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Re: [GTh] A Commentary on Some of the Sayings

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  • fmmccoy
    ... From: Jim Bauer To: Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 7:41 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] A Commentary on Some of the
    Message 1 of 12 , Jul 2, 2003
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Jim Bauer" <jbauer@...>
      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 7:41 PM
      Subject: Re: [GTh] A Commentary on Some of the Sayings


      > Jim responds:
      > This is an interesting question. As for the "definition of pantheism",
      I'm reminded of an idea of biologist Ernst Haeckel's, which I ran across
      when I was studying the history of science: pantheism and materialism are
      obverse sides of the same coin; we should therefore worship monism itself
      and make all Nature our temple. For me, defining "pantheism" is a matter of
      how many "substances" make up the cosmos: two, matter and spirit for the
      dualist; one, matter, for the materialist; or one, spirit, for the
      pantheist. The question then becomes for me, is Thomas monistic, dualistic,
      or some combination of both--as in "the two made one", an idea also
      prevalent in Gnosticism (not that I'm suggesting anything but the latest
      strata of Thomas is Gnostic, if even that), an idea which does appear in
      Thomas (though I found after a frantic search just now that I misplaced my
      NHL, so I can't cite the saying). I welcome your thoughts on this.
      >

      Dear Jim Bauer:

      This is a difficult question, and I've been giving it some thought.

      In GThomas, there does appear to be an eternal spiritual realm and the
      spirit (pneuma) of a human being belongs to this realm. There also appears
      to be a material realm with a Beginning and and End and the body/flesh of a
      human being belongs to this realm. So, in a broad generic sense, I think
      that GThomas is dualistic.

      However, there is an extra "wrinkle" in that, in GThomas, a human being
      apparently also has a soul (psyche).

      This idea is also found in Pauline thought, e.g., see see I Thess. 5:23,
      where Paul speaks of "your spirit and soul and body".

      Indeed, since many scholars believe that I Thess. is the earliest New
      Testament document (likely written c. 50 CE), this idea can be traced to the
      apparently earliest literary level of Christian thought and, so, might even
      go back to Jesus himself.

      I suspect that the soul acts as an intermediary link between the material
      body and the spiritual spirit. Certainly, in the Philonic system of a human
      being having a mind, sense-perception, and a body, sense-perception acts as
      an intermediary link between the spiritual mind and the material body. By
      analogy, one might expect the soul to act the same was in GThomas thought.

      But if it acts as an intermediary link, is it, then, a third "substance"?

      Regards,

      Frank McCoy
      1809 N. English Apt. 17
      Maplewood, MN USA 55109
    • Jim Bauer
      ... human ... as ... thought. ... Just a quick thought: How would you compare this to the Neoplatonic nous? Or the Gnostic idea of emanation , which is also
      Message 2 of 12 , Jul 2, 2003
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        Frank McCoy writes:
        > I suspect that the soul acts as an intermediary link between the material
        > body and the spiritual spirit. Certainly, in the Philonic system of a
        human
        > being having a mind, sense-perception, and a body, sense-perception acts
        as
        > an intermediary link between the spiritual mind and the material body. By
        > analogy, one might expect the soul to act the same was in GThomas
        thought.
        >
        > But if it acts as an intermediary link, is it, then, a third "substance"?
        >
        Just a quick thought: How would you compare this to the Neoplatonic nous?
        Or the Gnostic idea of "emanation", which is also reflected in the Johannine
        tradition ("the word became flesh") & the Gnostic cosmology of the planetary
        spheres ruled by the archons--in short, the idea that there are numerous
        intervening levels between "pure spirit" and "pure matter". The
        root-metaphor of Theosophy also comes to mind here. I'm not equipped to
        really comment on all this in this post (NHLe is still misplaced), but would
        appreciate your--or anyone else's--thoughts on the matter.

        Jim Bauer
        Havre, MT
      • Tom Saunders
        ... First, the idea that any one model of cosmology for Gnostics can be applied to all Gnostics is probably not valid. Tatian s idea that the soul is a
        Message 3 of 12 , Jul 3, 2003
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          Frank McCoy writes:
          > I suspect that the soul acts as an intermediary link between the material
          > body and the spiritual spirit......anybody

          First, the idea that any one model of cosmology for Gnostics can be applied to all Gnostics is probably not valid. Tatian's idea that the soul is a special kind of spirit would make it an intermediary link between the body and Holy spirit. ThActs, and other early Christian texts characterize the soul as a five part 'form,' the parts being (1) form, (2) feeling, (3) conception, (4) impulse, and (5) consciousness, in one model. Other lists of these components are similar. Marcion and Tatian could have had very different ideas about the soul.

