi, the plural whose singular, Shad, signifies a Breast and is feminine. Our natural father and mother, with their united strength and wisdom, truth and love are types of that Perfect Parentage, our Father and Mother which are in Heaven

The duality of God is expressed in the book of "Genesis" as follows: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. So God created man in his own image; male and female created He them; and called their name Adam." 
Ode 19
Ode 8 "My own breasts did I prepare for them" This indicates a recognition of Christ as Mother

In Ode 8, Christ too is the nursing mother: "I fashioned their limbs/ and my own breasts I prepared for them/ that they might drink my holy milk and live by it." (8:14)

Odes (19:2 foil.) while continuing to represent God, and not man, as the Giver of the Milk, mentions also the Holy Spirit (whom the poet ventures to describe as "milking" the Father "because His breasts were full ") and the Son apparently the pre-incarnate Son whom he has previously (ib. 2) called "the Cup." Afterwards (ib. 6) the Ode goes on to speak of the Virgin as "becoming a Mother." 

In Ode 19 it is not a male chest (Rev 1:13) the author bestows a mother's breast on the Father 

The Father is imaged in wholly feminine terms: nursing from his breasts, and midwife at Mary's birthgiving.

Again, the images for God in this Ode recall certain Old Testament metaphors: God as midwife in Ps 22:9-10, God as comforting mother in Isa 49:15 and 66:13, and God travailing in the throes of divine labor pangs in Isa 42:14b.

Almost the only mention of "mother" in the Odes is (35:6) "I was carried like a child by his mother, and the dew of the Lord gave me milk" (comp. 35:i "The dew of the Lord... hath He distilled upon me"). 

The Son is the cup, and He who was milked is the Father^ 19:4 "...the milk from the two breasts of the Father." 

"Milk," on the other hand, they frequently mention, and even as coming from the "breasts" of the Father 
Medieval Christian Mystics 
Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) (Cistercian) Sermon to prelates Show affection as a mother would, correct like a father. Be gentle, avoid harshness, do not resort to blows, expose your breasts: let your bosoms swell with milk, not swell with passion. ... Why will the young man, bitten by the serpent, shy away from the judgment of the priest, to whom he ought to run as to the bosom of a mother?(42)212 

Guerric of Igny (Cistercian) [Christ] is a father in virtue of natural creation ... and authority. ... He is a mother too in the mildness of his affection, and a nurse. ... The Holy Spirit (is) like milk poured out from Christ's own breasts.(39) 

Clare (1194-1253) --Clare's dream The Lady Clare also told that once she had seen St. Francis in a vision and she was bringing him a jug of hot water and a towel for wiping his hands and with this she was ascending a long stairway, but so easily that it was as though she walked on the level earth. When she reached St. Francis, he bared his breast, saying "Come, take and drink." And she did so. Then St. Francis bid her suckle a second time. And what she tasted seemed to her so sweet and delightful that she could not describe it in any way. And after she had suckled, the nipple of the breast from which the milk came, remained between the lips of the happy Clare; she took what remained in her mouth into her hands, and it seemed to be such pure shining gold that she saw her own reflection in it, as in a mirror.213 

Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)214 Catherine wrote down her visions and her interpretations of Christian scripture, of which the first of the following excerpts from her 'dialogue' is based on the saying of Jesus, "Whosoever thirsteth, let him come to me and drink." It is offered here as a contrast to the further writings of Catherine focused on drinking. 

