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Re: [GTh] The Lion Passage

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  • Mowthpeece@aol.com
    In a message dated 6/30/02 10:12:56 AM Pacific Daylight Time, ... Interesting idea, but I personally can t get past the astrotheological associations of the
    Message 1 of 28 , Jun 30, 2002
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      In a message dated 6/30/02 10:12:56 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
      dhindley@... writes:


      >
      > >>My interpretaion is based on the "Gnostic" assumption that
      > the lion is Yaldabaoth. I also propose that Yaldabaoth was
      > reinterpreted as "the devil" in 1Peter 5:8 "The devil, as a
      > roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour."
      >
      > Does anyone else on this list think the author of this
      > saying intended a connection between Yaldabaoth and the
      > lion? If so, who do you think the author was? A historical
      > Jesus? or a later "Gnostic" author?<<
      >
      > My opinion would be the association went the other way.
      > "Satan" (or the devil, if you will) in Jewish tradition was
      > likened to a lion, maybe because it consumes anything it
      > wants. When some Jews became gnostics in the late 1st
      > century, they adorned the redemption myth they adopted with
      > imagery from Judaism. While in their view the traditional
      > concept of the Jewish God was transformed into the arrogant
      > war-oriented Yaldabaoth, who destroys and punishes nations
      > at his whim and will. He is, essentially, now no different
      > than the old notion of Satan, and as a result takes on
      > Satan's associations - the lion.
      >
      > Respectfully,
      >
      > Dave Hindley
      > Cleveland, Ohio, USA
      >
      >
      >

      Interesting idea, but I personally can't get past the astrotheological
      associations of the Lion with Christ....my mind just won't go to the Lion as
      Satan too.....that's not to say that some symbols haven't crossed over..Venus
      the Morning Star sure did....

      anna


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Rick Hubbard
      The enigmatic character of the lion saying can be tentatively reduced in yet another way. Textual critics have questioned the integrity of this portion of
      Message 2 of 28 , Jul 1, 2002
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        The enigmatic character of the "lion saying" can be tentatively reduced in
        yet another way.

        Textual critics have questioned the integrity of this portion of the
        manuscript. "The phrase 'and the lion will become human' [Bethge
        translation] could be a copyists error that may have even occurred already
        in the underlying Greek Vorlage, and can possibly be deleted. Although
        emendation to 'and the person will be the lion' produces a formal
        parallelism, it is not unproblematic with regard to content" [_The Fifth
        Gospel_, p 8].

        If this suggestion is accepted, the saying becomes less opaque. It would
        read as follows:

        "Jesus says: 'Blessed is the lion that a person will eat [...] and anathema
        is the person whom a lion will eat [...].'"

        It then is not a whole lot different from a hunting guide's laconic
        aphorism, "Some days you get a bear, other days a bear gets you."

        But, admittedly, this reconstruction does not completely reduce the saying's
        impenetrable character. There is very little question that it circulated in
        the form in which it is now preserved in the Coptic mss. It must have had
        some resonance for the transmitters. It's interesting to read some of the
        suggestions that have been made in this regard.


        Rick Hubbard
        Humble Maine Woodsman
      • Ron McCann
        ... From: Rick Hubbard To: Sent: Monday, July 01, 2002 5:46 AM Subject: RE: [GTh] The Lion Passage Rick
        Message 3 of 28 , Jul 2, 2002
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Rick Hubbard" <rhubbard@...>
          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, July 01, 2002 5:46 AM
          Subject: RE: [GTh] The Lion Passage


          Rick wrote:-> The enigmatic character of the "lion saying" can be
          tentatively reduced in
          > yet another way.
          >
          > Textual critics have questioned the integrity of this portion of the
          > manuscript. "The phrase 'and the lion will become human' [Bethge
          > translation] could be a copyists error ...., and can possibly be deleted.
          >
          > If this suggestion is accepted, the saying becomes less opaque. It would
          > read as follows:
          >
          > "Jesus says: 'Blessed is the lion that a person will eat [...] and
          anathema
          > is the person whom a lion will eat [...].'"
          >
          > It then is not a whole lot different from a hunting guide's laconic
          > aphorism, "Some days you get a bear, other days a bear gets you."

          Or, from a non Main-Woodsman, or urban perspective, "Sometimes you are the
          dog and sometimes you are the fire-hydrant?'

          Seems a bit pointless, even if we abreviate it as suggested, unless Jesus
          was trying to make a life-wisdom joke. Har Har- good one!

          Seriously though, how is the lion either "blessed" or "lucky" in being
          killed and eaten by a man? Somehow the animal flesh is "raised" in
          significance and "sacramentalized" by being consumed by the superior human
          and being made human flesh???? Lion flesh becomes human flesh and thus the
          lion is sacramentaliszed and therefore lucky at being a human victim? Lucky
          chickens, lucky fish, lucky cows, lucky turnips- they ultimately became
          human, so they are Lucky or blessed retroactvely or postumously because they
          served the needs of a "higher life-form"? Those whom man does not consume
          are unlucy or accursed? What the hell is being said here? Human beings are
          instruments of sacrilization by what they eat????????

          As far as what is normative, UNLUCKY is the lion which a man consumes and
          the lion becomes man. It's dead. Likewise, the turnip.

          What, on earth is confirmed upon our dead lion or dead turnip for having
          served as fodder for living humans? What is their reward? In what sense are
          they "Lucky " or "Blessed". How to they "survive" to reap this "blessing"? A
          dead Lion is a dead lion. So with the turnip. Where is the "luck"?

          What is disturbing about Thomas is that sayings that can be found that
          suggest that we ourselves should permit ourselves to be "eaten".

