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Re: [GTh] Toughest logion

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  • BitsyCat1@aol.com
    ... John Mentions (a suggestion) The perfect being, He who stands alone both male and female, the risen one Oesta,(gr) See the Apocraphon of John. Gnostic
    Message 1 of 15 , Aug 25, 2003
      In a message dated 8/25/03 9:13:40 PM, cobby@... writes:


      > and unless we can find the
      > context from which the saying comes, we seemingly can never hope to
      > decypher it. As an add-on, (and again without knowing the context of
      > the logion) who are the "they" in 23 b. who are to "stand as a single
      > one." ... are the "they" none other than the "one from a thousand" and
      > the "two from ten thousand" ... i.e. the three chosen ones ????
      >

      John Mentions (a suggestion)

      The perfect being, He who stands alone both male and female, the risen one
      Oesta,(gr)
      See the Apocraphon of John.

      Gnostic mythology based upon the premise that Sophia and the Father
      creator
      would send the One that stands alone (the risen One) to redeem the creation
      of the Demiurge
      This world and all that is on it.

      Certainly the Male and female principles are mentioned in The Torah and
      Proverbs
      Jewish wisdom Literature. No doubt the origin of the mythology is also
      Jewish.

      A logical step in explaining A messiah that will come.

      You may disagree with their thinking but In this we are dealing with
      1st and 2nd century,
      perhaps wisdom literature that pre exists the Gospel traditions, But is
      available to the
      Teachers of the day.

      Of course the Apochraphon is more developed but as I recall It is
      Simon Magus that
      believes he historically was the risen one (the one that stands alone).

      I recall a Document which records that Peter discusses this and
      supposedly convinces him
      That it was Yeshua Bar Joseph that was the One that stands alone.(the risen
      One)
      And that Perhaps Simon was a Messenger (Angelos).

      The result was that Peter in the writing converts Simon to the
      Mainstream Christianity but, hopes there will not be a great deal of argument (within
      the Christian ranks).

      Whether or not that actually occurred or is a later Christian
      invention is unknown.


      Regards,

      John Moon
      2401 Crescent Dr
      Springfield,Tenn.
      Johnmoon3717@...


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • sarban
      ... From: fmmccoy To: Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 7:41 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Toughest logion ...
      Message 2 of 15 , Aug 26, 2003
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "fmmccoy" <FMMCCOY@...>
        To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 7:41 PM
        Subject: Re: [GTh] Toughest logion


        >
        <BIG SNIP>
        >
        > BTW, my own candidate for the most challanging logion is 13. Just what
        are
        > the three things that Jesus told to Thomas? Further, why, if the other
        > disciples heard these three things, would they take up stones and throw
        them
        > at Thomas. Finally, why would the stones then become a fire and burn up
        > the disciples? To paraphrase Winston Churchill, is this not a msystery
        > within a riddle within an enigma?
        >
        Several scholars (RM Grant, FF Bruce), have identified the three words
        with the three mystical names held in reverence by the Naassenes,
        namely KAULAKAU, SAULASAU, ZEESAR.. These may be
        originally garbled versions of the Hebrew of Isaiah 28 v 10 & 13
        but in Naassene belief as described by Hippolytus they have a
        cosmic significance. The words are holy and for Thomas to repeat
        them lightly is blasphemy, hence he would risk stoning.
        It is by these words that the universe is upheld, mishandling them
        is presumably thought to risk unleashing the primeval, elemental fire

        Andrew Criddle
      • Wade and April
        ... From: sarban ... up ... DeConick, in her _Seek to See Him_ book (Brill, 1996) has a different interpretation of Logion 13. She says (my omissions and
        Message 3 of 15 , Aug 26, 2003
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "sarban"

          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: "fmmccoy"
          > >
          > <BIG SNIP>
          > >
          > > BTW, my own candidate for the most challanging logion is 13. Just what
          > are
          > > the three things that Jesus told to Thomas? Further, why, if the other
          > > disciples heard these three things, would they take up stones and throw
          > them
          > > at Thomas. Finally, why would the stones then become a fire and burn
          up
          > > the disciples? To paraphrase Winston Churchill, is this not a msystery
          > > within a riddle within an enigma?
          > >
          > Several scholars (RM Grant, FF Bruce), have identified the three words
          > with the three mystical names held in reverence by the Naassenes,
          > namely KAULAKAU, SAULASAU, ZEESAR.. These may be
          > originally garbled versions of the Hebrew of Isaiah 28 v 10 & 13
          > but in Naassene belief as described by Hippolytus they have a
          > cosmic significance. The words are holy and for Thomas to repeat
          > them lightly is blasphemy, hence he would risk stoning.
          > It is by these words that the universe is upheld, mishandling them
          > is presumably thought to risk unleashing the primeval, elemental fire
          >
          > Andrew Criddle

