James the Just by Tom Saunders

Introduction:
Paul identified Naasseni or Sethians in his letters as early as 38 A.D., when he went to Jerusalem and met James the Just. Most Sethians lived on until the 60’s in places like in Alexandria. There are three eras I use to try and put people into the right time periods in regard to Alexandrian Christianity.

1. The Sethian Era (44-90) of Alexandrian Gnosticism, is when the Apostle Mark was the founder of Christianity in Alexandria. Also the Apostle Matthias, taught Carpocrates, and the Apostle Basilides. Basilides also received instruction from Glaucius, Peter’s scribe, circa 44 to 90 A.D. (see Mead)
2. The Basilidian Era (90-120) of Alexandrian Gnosticism is when Basilides taught Valentinus and other Alexandrian Gnostics, circa, 90-120 A.D. Valentinus also received instruction from Theudas, companion to Paul. Pope Justus of Alexandria was still Dean of the Catechetical School until 127. He had been appointed by Mark. Basilides died in 138.
3. The Valentinian Era (120-180) of Alexandrian Gnosticism is when Valentinus taught, Heracleon, Theodotus, Bardesanes, Ptolemy, and others, 120 -180 A.D. All of these known Gnostics have extant writings, all of which use Sethian Specific terms. Valentinus died in 180.
Below is a lexicon of Sethian specific words foound in NHL texts.

(Abrasax, Adonaios, Aeons, Aphredon, Archons, Armedon, Armozel, Astraphaios, Autogenes, Barbelo, Bridal Chamber, Davithai, (Domedon) Doxomedon, Demiurge, Echamoth, Eleleth, Ennoia, Iao/Jeu, Gamaliel, Garment, Hebdomad, Kaliptos, Logos, Marsanes, Mirotheos, Monad, Ogdoad, Oriel, Pistis, Pleroma, Protennoia, Protophanes, Sabaoth, Saklas, Sophia, Totalities, Yaldabaoth, Youel)

This is a lexicon of Sethian specific words used in known Valentinian works.

(Aeon, Archon, Bridal Chamber, Demiurge, Garment, Hebdomad, Logos, Monad, Ogdoad, Pleroma, Pistis, Sabaoth, Sophia, Totalities, Yaldabaoth)

Compare this to the following from James.

