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[gthomas] odes and thomas

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  • Stevan Davies
    What do you make of the relationship between the Odes of Solomon and the Gospel of Thomas? The Odes are said to be ca. 100 (although A.D. or B.C. is a question
    Message 1 of 20 , Jul 18, 1999
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      What do you make of the relationship between the Odes of Solomon
      and the Gospel of Thomas? The Odes are said to be ca. 100 (although
      A.D. or B.C. is a question in my mind) and Christian (no reason I
      know of to conclude this) although some have said "Jewish" and
      others "Gnostic" the latter, as usual, demonstrably false.
      Here's one: Ode 11

      1.My heart was pruned and its flower appeared, then grace sprang up in it, and my heart
      produced fruits for the Lord.
      2.For the Most High circumcised me by His Holy Spirit, then He uncovered my inward
      being towards Him, and filled me with His love.
      3.And His circumcising became my salvation, and I ran in the Way, in His peace, in the
      way of truth.

      (53) A. His disciples said to him: Is circumcision profitable or not?
      He said to them: Were it profitable, their father would beget
      them from their mother circumcised.

      B. But the true circumcision in spirit has proved entirely profitable.

      [seems to me 52b is a completely different issue and so is
      independent of 53a.]

      4.From the beginning until the end I received His knowledge.

      (18) The disciples said to Jesus: Tell us how our end shall be.
      Jesus said: Have you then discovered the beginning, that you seek
      after the end? For where the beginning is, there shall the end be.
      Blessed is he who shall stand in the beginning, and he shall
      know the end and shall not taste of death.

      5.And I was established upon the rock of truth, where He had set me.
      6.And speaking waters touched my lips from the fountain of the Lord generously.
      7.And so I drank and became intoxicated, from the living water that does not die.
      8.And my intoxication did not cause ignorance, but I abandoned vanity,
      9.And turned toward the Most High, my God, and was enriched by His favors.

      (I08) Jesus said: He who shall drink from my mouth shall become like me;
      I myself will become he, and the hidden thing shall be revealed to him.
      [This "identity" theme is common in the Odes.]

      (x13x) Jesus said: I am not thy master, because thou hast drunk, thou hast
      become drunk from the bubbling spring which I have measured out.

      10.And I rejected the folly cast upon the earth, and stripped it off and cast it from me.
      11.And the Lord renewed me with His garment, and possessed me by His light.

      (37) His disciples said: On what day wilt thou be revealed us,
      and on what day shall we see thee? Jesus said: When you
      unclothe yourselves and are not ashamed, and take your garments
      and lay them beneath your feet like little children, and tread
      upon them, then [shall ye see] the Son of the living One, and ye
      shall not fear.

      12.And from above He gave me immortal rest,

      (90) Jesus said: Come unto me, for easy is my yoke and my lordship is
      gentle, and you shall find rest for yourselves.

      and I became like the land that blossoms
      and rejoices in its fruits.
      13.And the Lord is like the sun upon the face of the land.
      14.My eyes were enlightened, and my face received the dew;
      15.And my breath was refreshed by the pleasant fragrance of the Lord.
      16.And He took me to His Paradise, wherein is the wealth of the Lord's pleasure.
      I beheld blooming and fruit-bearing trees,
      And self-grown was their crown.
      Their branches were sprouting and their fruits were shining.
      From an immortal land were their roots.
      And a river of gladness was irrigating them,
      And round about them in the land of eternal life.
      17.Then I worshipped the Lord because of His magnificence.
      18.And I said, Blessed, O Lord, are they who are planted in Your land, and who have a
      place in Your Paradise;
      19.And who grow in the growth of Your trees, and have passed from darkness into light.
      20.Behold, all Your laborers are fair, they who work good works, and turn from
      wickedness to your pleasantness.
      21.For the pungent odor of the trees is changed in Your land,
      22.And everything becomes a remnant of Yourself. Blessed are the workers of Your
      waters, and eternal memorials of Your faithful servants.
      23.Indeed, there is much room in Your Paradise. And there is nothing in it which is
      barren, but everything is filled with fruit.
      24.Glory be to You, O God, the delight of Paradise for ever.
      Hallelujah.

      (19) Jesus said: Blessed is he who was before he came into being.
      If you become my disciples and hear my words, these stones
      shall minister unto you. For you have five trees in Paradise which do not
      move in summer or in winter, and their leaves do not
      fall. He who knows them shall not taste of death.

      Charlesworth has shown that the Odes are similar in their dualism
      and some phraseology with DSS, also that they are similar to John.
      (He seems to know that they are similar to Thomas but I don't know
      where he's written much about the matter).

      Folks ought to check these out.

      http://www.miseri.edu/users/davies/thomas/odes.htm

      Steve Davies

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    • Mark Goodacre
      ... An interesting read. Surely as we have them they are Christian, though, e.g. 19, copied from Steve s site: The Son is the cup, and the Father is He who
      Message 2 of 20 , Jul 19, 1999
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        On 18 Jul 99, at 17:21, Stevan Davies wrote:

        > What do you make of the relationship between the Odes of Solomon
        > and the Gospel of Thomas? The Odes are said to be ca. 100 (although
        > A.D. or B.C. is a question in my mind) and Christian (no reason I
        > know of to conclude this)

        An interesting read. Surely as we have them they are Christian, though, e.g. 19,
        copied from Steve's site:

        "The Son is the cup, and the Father is He who was milked; and the Holy Spirit is
        She who milked Him; Because His breasts were full, and it was undesirable that
        His milk should be ineffectually released. The Holy Spirit opened Her bosom, and
        mixed the milk of the two breasts of the Father. Then She gave the mixture to the
        generation without their knowing, and those who have received it are in the
        perfection of the right hand. The womb of the Virgin took it, and she received
        conception and gave birth. So the Virgin became a mother with great mercies.
        And she labored and bore the Son but without pain, because it did not occur
        without purpose. And she did not require a midwife, because He caused her to
        give life."