ch. LIII "... And why did her say 'Let him come to me and drink'? Because whoever follows his doctrine, whether in the most perfect way or by dwelling in the life of common charity, finds to drink, tasting the fruit of the blood, through the union of the divine nature with the human nature. ch. LXXII "... But the soul who has in truth entered the house of self-knowledge, and by the exercise of perfect prayer has raised herself from the imperfect love of imperfect prayer, by the means of which I [the Father] speak to thee in this treatise on prayer, receives me, through affection of love, seeking to draw herself the milk of my sweetness from the breast of the doctrine of Christ crucified. ch. XCVI "... She receives the fruit of quietness of mind, a union with my sweet divine nature, where she tastes the milk, as when the child, who sleeps at peace on the breast of its mother, draws to itself milk by means of the flesh of its mother; so the soul, arrived at this last state, reposes on the breast of my divine charity, keeping in the mouth of holy desire the flesh of Christ crucified, ... So the soul reposes at the breast of Christ crucified, who is the Truth, and thus draws to herself the milk of virtue, in which she finds the life of grace, tasting in herself my divine nature, ... "Now look, sweet daughter, how sweet and glorious is this state, in which the soul has made so close a union with the breast of charity, that the mouth is not found without the breast, neither the breast without the milk. And so this soul does not find herself without Christ crucified or without me, the Eternal Father, whom she finds, tasting the supreme and Eternal Deity. ... "At this breast of love the memory fills itself, ... ch. CX "Now I will reply to that which thou didst ask me concerning the ministers of the holy Church ... And since one thing is better known by means of contrast with its contrary, I will show thee the dignity of those who use virtuously the treasure I have placed in their hands; and in this way thou wilt the better see the misery of those who to-day are suckled at the breast of my Spouse." Then this soul obediently contemplated the truth, in which she saw virtue resplendent in those who truly taste it. ... "Thou knowest that thou wentest one morning to church at sunrise to hear Mass, ... When the minister came to consecrate, thou raisedst thine eyes above his head while he was saying the words of consecration, and I manifested myself to thee, and thou didst see issue from my breast a light, like a ray from the sun, ... out of the midst of which light came a dove and hovered over the host, in virtue of the words which the minister was saying. ch. CXXXIX "... Wherefore his religion is a delightful garden, broad and joyous and fragrant, but the wretches who do not observe the order, but transgress its vows, have turned it into a desert and defiled it with their scanty virtue and light of science, though they are nourished at its breast. 

Julian of Norwich (1342-1413+)215 Jesus is our true Mother in nature by our first Creation, and he is our true Mother in grace by his taking our created Nature. (15) The mother can give her child suck of her milk, but our precious Mother Jesus can feed us with himself, and does most courteously and most tenderly with the blessed sacrament, which is the precious food of true life. ... The mother can lay her child tenderly to her breast, but our tender Mother Jesus can lead us easily into his blessed breast through his sweet open side.(19) 

Christian folklore From the Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine (1229-1298) --the tale of seven women followers in the martyrdom of Saint Blaise in 287 ce Meanwhile the governor, seeing that he could not force the saint [Blaise] to worship idols, had him bound to a stake, and commanded that his flesh be torn with iron spikes; after which he was again led back to gaol. Seven women, however, followed the saint, and gathered up the drops of his blood. ... Then one of the women, who was the mother of two children, laid hold of the [pagan] robes and threw them into the fire. And her babes said to her: 'Dearest mother, do not leave us behind, but as thou hast plenished us with the sweetness of thy milk, so now fill us with the sweetness of the Kingdom of Heaven!' Then the [pagan] governor had them lashed to the stake, and the executioners laid open their flesh with iron points. But their flesh remained as white as snow, and from it milk spurted forth instead of blood.217 

--the martyrdom of Saint Agatha in 253 ce On the morrow, the consul said to her: 'Renounce Christ and adore the gods!' Upon her refusal, he had her bound to a rack to be tortured. ... Enraged, the consul ordered that her breasts by roughly twisted, and then commanded that they be torn off. And Agatha cried: 'Cruel and impious tyrant, does it not shame thee to torture, in a woman, that with which thy mother suckled thee? But know that in my soul I have other breasts, whose milk sustains all of my senses, which I have long since dedicated to God!'218 

--Saint Bernard [Bernard's mother] bore seven children, six children and one daughter, and dedicated all the sons to be monks, and the daughter to be a nun. For as soon as she had given birth to a child, she offered it to God with her own hands. Nor would she allow her children to be suckled at the breasts of other women, but imparted to them, with the maternal milk, the nature of their mother's virtue.219 
The Shakers
Shaker theology is based on the idea of the dualism of God as male and female: "So God created him; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27). This passage was interpreted as showing the dual nature of the Creator

An all-important, sublime, and foundational doctrine of the Shakers is the Existence of an Eternal Father and an Eternal Mother in Deity — the Heavenly Parents of all angelical and human beings.

31. As Father, God is the infinite Fountain of intelligence, and the Source of all power — "the Almighty, great and terrible in majesty;" "the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, dwelling in the high and holy place;" and "a consuming fire." 

32. But, as Mother, "God is love" and tenderness! If all the maternal affections of all the female or bearing spirits in animated nature were combined together, and then concentered in one individual human female, that person would be but as a type or image of our Eternal Heavenly Mother. 