          DeConick, in her _Seek to See Him_ book (Brill, 1996) has a different
          interpretation of Logion 13. She says (my omissions and comments in [ ]s:

          Since stoning is the penalty for blasphemy in Judaism (Lev 24:16; Sahn.
          7.5), Jesus in Logion 13 has identified himself with God's secret divine
          Name consisting of three words [here she provides the three words in Hebrew
          which I cannot reproduce on my computer for an e-mail here], (Exod 3:14).
          It is thus understandable that Thomas says that his mouth is incapable of
          identifying Jesus ([DeConick provides the Coptic here, translated earlier in
          the chapter as "Teacher, my mouth is utterly incapable of saying whom you
          are like." It is also part of Logion 13.]). This can only be a reference
          to the Jewish tradition of the unutterable and unpronounceable Name of God,
          the "Shem hammephorash." (DeConick, pages 112-113.)

          Wade
        • David C. Hindley
          ... with the three mystical names held in reverence by the Naassenes, namely KAULAKAU, SAULASAU, ZEESAR.. These may be originally garbled versions of the
          Message 4 of 15 , Aug 27, 2003
            Andrew Criddle says:

            >>Several scholars (RM Grant, FF Bruce), have identified the three words
            with the three mystical names held in reverence by the Naassenes, namely
            KAULAKAU, SAULASAU, ZEESAR.. These may be originally garbled versions of the
            Hebrew of Isaiah 28 v 10 & 13 but in Naassene belief as described by
            Hippolytus they have a cosmic significance. The words are holy and for
            Thomas to repeat them lightly is blasphemy, hence he would risk stoning. It
            is by these words that the universe is upheld, mishandling them is
            presumably thought to risk unleashing the primeval, elemental fire<<

            Why on earth would words of Isa 28:10, "command on command, rule on rule,
            here a little there a little," be taken as if the divine name? Some point is
            being made here. Perhaps Thomas is being made to suggest that it is
            impossible to really know who or what Jesus was all about through the bits &
            snippets pieced together by later generations. Then the logion is just a
            rational to justify the way that the GoT reconstructed Jesus sayings. It
            might also help explain why many of these sayings appear to contain elements
            from several other known sources, yet all conflated together.

            Respectfully,

            Dave Hindley
            Cleveland, Ohio, USA
          • Michael Grondin
            ... God, ... I think April s reasoning in the first sentence can be tightened up a bit by pointing out that Jesus has just been made to say to Thomas I m not
            Message 5 of 15 , Aug 27, 2003
              Wade quotes his wife, April DeConick, as writing:
              > Since stoning is the penalty for blasphemy in Judaism ...
              > Jesus in Logion 13 has identified himself with God's secret divine
              > Name consisting of three words ... (Exod 3:14).
              > It is thus understandable that Thomas says that his mouth is incapable of
              > identifying Jesus ... This can only be a reference
              > to the Jewish tradition of the unutterable and unpronounceable Name of
              God,
              > the "Shem hammephorash." (DeConick, pages 112-113.)

              I think April's reasoning in the first sentence can be tightened up a bit by
              pointing out that Jesus has just been made to say to Thomas "I'm not your
              master/teacher". The follow-up to that sentence would then presumably be of
              the form "I'm so-and-so", the two sentences taken together exhibiting the
              rhetorical form "I'm not this - I'm that". Insofar as that goes, I agree.
              There are, however, some "I am" statements in the text itself which would
              have been blasphemous in the same Jewish mileau assumed by April - notably
              in logion 77.

              One point that April uses to support her choice is rather weak, namely that
              "It is thus understandable that Thomas says his mouth is incapable of
              identifying Jesus". In fact, the text provides a reason for Thomas being
              unable to say what Jesus is like, and it's not that. It's that Thomas has
              become drunk on the words that Jesus has "measured out". This in turn
              relates to logion 108, where one who drinks from J's mouth is said to become
              like him. So Thomas is being singled out as having come to a relationship to
              Jesus not shared by the other disciples. He's evidently come to the point of
              becoming like Jesus - hence, unlike the other disciples, Jesus is *no
              longer* THOMAS's master/teacher (not that, as God, he *never was*). Given
              all this, the question seems to become: is Jesus about to tell Thomas
              something which is true for all the disciples, but which only Thomas is
              ready to hear? Or is Jesus about to redefine his relationship to Thomas
              alone, based on Thomas' unique stage of enlightenment? ("I'm not your
              TEACHER" vs. "I'm not YOUR teacher". Note that the 'your' in question is
              singular.)

