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Gnosis and Neoplatonism and the Qur'an

Reader comment on item: Musing on History
in response to reader comment: "Science" among the ancients

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Jul 9, 2015 at 06:42

MS you wrote

The word translated as "science" is "gnosis":

I know my Greek but I will leave Greek translations to English to scholars of the NT

However, I would read the word Gnosis as: In the knowledge and not science and it indeed makes it to al-Tabari's exegesis of Q112:1

The Gnostics believed that the creator of this creation must be an evil and incompetent creator with wars, famines, disease, epidemics, earthquakes, floods, sickness and death. They believed that there is another real God who was detached from this very poor creation and that this God is the real God and the one worth worshipping and that this God sends "Aeons" that help to transmit the "in the knowledge" or Gnosis to humankind and the Christ would be an aeon and he also should be worshipped and but the knowledge here is about faith and not about secular sciences

And yes their ideas made it to "The Gospel of Thomas" (The Naj Hammadi library) so in this case gnosis would mean in the knowledge of the God that should be worth worshipping

Now the exegesis of Q112:1 is really about Gnosis and Neoplatonism and that some Muslims who were familiar with the Gnostics were wondering about monotheism and if it makes any sense and that the God of Islam should not be the subject of worship after all this is a poor creation. And they also had to deal with providing a logical answer to the Aristotelian problem and the problem is posed in al-Tabari's exegesis not by Muslims but by the Jews and the pagans of Mecca to Muhammad and it is: If Allah created this creation then who created Allah

I will not spoil it for you what was the outcome of this great debate but you can find it in al-Tabari of Q112:1

So in short the Greek word gnosis as it stands in the 7th century meant in the knowledge (not secular science) and the knowledge here includes the profound Greek logic

Submitting....

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