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[gthomas] L12 & L53

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  • Jon Peter
    Anybody besides me ever notice that GThom manages to take 2 opposite sides in the Paul-James controversy? First you got this -- L 12-- The disciples said to
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 3, 1999
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      Anybody besides me ever notice that GThom manages to take 2 opposite sides
      in the Paul-James controversy?

      First you got this --

      L 12-- The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you will depart from us.
      Who is to be our leader?"
      Jesus said to them, "Wherever you are, you are to go to James the righteous,
      for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."

      Then ya got--

      L. 53-- ".... is circumcision beneficial or not?" (Ans.) ... "If it were
      beneficial, their father would beget them already circumcised from their
      mother. Rather, the true circumcision in spirit is completely profitable."
      [Lambdin] Coulda come right from Paul (or Jer 4.4).

      James wouldn't have agreed with L53 would he?

      And here you've got two pegs tending to put GThom in mid 1st cent -- #1 is
      the short-lived succession issue and #2 is the continuation-of-circumcision
      question. Both became settled before 2nd century didn't they?

      And the fact that contradictory positions could co-exist in one text makes
      me wonder if this predated the purging and standardizing that was apparently
      underway in Paul's sector and in the synoptics.

      Did these GThom people have access to Paul's letters I wonder? 1Cor 7.19,
      Gal 5.6, Phil 3.3. all demean circumcision. Then Romans (2.29) is only
      slightly friendlier to the procedure.

      If the Thomasines didn't acquire their "Pauline" anti-circumcisionism of L.
      53 from the epistles, well then where did they get it from?

      If they *did* receive this from Paul, then how come this is the ONLY clearly
      Pauline-identified doctrine in GThom? And how come this particular
      anti-circumcision imagery is definitely not from Paul (i.e. the part that,
      "if god wanted you to be circumcised we be born that way")?

      You see, this logion doesn't sound to me anything like Paul's way of
      teaching anti-circumcision.

      All in all, this L. 53 strikes me as independent teaching. And ergo, if
      Thomasines were in Palestine and if their sayings booklet can still talk
      about James as a real issue, then this circumcision teaching musta come from
      Jesus.

      Best regards,

      Jon

      PS - Funk and Hoover in "Five Gospels" admitted that L 53 shows the "quick
      wit and biting criticism" typical of Jesus. But the JSem fellows went on to
      vote L53 black anyway for sounding Pauline -- and therefore it must be
      bogus. Huh?
    • Tord Svenson
      ... The accounts of James portray him as being very much a rules-oriented Jew . Perhaps Jesus knew something we do not know ---- ... You, however, be as
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 3, 1999
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        At 01:21 AM 11/3/99 -0800, Jon Peter wrote:
        >Anybody besides me ever notice that GThom manages to take 2 opposite sides
        >in the Paul-James controversy?
        >
        >First you got this --
        >
        >L 12-- The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you will depart from us.
        >Who is to be our leader?"
        >Jesus said to them, "Wherever you are, you are to go to James the righteous,
        >for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."
        >
        >Then ya got--
        >
        >L. 53-- ".... is circumcision beneficial or not?" (Ans.) ... "If it were
        >beneficial, their father would beget them already circumcised from their
        >mother. Rather, the true circumcision in spirit is completely profitable."
        >[Lambdin] Coulda come right from Paul (or Jer 4.4).
        >
        >James wouldn't have agreed with L53 would he?

        --------- Reply ------------
        The accounts of James portray him as being very much a "rules-oriented
        Jew". Perhaps Jesus knew something we do not know ----
        ----------------
        "You, however, be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves."
        ------------------
        Jesus would seemingly have had a lot of differences with James. For example
        ---
        ------------------------
        55) Jesus said, "Whoever does not hate his father and his mother cannot
        become a disciple to Me. And whoever does not hate his brothers and sisters
        and take up his cross in My way will not be worthy of Me."
        -------------------------
        It would have been incumbent on Jesus to hate James.

        But --then again ---
        ------------------
        "Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing."
        -------------------
        The circumcision issue is still a big difference between the Jews and
        Gentiles. As the issue heats up in this culture we are going to see a
        religious rights defence used to block legislation aimed at ending ritual
        circumcision as a mutilation of a helpless infant who has no choice. I
        have used #53 to persuade some religious people NOT to circumcise their
        babies.
        Tord
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
        .
      • joseph baxter
        ... What do you think is meant by the true circumcision in spirit ? This is an interesting choice of imagery. With kind regards, Joe Baxter joe
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 12, 1999
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          At 01:21 AM 11/3/99 , you wrote:
          >Anybody besides me ever notice that GThom manages to take 2 opposite sides
          >in the Paul-James controversy?
          >
          >First you got this --
          >
          >L 12-- The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you will depart from us.
          >Who is to be our leader?"
          >Jesus said to them, "Wherever you are, you are to go to James the righteous,
          >for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."
          >
          >Then ya got--
          >
          >L. 53-- ".... is circumcision beneficial or not?" (Ans.) ... "If it were
          >beneficial, their father would beget them already circumcised from their
          >mother. Rather, the true circumcision in spirit is completely profitable."
          >[

          What do you think is meant by "the true circumcision in spirit"? This is an
          interesting choice of imagery.

