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Re: [GTh] The Heavens

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  • BitsyCat1@aol.com
    In a message dated 11/05/2002 22:12:53PM, mwgrondin@comcast.net writes:
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 6, 2002
      In a message dated 11/05/2002 22:12:53PM, mwgrondin@... writes:

      << Surprisingly, the Apocryphon of John tells us how to do that. And that's
      all I'll say for now, since I'm getting no feedback, and I'm not sure anyone is
      paying any attention.

      Mike Grondin
      The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
      http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
      >>

      John asks?

      How then does the Gospel of Philip fit into the Mix? IS it also part of
      the puzzle?

      It would seem a commentary of some sort on Thomas?

      Are the questions in Thomas? And The Answers in the Apochryphon and G
      Philip (i.e., Solutions)?

      I am trying to get an overall view of what they proposed to do with
      this trilogy.


      Regards John Moon
      Springfield, Tenn.
      johnmoon3717@...
    • Grondin
      ... of ... Philip seems to me to have some aspects of puzzlehood. Ideas are taken up at one point, put aside, and then taken up again elsewhere. If the final
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 6, 2002
        [John Moon]:
        > How then does the Gospel of Philip fit into the Mix? IS it also part
        of
        > the puzzle? It would seem a commentary of some sort on Thomas?

        Philip seems to me to have some aspects of puzzlehood. Ideas are taken up at
        one point, put aside, and then taken up again elsewhere. If the final
        structure of the trilogy was 1000 lines in each of the three tractates, then
        234 lines would have to be moved from Philip to Thomas, but this seems
        exorbitant (about 7 pages!), and anyway I can't find any such huge block
        that would make sense to move, so this remains a tantalizing possibility at
        the moment. I agree that GPh in many parts seems to draw from, comment on,
        or to explain, ideas in GTh. As to who wrote it, it seems more likely that
        it was originally composed by the Valentinians and picked up and used by the
        Barbeloites, than that the Barbeloites wrote it themselves.

        > Are the questions in Thomas? And The Answers in the Apochryphon and G
        > Philip (i.e., Solutions)?

        I doubt if it's that simple.

        > I am trying to get an overall view of what they proposed to do with
        > this trilogy.

        I suspect that the Barbeloites thought of themselves as bringing together
        Egyptian Gnostic-Christianity (as represented by GPh and, presumably,
        Valentinianism) and Greek/Syriac Gnostic-Christianity (as represented by
        GTh). But this is only a guess at this point. My focus is on doing the work
        of the puzzle, rather than on speculating as to what the whole thing might
        look like or represent in the end.

        Mike Grondin
        Mt. Clemens, MI
      • fmmccoy
        ... From: Grondin To: Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2002 10:10 PM Subject: [GTh] The Heavens ... cosmos, ...
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 13, 2002
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2002 10:10 PM
          Subject: [GTh] The Heavens


          > The text of Coptic GThom represents the geographic structure of the
          cosmos,
          > as the Barbeloites believed it to be. It's a puzzle already partially
          > completed for the reader, if he or she can spot the structure under the
          > chaotic elements. At the top of page 46 is the famous "divider" saying,
          > which was the one that tipped me off some 14 years ago to this astonishing
          > theory about the nature of the Coptic Thomas, when I simply could not
          > imagine any reason for the author to have Jesus turn to his disciples to
          > confirm what he had just said, namely that he was not a divider. In fact,
          > though Jesus himself may not have been thought to be a divider, this
          saying
          > is - for it basically divides the "earth" from the "heavens". It begins on
          > line 471, and it's the beginning of the 13th of 24 blocks, which means
          that
          > the text is basically divided into two groups of 12 blocks each, the
          first,
          > much larger one, occupying 470 lines, the second occupying 198 lines.

          Hi Mike!

          In 72, Jesus emphasises that he is *not* a divider. This, I suggest, is to
          clue us in that the block it is in (i.e., the 13th block) is *not* a true
          dividing line for the blocks. That is to say, I suggest, it is a clue that
          we ought not to divide the 24 blocks into one division of blocks 1-12 and
          another division of blocks 13-24--even though this is the "natural" thing to
          do.