              If Jesus is made to say to Thomas that he (Jesus) is God, then (based on
              #108) that would mean that Thomas also has become God (or at least *like
              God*). I think this is a bit too strong. Although logion 77 claims that
              Jesus is the light over all things, and that all things came forth from him,
              this identifies him at most with the Logos - the creative agent or aspect of
              God, and arguably (within a Philonic context) the "son of God". The
              references to "the Father" (and "the Mother") in GTh would seem to make
              little sense if the authors believed that Jesus himself was "the Father".
              Nor does blasphemy require that Jesus be identified with "the Father" -
              there are blasphemies short of that, and I think that the "I am's" of #77
              are such. As "the Son", it would make sense for Jesus to be made to speak of
              his relationship to "the Mother" and "the Father", but as "the Father", he
              would have had no "true (i.e., spiritual) mother" to give him "(spiritual)
              Life". Indeed, if Jesus was identified as the "I-am who am", he would always
              have had such "Life", and large chunks of the text which would otherwise be
              conceptually consistent become not. To say nothing of the fact that any one
              of the "three words" was to be considered blasphemous *in itself*, whereas
              the individual parts of "I-am who am" aren't.

              Regards,
              Mike G.
            • jmgcormier
              ... wrote: Mega snips ... ... Mike : I think part of the difficulty with some of the coments on Thomas #13 is that there seems to be confusion in translating
              Message 6 of 15 , Aug 27, 2003
                --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@c...>
                wrote:

                Mega snips ...

                ------------------------------------

                Mike :

                I think part of the difficulty with some of the coments on
                Thomas #13 is that there seems to be confusion in translating "words"
                and "things"....

                I notice in your own translation, for example, that in the
                general translation from the Coptic at the top of your "Thomas logion
                13" page, you point out that Jesus told Thomas "three things". Later
                on, however, in your word-for-word "litteral" translation you use
                the expression "three words".

                Having been a translator by profession myself at one time, I
                know that "every translator is a traitor", and words are tough to
                expatriate from one language to another because one is constantly
                guessing at what the original really means. When you're watching the
                big game, and two sseconds before the tying kick the anouncer says
                "... and now 'a word' from our sponsor", we all know that 'a word'
                does not mean "a word", it literally means " a whole bunch of things",
                and we are about to miss the tying goal. So can you narrow it down for
                us ... is it likely "three words" or is it likely "three things".

                If the said three "whatevers" uttered by Jesus are worthy of
                blasphemy, and refusal of belief by Thomas' colleagues, my guess (in
                fact my conviction) is that Jesus uttered mor than three words here.
                In fact, I dare suggest that it is something far beyond tthe mere name
                of God and the like, as it would have to be something which would
                completely frazzle those present. Keep in mind that those present are
                part of a gang, a tightly knit group, a "clan" of believers who
                necessarily have common beliefs and leanings ... so it is necessarily
                something which none of the other 11 yet know. Presumedly, every one
                of them has read Isaiah, and every one of them has already heard the
                "name of God" (no scandal here). Soooo, I lean strongly towards the
                idea that the setting is one where Jesus (for the first time) "spills
                the beans" on some issue which will "separate the men from the boys".
                Did he explain to them the concept of "oneness with God" or of how he
                figures himself to be "the son of God" ???? Now that is in the league
                of shocking revelations ... but "three words" .... hmmmmm ! .... not
                sure they were mere words. Then again, if one dosen't want to be so
                dramatic, there are always the "three things" which preface logion #14
                ... "If you fast you will give rise to sin for yourselves ... etc.

                However, all of the above notwithstanding, can you give us your best
                shot on "three things' vs "three words" ....


                Maurice Cormier
              • Michael Grondin
                ... The English translation above the interlinear is that of Thomas Lambdin. The literal is word , but its usage was apparently just as elastic in Coptic as
                Message 7 of 15 , Aug 27, 2003
                  Maurice writes:
                  > I think part of the difficulty with some of the coments on
                  > Thomas #13 is that there seems to be confusion in translating "words"
                  > and "things"....
                  >
                  > I notice in your own translation, for example, that in the
                  > general translation from the Coptic at the top of your "Thomas logion
                  > 13" page, you point out that Jesus told Thomas "three things". Later
                  > on, however, in your word-for-word "litteral" translation you use
                  > the expression "three words".

