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Re: [GTh] #114: Beloved Disciple

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  • Grondin
    ... ending, ... the ... will ... returns to ... Jim- I think I asked you before where you got this for my sake from. I don t recall your answer, but it s not
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 11 8:11 AM
      > It is my theory that "Let Mary leave us..." may have been the original
      ending,
      > and that "making herself male for my sake" was a Gnostic redaction, as was
      the
      > first passage in Thomas, "Whoever experiences the meaning of these words
      will
      > not experience death". Since "the first shall be last" the passage here
      returns to
      > the beginning.

      Jim-

      I think I asked you before where you got this "for my sake" from. I don't
      recall your answer, but it's not in the text. Also, I don't see any
      particularly significant connection between #114 and #1.

      Mike Grondin
      Mt. Clemens, MI
    • Jim Bauer
      ... From: Grondin To: Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2002 9:11 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] #114: Beloved Disciple ...
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 11 9:50 PM
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
        To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2002 9:11 AM
        Subject: Re: [GTh] #114: Beloved Disciple


        > > It is my theory that Mary "making herself male for my sake" was a
        Gnostic redaction, as was
        > the
        > > first passage in Thomas, "Whoever experiences the meaning of these words
        > will
        > > not experience death". Since "the first shall be last" the passage here
        > returns to
        > > the beginning.
        >
        > Jim-
        >
        > I think I asked you before where you got this "for my sake" from. I don't
        > recall your answer, but it's not in the text.

        I see now that I have open copy on my desk before me of the third,
        completely revised edition of NHLe that I was quoting from memory of an
        earlier translation, and the final passage actually reads:

        #114(a) Simon Peter said to them, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not
        worthy of life.
        (b) Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her into a male,
        so that she may become a living spirit resembling you males.
        (c) For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of
        heaven."

        Also, I don't see any
        > particularly significant connection between #114 and #1.

        The problem is, Mike, you are not thinking like a mystic at the time all
        this stuff was first written. Sorry to take an example out of the history
        of science, but for example, Newton was an alchemist, and John Maynard
        Keynes, who collected most of Newton's alchemical manuscripts, calls him,
        instead of "the first scientist", the "last of the old magicians". Why did
        Newton postulate seven colors instead of six? I did a science fair
        experiment on colors as a kid and I was never able to distinguish a separate
        color, "indigo", in between "blue" and "violet". Newton posited this
        because, as an alchemist, there "had to be" seven colors because seven was
        the perfect number. (If I can think up an example from the history of
        religion I'll let you know.)

        My point here is simply that among mystics sacred relationships are often
        portrayed in numbers, and one of the greatest mystical affirmations of all
        time is, "the first shall be last and the last shall be first". (Whatever
        the hell that's supposed to mean.) The same thing holds true, even in this
        present age, in fiction where, even though it's been done to the point of
        becoming a cliche, the end goes back to the beginning. Any Gnostic scribe
        would have immediately taken the opportunity to write this type of stuff
        into the text simply to make it fit into a preconceived cosmology.

        However, I feel you're glossing over much of my discussion over a
        technicality. For me, assuming the author of http://www.BelovedDisciple.org
        is correct and Mary really did write the Fourth Gospel, the conflict we see
        here between Peter and Mary (or at least a conflict behind her back with
        Simon Peter speaking to "them" alone) may mean (a) that Peter's title of
        "Bishop of Rome" which granted him primacy over the various other Bishops
        (ie, the "First Pope") may be dated fairly early, being created at the time
        Thomas was going thru its rough drafts or (b) some later Xian redactor of
        Thomas, working within an ancestral form of the RCC but possibly a century
        or two later may have inserted the opening line of #114 to try to draw it
        into orthodoxy and take power and authority away from Mary Magdelene. Then,
        some Gnostic tacked on two Gnostic statements #114(b) Jesus said, "I myself
        shall lead her in order to make her into a male, so that she may become a
        living spirit resembling you males.

        Followed by:
        #114(c) For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom
        of heaven." All this seems quite firmly entrenched not within the Xian camp
        but the Gnostic theme of androgyny. Therefore, the "first shall be last
        stuff" was created to, as with Newton, "make it fit".

