A Cult-Mystery in "The Gospel of Philip" Author(s): Jorunn Jacobsen Buckley Reviewed work(s): Source: Journal of Biblical Literature

, Vol. 99, No. 4 (Dec., 1980), pp. 569-581 Published by: The Society of Biblical Literature Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3265194 . Accessed: 23/12/2011 08:01
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afford fertile material for research on the interfaces of Gnosticism and mystery religions. Introductionto the Problem HE Nag-Hammadi Scriptures. Gnosticism."2 Furthermore. M. Suppl. 02138 I. Bianchi. 3Le Origini.No justificationis offered as to why the papersare separatedinto three categories:Gnosis."Over Griekse en Oosterse mysteriegodsdiensten. the known (the divine substance of one's transcendent self).C. Papers read at the Seventh International on Studies(Oxford. Wrestling with the problem of defining mystery religions. P. Colpe.4 To talk Le Origini delloGnosticismo. and the means by which one knows (gnosis as an implicit divine faculty to be awakened and actualized). U. Lambrechts suggests two criteria: limited membership and secrecy. The authors of the "Final Document" are G. Numen 12. Jonas. Gos. Leiden: Brill 1967) XXVI. Phil."3 It seems that this divine tripartition could serve as a clue to further discoveries. The volume Gnosis and Gnosticism.JBL 99/4 (1980) 569-581 A CULT-MYSTERY THEGOSPEL PHILIP IN OF JORUNNJACOBSEN BUCKLEY EPISCOPAL DIVINITY MA SCHOOL. and J. di Colloquio Messina13-18 Aprile1966. 4P. but the authors do not follow this lead." Mededeelingen de KoninklijkeVlaamseAcademie voor Wetenschappen. ed. . The labels seem utterlyarbitrarily chosen and bear little relevanceto the content of the papers. U. XXVII. the "gnosis of Gnosticism involves the divine identity of the knower (the Gnostic). Widengren.D. Gnosis and Gnosticism. Lambrechts. Conference Patristic 8th-13th. zgn. Adonisde van mysteries. Danielou.H.Leiden: September Brill. Krause. Bianchi. 21bid. Therefore the text might be investigated in terms of other possible religious affiliations. One of these writings."1 "Gnosis" is defined here as "knowledge of the divine mysteries reserved for an elite. 1975) (ed. CAMBRIDGE. now fully translated and available. (Studies in the History of Religions. 1977) loyally keeps up this distinction. poses a considerable challenge to current interpretations of Gnosticism. Testie Discussioni. The authors of the "Final Document" of the Messina Colloquy on Gnosticism write that Gnosticism starts "methodologically with a certain group of systems in the second century A..

(Here Lambrechts 7Ibid. II. the knowledgeable An to the hidden things of aeon-quality.Not repudiated. 8Ibid. 134 (56). "Christ" the revealedname.San Francisco: and Row. Harper 10Ibid.6 latter being characterized "the by of and this distinction.meansof knowledge and whenseen in conjuncin gnosishas a widened significance potential fact as definitionof cult-mystery "material of tion with Lambrecht's Here one must ask.Lambrechts This would agree with the familiarview which separates mystery. he contends..Phil.5 in Lambrechts also deems it necessaryto differentiate between literary the mysteriesand cult-mysteries.8 a culticactionandtheoretical knowledge. 9TheGospelof Philipin TheNag Hammadi Library(ed.5.. whatare the practical initiation secretritual. 1977) (131-51).11 (my emphases). "Jesus"is the hidden. Great stress is placed on the "overt" vs.Second.570 LITERATURE JOURNALOF BIBLICAL about "publicmysteries"is a contradiction terms.in contrast "otheraeon"remains. do not knowit. they are required Letterenen Schone Kunstenvan Belgie..) 6Ibid. But truth namesinto existencein the worldbecauseit is not possibleto brought teachit withoutnames. 16/1 (Brussel: Paleis der Academien.be overcomeby meansof rightinsight one."7Drawing excludesritualfromthe formertype. the literary however. but they do not speakit. the in and "hidden": appearances this matevisibility opennesscharacterize for the rialworldwhile. essentially.4-5. materialfact initiation secret ritual. and correctaction. M. example:the gain access Fathergave the Son a hiddenname. supportshimself on Festugiere'stheory. Klasse der Letteren. Lambrechts's general the "Document's" identificationof knower-known. view foundin most traditional studiesof lateantiquity religions.9"Thosewho have his name.. definition gnosismightbe amplified of The "FinalDocument's" by of characterization mysteryreligions."10 Here one notices. 1954) 3.that namesand epithetsare necessary Furtheron truth.provides instructive in a consideration Gnostic practice. it can.Moreover.Phil. . J. ones are able to While in this material world. TheSecretSacrament the Bridal-Chamber of in The dualism only an apparent presented Gos. 8." and in ("material") aspectsof the means of knowledge gnosis?I suggest of an case that Gos. 6-8. that those who have the name keep it vehiclesfor the secret.is. knowit. 5lbid. Robinson. most people and occluded unavailable.133 (54). first. the text instructs.. But those who do not have it. p. teaching-devices.