          If the soul is acting as an intermediary link its utility will be dependant on the model you use to draw your analogies. The Gospels use different models of what can and cannot be spirit. One huge example of a different model is Luke's version of 'J' casting out Mary's demons. Compare and contrast Luke's idea of what spirit is, to the Gospel of Mary's version of demons and we see a huge difference in models of what spirit is, not to mention the soul.

          The GMary also establishes an important point that the 'mind' is the tool between the soul and spirit, that sees the vision. The GThom only uses the terms soul, spirit, Holy Spirit, and body. I'd really like to see some models of these components based upon different theological systems. I think part of the genius of the GThom is it would let you use your own model or beliefs of the mind-body-soul-spirit relationships, and let you grow on the idea from there.

          The following terms are from a list I recieved a while back. Feel free to expand or correct it.

          sarkic - earthly, hidebound, ignorant, uninitiated
          hylic - similar to sarkic
          psychic - "soulful," partially initiated
          pneumatic - "spiritual," fully initiated
          aion - one of various levels of reality
          archon - one of various powers in the cosmos
          pleroma - fulfillment, the higher reality of archetypes (related to Plato's
          realm of Ideas)
          kenoma - the visible or manifest cosmos, "lower" than the pleroma
          charisma - gift, or energy, bestowed by pneumatics through oral teaching and
          personal encounters
          sophia - "wisdom," worldly understanding; personified as Lady Wisdom
          logos - divine ordering principle of the cosmos; personified as Christ
          hypostasis - emanation (appearance) of God, known to psychics
          ousia - essence of God, known to pneumatics
          gnosis - "knowledge," direct insight into God attained by pneumatics

          Would it be reasonable for a literate 1st Century Christian to explain these terms in regard to the soul being an intermediary device? How might the 1st Century Christian explain the soul-mind-body-spirit relationship in regard to the above list?

          Tom Saunders
          Platter Flats, OK




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • fmmccoy
          ... From: Jim Bauer To: Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 5:14 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] A Commentary on Some of the
          Message 4 of 12 , Jul 6, 2003
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Jim Bauer" <jbauer@...>
            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 5:14 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] A Commentary on
            Some of the Sayings


            > Frank McCoy writes:
            > > I suspect that the soul acts as an intermediary link between the
            material body and the spiritual spirit. Certainly, in the Philonic system
            of a human being having a mind, sense-perception, and a body,
            sense-perception acts as an intermediary link between the spiritual mind and
            the material body. By analogy, one might expect the soul to act the same
            was in GThomas thought.
            > >
            > > But if it acts as an intermediary link, is it, then, a third
            "substance"?
            > >

            (Jim Bauer writes)
            > Just a quick thought: How would you compare this to the Neoplatonic nous?
            > Or the Gnostic idea of "emanation", which is also reflected in the
            johannine tradition ("the word became flesh") & the Gnostic cosmology of
            the planetary spheres ruled by the archons--in short, the idea that there
            are numerous intervening levels between "pure spirit" and "pure matter".
            The root-metaphor of Theosophy also comes to mind here. I'm not equipped to
            really comment on all this in this post (NHLe is still misplaced), but would
            appreciate your--or anyone else's--thoughts on the matter.


            Dear Jim Bauer:

            I rather doubt that, in GThomas, the soul (psyche) is related to the nous of
            Neoplatonic thought or that it one of many intervals of layers between "pure
            spirit" and "pure matter".

            For understanding the nature and role of the soul (psyche) in GThomas, I
            suspect that one text that might be relevant is the Nag Hammadi text called
            The Teachings of Silvanus.

            It states (92), "Know yourself, that is, from what substance you are, or
            from what race, or from what species. Understand that you have come into
            being from three races: from the earth, from the formed, and from the
            created. The body has come into being from the earth with an earthly
            substance, but the formed, for the sake of the soul, has come into being
            from the thought of the Divine. The created, however, is the mind, which
            has come into being in conformity with the image of God. The divine mind
            has substance from the Divine, but the soul is that which he (God) has
            formed for their own hearts. For I think that it (the soul) exists as wife
            of thich which has come into being in conformity with the image, but matter
            is the substance of the body which has come into being from the earth."

