Re: [Gnosticism2] Sexism?
- --- In email@example.com, "Gerry" <gerryhsp@y...> wrote:
> Reply to James Lambert's post #7819:
> >>Steven Davies' arguments for 114 being a late addition are at the
> 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
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
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
> >>a. The saying begins with a disciple, Simon Peter, addressing the otherdisciples. This literary device is otherwise never used by Thomas.<<
>in that passage. For instance, Shakespeare often used rhymed couplets (in
> Of course, that doesn't mean that it couldn't have been used intentionally
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.
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
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.<<particular instance, I would offer that a similar "idea" is conveyed in
> Since Davies isn't arguing for the term "guided" occurring only in this
Logion 13 when Jesus takes Thomas aside for private instruction:
>Thomas came back to his friends they asked him, "What did Jesus say to you?"
> . . . And he took him, and withdrew, and spoke three sayings to him. When
>will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and
> Thomas said to them, "If I tell you one of the sayings he spoke to me, you
> >>c. In Thomas D we find the phrase "Kingdom of the Father" appearing in96, 97, 98, 99, 113. Only in 114 is "Kingdom of Heaven" used.<<
> Actually, #97 only contains the word "kingdom."
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
> By focusing on only the last of four "chapters" (the veracity of which isnot 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.."
> Jesus said, "Congratulations to the poor, for to you belongs Heaven's
>Gospel of Thomas, but by focusing on one "chapter" as Davies did, one could
> The implication is that this "heavenly" expression is out of place in the
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.
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."<<
>that emphasizes our quest to reunite with the Spirit. See the commentary
> Assuming that this IS a Gnostic work, all the more reason to end on a note
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 maleshould 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
>it is far from denoting a "positive" male value as we might interpret in a
> Actually, I don't see it as being in "direct contradiction" with #22, and
modern sexist context.
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
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 onthe interpretation of #114:
>male involves the transformation of all that is earthly, perishable,
> Marvin Meyer writes: ". Often the transformation of the female into the
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)
>appreciation than we have for the rest of the sayings?
> Why should we view this "last" saying with a less-than-allegorical
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.