This is not the way with man in the world:he sees the sun withoutbeing a sun. of seems to requirethat the distinction betweensubjectand objectbe abolished.To left for a moment.while the believerremainsin the flesh.15 Somereflection necessary this point. shows up again. (61). So (in this place). "Truth. meansof knowledge.but few are they who see it as it is reaped.. he wouldbe (already) will of dead.for he rose up firstand (then) died. truth in its heavenlyessence is reservedfor those present at the harvest. this identificationenableshim to behaveas if he had already this world.BUCKLEY: CULT-MYSTERY GOS. in effect. or.'3 to The idea of "visibility" "hiddenness" vs. could argue that the two formerelements one have now merged.You saw (the Father. IN 571 one reads. lIbid. the acquisition divine identity. you see everything and (do) not (see) yourself. Gos.and what you see you shall (become). 133 (55). and he sees the heaven and the earthand all other things. 14Ibid.. But you (sing. but he is not these things.you became Christ. is sown And everywhere.But the like". there may. you) shall become Father."14 passage This mightbe to compared the following: It is not possible for anyone to see anything of the things that actuallyexist unless he becomes like them. This is quite in keeping with the truth.. What. thosewho perform harvesting.statesthat one must acquire divinitywhilestill on earth: "Thosewho say that the Lord died first and (then) rose up. simplybecausethe usualseparation the worldand the aeon no longerholds.134 (56). The next step."Thelike influences is at the ideas. are in error.this rule rhymeswell with mysteryphilosophical that those visible"reveals passage claiming thingsare "hidden through a thoughtrelated the assertion the truthis represented many to that by names.) saw something of that place and you became those things. but (in that place) you do see yourself. be no differencebetween the and of perceiver the perceived. Phil.PHIL. . to the formulaof identity.""1Spreadout under various names.So. manysee it as it is sown. for the perhaps.then. The marriage this world is a of others. aboutthe thirdstep? Gos."'2 Elaborations this messageemphasize it is necessary that for the believers risein the flesh..Phil. 3Ibid.If one does not firstattain the resurrection he not die? As God lives.knower-knownreturn. however. 2Ibid.you becamespirit. You saw the Spirit."There aresome thingshiddenthrough thosevisible.135 (57).If identification the divineis with thus obtained. values the sacrament the bridal-chamber of above all it is the supremesecret.You saw Christ. 137 15Ibid. which existed since the beginning.

