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7883Re: [GTh] DeConick on the Mother Sayings

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  • Ron McCann
    Feb 7, 2008
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      Hi Toli,

      There is of course, reference in Jewish writings to the Shekina- the presence of God in a kind of light display or glory- said to have departed from the Temple of Jerusalem just before the Romans destroyed it.( "There is your temple, forsaken by God!"). The Shekina was a Feminine aspect of the divine or of the divine power dating back to some of the manifestations of Moses day. So I think a feminine element in God's nature was recognized by the Jews of Jesus' day, and not only as personified Wisdom. In either the Gospel of the Egyptians of the Gospel of the Hebrews, Jesus is made to expressly allude to "My mother, the Holy Spirit", and I think Thomas is in lock-step with the notion that the Holy Spirit- whether personified Wisdom or not, is feminine. here. What may be new to Judaism is the notion of the Holy Spirit as Mother to someone.

      That aside for the moment-
      What really intrigues me is that "will" in the Logion, where Jesus seems to be referencing a future time when his legitimacy will be called into question. It's possible our saying-fabricator is not so much intending that this be read as an ironic saying or some teaching-statement of Jesus or even a statement where he is defending himself him from present time attacks in his day, but was intended by our writer as a prophecy of Jesus - Jesus prophesying the coming of a time in future (our saying-fabricator's day, of course!) when Jesus legitimacy would be attacked. I think Mark used much the same "stick-words-in- Jesus'- mouth" gambit when he had Jesus prophesy the throwing down of the great stones of the Temple which happened in Mark's day 40 years later; and just as that questionable "prophecy" story can be used to date Mark to post AD 70, so also this logion might be useful in helping us us put a 90-110 CE date on a large and comprehesive redaction of the Gospel of Thomas into it's expanded present form.

      Ron McCann
      Saskatoon

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