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Tom Booth

4 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2006 :  13:09:41  


I'm still wondering about the Bruce Codex which some describe as "Gnostic" and others call "Apocryphal".

I'm curious what the Orthodox view regarding these documents might be.

In general, "apocryphal" as I understand it means "hidden" and whereas some apocrypha is considered heretical, some are accepted by some denominations as genuine to one degree or another, or even "too sacred to be revealed to the uninitiated".

Regardless of how the literature is viewed, it seems to me that it would hold some historic value in relation to the definition and meaning of words.

Is there any fundamental difference between the "Gnostic" use of the term AION and the Orthodox definition of the term?

In other words. Ordinary words like "house" or "car" or "tree" or "rock" etc. mean more or less the same thing to everyone regardless of their belief system. On the other hand, more abstract concepts like "Truth" or "goodness" or "evil" and so forth can mean different things to different people at different times.

It seems AION is a Noun. Therefore I would think it's meaning would be fairly well defined.

There doesn't appear to be any debate or controversy in the New Testament regarding any differences in the accepted meaning of the term. It is used rather freely throughout the New Testament more or less the same as any other common word as if everyone knew what it meant.

The same seems true in reading the Gnostic literature.

The Gnostic writers don't appear to be conscious of using the word in any special way, or at least, as far as I've been able to find, they don't make any note, or give any indication that they are using the term outside it's otherwise commonly accepted meaning.

Today, though, reading the New Testament as translated into English and reading the Gnostic literature, the use of the word AION seems miles apart, almost beyond reconciliation.

I'm wondering how and when the meaning of the word diverged, or if it ever did diverge, or if the apparent differences are real or just differences in later translation and interpretation.

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14 Posts

Posted - 28 Jul 2007 :  20:43:55  


"In general, 'apocryphal' as I understand it means 'hidden'...."

I think apocryphal actually means dubious or doubtful and refers to their doubtful authorship. In fact, that's the first definition given here http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/apocryphal "Of questionable authorship or authenticity"

"Is there any fundamental difference between the 'Gnostic' use of the term AION and the Orthodox definition of the term?"

The Gnostics imagine a hierarchy of 33 Aions which to them are entities that they worship as Gods. They obviously do not use any standard meaning of the word. They give these fictitious entities names that correspond to abstract ideas like Wisdom, Truth, etc.

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