the unionof marriage."16 image. there are males among them and there are females. bridal-chamber:" aboutthe "mirrored contextfor the passage As for the unclean (spirits).572 LITERATURE JOURNALOF BIBLICAL "consists An "mirrored bridal-chamber. union. "the Holyof the Holies"is identified of The sacrament.22 gospelfurtherdelves into esotericinterpretations 139 16Ibid. mentionedabove is identicalwith bridal-chamber" The "mirrored and."Spiritual" The passage. What is the resurrection? The <bridegroom> and the image must enter throughthe image into the truth: that It this is the restoration. Christcame to repairthe division of the sexes. may the Only by acquiring power femaleor malehumanbeingdeludethe evil powers. image.i. but that they have acquiredit on their own. worldlymarriage.And none shall be able to escape them. but it came in types and images. It is certainly necessary that they should be born again through the The image must rise again through the image.is tellingthatthe is for prerequisite this sacrament the image.. that they shouldbe bornagainthroughthe image. 19Ibid. but the females are they which are mingled with those in a male form.e.. One will not receive truth in any other way. respectively. 21Ibid. The males are they which unite with the souls which inhabita female form. bridal-chamber proxy. throughone who was disobedient.Phil these are familiar awaiting with this and the bridal-chamber. of) Truth did not come into the world naked.139 (65) (my emphases)."20 tainlynecessary To now emergeswith addedsignificance.140 (67)."It is cerassertsitself exclusivelyin earthlymarriage. identity while A specialgroupof believersare those who prayin Jerusalem with to the kingdom. (65). 22Ibid. earthlyunion seems to markthe first.19 them the bride.21 assuresfull sacrament the performed..."17 fullerexplanation that.Correctly withthe divineentity. from being a Son and Holy Spiriton one'sown. . i. 17Ibid. is appropriate those who do have it not only acquire the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.this bridal-chamber A is of a (defilement the form. marksthe transition cannot come about by Resurrection to Christian becomingChrist.. required beforeone mayenterinto the "spiritual" step one must have more of the Lest this statementseem too strong. of Adam and Eve. obtainthe name of Father.e. 18Ibid.According Gos. 16. Onereceives from the mirrored male or female power. 142 (70). 20Seen. thus..18 of comesaboutin the restoration the unityof the The resurrection It of the sexes through sacrament the bridal-chamber.142 (69). There is a rebirth and an image of rebirth. since they detain and him if he does not receive a male poweror a female power-the bridegroom bridal-chamber.

"23 worldlyname hides the real mysteryfrom the curiosity outsiders.ought to be takenliterally.150 (84).. Practice 23Ibid.The worldhas become the aeon. 27Ibid.The gospel's own insistentclaimto the effectthat typesand namesare neededto reach salvation. believersacquire pure union. nor can he be detained. 25Ibid."24 Further.151 (86).but the undefiledmarriage a is "true mystery. The knowledgeable ones have transformed themselvesand they no longerbelongin this world but in the aeon whereeverything revealed. for the aeon is fullness for him. Thisresultmakesmatters complicated for scholars need and In who. sacramental bridal-chamber. Going through the "lowly and weak" image. the true. basedon this-worldly though.145 (76). This is the way it is: it is revealedto him alone. IN 573 in in marriage this worldand in the otherrealm. The althoughwe referto them by the same names. but hiddenin a perfectday and a holy light.And againwhen he leaves the worldhe has already receivedthe truthin the images. And none shall be able to torment a person like this even while he dwells in the world.BUCKLEY: CULT-MYSTERY GOS.any distinctidentityfor each of the threeentitiesis abolished.. He who will receive that light will not be seen. with a secret initiation-ritual closed to outsiders. marriage of A of the worldmay have veiled qualities. seeminglyopledge.. will receive the light."25 groom Even if the mysterybelongsto the day and to the light. If he anyone does not receive it while he is in these places. to keepsubject objectapart.27 This crypticutterancemakes sense only if one it understands from the initiate'sviewpoint.the means knowledge.29 The thirdelement. now becomemore has of visible. ."28 Finally."No one shall be able to see the bridewiththe brideunless (one become)one. taskdemands The gnosisis linked practical application. no the triple identificationoccur between knower-known-means of knowalone annulsthe divisionsof the two..PHIL.150 (85).worlds. he will not be able to receive it in the other place.149 (82). 29Ibid.26 still it remains hidden. 24Ibid. is Theyenterthe aeon "by meansof lowlytypesandformsof weakness. traditionally."Whereas this world the union is one of husbandand wife-a case of strengthcomplementedby weakness-in the aeon the form of the union is different. 28Ibid.divisions grammarsandlawsof perception longerholdanyclaim. 26Ibid. Onlythroughculticmeans may posed. the earthly the the marriage.Of course..in this process. If anyone becomes a son of the bridal-chamber. not hidden in the darknessand the night. the true bridal-chamber.

