- When I left off the story, the movement of line 571 to the top of page 49
had completed (at least initially) the lower "heaven" of 100 lines
(471-570), but the higher "heaven" (probably the male one) was still
incomplete - being so far composed of 98 lines (571-668), the last line of
which contained what I referred to as a single word: 'of-the-heavens'. I was
reluctant at that point to reveal my candidates for "completing" this second
"heaven", but I've since come to believe that no harm can come from
presenting this information, since the results are likely to be taken to be
wishful thinking on my part in any case.
Let me first back off a bit on one point: while I regard the entire phrase
'kingdom-of-the-heavens' as a single Coptic word (because the 'N' has no
overstroke), the latter portion, when regarded by itself, may correctly be
seen to be TWO words ('N' and 'M-PHUE') rather than one. This would in fact
make more sense, since I'm going to argue that this phrase is a case of a
female syntactical element "making herself male", and since the ancient
numbers of the male and female were one and two, respectively.
Now then, we are first going to jump over to lines 67 thru 69, which is
saying 10 and stands at the beginning of block 2. It goes like this:
67: Jesus says: I have cast fire upon-
68: the world (cosmos), and behold! I watch over it/him
69: until it lights/burns.
Notice that the Coptic word on line 69 is separable from lines 67-68. That
is, lines 67 and 68 make sense without it. Furthermore, there's a stroke
mark at the end of line 68, perhaps suggesting a semantic separation between
that line and the first word on line 69. But the reader may already have
noticed a more significant point: since the entire text contains 668 lines,
line 68 is followed by exactly 600 lines. Are these 600 lines the "world"
that Jesus is said here to be watching over? I suggest that they are. But if
line 668 is the "beginning" of the (inverted) cosmos as I've suggested
previously, then line 69 must be the "end" of the world. But then remember
the exact wording of 18.2: "Where the beginning is, there the end WILL BE".
That is, the end isn't there (at line 668) now, but it will be. How so?
Simple - we (the reader/seeker) must move it there. It's a case of "movement
and rest" - and it's a possibility that has so far been completely
overlooked by everyone who's analyzed Thomas these past 50 years or so.
So what is "the end" exactly? Surprisingly (or perhaps not by this point),
it ties in nicely with "the heavens" at line 668, and with the suggested
structure, because it mentions two heavens:
69: (until it lights/burns). Jesus says: This heaven/sky will pass
70: away, and she who is above her will pass away
71: and those who are dead they live not, and those who live
Again, the first two lines of saying 11 (on 69 and 70) are separable from
the remainder of the saying. The fact that the heavens are going to pass
away is one thought, and the stuff about the dead and the living is another
thought. More importantly, 69-70 tell us that "these heavens" will pass
away, and that is precisely what will happen if we move the second portion
of line 69 and the entirety of line 70 (i.e, "the end") to line 668 (i.e.,
"the beginning"), resulting in:
666: ... any woman making herself
667: male, she will go in to the kingdom
668: of the heavens. Jesus says: This heaven/sky will pass
669: away, and she who is above her will pass away.
At this point, we have 68 lines in the first portion of the text
(culminating in "I watch over the cosmos"), 401 lines in the main body, 100
lines in the first (lower, female) heaven, and 99 lines in the second
(higher, male) heaven. The two lines we've moved were female (remember, two
is female) and although they're "led by" Jesus (who was made to promise to
lead Mary to make her male in 114), they're still female. However, they now
point outside themselves to another "heaven" which is said to be "above
her". Now remember, the thing is inverted. So "above her" really means below
her - at line 670. That is to say, line 669 points to a missing segment at
line 670. That missing segment must be a single line - "must be" because the
"female" lines 668 and 669 have to be joined to a "male" (one line) in order
that they themselves will become male (as stated in 114). Furthermore, that
missing line must be within the main body of the text (which is now 401
lines). If we can find that line and move it to 670, we will then have a
structure of 68+400+100+100 lines.
At this point, I will leave it up to the reader to see if he/she can come up
with a candidate to be moved to line 670. Here's a clue: it's an
intuitively-satisfying match for 669-670, both in terms of what it says, and
in terms of its line number relative to the two lines we've already moved.
If no one guesses it within a few days, I'll spell it out. (It'd be boring
to give you guys this stuff all at once.:-)
The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying