Re: [GTh] #85
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Bauer" <jbauer@...>
To: "Gospel of Thomas" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, April 22, 2002 11:53 PM
Subject: [GTh] #85
> Jesus said: Adam came to be from a great power & great wealth, but he did
not become worthy of you. For had he been worthy, he would not experience
> #85a: How much of the opening sentence is part of the traditional Jewish
mythology which Jesus would experience as part of his familial heritage
whereas how much of this mythology is Gnostic?
> #85b: This seems to go back to the beginning. Can someone on the group
Possibly, the first sentence belongs to the Jewish Wisdom tradition rather
than to traditional Jewish mythology and/or Gnostic myth
In the first sentence, I suggest, the "great power" is God. Compare Mark
14:62, "Jesus said, "I am. And you will see the the Son of Man sitting at
the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'" Also
compare Fuga (141): where, Philo declares, God "shews Himself to those who
yearn to see Him, not as He is, which is a thing impossible, since even
Moses 'turned away his face, for he was afraid to look upon God' (Exod. iii.
6), but so far as it was allowable that created nature should direct its
gaze towards the Power that is beyond comprehension."
In the first sentence, I further suggest, the "great wealth" is Wisdom.
Compare Wisdom 8:5, "If riches be a possession to be desired in this life;
what is richer than Wisdom, that worketh all things?"
In this case, the meaning of the first sentence is that Adam's parents were
God and Wisdom.
If so, then this first sentence reflects the idea, which is found in Philo's
teachings, that the true Father of each of us is God and the true Mother of
each of us is Wisdom.
So, in Fuga. (109), Philo declares that the Logos "is the child
of parents incorruptible and wholly free from stain, his father being God,
who is likewise the Father of all, and his mother Wisdom, through whom the
universe came into existence."
Here, we learn, the Logos has God as his Father and Wisdom as his Mother.
Here, we also learn, God is the Father of all. Being the Father of all, He
is the Father of each of us.
Again, in Det. (116), Philo states, "For this divine Wisdom has appeared as
mother of all that are in the world, affording to her offspring, as soon as
they are born, the nourishment which they require from her own breasts. But
not all her offspring are deemed meet for the divine food, but such as are
found worthy of their parents."
Here, we learn, Wisdom is the mother of all, including each of us.
Let us now re-look at GThomas 85, "Jesus said: 'Adam came to be from a
great power & great wealth, but he did not become worthy of you. For had he
been worthy, he would not experience death.'"
Why, despite coming into being through "a great power (i.e., God the
Father)" and "great wealth (i.e., Wisdom the Mother), did Adam experience
Clues to the answer come from The Teachings of Silvanus, another Nag
Hammadi text. So, it says (91), "For death did not exist, not will it
exist at the end. But since you cast from yourself God, the holy Father,
the true Life, the Spring of Life, therefore you have obtained death as a
father and have acquired ignorance as a mother. They have robbed you of the
true knowledge. But return, my son, to your first father, God, and Wisdom
your mother, from whom you came into being from the very first in order that
you might fight against all of your enemies, the powers of the Adversary."
What I suggest, then, is that Adam's great sin, in the context of GThomas
85, is that he cast from himself his first Father (i.e., God) and his
first Mother (i.e., Wisdom), thereby falling into death and ignorance.
In rejecting himself from his first Father and Mother, he demonstrated that
he was unworthy of any of Jesus' disciples--for, in the GThomas tradition, a
true disciple of Jesus is one who rejects his earthly parents in favor of
his heavenly parents. See, for example, GThomas 101, "Whoever does not
hate his (earthly) father and his (earthly) mother as I do cannot become a
disciple of Me. And whoever does [not] love his (heavenly) father and his
(heavenly) mother as I do cannot become a [disciple] to Me. For My
(earthly) mother [ ], but [My] true [Mother] gave me life."
This is why, I suggest, Jesus, in 85, states that Adam is unworthy of
"you"--the "you", in this case, being his disciples. Adam is unworthy of
them because, while they have embraced their heavenly parents, and so will
live, he rejected his heavenly parents, and so died.
GThomas 85 and 101 are not the only sayings in GThomas that appear to
reflect the idea, found in the teachings of Philo, that God is the first and
true Father of each of us and that Wisdom is the first and true Mother of
each of us.
A third saying is found in GThomas 105, "Jesus said, 'He who knows the
father and the mother will be called son of a harlot.'"
Here, I suggest, Jesus complains that, while he knows that he is the
legitimate offspring of *the* Father (i.e., God) and *the* Mother (i.e.,
Wisdom), people call him a bastard.
A fourth saying is found in GThomas 15, "When you see one who was not born
of woman, prostrate yourselves on your faces and worship him. That one is
your Father." Since all of us and, even, the very Logos of God, have
Wisdom as a Mother, there is only one "him" who does not have a mother,
i.e., God. This one, i.e., God, is the Father of all of us.
As a final thought, I would like to state, another reason why I think that
GThomas should be placed in the Wisdom literary genre is that it contains so
many references to Wisdom. This is not readily apparent, but only comes out
in studying this gospel and seeing that it is she who is, in it, the
Kingdom, the Light, the Treasure/Riches, the Mother, etc..
This raises the question as to whether the real Jesus of history was an
adherent of the Jewish Wisdom tradition--particularly as expressed in
Alexandrian Judaism (i.e., in the teachings of Philo, in the teachings and
practices of the Therapeutae, and in the teachings of Wisdom and
1809 N. English Apt 17
Maplewood, MN USA 55109
Let us, now, turn to GTh 101, "<Jesus said,> 'Whoever does not hate his
father and his mother as I do cannot become a disciple to Me. And whoever
does [not] love his father and his mother as I do cannot become a [disciple]
to Me. For My mother [...], but [My] true [Mother] gave me life.'"
Here, I suggest, Jesus speaks as the Logos incarnate in the flesh.
As the Logos, he has been begotten by God and Wisdom, making them his
Father and Mother. However, he has become flesh by being born of a woman
married to a man and, so, in this sense, he also has a fleshly father and a
As the Logos, he always does what is right, and this includes turning away
from what is fleshly, including, his fleshly parents, and yearning for, and
cleaving to, his heavenly Father (i.e., God) and his heavenly Mother (i.e.,
Wisdom)--she who is his true Mother and she through whom he has eternal
Since Jesus, as the Logos, always does what is right, one who is a true
follower of him will do what is right and, so, will imitate what he does.
Thus, as he has turned away from his fleshly father and mother and yearns
for, and cleaves to, his heavenly Father (i.e., God) and his heavenly Mother
(i.e., Wisdom) who begat him, so one who is a true follower of him will turn
away from his fleshly father and mother and yearn for, and cleave to, his
heavenly Father (i.e., God) and his heavenly Mother (i.e., Wisdom) who made
Does this strike you as being a reasonable interpretation of GTh 101?