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Re: [GTh] The rule of the Shepherds - part 2

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  • Stephen
    Dear Michael, Thank you for having the patience to read and comment on my note even though you clearly disagree vehemently with the contents. I have some
    Message 1 of 6 , May 26, 2004
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      Dear Michael,

      Thank you for having the patience to read and comment on my note even though
      you clearly disagree vehemently with the contents. I have some comments on
      the points you raised -

      > In general, your series of three notes more properly belongs on the
      > JesusMysteries list, where data is routinely manipulated to fit a theory.

      I try and go where the data and logic leads me - and not be blinded by the
      conceptual filters that are derived ultimately from the Gospel of Mark.

      > Although there's some interesting insights in your presentation, I believe
      > that almost all of your conclusions are mistaken (including your favorite
      > fantasy - that Simon Peter was a woman).

      You misrepresent me - I do not believe that there was any person called
      Simon Peter. It is Mark who makes the equation of Peter with Simon,
      probably because he is trying to place the original leader of the Jesus
      movement, Cephas/Peter, into a list of the Twelve which does not include his
      name. My identification of Cephas/Peter with the Magdalene is based on data
      not fantasy - connections between the two in the gospels and connections
      between the 'rock' and the 'tower' in multiple sources outside of the
      gospels. It is the use of the rock and the tower that led me to consider
      the dream vision in the first place before I noticed any possible connection
      with the vineyard owner parable.

      >
      > 1. The two servants cannot be Noah and Moses, because what is said about
      how
      > the tenants treated them doesn't match how Noah and Moses were treated.
      Noah
      > was not beaten within an each of his life, nor was Moses beaten. If, on
      the
      > other hand, the two servants represent two covenants (which covenants
      might
      > be thought to be "beaten" in some metaphorical sense), then (a) the
      vineyard
      > is clearly earthly, and (b) the two covenants should be those of Abraham
      and
      > Moses, not Noah and Moses.
      >

      I have simply pointed out the connection between the two angel/men in the
      dream vision and the two servants in the parable. It is the people who
      invented the myths who thought there was some reason to distinguish Noah and
      Moses with angelic status. We have to respect the sources and not say that
      they were wrong and should have used Abraham instead of Noah.


      > 2. The tenants are not the "shepherd angels" of the Enoch vision. They
      > simply aren't "angels" in our sense of the word (see below)

      In the dream vision the Shepherds are men and therefore stand for angels.
      Even great men such as Abraham, David and Elijah are represented as animals.


      > The Coptic word HeMHAL occurs in three sayings: 47 ("a servant can't serve
      > two masters"), 64 (the banquet), and 65. It's overstroked in all
      occurences,
      > not just in 65. I would agree that the overstroke indicates special
      > importance for the role of "servant", but it's not clear what that
      > importance was. Perhaps the authors thought of themselves and their
      > followers as "servants". In any case, you're jumping to a conclusion here.
      > You'd have to show that the "servants" in 47 and 64 were also "angels".

      Thank you for the extra information. The issue of the over stroke is a
      relatively minor point in the augment. It is possible that the over stroke
      of the servant started with 65 and then was copied to the other uses but I
      agree that not much weight should be placed on this point.

      >
      > > - Interpreting the servants as Noah and Moses leads to a deeper meaning
      of
      > > the parable since Noah, Moses and Jesus represent the three successive
      > > covenants between Yahweh and man.
      >
      > Not true. You've left out Abraham.
      >

      This is a fair comment but, as mentioned above, for some reason the covenant
      of Abraham was not important to them.

      > Nor are they
      > "angels" in the sense that we normally think of that term, since we don't
      > think of angels as being flesh-and-blood. Thus, we can't take the ancient
      > writings and transpose our own sense of "angel" on them to conclude that
      the
      > events in question were intended to take place in some other-worldly
      realm.
      > In the ancient world, an extraordinary man could be thought of as being an
      > "angel", and therefore there was no necessary dichotomy between "man" and
      > "angel" such as is central to your analysis - and that of other
      > Jesus-mythers. (In addition, anything supposedly taking place in the
      heavens
      > was actually a reflection of earthly events.)

      I think I know what 'angel' means - a divine visitor, a son of god. When
      Moses descends from meeting God his face is glowing so much that he has to
      be veiled. In Enoch we are told that when Noah was born he also glowed.
      These are divine beings.

      I cannot help thinking that you are trying to fudge the issue here by
      implying that there was no distinction between angels and men. There
      clearly was even though a few individuals crossed over the boundary.

