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[gthomas] Re: 65 - The Vineyard

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  • mgrondin@tir.com
    ... Don t be puttin words in my mouth, Joe. I could hardly have pointed out to Kevin something which was irrelevant to our discussion. But since I know that
    Message 1 of 16 , Aug 31 12:34 PM
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      > Your view, then, is fully consistent with the view that 60 is
      > post-Easter, as Michael pointed out.

      Don't be puttin' words in my mouth, Joe. I could hardly have
      "pointed out" to Kevin something which was irrelevant to our
      discussion. But since I know that "post-Easter" means *to you*
      a saying originating from a Yeshu who survived crucifixion, let
      me point out that I disagree with that. To my way of thinking,
      post-crucifixion means post-Yeshu; so that any saying which has
      clear post-Easter features to it could not have originated with
      Yeshu *in that exact form*. It must have been either wholly
      created or appropriately modified by early church writers.

      Mike
    • Achilles37@aol.com
      ... My view is that pre-Easter Jesus uttered 65. While the author of Thomas was not interested in portraying a distinction between pre-Easter Jesus and
      Message 2 of 16 , Aug 31 9:27 PM
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        Joe Baxter writes:

        > Your view, then, is fully consistent with the view that
        > 60 is post-Easter

        My view is that pre-Easter Jesus uttered 65.
        While the author of Thomas was not interested in
        portraying a distinction between pre-Easter Jesus
        and post-Easter Jesus, the 4G authors were and
        they clearly attributed the vast majority of Jesus
        sayings, including the Vineyard parable,
        to the pre-Easter Jesus. As Luke puts it (24:44):
        "These are my words which I spoke to you when
        I was still with you."

        I'm always amazed when people quote the 4G
        (or Thomas, for that matter) to support their
        argument and then proceed to ignore the evidence
        of the gospels when it doesn't fit their theory. For
        example, the idea that Jesus survived the
        crucifixion is supported by the quote in
        John 19:39 - "bearing a mixture of myrrh
        and aloes, about a hundred pounds."
        This verse is taken as a "clue." But when
        the 4G authors flatly state that Jesus died
        on the cross, that is conveniently rejected
        because it contradicts the theory. The theory
        has to fit the evidence and not vice-versa.

        > First, one's prediction of their death in a certain
        > way does not mean that the prediction comes true.

        Yes, but if we take 65 to be a prediction, it is a
        prediction that came true.

        > Secondly, a person who sees himself in this
        > way is not a person who is has found rest
        > within himself within the sense of 60 and
        > GThomas in general.

        Perhaps that person perceives the truth - and
        sweats blood because of it. He saw that his role
        was to set fire to the world and, in all
        likelihood, he saw what the consequences would
        be - that he would be rejected and persecuted
        as the prophets were. And if that was done to
        the prophets, it would be done even more so to
        the Messiah. Let us not forget that the 4G mention
        several incidents where certain people were
        opposed to him and wanted to seize him or stone
        him. If any of these incidents had any basis in reality,
        the idea that he would ultimately be put to death may
        not have required a great deal of clairvoyance.

        As to whether he found "rest" for himself,
        he states that we will find rest for ourselves in
        him (90) and I think it would be difficult for him
        to give us something that he did not have.

        > Third, Yeshu in GThomas does not hold himself
        > out to be the Messiah.

        I have to disagree with this one. I think the identification
        of Jesus with the Messiah is spelled out in saying 52.

        > Fourth, the Messianic view is very cultural

        Depends what you mean by "cultural." If you
        mean "specific to the Jewish belief system,"
        then, yes, it is. But Jesus was entrenched
        in his culture and, to some extent, we must
        understand that culture to fully understand Jesus.

        > while GThomas is counter-cultural.

        I am uncertain of your meaning here, but if you are
        trying to lean on the counter-cultural Jesus
        portrayed by Funk and others, your going to have
        to be more specific. I tend to disagree with the
        portrayal of Jesus that Funk espouses. And I would
        point out to you in this regard that many authors
        believe that the "dogs" of saying 93 represent the
        Gentiles, just as they do in the words of Jesus in
        Matt. 15:26.

        > Fifth, 27 suggests the possibility of Yeshu looking
        > back upon this other person who was himself who
        > was more cultural ( "I took my stand in the midst of
        > the world ").

        This can also be viewed as a Messianic saying, as I
        argued previously (and I believe the saying that you
        are referring to is actually 28).

        > Sixth, the unique sayings of GThomas suggest a
        > counter-cultural view representing a consistent
        > development from the more culture bound views of the 4G.
        > We have, in a sense, a perspective similar to Lao Tse,
        > the Chinese sage who reportedly composed his sayings
        > after going into retreat and leaving "the midst of the
        > world" behind."