            This passage is rather obscurely written (to say the least). It appears to
            be based on the idea that a human being consists of three "substances": (1)
            the mind, (2) the soul, and (3) the matter composing the body.

            Of the first substance of a human being, the mind, it is said that "has
            substance from the Divine" and "has come into being in conformity with the
            image of God".

            These are two different propositions. The first is that the mind is a
            fragment of the Divine. The second is that the mind has come into being
            after the Image of the Divine.

            Compare Op. 146, where Philo states, "Every man, in respect of his mind, is
            allied to the divine Reason, having come into being as a copy or fragment or
            ray of that blessed nature".

            The difference is that, in the Silvanic schema, the mind is both a fragment
            or ray of the Divine and made after the image of the Divine while, in the
            Philonic schema, the mind is either a fragment or ray of the Divine or else
            a copy of the Divine.

            Too, in the Silvanic schema, the soul is the "wife" of mind. This is
            reminiscent of Philonic thought, where sense-perception is likened to Eve
            and mind is likened to Adam, so that the relationship of sense-perception to
            mind is that of wife to husband. This suggests that the "soul" in Silvanic
            thought is the same thing as "sense-perception" in Philonic thought.

            In any event, the Silvanic tri-partite schema of (1) mind, (2) soul, and
            (3) the matter composing the body appears to be closely related to both
            Philo's tri-partite schema for a human being of (1) the mind, (2)
            sense-perception, and (3) the body/flesh and the GThomas tri-partite schema
            for a human being of (1) the spirit, (2) the soul, and (3) the body/flesh.

            For this reason, I think it likely that all three schemas are inter-linked,
            with the spirit of GThomas corresponding to the mind of Philo and Silvanus
            and with the soul of GThomas and Silvanus corresponding to the
            sense-perception of Philo.

            If they are related, then, as the Silvanic schema does postulate three
            distinct "substances", I think it likely that we should take the GThomas
            schema to be based on the idea that the soul is a third "substance".

            Regards,

            Frank McCoy
            1809 N. English Apt. 17
            Maplewood, MN USA 55109
          • Jim Bauer
            ... of ... pure ... called ... (snip) ... to ... (1) ... (snip) ... schema ... inter-linked, ... But Philo drew from Plato, as did Plotinus--hence the name,
            Message 5 of 12 , Jul 6, 2003
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              Frank McCoy writes:
              > I rather doubt that, in GThomas, the soul (psyche) is related to the nous
              of
              > Neoplatonic thought or that it one of many intervals of layers between
              "pure
              > spirit" and "pure matter".
              >
              > For understanding the nature and role of the soul (psyche) in GThomas, I
              > suspect that one text that might be relevant is the Nag Hammadi text
              called
              > The Teachings of Silvanus.
              >
              (snip)
              > This passage is rather obscurely written (to say the least). It appears
              to
              > be based on the idea that a human being consists of three "substances":
              (1)
              > the mind, (2) the soul, and (3) the matter composing the body.
              >
              (snip)
              >
              > In any event, the Silvanic tri-partite schema of (1) mind, (2) soul, and
              > (3) the matter composing the body appears to be closely related to both
              > Philo's tri-partite schema for a human being of (1) the mind, (2)
              > sense-perception, and (3) the body/flesh and the GThomas tri-partite
              schema
              > for a human being of (1) the spirit, (2) the soul, and (3) the body/flesh.
              >
              > For this reason, I think it likely that all three schemas are
              inter-linked,
              > with the spirit of GThomas corresponding to the mind of Philo and Silvanus
              > and with the soul of GThomas and Silvanus corresponding to the
              > sense-perception of Philo.
              >
              But Philo drew from Plato, as did Plotinus--hence the name,
              "Neoplatonic"--so I suspect there could be similarities due, not just to
              direct transmission, but parallel evolution. Also, how do you see the
              Johannine Logos fitting into this picture? In _Psychology and Alchemy_,
              Jung never mentions the logos apart from the nous. They draw from the same
              set of archetypes (which is one reason I'm not convinced Plotinus has truly
              refuted Gnosticism in "Against the Gnostics"; both belief-systems employ the
              same set of archetypes). True, Jung's system is ahistorical, but can often
              be the starting point for an analysis. So, do you think the logos = nous
              equation to be valid or invalid, and if so, why?

