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Sexism?

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  • cwbyspike
    We were wondering about this passage from the Gospel of St Thomas. Could the meaning have been different than what it appears, or could someone have added it
    Message 1 of 7 , May 19 6:27 PM
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      We were wondering about this passage from the Gospel of St Thomas.
      Could the meaning have been different than what it appears, or could
      someone have added it to his writings, or what. It doesn't seem to
      be something that Peter or Jesus would have said, even in those
      days. Any ideas would be appreciated:

      "(114) Simon Peter said to him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not
      worthy of life."
      Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so
      that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For
      every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of
      heaven."
    • incognito_lightbringer
      I ve read that in translating, from dead archaic languages no less, much meaning is lost. Idioms, intenional humor, puns, for example. And perhaps sarcasm. Is
      Message 2 of 7 , May 19 11:31 PM
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        I've read that in translating, from dead archaic languages no less,
        much meaning is lost. Idioms, intenional humor, puns, for example.
        And perhaps sarcasm. Is Jesus being sexist here, or is he goofing on
        the sexism of his male followers? I'd like to think Jesus is taking a
        humorous poke at them. Although, male and female have symbolic
        meanings in gnostic theology. I'll leave this to someone else to
        better explain because I'm not entirely clear on it (female is soul,
        male is spirit for example). The Mother is repeatedly called a male
        spirit in some texts, and she/he are used interchangeably.

        You might want to read Pistis Sophia. I found it hilarious in
        pointing out sexism. Jesus is teaching his (twelve) male and three
        women followers and asking questions. The women keep coming forward
        and giving at least half of the responses. Finally Peter, a classic
        mysoginist, asks Jesus to tell them to shut up so that he can get a
        word in edgewise. Jesus tells them to be quiet. A few questions later
        Mary Magdelene asks if she can respond because she's afraid of
        Peter "he hates my race". Jesus complies, praises her, and the woman
        go back to answering many of the questions.

        --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "cwbyspike" <walkinginclogs@a...>
        wrote:
        > We were wondering about this passage from the Gospel of St Thomas.
        > Could the meaning have been different than what it appears, or
        could
        > someone have added it to his writings, or what. It doesn't seem to
        > be something that Peter or Jesus would have said, even in those
        > days. Any ideas would be appreciated:
        >
        > "(114) Simon Peter said to him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are
        not
        > worthy of life."
        > Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so
        > that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For
        > every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of
        > heaven."
      • lady_caritas
        ... on ... a ... soul, ... later ... woman ... There are translations that use the word, females, instead of women. Bentley Layton writes a footnote to
        Message 3 of 7 , May 20 6:24 AM
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          --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, incognito_lightbringer
          <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > I've read that in translating, from dead archaic languages no less,
          > much meaning is lost. Idioms, intenional humor, puns, for example.
          > And perhaps sarcasm. Is Jesus being sexist here, or is he goofing
          on
          > the sexism of his male followers? I'd like to think Jesus is taking
          a
          > humorous poke at them. Although, male and female have symbolic
          > meanings in gnostic theology. I'll leave this to someone else to
          > better explain because I'm not entirely clear on it (female is
          soul,
          > male is spirit for example). The Mother is repeatedly called a male
          > spirit in some texts, and she/he are used interchangeably.
          >
          > You might want to read Pistis Sophia. I found it hilarious in
          > pointing out sexism. Jesus is teaching his (twelve) male and three
          > women followers and asking questions. The women keep coming forward
          > and giving at least half of the responses. Finally Peter, a classic
          > mysoginist, asks Jesus to tell them to shut up so that he can get a
          > word in edgewise. Jesus tells them to be quiet. A few questions
          later
          > Mary Magdelene asks if she can respond because she's afraid of
          > Peter "he hates my race". Jesus complies, praises her, and the
          woman
          > go back to answering many of the questions.



          There are translations that use the word, "females," instead
          of "women." Bentley Layton writes a footnote to this saying on page
          399 of _The Gnostic Scriptures_:

          f. "female (element) . . . male": it was a philosophical cliché
          that the material constituent of an entity was "female," while its
          form (or ideal form) was "male."

          So, while we could certainly view this metaphorically, with
          transformation of what is symbolized as material, perishable, and
          passive to what is spiritual, imperishable, and active, Incognita, I
          also see Jesus as possibly taking a poke at clueless Peter.

          It's very likely that "Mary" is Mary Magdalene. In other literature
          we see Mary Magdalene portrayed as Jesus's favored disciple, one with
          spiritual awareness.

          Some examples:
          _Gospel of Philip_ (Bentley Layton translation) ~

          "Three women always used to walk with the lord—Mary his mother, his
          sister, and the Magdalene, who is called his companion. For "Mary"
          is the name of his sister and his mother, and it is the name of his
          partner."

          "The wisdom who is called barren wisdom is the mother [of the]
          angels. And the companion of the [...] Mary Magdalene. The [...
          loved] her more than [all] the disciples, [and he used to] kiss her
          on her [... more] often than the rest of the [disciples] [...] They
          said to him, "Why do you love her more than all of us?" The savior
          answered, saying to them, "Why do I not love you like her? If a
          blind person and one with sight are both in the darkness, they are
          not different from one another. When the light comes, then the
          person with sight will see the light, and the blind person will
          remain in the darkness."

          We also see "hot tempered" Peter's legendary jealousy in Chapter 9 of
          _The Gospel According to Mary_ ~

          http://www.gnosis.org/library/marygosp.htm


          Cari
        • James Lambert
          From: cwbyspike ... In order to understand the significance of this saying one must first realize that there has been a concerted
          Message 4 of 7 , May 22 2:36 AM
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            From: "cwbyspike" <walkinginclogs@...>

            > We were wondering about this passage from the Gospel of St Thomas.
            > Could the meaning have been different than what it appears, or could
            > someone have added it to his writings, or what. It doesn't seem to
            > be something that Peter or Jesus would have said, even in those
            > days. Any ideas would be appreciated:
            >
            > "(114) Simon Peter said to him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not
            > worthy of life."
            > Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so
            > that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For
            > every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of
            > heaven."

            In order to understand the significance of this saying one must first
            realize that there has been a concerted movement to have this saying
            classified as a late addition to the text. A thorough examination of the
            arguments put forth to support such a contention is required before any
            in depth consideration be given to the significance of the saying itself.


            Stevan Davies' arguments for 114 being a late addition are at the following
            link:

            http://www.misericordia.edu/users/davies/thomas/appendix.htm

            I have pasted the core of the argument below:

            ----------------------------------------------------------------------

            2) The final Logion 114 can be seen to have been added to the text of Thomas
            at a later date. This is not dependent on whether we agree that
            Thomas had four chapters, for much of the terminology of this saying is
            absent in the rest of Thomas:

            a. The saying begins with a disciple, Simon Peter, addressing the other
            disciples. This literary device is otherwise never used by Thomas.


            b. The idea of one "guided" by Jesus occurs only here.


            c. In Thomas D we find the phrase "Kingdom of the Father" appearing in 96,
            97, 98, 99, 113. Only in 114 is "Kingdom of Heaven" used.


            d. Only in 114 do we hear anything like the idea that a person should
            "become a living spirit."


            e. Finally, this logion is in direct contradiction to 22. There the male
            should become female, the female become male and neither should be any
            longer male or female. Here, in 114 the status "male" is positively valued
            and the status "female" is negatively valued. Indeed, the woman should
            become male.

            Given Thomas' fluidity of terminology and lack of fully systematic ideology,
            any one of these discrepancies could be overlooked. There are,
            however, too many unique and anomalous usages in 114 to allow us to consider
            it part of the original Gospel of Thomas.
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------

            Can any of these arguments be addressed?