nor for the defiledwomen.fail to receivethe peoplewho professfaithSimilarly. condemnation by Understanding hearingalone is insufficient. It is furtheramplified: of criterion restricted membership is bridal-chamber not for the animals. Holy Spiritas a gift in baptism. one discernsits esotericbent as such pretenders. but he who is dead will live even more. 141 (69).139 (65-66). the dead carried out. Ever since Christcame the world is created.."35 freedom. 35Ibid..3 Since the Gentilescan never become Hebrewsthey remainexcluded from the mystery. for he has never lived in order that he may die. "Animals" probably refers to people governed by their lower instincts.574 LITERATURE JOURNALOF BIBLICAL III. Knowledgeof the truth merely whichis what the words'it makesthem makessuch peoplearrogant. "Thosewho thinkthatsinningdoes not apply them are called free by the world. 34Ibid..known. When we were Hebrews we were orphansand had only our mother. is Thus. Here. 32Ibid. Freedom in the aeon has nothing to do with this free' mean."31 Another passage maintainsthat names used in the world are betweenthose who merelyhear.. For how can he who is dead inherit? If he who is dead inherits what is living he will not die.132-33 (53). Restricted Membership Gos. criteriafor mysteryreligionshave been met. The dead are heirs to nothing. but when we became Christianswe had both fatherand mother. fulnessso that they may be guarded by against Furthermore merelyshow that they do not harborthe Holy Spirit.132 (52). the due to those who. takes care to distinguish true believersfrom mere the the text. He who has believed in the truth has found life.34 to the gospelclaimsthat. the gospel might logicallyconclude. Throughout. Examining are one distinctions made.33 attacks uncleanspirits.32 gospeldistinguishes as opposedto those who possess insightbeyondnames and epithets. 19.. 36Seen.In one of the gospel'sfirstparagraphs finds. and they are heirs to both what is living and the dead. for he is alive. (64).nor is it for the slaves.146 (77).meansof knowledge. worldly Lambrechts's tenetsof secrecyand exclusivity prevail. see n. the "A turnsup.but it is for the free men andvirgins. 4. 139 331bid. A Gentile does not die. the cities adorned. 31Ibid. The deceptive. "borrowing" name of Christ. . 30Ibid. Phil. and this one is in dangerof dying..36But the gospel also seems to insist on the identity of knower. Those who are heirs to what is living are alive.

Wilson. so permeatedwith airs of superiority stubborn convictions full salvation the earthly of in world? IV. see p. TheGospel Philip(New York:Harper Row.143 (71-72). Beforemen were to sacrificed animals werebeingsacrificed.who maintains that the gospelrejectsmarriage a as defilement. of acquisition salvific of dependson nothingless than the collapse those distincknowledge tions.Gos.41 imageof the upper 37Ibid. 39E. How.Culticmeans are required achievethis: the bridal-chamber to restoresthe unityof the sexes andhealsthe breakbetweenthe human and the divine... shows extreme of caution withregard the bridal-chamber. That is the way it is in the world-men make gods and worshiptheir creation.It would be fittingfor the gods to worshipmen!38 The task for the believeris to createthe aeon in this material world. the) fruit of the (tree of life. Previous Interpretations In an earlyarticleon Gos. 41R. Evidencefor an ultimaterejectionof a divisionbetween the humanand the divine can be seen in this passage: "God is a maneater."39 view agreeswith that of This fairlywell-defined H. Wilson. Adam] ate the (fruit of the other tree."37God consumes man because man is vein: essentially divine."TLZ84 (1959) 1-26.'sconfident tone mightsurprise investigators who are apt to expectgloomydescriptions the sad lot of the fallen of soul on this earth.However. IN 575 the definitionof "gnosisin Gnosticism. 5. Ein Evangelium der Valentinianeraus dem Funde von Nag Hammadi.as well.138 (62-63). Gos.Phil. may one fully comprehend sacthis rament-centered and gospel. "The Coptic-GnosticGospel accordingto Philip and Its Sacramental System.For this reasonmen are (sacrificed) him.McL. mystery?It can hardlyhave been anythingcarnal. dealing R. has a encratitic character. 40H.. 38Ibid. regarding "Whatexteriorform can have expressedthis high bridal-chamber." Numen7 (1960) 189-200. (then the gods would) worshipman. "'Das Evangelium nach Philippus'. and of ." to according the Messina document. see p. with a ratherincompletetranslation the gospel.Phil. the one which) bearsmen. Schencke. that is to say. (But now men) createGod. sincethose to whomthey were sacrificedwere not gods.e. Segelberg the asks.the form from the formless. E. then. fit foodfor God.the imagefromthe angel. M.. noticesthatthe mirrored to He bridal-chamber the earthlycounterpart the final union in the is to but he avoidsany evaluation the earthlymarriage the of Pleroma. (For in the beginning)God createdman.PHIL.The text presentsfurtherpuzzles. Segelberg.BUCKLEY: CULT-MYSTERY GOS. Schencke.e. as one. 1962) 121. precisely its in insistenceon separating apparent the fromthe hidden.M.In a related (If he) [i. McL.40 Another early commentator.i. 198. Phil.