                  The English translation above the interlinear is that of Thomas Lambdin. The
                  literal is 'word', but its usage was apparently just as elastic in Coptic as
                  in English, so that a 'word' can actually be a bunch of words, a statement,
                  a saying, etc. I do think that there's a natural inclination to conceive of
                  it as being three proper words, but the apparent requirement that each of
                  the three be individually blasphemous seems to rule out such candidates as
                  my own early favorite, "I (am) your disciple" (from logion 61, where the
                  'am' is implicit.). (You understand, of course, that an individual Greek or
                  Coptic or Hebrew "word" can include more than one English word.) The
                  Naazarene candidate seems to meet the requirement of each word being
                  individually blasphemous, but the problem there is that it's not a proper
                  followup to "I'm not your teacher/master". It looks to me like we need three
                  "I am's".

                  Regards,
                  Mike G.
                • sarban
                  ... From: Michael Grondin To: Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2003 11:17 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Toughest logion
                  Message 8 of 15 , Aug 28, 2003
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
                    To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2003 11:17 PM
                    Subject: Re: [GTh] Toughest logion


                    > Maurice writes:
                    > > I think part of the difficulty with some of the coments on
                    > > Thomas #13 is that there seems to be confusion in translating "words"
                    > > and "things"....
                    > >
                    > > I notice in your own translation, for example, that in the
                    > > general translation from the Coptic at the top of your "Thomas logion
                    > > 13" page, you point out that Jesus told Thomas "three things". Later
                    > > on, however, in your word-for-word "litteral" translation you use
                    > > the expression "three words".
                    >
                    > The English translation above the interlinear is that of Thomas Lambdin.
                    The
                    > literal is 'word', but its usage was apparently just as elastic in Coptic
                    as
                    > in English, so that a 'word' can actually be a bunch of words, a
                    statement,
                    > a saying, etc. I do think that there's a natural inclination to conceive
                    of
                    > it as being three proper words, but the apparent requirement that each of
                    > the three be individually blasphemous seems to rule out such candidates as
                    > my own early favorite, "I (am) your disciple" (from logion 61, where the
                    > 'am' is implicit.). (You understand, of course, that an individual Greek
                    or
                    > Coptic or Hebrew "word" can include more than one English word.) The
                    > Naazarene candidate seems to meet the requirement of each word being
                    > individually blasphemous, but the problem there is that it's not a proper
                    > followup to "I'm not your teacher/master". It looks to me like we need
                    three
                    > "I am's".
                    >
                    If I understand Hippolytus correctly, (and I'm not sure I do), the three
                    holy words for the Naassenes correspond th three modes of humanity.
                    KAULAKAU the heavenly Adam, SAULASAU the mortal eartly man,
                    ZEESAR the man who descends from heaven to earth and ascends back
                    whence he came.
                    It is possible that Jesus is supposed to have said
                    I am KAULAKAU
                    I am SAULASAU
                    I am ZEESAR

                    Andrew Criddle

                    PS for Hippolytus on the Naassenes see

                    http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-05/anf05-09.htm

                    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/hippolytus5.html
                  • sarban
                    ... From: sarban To: Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2003 12:53 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Toughest logion ... Coptic
                    Message 9 of 15 , Aug 28, 2003
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "sarban" <sarban@...>
                      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2003 12:53 PM
                      Subject: Re: [GTh] Toughest logion


                      >
                      > ----- Original Message -----
                      > From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
                      > To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                      > Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2003 11:17 PM
                      > Subject: Re: [GTh] Toughest logion
                      >
                      >
                      > > Maurice writes:
                      > > > I think part of the difficulty with some of the coments on
                      > > > Thomas #13 is that there seems to be confusion in translating "words"
                      > > > and "things"....
                      > > >
                      > > > I notice in your own translation, for example, that in the
                      > > > general translation from the Coptic at the top of your "Thomas logion
                      > > > 13" page, you point out that Jesus told Thomas "three things". Later
                      > > > on, however, in your word-for-word "litteral" translation you use
                      > > > the expression "three words".
                      > >
                      > > The English translation above the interlinear is that of Thomas Lambdin.
                      > The
                      > > literal is 'word', but its usage was apparently just as elastic in
                      Coptic
                      > as
                      > > in English, so that a 'word' can actually be a bunch of words, a
                      > statement,
                      > > a saying, etc. I do think that there's a natural inclination to conceive
                      > of
                      > > it as being three proper words, but the apparent requirement that each
                      of
                      > > the three be individually blasphemous seems to rule out such candidates
                      as
                      > > my own early favorite, "I (am) your disciple" (from logion 61, where the
                      > > 'am' is implicit.). (You understand, of course, that an individual
                      Greek
                      > or
                      > > Coptic or Hebrew "word" can include more than one English word.) The
                      > > Naazarene candidate seems to meet the requirement of each word being
                      > > individually blasphemous, but the problem there is that it's not a
                      proper
                      > > followup to "I'm not your teacher/master". It looks to me like we need
                      > three
                      > > "I am's".
                      > >
                      > If I understand Hippolytus correctly, (and I'm not sure I do), the three
                      > holy words for the Naassenes correspond th three modes of humanity.
                      > KAULAKAU the heavenly Adam, SAULASAU the mortal eartly man,
                      > ZEESAR the man who descends from heaven to earth and ascends back
                      > whence he came.
                      > It is possible that Jesus is supposed to have said
                      > I am KAULAKAU
                      > I am SAULASAU
                      > I am ZEESAR
                      >
                      Sorry to reply to my own post but something in Irenaeus might
                      be relevant He appears to say (there is a textual problem) that
                      the followers of Basilides claim that Jesus ascended and descended
                      under the name KAULAKAU