      Stephen Peter
    • Stephen
      Frank, Thank you for your comments. Some comments in reply - ... Shepherd ... be ... The justification for making the identification is contained in
      Message 2 of 6 , May 26, 2004
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        Frank,

        Thank you for your comments. Some comments in reply -

        >
        > In this interpretation, the husbandmen are identified as being the
        Shepherd
        > angels. However, husbandmen and shepherds are two radically different
        > groups of people, i.e., settled people versus nomads and growers of crops
        > versus herders of animals. So, you need to provide a justification for
        > making this identification--which, on the face of it, appears unlikely to
        be
        > correct.

        The justification for making the identification is contained in scripture.
        Both the flock and the vineyard are used as metaphors for the Israelites.
        They establish two allegorical frameworks. Within those frameworks the
        Shepherds and the husbandmen are exact equivalents - two groups of
        agricultural workers who do not own the asset they control. Also we see
        that they both behave in the same way - by abusing the trust that owner of
        the agricultural asset has placed in them. That abuse takes a slightly
        different form in each framework for the simple reason that a vine is not
        the same as a sheep.

        The equivalence goes further because we are told, for example in Isaiah 5
        and in Jeremiah 12:10, that the owner of the vineyard is Yahweh. In Enoch
        the Lord of the sheep is also clearly Yahweh. So the owner of the flock and
        the vineyard is the same in both allegories, just as the flock and the
        vineyard represent the same thing.

        Then in Jeremiah 12:10 we have the explicit link - 'the Shepherds have
        ruined my vineyard'.

        Given these connections I do not personally see how there can fail to be a
        link between the vineyard parable and the Shepherds.

        The importance of the detail of the two men/angels Noah and Moses
        corresponding with the two servants in the parable is that it establishes
        the link at the level of the Book of Enoch Midrash on scripture rather than
        at the level of the scripture itself. It lifts the parable into the angelic
        realm where servants and Shepherds are angels.


        >
        > Also, I suggest that you do more thinking on what the vineyard
        > represents in Thomas 65. You hypothesise that it represents a heavenly
        > realm. Yet, an Enochian intepretaion of 65 seems to indicate that the
        > vineyard represents the Israelites. So, if, as you propose, the rest of
        the
        > parable ought to be interpreted along Enochian lines, shouldn't the
        > vineyard be interpreted along Enochian lines as well and, so, taken to
        > represent the Israelites?

        We are not actually told in 65 that the abuse of the servants and the murder
        of the son takes place in the vineyard. We are just told that the owner
        sent the servants and the son.


        >
        > I hope you find this helpful.
        >
        Yes, thank you for all the points you made including the ones not mentioned
        in this reply.


        Stephen Peter
      • fmmccoy
        ... From: Stephen To: GThomas Sent: Monday, May 24, 2004 6:02 AM Subject: [GTh] The rule of the
        Message 3 of 6 , May 26, 2004
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Stephen" <stephen@...>
          To: "GThomas" <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, May 24, 2004 6:02 AM
          Subject: [GTh] The rule of the Shepherds - part 2

          (snip)

          >
          > The same parable of the vineyard is also found in the gospels of Mark,
          Mathew and Luke. The earliest of the Gospel versions is that of Mark -
          >
          > ==========
          > And he began to speak to them by parables. A certain man planted a
          vineyard, and set a hedge about it, and digged a place for the wine vat, and
          built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.
          And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive
          from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. And they caught him, and
          beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent to them another
          servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent
          him away shamefully handled. And again he sent another; and him they
          killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some. Having yet
          therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last to them, saying,
          They will reverence my son. But those husbandmen said among themselves,
          This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.'
          And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. What
          shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the
          husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others. And have you not read
          this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of
          the corner: This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
          (Mark 12:1-11)
          > ==========
          >
          > The Mark version adds details from the analogy of the vineyard in Isaiah
          5. The Thomas version is simpler and this is the first clue that the Thomas
          version is earlier than Mark. More importantly the Thomas version has the
          structure of three rising to a climax that would be expected in an original
          parable - the two servants who are beaten followed by the son who is killed.
          This same underlying structure is also evident in the Mark version although
          it has been corrupted by the insertion of extra servants in the confused
          phrase "and again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others;
          beating some, and killing some". Even before the Gospel of Thomas had been
          discovered it had been deduced that the Mark version was derived from an
          earlier parable that only had two servants!


          Dear Stephen Peter:

          Who said, prior to the discovery of GThomas, that the Markan version of the
          parable of the vineyard was derived from an earlier parable that had only
          two servants? Is this person Dodd or Jeremias? Can you cite the work in
          which this argument is made?