the bridalcarries both actualand eschatological Therefore chamber significance. M6nard.42 betweenthe human one cannotassertthat thereis any real difference to Salvation and the spiritual marriage. Studienzum koptischen Philippusevangelium besonderer der University. Ap.138. 1975) 56-67."46 this a deplorable Gaffron decidesthat orderto get out of his embarrassing predicament is the bridal-chambera sacrament givenat the momentneardeath.. Second. RheinischeFriedrich-Wilhelms sichtigung Sakramente 1969) 75. . Gaffron Gaffron's of andothers. "type.. John 11 in 42F.M.in stressing verb SSe. i.it is a synonymfor the typos. step is not too greattowards tyingthe theirsingularity and to the sacraments to increase salvation exclusively a If andsecretcharacter beyondlimits. (Theol. E. can the scholar's high a act. 48J.50 Menard.demonstrates great of estimation the how concernwith sacraments. the Gnostichimself. "The Mysteryof Marriage the Gospel of Philip. 451bid.G. Nag Hammadi(ed.. 49Ibid. he sees it.63. Menardoffers a more carefullyargued interpretation. E."48 Menardwrites. M.Menardobservesthe gospel's strong use of one the for language. Stressingthe actualizedaspect of salvation. J. 46Ibid. Grantoffersa bolderinterpretation.44 Perversely."' Les T&tesde Leiden:Brill. Bertickunter 44H."45 Gos. Gaffron.62.49 and the imagesare sacraments. of dimension the bridalreducesthe eschatological thinksthatGaffron and chamber. TheBooks of Jeu. "mystery.47 He J.Phil.Phil. Diss. 47Ibid. 115. 43Ibid. understanding Gnosticsacramen"Whensacraments necessary are tal valuesdefeatshis own argument: the for the processof salvation. M6nard..43 marriage. mightindeedbe an equivalent of the latterthen beingthe archetype salvation. it is an image of the angel. Grant." "The symbols accessible that the truthcan be rendered solely throughthe implying the meansthat one has obtained truth images. 136. saysthatthe Gnosticandthe imagemustbe unitedhere on earth before death.E. example. see 64."the mode of revelation "vulgar"Gnostic sources like PistisSophia.225. 50Ibid... gospel hold? He calls the bridal-chamber cultic-sacramental a concessionfor him? In Is mysterion.To receivea sacrament presentin the symbols." VigChrist (1961) 129-40. according beyond. Menardwarnsthat if one overlooksthis part."'L'Evangileselon Philippe'et 'L'Ex6g6sede l'Ame. values Gos.H. G.576 LITERATURE JOURNALOF BIBLICAL As F.Bonn.First."it is necessary": here in order to obtain it in the must receive the bridal-chamber to to There is a double significance the image.. see p.e. 286. "one ignoresthe real as valueof the sacrament wellas the image.abovewhathe calls Morerecently.