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Fishes - 153 of them (John 21:11)

Fishes - 153 of them (John 21:11)

A fishing party, which included the present writer, once caught in a fairly short time off the coast of British Columbia, six splendid salmon. Their total weight was sixty-three pounds. If the "great fishes" caught in Galilee were on a par with these, this would make the total catch now under consideration to be about three-quarters of a ton.

But why — the question may well be asked — was John so careful as to specify meticulously how many fish were caught? At different times thousands of his readers have scented a special significance here. There is a sound instinct behind this.

Here, then, is a list of suggestions (doubtless incomplete). Some of these have a good Biblical flavour; others not at all.

153 = 9x17: and 9 is the number of judgment (is it?), whilst 17 combines the ideas of "spirit" and "order": 10 + 7 (do they?). So it is said! (Companion Bible).
There were not 153 fishes, but 154—and this is 11 x 14 (or 22 x 7), again with corresponding numerical meaning. Sic!
Contemporary Greek zoologists asserted that the sea contains precisely 153 different species of fishes. So John saw this number as symbolizing men out of all nations within the gospel net (Hoskyns).
By Gematria (that is, substituting the numerical value of each letter), the Greek word for "fishes' (ichthues) gives 1224 which is 153 x 8. Thus, "fishes" suggests those caught in the gospel net according to the eighth sign.
When "Sons of God" is written in Hebrew characters it gives, by Gematria once again (par.4): 153. This result only holds true, however, if the Hebrew definite article is included: B'nei ha-Elohim, which could signify: Sons (disciples, converts) of the Mighty (the Apostles), that is, the fruits of their preaching.
2 Chronicles 2:17 gives 153 thousand and six hundred as the number of "strangers", i.e. Gentiles, in Israel who were numbered by David. And in Exodus 30:14-16, numbering of the people is associated with atonement and redemption.
And now, mathematics. For the reason made plain by this diagram, 10 is called a triangular number 4.


The next in the set is, of course, 15; and then 21, and so on.

153 is one of this family. 153 = triangular number 17.

Similarly, 120 (Acts 1:15) = triangular number 15 (and 15 = triangular number 5).

276 (Acts 27:37) = triangular number 23.

666 (Rev. 13:18) = triangular number 36 (and 36 = triangular number 8).

These are the most noteworthy, but not the only, examples to be found in the NT The odds against all the three-figure numbers in the NT being "triangular" are enormous. Has such a thing happened by "chance"? So it looks as though the early church saw special meaning in the idea of triangular numbers. But what? Possibly, but not certainly, according to Matthew 28:19, thus:



Holy Spirit

There may be some other more satisfactory explanation of 153 outside the range of the seven suggestions listed here. But it is not necessary to believe that the eighth sign has eight different meanings.

Studies in the Gospels. By Harry Whittaker

The Preexistence of the Son of Man in the book of Enoch

 The Preexistence of the Son of Man in the book of Enoch 

In this study we will look at the Preexistence of the son of man in the book of Enoch to begin we will have an opening reading from the book of Enoch Chapter 46:

1 And there I saw One who had a head of days,
And His head was white like wool,
And with Him was another being whose countenance had the appearance of a man,
And his face was full of graciousness, like one of the holy angels.
2 And I asked the angel who went with me and showed me all the hidden things, concerning that
3 Son of Man, who he was, and whence he was, (and) why he went with the Head of Days? And he answered and said unto me:
This is the son of Man who hath righteousness,
With whom dwelleth righteousness,
And who revealeth all the treasures of that which is hidden,
Because the Lord of Spirits hath chosen him,
And whose lot hath the pre-eminence before the Lord of Spirits in uprightness for ever.
4 And this Son of Man whom thou hast seen
Shall raise up the kings and the mighty from their seats,
[And the strong from their thrones]
And shall loosen the reins of the strong,
And break the teeth of the sinners.
5 [And he shall put down the kings from their thrones and kingdoms]
Because they do not extol and praise Him,
Nor humbly acknowledge whence the kingdom was bestowed upon them.
6 And he shall put down the countenance of the strong,
And shall fill them with shame.
And darkness shall be their dwelling,
And worms shall be their bed,
And they shall have no hope of rising from their beds,
Because they do not extol the name of the Lord of Spirits.
[And raise their hands against the Most High],
And tread upon the earth and dwell upon it.
And all their deeds manifest unrighteousness,
And their power rests upon their riches,
And their faith is in the gods which they have made with their hands,
And they deny the name of the Lord of Spirits,
8 And they persecute the houses of His congregations,
And the faithful who hang upon the name of the Lord of Spirits. 
(book of Enoch Chapter 46)

First the book of Enoch is a prophecy about the end times what Enoch saw was to take place in the future not the past

In Chapter One, Enoch is called to prophecy events that will take place in the last generation, in visions given to him by God. In the visions, he describes Jesus' Second Coming with the saints, and the judgment of the unrighteous).