          The marked asymmetry of the two divisions (470 lines compared to 198 lines)
          is a strong indicator that, indeed, this is not where the blocks should be
          divided.

          I suggest that the 24 blocks should be divided, rather, into one division of
          units 1-8 and a second division of units 9-24.

          This, much more equitably, divides GThomas itself roughly in two. So, the
          first division of 1-8 contains just a little more than half of the lines
          (354 out of 668) and just a little less than half of the sayings (54 out of
          114).

          Even more important is another clue that the division of the blocks is
          not a 1-12 and 13-24 division but, rather, a 1-8 and 9-24 division.

          To review, in a recent post, I note that, when using the convention of
          Proto-Thomas = A, Pre-Thomas = B, and Latest Strata= C, the strata
          beginning each of the 24 blocks of text form this pattern:

          BA CCC AAA BA BBB AAAA CCC BBBB

          This breaks down into two sub-sequences, each beginning with a BA set:
          (1) BA + 3 of the same strata + 3 of the same strata (BA + CCC + AAA)
          (2) BA + (3 of the same strata + 4 of the same strata) + (3 of the same
          strata + 4 of the same strata) (BA + (BBB + AAAA) + (CCC + BBBB))
          As can be seen, the second sub-sequence is but a more complex version of the
          first.

          Note that the first sub-sequence constitutes blocks 1-8, while the second
          sub-sequence constitutes blocks 9-24.

          This strongly suggests that the 24 blocks ought to be divided into one
          division of blocks 1-8 and a second division of blocks 9-24.

          Mike, you thusly continue:
          >But the second part of the text is further divided into two parts - the
          first
          > occupying 101 lines down to the bottom of page 48, the second (after a gap
          > of two blank pages) occupying 97 lines from 572 to 668. The last line on
          > page 48, however, is the first line of a block that continues (after the
          two
          > blank pages) onto the top of page 49. If that line is moved to the top of
          > page 49, then we have two "heavens" - one of 100 lines (471-570) and the
          > second of 98 lines (571-668). Why do I call these "heavens". Because line
          > 668 says that they are. This last line contains a single word that's
          > separable from saying 114 - a Coptic word meaning "of the heavens". That
          > word is separable from 114, because the immediately preceding text makes
          > sense without it: "Any female who makes herself male will enter the
          > kingdom." Oh - and by the way - that word is 6 letters - a "perfect" word.

          Mike, I agree that there must be some significance to the two blank pages.
          But, I doubt that they relate to the blocks. If they did, then the
          expectation is that they would divide one block from another block.
          However, they, rather, divide a block into two segments.

          This is not to say that you are incorrect in your hypothesis that the blocks
          break down into an "earth" and two "heavens".

          This hypothesis does have merit, even if the fundamental division of blocks
          is between blocks 1-8 and blocks 9-24: for the last division (i.e., 9-24) is
          exactly double the first division and, so, perhaps is meant to be divided in
          two. In this case, the first division (1-8) symbolizes earth and the second
          division (9-24) symbolizes the two heavens--with 9-16 symbolizing the first
          heaven and 17-24 symbolizing the second heaven.

          Indeed, there is evidence that this is so.

          With D = Dialogue Unit and S = Sayings Unit, this is how the initial
          units in each of the 24 blocks stands:

          1. lines 1-66 (sayings 1-9) Saying 1 = B (S)
          2. lines 67-148 (sayings 10-19) Saying 10 = A (S)
          3. lines 149-177 (sayings 20-21) Saying 20 = C (D)
          4. lines 178-193 (saying 22) Saying 22 = C (D)
          5. lines 194-279 (sayings 23-41) Saying 23 = C (S)
          6. line 280 (saying 42) Saying 42 = A (S)
          7. lines 281-318 (sayings 43-47) Saying 43 = A (D)
          8. lines 319-354 (sayings 48-54) Saying 48 = A (S)
          9. lines 355-435 (sayings 55-64) Saying 55 = B (S)
          10. lines 436-455 (sayings 65-67) Saying 65 = A (S)
          11. lines 456-468 (sayings 68-70) Saying 68 = B (S)
          12. lines 469-470 (saying 71) Saying 71 = B (S)
          13. lines 471-548 (sayings 72-88) Saying 72 = B (S)
          14. lines 549-570 (sayings 89-94) Saying 89 = A (S)
          15. lines 571-577 (sayings 95-96) Saying 95 = A (S)
          16. lines 578-591 (sayings 97-98) Saying 97 = A (S)
          17. lines 592-597 (saying 99) Saying 99 = A (D)
          18. lines 598-602 (saying 100) Saying 100 = C (D)
          19. lines 603-608 (saying 101) Saying 101 = C (S)
          20. lines 609-634 (sayings 102-107) Saying 102 = C (S)
          21. lines 635-637 (saying 108) Saying 108 = B (S)
          22. lines 638-645 (saying 109) Saying 109 = B (S)
          23. lines 646-647 (saying 110) Saying 110 = B (S)
          24. lines 648-668 (sayings 111-114) Saying 111 = B (S)

