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RE: [gthomas] Adam Reconsidered

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  • Amy Clark
    If I may interject, and please excuse my lack of insight into Mike and Robert s previous discussions on the matter, I would like to make a point about Adam as
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 6, 2000
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      If I may interject, and please excuse my lack of insight into Mike and
      Robert's previous discussions on the matter, I would like to make a point
      about Adam as I think he's portrayed in Th 85.

      I agree with Mike's opinion that Thomas does not distinguish between a
      "pre-sin" Adam and a "post-sin" Adam necessarily. I think what Thomas is
      trying to say is that Adam was born into a world where sin didn't exist yet
      and that the possibilities for Adam to be a true child of God were endless.
      That Adam was "not worthy of you" can mean that Adam did not possess the
      insight nor the opportunity to learn from previous mistakes, since his
      "taste of death" was in fact the FIRST mistake, and the largest lesson for
      the rest of us to learn from. J's disciples (and by extension, all of us)
      have that chance. We have the advantage of looking back on Adam, either has
      a historical or symbolic figure, and learning from him, knowing that certain
      actions could have certain consequences, or cause and effect. I think Jesus
      is trying to convey this to his disciples, to implore them to take advantage
      of the knowledge that they have (albeit knowledge that caused humanity to
      fall from grace).

      I also think Robert made a very strong point about keeping in mind who the
      intended reader is. It is vanity for us to ever assume that we can know the
      true implications of Thomas's words. But we do the best that we can, and I
      believe the objective is to interpret the words so that we can learn from
      them in our own individual ways, as the ascetics did. Let the words be our
      teachers, and take from them what you can.

      Regards,
      Amy



      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Michael Grondin [SMTP:mgrondin@...]
      > Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2000 10:07 AM
      > To: gthomas@egroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [gthomas] Adam Reconsidered
      >
      > 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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    • Onnawa@aol.com
      In a message dated 4/6/00 1:11:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time, mgrondin@tir.com writes:
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 6, 2000
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        In a message dated 4/6/00 1:11:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time, mgrondin@...
        writes:

        << "The same man but different" doesn't really capture the idea of Jesus as
        the new Adam. >>
        ..for what it's worth....I have read that Jesus WAS adam..according to
        esoteric buddhist writings.... MARK WELSH
      • Michael Grondin
        ... Actually, I look at the story of Adam and Eve as a sort of early Brothers-Grimm children s fairy tale, whose moral is suspiciously akin to obey your
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 6, 2000
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          At 12:28 PM 04/06/00 -0700, Amy Clark wrote:
          > We have the advantage of looking back on Adam, either as a historical
          > or symbolic figure, and learning from him, knowing that certain
          > actions could have certain consequences, or cause and effect.

          Actually, I look at the story of Adam and Eve as a sort of early
          Brothers-Grimm children's fairy tale, whose moral is suspiciously akin to
          "obey your father", and whose explanation of how things first started is
          roughly on a par with the stork theory of childbirth. If there hadn't been
          so much thought devoted to it so long after its usefulness and relevance
          had so obviously passed, we wouldn't believe that there could have been.
          The "shelf-life" of an "inspired" book is just unbelievable! I bet Steve
          Davies wishes his books were considered even a little bit as "inspired" -
          then we wouldn't have to go to his website to read his Thomas book. <g>

          >It is vanity for us to ever assume that we can know the
          >true implications of Thomas's words.

          I'm not sure what you mean here. Is it any more "vanity" for us to "assume"
          that we can know the "true implications" of Plato's words - or Paul's? Or
          is it because Thomas declares itself to be esoteric?

          >I believe the objective is to interpret the words so that we can learn from
          >them in our own individual ways, as the ascetics did.

          Again, I'm not sure what you're saying. Do you mean that GThom was written
          with the specific intent of causing folks to puzzle over it? Both Robert
          and I would probably agree with you on that. In fact, we had a discussion
          of this issue back around Jan 20th. You may want to look it up in the
          back-messages at eGroups.

          Regards,
          Mike
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