TheJohannine Heracleon's on Gospelin Gnostic Exegesis: Commentary John (SBLMS17.Phil.favoring elitistGnostics."or lackof it.58 has.. zur Beobachtungen Auseinandersetzung zwischen Gnostischem und kirchlichemChristentum. 75.. name. "ConflictingVersions of ValentinianEschatology:Irenaeus' Treatise vs. IN 577 of the hidden. the Excerptsfrom Theodotus." ZNW 64 (1973) 307-322. Those who remainon the psychic to Valentinian to stage. commonto all."HTR 67 (1974) 37-53..In her firstbook she says. to takea more the the rigorous stand." See also.duality If exists no more.. 56Seesection III above. cf. is one of "Gnostic the nature.g. far fromintending do awaywith 'images'.121.In addition.Nevertheless. 55E. 313. p.95. 57K. Phil. evalunoticinge. observations pertinent "TheValentinians. Pagels. It is worth noticingthat Gos. Pagels's "The ValentinianClaim to Esoteric Exegesis of Romans as Basisfor Anthropological 26 Theory. does not use the terminology "pneumatics"vs. of manner revelation something aboutpossible says practical appropriation. but it concerns risingfrom the psychicto the pneumatic level.."Die 'Namen' im Philippusevangelium. p... 54Ibid. idea of the necessity of advancingfrom the first to the second stage is in discernible Gos. E.Koschorke.seems.. 53Ibid.Pagels. 58K.can be compared the mere "borrowers" Christ's of Gos. that sarx. Die Polemik der Gnostiker Unter gegen das kirchlicheChristentum. see esp. then.56 Phil. Phil. on a previous the he page. 95 Pagels continues: "the psychics who are saved must await their perfection as an eschatological event.but the psychicelement.1973) 119. for the "pneumatic receive the 'perfection'of the can 'marriage'alreadyin the cosmos . "flesh. perceives non-dualistic However. Koschorke. mustyieldto the pneumatic So the question not one.51 the Gnostichas been unitedwith his angel. precisely its strongemphasison the prein of imagesfor the attainment truth. 52E."is positively the of attitude Gos. understand 'images'and symbolsas the onlymeansof pointingto or The signifyinga realitywhich is essentiallyineffable. Koschorke. Pagels makes several to the issue at hand.57 ated.even as he recognizes necessityof images."54 of Pagels nicely exposes Irenaeus'stendentiousinterpretations Valentinian as the are eschatology represented Theodotus:55 psychics by not excludedfrom salvationqua psychics. according theory. to then. 61. of requisite K. but "Hebrews"vs." VigChrist (1972) 241-58. "Christians. Nashville:Abingdon. In her studies on Valentinian Gnosis.BUCKLEY: CULT-MYSTERY GOS. of some new lines of interpretations becausethe mode or the here."52 pneumatics the inherentin psychic This recognize symbolic significance worship."On p.the mannerin whichthe revealedshows itselfis commensurate its heavenly with Menard on the track is reality. "psychics". Phil.53 observation might suitablyilluminatethe bridal-chamber mysteryin Gos. 51Ibid. .PHIL.