[*And he took up his parable and said "Enoch, a righteous man, whose eyes were opened by God, saw
the vision of the Holy One (God) in the heavens, which the Angels (of God) showed me and from them, I heard everything; and from them, I understood as I saw, but (what I saw, and what I heard was) not for this (my) generation, but for a remote one which is 3.) for to come (in the Last Days)."]

(The generation "for to come" that Enoch alludes to in Verse 3. above is this generation, "Our Generation.
" The generation that will see the climax of all the dreams, visions, insights, experiences and wisdom given to Enoch by God concerning the last generation come to pass).

What Enoch sees or saw in this book is going to take place in the last days he did not see the Son of Man in his own time but in the latter generations when he will return at the end time. But some others understand this and Daniel’s reference to mean that the Son of Man had pre-existence before he was born, but this is not so.

Concerning the Elect (the Redeemed), I (Enoch) said and took up my parable concerning them.

BIBLE REFERENCE: [****MARK 4:10-12 As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with 
the twelve, began asking Him about the parables. 11 And He was saying to them, "To you 
has been given the mystery of the Kingdom of God, but those who are outside, get everything
in parables, 12 so that while SEEING, they may see and not perceive, and while HEARING, 
they may hear and not UNDERSTAND; otherwise, they might return and be forgiven."] NASU

This helps us to understand chapter 46 evidently the son of man is a symbolic figure 

It should be noted that chapter 46 speaks about the pre-eminence of the son of man before the Lord of spirits: 

And whose lot hath the pre-eminence before the Lord of Spirits in uprightness for ever.

48.1 And in that place I saw an inexhaustible spring of righteousness and many springs of wisdom surrounded it, and all the thirsty drank from them and were filled with wisdom, and their dwelling was with the Righteous and the Holy and the Chosen.
48.2 And at that hour that Son of Man was named, in the presence of the Lord of Spirits, the Head of Days.
48.3 Even before the Sun and the constellations were created, before the Stars of Heaven were made, his name was named in front of the Lord of Spirits.

Just says he was named and chosen, doesn't say he actually existed.
We were also chosen before the foundation of the Earth.

Eph 1:4 For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love. (NET)

Rom 4:17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist  (English Standard Version)

just look at the context: after saying that his name was named, it is explained:
"He shall be a staff to the righteous...he shall be a light to the Gentiles..." etc. The naming of a thing is the defining of a thing. This is like when Abraham is named a father of many nations before he has a child, and how Immanuel is named before his time. This has to do with God's purposes. Peter also said that God chose him before the foundation of the world, so why would it be a surprise?

Just ask yourself which makes more contextual sense.
For some more idea of how this makes more sense in the first case, look at chapter 71, verses 14-16, where the author is called that son of man.

what is rendered as existence in the one translation pertains to how he was with the Father beforehand, which, in the context, has to do with how he was determined to come into His presence. The Son of Man figure, after all, is based on Daniel, where the Son of Man COMES INTO God's presence --- not that he's created in His presence.

The idea of anachronistic life (pre and post existence) is rife in the Hebrew Scriptures. Reading these in their contexts, any rational minded person should be able to discern symbolic nature of these, often metaphorical, and designed to instill eschatological truths (related to covenantal history). Levi, “being in the loins of Sbraham” when he met Melchizedek is one example (Heb 7:3-10).

Yahweh said to Jeremiah (chapter i, 5): "Before I formed you in the belly I KNEW YOU; and before you came forth out of the womb, I SANCTIFIED YOU: and I ordained you a prophet unto the nations." Now Jeremiah did not exist before his conception. Yet these words would seem to teach it, if understood as those who believe in the pre-existence of Christ, understood the statements about him. As a purpose Jeremiah existed; his person was as clearly present to the divine mind as if he had stood before Him in actual fact. This is the explanation of words, which, rigidly construed, would imply Jeremiah's pre-existence.