        Mark



        --------------------------------------
        Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
        Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
        University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
        Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

        http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
        The New Testament Gateway
        Mark Without Q
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      • Colette T
        This is the first time I have read these odes & I think they re beautiful .. thankyou for sharing Stevan. Really I am just here as an observer .. recently
        Message 3 of 20 , Jul 19, 1999
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          This is the first time I have read these odes & I think they're beautiful .. thankyou for sharing
          Stevan.
          Really I am just here as an observer .. recently arrived. I shall check out your site for further
          heart fusion.

          Regards,

          Colette
          ~*~

          Stevan Davies wrote:

          > What do you make of the relationship between the Odes of Solomon
          > and the Gospel of Thomas?


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        • Mike Grondin
          ... Not much. Ode 11.4 and GTh 18 seem to have virtually no relationship at all. Others are tangential at best, IMO. But the Odes does seem to be a Christian
          Message 4 of 20 , Jul 19, 1999
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            At 05:21 PM 07/18/99 -0500, Stevan Davies wrote:
            >What do you make of the relationship between the Odes of Solomon
            >and the Gospel of Thomas?

            Not much. Ode 11.4 and GTh 18 seem to have virtually no relationship at
            all. Others are tangential at best, IMO. But the Odes does seem to be a
            Christian response to certain wisdom literature, with the "love"
            relationship to "the Lord" replacing the "love" relationship to wisdom.
            Interesting that God has breasts, though. Sheds whole new light on being
            "in the bosom" of "the Lord". <g>

            Mike

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          • Stevan Davies
            ... Mark G. ... This is the wierdest of the Odes, to be sure. One wonders what, exactly, is the surely Christian part. The opening the Son is the cup
            Message 5 of 20 , Jul 19, 1999
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              > On 18 Jul 99, at 17:21, Stevan Davies wrote:
              >
              > > What do you make of the relationship between the Odes of Solomon
              > > and the Gospel of Thomas? The Odes are said to be ca. 100 (although
              > > A.D. or B.C. is a question in my mind) and Christian (no reason I
              > > know of to conclude this)

              Mark G.
              > An interesting read. Surely as we have them they are Christian, though, e.g. 19,
              > copied from Steve's site:
              >
              > "The Son is the cup, and the Father is He who was milked; and the Holy Spirit is
              > She who milked Him; Because His breasts were full, and it was undesirable that
              > His milk should be ineffectually released. The Holy Spirit opened Her bosom, and
              > mixed the milk of the two breasts of the Father. Then She gave the mixture to the
              > generation without their knowing, and those who have received it are in the
              > perfection of the right hand. The womb of the Virgin took it, and she received
              > conception and gave birth. So the Virgin became a mother with great mercies.
              > And she labored and bore the Son but without pain, because it did not occur
              > without purpose. And she did not require a midwife, because He caused her to
              > give life."

              This is the wierdest of the Odes, to be sure. One wonders what,
              exactly, is the "surely" Christian part. The opening "the Son is the
              cup" doesn't hang together well with the later vision of "a son"
              being born from a virgin impregnated by what is in the cup.

              Note that there is a definite difference between "the Son" and "a
              son." Charlesworth has made "a son" into "the Son." The unknown
              translator of http://www.goodnewsinc.org/othbooks/odesolmn.html
              and Majella Franzmann (1991) (who is obsessive about this sort of thing)
              find the Son who is the cup and "a son" who is born to be different
              things. Indeed, it fits the Odes' perspective for "a son" to be the
              Odist and of course by extension also all of the saved.

              It is a fact that there is a story of the Virgin Birth of Jesus the
              Son of God in Mt. and Lk. Also a fact that there is a Virgin giving
              Birth to a son here too. But in the former case it is certain that
              the story occurs in history while in the Odes' case we seem to have
              some sort of poetic metaphor that is no more in reference to an
              historical event than the language about milking the Father is.

              The milk business and the matter of
              the midwife and the painlessness are absent in the Mt and Lk story.
              Everything but "virgin bears son" in Mt and Lk is absent in the Odes
              unless the conception by Spirit giving Father's milk is said
              to be the same thing. The bizarre
              mechanism given in the Odes is surely not hinted at in the Bible.
              The odists' point is that sons are born through the Son, the Spirit,
              the Father and the Virgin.

              The "Virgin"
              in question appears to be the Wisdom of God... this isn't clear in 19
              but it seems to be in:

              Ode 33
              5.However, the perfect Virgin stood, who was preaching and
              summoning and saying:
              6.O you sons of men, return, and you their daughters, come.
              7.And leave the ways of that Corruptor, and approach me.
              8.And I will enter into you, and bring you forth from destruction,
              and make you wise in the ways of truth.

              I think we are allowed to assume that the Virgin of 19 and of 33 are
              the same notion and, as the Virgin of 33 is unquestionably NOT Mary
              of Nazareth then the Virgin of 19 isn't "surely" Mary of Nazareth.

              So, Mark, I think your example highlights the problem. There are
              notions in the Odes that remind Christians of notions in Christian
              texts... but the arrow of dependence or, rather, influence does not
              invariably go
              from example X which is Christian to example Y that reminds one
              of Christian phrases so that one can say that Y is Christian.
              This is the sort of thinking that has led some to conclude that
              there are signs of Christianity in the DSS.

              The influence, if any, may be in the other direction so that
              there is a pre-Christian Odes idea of a Virgin bearing a son that
              then shows up historicized in Mt and Lk.
              However, since the Virgin is the Wisdom of God and the Son
              in the Odes is not otherwise demonstrably Jesus Christ I'd say we
              have here just a coincidence.

              Perhaps, though, you could explain more clearly why this is
              "surely ... Christian." And/or find other demonstrably Christian elements
              in the Odes.