          With kind regards,

          Joe Baxter


          joe
        • joseph baxter
          ... Are you take this out of its setting? Is hate the best way to describe what is being taught here? The disciple is asked to take up the cross of his
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 12, 1999
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            At 01:57 AM 11/3/99 , Tord wrote:
            >----------
            >55) Jesus said, "Whoever does not hate his father and his mother cannot
            >become a disciple to Me. And whoever does not hate his brothers and sisters
            >and take up his cross in My way will not be worthy of Me."
            >-------------------------
            >It would have been incumbent on Jesus to hate James.

            Are you take this out of its setting? Is hate the best way to describe
            what is being taught here? The disciple is asked to take up the cross of
            his brother. Some say this may have been added later. But still, the
            intention may have been to drive this saying closer to its true meaning.
            Those who follow in his footsteps take up something which is beyond
            biology. Which is consistent with the idea that circumcision of the spirit
            is more profitable than circumcision of the anatomy.

            With kind regards,

            Joe Baxter




            joe
          • Jon Peter
            ... I think it means that one really wants to do God s will rather than just flowing with a convention. As noted before, this goes back to Jer 4.4 (
            Message 5 of 10 , Nov 13, 1999
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              Joe Baxter asked:

              >What do you think is meant by "the true circumcision in spirit"? This is an
              >interesting choice of imagery.
              >

              I think it means that one really wants to do God's will rather than just
              flowing with a convention.

              As noted before, this goes back to Jer 4.4 ( ' Circumcise yourselves to the
              LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and
              inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that
              none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.' -AV) in a call to
              repentance from evil. Jer 4.3 just before this uses phrases like "plow your
              fallow ground" and "sow not among thorns." cf Parable of the Sower. Ergo,
              Jesus knew Jer 4.4 and he taught it in private, at least, which is what
              GThom says.

              The idea of a dedicated heart/spirit arises in L 53 as Jesus' response to
              the actual burning question of the day, "Is circumcision worthwhile anymore
              ? (or needed by gentile converts in particular?). I think it is a virtual
              certainty that someone asked this question of Jesus in some sense, because
              doubts about the value of circumcision were already implicit in Jewish
              culture, thanks to Jeremiah. So, when Jesus came along with radical Torah
              revisions, the topic of circumcision as a necessity per se would have leapt
              to mind. Also, Jer 31 contains that famous passage about "a new covenant I
              shall put in their inward parts," which the 1st church appropriated. So,
              the messianic age prophesied in Jeremiah already presents Jews with the
              destined end of circumcision. (cf also Maccabees stories about circumcision
              ambivalence)

              All of which makes the reversion to circumcising as insisted upon by James
              et al, more curious and perhaps sinister. GThom shows Jesus siding with
              anti-outward-circumcision in a way consistent with the Jeremiah prophecies
              and with words characteristically witty and provocative. GThom shows no
              influence of Pauline terminology or proof-texting in this (or anywhere).
              Ergo, I see no basis for the counter-claim that L 53 came from Paul's
              followers.

              Neverthless, Jesus appears to uphold James over other possible successors in
              L12 . Why the contradiction? My opinion is that Jesus did not say L 12, but,
              rather, it was planted by false prophets at a prayer meeting. We know James
              had an organized network of agents working militantly for circumcision and
              against Paul. James was in cahoots with Pharisee Judaizers in Jerusalem (cf
              Josephus on extraordinary Pharisee support of James while they
              simultaneously persecuted Paul and Hellistic Jewish Christians). We also
              know that false prophets were active in the church, both from numerous
              references and a few surviving texts -- L 12 being one I think.

              Best regards,

              Jon
            • Jim Bauer
              ... From: joseph baxter To: Jon Peter Cc: GThomas@egroups.com Date: Saturday, November 13, 1999 12:09 AM
              Message 6 of 10 , Nov 13, 1999
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                -----Original Message-----
                From: joseph baxter <joseph@...>
                To: Jon Peter <jnp@...>
                Cc: GThomas@egroups.com <GThomas@egroups.com>
                Date: Saturday, November 13, 1999 12:09 AM
                Subject: [gthomas] Re: L12 & L53


                >At 01:21 AM 11/3/99 , you wrote:
                >>Anybody besides me ever notice that GThom manages to take 2 opposite sides
                >>in the Paul-James controversy?
                >>
                >>First you got this --
                >>
                >>L 12-- The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you will depart from
                us.
                >>Who is to be our leader?"
                >>Jesus said to them, "Wherever you are, you are to go to James the
                righteous,
                >>for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."
                >>
                >>Then ya got--
                >>
                >>L. 53-- ".... is circumcision beneficial or not?" (Ans.) ... "If it were
                >>beneficial, their father would beget them already circumcised from their
                >>mother. Rather, the true circumcision in spirit is completely profitable."
                >>[
                >
                >What do you think is meant by "the true circumcision in spirit"? This is an
                >interesting choice of imagery.