The principle of the argument is expressed in the words of Paul (Romans 4:17) "God who quickens the dead, and calls those things which be not (but are to be) AS THOUGH THEY WERE." See also the introductions of the gospel of John and the letter to the Colossians.
"And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created . . .you loved me before the creation of the world" (John 17:5,24)
Here our difficulty is to understand how Jesus could have been honoured and loved by the Father before he actually existed as an independent person. The problem really arises from our limited view of time.
To us the passage of time is like a line. Separate events are distinct points on that line. So if we were to indicate the relative places in time of Abraham, Moses, David, Daniel, Christ and the apostles, we should get something like this:

1800 BC . . Abraham
1400 BC . . Moses
1000 BC . . David
600 BC . . Daniel
BC / AD . . Christ
50 AD etc. Apostles

An order of appearance inevitably arises. We cannot think of their place in history in any other way. But this is because of our finite minds. We have no consciousness of the distant past; and none at all of the future.
But the mind of God is not subject to these limitations. His mind is infinite in power. He is just as capable of being conscious of past situations, or of future ones, as He is of the present. So we cannot represent the Divine experience of time by a line. It must be more like the following diagram.

Now we know that Moses did not exist before Abraham, and that David lived about four centuries before Daniel. But in our diagram God is the centre of the arc; He is the same distance from them all. Our "distance" represents God's infinite consciousness. He was just as "conscious" of the sort of person they would each be, long before they were born. He could visualise them, and speak prophetically of them. So the Father knew what sort of person the Son would be before he was actually born and began to exist as a separate person. He could plan what He would eventually accomplish through him. He could "glorify" and "love" in advance His own Son, "the only-begotten of the Father".

As the Apostle Peter put it:

"Christ was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was manifested at the 
end of the times for your sake" (1 Peter 1:20, R.V.). (The A.V. uses "foreordain" here, but elsewhere translates the same word by "foreknow".)

So too the saying of Jesus to the Jews:
"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad . . . Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8:56-58).

Abraham, having received the promises, looked forward to the coming of the One in whom "all families of the earth shall be blessed" (Genesis 12:3). Jesus knew that he was that One, having priority even over Abraham in God's purpose.

Saturday, 5 December 2020

The Gnostic Nature of Jesus

The Gnostic Nature of Jesus
The None Docetic Gnostic Nature of Jesus

The gnosics had different views on the nature of Jesus one of those understandings is called docetism from the Greek dokein, “to seem.” Docetists took Paul literally when he said, in Romans 8:3, that Jesus came “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” Jesus only seemed to be a flesh-and-blood human, but in reality he was a spirit that had a merely phantasmal body.
Gospel of Thomas (28) Jesus said: I stood in the midst of the world, and I appeared to them in the flesh. I found them all drunk; I found none of them thirsting, and my soul was afflicted for the sons of men; for they are blind in their heart, and they do not see that they came empty into the world, (and) empty they seek to leave the world again. But now they are drunk. When they have thrown off their wine, they will repent.

Paul used the word "likeness" to emphasise the sameness of the Lord's nature to that of our own; a complete physical identification with humankind (Heb. 2:14,17; 4:15, etc.).

Let us consider this. What about this "likeness"? Moses informs us (Gen. 5:3) that Adam begat a son in his own image and likeness. You would not say the word "likeness" means that Seth was, in any wise, different from Adam.

There is the word "image". Suppose the word "image" had been used in this remark of Paul's: "sent His Son in the image of the earthy nature". We should then have had this argument — "Ah, you see it is only the image; it is not the nature itself". Whereas, Paul says concerning ourselves in 1 Cor. 15:49: "We have borne the image of the earthy, and shall also bear the image of the heavenly". Shall we say we have not borne the earthy? Do not we bear the earthy? Yes. Therefore in apostolic language "earthy" and "the image of the earthy" mean the same thing. Upon the same principle, sinful flesh and the likeness of sinful flesh mean the same thing.