              One caveat.
              The word Charlesworth translated "cross" is also "wood" or "tree"
              in Syriac. Franzmann prefers "wood." The fact that the
              worshipper is likened to a tree in the Odes would make me
              tend to think that "tree" might be the best translation. In any
              event "cross" as a translation presupposes the point to be argued,
              i.e. that the text is Christian. The other translation posted (no
              clue whose) is aware of this and prefers "tree" and, since it
              does not seem to be a translation that presupposes that the
              Odes are Christian and translates accordingly (Charlesworth) it
              might be preferable to look at it.

              http://www.goodnewsinc.org/othbooks/odesolmn.html

              rather than Charlesworth
              http://www.goodnewsinc.org/othbooks/odesolmn.html

              Steve Davies

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            • Mike Grondin
              ... This translation is that of J. Rendel Harris in The Odes and Psalms of Solomon, vol. 2 (London: Longman, 1920). Harris discovered a virtually complete
              Message 6 of 20 , Jul 19, 1999
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                >The other translation posted (no
                >clue whose) is aware of this and prefers "tree" and, since it
                >does not seem to be a translation that presupposes that the
                >Odes are Christian and translates accordingly (Charlesworth) it
                >might be preferable to look at it.
                >
                >http://www.goodnewsinc.org/othbooks/odesolmn.html

                This translation is that of J. Rendel Harris in "The Odes and Psalms of
                Solomon," vol. 2 (London: Longman, 1920). Harris discovered a virtually
                complete 400-year-old Syriac text in 1909. (Five of the odes are also in
                the "Pistis Sophia".)

                Mike

                The Coptic GThomas, saying-by-saying
                http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm

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              • Mike Grondin
                One possibility I hadn t considered about the Odes: Christian overlay of non-Christian text? That would explain some of the conceptual confusion. But would a
                Message 7 of 20 , Jul 19, 1999
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                  One possibility I hadn't considered about the Odes: Christian overlay of
                  non-Christian text? That would explain some of the conceptual confusion.
                  But would a Christian "overlayist" be so subtle that one couldn't be quite
                  sure whether or not "the Lord" = Jesus? Or is it rather that the thing so
                  completely assumes a Christian audience that any explicit identification
                  would have seemed superfluous?

                  Mike

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                • MichaEl Hait
                  ... I don t have the Odes here in front of me, but I know that one of them talks about spreading your hands out like a cross. The Nazirite theme of Ode 1
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jul 19, 1999
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                    >From: "Stevan Davies" <miser17@...>
                    >What do you make of the relationship between the Odes of Solomon
                    >and the Gospel of Thomas? The Odes are said to be ca. 100 (although
                    >A.D. or B.C. is a question in my mind) and Christian (no reason I
                    >know of to conclude this) although some have said "Jewish" and
                    >others "Gnostic" the latter, as usual, demonstrably false.

                    I don't have the Odes here in front of me, but I know that one of them talks
                    about spreading your hands out like a cross.

                    The Nazirite theme of Ode 1 combined with other Jewish-Christian type s
                    elsewhere in the Odes lead me to believe that these were written by a member
                    of the early Jerusalem church under Ya'aqov haTzadik (James the Just) or
                    possibly Simeon bar-Cloephas.

                    Michael


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                  • Stevan Davies
                    ... I m already certain that I have to change my Thomas Homepage link from Charlesworth to Harris. (And thank you to Mike G who identified the translator. I d
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jul 19, 1999
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                      > From: "MichaEl Hait
                      >
                      > I don't have the Odes here in front of me, but I know that one of them talks
                      > about spreading your hands out like a cross.

                      I'm already certain that I have to change my Thomas Homepage
                      link from Charlesworth to Harris. (And thank you to Mike G who
                      identified the translator. I'd suspected Harris but had no way of
                      finding out). This "spreading out your hands like a cross" business
                      is what a translator does when he assumes the Odes are Christian
                      and therefore must be translated in a Christian fashion. Similar to
                      G. Thomas where people ofttimes translate "the All" instead of
                      "all things" because they "know" it must be "the All" since they
                      "know" it is Gnostic. Where they find that Jesus creates "the All"
                      in Gnosticism I don't know.

                      Mike G. might want to defend his translation "the All" for me.

                      I'm wondering if the "pantocrator" bits I've send earlier today are
                      translated "the All" in his NT texts. He might compare them with
                      their Coptic equivalents if he has them... I don't. "Ta panta" in
                      Greek is not "the All" unless you want to make it look Gnostic.

                      > The Nazirite theme of Ode 1 combined with other Jewish-Christian type s
                      > elsewhere in the Odes lead me to believe that these were written by a member
                      > of the early Jerusalem church under Ya'aqov haTzadik (James the Just) or
                      > possibly Simeon bar-Cloephas.

                      First you have to show me where you have anything Jewish-CHRISTIAN
                      in the Odes at all. If you're relying on Charlesworth... don't. Put
                      Harris in front of you
                      http://www.goodnewsinc.org/othbooks/odesolmn.html
                      and see what you have left for a case.

                      Steve

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                    • Stevan Davies
                      ... There are probably Odes that can be labeled certainly not Christian and this leads some to postulate an Odist who was converted from some sort of
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jul 19, 1999
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                        > From: Mike Grondin <mgrondin@...>

                        > One possibility I hadn't considered about the Odes: Christian overlay of
                        > non-Christian text? That would explain some of the conceptual confusion.
                        > But would a Christian "overlayist" be so subtle that one couldn't be quite
                        > sure whether or not "the Lord" = Jesus? Or is it rather that the thing so
                        > completely assumes a Christian audience that any explicit identification
                        > would have seemed superfluous?

                        There are probably Odes that can be labeled "certainly not Christian"
                        and this leads some to postulate an Odist who was converted from
                        some sort of Esseneism into Christianity.