        Another text which has been selected as possibly Q is the Gospel of Peter.
        Several years ago, my brother John showed me a pamphlet he'd picked up at a
        lecture at Northwestern about how Peter might have been Q as in the extant
        fragments it gives to the Romans the distinciton of being the first to see
        Jesus risen from the dead. Personally, I think Thomas is closer to Q than
        Peter, but when I tried to research it on the web I got pages ranging from
        various Bible-biased Xians to male masturbation, so I have temporarily
        suspended my search for the answer to that one.

        Jim Bauer
      • mwgrondin
        ... ...to which your response was two-fold: (1) I m not thinking like a mystic of the time, and (2) I m ignoring your main thesis about MM supplanting Peter.
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 13 7:24 AM
          --- Jim Bauer wrote:
          > It is my theory that Mary "making herself male ..." was a
          > Gnostic redaction, as was the first passage in Thomas, "Whoever
          > experiences the meaning of these words will not experience
          > death". Since "the first shall be last" the passage here
          > returns to the beginning.
          --- to which my response was:
          > ... I don't see any particularly significant connection between
          > #114 and #1.

          ...to which your response was two-fold: (1) I'm not thinking like
          a mystic of the time, and (2) I'm ignoring your main thesis about
          MM supplanting Peter. The only sense I can make of this response
          is that you in fact have _two_ theses in mind, both of which have
          to do with "the first shall be last", and that you're conflating
          the two in your mind. Thus, when I respond to thesis #1, you see
          me as ignoring your thesis, because you think of the two theses as
          one. The way I look at it, thesis #1 is that Gnostics wrote both
          logion 1 and the ending of logion 114. Thus, the first saying is
          connected with the last not in any semantic way, but simply becuz
          Gnostics wrote both. My response to this thesis is the same as
          before: since there's no evident connection between (the end of)
          114 and logion 1, I see no reason to say that "the passage here
          [at the end of 114] returns to the beginning [i.e., saying #1]".
          In fact, I think you may have a different (though somewhat similar)
          saying in mind, namely "Where the beginning is, there the end will
          be." That saying is in Th18, whereas "Many of the first will become
          last" is in Th4.

          Your thesis #2 is strictly about Th114, and in this thesis "the
          first" is evidently Peter, not logion 1. To my mind, you confuse
          the issue by bringing in the apparently irrelevant question of
          whether MM wrote the 4th gospel - irrelevant because your thesis
          about the redaction of 114 isn't even connected with, still less
          does it depend on, whether or not she wrote GJn. So I'm going to
          ignore that and concentrate on the two-step process that you
          suggest underlies the current form of #114:

          (1) The original form was just Peter's statement, constructed
          to "take power and authority away from Mary Magdelene."
          (2) "Then, some Gnostic tacked on two Gnostic statements
          #114(b) ... "I myself shall lead her ..." [and] #114(c) For every
          woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven."

          Now what I would say about this is that it simply cannot have been
          so. I say that because it's simply inconceivable to me that a Xian
          writer, whether orthodox or Gnostic, would ever have ended such a
          sayings collection with a saying attributed to someone other than
          Jesus. I'm open to the suggestion that "114c" was later added to
          a+b, but that wouldn't help your case, since you want to claim that
          Th114 was originally anti-MM, and 114b already counters the anti-MM
          sentiment of 114a. It's clear to me that 114a was never a separate
          saying, but rather was constructed as simply a "foil" for 114b.
          That is to say, the original construction was point-counterpoint:
          Peter says A, then Jesus corrects and/or modifies his statement.
          You find that construction all the time in Xian writings. What
          you _don't_ find is someone other than Jesus making a definitive
          statement to which Jesus doesn't respond (e.g., 114a by itself).

          On an entirely different subject (which you throw in for no
          apparent reason other than a loose connection of names):

          > Another text which has been selected as possibly Q is the Gospel
          > of Peter. Several years ago, my brother John showed me a pamphlet
          > he'd picked up at a lecture at Northwestern about how Peter might
          > have been Q as in the extant fragments it gives to the Romans the
          > distinciton of being the first to see Jesus risen from the dead.
          > Personally, I think Thomas is closer to Q than Peter ...

          Of course it is. This pamphlet you refer to was obviously very
          confused. "Q" is understood as a sayings source, and what we have
          of the Gospel of Peter (which is basically the passion narrative)
          is not a sayings source.

          Mike Grondin
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