“The First Apocalypse of James” (the Just) uses the following six Sethian Specific terms, (Achamoth, Adonaios, Archon, Hebdomad, Echmoth, Garment) [6]
The words in James in my opinion are far more Sethian than Valentinian.
Einar Thomassen is the author of, “Valentinian Material in James. Thomassen makes several good observations about Valentinian material in the text, but on the other hand doubts it is in fact Valentinian. I suspect the text could be Basilidian due to the early Sethian vocabulary used in the text.
The original text could be from as early as 60-70 A.D.
Thomassen in his work describes the Valentinian Demiurge as the offspring of Achamoth or Sophia. He points out how Irenaeus confirms the text was used in Valentinian rituals, especially concerning redemption.
Thomassen makes some distinction between Sethian and Valentinians. He makes some assuptions they did not know the same vocabularies. My work shows they did. He notes that Valentinians used the term Demiurge more than others and the concept of the Demiurge for Valentinians are not that of Plato. Valentinians did not use the term Barbelo which means Mother. The term Barbelo appears to be critical to Sethian authors to explain the Ogdoad powers of the Mother. This is in the trinity of the Ogdoad powers of Father, Mother, and Son, and most NHL texts point out this tripartite union.
Achamoth and Echmoth are references to Sophia, perhaps as a higher and lower, or male and female Archon-Ogdoad powers. In the text Jesus and James discuss hebdomads and their heavenly constructions. This teaching was known by early Sethians and later Valentinians.
Adonaios means Father, and this is a reference to the Ogdoad powers of the Father, mentioned in the “Gospel of the Egyptians” and “The Apocryhon of John.” This is directly related to the Sethian tripartite explanation of Jesus’ power as divinity; by becoming the Son of the Ogdoad powers of the Father, and Mother. Adonaios is the Father, in all three texts, and is most definately Sethian.
Extant works attributed to Basilides, Simon Magus, Dositheos, and Valentinians use a shared vocabulary. One of the key words is hebdomad…
“James said, “Rabbi, are there then twelve hebdomads and not seven as there are in the scriptures?” The Lord said, “James, he who spoke concerning this scripture had a limited understanding. I, however, shall reveal to you what has come forth from him who has no number. I shall give a sign concerning their number. As for what has come forth from him who has no measure, I shall give a sign concerning their measure.”
A hebdomad is a seven unit mathematical progression of an Aeon emanation from the monad to triad, then adds a tetrad, which forms a trivium and quadrivium. A hebdomad is a two part seven unit Aeon emantion, that follows a formation or grammar of a tripartite algorithm. All Aeon emanations follow the same tripartite algorithm.
1st Premise/Monad A=C) (2nd Supporting Premise/Duad A=B = B=C) (Synthesis/Triad of A=B=C) = 1. (This triad forms a Monad)
1. Monad, {a.} =1
2. Duad, {a. ∩ b.} =1
3. Triad, {a.∩b.∩c.} =1
4. Tetrad, {a.∩b.∩c.∩d.} =1
5. Hebdomad, {a.b.c. ∩ d.e.f.g.} =1
6. Ogdoad, {a.b.c.d. ∩ e.f.g.h.} =1
The Hebdomad Model:
(Trivium {a.b.c.}) (Quadrivium {d.e.f.g.}) (Synthesis {a.d.c.d.e.f.g.} = 1 (Hebdomad forms a Monad)
The Evil Hebdomad is: 
(a. Darkness like Wrath, b. Desire, c. Ignorance) (d.Excitement, e. Form, f. Action, g. Knowledge) (Synthesis {a.d.c.d.e.f.g.} ) =1.
In both the Sethian and Valetninian teaching all human emotions can be put into this template. The seven evil emotions or hebdomads are Wrath, Envy, Hate, Lies, Lust, Grief, and Fear. All of these have polar opposites, which is likely related to the refernence in James about the seven hebdomads in scripture. That is where I learned them.
The knowledge about hebdomads helped the Sethians and Valentinians to manipulate good against evil, much like playing a chess match. Hebdomads are like chess pieces you can learn to manipulate. This application of hebdomads was for individuals, but could put to use as a virtual map of human emotions that was shared by those that knew the hebdomad model. An illustration of a hebdomad breakdown can be found in Mead’s “Simon Magus,” in the NHL Archives. Magus also describes Aeon emanation of male and female.
Summary
These are the Sethian Specific terms in James that are shared with other NHL texts: Achamoth (Wisdom), Adonaios (Father), Archon (Ogdoad-Ruler), Hebdomad(Aeon emanation), Echmoth (Wisdom), Garment (Aeon Soul) [6 matches to the Sethian-Valentinian Lexicon, SGG]
The author of this text in order to write about the Sethian Specific terms, would have known “The Gospel of the Egyptians,” “The Apocryphon of John,” “The Gospel of Thomas,” and others. They are all based upon the Sethian and Valentinian Aeonology and Pythagorean monadic sequences, like Hebdomads.
I support the idea that the James text was pre-Valentinian work. Because the text uses early Sethian terms refering to the powers of male and female Archons, and the author did not use Barbelo, to explain the Ogdoad powers of the Mother, it points to Valentinian or Basilidian redaction and possibly reconstruction. Basilides did not use Sethian specific language to explain at least his version of the Mother, or divine feminine. James in my opinion a late Sethian era text.
James the Just did not live longer than 69 A.D. and some say he was killed in 62 A.D.  In perspective Mark died in 68 A.D. Nobody knows when Basilides was born, but he knew the Apostle Matthias, and Peter’s scribe, Glaucius. Basilides died in 138 A.D. (Mead)
Two copies of the James text exist. The text can be read with others I mentioned as part of the Nag Hammadi Library collection. http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/1ja.html
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