                      Andrew Criddle
                    • Wade and April
                      ... From: Michael Grondin ... of ... by ... of ... I don t know that we can assue a particular rhetorical form here or not, but I don t think we need to for
                      Message 10 of 15 , Aug 29, 2003
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Michael Grondin"

                        > Wade quotes his wife, April DeConick, as writing:
                        > > Since stoning is the penalty for blasphemy in Judaism ...
                        > > Jesus in Logion 13 has identified himself with God's secret divine
                        > > Name consisting of three words ... (Exod 3:14).
                        > > It is thus understandable that Thomas says that his mouth is incapable
                        of
                        > > identifying Jesus ... This can only be a reference
                        > > to the Jewish tradition of the unutterable and unpronounceable Name of
                        > God,
                        > > the "Shem hammephorash." (DeConick, pages 112-113.)
                        >
                        > I think April's reasoning in the first sentence can be tightened up a bit
                        by
                        > pointing out that Jesus has just been made to say to Thomas "I'm not your
                        > master/teacher". The follow-up to that sentence would then presumably be
                        of
                        > the form "I'm so-and-so", the two sentences taken together exhibiting the
                        > rhetorical form "I'm not this - I'm that". Insofar as that goes, I agree.
                        > There are, however, some "I am" statements in the text itself which would
                        > have been blasphemous in the same Jewish mileau assumed by April - notably
                        > in logion 77.

                        I don't know that we can assue a particular rhetorical form here or not, but
                        I don't think we need to for the argument. The point is that while there
                        may have been other things Jesus could have told Thomas that would have been
                        blasphemous, that is not enough to explain the passage. Thomas says that
                        "If I tell you one of the words which he told me, you will pick up stones
                        and throw them at me; a fire will come out of the stones and burn you up."

                        Assuming that it would be blasphemous for Jesus to say "I am the light..."
                        (Logion 77), surely it would not have been a stoning offense for Thomas to
                        say "Jesus said 'I am the light...'" It would be the claim that is
                        blasphemous, not the words. In fact the folk would be perfectly within
                        their right to pat Thomas on the back, say "thank you good fellow," and
                        commence the stoning of Jesus. However Thomas says that if he says one of
                        the words they will stone *him*. This fits with Jesus having said the
                        Divine Name because simply saying the Name of God is a stoning offense. If
                        Thomas says "Jesus said [The Divine Name]" the people are perfectly within
                        their right to commence stoning Thomas. In the logion 77 situation the claim
                        may be blasphemous, but in the latter situation all you have to do is say
                        the words itself.

                        Finally, a member of a Jewish community of the first century (or second,
                        even) would be well aquainted with this law and that the Divine Name can be
                        expressed as three words as in the Exodus passage. This passage would
                        therefore communicate something to such a person without much ambiguity -
                        namely that Jesus is claiming to be Yahweh.


                        > If Jesus is made to say to Thomas that he (Jesus) is God, then (based on
                        > #108) that would mean that Thomas also has become God (or at least *like
                        > God*). I think this is a bit too strong.

                        Well, a transformation into the divine is basically what April thinks is
                        being suggested here. A bit later she says "What then does Thomas
                        understand that the other disciples do not? That Jesus is Yahweh, the Name
                        of God, and thus is God's manifestation or kavod. Furthermore Jesus
                        proclaims that Thomas has undergone a mystical transformation. As in Logion
                        108, he has drunk the divine drink and so has been deified." (Seek to See
                        Him, p. 113.) That seems to be the goal of the mystical experience for the
                        Thomas community. The development of that point of view is a large part of
                        that book. It will be developed further in April's next book (tentatively)
                        titled The Original Gospel of Thomas: A History of the Gospel of Thomas and
                        its Community).