            James Lambert
            http://web.telecom.cz/Gnostradamus/
            http://gnostradamus.blogspot.com/
          • simo2012
            ... could ... to ... not ... first ... of the ... any ... itself. ... following ... -- ... of Thomas ... saying is ... other ... in 96, ... should ... male ...
            Message 5 of 7 , May 22 4:20 AM
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              --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "James Lambert" <jehlickova@m...>
              wrote:
              > From: "cwbyspike" <walkinginclogs@a...>
              >
              > > We were wondering about this passage from the Gospel of St Thomas.
              > > Could the meaning have been different than what it appears, or
              could
              > > someone have added it to his writings, or what. It doesn't seem
              to
              > > be something that Peter or Jesus would have said, even in those
              > > days. Any ideas would be appreciated:
              > >
              > > "(114) Simon Peter said to him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are
              not
              > > worthy of life."
              > > Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so
              > > that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For
              > > every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of
              > > heaven."
              >
              > In order to understand the significance of this saying one must
              first
              > realize that there has been a concerted movement to have this saying
              > classified as a late addition to the text. A thorough examination
              of the
              > arguments put forth to support such a contention is required before
              any
              > in depth consideration be given to the significance of the saying
              itself.
              >
              >
              > Stevan Davies' arguments for 114 being a late addition are at the
              following
              > link:
              >
              > http://www.misericordia.edu/users/davies/thomas/appendix.htm
              >
              > I have pasted the core of the argument below:
              >
              > --------------------------------------------------------------------
              --
              >
              > 2) The final Logion 114 can be seen to have been added to the text
              of Thomas
              > at a later date. This is not dependent on whether we agree that
              > Thomas had four chapters, for much of the terminology of this
              saying is
              > absent in the rest of Thomas:
              >
              > a. The saying begins with a disciple, Simon Peter, addressing the
              other
              > disciples. This literary device is otherwise never used by Thomas.
              >
              >
              > b. The idea of one "guided" by Jesus occurs only here.
              >
              >
              > c. In Thomas D we find the phrase "Kingdom of the Father" appearing
              in 96,
              > 97, 98, 99, 113. Only in 114 is "Kingdom of Heaven" used.
              >
              >
              > d. Only in 114 do we hear anything like the idea that a person
              should
              > "become a living spirit."
              >
              >
              > e. Finally, this logion is in direct contradiction to 22. There the
              male
              > should become female, the female become male and neither should be
              any
              > longer male or female. Here, in 114 the status "male" is positively
              valued
              > and the status "female" is negatively valued. Indeed, the woman
              should
              > become male.
              >
              > Given Thomas' fluidity of terminology and lack of fully systematic
              ideology,
              > any one of these discrepancies could be overlooked. There are,
              > however, too many unique and anomalous usages in 114 to allow us to
              consider
              > it part of the original Gospel of Thomas.
              > --------------------------------------------------------------------
              --
              >
              > Can any of these arguments be addressed?
              >

              It is pehaps not so important. The real meaning of any text will be
              revealed to the seeker as the appropriate level of consciousness is
              achieved. It is whether God wants us to understand the text, if we
              are ready which is important.
            • Gerry
              ... http://www.misericordia.edu/users/davies/thomas/appendix.htm I have pasted the core of the argument below: . . . Can any of these arguments be addressed?
              Message 6 of 7 , May 22 10:20 PM
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                Reply to James Lambert’s post #7819:


                >>Stevan Davies' arguments for 114 being a late addition are at the following link:

                http://www.misericordia.edu/users/davies/thomas/appendix.htm

                I have pasted the core of the argument below:

                . . . Can any of these arguments be addressed?<<

                 

                Well, ANY argument can be addressed, James.  Let’s see what we can do with Davies’ research:

                 

                >>a. The saying begins with a disciple, Simon Peter, addressing the other disciples. This literary device is otherwise never used by Thomas.<<

                Of course, that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t have been used intentionally in that passage.  For instance, Shakespeare often used rhymed couplets (in otherwise unrhymed verse) to mark the end of scenes and acts.  The actual passage reads, “Simon Peter said to them...,” and doesn’t have him specifically addressing the other disciples.  Since Jesus responded to the comment, we can assume that he was also present among the group, making such an exchange not so different from the others.

                 

                >>b. The idea of one "guided" by Jesus occurs only here.<<

                Since Davies isn’t arguing for the term “guided” occurring only in this particular instance, I would offer that a similar “idea” is conveyed in Logion 13 when Jesus takes Thomas aside for private instruction:

                 

                . . . And he took him, and withdrew, and spoke three sayings to him. When Thomas came back to his friends they asked him, “What did Jesus say to you?”

                Thomas said to them, “If I tell you one of the sayings he spoke to me, you will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and devour you.”

                 

                >>c. In Thomas D we find the phrase "Kingdom of the Father" appearing in 96, 97, 98, 99, 113. Only in 114 is "Kingdom of Heaven" used.<<

                Actually, #97 only contains the word “kingdom.”  In fact, #113 contains both “kingdom” AND “father’s kingdom.”