                        Trouble with "the Lord" is that virtually all the time if you read
                        the things carefully it turns out simply to mean God. I suppose it
                        might mean Jesus sometimes but somebody has to come up with
                        some times for it. Otherwise not. Doubtless if the Ode says "the
                        lord messiah" that's not quite God. But then, as now, "lord" can
                        mean both GOD and honorable-person.

                        Assuming a Christian audience and so, therefore, not bothering
                        to mention anything specifically Christian?

                        Sounds like the best of Modern
                        Scholarship to me, but I think outside of the church of such people
                        it would just sound like bullshit.

                        One would expect, would one not, in a collection of Odes having
                        to do with the Lord Jesus Christ, the teacher from Nazareth, who
                        truly died as a sacrifice for sin and truly rose again that somewhere
                        some little bit of this might be mentioned... would one not? How
                        about the name "Jesus," which all of those early forms of
                        Christianity seem to have in common (and, far as I can tell, leads
                        us today to call all of those diverse things "forms of Christianity),
                        wouldn't a Christian chance to mention the name once?

                        Steve

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                      • Stephen C. Carlson
                        ... Let s not atomize the evidence and miss the significance of the combination of elements. It seems to me that any text that mentions the Father, Son, Holy
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
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                          At 01:11 PM 7/19/99 -0500, Stevan Davies wrote:
                          >This is the wierdest of the Odes, to be sure. One wonders what,
                          >exactly, is the "surely" Christian part. The opening "the Son is the
                          >cup" doesn't hang together well with the later vision of "a son"
                          >being born from a virgin impregnated by what is in the cup.

                          Let's not atomize the evidence and miss the significance of the
                          combination of elements. It seems to me that any text that
                          mentions the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and Virgin in such close
                          proximity is presumptively Christian, or at least influenced by
                          Christian imagery, unless there is a good non-Christian counter-
                          example.

                          Stephen Carlson
                          --
                          Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                          Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                          "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

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                        • Mike Grondin
                          ... The Apocryphon of John echoes GJohn in saying that ... because of the Word - Christ - the divine Autogenes created everything [= the All]. (7.10) Here
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
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                            >This "spreading out your hands like a cross" business [in the Odes]
                            >is what a translator does when he assumes the Odes are Christian
                            >and therefore must be translated in a Christian fashion. Similar to
                            >G. Thomas where people ofttimes translate "the All" instead of
                            >"all things" because they "know" it must be "the All" since they
                            >"know" it is Gnostic. Where they find that Jesus creates "the All"
                            >in Gnosticism I don't know.

                            The Apocryphon of John echoes GJohn in saying that "... because of the Word
                            - Christ - the divine Autogenes created everything [= the All]." (7.10)
                            Here "the Word" itself is not the creator, but then he/it isn't the creator
                            in GJohn either - everything is made *through* the Word, not *by* it.

                            I have no vested interest in, or strong feelings about, translating the
                            Coptic 'p.TEReF' as 'the-All'. In fact, the first time it occurs (logion
                            2), I've attached the following note:

                            "Here, as elsewhere, 'p.TEReF' may also be translated as 'everything'."

                            I could have added that it's also been translated in various NHLe texts as
                            'the totality', 'the entirety', and probably several others I can't recall.
                            But between 'the All' and 'everything', it was a close call for me. The
                            reason I ended up with 'the All' was that it maintained a connection in
                            English between different forms of the Coptic root-word 'TER-' ('all-of-').
                            This root-word occurs in three forms in GThom:

                            (1) 'TER-OY' ('all-of-them') in 6, 8, 20, 28, 52, and 77a (once)
                            (2) 'TER-eF' ('all-of-him/it') in #24, 53, and 67
                            (3) 'p.TER-eF' (lit, 'the-all-of-it') in 2, 67, and three times in 77a.

                            In forms (1) and (2), the word modifies a preceding noun. In form (3), it
                            stands on its own. (Note that Logion 2 is in the POxy fragments, but the
                            wording is different - the Greek has simply "rule", not "rule over
                            everything".) Logion 67 is a good case-study, since it contains both forms
                            (2) and (3).

                            >Mike G. might want to defend his translation "the All" for me.
                            >I'm wondering if the "pantocrator" bits I've send earlier today are
                            >translated "the All" in his NT texts. He might compare them with
                            >their Coptic equivalents if he has them... I don't. "Ta panta" in
                            >Greek is not "the All" unless you want to make it look Gnostic.

                            Some have claimed that in its nominative form, it's used as a special
                            technical term within Coptic Gnostic writings. I've never investigated this
                            claim before, but your examples appear to put the lie to it. In all cases
                            except one, the form 'p.TEReF' is used for the Greek 'panta', translated as
                            'all things'. (In the one exception, the plural 'N.TEReF' is used.)

                            Although it's desirable from my point of view to mirror in the English the
                            connection between various forms of the same Coptic root-word whenever
                            possible, I'm also of the opinion that a translated Coptic text should not
                            sound basically different from a translated Greek text in places where both
                            texts use the same, or equivalent, words. To take just one example: if both
                            Paul and the Apocryphon of John use the same Greek word 'archon' (and they
                            do), and in Paul it's translated as 'ruler', we ought to translate it as
                            'ruler' in AOJ also - else the Coptic text is made to sound odd and
                            mysterious by comparison, and the casual reader is given reason to dismiss
                            it as non-Christian.

                            Bottom line: I'm pretty well convinced by the evidence of the "Pantocrator"
                            bits (and shouldn't it be 'Pantocreator', BTW?) that the translation needs
                            changing. Your work is done here. <g>

                            Mike

                            The Coptic GThomas, saying-by-saying
                            http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm

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                          • MichaEl Hait
                            ... Using this link that you provided me with, check out Ode 27. It is the one to which I referred. Also in this same translation there are references to a
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
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                              >First you have to show me where you have anything Jewish-CHRISTIAN
                              >in the Odes at all. If you're relying on Charlesworth... don't. Put
                              >Harris in front of you
                              >http://www.goodnewsinc.org/othbooks/odesolmn.html
                              >and see what you have left for a case.

