Jun 15, 1996 08:17 AM
Jerry Ekins, you said:
>in chapter VII in Bk. II where HPB does discuss
>Irenaeus, but found no statements to the effect that he
>"distorted gnostic doctrines." Though I did find where HPB
>called him "prejudiced" (292) and a "bible-kaleidoscopist" (304).
We have a small problem. My portuguese edition, was published in
four volumes, and I think that your original english edition in two.
To facilitate identification, now I will refer to my edition, saying to
you the start and final page of the chapter. For instance "bible-kaleidoscopist"
is found at BOOK III, chapter VII (start page 256, and final page 296) at page
267. We can also read at same chapter VII, at page 281: "must we do frighten
when even century XIX scolars, having only a few fragments of gnostic manuscripts,
was able to detect forgeries i ALMOST ALL PAGES" ,of his slanderes as Irenaeus)
Surely HPB makes a unfair commentary about Irenaeus'works, as you have
seen in my last e-mail, when I reproduce text from Britannica Enc.
Even HPB, seems to give credit to Irenaeus!
BOOKIII, CpIII (start 116,final 145) page 140 HPB refers to Irenaeus'
description of gnostic Basilides' system, and his notion of <nous>
(Adv. Haer. I,XXIV,4) and HPB says "this is not surely neither sacrilege against
religious idea itself, nor to all unbiased thinker". So Iraeneus seems
to describe correctly Basilides'system.
BOOKIII, CpIV (start 153, final 185) at page 157 HPB refers to Tetrakys
"Christos ans Sophia originates the Jesus man. Irenaeus shows that both
, father and son, love the beauty of primitive form (formam), who is Bythos,
and also Sophia, and that produced Ophis and Sophia: male and female wisdom
whom one is Holy Spirit and the other Ophis (Jesus-god-man), that ophites
refers as a snake". HPB refers to Adv.Haer. I,XXX,1-3. Again HPB reproduce
Irenaeus' conception, about gnostics.
BOOKIII, CpIV page 160 "Irenaeus seems so irreducibly entangled in his
useless efforts to explain, at least in his external aspects, the truly
doctrines of many gnostics sects and to present then, at same time, as
'heresies',abominations; that, deliberately, or by pure ignorance, he
confuse it in such way, that only a few methaphics would be able to
disentangle, without help of Qabala or Codex". HPB continues giving two
examples of misconceptions made by Irenaeus. The confusion between
sethianites and ophites; and about doctrines of Cerinthus. At page 167
again HPB says that Irenaeus gives a erroneous conception about ophites.
Jerry, sorry about my english translations, probably I commit some erros,
so I prefer that you check this passages in your text. I also agree with you
when you say about early church: "Their task was to discredit and destroy the
gnostic movement through debate, and later by political force". I only want to
make clear that we must look with respect about Irenaeus' work.
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