        The fact that Jesus says you must fast from the world
        (saying 27) does not make him counter-cultural. His
        brother James, for example, was a Nazirite who,
        one might say, fasted from the world in an extreme
        way, praying in the Temple for the people night and
        day; yet James was not "counter-cultural."

        Here's a question for you: Do you think that if
        Jesus survived crucifixion (through whatever means),
        his disciples would have been willing to die for him
        (being crucified themselves in some cases)?
        I don't think so. But I think they would if they knew
        that he had actually died and been resurrected.

        - Kevin Johnson
      • joseph baxter
        ... Of course, but so what? This really has nothing to do with our discussion of whether certain sayings unique to GThomas are post-Easter. ... How would the
        Message 3 of 16 , Sep 3, 1999
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          At 09:27 PM 8/31/99 , you wrote:
          >Joe Baxter writes:
          >
          > > Your view, then, is fully consistent with the view that
          > > 60 is post-Easter
          >
          >My view is that pre-Easter Jesus uttered 65.

          Of course, but so what? This really has nothing to do with our discussion
          of whether certain sayings unique to GThomas are post-Easter.


          >I'm always amazed when people quote the 4G
          >(or Thomas, for that matter) to support their
          >argument and then proceed to ignore the evidence
          >of the gospels when it doesn't fit their theory. For
          >example, the idea that Jesus survived the
          >crucifixion is supported by the quote in
          >John 19:39 - "bearing a mixture of myrrh
          >and aloes, about a hundred pounds."
          >This verse is taken as a "clue." But when
          >the 4G authors flatly state that Jesus died
          >on the cross, that is conveniently rejected
          >because it contradicts the theory.

          How would the authors of the 4G know if Yeshu died on the cross? This may
          mean they thought he died. Or someone thought he died. But they also said
          he was alive about 40 hours later. By what measure did he die? Someone
          didn't feel a pulse? No noticeable breath? These signs are quite common
          among yogis who are temporarily out of their body. Why believe what someone
          has told you? Can you think for yourself?


          > > First, one's prediction of their death in a certain
          > > way does not mean that the prediction comes true.
          >
          >Yes, but if we take 65 to be a prediction, it is a
          >prediction that came true.

          How do you know? Because you were told? Because many people believe this?


          > > Secondly, a person who sees himself in this
          > > way is not a person who is has found rest
          > > within himself within the sense of 60 and
          > > GThomas in general.
          >
          >
          >As to whether he found "rest" for himself,
          >he states that we will find rest for ourselves in
          >him (90) and I think it would be difficult for him
          >to give us something that he did not have.

          His conduct leading up to his crucifixion may be at odds with 90.


          > > Third, Yeshu in GThomas does not hold himself
          > > out to be the Messiah.
          >
          >I have to disagree with this one. I think the identification
          >of Jesus with the Messiah is spelled out in saying 52.

          You may be mis-interpreting 52. I don't think the "living one" is meant to
          refer to Yeshu exclusively. In fact, 52 suggests that Yeshu does not want
          to be thought of as a Messiah. 52 says that to think in that limited way is
          to think of the death, rather than being.


          > > Fourth, the Messianic view is very cultural
          >
          >Depends what you mean by "cultural." If you
          >mean "specific to the Jewish belief system,"
          >then, yes, it is. But Jesus was entrenched
          >in his culture and, to some extent, we must
          >understand that culture to fully understand Jesus.

          the 4G Yeshu may fit this view somewhat, but not the Yeshu presented by the
          unique sayings of GThomas. Not at all. No way. No way at all.

          > > Sixth, the unique sayings of GThomas suggest a
          > > counter-cultural view representing a consistent
          > > development from the more culture bound views of the 4G.
          > > We have, in a sense, a perspective similar to Lao Tse,
          > > the Chinese sage who reportedly composed his sayings
          > > after going into retreat and leaving "the midst of the
          > > world" behind."
          >
          >The fact that Jesus says you must fast from the world
          >(saying 27) does not make him counter-cultural.

          I was not referring to 27 here. no matter though.

          > His
          >brother James, for example, was a Nazirite who,
          >one might say, fasted from the world in an extreme
          >way, praying in the Temple for the people night and
          >day; yet James was not "counter-cultural."


          True, James was not counter-cultural. James and Yeshu were apparently quite
          different.


          >Here's a question for you: Do you think that if
          >Jesus survived crucifixion (through whatever means),
          >his disciples would have been willing to die for him

          You paint with a broad brush. How do you know what they died for? The
          people you probably have in mind didn't choose to die. What they chose was
          the truth over death. Unfortunately, the church lost sight of truth, and
          chose death. This is what 52 is all about.

