Sunday, 24 July 2016

Ptolemy's Letter to Flora is truly a gem of a work

Ptolemy's letter to Flora is a slap on those who believe that the Gnostics were not intellectuals and believed in some nonsensical mythical beliefs produced from their own little fantasies. 

Ptolemy's letter to Flora is a fine introduction to the unique thinking and attitude of the Valentinians which can be preached to all the masses irrespective of their psychic, pneumatic or hylic nature as it does not contain any esoteric stuff like in the other Valentinian texts like the Gospel of Philip and the Gospel of Truth.

Some of the interesting and factual ideas that come out of this outstanding letter are:

The Torah Law and its commandments is quite alien to the nature and thought of the perfect Father of all.

The Holy Father who is above Jehovah in the above Pleroma is not a person who judges on humanity instead he unconditionally loves all of humanity by giving us unmerited grace and sows the spiritual seed in all of us. In fact he has pre-ordained this cosmos in order to provide salvation to all of humanity. Our salvation is inevitable no matter what sins we commit or what good things we achieve. It is only a matter of time that one receives salvation early and others receive it late. The perfect Holy Father does not condemn humanity by placing eternal damnation of sins on them. In fact we all are above sin because we are not responsible for the events which are occurring in this world because everything is working according to the will of the Father.

The Law giver Jehovah is not an evil god but a just one.

This is the unique belief of the Valentinians compared to the other gnostic sects like the Sethians who taught that the creator and the world to be evil. Ptolemy criticizes those who believe that the law giver and the creator of this world is the highest God and equally criticizes those who believe on contrary that he was the Devil.

The tripartite division on the just but incomplete Laws of Jehovah and the imperfect unjust Laws of Moses and the elders of the Jewish people.

Ptolemy teaches us that the Saviour approved the Torah (The laws of Jehovah) but rejected the Halakha (The Jewish interpretation of the Law by its elders). The historical Jesus on many different occasions broke many laws of the Old Testament like the Sabbath and defended his actions impeccably against his accusing Pharisees by explaining and providing the true purpose of those laws given by Jehovah and accused back at the Pharisees and silenced them in having not understood the true purpose of those laws and striving away from them by following the unjust laws established by the elders of the Jewish people.

The Saviour came to fulfill and complete the Laws of Jehovah and not to nullify it.

This is the idea which should receive much attention and I hope this perception at least stops all the Pauline hate that goes on among the Jewish Christian circles like the Ebionites, among atheists who try to seek contradictions in the bible and among Christians who doubt and hate Paul.

When people find what Jesus says in Matthew that he has not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it until the last stroke of every prophecy is fulfilled and when on the other hand they see Paul teaching that people are saved apart from the works of the Law and nullifies the Law, the Jewish Christians raise a huge tumult against Paul and accuse him as a false apostle and atheists in seeing these contradictions come to the hopeless conclusion that the bible was written by human goat herders lacking any kind of divine intervention and inspiration. Scholars doesn't do much to stop this misery and add their own stubborn prideful views.

Ptolemy teaches us that the Saviour not only came to fulfill the Law but to complete it and it was this completion and perfection of the Old Testament Law which was the good news preached by Paul in his Gospel and people often misunderstand Paul as contradicting and not giving any credit to the historical Jesus in his writings, on the contrary Paul was the only one who truly understood the mind and the thought of the Saviour. This is the reason the Valentinians revered and respected him so much.

15 “Go!” said the Lord. “This man (Paul of Tarsus) is My chosen instrument to carry My name before the Gentiles and their kings, and before the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for My name.” 17 So Ananias went to the house, and when he arrived, he placed his hands on Saul. “Brother Saul,” he said, “the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here, has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 9:15-17)

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