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[gthomas] Re: odes and thomas

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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 1 of 20 , Jul 19, 1999
      >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 2 of 20 , Jul 19, 1999
        > 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 3 of 20 , Jul 19, 1999
          > 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 4 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
            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 5 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
              >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 6 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
                >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 7 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
                  "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 8 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
                    > 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 9 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
                      > 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 10 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
                        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 11 of 20 , Jul 20, 1999
                          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 12 of 20 , Jul 21, 1999
                            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 13 of 20 , Jul 21, 1999
                              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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