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Makarios Sayings

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  • Michael Grondin
    Following is a note I posted to the (non-scholarly) GospelofThomas list, along with a note from Jack Kilmon (which I assume he won t mind my posting here). The
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 10, 2000
      Following is a note I posted to the (non-scholarly) GospelofThomas list,
      along with a note from Jack Kilmon (which I assume he won't mind my posting
      here). The list of sayings was compiled from the Greek/Coptic index on my

      > 'makarios' (Greek noun) = 'fortunate one', 'blessed one',
      > occurs ten times, in nine sayings (#69 is splitable).
      > My "on the fly" translations from the Coptic:
      > (7) A MAKARIOS is the lion - the one which the man will eat;
      > And then shall the lion become man.
      > And he is cursed, namely the man - the one which the lion
      > will eat; And the lion will become man.
      > (18) A MAKARIOS is he who will stand up in the beginning;
      > and he will know the end; and he will taste not death.
      > (19) A MAKARIOS is he who came/comes into being from the beginning,
      > before he came/comes into being...
      > (note: the remainder of #19 seems to indicate that "the beginning"
      > is either J's earthly life, or that point at which one becomes a
      > disciple of J; the 2nd coming-into-being is evidently in "Paradise".)
      > (49) Some (hen) MAKARIOS are the solitary ones and who are chosen,
      > for you will fall upon (discover) the kingdom,
      > for you are from out of her; again you will be going there.
      > (54) Some (hN) MAKARIOS are the poor,
      > for yours is the kingdom of the heavens.
      > (58) A MAKARIOS is the man who is troubled;
      > he has fallen upon (discovered) the Life.
      > (68) You are some (hM) MAKARIOS when they hate you & persecute you;
      > and the place where you were persecuted will not be found.
      > (69A) Some (hM) MAKARIOS are those who've been persecuted in their
      > minds (mentally?); those have truly known the Father;
      > (69B) Some (hM) MAKARIOS are those who are hungry, so that they may
      > satisfy the belly of he who desires/wishes/wants.
      > (103) A MAKARIOS is the man who knows where the thieves enter,
      > so that he may rise up & gather his kingdom & bind his
      > loins from the beginning, before they enter.
      > Patterns? Four (18,19,49,103) seem to talk about how fortunate it is
      > if one is "in the beginning" (has pre-knowledge or pre-existence?).
      > Three (58,68,69A) talk about being persecuted or troubled. Two (7 &
      > 69B) talk about being hungry/eaten. One (54) talks about being poor.
      > This would be my quick analysis, but I'm sure there's other ways to
      > slice and dice these ten sayings (counting 69 as two).
      > Grammatically, I note that five have MAKARIOS in the singular, five
      > in the plural. Of the five in the plural, two (49,54) use the wrong
      > form of the Coptic word for 'some', which should be 'hM'/'hem' when
      > preceding an 'M', not 'hN'/'hen'. But these two sayings (49,54) also
      > each contain at least one other grammatical error (in Coptic), so on
      > my view of GThom as puzzle, they may have been deliberately marked as
      > sayings that need "healing".
      > Mike
      > p.s.: I note that several heads of the Greek Orthodox Church over the
      > years have taken the name 'Archbishop Makarios', which always reminds
      > me of the nickname "Mr. Lucky" (of old TV series of same name). <g>

      The Aramaic word used by Jesus and translated MAKARIOS/OI was
      twbyhwn (TOObeehon) and is based in the same root for "good" TOB.
      Basically, it is an Aramaic cultural thingy difficult to translate into
      Greek and it means something like the "goodness" that comes to those who
      are...<fill in blank>.


      Additional note: Coptic used just the singular form of Greek nouns. The
      indication of plural was in the Coptic helper-words, rather than in the
      ending of the Greek noun. Thus the plural form 'MAKARIOI' isn't used in
      Coptic, but it would be in the Greek version of Thomas.


      The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
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