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Androgyny Reconsidered

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  • Michael Grondin
    Robert- Good to hear from you again! As usual, I welcome your critique, some of which is in line with my own developing thinking on this issue. Instead of
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 3, 2000
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      Robert-

      Good to hear from you again! As usual, I welcome your critique, some of
      which is in line with my own developing thinking on this issue. Instead of
      responding point-by-point to your note, I'd like to indicate what some of
      those developments are, and then you can re-critique me if you wish. (BTW,
      the word 'literal' was a wrong choice of words - I'm not concentrating on
      the physical aspects of androgyny, but on the meaning of the word.)

      My Langenscheidt's Pocket Classical Greek Dictionary defines 'androgynos'
      as meaning "man-woman, hermaphrodite, eunuch"(!) In terms of the logical
      distinction I drew, a hermaphrodite of course would be both male and
      female, a eunuch neither. The fact that the same word could be applied to
      both a hermaphrodite and a eunuch indicates to me that either the ancient
      mind wasn't too clear (or careful) about logical distinctions, or that in
      their minds, 'both' was equivalent to 'neither' in some sense. There is, in
      fact, some sense that can be made of the latter, but I won't bore everybody
      by going into that right now, especially since the logical point isn't
      crucial.

      The crucial argument that I would raise against Crossan's view is that what
      Thomas says about Adam absolutely does not imply that it has an androgynous
      view of him - in fact, it implies the opposite. The Adam of Thomas is the
      simple physical Adam we're all familiar with, not the androgynous
      Adam-of-the-spirit that derives from sophisticated intellectual exegesis of
      Genesis. I don't see any evidence that the authors of Thomas had a
      different, "secret", view of Adam (and paradise) that they didn't reveal.
      To the contrary, the evidence seems to indicate that while the authors of
      Thomas were entranced with this "make the two one" idea, they simply
      enumerated various opposites without thinking the whole issue through very
      carefully. Similarly, though they envisioned a return to the beginning,
      they evidently didn't spend too much time thinking about what exactly that
      would be like.

      Regards,
      Mike
      (p.s.: The changes at eGroups took much longer than expected, and the new
      setup seems to have some unexpected wrinkles to it. It may be some time
      before we [the moderators] can get things straightened out and back to
      normal.)

      The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
      http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm
    • Robert Tessman
      ... Thank you for the kind response. Yes, I see. Perhaps I did take your argument out of context a bit and my apologies for this. What I wished to point out
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 4, 2000
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        >Robert-
        >
        >Good to hear from you again! As usual, I welcome your critique, some of
        >which is in line with my own developing thinking on this issue. Instead of
        >responding point-by-point to your note, I'd like to indicate what some of
        >those developments are, and then you can re-critique me if you wish. (BTW,
        >the word 'literal' was a wrong choice of words - I'm not concentrating on
        >the physical aspects of androgyny, but on the meaning of the word.)
        >
        >My Langenscheidt's Pocket Classical Greek Dictionary defines 'androgynos'
        >as meaning "man-woman, hermaphrodite, eunuch"(!) In terms of the logical
        >distinction I drew, a hermaphrodite of course would be both male and
        >female, a eunuch neither. The fact that the same word could be applied to
        >both a hermaphrodite and a eunuch indicates to me that either the ancient
        >mind wasn't too clear (or careful) about logical distinctions, or that in
        >their minds, 'both' was equivalent to 'neither' in some sense. There is, in
        >fact, some sense that can be made of the latter, but I won't bore everybody
        >by going into that right now, especially since the logical point isn't
        >crucial.
        >
        >The crucial argument that I would raise against Crossan's view is that what
        >Thomas says about Adam absolutely does not imply that it has an androgynous
        >view of him - in fact, it implies the opposite. The Adam of Thomas is the
        >simple physical Adam we're all familiar with, not the androgynous
        >Adam-of-the-spirit that derives from sophisticated intellectual exegesis of
        >Genesis. I don't see any evidence that the authors of Thomas had a
        >different, "secret", view of Adam (and paradise) that they didn't reveal.
        >To the contrary, the evidence seems to indicate that while the authors of
        >Thomas were entranced with this "make the two one" idea, they simply
        >enumerated various opposites without thinking the whole issue through very
        >carefully. Similarly, though they envisioned a return to the beginning,
        >they evidently didn't spend too much time thinking about what exactly that
        >would be like.

