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8251Re: [GTh] Re: Son of Man

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  • Jack Kilmon
    Oct 3, 2008
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 2:42 PM
      Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: Son of Man


      > Paul writes to Maurice:
      >> I agree with your important observations on "son of man" in Thomas.
      >> L.44 could have employed the term but does not. L.86 observes the
      >> irony that animals have homes but people do not. L.106 usage is not
      >> messianic. Apparently the author is unfamiliar with "son of man" as a
      >> messianic title.
      >
      > I would say rather that the author has used 'sons of Man' (capital 'M') as
      > a designation for both Jesus and his disciples. In L.86, for example, it
      > surely would have been seen as patently false that people in general
      > don't have homes. But itinerants don't, and that seems to have been
      > the recognized life-style of Jesus and his early disciples, and one that
      > was recommended in GTh. (L.42 can be read as "Become itinerant.")
      >
      > In Thomas, the definite article 'the' apparently tells us when the authors
      > were thinking of human beings, and when they were thinking of this special
      > class of (holy) itinerants. In L.28.3, for example, it's just 'sons of
      > men',
      > so that's anybody. But in saying in L.106 that "You will become sons of
      > Man"
      > (capitalization indicating presence of definite article), it's doubly
      > apparent that what's being talked about is becoming something that one
      > is _not_ to begin with. But since everyone is a child of small-m man to
      > begin with, being a child of big-m Man must be something else. This is
      > reinforced by the theme that when one is born, he/she is "two", but that
      > by "making the two one", one becomes a "son of Man". If "the two" be
      > identified as materiality versus spirituality, then the GTh advice is
      > plainly to choose the spiritual over the material, rather than attempt to
      > satisfy both. A natural result of this advice would be to have no fixed
      > home, but rather to become an itinerant preacher (the speaking against
      > whom, since that person would presumably be a voice of the holy spirit,
      > would be unforgiveable, ala L.44.)
      >
      > What would be important to know, in terms of this analysis, is whether
      > Aramaic or the Syriac family had a definite article, or something that
      > functioned as such. Hopefully, Steven or Jack can advise.
      >
      > Mike Grondin
      > Mt. Clemens, MI

      Hi Mike:

      In Biblical and Judean Aramaic, in addition to the absolute and construct
      state there is a determined state. The emphatic -a is postfixed rather than
      prefixed as in the hebrew "ha-" as an aleph or a heh to act as the definite
      article. In later dialects...to a lesser degree in Judean..and Steven can
      talk about Syriac...the post-fixed determinative lost its "definite
      articleness" in some cases to become the normal state of the noun. Son of
      Man = Bar Nash; THE Son of Man = Bar Nasha.

      Jack Kilmon
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