          Well screw that.

          Ron McCann
          Saskatoon, Canada
        • docgroove1017
          ... superior human ... thus the ... victim? ... having ... sense are ... this blessing ? A ... that ... Ron, The way I read it, we are talking about two
          Message 4 of 28 , Jul 2, 2002
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            --- In gthomas@y..., "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@s...> wrote:
            > Somehow the animal flesh is "raised" in
            > significance and "sacramentalized" by being consumed by the
            superior human
            > and being made human flesh???? Lion flesh becomes human flesh and
            thus the
            > lion is sacramentaliszed and therefore lucky at being a human
            victim?
            > ...
            > What, on earth is confirmed upon our dead lion or dead turnip for
            having
            > served as fodder for living humans? What is their reward? In what
            sense are
            > they "Lucky " or "Blessed". How to they "survive" to reap
            this "blessing"? A
            > dead Lion is a dead lion. So with the turnip. Where is the "luck"?
            >
            > What is disturbing about Thomas is that sayings that can be found
            that
            > suggest that we ourselves should permit ourselves to be "eaten".
            >
            > Well screw that.
            >
            > Ron McCann
            > Saskatoon, Canada

            Ron,
            The way I read it,
            we are talking about two different lions.
            One is a reference to any animal flesh consumed in "the circle of
            life", especially by a higher order being (human) capable of
            consciousness.(self-consciousness=God-consciousness)
            The other lion is an evil archon/demon/Yaldabaoth who wants to live
            within a human form.
            There seems to have been a belief that some aspect of even animals
            lived on and was transformed after being eaten by another species.
            It would help to know more about 1st Century biological thinking.
            Randall Wilson
            Lebanon, Il
            USA
          • Ron McCann
            Jesus, you ducked the question. Either answer it, Randy, or get off the pot.. Others are waiting. Ron McCann ... From: docgroove1017
            Message 5 of 28 , Jul 3, 2002
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              Jesus, you ducked the question.
              Either answer it, Randy, or get off the pot..
              Others are waiting.

              Ron McCann

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "docgroove1017" <docgroove1017@...>
              To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2002 10:16 PM
              Subject: Re: [GTh] The Lion Passage

              > --- In gthomas@y..., "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@s...> wrote:
              > Somehow the animal flesh is "raised" in significance and "sacramentalized"
              > by being consumed by the superior human and being made human flesh????
              > Lion flesh becomes human flesh and thus the lion is sacramentaliszed and
              > therefore lucky at being a human victim?
              > ...
              > What, on earth is confirmed upon our dead lion or dead turnip for having
              > served as fodder for living humans? What is their reward? In what sense are
              > they "Lucky " or "Blessed". How to they "survive" to reap this "blessing"?
              > A dead Lion is a dead lion. So with the turnip. Where is the "luck"?
              > What is disturbing about Thomas is that sayings that can be found that
              > suggest that we ourselves should permit ourselves to be "eaten".
              > Well screw that.
              > Ron McCann
              > Saskatoon, Canada

              > Ron,
              > The way I read it,
              > we are talking about two different lions.
              > One is a reference to any animal flesh consumed in "the circle of
              > life", especially by a higher order being (human) capable of
              > consciousness.(self-consciousness=God-consciousness)
              > The other lion is an evil archon/demon/Yaldabaoth who wants to live
              > within a human form.
              > There seems to have been a belief that some aspect of even animals
              > lived on and was transformed after being eaten by another species.
              > It would help to know more about 1st Century biological thinking.
              > Randall Wilson
              > Lebanon, Il
              > USA
            • BrerFrase@aol.com
              In a message dated 7/2/02 9:17:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Support for this view can be found from an equally cryptic line from another culture s milieu,
              Message 6 of 28 , Jul 3, 2002
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                In a message dated 7/2/02 9:17:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
                ronmccann1@... writes:


                >
                > What, on earth is confirmed upon our dead lion or dead turnip for having
                > served as fodder for living humans? What is their reward? In what sense are
                > they "Lucky " or "Blessed". How to they "survive" to reap this "blessing"?
                > A
                > dead Lion is a dead lion. So with the turnip. Where is the "luck"?
                >
                > What is disturbing about Thomas is that sayings that can be found that
                > suggest that we ourselves should permit ourselves to be "eaten".
                >
                > Well screw that.
                >
                > Ron McCann
                > Saskatoon, Canada
                >
                >

                Support for this view can be found from an equally cryptic line from another
                culture's milieu, the authorship of which has been attributed to the
                marquee's nom de plume though rumor has it that this line was actually
                *spoken* by an actual person in an actual war, and thus the line's
                authenticity as a *line* and its authorship can never be satisfactorily
                verified from this far-removed vantage point, sigh. Yet perhaps it can shed
                some light on the current rather more substantive scholarly conundrum
                surrounding metaphoric proto-cannabilism. And it is, after all, one of my own
                dearest cryptic epigrams in its own wright, one I live by daily in matters
                domestic and foreign, btw, and borne out of the hollowed bowels I mean
                hallowed halls of mgm itself ...

                "Just remember, Sarge, they can kill us, but they can't eat us."

                ("From Here to Eternity")

                Happy 4th to all...

                Fraser Hubbard
                :)


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • docgroove1017
                (7) Jesus said, Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man; and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, and the lion becomes man. (60) You
                Message 7 of 28 , Jul 6, 2002
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                  (7)
                  Jesus said,
                  "Blessed is the lion
                  which becomes man
                  when consumed by man;
                  and cursed is the man
                  whom the lion consumes,
                  and the lion becomes man."

                  (60)
                  "You too, look for a place for yourselves within repose,
                  lest you become a corpse and be eaten."