his requires hand..578 JOURNALOF BIBLICAL LITERATURE exhibitedthe all too commondisdainfor Gnosticritual. der 63H. in mattersappear a different light. But nature. Tr6ger. Tr6ger.one mayconsult Returning.. n." if one stresses.i. Berlin: 64K. W.One couldthen interpret the as sayingthat by emphasizing sacramental the celebrants cling act. The mystic.and this then brings about a feeling of is But "Heilsunsicherheit. nor to neitherindividual goal..known.Phil. to 601bid. Mysterienglaube Gnosisin Corpus Akademie.63 thingentirely needs to be scruThis claim. The subject is are the known. . trateon the meanstoward achieving des Traktate der besonderer "Apokalypse Petrus"(NHC VII. 62Ibid. becomes somenew. 65 (see . 3) und "Testimonium 59Ibid. .concenpersonality ultimate the Gos. accompanying "theoretical" necessary practical it a notionof automatic with schemecarries Schencke's salvation. K. Gesichtspunktezu einer neuen DarKairos7 (1965) 114-23. the mysterysomethinghe essentially he devotee goes througha genuine transformation. 1971) 169-70 n..meansof knowledge essentiallyencodes. Schencke's argument whichseems to have acquired the mysteryreligions. M. 1973) 187-88. level one mightsay thatonly those stuckon the psychic Pagels'swork.e. Schencke. on the other needs to be philosophically and meanstoward outward divinization. re-awakened. accordingto Koschorke."62 sincethe crucial pointof the sacrament its I wouldrather conclude Gnostics thatconfirmed transformative power. "Gnostic by so-called Gos.60 Gaffron's treatment Gnosof Sadly. stelling des Gesamtphanomens. 117. now. is that a Gnostic becomes. Therefore.n. and for a distinction betweenGnosticism H. . 3. 227 n. and the meansof knowledge the the knower.the assertion to that seems too theoretical. of This type of reasoninglacks consideration what the identity knower. 21. to the issue of mystery religions."61 as The can gift received in the sacramentof the bridal-chamber be lost. in the other realm. for referenceto Gaffron'swork).Phil. see esp.59 Thatmeans that Gnosticismwhich relies on cults and sacraments no longer is Gnosticism.g. supported e. 44.challenges salvation. alreadyis.instead.143.. and "Die 'Namen' . wouldhavereasonto doubttheirsalvation. supposedly is transformation a totalone. but instead.M. above. "Hauptprobleme Gnosis.64 by restson a so tinizedin viewof the investigation far. On the other hand.W. 66.the practice. p. definition Gnosticism of According this the Gnosticalreadypossessesdivine natureand only understanding.First." XIII und Hermeticum (TU 110.The suggestion.the object the activities knowledge. Berucksichtigung Nag-HammadiVeritatis" (NHCIX. witha view to wouldnot findthemselvesin such a danger." 321. referring PistisSophia(my emphases). 61Ibid. status of an axiom.Koschorke supports the tic ritualby characterizing latter'sanalysis "meisterhaft. 3) (Leiden:Brill..

A. 317-18. too." Gnosisand Gnosticism. Keller.BUCKLEY: CULT-MYSTERY GOS. 66C.PHIL.."Religion..then. have deftly evadedthe dualistic viewcherished manyscholars Gnosticism.. Transformationis two-fold. see pp. von Ivankaoffers the followingcriticism Schencke's of under"The humanbeing surely'becomes'somethingdifferent in standing: the mystery religions .Attempting to give an exhaustive definitionof the Gnostic attitudeto the world. Also. But that which makes his transformation the abouthis real. . 317-22. the heavenly truth must be transformed: nameandformalonemakethe truthaccessible. 86.Philosophieund Gnosis:Grenzfalleund Pseudomorphosen in der Spatantike. so that both earthlyand heavenlyentities 65E. Keller. Conclusion The full-fledgedGnosticin Gos. By the one practice knowledgeable simplyturnsearthinto heaven.Phil.. transforms himselfinto a The unified.resurrected beingin the bridal-chamber..65 Von Ivanka's stress on knowledge is both instructive and For obstructive.All language. C.. one ought to particularly pay attention to this sharp statement: language alone cannot convey the Gnostic experience. The possible. warnsagainrelianceon theoto retical aspects: Since the worldis composedof errorand ignorance. Phil. p.von Ivanka.A..is precisely knowledge Gnostic. saying that neither the Gnostic nor the mystic become different.includingthe religiousand even the Gnostic languagebelongs to the worldand thereforeflows finallyinto error. . wouldsuggestthat one mightas well turn the statements around.. . 70-90. again.theoretical alone as knowledge I sufficing.66 of By relinquishing language.languagetoo is fraughtwith the same weaknesses.the proponents Gos. true self. Phil. of by V. it conjuresup.insofar as he wakes up to his own. own self. see esp.. E. Thisis becausethe correct culticapplication the knowledge of abolishesany distinctions between this world and the beyond. . IN 579 definition Gnosticism of whichrests solely on the individulong-lived al's theoretical insight.." Origini Le delloGnosticismo. "Das Problem des Bosen in Apokalyptikund Gnostik. becomes something else.. and returns to the place that he was never reallyremoved from .referring Gos.. lattermarksthe merging of image and angel.

