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Re: [gthomas] Saying #13

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  • Jim Bauer
    Fire, to anyone in the Greek-speaking community, even those only marginally familiar with philosophy, would immediately think of fire as an element. This
    Message 1 of 2 , May 6, 2000
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      Fire, to anyone in the Greek-speaking community, even those only marginally
      familiar with philosophy, would immediately think of fire as an element.
      This quaternity of elements is so wide-spread that it is archetypal. I
      deviate from Jung so considerably in my ideas that, even though Jung is the
      most familiar author for this kind of stuff, I'm not really sure I could be
      classified as Jungian. I do not at this point want to engage in a
      discussion of Jungian psychology as it would probably be way off-topic.
      However, you might also want to investigate the Gnostic elements: besides
      the traditional four they added smoke. I realize Thomas is more Xian than
      Gnostic but you might want to do a word-count on this particular term to see
      if there are Thomasine traces. Another possibility would be to run "fire"
      and "smoke" thru the search engine at www.gnosis.org, possibly the rest of
      the elements as well.

      BTW, considering your humble passage at the end, your discussion is pretty
      much on-track and I don't think you're in the least intruding. I'd be
      interested in your reactions to what I've posted here..

      Jim Bauer

      Jim Bauer
      -----Original Message-----
      From: dante616@... <dante616@...>
      To: gthomas@egroups.com <gthomas@egroups.com>
      Date: Saturday, May 06, 2000 2:33 PM
      Subject: [gthomas] Saying #13


      >I believe this is my first time posting to this group however I have just
      >finished a thesis on the Gospel of Thomas and have been drawn in by the
      >spiritual nature of the text. Within my thesis I discuss the metaphorical
      >language involved in making a religious language. I looked specifically at
      >the use of the word fire throughout the text. Where patti and many others
      >pull in the use of outside sources I have chosen not to, except in rare
      >cases. This choice is because the enigmatic text provides very few facts
      as
      >to the context by which it was written. So I have tried staying within the
      >work of GoT itself. In looking at the word 'fire', I found 3 instances of
      >the word being used. The first is in #13, the third is #16. In #16, jesus
      >reveals that it is not peace that he has come to earth as most people
      think.
      >"They do not know that it is dissension which I have come to cast upon the
      >earth: fire, sword, and war." It seems from this saying that fire is a bad
      >thing and is somehow referential to the idea of hell as a general western
      >influenced mind has characterized it. But if we are to think about the
      >implications of fire during the time the text was written we realize that
      >there were very few options for light and heat, both produced by fire. So
      >the metaphors of fire can be taken very differently with the context. In
      >saying 82, the fourth place the word fire is used in the text, we are faced
      >with a new context of the word fire. "He who is near me is near the fire,
      >and he who is far from me is far from the Kingdom." From this saying it
      >seems clear that this idea of fire is somehow representative of the Kingdom
      >of Heaven. Saying 10, seems to follow this line of thinking as well.
      jesus
      >places himself in a position much like that of a guardian of the world. "I
      >have cast fire upon the world, and see, I am guarding it until it blazes."
      >However using the rest of the text of GoT could it be possible that fire is
      >symbolic for the Kingdom of Heaven? the question that arises in my mind
      then
      >is what is meant by casting stones upon thomas? Is this a reference to
      >death? Now the idea of death is an interesting topic which I think should
      be
      >covered in relation to this problem of casting stones in #13.
      > I thnk it is important to remember that where death in most people's
      >minds is negative, it should neither have positice nor negative
      connotations
      >as it is not really an end but a beginning. How mad is this idea of death
      >anyway? How can something be born of God, of Love, and of eternal Life,
      and
      >still die? One way or another the idea of fire, and the consumption
      thereof,
      >is not an idea of death, but one of eternal life.
      > I am sorry if I have interjected too many of my own thoughts and
      feelings
      >that uphold my theodicy however i thought there could be something valid in
      >my analysis that all of you would enjoy.
      >Peace, Love, and Light
      >Daniel J. Crawford
      >
      >
      >-------------------------------------------------
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    • Kanefer@aol.com
      One could look at all the ways in which fire is considered in the scriptures. Fire is used to light the darkness, to kindle incense and for offerings &
      Message 2 of 2 , May 7, 2000
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        One could look at all the ways in which fire is considered in the scriptures.
        Fire is used to light the darkness, to kindle incense and for offerings &
        sacrifices. As Isaiah mentioned, the same fire that is used to molten an
        idol is used to bake bread & cook food and warm oneself.... There are many
        good uses of fire.

        Sincerely, Patti
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