                        Wade
                      • David C. Hindley
                        ... (Logion 77), surely it would not have been a stoning offense for Thomas to say Jesus said I am the light... It would be the claim that is blasphemous,
                        Message 11 of 15 , Aug 29, 2003
                          Wade says:

                          >>Assuming that it would be blasphemous for Jesus to say "I am the light..."
                          (Logion 77), surely it would not have been a stoning offense for Thomas to
                          say "Jesus said 'I am the light...'" It would be the claim that is
                          blasphemous, not the words. In fact the folk would be perfectly within
                          their right to pat Thomas on the back, say "thank you good fellow," and
                          commence the stoning of Jesus. However Thomas says that if he says one of
                          the words they will stone *him*. This fits with Jesus having said the
                          Divine Name because simply saying the Name of God is a stoning offense. If
                          Thomas says "Jesus said [The Divine Name]" the people are perfectly within
                          their right to commence stoning Thomas. In the logion 77 situation the claim
                          may be blasphemous, but in the latter situation all you have to do is say
                          the words itself.<<

                          While offhand I do not know where I came upon this, I understand that when a
                          person is tried for uttering blasphemy by a Jewish court, the witness will
                          be asked to say the word he heard, in private with the judge(s?) alone, and
                          not be liable for any penalty.

                          Now I think there is the possibility that the Greek phrase EGW EIMI ("I am")
                          can be taken as a circumlocution, by means of synecdoche, for the Hebrew
                          expression (read right to left) HYH'. At Exodus 3:14, where the Hebrew has
                          HYH' RS' HYH' (I am that I am), the Lxx translated it EGW EIMI hO WN (I am
                          the existent one)

                          I doubt that this circumlocution was treated the same as actually uttering
                          the divine name (as found in Exodus 3:14). Otherwise, what about the later
                          practice of using ADONAI for YHWH? However, it may be that stories like Mark
                          14:61 used the circumlocution EGW EIMI to represent actual blasphemous
                          utterances of the name.

                          Mark 14:61 ... Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son
                          of the Blessed?" 62 And Jesus said, "I am (EGW EIMI); and you will see the
                          Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of
                          heaven." 63 And the high priest tore his garments, and said, "Why do we
                          still need witnesses? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your
                          decision?" And they all condemned him as deserving death. (RSV)

                          To take EGW EIMI here as the simple grammatical construction "I am (he)"
                          makes the statement "you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of
                          Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven" into a blasphemy, when most all
                          critics recognize that it was not so, technically. The offending words,
                          then, would appear to be represented as EGW EIMI. John also has several
                          examples of EGW EIMI being used unambiguously as a divine claim, for example
                          John 10:33.

                          John 10:33 The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we stone
                          you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God." (RSV)

                          Respectfully,

                          Dave Hindley
                          Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                        • jmgcormier
                          ... (major snips ...) Now I think there is the possibility that the Greek phrase EGW EIMI ( I am )can be taken as a circumlocution, by means of synecdoche, for
                          Message 12 of 15 , Aug 29, 2003
                            --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "David C. Hindley" <dhindley@c...>
                            wrote:
                            > Wade says:

                            (major snips ...)


                            Now I think there is the possibility that the Greek phrase EGW EIMI
                            ("I am")can be taken as a circumlocution, by means of synecdoche, for
                            the Hebrew expression (read right to left) HYH'. At Exodus 3:14, where
                            the Hebrew has HYH' RS' HYH' (I am that I am), the Lxx translated it
                            EGW EIMI hO WN (I am the existent one)

                            -------------------------------

                            Hi David ....

                            ... but if the above is the case, are not both HYH' RS' HYH' and EGW
                            EIMI hO WN more than "one word" ... actually 5 in the first case, and
                            5 again in the second ??? Soooo, are you not really suggesting here,
                            then, that the three "words" mentioned in Thomas are really five words
                            ???

                            --------------------------------
                            (David)

                            I doubt that this circumlocution was treated the same as actually
                            uttering the divine name (as found in Exodus 3:14). Otherwise, what
                            about the later practice of using ADONAI for YHWH? However, it may be
                            that stories like Mark 14:61 used the circumlocution EGW EIMI to
                            represent actual blasphemous utterances of the name.

                            --------------------------------
                            (Maurice again)

                            Dont you think that Exodus 3"14 is meant to read "God answered: I am;"
                            ... in short call me simply "I am" (no more) and that to any Jew at
                            the time of Thomas' saying, anyone calling himself "I am" is therefore
                            uttering blasphemy because God said that his name was (quite simply)
                            "I am" (is my name).