          Mike, note that, here, all the initial units in 9-24 are S units except for
          17 and 18, which are D units.

          Why should 17 and 18, but none of the others in 9-24, be D units?

          Well, 17 and 18 are the beginning of the postulated second heaven of 17-24.
          So, I suggest, there are *two* D units at the beginning of 17-24 to clue in
          the intended readers that this is heaven number *two*.

          Mike, I further suggest that there is yet more information to be gained from
          the distribution of sayings and dialogue units in the above chart.

          There are nine A (Proto-Thomas strata) units and they form the pattern: SSD
          SSS SSD.

          There are nine B (Pre-Thomas strata) units and they form the pattern: SSS
          SSS SSS.

          There are six C (Latest strata) units and they form the pattern: DDS DSS

          Now, let us focus on the relationship between the initial three and the
          final three in each pattern:
          A = SSD SSD
          B = SSS SSS
          C = DDS DSS

          For A, the two triplets are identical. For B, the two triplets are
          identical. For C, the two triplets are mirror plane opposites, so that
          (assuming mirror symmetry), while one would expect them to be DDS SDD or SSD
          DSS,. they actually are DDS DSS.

          Why the radical change for C? Why should each of the first two each have
          identical triplets, but the last have mirror plane opposite triplets?

          The reason I suggest is this: the person who made the 24 blocks of text knew
          that the basic structure of both Proto-Thomas (A) and Pre-Thomas (B) was
          based on mathmatical regularities regarding the placement of S and D units
          and so signified his/her knowedge of this by making each of their two S/D
          triplets identical. Further, this person also knew that this was not the
          case for C (Latest strata) and, so, made its two S/D triplets mirror plane
          opposites to signify his/her knowledge of this.

          Mike, I think that you have made a significant breakthrough in
          understanding GThomas in your discovery that there are 24 textual blocks in
          it. I also think that your hypothesis that these 24 blocks can be
          broken-down into a "earth" and two "heavens" has merit and is likely to be
          corrct. The only thing I disagree with is your hypothesis that block 13 is
          a fundamental divider and the train of throught you are developing based
          upon this hypothesis.

          I strongly recommend to each of the other listers that you take a close look
          at the 24 textual blocks, see how they relate to your own ideas regarding
          GThomas, and report on what you find out.

          Regards,

          Frank McCoy
          1809 N. English Apt. 17
          Maplewood, MN USA 55109
        • Grondin
          ... of ... lines ... of ... A close look at lines 353-354 reveals some striking features. First, those lines contain 50 letters - and I m on the lookout for
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 14, 2002
            [Frank McCoy]:
            > I suggest that the 24 blocks should be divided, rather, into one division
            of
            > units 1-8 and a second division of units 9-24.
            >
            > This, much more equitably, divides GThomas itself roughly in two. So,
            > the first division of 1-8 contains just a little more than half of the
            lines
            > (354 out of 668) and just a little less than half of the sayings (54 out
            of
            > 114).