                              Using this link that you provided me with, check out Ode 27. It is the one
                              to which I referred.

                              Also in this same translation there are references to a Virgin Birth, etc.,
                              which also points toward Christian beliefs.

                              Michael


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                            • Jack Kilmon
                              ... I believe that Odes of Solomon, like T12P, was not originally a Christian work but had been preserved and interpolated by Christian editors and scribes.
                              Message 14 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
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                                "Stephen C. Carlson" wrote:

                                > At 01:11 PM 7/19/99 -0500, Stevan Davies wrote:
                                > >This is the wierdest of the Odes, to be sure. One wonders what,
                                > >exactly, is the "surely" Christian part. The opening "the Son is the
                                > >cup" doesn't hang together well with the later vision of "a son"
                                > >being born from a virgin impregnated by what is in the cup.
                                >
                                > Let's not atomize the evidence and miss the significance of the
                                > combination of elements. It seems to me that any text that
                                > mentions the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and Virgin in such close
                                > proximity is presumptively Christian, or at least influenced by
                                > Christian imagery, unless there is a good non-Christian counter-
                                > example.
                                >

                                I believe that Odes of Solomon, like T12P, was not originally
                                a Christian work but had been preserved and interpolated by
                                Christian editors and scribes. If Jesus' "rock" imagery to
                                Simon/Kefa/Peter is historical, it seems to have been drawn
                                as well from the Odes..."And the foundation of everything
                                is thy ROCK"....also combined with the KOG.

                                Jack



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                              • Stevan Davies
                                ... Since Father for God and the notion of a Holy Spirit is common in Jewish writing, and the Virgin (as exhaustively covered here yesterday) has nothing to do
                                Message 15 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
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                                  > From: "Stephen C. Carlson"

                                  > Let's not atomize the evidence and miss the significance of the
                                  > combination of elements. It seems to me that any text that
                                  > mentions the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and Virgin in such close
                                  > proximity is presumptively Christian, or at least influenced by
                                  > Christian imagery, unless there is a good non-Christian counter-
                                  > example.

                                  Since Father for God and the notion of a Holy Spirit is common
                                  in Jewish writing, and the Virgin (as exhaustively covered here
                                  yesterday) has nothing to do with Mary I suppose one is left
                                  with the claim that the "Son" is the distinctly Christian element.
                                  Three non-demonstrably-Christian elements in a row don't
                                  add up to a one Christian element.

                                  I'll have to look into this more closely, but Charlesworth I recall
                                  mentions that the Son and the Spirit seem to be more or less
                                  the same thing. I don't think it was much before the fourth
                                  century that people became deeply interested in deciding exactly
                                  which of God's hypostatic channels to the world did exactly what
                                  so that Spirit and Son must be definably different "persons."

                                  Insofar as predictive claims have any weight in this sort of study
                                  (they don't except to the claimer, but that's me) I "predicted"
                                  in Jesus the Healer that Spirit and Son had to have been thought
                                  of as synonyms for at least Johannine Christianity to make
                                  sense and that this was done pre-Christianity. Well, not just
                                  Johannine... also Paul (spirit makes us sons) and Mark (spirit
                                  makes Jesus a son) etc.

                                  But, gee whiz.
                                  If I come up with a non-Christian counterexample it can't
                                  be a counterexample because all texts containing those words
                                  are Christian. If there were a DSS text using those four words
                                  in proximity the New York Times et al. would be front-page
                                  reviewing all the Thiering and Eisenmann books that would
                                  come pouring out about how the Essenes were Christian.

                                  The Apoc Adam doesn't have
                                  the requisite words, but it has an illuminator who comes down
                                  and the spirit gets into a man who does signs and wonders,
                                  is persecuted, and physically punished. The powers do not
                                  recognize him. Shortly thereafter virgin births are mentioned.

                                  The Apoc Adam isn't Christian any more than the Odes are
                                  and the other examples below may not be either:


                                  =====================

                                  Apocalypse of Adam (Hedrick version)

                                  "Then the great illuminator of knowledge will come upon the dead
                                  creation that will be destroyed through the sowing of Seth; And he
                                  will perform signs and wonders in order to scorn the powers and
                                  their ruler. Then the God of the powers will be disturbed, saying,
                                  "What sort of (power) is the power of this man, who is loftier than
                                  we?" Then he will arouse great wrath against that man, and the glory
                                  will withdraw so that it may dwell in holy houses that he has chosen
                                  for it. And the powers will not see it with their eyes, nor will they
                                  see the illuminator either. Then they will punish the flesh of the
                                  man upon whom the holy spirit has come."

                                  =========================

                                  ascension of isaiah
                                  "(13) The Lord will descend into the world in the last days, he who
                                  is to be called Christ after he has
                                  descended and become like you in form, and they will think that he
                                  is flesh and a man. (14) And the god of
                                  that world will stretch out his hand against the Son, and they will
                                  lay their hands upon him and hang him
                                  upon a tree, not knowing who he is. (15) And thus his descent, as
                                  you will see, will be concealed from the
                                  heavens, so that it will not be known who he is. (16) And when he
                                  has plundered the angel of death, he will
                                  rise on the third day and will remain in the world for 545 days.
                                  (17) And then many of the righteous will
                                  ascend with him."
                                  ====================

                                  Second Logos of the Great Seth:

                                  For Adonaios knows me because of hope. And I was in the mouths
                                  of lions. And the plan which they devised
                                  about me to release their Error and their senselessness - I did no
                                  t succumb to them as they had planned. But I
                                  was not afflicted at all. Those who were there punished me. And
                                  I did not die in reality but in appearance, lest I
                                  be put to shame by them because these are my kinsfolk.
                                  I removed the shame from me and I did not become
                                  fainthearted in the face of what happened to me at their hands. I
                                  was about to succumb to fear, and I <suffered>
                                  according to their sight and thought, in order that they may never
                                  find any word to speak about them. For my
                                  death, which they think happened, (happened) to them in their
                                  error and blindness, since they nailed their man
                                  unto their death. For their Ennoias did not see me, for they were
                                  deaf and blind. But in doing these things, they
                                  condemn themselves.

                                  [Christian addition.......]
                                  [[ Yes, they saw me; they punished me. It
                                  was another, their father, who drank the gall and
                                  the vinegar; it was not I. They struck me with the reed; it was
                                  another, Simon, who bore the cross on his shoulder.
                                  I was another upon Whom they placed the crown of thorns. But
                                  I was rejoicing in the height over all the wealth of
                                  the archons and the offspring of their error, of their empty glory.
                                  And I was laughing at their ignorance.]]

                                  And I subjected all their powers. For as I came downward, no one
                                  saw me. For I was altering my shapes,
                                  changing from form to form. And therefore, when I was at their
                                  gates, I assumed their likeness. For I passed them
                                  by quietly, and I was viewing the places, and I was not afraid
                                  nor ashamed, for I was undefiled. And I was
                                  speaking with them, mingling with them through those who
                                  are mine, and trampling on those who are harsh to
                                  them with zeal, and quenching the flame. And I was doing
                                  all these things because of my desire to accomplish
                                  what I desired by the will of the Father above.
                                  =====================

                                  Steve

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                                • Stevan Davies
                                  ... Huh? ... Well, for a start I d like a list of the interpolations you find. The idea of building a foundation on rock doesn t seem to require the influence
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
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                                    > From: Jack Kilmon
                                    > I believe that Odes of Solomon, like T12P

                                    Huh?

                                    >, was not originally
                                    > a Christian work but had been preserved and interpolated by
                                    > Christian editors and scribes. If Jesus' "rock" imagery to
                                    > Simon/Kefa/Peter is historical, it seems to have been drawn
                                    > as well from the Odes..."And the foundation of everything
                                    > is thy ROCK"....also combined with the KOG.

                                    Well, for a start I'd like a list of the interpolations you find.

                                    The idea of building a foundation on rock doesn't seem to
                                    require the influence of the Gospel of Matthew. My guess is
                                    that the notion was reasonably well known several thousand
                                    years before Mt was born.

                                    I don't see that the idea of a Kingdom built on Rock and
                                    a Church built on Rocky require any intertextual connection
                                    whatsoever. All that's required is the notion that building
                                    on rock rather than on sand is the more advisable course.

                                    Steve

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                                  • Jack Kilmon
                                    ... Testimony of the 12 Patriarchs, before the DSS also considered to have been a Christian composition. ... That s my point. I think the imagery in
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
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                                      Stevan Davies wrote:

                                      > > From: Jack Kilmon
                                      > > I believe that Odes of Solomon, like T12P
                                      >
                                      > Huh?

                                      Testimony of the 12 Patriarchs, before the DSS also considered to have
                                      been a Christian composition.

                                      > >, was not originally
                                      > > a Christian work but had been preserved and interpolated by
                                      > > Christian editors and scribes. If Jesus' "rock" imagery to
                                      > > Simon/Kefa/Peter is historical, it seems to have been drawn
                                      > > as well from the Odes..."And the foundation of everything
                                      > > is thy ROCK"....also combined with the KOG.
                                      >
                                      > Well, for a start I'd like a list of the interpolations you find.
                                      >
                                      > The idea of building a foundation on rock doesn't seem to
                                      > require the influence of the Gospel of Matthew. My guess is
                                      > that the notion was reasonably well known several thousand
                                      > years before Mt was born.

                                      That's my point. I think the imagery in Matthew..be it genuinely
                                      Yeshuine or not..came from OdesSol. My whole point here is
                                      that some of these works previously considered of Christian
                                      authorship were not originally Christian.

                                      Jack



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                                    • Stephen C. Carlson
                                      ... It is not necessary for each element to be distinctly Christian as long as the *combination* of elements is. Show me a good non- Christian example of
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
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                                        At 11:51 AM 7/20/99 -0500, Stevan Davies wrote:
                                        >> From: "Stephen C. Carlson"
                                        >> Let's not atomize the evidence and miss the significance of the
                                        >> combination of elements. It seems to me that any text that
                                        >> mentions the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and Virgin in such close
                                        >> proximity is presumptively Christian, or at least influenced by
                                        >> Christian imagery, unless there is a good non-Christian counter-
                                        >> example.
                                        >
                                        >Since Father for God and the notion of a Holy Spirit is common
                                        >in Jewish writing, and the Virgin (as exhaustively covered here
                                        >yesterday) has nothing to do with Mary I suppose one is left
                                        >with the claim that the "Son" is the distinctly Christian element.
                                        >Three non-demonstrably-Christian elements in a row don't
                                        >add up to a one Christian element.

                                        It is not necessary for each element to be "distinctly Christian"
                                        as long as the *combination* of elements is. Show me a good non-
                                        Christian example of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (along with
                                        the Virgin) imagery combined into a passage.

                                        Even if some of the elements is Jewish, the odist is probably not
                                        (Ode 41:8), so we are talking about a gentile interested in Jewish
                                        imagery. This fact is consonant with a Christian origin for the
                                        Odes of Solomon.

                                        Finally, I would like to take issue with your dis-identification
                                        of the Virgin in Ode 19 with Mary. In your previous message, you
                                        argued:

                                        >The milk business and the matter of
                                        >the midwife and the painlessness are absent in the Mt and Lk story.