The truth of the matter does not depend upon the word "likeness" or any other single term, but upon the combination of statements made — which are all in language plain enough to be free from obscurity. At the same time, it has to be pointed out that the word "likeness" in the Greek has the force of resemblance so complete as to be sameness. This is illustrated in the statement that Jesus was made in "the likeness of men" (Phil. 2:7). The extent of the likeness is defined as extending to "all points" and "all things" (Paul's words — Heb. 2:17; 4:15). What can we say but that he was a man, and not the mere likeness of a man

Question How could Jesus have been made free from that sin which God laid upon him in his own nature, "made in the likeness of sinful flesh," if he had not died for himself as well as for us? 
Answer: He could not.
None Docetic Gnostic
Not all gnostics held this teaching some sects believed that Jesus was a man in the flesh:

Furthermore, they will say of him that he is unbegotten, though he has been begotten, (that) he does not eat, even though he eats, (that) he does not drink, even though he drinks, (that) he is uncircumcised, though he has been circumcised, (that) he is unfleshly, though he has come in the flesh, (that) he did not come to suffering, <though> he came to suffering, (that) he did not rise from the dead, <though> he arose from the dead. (The Nag Hammadi Library Melchizedek)

Here is a fragment from Basilides addressing this question. It demonstrates that early Christianity could have no qualms about attributing a deficit of goodness to Jesus while he was in the flesh:

Basilides, in Book 23 of his "Commentaries," writes

{Then, farther along, he adds:} A new-born baby, then, has never sinned before; or more precisely it has not actually committed any sins, but within itself it has the activity of sinning. Whenever it experiences suffering, it receives benefit, profiting by many unpleasant experiences. Just so, if by chance a grown man has not sinned by deed and yet suffers, he suffered the suffering for the same reason as the new-born baby: he has within him sinfulness, and the only reason he has not sinned (in deed) is because he has not had the occasion to do so. Thus not sinning cannot be imputed to him. Indeed, someone who intends to commit adultery is an adulterer even without succeeding in the act, and someone who intends to commit murder is a murderer even without being able to commit the act. Just so, if I see the aforementioned sinless person suffering despite having done no wrong, I must call that person evil by intent to sin. For I will say anything rather than call providence evil.

Nevertheless, let us suppose that you leave aside all these matters and set out to embarrass me by referring to certain figures, saying perhaps, "And consequently so-and-so must have sinned, since he suffered!" If you permit, I shall say that he did not sin, but was like the new-born baby that suffers. But if you press the argument, I shall say that any human being that you can name is human; God is righteous. For no one is pure of uncleanness, as someone once said. (Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies 4.81.2-4.83.2)

Even the flesh of babies is considered to have the potential to sin and thereby will profit from suffering

This reminds us of the passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews that declares even Jesus Christ profited and learned as a result of suffering.

Hebrews 5:8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.

Here it seems Basilides is referring to the suffering of Jesus and quotes from the book of Job chapter 14 to show that Jesus did not sin but had our unclean human nature 

The quotations from the teachings of Basilides is very similar to the teachings of Dr. John Thomas in Elpis Israel 1884: 

Sin, I say, is a synonym for human nature. Hence, the flesh is invariably regarded as unclean. It is therefore written, "How can he be clean who is born of a woman?" (Job 25:4) "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one." (Job 14:4) "What is man that he should be clean? And he which is born of a woman that he should be righteous? Behold, God putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, who drinketh iniquity like water?" (Job 15:14-16) This view of sin in the flesh is enlightening in the things concerning Jesus. The apostle says, "God made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin" (2 Cor. 5:21); and this he explains in another place by saying, that "He sent his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom. 8:3) in the offering of his body once (Heb. 10:10,12,14). Sin could not have been condemned in the body of Jesus, if it had not existed there. His body was as unclean as the bodies of those for whom he died; for he was born of a woman, and "not one" can bring a clean body out of a defiled body; for "that", says Jesus himself, "which is born of the flesh is flesh" (John 3:6). (Elpis Israel)
Son of Man and Son of God
The nature of Jesus' humanity and divinity:

How did the Lord proclaim things while he existed in flesh and after he had revealed himself as Son of God? He lived in this place where you remain, speaking about the Law of Nature - but I call it 'Death'. Now the Son of God, Rheginos, was Son of Man. He embraced them both, possessing the humanity and the divinity, so that on the one hand he might vanquish death through his being Son of God, and that on the other through the Son of Man the restoration to the Pleroma might occur; because he was originally from above, a seed of Truth, before this structure had come into being. In this many dominions and divinities came into existence. (The Treatise on the Resurrection)

Here "flesh" is not a vehicle for a docetic Christ. Instead, the Treatise on the Resurrection describes Jesus tv onpici and speaks favorably about the flesh throughout. 

Distinct from other Valentinian texts, the Treatise on the Resurrection does not divide humanity into three classes: spiritual, psychical, and material. 