        Thank you for the kind response.
        Yes, I see. Perhaps I did take your argument out of context a bit and my
        apologies for this. What I wished to point out however was, although I
        agree with your suspicion of the androgeny and chastity suppositions, I do
        not think it is as discountable as your previous post suggested. Although
        there is no direct implication of androgeny in Thomas, I cannot agree that
        it implies the opposite.
        Earlier you wrote:

        >androgynous Adam: As far as I know, this is entirely a gnostic idea
        >related to the intellectual notion that God "himself" must be androgynous
        >therefore "man" (his "image") must also be androgynous, at least at first.
        >The notion of androgyny is prominent in the Apocryphon of John, for
        >example. But note that when *Thomas* mentions Adam, not only does it say
        >nothing that would indicate that he's being taken in that way, but in fact
        >it rather clearly implies that he is *not* being taken in that way ("he
        >[Adam] was not worthy of you").

        Here you seem to be implying that Adam is being depicted as a person that
        'should' have a lesser value according to the text. But I wonder if modern
        impressions are being infused into the idea of something 'not being
        worthy'. Does this mean that it is inherently worthless, in and of itself,
        or does this not point to the one valuating the thing. For instance, the
        majority of people, according to early christians did not value Jesus as
        they should. In this way he had no worth to them; he was not worthy of
        their attention. But because to certain people Jesus had no worth does
        that imply then an inherency in Jesus to 'not be worthy' in the sense that
        we understand this expression today?

        I suggest that Adam, as described in Thomas, WAS considered the
        ideal state for Thomasine ascetics to attain (i.e., to become Adam). Talk
        of being children of Adam occurs only when they are spreading the word or
        anouncing their state of being. The messenger is never the 'being' and can
        thus only be described as an offspring of the being. In this way Jesus too
        is often identified with his father except when he must speak about his
        being, then he must speak of himself as the son of the father, as though
        his words were his offspring or fruit of the tree. (As an aside I also
        wonder if 'father' in Thomas does not refer to Adam, and that the image
        that came into being before comming into being is God himself--the template
        for Adam's existence).
        Let me just poke at the saying you have used in showing that an
        androgenous Adam is not an ideal within the Gospel of Thomas.

        85. Jesus said, "Adam came from great power and great wealth, but he was
        not worthy of you. For had he been worthy, he would not have tasted death"

        Now assuming that Jesus is not speaking of the 'dead' here as the disciples
        did of the prophets etc., That is, assuming that Jesus is talking about and
        to his listeners and not about some distant, objectifying, abstraction from
        Genesis, perhaps this saying may take on more meaning for us--because it
        sure doesn't make much sense to me as it is commonly understood.

        85b. "..but he was not worthy of you", makes no sense to me if this is to
        be interpreted as pertaining to a past Adam's considerations of his
        worthiness to future (disciples?) which he never knew. Rather I think it
        is a statement about the disciple's considerations of Adam. Please correct
        me if I am way off base in this retranslation, but perhaps it would be
        better written, "..but he was of no worth to/for you.."--sort of in the
        same way that the world isn't worthy: It is of no worth or value. The
        teaching would thus be an admonishment of resent behavior to whomever Jesus
        is speaking to here.
        The last sentance is then a mirroring effect of the ideal of
        existence, Adam, and the audience of this saying. That is, if Adam had any
        real value to whomever Thomas has Jesus speaking to, then they would no
        longer taste death and in this way they would reinstitute the paridisical
        state of the ideal Adam because they would finally BE Adam.
        Thus in keeping with Paul, Adam, the once perfect man, must BECOME
        someone of value to the followers of Jesus if the curse of the Tree of
        Knowledge of Good and Evil is to be overturned--Jesus, of course, was
        considered to be the proof that the law could be overturned. Thus the
        saying jumps from primordial or even paradisical times, "Adam came from
        great power and great wealth,.." to a current past in the life of the
        DISCIPLES, "..but he was of no worth to you." to an explanation of why
        things were the way they were by showing it is because of the way things
        are now, the way they are, "For had he been of worth, he would not have
        tasted death".--he is made to speak here to the individual listeners of
        this saying as Adam as the ideal that died because he had no value for
        himself.
        In view of the fact that GThomas, if indeed there is an intent
        behind it all, rebukes the 'speaking' of the dead, I do not find it
        improbable that all historical or litterary references within the text lead
        not back to past ideas or abstractions but as symbols with which the
        ascetics were made to identify themselves --ideas that were to be applied
        to the present moment and the immediate person to which this was addressed.
        By such an interpretation, the logic becomes cyclical. And that is
        why I think it is the more appropriate interpretation. The ascetics were
        probably not logicians. The sayings, moreover, were probably inteded to
        confuse the intellect. And because of this assumption I think it is
        impossible to aproach the meaning behind these symbols with logic (as I can
        bear witness to, having failed somewhat in this endeavor i'm sure).