a The bridal-chamber.g. "genuine") even as the gospel Phil. in fact. Truth'schangeis necessary. For Gos.4-5. by so transformations that the Gnosticcan meet with the communicating Far Truthin the ritualactionof the sacrament. designedto convey the for createsthe conditions divineaeon onto the concreteenvironment.sincethese embodyreligious marksonly a firststep. since Lambrechts it is necessaryto take issue with his view at this literary category.contraGaffron.67 the to point.These mattersare depicted show themselvesin a compatible in the chartbelow: The Truth \/ Transformation by nameandform The Gnostic Transformation by "mirrored bridal-chamber" of Sacrament bridal-chamber take place for both the Truth and the Parallelsof transformation The distance betweenthe two is bridged beingturnedinto Gnostic. now Lambrechts appears mystery literary divisionof cult and for yet anotherproponent the hardlybridgeable for are thought. site for salvation character the messagein Gos. method or practice. can. . "OverGriekseen Oosterse. whichstill containsvalue icalassumption inherentin theoriessuch as his. then.Returning Lambrechts's definitions.it would seem meritorious have distinguished as but fromthe cult-mystery..580 JOURNALOF BIBLICAL LITERATURE manner. Initially. senses that the in materialfact of the secret initiationritualdemandsrecognition a researchin Gnosticism. judgments(e.Only the cult-mysteries "genuinemysteries"68 Lamritual. in salvation the present. the Gnostic'stransformation a but divineentitymarksno blasphemous overconfidence.Refusingto see merelamentable degeneration in the sacramental gainsome insight process. is a prerequihereas wellas in the otherrealm.In the same vein. of stayswithinthe broadcategory Gnosticism. is the only way it can into becomeevident. from beingnegatively this the evaluated. measure unanticipated most traditional by has alreadyplaced Gnosticismin the However.one may." 5.now starts The mystery-cult of one to to emerge. 67Lambrechts.. make sense as a cult-mystery. 68Ibid.Lambrechts's methodologbrechts.Phil.

Phil."a personreceivesa foretaste and assurance says of the ultimate unionwithan angelic. This last element offers an opportunity relate Gnosticismto the to like mysteryreligions.""salvationby pneumaticnature. This (p. This transcendence a of world-view."70 the On basis of the presentinterpretations. man thanone generally withGnosticsystems. gospel of the testifiesto whatone mighttentatively a "Gnostic call mystery-cult. implies.essentially. 581 evaluated into positively in practice Gnosticas well as in mysteryreligions. associates and as such.but not enoughto the significance the meansof knowledge. I would challenge the translatorW. Isenberg's of in to description the bridal-chamber his introduction the gospel. ." etc.Phil.true believersknow how to use the vehicles of this world in order to transcendit.PHIL. Avoidingold trapsbearing designations "purely theoreticalknowledge. calls Philo's philosophya "Schreibtischmysterium" 112).IN BUCKLEY: CULT-MYSTERY GOS. the studentof these religionsneeds to wrestlewith definitions those like Far from representing presented by Lambrechts..An exotic and elitist interpretation Christianity. fully confidentin the efficacyof the image. wouldratherconcludethat the I celebrant obtains just an appetizer.Nevertheless. mighthave originated.He that in the reunion." 70Gos. Excessive attention been paidto the items. Friichtel. any dry literary Gos. not but 69U. the assertsa moreoptimistic "mirrored" viewof worldand bridal-chamber.. knower has and of known. in misunderstanding and ignorance. Phil. collapse a dualistic It is high time to takeinto account culticelementsin definitions of Gnosticism. 1968).The Creation. W. 131.69 action. designationwouldrhymewell with Lambrechts's "literary mystery. concentrates the salvificvalue of symbolic on mystery. in her work Die kosmologischen bei Vorstellungen Philo von Alexandrien (Leiden: Brill.heavenlycounterpart. Gos. the fullcourse. persistsstill." Finally..