                  "Authoritative Teaching
                  "The adversary spies on us, lying in wait ...wishing to seize us,
                  rejoicing that he might swallow us. ... She gave her body to those
                  who had given it to her, and ... the dealers in bodies sat down and
                  wept because they were not able to do any business with that body¬Ö
                  They did not realize that she has an invisible spiritual body"

                  Ron,
                  There seems to have been an underlying concept that the "life-force"
                  of the creature being eaten was somehow transferred to the carnivore
                  that ate them. If the carnivore is "Adam" and we can assume here
                  that he is on the side of "good", then the creature eaten has given
                  his "life-force" to aid the side of "good". If, however, a person has
                  not yet "found a place within repose", he is in danger of being
                  "eaten" by the evil archons and thus aiding "the dark side". Still
                  confused? Watch Star Wars and may the Force be with you!
                  Once the "two are made into one", there is no longer a concern
                  for "good" and "evil" and the state of "rest" is achieved. Once
                  there, you no longer have to worry about being "eaten".

                  Randy Wilson
                  Lebanon, IL
                  USA
                  --- In gthomas@y..., "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@s...> wrote:
                  > Jesus, you ducked the question.
                  > Either answer it, Randy, or get off the pot..
                  > Others are waiting.
                  >
                  > Ron McCann
                  > > --- In gthomas@y..., "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@s...> wrote:
                  > > Somehow the animal flesh is "raised" in significance
                  and "sacramentalized"
                  > > by being consumed by the superior human and being made human
                  flesh????
                  > > Lion flesh becomes human flesh and thus the lion is
                  sacramentaliszed and
                  > > therefore lucky at being a human victim?
                  > > ...
                  > > What, on earth is confirmed upon our dead lion or dead turnip for
                  having
                  > > served as fodder for living humans? What is their reward? In what
                  sense are
                  > > they "Lucky " or "Blessed". How to they "survive" to reap
                  this "blessing"?
                  > > A dead Lion is a dead lion. So with the turnip. Where is
                  the "luck"?
                  > > What is disturbing about Thomas is that sayings that can be found
                  that
                  > > suggest that we ourselves should permit ourselves to be "eaten".
                  > > Well screw that.
                  > > Ron McCann
                  > > Saskatoon, Canada
                  >
                  > > Ron,
                  > > The way I read it,
                  > > we are talking about two different lions.
                  > > One is a reference to any animal flesh consumed in "the circle of
                  > > life", especially by a higher order being (human) capable of
                  > > consciousness.(self-consciousness=God-consciousness)
                  > > The other lion is an evil archon/demon/Yaldabaoth who wants to
                  live
                  > > within a human form.
                  > > There seems to have been a belief that some aspect of even animals
                  > > lived on and was transformed after being eaten by another species.
                  > > It would help to know more about 1st Century biological thinking.
                  > > Randall Wilson
                  > > Lebanon, Il
                  > > USA
                • docgroove1017
                  ... Anyone here want to try to explain the five trees? (19)Jesus said,... For there are five trees for you in Paradise which remain undisturbed summer and
                  Message 8 of 28 , Jul 10, 2002
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                    --- In gthomas@y..., "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@s...> wrote:
                    > It is sort of like the "five trees".. Your can't crack it.
                    > Ron McCann
                    > Saskastoon, Canada

                    Anyone here want to try to explain the five trees?
                    (19)Jesus said,...
                    For there are five trees for you in Paradise which remain undisturbed
                    summer and winter and whose leaves do not fall.
                    Whoever becomes acquainted with them
                    will not experience death."

                    Does anyone believe there is a lost part of the "Pistis Sophia" that
                    might be found to gives some more info? It says "he had not told them
                    in which places the five trees are spread", but then it never
                    mentions them again!

                    My hypothesis is that the five trees in Saying (19) are the
                    five Gnostic rites of initiation and may have been associated with
                    actual plants as were the Greek gods and goddesses.

                    1.) BAPTISM = LILY (WATER LILY) = JUNO
                    [goddess of childbirth- "born again"]

                    2.) EUCHARIST = VINE (WINE) = BACCHUS
                    [another dying and resurrecting god!]
                    ??? and WHEAT (BREAD) = DEMETER

                    3.) CHRISM = OLIVE (OIL) = MINERVA
                    [goddess of Wisdom/Sophia, "Spirit"]
                    ??? OR BALSAM

                    4.) REDEMPTION = OAK = JUPITER
                    (god of the sky)
                    [meeting archons in ascent through heavens]

                    5.) BRIDAL CHAMBER = LINDEN = PHILEMON & BAUCIS
                    [the eternal couple representing mutual love]

                    I found the corelations between trees and gods mentioned on the
                    following site very informative.
                    http://www.cybercomm.net/~grandpa/treemyth.html

                    Randall Wilson
                    Lebanon, IL
                    USA
                  • valjuk
                    Randall, I m not 100% sure on this, and as this is my first time posting in this group, please be kind, if this sounds ridiculous! In the Greek version of the
                    Message 9 of 28 , Jul 13, 2002
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                      Randall, I'm not 100% sure on this, and as this is my first time
                      posting in this group, please be kind, if this sounds ridiculous!

                      In the Greek version of the Acts of Judas Thomas, the story of
                      Gundaphorus and the celestial palace is related. When Gundaphorus
                      realises his mistake in imprisoning Thomas and Habban, he frees them
                      and asks to be made worthy of entering the service of God. Thomas
                      praises Jesus for the miraculous conversion, and asks Gundaphorus to
                      prepare for the ceremony of sealing. During the ceremony, Thomas
                      poured oil on the heads of Gundaphorus and his brothers, invoking the
                      names of the holy spirit. One of these names was "messenger of the
                      five members" it goes on to list these five members as: mind,
                      thought, reflection, consideration and reason. Certain Syriac
                      translations include "intention" or "volition".