        Peace,
        Robert.
      • Michael Grondin
        ... You go to a great deal of trouble to show that #85 shouldn t be taken at face value, but I m really at a loss to understand why you prefer an
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 4, 2000
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          Robert Tessman writes:
          >I suggest that Adam, as described in Thomas, WAS considered the
          >ideal state for Thomasine ascetics to attain (i.e., to become Adam).

          in spite of Th 85:

          >"Adam ... was not worthy of you. For had he been worthy,
          > he would not have tasted death"

          You go to a great deal of trouble to show that #85 shouldn't be taken
          at face value, but I'm really at a loss to understand why you prefer
          an interpretation that appears to be the very opposite of what was
          intended. "not worthy of you" of course doesn't mean 'worthless',
          just that Adam wasn't as good as you (J's disciples) are. Thomas says
          the same thing about John the Baptist - he's the greatest among men,
          but he ain't as good as you are. This is the simple, straightforward
          interpretation, and Ockham's razor recommends that, all other things
          being equal, the simpler explanation is to be preferred, because it's
          more likely to be the correct one.

          I hope it's understood that I'm not denying that Thomas presents a
          sort of androgynous spiritual ideal. I'm just saying that, for
          Thomas, _Jesus_ is the prototype of that ideal, not Adam. As Paul
          might say, Jesus ain't just the greatest son of Adam the world has
          ever seen - he is himself _an entirely new and different Adam_
          (sinless, eternal, and all that). Indeed, sin and death are so often
          equated in early Xian writings that one suspects that part of what
          Thomas means by "not taste death" is simply "not sin". (And, of
          course, if you don't sin in this world, then you're gonna have
          eternal spiritual life in the other, so the two go hand-in-hand.) In
          any case, Thomas says that Adam "tasted death", but that the (true)
          disciples of Jesus won't. I don't see how it's possible to get around
          the implications of that. Adam is simply not an ideal to emulate.

          The theme of Adam as the ideal man may be common in other ascetic
          writings - I'm not denying that, and that is probably the background
          knowledge that brought Crossan to say what he did about Adam. If
          Thomas itself had said nothing about Adam, that might be a possible
          inference. But since Thomas does talk about Adam, and since what it
          says about him is consistent with its other views, I see no reason to
          suppose that Th 85 shouldn't be taken at face value.

          Regards,
          Mike
        • Robert Tessman
          ... What you mean is, I like to write allot and you are correct, but I don t know why I like to write allot. Maybe I even hate it to some degree. I think
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 6, 2000
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            >Robert Tessman writes:
            >>I suggest that Adam, as described in Thomas, WAS considered the
            >>ideal state for Thomasine ascetics to attain (i.e., to become Adam).
            >
            >in spite of Th 85:
            >
            >>"Adam ... was not worthy of you. For had he been worthy,
            >> he would not have tasted death"
            >
            >You go to a great deal of trouble

            What you mean is, 'I like to write allot' and you are correct, but I don't
            know why I like to write allot. Maybe I even hate it to some degree. I
            think maybe I assume people do not understand correctly what points I am
            trying to make so I try to make up for it by covering all forseable points
            of possible misunderstanding. Anyway I apologize to those who actually read
            what I write. I feel sorry for you all, but my intent is not to bore or
            say anything redundant. Unfortunately this post is especially long and I
            pray for you all.

            to show that #85 shouldn't be taken
            >at face value, but I'm really at a loss to understand why you prefer
            >an interpretation that appears to be the very opposite of what was
            >intended.