              Jim Bauer
              Havre, MT
            • Tom Saunders
              If they are related, then, as the Silvanic schema does postulate three distinct substances , I think it likely that we should take the GThomas schema to be
              Message 6 of 12 , Jul 7, 2003
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                If they are related, then, as the Silvanic schema does postulate three
                distinct "substances", I think it likely that we should take the GThomas
                schema to be based on the idea that the soul is a third "substance".

                Hi Frank,

                The scheme is likely to be made of four parts, or forms which is probably more accurate than using the term substances. The body is matter according to the GMary which I think also has to play a part in solving this puzzle. The body, as form, is also connected with the soul, the mind, and spirit. All the works of the Nag Hammadi, and the NT Gospels seem to be lacking these four elements, in one place.

                Has anyone a reference where all four are mentioned in one place? What I mean is a reference that talks about these four elements, and explains their function. Both Thomas and Mary seem to stagger the terms so that the body and soul are mentioned in Thomas and the mind, between the soul, and the spirit, in Mary. The mind being a fragment of the devine in Silvanus might mean the mind is part of the soul. Still you never seem to see all four elements togther.

                I think the Thomas schema relates a quadratic interaction between the body, soul, mind, and spirit. It would be prudent to allow for different views on what spirit-soul-mind is, and the different way the terms can be used. However, any other schema that does not include these four elements just does not seem complete. Can we build a model which would illustrate something about this relattionship?

                [Tom Saunders]


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • fmmccoy
                ... From: Tom Saunders To: Sent: Monday, July 07, 2003 4:36 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] A Commentary on Some of the
                Message 7 of 12 , Jul 9, 2003
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                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Tom Saunders" <tom@...>
                  To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Monday, July 07, 2003 4:36 AM
                  Subject: Re: [GTh] A Commentary on Some of the Sayings

                  (Frank McCoy)
                  > If they are related, then, as the Silvanic schema does postulate three
                  > distinct "substances", I think it likely that we should take the GThomas
                  > schema to be based on the idea that the soul is a third "substance".
                  >
                  > Hi Frank,
                  >
                  > The scheme is likely to be made of four parts, or forms which is probably
                  more accurate than using the term substances. The body is matter according
                  to the GMary which I think also has to play a part in solving this puzzle.
                  The body, as form, is also connected with the soul, the mind, and spirit.
                  All the works of the Nag Hammadi, and the NT Gospels seem to be lacking
                  these four elements, in one place.
                  >
                  > Has anyone a reference where all four are mentioned in one place? What I
                  mean is a reference that talks about these four elements, and explains their
                  function. Both Thomas and Mary seem to stagger the terms so that the body
                  and soul are mentioned in Thomas and the mind, between the soul, and the
                  spirit, in Mary. The mind being a fragment of the devine in Silvanus might
                  mean the mind is part of the soul. Still you never seem to see all four
                  elements togther.
                  >
                  > I think the Thomas schema relates a quadratic interaction between the
                  body, soul, mind, and spirit. It would be prudent to allow for different
                  views on what spirit-soul-mind is, and the different way the terms can be
                  used. However, any other schema that does not include these four elements
                  just does not seem complete. Can we build a model which would illustrate
                  something about this relattionship?

                  Dear Tom Saunders:

                  The most primitive Christian formulation appears to be that a human being
                  consists of a spirit (pneuma), soul (psyche), and body (soma)/flesh (sarx).
                  So, in what appears to be the earliest epistle, i.e., I Thessalonians, it is
                  requested, in 5:23, that "your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and
                  blameless". Again, in what appears to be the earliest gospel, i.e., Mark,
                  in the episode at Gethsemane (10:32-42), Jesus declares that "my soul is
                  sorrowful, even unto death", and also declares that "the spirit is willing,
                  but the flesh is weak." Note that, in the episode at Gethsemane, the soul
                  is animalistic in that it subject to passion and feelings, while the spirit
                  is rational and willing to accept whatever is God's will. Note too that, in
                  the episode at Gethsemane, the dualistic opposition is between the spirit
                  and the body/flesh, so that the soul is probably to be understood
                  as acting as an intermediary between them.