                                        However, Mt and Lk are not the only Christian stories about the
                                        Nativity of Jesus. For example, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew 13
                                        and the Proto-Evangelium of James 18ff. supply these elements
                                        missing from the canonical accounts.

                                        >But, gee whiz.
                                        >If I come up with a non-Christian counterexample it can't
                                        >be a counterexample because all texts containing those words
                                        >are Christian. If there were a DSS text using those four words
                                        >in proximity the New York Times et al. would be front-page
                                        >reviewing all the Thiering and Eisenmann books that would
                                        >come pouring out about how the Essenes were Christian.

                                        Come on. Documents that are dated prior to Jesus (as by
                                        radiocarbon tests) are definitely non-Christian. At any
                                        rate, I argued that a distinctly Christian combination of
                                        elements (whether or not those elements themselves are
                                        Christian) should make a text *presumptively* Christian.
                                        A presumption is not final, you are allowed to bring forth
                                        evidence that would tend to rebut the presumption.

                                        Stephen Carlson

                                        --
                                        Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                                        Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                                        "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

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                                      • Stevan Davies
                                        Stephen Carlson ... Maybe. 8.All those who see me will be amazed, because I am from another race. 9.For the Father of Truth remembered me; he who possessed me
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Jul 21, 1999
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                                          Stephen Carlson
                                          > Even if some of the elements is Jewish, the odist is probably not
                                          > (Ode 41:8), so we are talking about a gentile interested in Jewish
                                          > imagery. This fact is consonant with a Christian origin for the
                                          > Odes of Solomon.

                                          Maybe.

                                          8.All those who see me will be amazed, because I am from another race.
                                          9.For the Father of Truth remembered me; he who
                                          possessed me from the beginning.
                                          10.For His riches begat me, and the thought of His heart.

                                          Or maybe the Odist has been begotten from the riches of the Father
                                          and so has become a member of another race. That idea is
                                          present also in the Gospel of John. 1:13, and
                                          John 17:14 "I have given them your word and the world has hated them,
                                          for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world."
                                          The theme of transformation is also frequently encountered in the
                                          Odes and the Odist does speak as the Son (cf. 42) fairly frequently.

                                          > Finally, I would like to take issue with your dis-identification
                                          > of the Virgin in Ode 19 with Mary. In your previous message, you
                                          > argued:
                                          >
                                          > >The milk business and the matter of
                                          > >the midwife and the painlessness are absent in the Mt and Lk story.
                                          >
                                          > However, Mt and Lk are not the only Christian stories about the
                                          > Nativity of Jesus. For example, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew 13
                                          > and the Proto-Evangelium of James 18ff. supply these elements
                                          > missing from the canonical accounts.

                                          The milk business? No way. As for the midwife, P-E James 18ff
                                          is a story about a midwife present at the birth! I see no mention
                                          of painlessness anywhere there. Maybe you could send along a
                                          quote or two.

                                          I'll say again that the accounts are of two different things
                                          altogether. The Odes speak of the birth of a son from the bizarre
                                          interactions of Spirit Father Virgin and Son, where the Son is
                                          not the one born and the Virgin is God's Wisdom.

                                          > Come on. Documents that are dated prior to Jesus (as by
                                          > radiocarbon tests) are definitely non-Christian. At any
                                          > rate, I argued that a distinctly Christian combination of
                                          > elements (whether or not those elements themselves are
                                          > Christian) should make a text *presumptively* Christian.
                                          > A presumption is not final, you are allowed to bring forth
                                          > evidence that would tend to rebut the presumption.

                                          Oh I suppose you are right about this. It's hard for me to
                                          imagine a text that has presumptively Christian elements in
                                          it (but which is not Christian) that could conclusively be
                                          shown not to be Christian. What would count for proof in
                                          such an instance, especially if we can utilize ALL presumptively
                                          Christian texts as examples of Christianity. For example, if
                                          the later second century apocryphal birth narratives are Christian
                                          and John is Christian and the Second Logos of the Great Seth
                                          are Christian and in each are things found in the Odes in some
                                          form or another.

                                          Or, let me ask you: If we hypothesize that Christianity of some
                                          form or another existed prior to 25 AD and we had texts from
                                          that movement, how would we be able to tell that those texts
                                          were not later-Christian?

                                          I believe that the Odes of Solomon
                                          quite probably existed before any Jesus-oriented Christianity
                                          existed. Accordingly, ideas and terms that existed prior
                                          to Jesus-oriented Christianity would of a certainty be utilized
                                          in that kind of Christianity once it came into being. Is this
                                          hypothesis literally impossible to demonstrate (it is certainly
                                          one that is logically possible and, I'd say, has some evidence
                                          going for it extrinsic to the Odes)?

                                          Steve

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                                        • Stephen C. Carlson
                                          ... Nice try, but the text does not say become a member of another race. That is your contribution. The transformation theme, as far as race is concerned,
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Jul 21, 1999
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                                            At 05:28 PM 7/21/99 -0500, Stevan Davies wrote:
                                            >Stephen Carlson
                                            >> Even if some of the elements is Jewish, the odist is probably not
                                            >> (Ode 41:8), so we are talking about a gentile interested in Jewish
                                            >> imagery. This fact is consonant with a Christian origin for the
                                            >> Odes of Solomon.
                                            >
                                            >Maybe.
                                            >
                                            >8.All those who see me will be amazed, because I am from another race.
                                            > 9.For the Father of Truth remembered me; he who
                                            >possessed me from the beginning.
                                            > 10.For His riches begat me, and the thought of His heart.
                                            >
                                            >Or maybe the Odist has been begotten from the riches of the Father
                                            >and so has become a member of another race. That idea is
                                            >present also in the Gospel of John. 1:13, and
                                            >John 17:14 "I have given them your word and the world has hated them,
                                            >for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world."
                                            >The theme of transformation is also frequently encountered in the
                                            >Odes and the Odist does speak as the Son (cf. 42) fairly frequently.