          >With kind regards,


          Joe




          joe
        • Achilles37@aol.com
          ... The Passion story seems to have been circulating by itself before it was worked into narrative gospels. So if we go back another step, the question becomes
          Message 4 of 16 , Sep 6, 1999
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            Joe Baxter wrote:

            > How would the authors of the 4G know if Yeshu
            > died on the cross?

            The Passion story seems to have been circulating
            by itself before it was worked into narrative gospels.
            So if we go back another step, the question becomes
            how would the original compiler of the Passion story
            have known Jesus died? This person could have used
            the women who were present at the crucifixion as sources
            (and they clearly believed that Jesus died on the cross),
            or some of the disciples whom Jesus was said to have
            appeared to after the Resurrection, or the original compiler
            could have actually been one these people.

            > By what measure did he die? Someone
            > didn't feel a pulse? No noticeable breath?
            > These signs are quite common
            > among yogis who are temporarily out of their body.

            Generally speaking, the yogis you mention are not
            beaten, flogged with a Roman flagellum, and nailed
            to a cross before their 'out of body' experiences.

            > Why believe what someone has told you?

            How do you know Jesus actually existed?
            Is it because you believe other people when
            they said or wrote that he existed or have you
            just intuited his existence independently?

            > Can you think for yourself?

            Do you think that I would be an advocate of
            the Gospel of Thomas if I couldn't think for
            myself? If I derive the thought, I credit the source.
            Otherwise, the opinions are my own. I don't
            dispute the idea that Jesus survived the
            crucifixion because I parrot the views of some
            group or individual; I dispute it because I weigh
            evidence for myself, just as I would hope that you
            weigh evidence for yourself.

            And here is one of the main reasons that I do not
            believe Jesus survived the crucifixion (and it has
            nothing to do with believing anyone else): I simply
            don't believe the Romans would have let him be
            taken down from the cross before he was physically
            dead. The evidence shows that they mocked him,
            beat him, crucified him, and stabbed him in the side.
            In my opinion, they would not have let him
            be taken down until he was dead. I do not
            underestimate the ability of the Romans to put
            prisoners to death.

            I wrote:
            >> Yes, but if we take 65 to be a prediction, it is a
            >> prediction that came true.

            You responded:
            > How do you know? Because you were told?
            > Because many people believe this?

            I weigh the evidence and, in my opinion, 65 is a
            prediction that came true. Let me make one point
            to you as clearly as I can: since none of us were
            there, we cannot "know" any of these things emperically
            or experientially, and I do not pretend to. Instead,
            we must use contemporary sources, direct or
            reconstructed, to help us understand the situation
            and form opinions. Which is not to say that
            revelation does not exist, it is just that this forum,
            as you have remarked before, is not the appropriate
            one for a discussion of personal revelation.

            But if you disagree with me that 65 is a prediction
            that came true, then what do you think it is?
            Is it the later composition of Christians who believe
            that Jesus was put to death? Is it merely a
            non-allegorical story told by Jesus that happens to
            feature an "heir" to the vineyard who is not Jesus?
            Is it a post-Easter pronouncement of the Risen Jesus?
            If you disagree with my opinion, then what is your
            opinion?

            I wrote:
            > I think the identification
            > of Jesus with the Messiah is spelled out in saying 52.

            Joe responded:
            > You may be mis-interpreting 52. I don't think the
            > "living one" is meant to refer to Yeshu exclusively.
            > In fact, 52 suggests that Yeshu does not want
            > to be thought of as a Messiah.

            From this, I understand (and please correct me if I'm
            wrong, for I am trying to understand your position and
            not put words in your mouth) that you agree with
            me in interpreting the words of the disciples as
            referring to the Messiah (regardless of Jesus' reply).
            In other words, 52 indicates, at least, that the disciples
            considered Jesus to be the Messiah. Would you agree
            with that statement?

            Joe continues:
            > 52 says that to think in that limited way is
            > to think of the death, rather than being.

            There was an early Christian belief that
            the Holy Spirit found permanent rest in
            Jesus, the Messiah, and that this marked
            the end of the prophetic line. Justin remarks
            "but as being about to make their (that is,
            the powers of the Holy Spirit) rest permanently
            upon him; that it is come to an end with him,
            that they should be no longer prophets in
            you nation" (Dialogue with Trypho 87:3-5).
            Tertullian (adv. Judaeos VII 14) records a
            similar belief. Consequently, my own interpretation
            of 52 is that the prophetic line is dead while
            the Messiah is alive.