                      The followers of Mani who had an intimate connection to Thomas Lore
                      [note Hippolytus "Refutation of All Heresies": Let none read the
                      gospel according to Thomas, for it is the work, not of one of the
                      twelve Apostles, but of one of Mani's three wicked disciples]
                      regarded the 'pentad of the mind' to be the dwelling place of the
                      father of greatness, their supreme godhead. The 'pentad of the mind'
                      as it is translated from Manichean texts is sense, reason, thought,
                      imagination and will.

                      I am not sure whether it is a logical extrapolation or not, but could
                      the five trees, or the five members possibly be that which is
                      required to achieve gnosis? That which Gnostics called
                      the "spark", "spirit", "soul" or "seed"? It says in GTh that "whoever
                      knows them will not taste death". Gnostics sought to evade death of
                      the spirit by gnosis. If the five trees/members are indeed
                      the "spark" which Gnostics sought, then that explains their apparent
                      permanence, that "they do not change, summer or winter, and their
                      leaves do not fall". It also explains how the stones will come to
                      serve those who pay attention to the saying - as gnosis will have
                      been achieved.


                      Ok, I'm sorry if this explanation seems really convoluted, and is
                      just a jumble of ideas, I did try to introduce some degree of logic
                      into it. I hope it's of some use?

                      James Valente
                      London, UK
                    • Ron McCann
                      Randall, I think the Five Trees of 19 cannot reasonably be the five trees/plants you mention because the criteria that their leaves are unchangeable summer
                      Message 10 of 28 , Jul 15, 2002
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                        Randall,

                        I think the "Five Trees" of 19 cannot reasonably be the five trees/plants
                        you mention because the criteria that their leaves are unchangeable summer
                        or winter, and do not fall, is not met. Something eternal and unchanging-
                        ie- immortal and 'divine" is being referenced.

                        As to the Pistis Sophia connection, I find it intriguing that it states:-"
                        he (Jesus) had not told them in which place the five trees are spread'"
                        Assuming, this is indeed a reference to the same Jesus-saying found in 19,
                        the version of the saying the Pistis Sophia author had in mind, could not
                        have contained the words "in Paradise" which we now find in 19. One supposes
                        someone subsequently identified "which place" with "Paradise", and added the
                        words.

                        I cannot escape from the conclusion that 19 is about the Thomas initiate's
                        re-entry to Eden (Paradise) and encountering it's 'trees", one of which, of
                        course is the Tree of Life, which according to Genesis a man "may eat and
                        never die"- that is- he will not, as Adam, who never got to eat of it,
                        "taste death".

                        There appear to be a number of Edenic references in Thomas which suggest to
                        me that a this-lifetime "return to Eden" was part of the Thomasine belief
                        system and a necessary step in their 'salvational" scheme- some sort of
                        reversal of the "Fall of Man", individually.

                        Ron McCann
                        Saskatoon, Canada
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "docgroove1017" <docgroove1017@...>
                        To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2002 7:26 PM
                        Subject: Re: [GTh] The Five Trees(19)


                        >
                        > Does anyone believe there is a lost part of the "Pistis Sophia" that
                        > might be found to gives some more info? It says "he had not told them
                        > in which places the five trees are spread", but then it never
                        > mentions them again!
                        >
                        > My hypothesis is that the five trees in Saying (19) are the
                        > five Gnostic rites of initiation and may have been associated with
                        > actual plants as were the Greek gods and goddesses.
                        >
                        > 1.) BAPTISM = LILY (WATER LILY) = JUNO
                        > [goddess of childbirth- "born again"]
                        >
                        > 2.) EUCHARIST = VINE (WINE) = BACCHUS
                        > [another dying and resurrecting god!]
                        > ??? and WHEAT (BREAD) = DEMETER
                        >
                        > 3.) CHRISM = OLIVE (OIL) = MINERVA
                        > [goddess of Wisdom/Sophia, "Spirit"]
                        > ??? OR BALSAM
                        >
                        > 4.) REDEMPTION = OAK = JUPITER
                        > (god of the sky)
                        > [meeting archons in ascent through heavens]
                        >
                        > 5.) BRIDAL CHAMBER = LINDEN = PHILEMON & BAUCIS
                        > [the eternal couple representing mutual love]
                        >
                        Randall Wilson
                        > Lebanon, IL
                        > USA
                      • Ron McCann
                        Hello James, Welcome. I liked your analysis. Just a comment or two on Hippolytus s statement:- [note Hippolytus Refutation of All Heresies : Let none read
                        Message 11 of 28 , Jul 15, 2002
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                          Hello James,

                          Welcome.
                          I liked your analysis.

                          Just a comment or two on Hippolytus's statement:->" [note Hippolytus
                          "Refutation of All Heresies": Let none read the gospel according to Thomas,
                          for it is the work, not of one of the
                          twelve Apostle, but of one of Mani's three wicked disciples]."

                          I am sure most will agree that he is likely out-to-lunch on that. Mani was
                          born in 215-216 AD and began proclaiming his gospel in 242 AD about age 27.
                          (He was crucified in 276-277).

                          Whereas it is possible that Manicheans could have influenced our Coptic copy
                          of Thomas (dated to about 350 CE), and may have used it, they certainly
                          didn't create it. If I am not mistaken, the Greek copy we have dates to
                          about 225 CE, and clearly cannot have been created or influenced by Mani or
                          Manicheans.

                          This casts some doubt on the applicability of Manichean ideas and concepts
                          to the "five trees" problem.

