Re: [gthom] the lion which the man consumes
- Jim Bauer wrote:
> I also learned that the figure of a lion is used besides Christ to indicate the devil in the NT (1 Peter 5:8): "Be sober. Be watchful. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour". Note also that the devil is seeking to "devour" or "consume" as in Thomas. In any case "consuming" always strikes me as a symbol of communion which may indicate an early beginning of a sacerdotal system in whatever group of Christians of which the authors of Thomas were members.This is somewhat snipped. And my reply is a couple of days late. I spent the weekend watching basketball on TV.
> I would argue that "lion" in Thomas is a symbol of Christ which would indicate an early strata of mythologization of the historical Jesus as noboby (or very few people, at least) go around pronouncing themselves symbols of themselves. It is also possible that "lion" means both "Christ" and "devil" in Thomas and that this dualism was deliberately employed to locate Jesus within the "two and the one" which has been a symbol in virtually all religions since sometime early in man's grasp of spirituality.
> The Christ/devil syzygy might also indicate early Gnostic influences on Thomas. Certainly Gnosticism was prevalent enough in Jesus' times to have influenced some of the authors of Thomas. Here I agree with Stephan Davies that it looks like Thomas was written by a bunch of people sitting around trying to remember things Jesus said.
Congratulations Jim. I had given up all hope of making any sense of GThomLog7 and had accepted Steve D's idea that it could not be made to make sense in ANY convincing way, must contain a mistaken wording, until you came up with this verse from 1Pete. Now it makes perfect sense; no mistakes. Of Course!! The lion is at once symbolic of Christ and Satan, LOGOS and DEMIOURGOS, salvation and perdition, good and evil.
And the whole thing smells (very early) gnostic as all getout. Early, because it emphasizes the humanity, even animality and worldliness, of the Christ, as later gnosticism, by my understanding, could not. I don't at all think HJ could have said this. But Thomas, as portrayed in 4G, could have. No?
Many thanks and--
Best wishes, Odell
Prof. Geology Em., W&L