            Joe wrote:
            > > > Fourth, the Messianic view is very cultural

            I replied:
            >> Depends what you mean by "cultural." If you
            >> mean "specific to the Jewish belief system,"
            >> then, yes, it is. But Jesus was entrenched
            >> in his culture and, to some extent, we must
            >> understand that culture to fully understand Jesus.

            Joe responded:
            > the 4G Yeshu may fit this view somewhat, but not the
            > Yeshu presented by the unique sayings of GThomas.
            > Not at all. No way. No way at all.

            So you disagree. But what is your view? It is not
            enough to say "I disagree" (however vehemently).
            If you disagree, state you reasons for doing so.

            I believe that cultural knowledge is useful for
            understanding all of GThomas, including the unique
            sayings. For example, the mention of "Sabbatizing
            the Sabbath" (27) is unique to Thomas, but it helps
            us understand it if we know the phrase occurs in the
            Talmud. Or what the phrase "for whose sake heaven
            and earth came into being" (12) means. And so on.
            These are cultural expressions.

            I wrote:
            >> His
            >> brother James, for example, was a Nazirite who,
            >> one might say, fasted from the world in an extreme
            >> way, praying in the Temple for the people night and
            >> day; yet James was not "counter-cultural"

            Joe replied:
            > True, James was not counter-cultural.

            Do my eyes deceive me or are we actually in agreement?
            The Lord be praised...

            Finally, I wrote:
            >> Here's a question for you: Do you think that if
            >> Jesus survived crucifixion (through whatever means),
            >> his disciples would have been willing to die for him

            Joe responded:
            > You paint with a broad brush. How do you know
            > what they died for? The people you probably have
            > in mind didn't choose to die. What they chose was
            > the truth over death. Unfortunately, the church lost
            > sight of truth, and chose death. This is what 52 is
            > all about.

            You seem to be at odds with "the church." What church?
            The Catholic church? And what has "the church" to do
            with 52? I get the feeling from you, both from
            this and from other things you have said, that you
            have had some negative experiences in the past within
            traditional religion. I could be wrong, of course,
            but that is the feeling I get.

            But since you complain of the width of my brush,
            let us narrow it to Peter for the moment. Tradition relates
            that he was crucified upside down out of deference to the
            way in which Jesus died (that he was not worthy to die
            in the same manner). Perhaps he did not choose to die,
            as you say, but it would seem that this form of death was
            his choice. But why honor, in such a humble way, this
            form of death if that death was not real?

            - Kevin Johnson
          • joseph baxter
            ... Yes, but have you ever heard of legends that are built around larger than life people? Can you imagine the possibility of exaggerations? Suppose the
            Message 5 of 16 , Sep 8, 1999
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              At 07:00 AM 9/6/99 , you wrote:
              >Joe Baxter wrote:
              >
              > > How would the authors of the 4G know if Yeshu
              > > died on the cross?
              >
              >The Passion story seems to have been circulating
              >by itself before it was worked into narrative gospels.
              >So if we go back another step, the question becomes
              >how would the original compiler of the Passion story
              >have known Jesus died? This person could have used
              >the women who were present at the crucifixion as sources
              >(and they clearly believed that Jesus died on the cross),
              >or some of the disciples whom Jesus was said to have
              >appeared to after the Resurrection, or the original compiler
              >could have actually been one these people.

              Yes, but have you ever heard of legends that are built around larger than
              life people? Can you imagine the possibility of exaggerations? Suppose the
              person who composed the story didn't speak to any eyewitnesses? Were the
              women who attended him at the cross qualified to diagnose death? Did they
              check the vital symptoms themselves? Suppose that they were told that he
              was dead by someone like Joseph of Aramathea, who knew better? Suppose the
              women knew he was alive, but couldn't disclose this fact for fear that
              their lives, the life of J of A, and others would be in jeopardy for
              deceiving Pilate. Indeed, since Jesus himself was condemned by Pilate,
              declaring him dead and resurrected would be the only way to put this whole
              situation behind Yeshu and the Yeshuine community, would it not?

              > > By what measure did he die? Someone
              > > didn't feel a pulse? No noticeable breath?
              > > These signs are quite common
              > > among yogis who are temporarily out of their body.
              >
              >Generally speaking, the yogis you mention are not
              >beaten, flogged with a Roman flagellum, and nailed
              >to a cross before their 'out of body' experiences.

              By your view Yeshu was a superman, right? A wondrous miracle worker who
              could bring the dead back to life? What's the big deal about a flogging and
              nailing for a superman?

              I personally know a yogi who has gone into samadhi underwater, and spent
              five days under water, all the time being tested by a team of medical and
              scientific observers. Does that seem any less exceptional than living
              after a flogging and a few hours on a cross? Some people lasted three days
              on the cross. That is why Pilate was reportedly surprised by the news of
              his premature death. Would you expect a premature death from a superman?