                            If we use John instead of Mark to further this idea, is this not why
                            Jesus was almost stoned when (in the words of John) he said:

                            "8.58 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham
                            was, I am." 8.59 So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid
                            himself, and went out of the temple. "

                            Is Jesus saying in this passage "before Abraham was, I (Jesus) am", or
                            is he saying "before Abraham was, I am (i.e. God) was. " (that is,
                            before Abraham was, the God who calls himself "I am" exists or
                            existed.) From the move then afoot to stone Jesus, the Jews around him
                            obviously thought he uttered the former .... but Jesus may have simply
                            been saying the latter and acknowledging that the God who calls
                            himself "I am" existed during the lifetime of Abraham. Very tricky
                            ground to walk on, but it seems to me that God (in Exodus) is asking
                            that he be called simply "I am" and not "I am he who is", "I am the
                            existant one", or whatever else.

                            Regardless, "I am" is two words and not three, and "I am that I am" is
                            five words not three, so I think the question remains, does Thomas
                            mean "three words" or does he mean "three things" ... no ?


                            Maurice Cormier
                          • David C. Hindley
                            ... hO WN more than one word ... actually 5 in the first case, and 5 again in the second ??? Soooo, are you not really suggesting here, then, that the three
                            Message 13 of 15 , Aug 30, 2003
                              Maurice:

                              >>... but if the above is the case, are not both HYH' RS' HYH' and EGW EIMI
                              hO WN more than "one word" ... actually 5 in the first case, and 5 again in
                              the second ??? Soooo, are you not really suggesting here, then, that the
                              three "words" mentioned in Thomas are really five words ??? <<

                              Five words in each case?? Whaaat? I do not count the "alephs" that modify
                              the verbs "hayah" as extra words. I suppose that "hayah asher hayah" could
                              then be the three things/words that Jesus spoke to Thomas in Logion 13c:

                              13c) And He took him and withdrew and told him three things. When Thomas
                              returned to his companions, they asked him, "What did Jesus say to you?"
                              Thomas said to them, "If I tell you one of the things which he told me, you
                              will pick up stones and throw them at me; a fire will come out of the stones
                              and burn you up."

                              However, this would be probably the only place I am aware of where the
                              author of Thomas would appear to have any direct awareness of Hebrew, so I
                              am doubtful that this is the best solution.

                              There is something to say for the Naassene's three words (KAULAKAU,
                              SAULASAU, ZEESAR), but the meanings would have to be interpreted by the
                              author of Thomas in a manner different from their literal Hebrew meanings.
                              This way the author of Thomas is blissfully unaware of Hebrew exegesis in
                              any direct sort of form, just as in the rest of the book. He understands
                              these three words as filtered to him through intermediaries. They do not
                              even have to have been actual words of Jesus, just Jewish sounding words
                              that he *thinks* Jesus could have said, with a mystical meaning that he
                              either accepts as is from his source (not necessarily Naassenes) or simply
                              makes up for the occasion.

                              Take a look at the work of Birger A. Pearson. He has illustrated indications
                              of direct Jewish influence on some schools of Gnosticism (the "Sethian"
                              variety). These Jewish Gnostics *did* show familiarity with exegesis
                              directly from the Hebrew and use names for powers, etc, that have an Aramaic
                              or Hebrew provenance. However, unlike the other works in the Nag Hammadi
                              library that have these kinds of Jewish derived words and terms, Thomas does
                              not.

                              >>Regardless, "I am" is two words and not three, and "I am that I am" is
                              five words not three, so I think the question remains, does Thomas mean
                              "three words" or does he mean "three things" ... no ?<<

                              I think you are falling into the trap of taking the author of Thomas WAY to
                              literally, when he even says right up front that these are "secret" sayings.
                              This I take to mean that the "real" meaning is NOT to be found on a literal
                              level. The literal level may even be designed to throw off the uninitiated
                              snooper.

                              As for what was meant in Ex 3:13-14, consider the RSV translation from the
                              Hebrew:

                              13 Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to
                              them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What
                              is his name?' what shall I say to them?" 14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I
                              AM" (Hayah asher Hayah). And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I
                              AM (Hayah) has sent me to you.'"

                              Lancelot Brenton translates this passage from the Lxx Greek as follows:

                              13 And Moses said to God, Behold, I shall go forth to the children of
                              Israel, and shall say to them, The God of our fathers has sent me to you;
                              and they will ask me, What is his name? What shall I say to them? 14 And God
                              spoke to Moses, saying, I am THE BEING (EGW EIMI hO WN); and he said, Thus
                              shall ye say to the children of Israel, THE BEING (hO WN) has sent me to
                              you.

                              Hayah asher Hayah
                              EGW EIMI hO WN

                              This way, either hO WN or EGW EIMI could serve as Greek language substitutes
                              for God's name as given in Exodus 3:14.

                              But that is besides the point. I was commenting at that point to the idea
                              expressed by Wade that in some of the other passages in GoT where Jesus is
                              made to say "I am ...", the author was suggesting that the persons to whom
                              Jesus spoke took something about those constructions as blasphemous.