          Certainly, that the GThomas version of this parable is simpler than the
          GMark version is strong evidence that the GThomas version is earlier.

          Still, I think that a case can be made that the GMark version of the parable
          is more primitive.

          In particular, the GMark version of the parable shows a strong influence
          from the Dead Sea scrolls.

          Particularly important is the DSS fragment, 4Q500, which is thusly
          translated by Craig Evans in Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran Cave
          4 (in Eschatology, Messianism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, pp. 91-110):

          3...a wine vat (bu)ilt among stones...
          4....to the gate of the holy height...
          5...your planting and the streams of your glory...
          6....the branches of your delight...
          7...your vine(yard...).

          He identifies the "gate of the holy height" with the temple: which was built
          on the top of the holy height of Mount Zion; the "wine vat built among the
          stone" with the altar: which was built in the midst of the stones
          constituting the temple; and "the streams of your glory" with "the water
          channel that streams forth from the altar."

          This readily relates to the Markan version of the parable of the vineyard,
          where the vineyard is enclosed by a hedge and has a wine vat and a tower.
          The vineyard is Jerusalem. The hedge around it is the city walls. The wine
          vat is the altar at the temple and the tower is the temple itself.

          Also important is the DSS Commentary on Hosea, where, we read, some people
          "cast His commandments behind them which he sent (by the hand of) his
          sevants, the Prophets, and they listened to those who led them astray."

          This readily relates to the Markan version of the parable of the vineyard,
          where servants are sent by the owner to the tenants of the vineaysrd, but
          are abused--with some even being killed. In this case, the owner of the
          vineyard is God, the tenants are the rulers of this vineyard (i.e.,
          Jerusalem), and the servants who are abused and killed at the vineyard
          (i.e., Jerusalem) are prophets sent by God. Compare Matthew 23:37, where
          Jesus declares, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning
          those sent to you!"

          Also important is DSS 4Q174, where it is stated, "*(I will be) his father
          and he will be my son (2 Sam. vii, 13)*. He is the Branch of David....As it
          is written, *I will raise up the tent of David that is fallen (Amos ix,
          11)*. That is to say, the fallen tent of David is he who shall arise to
          save Israel."

          This readily relates to the Markan version of the parable, where the owner
          of the vineyard (i.e., God) has a son. This is the Davidic Messiah, who
          will have God as his Father and, so, be His Son. This Son is the heir of
          the vineyard. That is to say, he is the ligitimate heir to David's throne.
          However the tenants of the vineyard slay him. That is to say, the rulers of
          Jerusalem (i.e., the Romans and the members of the Jerusalem Sanhiedrin), in
          order to stay in power, cause this tent of David to fall. However, the Son
          is raised from the dead in glory, becoming the cornerstone That is to say,
          the slain Davidic Messiah, the fallen tent of David, will be raised by God
          from the dead to a glorious heavenly status.

          So, the Markan version, in its entirety, is interpretable in terms of the
          Dead Sea scrolls. It tells a coherent tale of how God establishes Jerusalem
          (the vineyard) and lets it out to husbandmen (i.e., its human rulers). God
          sends His servants (i.e., the prophets) to Jerusalem, but its rulers abuse
          them and even kill some of them. Then God sends His Son, the Davidic
          Messiah, to Jerusalem to claim David's throne. However, the rulers of
          Jerusalem kill him. Then, God raises him from the dead and sets him in
          heavenly glory.

          Since the Qumran community was destroyed by the Romans in 68 CE, the
          apparent influence of the DSS on the Markan version of the parable of the
          vineyard means that it probably dates to 68 CE or earlier. That is to say,
          since most would date GMark to c. 70 CE, this means that it probably is
          pre-Markan and could even be quite primitive.

          This conclusion is supported by the fact that, in the Markan version of the
          parable, the tower is not destroyed. Since the tower appears to represent
          the temple, this suggests that this version of the parable arose earlier
          than the destruction of the temple in 70 CE.

          Also, as Evans (Ibid., p. 99, note 18) observes, this usage of the
          corner-stone saying from Psalm 118 in the Markan version of the parable
          appears to be based on an Aramaic word-play between ha-ben (the son) and
          ha-'eben (the stone). This suggests that the Markan version of the parable
          was originally in Aramaic which, in turn, supports the idea that it goes
          back to Palestine and, so, might be quite primitive.