The second occurrence (47,S) refers to Rheginus, indicating that both he and the Lord possessed the same type of fleshly body. 
The Lamb of God
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

1Peter 1:19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

Fragment 10, on John 1:29 (In John 1:29, “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’”) John spoke the words, "Lamb of God" as a prophet, but the words, "who takes away the sin of the world" as more than a prophet. The first expression was spoken with reference to his body, the second with reference to Him who was in that body. The lamb is an imperfect member of the genus of sheep; the same being true of the body as compared with the one that dwells in it. Had he meant to attribute perfection to the body he would have spoken of a ram about to be sacrificed. (Heracleon: Fragments from his Commentary on the Gospel of John)

The lamb is a symbolic representation of the human nature assumed by Christ and subsequently sacrificed at the crucifixion

Heracleon also suggests that the phrase "lamb of God" refers to the physical form (body) of the Saviour, while the phrase "who takes away the sin of the world" indicates the being dwelling in that body the logos. The imperfection of the lamb in relation to other members of its species is relative to the imperfection of the body that harbours a perfect being such as the logos

The imperfection of the lamb does not reflect the perfection of the saviour's body in other words the body of the saviour does not have an immaculate nature. 

God "sent forth His Son made of a woman made under the law" (Gal. 4:4). Being made of a woman, he was of our nature -- our condemned and weak and mortal nature: but being begotten of God and not of man, he 13 was in character spotless "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners". Sin had hold of him in his nature, which inherited the sentence of death from Adam: but it had no hold of him in his character: for he always did those things that were pleasing to his Father. 

the character of Jesus was holy, harmless, undefiled, without spot, or blemish, or any such thing; but his flesh was like our flesh, in all its points—weak, emotional, and unclean. Had his flesh been like that of Angel-Elohim, which is consubstantial with the Eternal Spirit, it would have been unfit for the purpose of the Deity in his manifestation. Sin, whose wages is death, had to be condemned in the nature that had transgressed; a necessity that could only be accomplished by the Word becoming Adamic-Flesh, and not an immaculate nature.

According to Valentinian theologians, Jesus derived his animate "body" or essence from the Craftsman. His spiritual essence is the entire "church of the superior seed" (Excerpts of Theodotus 17:1) deriving from Wisdom (Sophia). That is why the angel told Mary, "The Holy Spirit (i.e. Wisdom) will come upon you and the power of the Most High (i.e. the Craftsman) will overshadow you" (Luke 1:35 cf. Refutation of Heresies 6:35:3-4, also Excerpt of Theodotus 60, Against Heresies 1:15:3). According to Ptolemy, the contributions from Wisdom (Sophia) and the Craftsman pass through Mary into Jesus "like water through a pipe" (Against Heresies 1:7:2). This human being is the "lamb of God" (John 1:26 cf. Fragments of Herakleon 10), that is, the one the "Father of All chose to obtain knowledge of himself" ( Against Heresies 1:15:3).

Jesus became closely identified with humanity by taking on a human body. His human body is seen as consubstantial with the Church.

The Baptism of Jesus
When he was thirty years old, he went to John the Baptist to be baptized (Luke 3:23). As soon as he went down into the water, "he came out laughing at everything (of this world), not because he considers it a trifle, but because he is full of contempt for it" (Gospel of Philip 71:3-15). The divine Savior, referred to as the "Spirit of the Thought of the Father", descended on him in the form of a dove (Matthew 3:16 and parallels cf. Against Heresies 1:7:2, 1:15:3, Excerpts of Theodotus 61:6, Refutation of Heresies 35:3) and the "Word became flesh" (John 1:14).

Jesus' baptism and the descent of the "Spirit" is his redemption (Gospel of Philip 70:34-36). Redemption was necessary even for Jesus so that "he might not be detained by the thought of the deficiency in which he was placed" (Excerpts of Theodotus 22:7 cf. also Tripartite Tractate 124:31-125:11). This is the true "virgin birth" and resurrection from the dead, for he was reborn of the virgin Spirit (cf. Gospel of Philip 70:34-71:7, Refutation of Heresies 35:5, Gospel of Philip 56:15-18).
The Redeemed Redeemer

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, having offered up both supplications and entreaties to him who was able to save him out of death, with strong crying and tears; (and having been heard because of his piety

The Father did not save him "from death" (A.V.), but "out of death" (Gk., eky Heb. 5:7). Death had to come before deliverance.

Hebrews 5:3 Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins.