                          Best,

                          Ron McCann
                          Saskatoon, Canada



                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "valjuk" <valjuk@...>
                          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 4:56 PM
                          Subject: Re: [GTh] The Five Trees(19)


                          > Randall, I'm not 100% sure on this, and as this is my first time
                          > posting in this group, please be kind, if this sounds ridiculous!
                          >
                          > In the Greek version of the Acts of Judas Thomas, the story of
                          > Gundaphorus and the celestial palace is related. When Gundaphorus
                          > realises his mistake in imprisoning Thomas and Habban, he frees them
                          > and asks to be made worthy of entering the service of God. Thomas
                          > praises Jesus for the miraculous conversion, and asks Gundaphorus to
                          > prepare for the ceremony of sealing. During the ceremony, Thomas
                          > poured oil on the heads of Gundaphorus and his brothers, invoking the
                          > names of the holy spirit. One of these names was "messenger of the
                          > five members" it goes on to list these five members as: mind,
                          > thought, reflection, consideration and reason. Certain Syriac
                          > translations include "intention" or "volition".
                          >
                          > The followers of Mani who had an intimate connection to Thomas Lore
                          > [note Hippolytus "Refutation of All Heresies": Let none read the
                          > gospel according to Thomas, for it is the work, not of one of the
                          > twelve Apostles, but of one of Mani's three wicked disciples]
                          > regarded the 'pentad of the mind' to be the dwelling place of the
                          > father of greatness, their supreme godhead. The 'pentad of the mind'
                          > as it is translated from Manichean texts is sense, reason, thought,
                          > imagination and will.
                          >
                          > I am not sure whether it is a logical extrapolation or not, but could
                          > the five trees, or the five members possibly be that which is
                          > required to achieve gnosis? That which Gnostics called
                          > the "spark", "spirit", "soul" or "seed"? It says in GTh that "whoever
                          > knows them will not taste death". Gnostics sought to evade death of
                          > the spirit by gnosis. If the five trees/members are indeed
                          > the "spark" which Gnostics sought, then that explains their apparent
                          > permanence, that "they do not change, summer or winter, and their
                          > leaves do not fall". It also explains how the stones will come to
                          > serve those who pay attention to the saying - as gnosis will have
                          > been achieved.
                          >
                          >
                          > Ok, I'm sorry if this explanation seems really convoluted, and is
                          > just a jumble of ideas, I did try to introduce some degree of logic
                          > into it. I hope it's of some use?
                          >
                          > James Valente
                          > London, UK
                        • Didymus5@aol.com
                          Mr Valjuk may be interested in the following excerpts from The Gnostic Apostle Thomas End of chapter 5 Messenger of the five members is one of the
                          Message 12 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
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                            Mr Valjuk may be interested in the following excerpts from The Gnostic
                            Apostle Thomas

                            End of chapter 5
                            "Messenger of the five members" is one of the manifestations of the Holy
                            Spirit invoked by Thomas at the sealing of Gundaphorus and Gad. One
                            translator of this passage from the Syriac version has given a certain list
                            of English words referring to various mental functions that we regard as
                            being of a distinctively human order: mind, idea, thoughtfulness,
                            consideration, reasoning. Some translations would include "intention" or
                            "volition." The pentad is an attempt to put into words the distinctive
                            powers or faculties that humans are considered to share with the supremely
                            divine. There is, as always with attempts to define "Mind," a question as to
                            whether it is intended to include that elusive element Gnostics sometimes
                            called "spark" or "spirit" or "soul" or "seed." Given the context, we can
                            assume the most expansive definition was intended in identifying those
                            features that set humandkind apart from all other creatures.
                            Another grouping of five qualities of mind has a direct and intimate
                            connection with Thomas lore. This one was to be found among the followers of
                            Mani, the third-century Mesopotamian prophet of a gnostic religion that
                            combined elements of Buddhism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism. (We will
                            take a longer look at Manicheism in a later chapter.) Manicheans regarded the
                            five attributes of Mind as the dwelling places of the Father of Greatness,
                            their supreme godhead. The five have been translated as sense, reason
                            thought, imagination (or inventiveness), and intention (or will).
                            Another writing bearing the name of Thomas seems to allude to the "five
                            members." This is the important Gospel of Thomas , an early collection of
                            sayings of Jesus, recorded (so the text claims) by the apostle. For the
                            moment we want to note only one of the sayings which speaks of five trees in
                            Paradise, changeless in summer and winter, "whose leaves do not fail. Whoever
                            becomes acquainted with them will not experience death."
                            Scholars have pointed out that the Psalter of the Manicheans equates the five
                            trees with several other pentads, including the five members of the soul or
                            Mind. A Chinese Buddhist treatise contrasts five kinds of trees of death,
                            poisoned with evil, with "five kinds of matchless precious and luminous trees
                            whose fruits give immortality." The five precious fruits, as we would
                            expect, are consciousness, heart (in China, the seat of reasoning), memory,
                            reflection, and intention.
                            Another fivesome, central to Buddhist thought, may lie behind the five we
                            find in later Chinese Buddhism, Manicheism, and some of the Thomas writings.
                            Buddhists hold that nothing exists by itself. "Things" exist only in
                            relation to other things, in mutual interdependence, all continually acting
                            upon each other in a complex process of causal relationships.
                            Accordingly, we should not think of a continuing, personal Self. What we in
                            our ignorance call the Self is really an interplay of five mental elements
                            and the physical body (known as skandhas ), in temporary conjunctions,
                            constantly changing and interacting. "Skandha" is usually translated as
                            "heap": or "aggregate" or "group," each skandha being itself a combination of
                            faculties shading into each other. The Sanskrit for the five mental skandhas
                            can be translated as consciousness, sensations, concepts, perceptions, and
                            volition.
                            The Buddhist pentad of mental skandhas may well lie behind the notion of
                            "five members" found among Manicheans, and in Thomas writings that Manicheans
                            read (and perhaps edited). Eventually, in central Asia, Buddhist and gnostic
                            ideas and imagery would merge.