                              I did suggest that the phrase "I am" was perhaps a convenient substitute (a
                              circumlocution), used by the authors of Mark and John, for the form of the
                              divine name given in Exodus 3:14 (Hayah).

                              Respectfully,

                              Dave Hindley
                              Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                            • David C. Hindley
                              ... EGW EIMI hO WN more than one word ... actually 5 in the first case, and 5 again in the second ??? Soooo, are you not really suggesting here, then, that
                              Message 14 of 15 , Aug 30, 2003
                                Maurice:

                                >>... but if the above is the case, are not both HYH' RS' HYH' and
                                EGW EIMI hO WN more than "one word" ... actually 5 in the first case,
                                and 5 again in the second ??? Soooo, are you not really suggesting
                                here, then, that the three "words" mentioned in Thomas are really
                                five words ??? <<

                                Five words in each case?? Whaaat? I do not count the "alephs" that
                                modify the verbs "hayah" as extra words. I suppose that "hayah asher
                                hayah" could then be the three things/words that Jesus spoke to
                                Thomas in Logion 13c:

                                13c) And He took him and withdrew and told him three things.
                                When Thomas returned to his companions, they asked him, "What did
                                Jesus say to you?" Thomas said to them, "If I tell you one of the
                                things which he told me, you will pick up stones and throw them at
                                me; a fire will come out of the stones and burn you up."

                                However, this would be probably the only place I am aware of where
                                the author of Thomas would appear to have any direct awareness of
                                Hebrew, so I am doubtful that this is the best solution.

                                There is something to say for the Naassene's three words (KAULAKAU,
                                SAULASAU, ZEESAR), but the meanings would have to be interpreted by
                                the author of Thomas in a manner different from their literal Hebrew
                                meanings. This way the author of Thomas is blissfully unaware of
                                Hebrew exegesis in any direct sort of form, just as in the rest of
                                the book. He understands these three words as filtered to him through
                                intermediaries. They do not even have to have been actual words of
                                Jesus, just Jewish sounding words that he *thinks* Jesus could have
                                said, with a mystical meaning that he either accepts as is from his
                                source (not necessarily Naassenes) or simply makes up for the
                                occasion.

                                Take a look at the work of Birger A. Pearson. He has illustrated
                                indications of direct Jewish influence on some schools of Gnosticism
                                (the "Sethian" variety). These Jewish Gnostics *did* show familiarity
                                with exegesis directly from the Hebrew and use names for powers, etc,
                                that have an Aramaic or Hebrew provenance. However, unlike the other
                                works in the Nag Hammadi library that have these kinds of Jewish
                                derived words and terms, Thomas does not.

                                >>Regardless, "I am" is two words and not three, and "I am that I am"
                                is five words not three, so I think the question remains, does Thomas
                                mean "three words" or does he mean "three things" ... no ?<<

                                I think you are falling into the trap of taking the author of Thomas
                                WAY to literally, when he even says right up front that these
                                are "secret" sayings. This I take to mean that the "real" meaning is
                                NOT to be found on a literal level. The literal level may even be
                                designed to throw off the uninitiated snooper.

                                As for what was meant in Ex 3:13-14, consider the RSV translation
                                from the Hebrew:

                                13 Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel
                                and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and
                                they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" 14 God
                                said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM" (Hayah asher Hayah). And he said, "Say
                                this to the people of Israel, 'I AM (Hayah) has sent me to you.'"

                                Lancelot Brenton translates this passage from the Lxx Greek as
                                follows:

                                13 And Moses said to God, Behold, I shall go forth to the
                                children of Israel, and shall say to them, The God of our fathers has
                                sent me to you; and they will ask me, What is his name? What shall I
                                say to them? 14 And God spoke to Moses, saying, I am THE BEING (EGW
                                EIMI hO WN); and he said, Thus shall ye say to the children of
                                Israel, THE BEING (hO WN) has sent me to you.

                                Hayah asher Hayah
                                EGW EIMI hO WN

                                This way, either hO WN or EGW EIMI could serve as Greek language
                                substitutes for God's name as given in Exodus 3:14.

                                But that is besides the point. I was commenting at that point to the
                                idea expressed by Wade that in some of the other passages in GoT
                                where Jesus is made to say "I am ...", the author was suggesting that
                                the persons to whom Jesus spoke took something about those
                                constructions as blasphemous.

                                I did suggest that the phrase "I am" was perhaps a convenient
                                substitute (a circumlocution), used by the authors of Mark and John,
                                for the form of the divine name given in Exodus 3:14 (Hayah).

                                Respectfully,

                                Dave Hindley
                                Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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