Friday, January 18, 2008

Response (4.2) to Marvin Meyer: The Thirteenth Daimon

4.2 daimon I agree that there are contexts where daimon can be translated as “a divinity” a point I did make in my book. But the conventional translation of this word in Gnostic texts is “demon” because the realms around the world are filled with beings that are created by the demiurge and work for him against the high god. When these archonic beings are called “angels” (angeloi) it is not in the sense of good angels, but the fallen angels who rape women, bring sinful things to humans, and war against the high god (Enoch; Gen 6).

This is why Meyer correctly translates in his new edited volume, The Nag Hammadi Scriptures, daimon as “demon” in all instances that I have been able to locate (except the one in question in the Gospel of Judas). If someone finds a case where daimon isn't translated demon in this new edition of the NHS, please let me know.

One passage that Meyer translates with both daimon and pneuma is sufficient to demonstrate my point: “For…all…among the [dominions and] these authorities and archangels and powers and the whole generations of demons (daimôn)…Awaken your mind, Paul, and notice that this mountain where you are standing is the mountain of Jericho, so that you may come to know the things hidden in what is visible. You will meet the twelve apostles, for they are chosen spirits (pneuma), and they will welcome you.”

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