                            Chapter 22
                            Through the centuries the Gnostics' fivesomes of attributes of "Mind" are
                            found among Nestorians, Manicheans, and Northern Buddhists in central Asia
                            and China. "The five" (as we have seen) are ways of talking about "mind" in
                            the basic Manichean myth of the contest between the realms of Good and Evil,
                            in the thinking of Northern Buddhism, in the Acts and Gospel of Thomas, and
                            in the Gnostic Dialogue of the Savior found at Nag Hammadi. In central Asia
                            the Manicheans' Five Members or Messengers could become the five Buddhas of
                            Northern Buddhism. According to seventh-century Nestorian texts in Chinese,
                            a human being is constituted by the "five attributes" or "five skandhas,"
                            with the addition of the soul. The Five Members invoked by Thomas when he was
                            sealing King Gondaphorus had merged, at some point, with the five Buddhist
                            mental skandhas. Or perhaps we should speak of the re-merging of ideas and
                            imagery that had evolved from the same source.
                          • Didymus5@aol.com
                            I neglected to add my signature to the message re five trees. Chris Merillat
                            Message 13 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
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                              I neglected to add my signature to the message re five trees. Chris Merillat
                            • Grondin
                              ... Merillat Yeah, I did too. BTW, could you give the publication details for The Gnostic Apostle Thomas ? You are the author, as I recall. Also, does the
                              Message 14 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
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                                > I neglected to add my signature to the message re five trees. Chris
                                Merillat

                                Yeah, I did too. BTW, could you give the publication details for "The
                                Gnostic Apostle Thomas"? You are the author, as I recall. Also, does the
                                title express your opinion that Christian "gnosticism" (with a small 'g')
                                had its origin in the actual thinking of an historical apostle - as opposed
                                to his name being simply used in a wide variety of later writings, as was
                                the case with a number of other apostles (e.g., "Acts of Peter", "Apocryphon
                                of John", etc)?

                                Mike Grondin
                              • Didymus5@aol.com
                                Mike Grodin The Gnostic Apostle Thomas has been available on the Internet under that title since 1997, and can also be found through the Gospel of Thomas
                                Message 15 of 28 , Jul 16, 2002
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                                  Mike Grodin

                                  The Gnostic Apostle Thomas has been available on the Internet under that
                                  title since 1997, and can also be found through the Gospel of Thomas
                                  Homepage. It is now also available in a paperback, through Amazon and
                                  Barnes and Noble. There are Chapter notes in which the sources of the
                                  various statements made in the message on Five Trees can be found.
                                  As to your question: my own impression, for what it may be worth, is
                                  that groups or a community of early followers of Jesus ascribed various
                                  statements or views to Thomas -- as some did to other intermediaries such
                                  John or Peter or Paul -- probably beginning in the first century CE, and
                                  that these views often had a gnostic character. It also appears that these
                                  invocations of Thomas as an authority continued in some movements long
                                  after a Christian orthodoxy of sorts emerged in the fourth century and
                                  writings under the name of Thomas were condemned. I realize that the matters
                                  of dating and source and gnostic influence are much debated in the GTh group.
                                  I follow these discussions, under your leadership, with interest, but have
                                  little to say beynd what is in my book

                                  Best wishes, Chris Merillat
                                • Didymus5@aol.com
                                  I neglected to add, for those possibly interested, that The Gnostic Apostle Thomas is also available on line through the Gnosis Archive. Chris Merillat
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Jul 17, 2002
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                                    I neglected to add, for those possibly interested, that The Gnostic Apostle
                                    Thomas is also available on line through the Gnosis Archive. Chris Merillat
                                  • Ron McCann
                                    James, further to my last post contained below, and your quote from the writings of St. Hippolytus, I wonder if ascribing this to him is an error? Did you
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Jul 17, 2002
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                                      James, further to my last post contained below, and your quote from the
                                      writings of St. Hippolytus, I wonder if ascribing this to him is an error?
                                      Did you perhaps have in mind material from St.Epipanius of Salamis who
                                      penned his "Against Heresies" in 374 CE? I can't find that quote.

                                      My information is that Hippolytus was born in 170 CE and died in 235 CE and
                                      had thus been dead for 5 or more years when Mani first proclaimed his Gospel
                                      in Persia in 242 CE. Someone suggested that Iraneus had also addressed
                                      Manicheaism in his "Against Heresies", but he also was long dead when Mani
                                      started (Iraneus- born 130 CE, died 202 CE).

                                      Although it seems clear to me that Mani or the the Manicheans did not
                                      compose Thomas (The Jesus Seminar dates one fragment of the Greek version
                                      "to "around 200 CE".) they did adopt it, and may well have 'dicked' with it
                                      such that our Coptic version may have 'contaminants" from Manichaeism,
                                      particularly given it's late date (350 CE).

                                      Egypt became an early hotbed of Manicheaism. The Manicheans expanded rapidly
                                      reaching Judea in 274 CE- 3 years before Mani was killed, and subsequently
                                      arrived early in Egypt (Alexandria) where in 296, they "having recently come
                                      from Persia" were creating problems and the Proconsul of Africa complained
                                      about them resulting in an Edict from Diocletian ( March 31, 296) ordering
                                      their suppression. Even in 330 CE, St. Anthony is said to have forbidden all
                                      intercourse with them.

