I had mentioned in an earlier post. That primarily by accident
I ran across what I consider to be a word picturein saying 77.
The sayings end Lift a rock and I am there Is literally a moving rock. You
move the rock and you have a O.(empty tomb)
The split a Piece of wood and I am there. Might be a cross A Tau (T)or X(
chi) but more likely a T( Tau) cross of the day.
The Result is that You have The Cross (T) and The Moving rock (O)
A word Picture.
I had surmised that we would be able to solve the Puzzle or word picture
using the Crucifixion and then the empty tomb.
The Ankh though would fit the saying as well.
I had wondered at the time considering that the area involved
Was Egypt that the old reliance on Symbology might be at play (A hieratic or
Hieroglyph of some sort).
Mike has suggested the Ankh is a part of this symbology.
I would suggest that if you place the circle (Empty Tomb) and the Tau
cross together? You get the Ankh.0+
Is it coincidence or are there other word pictures and symbols In
Ones the Coptic writer might easily see and Have some secret meaning?
Perhaps a Key to use certain lines ?
Might have the Ankh symbol beside them.( Or within them)?
Regards John Moon
While it's true that an 'O' (Gk omicron) atop a 'T' (Gk tau) would form an ankh, your attempt to pull an 'O' and a 'T' out of #77 seems to be seriously deficient on the omicron side. Notice that at some points you associate the 'O' with the stone rolled away from the tomb, and at other points with the tomb itself. Neither of these, however, seems to make any sense:
1. The 'O' is the stone in front of the tomb.
But 77.3 says "Lift the stone and you'll find me there". Where? Presumably, *under* (or *behind*, to stretch a point) the stone. But then J apparently wasn't intended to be associated with the stone itself.
2. The 'O' is the (empty) tomb itself.
But if the tomb were empty, J wouldn't be there, would he? So 77.3 wouldn't make any sense. ("Roll back the stone and you'll find me in the empty tomb"? I don't think so.)
Nothing wrong with "little ideas", as Hercule Poirot used to call them in the Agathie Christie novels. We all have them all the time. But a lot of them simply don't pan out, and I'm afraid that without further development, this is one that doesn't.
What do I mean by "further development"? Well, I'm almost afraid to mention this, but here goes: the Greek theta ('th') was sometimes represented by a circle with a dot in the middle of it - instead of a bisecting line. Now then, you may recall my saying that the inverted ankh figure at the bottom of the front cover of Codex II has a large black dot in the middle of its "loop". Bearing in mind that the Thomists are widely believed to have been anti-resurrectionists, is it possible that the meaning of 77.3 is that there was no empty tomb - that J's body never came out of the tomb? So that one can find the *fleshly corpse* of the spiritually-ever-living Jesus on the cross (77.2) and (still) in the tomb? As intriguing as this might seem, I have serious doubts whether such an argument can be successful, but in any case, the symbols involved in such an argument would presumably be a tau (=300) and a theta (=9), not a tau and an omicron (=70).
The morale of the story is that "little ideas" need to be thought through clearly and thoroughly. Otherwise, they're just loose pieces of idle speculation that don't lead anywhere. But let me carry my analysis one step further. I said that I had "serious doubts whether such an argument can be successful". Why did I say that? Because it seems very strange indeed for Jesus to be made to recommend looking for him in the *material world* (the world of the cross and the tomb). This observation might, of course, cause us to reject the proposed interpretation of "sticks and stones" as cross and tomb. But let's at least try to see what lies in the opposite direction. As I've mentioned before, the first part of saying 77 also strikes me as quite odd - it just doesn't seem to fit with the tone of the other sayings. Why not take this bull by the horns and see where we land? That is, let's assume for the sake of argument that #77 *wasn't intended* to fit in with the others. How would it be interpreted if that were the case? Maybe something like this:
77.1: This grandiose Johannine-type statement is clearly the boasting of a creator god. But if the creator god isn't identical with "the Father", then the being speaking here looks to be the demiurge - the creator of the (dead) material world.
77.2-3: The demiurge now recommends that we seek *him* (not the living Jesus) in the material world - the world of crosses and tombs. In so recommending, he is of course trying to "steal" the soul of the reader, i.e., to take it away from its natural spiritual home and fasten its attention on the material world.
Is the whole of 77, then, a slap at orthodox Christianity? Not only at resurrectionism (77.2-3), but also at Johannine Logos-type Christology (77.1)? The only thing that seems clear is that that seems *consistent* with what we know (or think we know) about the Thomists. We know that they were anti-resurrectionists, and - since they regarded the material world as a "corpse" - it seems unlikely that they would have identified Jesus as the agent through whom that material world was created - whether as "light" or "logos".
It looks, then, as if this road might lead somewhere, but where? If saying 77 was *intended to be* antithetical to most of the rest of the sayings, it must somehow be separable - and identifiably so - by some clear and distinct and unambiguous syntactical indicators that it was intended to be "pulled up by its root and destroyed". But that in turn seems to suggest that the reader was intended to *do something* with the sayings other than to read and assimilate them. Hmm. Sounds a lot like my word-puzzle theory. We seem to have come to a stopping-point - a point of decison - either go on further toward the puzzle theory, or go back and retrace our steps and interpret #77 in a much more positive light. All I can say is, you folks do what you want. Me, I think I'll just rest here tonight by the side of the road. <g>
Mt. Clemens, MI