              > > Can you think for yourself?
              >
              >Do you think that I would be an advocate of
              >the Gospel of Thomas if I couldn't think for
              >myself? If I derive the thought, I credit the source.
              >Otherwise, the opinions are my own. I don't
              >dispute the idea that Jesus survived the
              >crucifixion because I parrot the views of some
              >group or individual; I dispute it because I weigh
              >evidence for myself, just as I would hope that you
              >weigh evidence for yourself.
              >
              >And here is one of the main reasons that I do not
              >believe Jesus survived the crucifixion (and it has
              >nothing to do with believing anyone else): I simply
              >don't believe the Romans would have let him be
              >taken down from the cross before he was physically
              >dead.

              Violence and power, however, is corrupt. So a guard, or Pilate, for that
              matter, could be corrupted.

              Indeed, certain eastern Christians regard Pilate as a saint. The same goes
              for the guard Longinus, who allegedly became a bishop in the early church.
              Indeed, in the 4G, a guard refers to Yeshu as the son of God. Wouldn't
              such a guard take Yeshu down early?

              >The evidence shows that they mocked him,
              >beat him, crucified him, and stabbed him in the side.

              The medical view is that the knife helped his survival. According to the
              Greek text it was not a deep wound.


              >I wrote:
              > > I think the identification
              > > of Jesus with the Messiah is spelled out in saying 52.
              >
              >Joe responded:
              > > You may be mis-interpreting 52. I don't think the
              > > "living one" is meant to refer to Yeshu exclusively.
              > > In fact, 52 suggests that Yeshu does not want
              > > to be thought of as a Messiah.
              >
              > >From this, I understand (and please correct me if I'm
              >wrong, for I am trying to understand your position and
              >not put words in your mouth) that you agree with
              >me in interpreting the words of the disciples as
              >referring to the Messiah (regardless of Jesus' reply).
              >In other words, 52 indicates, at least, that the disciples
              >considered Jesus to be the Messiah. Would you agree
              >with that statement?

              This is suggested.


              >Joe continues:
              > > 52 says that to think in that limited way is
              > > to think of the death, rather than being.
              >
              >There was an early Christian belief that
              >the Holy Spirit found permanent rest in
              >Jesus, the Messiah, and that this marked
              >the end of the prophetic line. Justin remarks
              >"but as being about to make their (that is,
              >the powers of the Holy Spirit) rest permanently
              >upon him; that it is come to an end with him,
              >that they should be no longer prophets in
              >you nation" (Dialogue with Trypho 87:3-5).
              >Tertullian (adv. Judaeos VII 14) records a
              >similar belief. Consequently, my own interpretation
              >of 52 is that the prophetic line is dead while
              >the Messiah is alive.

              Apparently you have given some thought to this. But . . . . But . . .
              . Ultimately the question becomes whether the "Living One" is really a
              Messianic concept. If you take a look at the places where it is used in
              GThomas, and try to make sense of these passages, you may come to
              conclude, as i have come to conclude, that the "Living One" is what is
              known in Hinduism as the "Self" or Atman. It is the Self you discover
              within yourself that is lacknig in ego, yet full of Being. It is the Self
              that you discover within yourself that is one and the same as Truth.
              Understood this way, the "Living One" can never be an exclusively external
              being, such as a Messiah. Indeed, if GThomas wanted to use the word
              Messiah, one would expect it direct use, rather than the "Living One."


              >Joe wrote:
              > > > > Fourth, the Messianic view is very cultural
              >
              >I replied:
              > >> Depends what you mean by "cultural." If you
              > >> mean "specific to the Jewish belief system,"
              > >> then, yes, it is. But Jesus was entrenched
              > >> in his culture and, to some extent, we must
              > >> understand that culture to fully understand Jesus.
              >
              >Joe responded:
              > > the 4G Yeshu may fit this view somewhat, but not the
              > > Yeshu presented by the unique sayings of GThomas.
              > > Not at all. No way. No way at all.
              >
              >So you disagree. But what is your view? It is not
              >enough to say "I disagree" (however vehemently).
              >If you disagree, state you reasons for doing so.
              >
              >I believe that cultural knowledge is useful for
              >understanding all of GThomas, including the unique
              >sayings. For example, the mention of "Sabbatizing
              >the Sabbath" (27) is unique to Thomas, but it helps
              >us understand it if we know the phrase occurs in the
              >Talmud. Or what the phrase "for whose sake heaven
              >and earth came into being" (12) means. And so on.
              >These are cultural expressions.