                 

                Other instances in the book where “kingdom” can be found without the “fatherly” modifier are in logia 3, 22, 27, 46, 49, 82, 107, and 109.  In fact, there are two more that referred to “father’s kingdom” in sayings 57 and 76.

                 

                By focusing on only the last of four “chapters” (the veracity of which is not established), the author neglects to mention two occasions where the notion of “kingdom of heaven” was found besides #114:

                 

                The disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us what Heaven’s kingdom is like….” [#20]

                 

                Jesus said, “Congratulations to the poor, for to you belongs Heaven’s kingdom.”  [#54]

                 

                The implication is that this “heavenly” expression is out of place in the Gospel of Thomas, but by focusing on one “chapter” as Davies did, one could conclude that #57 is the result of a later redaction since the phrase “father’s kingdom” was used ONLY ONCE in what he denotes as chapter B.  Basically, it’s a poorly reasoned exaggeration.

                 

                >>d. Only in 114 do we hear anything like the idea that a person should "become a living spirit."<<

                Assuming that this IS a Gnostic work, all the more reason to end on a note that emphasizes our quest to reunite with the Spirit.  See the commentary below.

                 

                >>e. Finally, this logion is in direct contradiction to 22. There the male should become female, the female become male and neither should be any longer male or female. Here, in 114 the status "male" is positively valued and the status "female" is negatively valued. Indeed, the woman should become male.<<

                Actually, I don’t see it as being in “direct contradiction” with #22, and it is far from denoting a “positive” male value as we might interpret in a modern sexist context.  From Peter Kirby’s site, here are some opinions on the interpretation of #114:

                (http://www.gospelthomas.com/gospelthomas114.html)

                 

                Marvin Meyer quotes Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 5.8.44 for comparison: “For this, he says, is ‘the gate of heaven,’ . . . where it is necessary for them, when they have come there, to cast off their clothing and all become bridegrooms, having been made male through the virgin spirit.” (The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus, p. 109)

                 

                Funk and Hoover write: “In v. 3 Jesus is not suggesting a sex-change operation, but is using ‘male’ and ‘female’ metaphorically to refer ot the higher and lower aspects of human nature. Mary is thus to undergo a spiritual transformation from her earthly, material, passionate nature (which the evangelist equates with the female) to a heavenly, spiritual, intellectual nature (which the evangelist equates with the male). This transformation may possibly have involved ritual acts or ascetic practices.” (The Five Gospels, p. 532)

                 

                R. McL. Wilson writes: “To quote the same authors [Grant and Freedman] yet again, ‘the high point of Thomas’ eschatology is thus reached, at the end of his gospel, with the obliteration of sex.’ It should, however, be added that this is a point of difference among the Gnostic sects. In Valentinianism, for example, the souls of the elect enter into the Pleroma not as bridegrooms but as the brides of the angels. The basic conception is, however, the same.” (Studies in the Gospel of Thomas, p. 32)

                 

                Bentley Layton writes: “it was a philosophical cliche that the material constituent of an entity was ‘female,’ while its form (or ideal form) was ‘male.’” (The Gnostic Scriptures, p. 399)

                 

                John Dart writes: “But actually, as James Brashler explains it, ‘to become a male’ is standard (albeit ‘chauvinistic’) language of the Hellenistic world for becoming pure, spiritual. The phrase was used also, he said, to describe what a teacher does for a student. In that context, woman is given an equal chance for salvation.” (The Laughing Savior, p. 129)

                 

                Marvin Meyer writes: “… Often the transformation of the female into the male involves the transformation of all that is earthly, perishable, passive, and sense-perceptible into what is heavenly, imperishable, active, and rational. In short, what is connected with the earth Mother is to be transformed into what is connected with the sky Father. If this is a correct interpretation of Gospel of Thomas saying 114, then the saying is intended to be a statement of liberation, although the specific use of gender categories may be shocking to modern sensitivities.” (The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus, p. 109)

                 

                Why should we view this “last” saying with a less-than-allegorical appreciation than we have for the rest of the sayings?