          That the Markan version of the parable appears to be pre-68 CE and appears
          to go back to Palestine suggests that it is earlier than the GThomas version
          because most would date GThomas to the early second century CE.

          The bottom line: That the GThomas version of the parable is simpler than the
          GMark version is strong evidence that the GThomas version is earlier.
          However, this is off-set by evidence that the GMark version is pre-68 CE
          and by the conventional dating of GThomas to the second century CE. The net
          effect is that it is a judgment call, pure and simple, as to whether which
          version is more primitive.

          >
          > Mark has extra servants because the person who wrote the Mark version did
          not understand that the two servants were supposed to represent the
          men-angels Noah and Moses. He thinks that they represent the prophets. But
          there were many more prophets than two and some met with death as well as
          physical abuse. So the author tries to improve the parable to make it more
          closely reflect what he thinks it should mean.
          >

          This scenario is highly speculative because it is based on the premise that
          the GThomas version is earlier. As mentioned above, this might be the case,
          but it is not safe to assume that this is the case.

          > Mark ends his parable by adding a conclusion not found in the Thomas
          version. The husbandmen will be destroyed and the vineyard shall be given
          to others. He goes on to add the saying about the cornerstone that is taken
          from Psalm 118. The question is why does Mark add this cornerstone saying
          to the parable? It does not appear to have any direct relevance to what has
          gone before. Both Mathew and Luke also add the cornerstone quotation at
          this point but then they are both copying Mark.
          >

          Still, as pointed out above, when the Markan version of the parable is
          interpreteed in terms of what is found in certain Dead Sea scrolls, then the
          saying about the cornerstone that is taken from Psalm 118 is integral to it.
          So, I think you are incorrect in asserting that it does not appear to have
          any direct relevane to what has gone before.

          In conclusion, you are reasonable in maintaining that the GThomas version of
          the parable of the vineyard is earlier that the GMark version.because it is
          simpler.

          However, by the same token, there is evidence that the GMark version dates
          to pre-68 CE and originated in Palestine. Conversely, GThomas is
          conventionally dated to the early part of the second century CE. These two
          things suggest that, rather, it is the GMark version that is earliest.

          So, to make the case stronger that the GThomas version of the parable is
          earlier than the GMark version, I suggest that you look for evidence that
          indicates a post-70 CE dating for the GMark version and for evidence that
          GThomas was written earlier than most assume.

          Regards,

          Frank McCoy
          1809 N. English At. 15
          Maplewood, MN USA 55109
        • fmmccoy
          ... From: Stephen To: Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2004 11:20 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] The rule of the Shepherds
          Message 4 of 6 , May 28, 2004
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Stephen" <stephen@...>
            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2004 11:20 AM
            Subject: Re: [GTh] The rule of the Shepherds - part 2


            (Frank McCoy)
            > > In this interpretation, the husbandmen are identified as being the
            > Shepherd
            > > angels. However, husbandmen and shepherds are two radically different
            > > groups of people, i.e., settled people versus nomads and growers of
            crops
            > > versus herders of animals. So, you need to provide a justification for
            > > making this identification--which, on the face of it, appears unlikely
            to
            > be
            > > correct.

            (Stephen Peter)
            > The justification for making the identification is contained in scripture.
            > Both the flock and the vineyard are used as metaphors for the Israelites.
            > They establish two allegorical frameworks.

            (Frank McCoy)
            Yes, in the Jewish scriptures, the Israelites can be symbolized by both a
            flock and a vineyard. You make a good point here.

            Yes, they can establish two allegorical frameworks: one in which there are
            shepherds for the flock (i.e., the Israelites) and the other in which their
            are husbandmen for the vineyard (i.e., the Israelites).

            Further, in the Enochian narrative, there are shepherds for the flock (i.e.,
            the Israelites) and these shepherds are angelic beings.

            Even further, in the GThomas version of the parable of the vineyard, there
            are husbandmen for the vineyard.

            However, this does not necessitate that, in the GThomas version of this
            parable, the husbandmen are angelic beings and the vineyard consists of the
            Israelites.

            Rather, this needs to be established by presenting evidence to back-up such
            a hypothesis.

            (Stephen)
            > Within those frameworks the
            > Shepherds and the husbandmen are exact equivalents - two groups of
            > agricultural workers who do not own the asset they control.

            (Frank)
            Here, you are assuming what needs to be demonstrated, i.e., that the
            shepherds of the Enochian perspective and the husbandmen of the GThomas
            version of this parable are exact equivalents. This is only possible if the
            husbandmen represent angelic beings, but you have not demonstrated that this
            is so.