              To say that many of the unique sayings in GOT are counter-cultural is not
              to say that GOT is beyond culture, or even necessarily beyond Jewish
              culture. 27, as you point out, believes in the practice of fasting from the
              world and analogizes it to observing the Sabbath. While practicing the
              Sabbath, by itself, is cultural, if understood more broadly as fasting from
              the world, the practice is beyond the world. This is a very radical
              concept. In that sense it is counter-cultural.

              Many of the unique GOT sayings are counter-cultural. To cite but a few
              examples:

              2. ". . . . When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are
              disturbed, they will marvel . . . "

              The suggestion here is that the meaning of the GOT passages in
              unconventional. The choice of language seems a little reminiscent of the
              promises offered by LSD enthusiasts in the sixties.

              4 Jesus said, "The person old in days won't hesitate to ask a little child
              seven days old about the
              place of life, and that person will live.

              Also very much a sixties philosophy.

              5 Jesus said, "Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from
              you will be disclosed to
              you.

              Again, we are invited to loosen the grip of the conventional
              world, so that we might see what is actually there.

              6 His disciples asked him and said to him, "Do you want us to fast? How
              should we pray? Should
              we give to charity? What diet should we observe?"

              Jesus said, "Don't lie, and don't do what you hate, because all things are
              disclosed before heaven.

              This is all very reminiscent of that great counter-culturalist,
              Walt Whitman.

              14 Jesus said to them, "If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves,
              and if you pray, you will be
              condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits.

              Clearly counter-cultural. The emphasis is on the inner-self. The
              conventional view is challenged.

              18 The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us, how will our end come?"

              Jesus said, "Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for
              the end? You see, the end
              will be where the beginning is.

              Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know
              the end and will not taste
              death."

              The conventional judgment day view is tossed on its ear.

              21 Mary said to Jesus, "What are your disciples like?"

              He said, They are like little children living in a field that is not
              theirs. When the owners of the field
              come, they will say, "Give us back our field." They take off their clothes
              in front of them in order to
              give it back to them, and they return their field to them.

              This passage is variously interpreted. One view is that Yeshu is
              preaching non-attachment to anything of the world, including one's
              clothing, which is a symbol of convention.

              23 Jesus said, "I shall choose you, one from a thousand and two from ten
              thousand, and they will
              stand as a single one."

              Disciples are separate and apart from the multitude.

              37 His disciples said, "When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?"

              Jesus said, "When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your
              clothes and put them under
              your feet like little children and trample then, then [you] will see the
              son of the living one and you will
              not be afraid."

              Our clothes represent convention.

              42 Jesus said, "Be passersby."

              This is not community building. Perhaps this is why the early
              Christian church, which was in the business of community

              49 Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who are alone and chosen, for you
              will find the kingdom.
              For you have come from it, and you will return there again."

              Also not community building.

              70 Jesus said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will
              save you. If you do not have
              that within you, what you do not have within you [will] kill you."

              This is very modern thinking. Again, I am reminded of Walt
              Whitman. What is within you -- what will save you -- is beyond culture.


              75 Jesus said, "There are many standing at the door, but those who are
              alone will enter the bridal
              suite."

              Also not community building.


              I could continue like this. The above passages are but an example of my point.

              >Finally, I wrote:
              > >> Here's a question for you: Do you think that if
              > >> Jesus survived crucifixion (through whatever means),
              > >> his disciples would have been willing to die for him
              >
              >Joe responded:
              > > You paint with a broad brush. How do you know
              > > what they died for? The people you probably have
              > > in mind didn't choose to die. What they chose was
              > > the truth over death. Unfortunately, the church lost
              > > sight of truth, and chose death. This is what 52 is
              > > all about.
              >
              >You seem to be at odds with "the church."

              Insofar as the church is concerned, I am a "passerby."

              > What church?
              >The Catholic church?

              I am talking about the church which developed out of early Christianity. By
              the Fourth century the message of Yeshu was no longer present. Dogma was
              the concern.

              > And what has "the church" to do
              >with 52? I get the feeling from you, both from
              >this and from other things you have said, that you
              >have had some negative experiences in the past within
              >traditional religion.

              Not really. Its good to be flexible. Traditional religion also has its good
              side. I learned a lot as a Buddhist monk. The modern Catholic Church also
              does a lot of good. I sometimes teach world religion at a Catholic school.


              >But since you complain of the width of my brush,
              >let us narrow it to Peter for the moment. Tradition relates
              >that he was crucified upside down out of deference to the
              >way in which Jesus died (that he was not worthy to die
              >in the same manner). Perhaps he did not choose to die,
              >as you say, but it would seem that this form of death was
              >his choice. But why honor, in such a humble way, this
              >form of death if that death was not real?