Hebrews 7:27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Hebrews  9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

So he died for us; but did he not die for himself also? How otherwise could he have been made free from that sin which God laid upon him in sending him forth in the likeness of sinful flesh? Paul says that "he that is dead is freed from sin," and that "in that Christ died, he died unto sin once," being raised from the dead, death hath no more dominion over him (Rom. 6:7, 9, 10).

The fact that Jesus needed to be saved out of death means that he himself needed to be redeemed in many Gnostic books this is referred to as the Saved Saviour or the Redeemed Redeemer

Jesus revealed himself [at the] Jordan River as the fullness of heaven’s kingdom. The one [conceived] before all [71] was conceived again; the one anointed before was anointed again; the one redeemed redeemed others. (Gospel of Philip)

Ode 8:21 And you who were loved in the Beloved, and you who are kept in Him who lives, and you who are saved in Him who was saved. (Odes of Solomon)

Ode 42:18 May we also be saved with You, because You are our Savior. (Odes of Solomon)

And as for us, we are adepts at the Word. If we sin against it, we sin more than Gentiles. But if we surmount every sin, we shall receive the crown of victory, even as our Head was glorified by the Father. (The Interpretation of Knowledge)

So that we might not be in doubt in regard to the others, even the Son himself, who has the position of redeemer of the Totality, needed redemption as well, - he who had become man, - since he gave himself for each thing which we need, we in the flesh, who are his Church. Now, when he first received redemption from the word which had descended upon him, all the rest received redemption from him, namely those who had taken him to themselves. For those who received the one who had received (redemption) also received what was in him. (Tripartite Tractate)

"He ever liveth to make intercession" (Heb. 7:25); so by reason of his bearing of sin he is himself "saved out of death" (Heb. 5:7, R.V. marg.) "through death" (Heb. 2:14), "through the blood of the everlasting covenant" (13:20).

He included Himself in the Living Offering

he emitted himself and he relinquished his majesty, taking scorn in exchange for the name. For our sake he endured the scorn. he appeared in flesh. And the humiliated one has no equipment. He has no need of the glory that is not his; he has his own glory with the name, which is the Son. Now he came that we might become glorious through the humiliated one that dwells in the places of humiliation. And through him who was reproached we receive the forgiveness of sins. And through the one who was reproached and the one who was redeemed we receive grace. (The Interpretation of Knowledge) 

He included himself in the living offering, together with your offspring. He offered them up as an offering to the All. For it is not cattle that you will offer up for sin(s) of unbelief, and for the ignorances, and (for) all the wicked deeds which they will do [...]. And they do not reach the Father of the All [...] the faith ...... (20 lines unrecoverable) 
(The Nag Hammadi Library Melchizedek) 

... (2 lines unrecoverable)
... is the sacrifice of [...], whom Death deceived. When he died, he bound them with the natures which are leading them astray. Yet he offered up offerings [...] cattle, saying, "I gave them to Death, and the angels, and the [...] demons [...] living offering [...]. I have offered up myself to you as an offering, together with those that are mine, to you yourself, (O) Father of the All, and those whom you love, who have come forth from you who are holy (and) living. And <according to> the perfect laws, I shall pronounce my name as I receive baptism now (and) forever, (as a name) among the living (and) holy names, and (now) in the waters. Amen." (The Nag Hammadi Library Melchizedek) 

What does the text of Melchizedek mean when it says "He (Jesus) included himself in the living offering, together with your offspring. He offered them up as an offering to the All." 

The same idea is found later on in the text "I have offered up myself to you as an offering, together with those that are mine, to you yourself, (O) Father of the All" 

The interpretation of this is the Lord's sacrifice was necessary for his own redemption. His sacrifice was a public demonstration that his flesh was rightly related to death and a declaration of the righteousness of God that required the offering of his life in devotion to Him. By his sacrifice the ungodly propensities (diabolos) of his nature was destroyed (Heb. 2:14; 9:12; 7:27), thus providing for the granting of immortality. 

It was necessary that Jesus should offer for himself for the purging of his own nature, first, from the uncleanness of death, that having by his own blood obtained eternal redemption for himself, he might be able afterward to save to the uttermost those that come to God by him 

Certain Gnostics embrace the idea that Jesus had a physical body made of flesh
The human body is unavoidably, from birth, inbuilt with the “activity of sinning” without actually transgressing God's laws.
Jesus in the days of his flesh had our unclean nature from which he needed to be saved