            Firstly we cannot assume that we know what was intended. Secondly, it is
            not exaclty opposite. Adam did taste death and for that reason he became
            seperated from 'great power' and 'great wealth' (although I don't know
            about the mother/father thing here it could just be emphasis on
            'greatness'). In this way we can distiguish two Adams, the one who came
            from great power and great wealth and the one after the fall. In this way
            we have ideal Adam juxtaposed to the corrupted or mortal Adam. The last
            line implies the conditions necessary to not 'taste death', by explaining
            why Adam tasted death.

            For fun, I'll give an ilustration of how Adam tasted death. When we are
            children at a very young age we all consider ourselves with a very healthy
            sense of self esteem. Later when we go to school and especially after
            puberty we begin to suspect that we are lacking and that we need to 'be'
            better than who we 'are'--At this point we no longer consider 'Adam' to be
            Worthy--because we have taken from the tree of knowledge--we want more
            because paradise is no longer good enough for us. The point at which Adam
            no longer was worthy of himself was the point at which he lost great power
            and great wealth.


            Here I am assuming that Adam (as fallen) is conceived as an Archetype for
            Man in general, and not just some story that the ascetics took in only an
            historical sense. Yet nowhere does it state which Adam is being spoken of.
            Adam seems to be either the one who came from great power and wealth or the
            one who tasted death, but in the GoT it is all the same Adam--and perhaps
            for a good reason. So when I say Adam is the ideal, I am partly wrong here
            and I apologize for the confusion. What I should say, rather, is that
            "Adam" is the main concern in the GoT. (or perhaps one symbol in the slew
            of symbols that represents the main concern).

            "not worthy of you" of course doesn't mean 'worthless',
            >just that Adam wasn't as good as you (J's disciples) are.

            Right. I should not have used the word 'worthless' because we are not
            dealing with an absolute valuation. It is instead a relative valuation.
            But my argument, nevertheless, rests upon who is concerned in this.

            ===============================================================================
            85. Jesus said, "Adam came from great power and great wealth, but he wasn't
            worthy of you [or 'wasn't valuable enough for you']. For had he been
            worthy, he wouldn't have tasted death."
            ===============================================================================
            The following are dramatic retellings in modern speach that are intended to
            illustrate the difference between these two interpretations.

            Reinactment of the First Interpretation (Adam < Disciple):
            Jesus said "Adam was really cool, he was an awsome dude, but man! you guys
            are way cooler. If he was as cool as you guys, I bet he wouldn't have
            tasted death man!"

            Reinactment of the Second Interpretation (Adam = Disciple):
            Jesus said "Adam was really cool, he was REAL man! Back when you first came
            to me you didn't give a shit about him. If you actually gave a shit about
            him all ya'll, like Adam, woulda never STOPPED bein' REAL. You were Real
            once just like Adam and then you stopped given a shit and you stopped bein
            real. And it's cause YOU stopped given a shit, that Adam got himself a
            taste a' death.
            ===============================================================================

            The last sentance of 85 in particular would appeal to the guilt complex
            that so many people had in the classical period. Everybody believed the
            universe depended upon them and their sacrifices. If there is an
            earthquake, it's probably because of that prayer I neglected. Here, if
            Adam tasted death it was because the disciples didn't value him enough.
            Furthermore because of the words 'taste death' a direct connection
            perhaps should be made to the opening phrase "whoever discovers the
            interpretations of these sayings...yada yada yada." Which brings me to
            your next statement.

            Thomas says
            >the same thing about John the Baptist - he's the greatest among men,
            >but he ain't as good as you are. This is the simple, straightforward
            >interpretation, and Ockham's razor recommends that, all other things
            >being equal, the simpler explanation is to be preferred, because it's
            >more likely to be the correct one.