                  Initially, what Paul states in I Corinthians appears to be based on this
                  tri-partite schema

                  So, in 2:14-3:5, he divides mankind into (1) the pneumatikoi and (2) the
                  psychikoi, who are of the flesh. The pneumatikoi are those who are governed
                  by their spirits (pneumas), while the psychikoi are those governed by their
                  souls (psyches). So, in 2:14-3:5, each human being is envisoned as having a
                  spirit, a soul, and the flesh.

                  Also see 5:3-5. where Paul declares that "though absent in body I
                  am present in spirit" and also states that "you are to deliver this man to
                  Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved on the
                  day of the Lord Jesus." Here, we have the same dualism between spirit and
                  body/flesh that we find in the episode at Gethsemane in Mark. Here, it is
                  also assumed that it is the spirit that is potentially immortal.

                  However, when we come to 14:14-15, Paul mentions the mind (nous), stating,
                  "For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
                  What, then is (this)? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray also with
                  the mind. I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing also with the mind."

                  Also important is 14:19, "But in a church, I want five words with my mind to
                  speak that also others I may instruct, (rather) than (speak) ten thousand
                  words in a tongue."

                  Paul's introduction of the mind in chapter 14 doesn't fit well with the
                  tri-partite schema he assumes earlier in I Corinthians. The mind clearly is
                  not the spirit, yet it does not appear to be the soul either. Paul appears
                  to assume that the mind is higher than the spirit, for he places a higher
                  values on words spoken by the mind than on words spoken by the spirit in
                  tongues. This is difficult to reconcile with 5:5-3, where it is the spirit
                  alone that is potentially immortal and where the dualism is between spirit
                  and body/flesh rather than between mind and body/flesh.

                  What I suspect is that Paul introduces the mind in chapter 14 without
                  consciously realizing that he is contradicting the tri-partite schema he
                  assumes earlier in I Corinthians. If so, then it is a spur of the moment
                  thing and not well thought out.

                  In any event, by introducing the mind as a fourth aspect of a human being in
                  chapter 14, Paul creates the problem of just exactly what is the
                  relationship between the three non-bodily aspects of a human, i.e., the
                  spirit, the soul, and the mind.

                  In the Gospel of Mary, I suggest, we have an attempt to solve this problem.

                  See, in particular, this passage from Mary, "'I', she (i.e., Mary) said, 'I
                  saw the Lord in a vision and I said to him, Lord, I saw you today in a
                  vision. He answered and said to me, Blessed are you, that you did not waver
                  at the sight of me. For where the mind is, there is the treaure. I said to
                  him, Lord, now does he who sees the vision see it <through> the soul <or>
                  through the spirit? The Savior answered and said, He does not see through
                  the soul nor through the spirit, but the mind which [is] between the
                  two...'"

                  Here, when Jesus speaks of the mind, this confuses Mary, who appears to
                  believe in only the spirit and the soul. Jesus then straightens her out by
                  declaring that the mind exists in-between the spirit and the soul.

                  I think that this is a meditation on I Corinthians, with the author of Mary
                  realizing that, in the first part of I Corinthians, Paul assumes that there
                  are two non-bodily aspects to a human being, i.e., the spirit and the soul.
                  Hence, Mary speaking to Jesus of only of a spirit and a soul. However, in
                  chapter 14, Paul introduces the mind. Hence, Jesus speaking to Mary of the
                  mind . This creates the problem of determining what exactly is the
                  relationship between the mind and the other two. Hence, Jesus solving this
                  problem by speaking to Mary of the mind existing in-between the other two.

                  So, Tom, I think that the tri-partite schema of spirit, soul, and body/flesh
                  is more primitive than the four-fold schema of spirit, mind, soul, and
                  body/flesh and that this four-fold schema arises out of a confusion of
                  thought by Paul in I Corinthians.

                  As respects the existing Coptic GThomas text, I am hampered by my lack of
                  knowledge of Coptic. It appears to me that it contains a Coptic word used
                  that is based on the Greek word pneuma (spirit) and another Coptic word that
                  is based on the Greek word psyche (soul). So, I am fairly confident that,
                  in the earlier Greek text of GThomas, a human being was envisoned to have
                  both a spirit and and a soul. However, I do not perceive any Coptic word
                  that is based on the Greek word nous. So, I doubt that, in the earlier
                  Greek text, a human being was also envisoned to have a mind. However, I
                  cannot be sure since, due to my ignorance of Coptic, I might be failing to
                  perceive a Coptic word in GThomas that is based on the Greek word nous or
                  that is the Coptic equivalent of nous.

