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Re: [GTh] Re: Logion #83

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... I think the most direct way to answer these questions is to begin with a more literal rendition: 83.1: The images are revealed to Man, but the light
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 11, 2004
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      Maurice wrote:
      > I am working with a "strange" translation of Thomas 83 which reads:
      >
      > "Jesus said, "Images are visible to people, but the light within is
      > hidden in the Father's image of light. He will reveal himself, but his
      > image is hidden by his light."
      ...
      > Does this translation make sense, and can the word "man" be
      > interchanged with the word "People" without regard to "man" being
      > singular as a word. That is, if "people" can be substituted for "man",
      > then can the "them" of "light which is in them" be taken to mean
      > "people" instead of "images" ... or, yet again, in Coptic, can
      > "people" be both singular and plural ? The logion in such a case would
      > be as suggested in my "strange" translation ... no?

      I think the most direct way to answer these questions is to begin with a
      more literal rendition:

      83.1: The images are revealed to Man, but the light within THEM is hidden
      in the image of the light of the Father.
      83.2: He/it will be revealed, but his/its image is hidden by his/its light.
      (reading 'the man' in 83.1 as 'Man')

      The crux of the matter, as I understand it, is whether 'them' in 83.1 can
      refer to "Man" instead of "the images". Grammatically, I don't think it can,
      but you may not need that, since it seems possible to squeeze out what you
      want via conceptual interpretation. The saying is difficult to understand,
      but the main point of it seems to be a contrast between the Father and
      earthly things, with respect to the relationship between their respective
      "images" (IKONs) and their "light". Matters are complicated by the implied
      claim that the Father's light itself has an image, but the contrast
      basically seems to be (as I understand it) that whereas earthly things have
      their "light" inside their "images", the Father has his image inside his
      light. From an earthly point of view, he's "inside-out" as it were. (This is
      consistent with a common Christian conception that the things of heaven were
      opposite to those of earth.)

      Although I'm not wholly satisfied with this interpretation, it does give you
      want you want, I think, in a roundabout way. The Father's light is within
      earthly images, but the earthly images themselves are within earthly
      objects - including ourselves and other people - so the light is within
      people (among other things?). As long as we can tie "the images" to people,
      the claim that those images contain light _implies_ that people contain
      light - though the saying doesn't say that directly. (This saying, BTW,
      strikes me as one added to the original collection to somehow tie-in with a
      neo-Platonic conceptual scheme of late date.)

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