                                      According to the Catholic Encyclopaedia, in the Eastern Roman empire
                                      Manicheaism came to the zenith of it's power between AD 375-400 and then
                                      rapidly declined. In Egypt the Edict of Theodosius I (AD 381) was directed
                                      specifically to their suppression. During this time numerous authors
                                      attacked the heresy. Thomas and the rest of the Nag Hammadi collection seem
                                      to have been buried about 380 CE, possibly in response to this.

                                      Given all this, especially since the Gospel of Thomas was a favorite of the
                                      Manicheans, one indeed wonders whether the Coptic copy we have, didn't
                                      earlier pass through the hands of Manichean editors such that our Coptic
                                      copy may indeed show traces of Manichean concepts and thought. I resile from
                                      my early comment. It may indeed be proper to consider them in relation to
                                      those sayings in Thomas not found in the Greek.

                                      Ron McCann
                                      Saskatoon, Canada
                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@...>
                                      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                                      Sent: Monday, July 15, 2002 2:28 PM
                                      Subject: Re: [GTh] The Five Trees(19)


                                      > Hello James,
                                      >
                                      > Welcome.
                                      > I liked your analysis.
                                      >
                                      > Just a comment or two on Hippolytus's statement:->" [note Hippolytus
                                      > "Refutation of All Heresies": Let none read the gospel according to
                                      Thomas,
                                      > for it is the work, not of one of the
                                      > twelve Apostle, but of one of Mani's three wicked disciples]."
                                      >
                                      > I am sure most will agree that he is likely out-to-lunch on that. Mani was
                                      > born in 215-216 AD and began proclaiming his gospel in 242 AD about age
                                      27.
                                      > (He was crucified in 276-277).
                                      >
                                      > Whereas it is possible that Manicheans could have influenced our Coptic
                                      copy
                                      > of Thomas (dated to about 350 CE), and may have used it, they certainly
                                      > didn't create it. If I am not mistaken, the Greek copy we have dates to
                                      > about 225 CE, and clearly cannot have been created or influenced by Mani
                                      or
                                      > Manicheans.
                                      >
                                      > This casts some doubt on the applicability of Manichean ideas and concepts
                                      > to the "five trees" problem.
                                      >
                                      > Best,
                                      >
                                      > Ron McCann
                                      > Saskatoon, Canada
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > ----- Original Message -----
                                      > From: "valjuk" <valjuk@...>
                                      > To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                                      > Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 4:56 PM
                                      > Subject: Re: [GTh] The Five Trees(19)
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > > Randall, I'm not 100% sure on this, and as this is my first time
                                      > > posting in this group, please be kind, if this sounds ridiculous!
                                      > >
                                      > > In the Greek version of the Acts of Judas Thomas, the story of
                                      > > Gundaphorus and the celestial palace is related. When Gundaphorus
                                      > > realises his mistake in imprisoning Thomas and Habban, he frees them
                                      > > and asks to be made worthy of entering the service of God. Thomas
                                      > > praises Jesus for the miraculous conversion, and asks Gundaphorus to
                                      > > prepare for the ceremony of sealing. During the ceremony, Thomas
                                      > > poured oil on the heads of Gundaphorus and his brothers, invoking the
                                      > > names of the holy spirit. One of these names was "messenger of the
                                      > > five members" it goes on to list these five members as: mind,
                                      > > thought, reflection, consideration and reason. Certain Syriac
                                      > > translations include "intention" or "volition".
                                      > >
                                      > > The followers of Mani who had an intimate connection to Thomas Lore
                                      > > [note Hippolytus "Refutation of All Heresies": Let none read the
                                      > > gospel according to Thomas, for it is the work, not of one of the
                                      > > twelve Apostles, but of one of Mani's three wicked disciples]
                                      > > regarded the 'pentad of the mind' to be the dwelling place of the
                                      > > father of greatness, their supreme godhead. The 'pentad of the mind'
                                      > > as it is translated from Manichean texts is sense, reason, thought,
                                      > > imagination and will.
                                      > >
                                      > > I am not sure whether it is a logical extrapolation or not, but could
                                      > > the five trees, or the five members possibly be that which is
                                      > > required to achieve gnosis? That which Gnostics called
                                      > > the "spark", "spirit", "soul" or "seed"? It says in GTh that "whoever
                                      > > knows them will not taste death". Gnostics sought to evade death of
                                      > > the spirit by gnosis. If the five trees/members are indeed
                                      > > the "spark" which Gnostics sought, then that explains their apparent
                                      > > permanence, that "they do not change, summer or winter, and their
                                      > > leaves do not fall". It also explains how the stones will come to
                                      > > serve those who pay attention to the saying - as gnosis will have
                                      > > been achieved.
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > Ok, I'm sorry if this explanation seems really convoluted, and is
                                      > > just a jumble of ideas, I did try to introduce some degree of logic
                                      > > into it. I hope it's of some use?
                                      > >
                                      > > James Valente
                                      > > London, UK
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > --------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      > Gospel of Thomas Homepage: http://home.epix.net/~miser17/Thomas.html
                                      > To unsubscribe from this group,
                                      > send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                      >
                                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                      >
                                      >
                                    • Grondin
                                      ... It is indeed. According to the Layton Brill edition of Codex II, vol.1, p.105-6, the quote is from Cyril of Jerusalem, circa 348 C.E. As quoted therein:
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Jul 17, 2002
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                                        James Valente wrote:
                                        > [note Hippolytus "Refutation of All Heresies": Let none read the
                                        > gospel according to Thomas, for it is the work, not of one of the
                                        > twelve Apostles, but of one of Mani's three wicked disciples]

                                        Ron McCann responded:
                                        > ... your quote from the writings of St. Hippolytus,
                                        > I wonder if ascribing this to him is an error?