              This is a tradition which may or may not be true. Thus, it is found in the
              Acts of Peter, along with the "Quo Vadis" line and many other fantastic
              stories which may or may not be true.

              If we assume it to be true, the focus is upon crucifixion, as opposed to
              death, since crucifixion is seen as a doorway to life. No one questions
              that Yeshu was crucified. Peter's story simply shows his humility.

              There may also be some question as to whether Peter himself knew just how
              Yeshu survived the cross. The whole subject might have been quite
              mysterious to many of Yeshu's disciples. For example, a number of people
              who are alive today claim they died and were somehow brought back among the
              living. You must have seen the movie "Resurrection."

              As for Peter, he was supposedly not with Yeshu at the time of his reported
              death. Nor was he there when he was taken to the tomb. What was he told?
              Who knows? If the known truth was that there was no pulse and no
              breath, that does not necessarily mean death, even though it would be
              taken to mean death.

              With kind regards,

              Joe Baxter




              joe
            • Robert Tessman
              The first thing I would like to suggest to Joseph here is this: Please, when you are selecting what to include in your quotations, refrain from including who
              Message 6 of 16 , Sep 9, 1999
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                The first thing I would like to suggest to Joseph here is this:
                Please, when you are selecting what to include in your quotations, refrain
                from including who said what unless you write it yourself. It becomes very
                confusing when you include references to the second person when it was not
                written by you yourself. Sure I could count the ">"s to figure it out but
                I could do this without references included in the quotations of who said
                what, and I would be less confused about who said what if I knew that I had
                to count the ">"s. Remember that there are others reading besides yourself
                and your opponent.


                >Yes, but have you ever heard of legends that are built around larger than
                >life people? Can you imagine the possibility of exaggerations?

                I am sorry but most of what you include as evidence to support your
                post-cross 'yeshu' hypothesis derives from sayings and scenarios that are
                most feasibly not only exaggerations but utter fiction.

                >By your view Yeshu was a superman, right? A wondrous miracle worker who
                >could bring the dead back to life? What's the big deal about a flogging and
                >nailing for a superman?

                I do not find any assumptions in Kevin's argument that his view of Jesus is
                of a 'superman.' But I find much indication in your arguments of a Jesus
                that can't be killed that you believe him to be a superman.

                >I personally know a yogi who has gone into samadhi underwater, and spent
                >five days under water, all the time being tested by a team of medical and
                >scientific observers.

                Not only is your Yogi friend a charlatan but so also is your team of
                'medical and scientific observers." You, my friend, have fallen victim to
                your own readiness to believe in tricks and spectacles. The mere reference
                to 'medical and scientific', yet suspiciously anonymous, observers does not
                give credit to this story. Nor do any of your implications that yours is a
                'scientific' theory sit well with me. Yours is no more 'scientific' than
                any other New Testament hypothesis and if science is concerned with
                predictability of phenomena or the likely hood of phenomena to occur, then
                yours is even less scientific than conventional scholastic theories. It is
                possible that life exists on Mars for instance. Simply because no life has
                been found or because there is no evidence that such a planet could even
                sustain life does not mean it is impossible, and many scientific
                postulations have been made concerning the possibility of microscopic
                organisms to exist in such harsh environments. But 'scientifically'
                speaking it is unlikely that life exists on Mars...so unlikely, that it
                would be 'scientifically' safe to assume that the planet is lifeless. In
                the same manner it is likely that Jesus died on the Cross.

                >Violence and power, however, is corrupt. So a guard, or Pilate, for that
                >matter, could be corrupted.
                >Indeed, in the 4G, a guard refers to Yeshu as the son of God. Wouldn't
                >such a guard take Yeshu down early?

                Fiction. It was probably a vote for the Gentiles that the writers included
                such a sympathetic Roman ear. Neither were the Roman guards likely to
                disobey commands since there were extremely stiff penalties for 'treason'.
                No simple slap of the hand when it came to the Romans.

                Another point I would like to bring up is the whole, Messiah='Cultural' and
                Non-Messiah='Counter-Cultural' idea. I neither understand how any of this
                relates to a post-cross Jesus.
                First, If most Jewish people of that time would deny being the
                Messiah and would deny associations with one who claimed to be the Messiah,
                how then would it be 'counter cultural' for Jesus himself to deny such a
                tabooed title also? The belief that Jesus WAS the Messiah would run
                against the cultural grain. So what is so 'counter-culture' about a Jesus
                who did not make such a claim? In Buddhist 'culture' (tradition) if a
                person makes the claim that he is the Buddha then that person should be
                killed (i.e., that person is not a friend to the Buddhist tradition).