            Indeed, wisdom to avoid insanity by! When my car doesn't start and I ask
            myself "what is wrong with my car?" the simplest explanation would usually
            be that I havent put the key in the ignition. However when we ask "what is
            wrong with me?", Ockham's razor would probably lead to the cutting of one's
            own wrists--because us humans refuse to understand exactly 'what' a simple
            explanation is. Regardless I fail to see how a 'face value' interpretation
            of this saying is a 'simple' explanation. How does praise help an ascetic?
            In my experience it only nurtures a sickly demand for more praise. I do
            not see how Jesus praising his disciples as being better than anyone
            immaginable is relevant to the ideas expressed in the rest of the GoT. Was
            the Ascetic community behind the GoT just a circle jerk, a group of people
            that got together for the purpose of flattering eachother with ideas of who
            they are all better than?
            I agree with 'Ockham's razor' in most cases as far as
            'explanations' are concerned. But we must remember who this text was
            written to. It was NOT written to people who were trying to understand the
            'ideology' or 'dogmatic world view' of a distant Thomasine community of
            ascetics. It was written to the ascetics themselves who would have cared
            for nothing of that. It was written to people who believed they were
            sinners, products of Adam etc., and who wished for a personal, internal,
            transformation--wished to attain a 'spiritual' state of existence.
            Everything written in this text should therefore be understood in terms of
            it being intended to reflect the reader or listener him or herself. This
            is why the sayings at least cannot be approached with logic, because logic
            objectifies the sayings rendering them abstract and impersonal. One has to
            approach them as an ascetic would, whose very life depended upon these
            sayings as though the sayings were the key to a complete change of their
            own being. As if the words were actually speaking to him and noone else.
            Logic may work 'outside' the text but 'within' the text logical
            explanation is virtually impossible especially considering that these ideas
            are not 'logical'.
            So perhaps J's Disciples ARE better than Adam--this would then make
            them what? Inhuman? And where would that leave us in understanding the
            text? It would seem that it is simply an exagerated statement of how
            'good' these disciples are in comparison to everyone else. Why would that
            be at all pertinent to the goal of the gospel--to discover the secret
            interpretations so that we do not taste death. Such a 'simple'
            interpretation would possess absolutely no transformative value to the
            reader.
            I will agree that this is perhaps one intended interpretation. But
            I will not agree that it is the 'only' intended interpretation. In this
            way I do not think you will find any stable 'value' for 'Adam' in the text.
            (That last sentance, for instance, has more meaning intended than just a
            surface one). On the one hand Adam is not valued as the ideal, on the
            other hand he IS valued as the ideal--depending on how you read this
            saying. Furthermore, when he IS the ideal, Jesus admonishes the past
            concerns of his followers for not valuing him enough!--and goes on to say
            that this is why they tasted death--because each one of them IS Adam not
            being worthy of Adam.
            No, when you are dealing with the writtings of ascetics, insanity
            becomes a great threat--because as any ascetic will tell a logician, there
            is absolutely no simple "explanation".

            >I hope it's understood that I'm not denying that Thomas presents a
            >sort of androgynous spiritual ideal. I'm just saying that, for
            >Thomas, _Jesus_ is the prototype of that ideal, not Adam. As Paul
            >might say, Jesus ain't just the greatest son of Adam the world has
            >ever seen - he is himself _an entirely new and different Adam_
            >(sinless, eternal, and all that).

            See, now you are revealing the illogic that even you must notice: "an
            entirely new and different Adam": The same man but different. What? Do
            you not see how this cannot be pinned down by rational thought? In the GoT
            especially, the sayings are not dogmatic but poetic. We cannot say that
            Adam was considered to be an anti-ideal, because he was an ideal, however
            it is wrong to say he was an ideal. There are so many layers of meaning
            that it is impossible to say yes or no to any of them. We must look at
            these sayings from many differing points of reference not just anagogically
            but anamorphically.

            Indeed, sin and death are so often
            >equated in early Xian writings that one suspects that part of what
            >Thomas means by "not taste death" is simply "not sin". (And, of
            >course, if you don't sin in this world, then you're gonna have
            >eternal spiritual life in the other, so the two go hand-in-hand.) In
            >any case, Thomas says that Adam "tasted death", but that the (true)
            >disciples of Jesus won't. I don't see how it's possible to get around
            >the implications of that.

            Adam 'tasted death' at the fall from his great wealth and great power. I am
            not getting around these implications I am simply reversing them. This
            reversal is what is implied in the Got--the beginning is where the end will
            be--The 'End' is the restoration of Adam to his great power and great
            wealth. But the 'Adam' tasting death is the person who seeks to discover
            the secret interpretations of these sayings. The one who discovers them
            however will be Adam and perhaps will even find in the text a validation of
            this.

            >Adam is simply not an ideal to emulate.