                                        It is indeed. According to the Layton Brill edition of Codex II, vol.1,
                                        p.105-6, the quote is from Cyril of Jerusalem, circa 348 C.E. As quoted
                                        therein:

                                        "This one (Mani) had three disciples: Thomas, Baddas, and Hermas. Let no one
                                        read the _Gospel According to Thomas_, for he is not one of the twelve
                                        apostles, but one of the three wicked disciples of Mani."

                                        Regards,
                                        Mike Grondin
                                        The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
                                        http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
                                      • docgroove1017
                                        Ron, If a human disciple is capable of not tasting death by making the two into one , entering a Kingdom transcending all opposites, a new world without
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Jul 20, 2002
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                                          Ron,
                                          If a human disciple is capable of "not tasting death" by "making the
                                          two into one", entering a Kingdom transcending all opposites, a new
                                          world without Summer or Winter Solstice, only Equinox, then one could
                                          reasonably expect that within this Kingdom, even normally deciduous
                                          plants/trees would no longer undergo their normal seasonal changes.

                                          If, however, you believe seasonal plants/trees must be ruled out, I
                                          would offer you an alternate hypothesis that the 5 trees represent
                                          the 5 virtues as put forth by Philo. These 5 virtues may also be
                                          correlated to the 5 Gnostic rites.

                                          The following quotes are from _The Works of Philo - Complete and
                                          Unabridged_, translated by C D Younge, 1993, Hendrickson publishers.
                                          Allegorical Interpretation I, XVII and XVIII
                                          "And God caused to rise out of the earth every tree which is pleasant
                                          to the sight and good for food, and the tree of life he raised in the
                                          middle of the Paradise, and also the tree of knowledge of good and
                                          evil."
                                          (Philo says)"He here gives a sketch of the trees of virtue which he
                                          plants in the soul." ..."But the tree of life is that most general
                                          virtue which some people call goodness, from which the particular
                                          virtues are derived, and of which they are composed." ..."but as to
                                          the other tree, that namely of the knowledge of good and evil, he has
                                          not specified whether it is within or outside of the Paradise."

                                          "And a river goes forth out of Eden to water Paradise...separated
                                          into four heads...Pheison...Gihon...Tigris...Euphrates"
                                          (Philo says)"In these words Moses intends to sketch out the
                                          particular virtues. And they also are four in number."
                                          "Prudence, Temperance, Courage, and Justice."
                                          "Now the greatest river from which the four branches flow off, is
                                          generic virtue, which we have already called goodness."
                                          ......................................................................
                                          The tree of Life would correspond to the ultimate culmination of
                                          Gnosis or the "bridal chamber", while the elementary lessons of right
                                          and wrong or "Justice" would correspond to repentance and "Baptism".
                                          "Temperence" would refer to moderation in food and drinkk, thus
                                          corresponding to the holy meal of the "Eucharist". "Prudence" would
                                          be associated with Wisdom or Spiritual fire and annointing with the
                                          oil of "Chrism", while "Courage" would be a necessity for confronting
                                          the menacing archons in ascent through the heavens during the rite
                                          of "Redemption".

                                          Randall Wilson
                                          Lebanon, IL
                                          USA


                                          --- In gthomas@y..., "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@s...> wrote:
                                          > Randall,
                                          > I think the "Five Trees" of 19 cannot reasonably be the five
                                          trees/plants
                                          > you mention because the criteria that their leaves are unchangeable
                                          summer
                                          > or winter, and do not fall, is not met. Something eternal and
                                          unchanging-
                                          > ie- immortal and 'divine" is being referenced.
                                          > ...
                                          > I cannot escape from the conclusion that 19 is about the Thomas
                                          initiate's
                                          > re-entry to Eden (Paradise) and encountering it's 'trees", one of
                                          which, of
                                          > course is the Tree of Life, which according to Genesis a man "may
                                          eat and
                                          > never die"- that is- he will not, as Adam, who never got to eat of
                                          it,
                                          > "taste death".
                                          > ...
                                          > Ron McCann
                                          > Saskatoon, Canada
                                          > ----- Original Message -----
                                          > From: "docgroove1017" <docgroove1017@a...>
                                          > To: <gthomas@y...>
                                          > Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2002 7:26 PM
                                          > Subject: Re: [GTh] The Five Trees(19)
                                          > > My hypothesis is that the five trees in Saying (19) are the
                                          > > five Gnostic rites of initiation and may have been associated with
                                          > > actual plants as were the Greek gods and goddesses.
                                          > >
                                          > > 1.) BAPTISM = LILY (WATER LILY) = JUNO
                                          > > [goddess of childbirth- "born again"]
                                          > >
                                          > > 2.) EUCHARIST = VINE (WINE) = BACCHUS
                                          > > [another dying and resurrecting god!]
                                          > > ??? and WHEAT (BREAD) = DEMETER
                                          > >
                                          > > 3.) CHRISM = OLIVE (OIL) = MINERVA
                                          > > [goddess of Wisdom/Sophia, "Spirit"]
                                          > > ??? OR BALSAM
                                          > >
                                          > > 4.) REDEMPTION = OAK = JUPITER
                                          > > (god of the sky)
                                          > > [meeting archons in ascent through heavens]
                                          > >
                                          > > 5.) BRIDAL CHAMBER = LINDEN = PHILEMON & BAUCIS
                                          > > [the eternal couple representing mutual love]
                                          > >
                                          > Randall Wilson
                                          > > Lebanon, IL
                                          > > USA
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