Spirit as Mother [was Stratification & the Historical Gap
- on 8/11/00 1:48 PM, Michael Grondin at mgrondin@... wrote:
> Careful readers may have noticed that, altho recent discussions of theAren't you ignoring the wisdom tradition?
> history of early Xianity may have brought us closer to understanding *some*
> Thomas sayings (such as #71), there are still others that remain curiously
> distant - even more so now. I have particularly in mind the sayings
> involving "the Mother":
> "My mother brought me forth, but my true mother gave me life.", and
> "He who knows the Father and the Mother will be called 'Son of the Harlot'"
> Such sayings as these seem antithetical to patriarchical Judaism - whether
> Temple or post-Temple - and so what are we to say about them? It may seem
> satisfying at first to just say that they aren't authentic, but that
> response doesn't help those of us who take Thomas to be pre-canonical, cuz
> we have to explain the existence of such themes in early Xianity, whether
> they derived from Jesus or not. One natural way out of this dilemma is to
> take Thomas to be "stratified", i.e., composed of a number of layers added
> over time to an early core sayings collection.
Here's a section from Wisdom of Solomon 7
7: Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me;
I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
8: I preferred her to scepters and thrones,
and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.
9: Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem,
because all gold is but a little sand in her sight,
and silver will be accounted as clay before her.
10: I loved her more than health and beauty,
and I chose to have her rather than light,
because her radiance never ceases.
11: All good things came to me along with her,
and in her hands uncounted wealth.
12: I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom leads them;
but I did not know that she was their mother.
Here, spirit of wisdom=mother of good things (and light). But even without
such a clear identification, any female divine figure in a first century
Jewish text could surely be assumed to be Wisdom. So those sayings can go
straight back into the first stratum!
As I mentioned, I think that #105 is connected with the Beelzebub
controversy and the blasphemy against the Spirit. If Mother=Spirit/Wisdom,
then saying that someone who knows the Spirit is the son of a whore,
(instead of a son of spirit/wisdom) is a misidentification akin to saying
that he has a demon, not the Spirit.
But perhaps I can pose this as a question. Can "Mother" in GoT really be
identified with Wisdom/Spirit?