                Somewhere in the NHLe, I saw a passage which runs, "the womb of the body is
                inside, but the womb of the spirit is outside, like a male organ." Could
                this be more of the same type of thought? I'll try to find the reference.

                Jim
                >
                >With kind regards,
                >
                >Joe Baxter
                >
                >
                >joe
                >
                >------------------------------------------------------------------------
                >-- 20 megs of disk space in your group's Document Vault
                >-- http://www.egroups.com/docvault/gthomas/?m=1
                >
              • Zen Ma
                ... I think it means peeling away delusion and seeing The Truth. Zenma ______________________________________________________
                Message 7 of 10 , Nov 13, 1999
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                  >Joe Baxter asked:
                  >>What do you think is meant by "the true circumcision in spirit"?

                  Jon answered:
                  >I think it means that one really wants to do God's will rather than >just
                  >flowing with a convention.
                  ----------------reply-----------------------------------
                  I think it means peeling away delusion and seeing The Truth.
                  Zenma


                  ______________________________________________________
                • Zen Ma
                  My reply: I think what is being spoken of is the concept of non-attachment to worldly things. Veronica. Tord wrote: 55) Jesus said, Whoever does not hate his
                  Message 8 of 10 , Nov 13, 1999
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                    My reply:

                    I think what is being spoken of is the concept of non-attachment to worldly
                    things.

                    Veronica.


                    Tord wrote:
                    55) Jesus said, "Whoever does not hate his father and his mother
                    cannot become a disciple to Me. And whoever does not hate his brothers
                    and sisters and take up his cross in My way will not be worthy of Me."
                    It would have been incumbent on Jesus to hate James.

                    Joe Baxter wrote:
                    Are you take this out of its setting? Is hate the best way to
                    describe what is being taught here? The disciple is asked to take up the
                    cross of his brother. Some say this may have been added later. But still,
                    the intention may have been to drive this saying closer to its true meaning.
                    Those who follow in his footsteps take up something which is beyond biology.
                    Which is consistent with the idea that circumcision of the spirit is more
                    profitable than circumcision of the anatomy.

                    ______________________________________________________
                  • Brian Turner
                    From Joe Baxter ... Sorry I ve just joined this list and didn t see the original. The Paul-James controversy is concerned with the circumcision customs of
                    Message 9 of 10 , Nov 13, 1999
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                      From Joe Baxter
                      >At 01:21 AM 11/3/99 , you wrote:
                      >>Anybody besides me ever notice that GThom manages to take 2 opposite sides
                      >>in the Paul-James controversy?
                      >>
                      >>First you got this --
                      >>
                      >>L 12-- The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you will depart from us.
                      >>Who is to be our leader?"
                      >>Jesus said to them, "Wherever you are, you are to go to James the righteous,
                      >>for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."
                      >>
                      >>Then ya got--
                      >>
                      >>L. 53-- ".... is circumcision beneficial or not?" (Ans.) ... "If it were
                      >>beneficial, their father would beget them already circumcised from their
                      >>mother. Rather, the true circumcision in spirit is completely profitable."
                      >>[
                      >

                      Sorry I've just joined this list and didn't see the original.
                      The Paul-James controversy is concerned with the circumcision customs
                      of Gentiles verses those of the Jews. Jesus in L.53 is concerning himself with
                      the circumcision customs of God.

                      >What do you think is meant by "the true circumcision in spirit"? This is an
                      >interesting choice of imagery.
                      >
                      Again J is saying that the circumcision customs of God are more beneficial
                      than those of man.

                      Brian Turner

                      My site: http://homepages.manawatu.net.nz/~bturner/plays/
                    • Mark Goodacre
                      A review on the RBL site of the Risto Uro (ed.) volume, _Thomas at the Crossroads_. It is by Dale Allision and mainly just describes the contents.
                      Message 10 of 10 , Dec 6, 1999
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                        A review on the RBL site of the Risto Uro (ed.) volume, _Thomas at
                        the Crossroads_. It is by Dale Allision and mainly just describes the
                        contents.

                        http://www.bookreviews.org/Reviews/0567086070.html

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

                        http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
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