                  Could Mike or someone else expert in Coptic tell us whether there any
                  indications in the existing Coptic text that the earlier Greek text
                  mentioned the nous (mind) of a human being?

                  Regards,

                  Frank McCoy
                  1809 N. English Apt. 17
                  Maplewood, MN USA 55109
                • Michael Grondin
                  ... I m disappointed, Frank, insofar as this might indicate that my website has failed in its goal to provide material that would make it possible for those
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jul 10, 2003
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                    [Frank McCoy]:
                    > As respects the existing Coptic GThomas text, I am hampered by my lack of
                    > knowledge of Coptic.

                    I'm disappointed, Frank, insofar as this might indicate that my website has
                    failed in its goal to provide material that would make it possible for those
                    not well-versed in Coptic to be able to get around in it. If you, with your
                    knowledge of Greek, are unable to use the dictionary, and/or the indices
                    which follow each saying, then I guess these features aren't as helpful as I
                    had thought.

                    > It appears to me that it contains a Coptic word used
                    > that is based on the Greek word pneuma (spirit) and another Coptic word
                    that
                    > is based on the Greek word psyche (soul).

                    My soul aches for the sons of men, for they are blind in their hearts (28.
                    The following information can be gathered from the indices:

                    sarks (flesh): 28,29,112(2)
                    soma (body): 29,80(2),87(2)
                    ptwma (corpse): 56(2),60(2)
                    pneuma (spirit): 14,29(2),44,53,114 (all overstroked 'PNA')
                    psyche (soul): 25,28,87,112(2)

                    > However, I do not perceive any Coptic word that is based on the Greek word
                    nous.

                    The Coptic word that looks like '2HT' (possibly prounounced like 'hate' or
                    'heat') is closest to it. It meant 'heart', but, as in English (although
                    apparently not in Greek), 'heart' and 'mind' were often interchangeable. The
                    one place that we can compare the Greek is in Th28, and there the Greek has
                    'kardia' - 'heart'. The word '2HT' occurs in the Coptic six times in five
                    sayings:

                    17: I will give you what has not ... come down into the 2HT of man.
                    28: ... blind men they are in their 2HT's
                    45: an evil man brings evil things out of his wicked treasure, which is in
                    his 2HT
                    45: out of the excess of the 2HT, he brings forth evil things
                    63: these were his thoughts in his 2HT, but that night he died
                    69: Blessed are those persecuted in their own 2HT

                    BTW, you might note that of the words mentioned, there's an interesting
                    pattern of frequency:
                    6 occurrences: heart/mind, spirit
                    5 occurrences: body, soul
                    4 occurrences: flesh, corpse

                    > Could Mike or someone else expert in Coptic tell us whether there any
                    > indications in the existing Coptic text that the earlier Greek text
                    > mentioned the nous (mind) of a human being?

                    The most likely candidate seems to be Th63, since it specifically mentions
                    thoughts. Others are possible as well, depending on whether it seems that
                    the Greek would have been 'nous' or 'kardia' (as in 28).

                    Regards,
                    Mike
                  • lordsbaine
                    Michael Grondin wrote: ... I find it very useful. As for the cross within GoT: It is intersting to note that Gnostic and Egyption
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jul 10, 2003
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                      "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@c...> wrote:
                      <snip>
                      >I'm disappointed, Frank, insofar as this might indicate that my
                      >website has failed in its goal to provide material that would make
                      >it possible for those not well-versed in Coptic to be able to get
                      >around in it.

                      I find it very useful.

                      As for the cross within GoT:

                      It is intersting to note that Gnostic and Egyption beliefs on
                      ressurection and how the cross plays a roll in both systems. In the
                      gnostic system the ressurection of the Christ occured three days
                      after his removal from the cross or stake and then ascending. In the
                      Egyption system, as pointed out by Marcus van Alphen, had a neophyte
                      placed apon a tau cross, by their own free will, as they were given
                      the ends of the ropes to free themselves at any time, and given a
                      drink that left them to, supposedly, leave the body for three days
                      and three nights. Upon the ending of the third night they were
                      placed in an upright position, to have the morning sun awaken them
                      into their new world as an initiate. Thus the rising sun over the
                      tau.
                      Mike Pemberton
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