            Certainly not. Not as fallen. But I am not speaking of 'emulating' here.
            I am speaking about 'being'. He was the first and if all goes well for the
            ascetic he will be the last--everything inbetween is the tree of knowledge:
            Death. At first there was Adam then he fell into the realm of illusion
            controled by knowledge and until he reaches out and takes from the tree of
            life to 'Be' what he was once again, he will taste death. This it seems is
            how the Adam of Gen 2 and 3 is understood by GThomas. Every Ascetic must
            go back to the beginning face the twirling swords of the cherubim, and take
            from the tree of life. In this way they WILL BE Adam once again...new and
            different, but Adam nevertheless.

            >The theme of Adam as the ideal man may be common in other ascetic
            >writings - I'm not denying that, and that is probably the background
            >knowledge that brought Crossan to say what he did about Adam. If
            >Thomas itself had said nothing about Adam, that might be a possible
            >inference. But since Thomas does talk about Adam, and since what it
            >says about him is consistent with its other views,

            I wonder how many differing 'consistent views' there are of GThomas. The
            only thing that doesn't seem to be consistent with GThomas are the many
            differing opinions of how it is consistent.

            I see no reason to
            >suppose that Th 85 shouldn't be taken at face value.

            Because the text implies over and over again that the correct
            interpretations are hidden. If you think you got it, your probably wrong.
            It is ego-centric and socio-centric to believe that we live in such an age
            that our first impressions of the sayings are what the ancients tried so
            hard to get to. I highly doubt the age of enlightenment did that much to
            our collective psyche.

            Peace,
            Robert.
          • Michael Grondin
            Robert- I think we ve reached the point where we re just going to have to agree to ... You re not going to be able to convince me of that, since I m a
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 6, 2000
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              Robert-

              I think we've reached the point where we're just going to have to agree to
              disagree. I do want to clarify one point, however. I had said:

              >I hope it's understood that I'm not denying that Thomas presents a
              >sort of androgynous spiritual ideal. I'm just saying that, for
              >Thomas, _Jesus_ is the prototype of that ideal, not Adam. As Paul
              >might say, Jesus ain't just the greatest son of Adam the world has
              >ever seen - he is himself _an entirely new and different Adam_
              >(sinless, eternal, and all that).

              To which you responded:

              >See, now you are revealing the illogic that even you must notice: "an
              >entirely new and different Adam": The same man but different. What? Do
              >you not see how this cannot be pinned down by rational thought?

              You're not going to be able to convince me of that, since I'm a
              rationalist. I believe that anything can be "pinned down by rational
              thought" - even irrationality. Isn't that the basic assumption of
              psychiatry and psychology? But if you think otherwise, then what is the
              point of even trying to analyze Thomas?

              "The same man but different" doesn't really capture the idea of Jesus as
              the new Adam. The only sameness is in the fact that both were regarded as
              the first of a new species of man. As I see it, Thomas implicitly contrasts
              Adam as the first physical man with Jesus as the first "living spirit"
              (using the words of Th 114). Adam "tasted death", but Jesus didn't. That's
              why there's no talk of the crucifixion - because it's not *physical* death
              that Thomas is talking about - it's spiritual death. The (eternally)
              "living Jesus" is the one who spoke these words, according to Thomas - not
              the man who was crucified, died, and was buried.

              Adam is the worldly man of sin; Jesus is the spiritual sinless man - and so
              is Thomas, and anyone else who follows in this path. "Sinless" in the sense
              that, like a child of seven days (i.e., an uncircumcized child literally, a
              "child of creation" metaphorically), he's unaware of the difference between
              good and evil - which makes him innocent of any knowledge of the world. In
              other words, he doesn't eat of the fruit of that tree that Adam ate of.
              When Adam ate of that tree, he entered the world - the world of sin and
              death. By refusing to eat of that tree, one returns to the spiritual world
              of sinlessness and eternal life. (According to Thomas)

              Anyway, that's my take on it. If you want to differentiate the pre-sin Adam
              from the post-sin Adam (or the about-to-sin Adam), that's fine, but I don't
              see that Thomas was thinking that way. Maybe, as I said before, they just
              didn't think it through very carefully. If they had, they might have
              considered the pre-sin Adam as an ideal. But then, again, there was no
              reason for them to do that, since they already had Jesus as their ideal.
              *Other folks* might have believed that man can't possibly emulate Jesus,
              because of his divine nature, therefore pre-sin Adam must be the ideal man.
              But as you know, Thomas believed that man *can* emulate Jesus, so pre-sin
              Adam wasn't all that important to them.

              Regards,
              Mike

              The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
              http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm
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