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[gthomas] Re: odes and 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 1 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 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)

        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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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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