            A close look at lines 353-354 reveals some striking features. First, those
            lines contain 50 letters - and I'm on the lookout for groups of 50 or 100
            letters. Secondly, the four-letter Coptic word that dangles over onto line
            353 from the saying above (#53) is superfluous to that saying ("true
            circumcision in spirit has found profit / all-of-it"). Ironically, saying 53
            talks about "their father" pulling "them" out of "their mother" _already_
            circumcized, if that would be beneficial to "them", and the separation of
            "all-of-it" from saying 53 _would_ seem to constitute some kind of
            "circumcision" of it. Thirdly, this two-liner is "led by" a "male" (i.e., a
            masculine-gendered syntactical element), namely "all-of-it", where the "it"
            is masculine. Fourthly, the two-liner ends with the phrase
            "the-kingdom-of-the-heavens", which connects with line 668, suggesting that
            it's intended to go (back) into that "heaven". Perhaps, then, I was too
            hasty to try to complete the second heaven by moving lines 69-70, which
            occur in the 193 lines of the first section (pages 32-37). If, instead, we
            move lines 353-354 (as a case of a female being led by a male into the
            heavens), then the second section (pages 38-44) comes down from a total of
            242 lines to a nice even 240 lines - which is the kind of "perfection" we're
            aiming for. Finally, I might point out that lines 353-354 contain the 50th
            occurrence of the name 'Jesus' in the text (note that in my revised version
            of the interlinear, I've numbered the 102 occurrences of 'IS'). Again, the
            magic number 50. The confluence of such syntactical "signs" must be
            considered important to the seeker (which is now us).

            > ... I agree that there must be some significance to the two blank pages.
            > But, I doubt that they relate to the blocks. If they did, then the
            > expectation is that they would divide one block from another block.
            > However, they, rather, divide a block into two segments.

            Yes, but the single errant line (571) must evidently be made to cross over
            the "waters" of the two blank pages, resulting in a (first) "perfect heaven"
            of 100 lines on pages 46-48. This "crossing over" brings the size of the
            second heaven up to 98 lines. With the addition of two more lines
            (353-354?), it, too, becomes 100 lines. This leaves only the first section
            (193 lines) to be "made perfect".

            Regards,
            Mike Grondin
          • fmmccoy
            ... From: Grondin To: Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2002 11:10 PM Subject: [GTh] The Heavens ... cosmos, ...
            Message 5 of 5 , Jan 23, 2005
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
              To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2002 11:10 PM
              Subject: [GTh] The Heavens


              > The text of Coptic GThom represents the geographic structure of the
              cosmos,
              > as the Barbeloites believed it to be.

              A simple assertion won't do. We aren't even told what the Barbeloite
              geographic structure of the cosmos looked like! Further, absolutely no
              evidence is produced to demonstrate that the text of Coptic GThom represents
              it.

              >It's a puzzle already partially
              > completed for the reader, if he or she can spot the structure under the
              > chaotic elements. At the top of page 46 is the famous "divider" saying,
              > which was the one that tipped me off some 14 years ago to this astonishing
              > theory about the nature of the Coptic Thomas, when I simply could not
              > imagine any reason for the author to have Jesus turn to his disciples to
              > confirm what he had just said, namely that he was not a divider. In fact,
              > though Jesus himself may not have been thought to be a divider, this
              saying
              > is - for it basically divides the "earth" from the "heavens". It begins on
              > line 471, and it's the beginning of the 13th of 24 blocks, which means
              that
              > the text is basically divided into two groups of 12 blocks each, the
              first,
              > much larger one, occupying 470 lines, the second occupying 198 lines.

              That this saying appears to divide two groups of 12 blocks each is
              significant.

              However, to simply assert that the first group represents the earth and that
              the
              second group represents the heavens won't do. Evidence needs to be produced
              to validate this assertion, yet none is!

              In any event, the apparently real existence of two groups of 12 blocks each
              indicates that, as respects 24, 12x2, rather than 6x4, is the governing
              factor in the mind of the scribe. This, in turn, indicates that 12 was a
              more significant number for the scribe than the "perfect" number six. So,
              this raises yet more questions about the thesis, in the very first post,
              that perfect numbers like 6 and 28 (rather than, say, 7 and 12) are of
              primary importance to the scribe.