                >Many of the unique GOT sayings are counter-cultural. To cite but a few
                >examples:
                >
                >2. ". . . . When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are
                >disturbed, they will marvel . . . "
                >
                > The suggestion here is that the meaning of the GOT passages in
                >unconventional. The choice of language seems a little reminiscent of the
                >promises offered by LSD enthusiasts in the sixties.

                I will take this to an even more disturbing plane to show just how
                non-counter-cultural this saying is. The most disturbing understanding
                there is, is to know that the miraculous can be found only in, and
                exclusively to, the mundane. You see, the most disturbing thing to drug
                users is that the mundane, everyday, and ordinary possesses so much wonder.
                They are comfortable only when they are having 'weird' experiences and most
                of the ones I know would be horrified to find that the very reality they
                have rejected is the only one that contains the wealth they seek.

                >5 Jesus said, "Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from
                >you will be disclosed to
                >you.
                >
                > Again, we are invited to loosen the grip of the conventional
                >world, so that we might see what is actually there.

                We are invited to loosen the grip of the conventional and so also to loosen
                the grip of our tendency to rebel against what we dislike. There is no
                counter-culture to this saying. If there were, it would invite us to see
                everything we hate and oppose about what is in front of our face.

                >14 Jesus said to them, "If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves,
                >and if you pray, you will be
                >condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits.
                >
                > Clearly counter-cultural. The emphasis is on the inner-self. The
                >conventional view is challenged.

                The inner-self you speak of is a nasty little bugger if that is what is
                challenging culture. I for one would rather know a 'self' that has nothing
                to do with such petty challenges, but a 'self' that knows only peace. It
                is not at all difficult for me to find the part of me that 'challenges' and
                I wish it were just as easy to find that part of myself that knows only
                peace.

                >18 The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us, how will our end come?"
                >
                >Jesus said, "Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for
                >the end? You see, the end
                >will be where the beginning is.
                >
                >Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know
                >the end and will not taste
                >death."
                >
                > The conventional judgment day view is tossed on its ear.

                Which 'conventional' view of the Eschaton are you referring to? The Jewish
                one of the time? The early Christian View? Are you referring to Judgment
                or Armageddon or the Parousia or what? If you are not referring to the
                Jewish ideas of the End then what Christian views are you assuming to be
                'conventional' at the time the Gospel of Thomas was written? I personally
                doubt that any 'conventional' view had even formed among the many and
                divergent Christian communities. If the Apocalypse of John was written
                latter than the Gospel of Thomas as many believe, then the modern
                understanding of the Christian concept of the End Time will be irrelevant
                to how it was understood when this was written.

                >70 Jesus said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will
                >save you. If you do not have
                >that within you, what you do not have within you [will] kill you."
                >
                > This is very modern thinking. Again, I am reminded of Walt
                >Whitman. What is within you -- what will save you -- is beyond culture.

                What do you mean "Modern Thinking"!!! This was written in a time that was
                not at all modern. Just because it reminds you of Walt does not mean the
                text is therefore consistent with Walt's views. This is ridiculous and I
                cannot believe I am even replying to this post. Logion 70 is extremely
                complex and rather ambiguous and to say it is 'modern thinking' is
                ludicrous for two reasons. First it is ludicrous because it was thought by
                someone who is definitely not 'modern'. Second, it is ludicrous because
                you assume that we know just exactly what you mean when you say 'modern
                thinking'--as if there were some commonality of thought that all us
                'moderns' understand to be indicative of our time in history.

                There is much that I sympathize with you on. But I fail to understand what
                is so 'gosh darn' important about arguing for a Jesus that survived the
                crucifixion. I sympathize with counter-culturalists and those who doubt
                the conventional 'wisdom'. But If a person stops there, to be forever at
                odds with convention, then they are just as consumed by its prominence as
                they would have been if they never doubted at all.
                As the great 'Master Therion' says:
                "Doubt.
                Doubt thyself.
                Doubt even if thou doubtest thyself.
                Doubt all.
                Doubt even if thou doubtest all.
                It seems sometimes as if beneath all conscious doubt
                there lay some deepest certainty. O kill it! Slay the snake!..."
                --Aleister Crowley, The Book of Lies.

                >> And what has "the church" to do
                >>with 52? I get the feeling from you, both from
                >>this and from other things you have said, that you
                >>have had some negative experiences in the past within
                >>traditional religion.
                >
                >Not really. Its good to be flexible. Traditional religion also has its good
                >side. I learned a lot as a Buddhist monk. The modern Catholic Church also
                >does a lot of good. I sometimes teach world religion at a Catholic school.

                Yes, Buddhism. Many a problem do I have with that religion. No, that's
                not true. Many a problem do I have with western interpretations of that
                religion. It explains much.

                In Tolerance,
                Robert Tessman
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