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Re: [GTh] Coptic martyr traditions and Coptic Thomas

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  • Mike Grondin
    ... It makes sense to me that Thomasines would see no spiritual value in martyrdom, since they placed no spiritual value on the death of Jesus. Associated with
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 11 11:03 AM
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      [Tim Staker]:
      > I wonder if Coptic Thomas was to some degree in an opposing dialog with
      > the early proto-orthodox Coptic churches on this issue of persecution.
       
      It makes sense to me that Thomasines would see no spiritual value in
      martyrdom, since they placed no spiritual value on the death of Jesus.
      Associated with that death was kingship and crown (of thorns), so there
      are orthodox Christian writings speaking of martyrs gaining a crown or
      kingship, whereas GThom (and those to whom Paul writes in one letter)
      associated kingship with the gaining of spiritual knowledge.
       
      Mike Grondin
    • chaptim45
      Mike, Yes, Thomas would likely have seen martrydom as missing the point. Martyrdom came to be understood by the traditional Christians as an instant ticket to
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 15 8:58 AM
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        Mike,

        Yes, Thomas would likely have seen martrydom as missing the point.
        Martyrdom came to be understood by the traditional Christians as an
        instant ticket to heaven in the afterlife. Whereas the Thomasine
        teaching professes that "heaven" or the "Kingdom" is here in the present
        (L3, L91)though it is hidden from those who do not seek it (L5, L109,
        L113).

        However, later Gnostics might have understood martyrdom as "taking off
        their clothes" (L21) and getting rid of the evil sarks.

        Tim Staker
        Indianapolis, Indiana


        --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
        >
        > [Tim Staker]:
        > > I wonder if Coptic Thomas was to some degree in an opposing dialog
        with
        > > the early proto-orthodox Coptic churches on this issue of
        persecution.
        >
        > It makes sense to me that Thomasines would see no spiritual value in
        > martyrdom, since they placed no spiritual value on the death of Jesus.
        > Associated with that death was kingship and crown (of thorns), so
        there
        > are orthodox Christian writings speaking of martyrs gaining a crown or
        > kingship, whereas GThom (and those to whom Paul writes in one letter)
        > associated kingship with the gaining of spiritual knowledge.
        >
        > Mike Grondin
        >
      • Mike Grondin
        ... Hi Tim, I m more inclined to interpret this passage as DeConick does, namely as an encratic admonition to renounce the body as part of renouncing the
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 15 10:51 AM
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          [Tim Staker]:
          > ... later Gnostics might have understood martyrdom as "taking
          off
          > their clothes" (L21[.1-4]) and getting rid of the evil sarks.
          [flesh]

          Hi Tim,
          I'm more inclined to interpret this passage as DeConick does, namely
          as an encratic admonition to renounce the body as part of renouncing
          the physical world. But there's also a connection with proto-orthodox
          baptismal ritual, wherein the candidate is reported to have taken off their
          own clothes and put on a new white garment, symbolic of a new identity,
          now "dead to the world". There seems to have been a lot of ambiguous
          symbolic and metaphoric interplay going on, the understanding of which
          isn't helped by GThom, but it does seem to me that Gnostics generally
          felt that they had already undergone a figurative martyrdom, thus that
          a literal one was moot.
           
          Regards,
          Mike G.
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