                 

                Gerry

                 

                 

              • James Lambert
                ... Davies research: James writes: Super! Great post. Finally I see you turning away from the experts and actually examining the material itself. Sure, at the
                Message 7 of 7 , May 23 6:49 AM
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                  --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Reply to James Lambert's post #7819:
                  >
                  >
                  > >>Steven Davies' arguments for 114 being a late addition are at the
                  following link:
                  >
                  > http://www.misericordia.edu/users/davies/thomas/appendix.htm
                  >
                  > I have pasted the core of the argument below:
                  >
                  > . . . Can any of these arguments be addressed?<<

                  >
                  > Well, ANY argument can be addressed, James. Let's see what we can do with
                  Davies' research:

                  James writes:
                  Super! Great post. Finally I see you turning away from the experts and
                  actually examining the material itself. Sure, at the end of the post you are
                  back to quoting experts, but of course there is nothing wrong with doing so
                  in conjunction with you own studies of the matter. Well balanced, all in
                  all.

                  One thing which must be mentioned before we begin. The primary reason that
                  Logion 114 is considered a late addition to the text is simply because it is
                  the last saying. If someone wanted to add something to an existing document
                  their only option, other than rewriting the entire document, is to tack on
                  something at the end of the text. If you are going to question the validity
                  of a piece of text, the final section of the document is always an easy
                  target.

                  > >>a. The saying begins with a disciple, Simon Peter, addressing the other
                  disciples. This literary device is otherwise never used by Thomas.<<
                  >
                  > Of course, that doesn't mean that it couldn't have been used intentionally
                  in that passage. For instance, Shakespeare often used rhymed couplets (in
                  otherwise unrhymed verse) to mark the end of scenes and acts. The actual
                  passage reads, "Simon Peter said to them...," and doesn't have him
                  specifically addressing the other disciples. Since Jesus responded to the
                  comment, we can assume that he was also present among the group, making such
                  an exchange not so different from the others.

                  James writes:
                  Excellent point! Tell you what, I'll go ahead on intersperse my own comments
                  to Davies' post with your own. As you know, I take the view that the text
                  should be studied in reverse order, which effectively makes this the first
                  saying.

                  Here we have Simon Peter attempting to impose his will on the group. Jesus
                  then soundly puts him in his place. After this event Peter is not
                  in a position to question Mary's presence. His wings have been effectively
                  clipped. And so Peter is no longer depicted in the document
                  as asserting his authority before the other disciples.

                  > >>b. The idea of one "guided" by Jesus occurs only here.<<
                  >
                  > Since Davies isn't arguing for the term "guided" occurring only in this
                  particular instance, I would offer that a similar "idea" is conveyed in
                  Logion 13 when Jesus takes Thomas aside for private instruction:
                  >
                  > . . . And he took him, and withdrew, and spoke three sayings to him. When
                  Thomas came back to his friends they asked him, "What did Jesus say to you?"
                  >
                  > Thomas said to them, "If I tell you one of the sayings he spoke to me, you
                  will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and
                  devour you."

                  James writes:
                  Good answer.

                  > >>c. In Thomas D we find the phrase "Kingdom of the Father" appearing in
                  96, 97, 98, 99, 113. Only in 114 is "Kingdom of Heaven" used.<<
                  >
                  > Actually, #97 only contains the word "kingdom."

                  James writes:
                  Here you falter a bit. It is important to make a distinction between terms
                  added to the text because the translators believed that they were
                  accidentally omitted and terms added to the text based on the reconstruction
                  of a damaged document. In this case we have a damaged document. The text
                  clearly has 'Kingdom of the F.' The damaged area is of the proper size if
                  one assumes that the missing letters spell the rest of 'father' and 'is,' in
                  Coptic, of course. As this documents has only three sorts of kingdom
                  sayings, 'kingdom,' kingdom of the father,' and 'kingdom of heaven' there is
                  little reason to doubt this reconstruction of the text.

                  > In fact, #113 contains both "kingdom" AND "father's kingdom."

                  James writes:
                  Interesting point. It can be read that the disciples are asking one question
                  while Jesus is answering another.

                  > Other instances in the book where "kingdom" can be found without the
                  "fatherly" modifier are in logia 3, 22, 27, 46, 49, 82, 107, and 109. In
                  fact, there are two more that referred to "father's kingdom" in sayings 57
                  and 76.

