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Re: [GTh] Coptic martyr traditions and Coptic Thomas

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  • 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 1 of 4 , Apr 15, 2013
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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 2 of 4 , Apr 15, 2013
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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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