                                            Nice try, but the text does not say "become" a member of another race.
                                            That is your contribution. The transformation theme, as far as race is
                                            concerned, is simply not present in the text. The text merely states
                                            that the odist is a person from another race. The most untortured
                                            understanding is that the odist is a gentile.

                                            >> Finally, I would like to take issue with your dis-identification
                                            >> of the Virgin in Ode 19 with Mary. In your previous message, you
                                            >> argued:
                                            >>
                                            >> >The milk business and the matter of
                                            >> >the midwife and the painlessness are absent in the Mt and Lk story.
                                            >>
                                            >> However, Mt and Lk are not the only Christian stories about the
                                            >> Nativity of Jesus. For example, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew 13
                                            >> and the Proto-Evangelium of James 18ff. supply these elements
                                            >> missing from the canonical accounts.
                                            >
                                            >The milk business? No way. As for the midwife, P-E James 18ff
                                            >is a story about a midwife present at the birth! I see no mention
                                            >of painlessness anywhere there. Maybe you could send along a
                                            >quote or two.

                                            I think you might want to read these a bit closer. Joseph searches
                                            for a midwife in both Pseudo-Matthew and the Proto-Evangelium, who
                                            arrives immediately after the birth has miraculously taken place.
                                            (Remember Ode 19:9 says "she did not require a midwife" -- not that
                                            none was ever present at any time.)

                                            The painlessness is explicit in Pseudo-Matthew: "But there has been
                                            no spilling of blood in his birth, no pain in bringing him forth. A
                                            virgin has conceived, a virgin has brought forth, and a virgin she
                                            remains." In the Proto-Evangelium, the birth occurs miraculously by
                                            a bright cloud rather than the normal, painful delivery process.

                                            Milk is present in Pseudo-Matthew: "It has never been heard or
                                            thought of, that any one should have her breasts full of milk, and
                                            that the birth of a son should show his mother to be a virgin".
                                            The Proto-Evangelium of James has the angel to say to Mary "thou
                                            shalt conceive of his word" and one Christian image for God's word
                                            is milk (e.g. 1 Pet. 2:2).

                                            Therefore, there is absolutely no impediment in understanding
                                            the Virgin in Ode 19 to be the Blessed Virgin Mary. In fact,
                                            Ode 19 seems especially dependent on later, not earlier, legend-
                                            making about Mary, e.g. the painlessness.

                                            What we have in Ode 19 is a lot of Trinitarian language coupled
                                            with a lot of BVM themes, and you want to tell that it is not
                                            in any way Christian?

                                            >I'll say again that the accounts are of two different things
                                            >altogether. The Odes speak of the birth of a son from the bizarre
                                            >interactions of Spirit Father Virgin and Son, where the Son is
                                            >not the one born and the Virgin is God's Wisdom.

                                            I would agree that the Odes are a bit bizarre, but a bizarreness
                                            of Christian imagery.

                                            >I believe that the Odes of Solomon
                                            >quite probably existed before any Jesus-oriented Christianity
                                            >existed. Accordingly, ideas and terms that existed prior
                                            >to Jesus-oriented Christianity would of a certainty be utilized
                                            >in that kind of Christianity once it came into being. Is this
                                            >hypothesis literally impossible to demonstrate (it is certainly
                                            >one that is logically possible and, I'd say, has some evidence
                                            >going for it extrinsic to the Odes)?

                                            I would say that your belief would be very difficult to prove,
                                            without a fortuitous archaeological discovery, because the Ode 19
                                            has much in common with the post-canonical romancing of the BVM.

                                            Stephen Carlson

                                            Pseudo-Matthew 13
                                            Now, when the birth of the Lord was at hand, Joseph had gone away to seek
                                            midwives. And when he had found them, he returned to the cave, and found
                                            with Mary the infant which she had brought forth. And Joseph said to the
                                            blessed Mary: I have brought thee two midwives--Zelomi and Salome; and
                                            they are standing outside before the entrance to the cave, not daring to
                                            come in hither, because of the exceeding brightness. And when the blessed
                                            Mary heard this, she smiled; and Joseph said to her: Do not smile; but
                                            prudently allow them to visit thee, in case thou shouldst require them for
                                            thy cure. Then she ordered them to enter. And when Zelomi had come in,
                                            Salome having stayed without, Zelomi said to Mary: Allow me to touch thee.
                                            And when she had permitted her to make an examination, the midwife cried out
                                            with a loud voice, and said: Lord, Lord Almighty, mercy on us! It has never
                                            been heard or thought of, that any one should have her breasts full of milk,
                                            and that the birth of a son should show his mother to be a virgin. But there
                                            has been no spilling of blood in his birth, no pain in bringing him forth. A
                                            virgin has conceived, a virgin has brought forth, and a virgin she remains.

                                            Proto-Evangelium of James 19
                                            2 And they stood in the place of the cave: and behold a bright cloud
                                            overshadowing the cave. And the midwife said: My soul is magnified this day,
                                            because mine eyes have seen marvellous things: for salvation is born unto
                                            Israel. And immediately the cloud withdrew itself out of the cave, and a
                                            great light appeared in the cave so that our eyes could not endure it. And
                                            by little and little that light withdrew itself until the young child
                                            appeared: and it went and took the breast of its mother Mary.
                                            And the midwife cried aloud and said: Great unto me to-day is this day, in
                                            that have seen this new sight. 3 And the midwife went forth of the cave and
                                            Salome met her. And she said to her: Salome, Salome, a new sight have I to
                                            tell thee. A virgin hath brought forth, which her nature alloweth not. And
                                            Salome said: As the Lord my God liveth, if I make not trial and prove her
                                            nature I will not believe that a virgin hath brought forth.

                                            --
                                            Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                                            Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                                            "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35

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