                  > By focusing on only the last of four "chapters" (the veracity of which is
                  not established), the author neglects to mention two occasions where the
                  notion of "kingdom of heaven" was found besides #114:
                  >
                  > The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us what Heaven's kingdom is like.."
                  [#20]
                  >
                  > Jesus said, "Congratulations to the poor, for to you belongs Heaven's
                  kingdom." [#54]
                  >
                  > The implication is that this "heavenly" expression is out of place in the
                  Gospel of Thomas, but by focusing on one "chapter" as Davies did, one could
                  conclude that #57 is the result of a later redaction since the phrase
                  "father's kingdom" was used ONLY ONCE in what he denotes as chapter B.
                  Basically, it's a poorly reasoned exaggeration.

                  James writes:
                  Yes, my view exactly. Also as there are only two other instances of "Kingdom
                  of Heaven" being used in the document, at numbers 20 and 54, perhaps
                  "Kingdom of Heaven" has some special significance to set it apart from
                  "Kingdom of the Father," and Mary, as the guided, is being specifically
                  directed towards these sayings.

                  > >>d. Only in 114 do we hear anything like the idea that a person should
                  "become a living spirit."<<
                  >
                  > Assuming that this IS a Gnostic work, all the more reason to end on a note
                  that emphasizes our quest to reunite with the Spirit. See the commentary
                  below.

                  James writes:
                  Surely you can make an argument not dependant on such an assumption.

                  It simply needs to be pointed out that there are many terms within the text
                  which occur only once. 'Go to Jacob the Just' is but a single example.

                  > >>e. Finally, this logion is in direct contradiction to 22. There the male
                  should become female, the female become male and neither should be any
                  longer male or female. Here, in 114 the status "male" is positively valued
                  and the status "female" is negatively valued. Indeed, the woman should
                  become male.<<
                  >
                  > Actually, I don't see it as being in "direct contradiction" with #22, and
                  it is far from denoting a "positive" male value as we might interpret in a
                  modern sexist context.

                  James writes:
                  Notice how 114 leads us directly to 22. 21 is the next saying after 22
                  if we continue following a reverse order throughout the document. With
                  that in mind, let's look at 21.

                  21) Mary said to Jesus, "Whom are Your disciples like?"
                  He said, "They are like children ...

                  Mary is directly engaging Jesus. This is the only saying which opens
                  with Jesus being addressed by a named individual. Except perhaps for
                  114 which opens with Peter addressing either Jesus or the group as a
                  whole.

                  So we have come full circle. Not only does 114 function as an integral
                  piece of the collection, it also serves as the portal through which the
                  document as a whole must be approached.

                  > From Peter Kirby's site, here are some opinions on
                  the interpretation of #114:
                  >
                  > (http://www.gospelthomas.com/gospelthomas114.html)

                  <snip>

                  >
                  > Marvin Meyer writes: ". Often the transformation of the female into the
                  male involves the transformation of all that is earthly, perishable,
                  passive, and sense-perceptible into what is heavenly, imperishable, active,
                  and rational. In short, what is connected with the earth Mother is to be
                  transformed into what is connected with the sky Father. If this is a correct
                  interpretation of Gospel of Thomas saying 114, then the saying is intended
                  to be a statement of liberation, although the specific use of gender
                  categories may be shocking to modern sensitivities." (The Gospel of Thomas:
                  The Hidden Sayings of Jesus, p. 109)
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Why should we view this "last" saying with a less-than-allegorical
                  appreciation than we have for the rest of the sayings?

                  Here I noticed something very interesting. You chose to quote only part of
                  what Marvin Meyer wrote, editing out the following:

                  Marvin Meyer writes: The transformation of the female into the male is
                  discussed extensively in ancient literature (the transformation of the male
                  into the female is also discussed, in the context of the acts of
                  self-castration within the mysteries of the Great Mother and Attis). A few
                  ancient accounts, in authors like Ovid and Phlegon of Tralles, communicate
                  fantastic stories of women sprouting male genitals and thus becoming male,
                  but most of the accounts use the gender categories in a metaphorical sense.

                  You apparently have no interest in examining the material basis behind the
                  saying, but rather you choose to acknowledge only its metaphorical aspect.


                  James Lambert
                  http://web.telecom.cz/Gnostradamus/
                  http://gnostradamus.blogspot.com/
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