Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

[gthomas] Re: 65 - The Vineyard

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 16 , Aug 31, 1999
    • 0 Attachment
      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 2 of 16 , Sep 3 10:49 PM
      • 0 Attachment
        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 3 of 16 , Sep 6 7:00 AM
        • 0 Attachment
          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 4 of 16 , Sep 8 7:22 AM
          • 0 Attachment
            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 5 of 16 , Sep 9 4:43 AM
            • 0 Attachment
              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
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.