              >But the second part of the text is further divided into two parts - the
              first
              > occupying 101 lines down to the bottom of page 48, the second (after a gap
              > of two blank pages) occupying 97 lines from 572 to 668. The last line on
              > page 48, however, is the first line of a block that continues (after the
              two
              > blank pages) onto the top of page 49. If that line is moved to the top of
              > page 49, then we have two "heavens" - one of 100 lines (471-570) and the
              > second of 98 lines (571-668). Why do I call these "heavens". Because line
              > 668 says that they are. This last line contains a single word that's
              > separable from saying 114 - a Coptic word meaning "of the heavens". That
              > word is separable from 114, because the immediately preceding text makes
              > sense without it: "Any female who makes herself male will enter the
              > kingdom." Oh - and by the way - that word is 6 letters - a "perfect" word.

              What we have in this case are two sub-groups, not two heavens. I didn't buy
              the flat assertion that the two groups represent earth and the heavens
              because absolutely no evidence has been produced to validate it. So, I
              don't buy the further flat assertion that these two sub-groups represent two
              heavens.

              However, I will grant that the two blank pages likely represent a
              significant and deliberate break on the part of the scribe.

              What I find difficult to accept is (1) that the next page with writing on it
              is page 49--for then the two blank pages aren't numbered, and (2) that the
              scribe, despite putting a line on the bottom of page 48, yet wants us to
              move it to page 49 (or should I say 51?). The second proposition is an
              extra-ordinary claim, so it needs extra-ordinary proof in order to be
              validated.

              The phrase "kingdom of the heavens" is perfectly proper, so why claim that
              only "kingdom" is meant and that "of the heavens" refers to the two
              divisions created by the two blank pages? Just because "of the heavens" is
              a Coptic word occurring on a separate line is hardly sufficient reason for
              thinking that it refers to the two divisions divided by the two blank pages
              rather than that it is meant to be a modifier of "kingdom". This is an
              extra-ordinary claim, so it needs extra-ordinary proof, but this is not what
              we get.

              That the last word ontains six letters is of potential significance only if
              it has been already demonstrated that perfect numbers are the cat's meow for
              the scribe, but this has not yet been demonstrated to be the case. For
              example, 12 seems to be of more importance to the scribe than 6.

              > So the geographic map of the cosmos is inverted in GThom - the heavens are
              > at the bottom, and the earth is toward the top.

              Since this map has been constructed on the basis of unsupported and unproven
              assertions, this is not surprising. To me, this is an indication that the
              whole idea that the two groups represent earth and the heavens is incorrect.
              I'd be more impressed if these unsupported assertions led to a map of the
              cosmos that has the heavens over the earth.

              >The "heaven" closest the
              > earth is composed of 2 blocks of 100 lines total. The heaven furthest from
              > the earth is composed of 10 blocks of 98 lines total. The evident first
              step
              > for the puzzle-solver ("where the beginning is, there the end will be") is
              > to make the highest heaven the same size as the intermediate heaven (in
              > conformity with the instructions in saying 22 about how to enter the
              > kingdom - i.e, make the upper like the lower, etc).

              This is not at all evident to me. Why *must* the two heavens be of the same
              size? 22 also refers to the outside and the inside. Why, then, shouldn't
              the two sub-groups represent the outside of a person (i.e., the body/flesh)
              and the inside of a person (i.e., the spirit and soul)?

              > would have to move two complete lines and part of a third (to fill in the
              > line containing the single word "of the heavens") from the first part of
              the
              > puzzle (lines 1-470) to the end of page 51. Even stronger, however, the
              > syntax and/or semantics of the additional lines should have something to
              do
              > with a "female" making herself "male" (and hence eligible for entry into
              the
              > "kingdom of the heavens" that occupies this portion of the text).
              > Surprisingly, the Apocryphon of John tells us how to do that. And that's
              all
              > I'll say for now, since I'm getting no feedback, and I'm not sure anyone
              is
              > paying any attention.

              In the original post, the Barbeloite cosmology is said to be a
              "heaven-earth-underworld cosmology." In this post, though, it is envisoned
              to be a heaven, second heaven, earth cosmology. The failure to define the
              Barbeloite cosmology comes home to roost here. Which is the correct
              Barbeloite cosmology? How can anyone be expected to pay any attention to
              what is being said, when a fundamental definition is altered from one post
              to another one without explanation?

              Frank McCoy
              1809 N. English Apt. 15
              Maplewood, MN USA 55109
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