            Further, any equivalence (whether it be exact or inexact) between the
            shepherds and the husbandmen does not arise out of them both being
            agricultural workers who do not own the assets they control. To lump
            nomadic herders into the category of sedentary agricultural workers is
            incorrect.

            So, I think your argument is weak here. At this point in your line of
            reasoning, you could make a much stronger case if you could produce
            evidence that, in the GThomas version of this parable, the vineyard really
            does represent the Israelites and the husbandmen really do represent angelic
            beings.

            (Stephen)
            >Also we see
            > that they both behave in the same way - by abusing the trust that owner of
            > the agricultural asset has placed in them. That abuse takes a slightly
            > different form in each framework for the simple reason that a vine is not
            > the same as a sheep.

            (Frank)
            Yes, both the shepherds in the Enochian perspective and the husbandmen in
            the GThomas version of the parable of the vineyard abuse the trust that the
            owner has placed in them. Again, you make a very good point.

            However, I suspect that you are incorrect in saying that this "abuse takes a
            slightly different form in each framework."

            Rather, I think it more likely that this abuse takes a radically different
            form in each framework.

            In an earlier post, you state, "The Lord of the sheep then appoints seventy
            shepherds over the sheep. The shepherds are clearly inspired by the
            shepherds in the book of Jeremiah. Each shepherd is to pasture the sheep
            for one day so that the reign of the shepherds will be seventy days -
            standing for the seventy years in Jeremiah. The lord of the sheep numbers
            those sheep marked out for destruction so that the shepherds might destroy
            them. But the Lord of the sheep knows that the shepherds will exceed their
            instructions and will destroy many more of the sheep than marked. So he
            appoints a man/angel to secretly watch the shepherds and keep a record of
            their deeds."

            So, in the Enochian perspective, the abuse of the trust of the owner by the
            shepherds is that they destroy many more of the sheep than marked.

            Since, in the hypothesis you propose, the shepherds of the Enochian
            perspective correspond to husbandmen of the GThomas version of the parable
            of the vineyard and the sheep of the Enochian perspective correspond to the
            vineyard of the GThomas version of the parable, if they are truly parallel,
            then, in the GThomas version of the parable, the husbandmen abuse the trust
            of the owner by destroying a part of the vineyard.

            However, in the GThomas version of the parable of the vineyard, the abuse of
            the trust of the owner by the husbandmen does not involve the destruction of
            a part of the vineyard. Rather, it takes two other forms:
            1. they injure the two servants sent by the owner and they slay the son of
            the owner
            2. they do not give the owner the produce they owe him.

            So, IMO, it appears that the nature of the abuse of the trust of the owner
            by the shepherds radically differs from the nature of the abuse of the trust
            of the owner by the husbandmen.

            (Stephen)
            > The equivalence goes further because we are told, for example in Isaiah 5
            > and in Jeremiah 12:10, that the owner of the vineyard is Yahweh. In Enoch
            > the Lord of the sheep is also clearly Yahweh. So the owner of the flock
            and
            > the vineyard is the same in both allegories, just as the flock and the
            > vineyard represent the same thing.

            (Frank)
            Your argument, IMO, is weak here.

            To strengthen it, IMO, you need to establish that the vineyard in Isaiah 5
            corresponds to the vineyard in Jeremiah 12:10 and that both vineyards
            correspond to the vineyard in the GThomas version of the parable of the
            vineyard. Further, since the flock of the Enochian perspective represents
            the Israelites, to strengthen your argument, you also need to establish
            that, in each of these three cases, the vineyard represents Israelites
            rather than something else, e.g., the city of Jerusalem.

            (Stephen)
            > Then in Jeremiah 12:10 we have the explicit link - 'the Shepherds have
            > ruined my vineyard'.
            >
            > Given these connections I do not personally see how there can fail to be a
            > link between the vineyard parable and the Shepherds.

            (Frank)
            There are some missing premises in your argument here. That there is
            linkage between shepherds and a vineyard in Jer. 12:10 does not necessitate
            that there is a link between the Enochian picture of shepherds herding a
            flock and the picture, in the GThomas version of the parable of the
            vineyard, of husbandmen tending a vineyard. Indeed, it doesn't even make
            such a linkage likely.

            As a result, I classify your argument here as unfounded speculation.

            In order to make it a strong argument, you need to make explicit the missing
            premises and to give evidence to support each one of these missing premises.

            Further, if, as your argument apparently necessitates, there is a link
            between Jeremiah 12:10 and the GThomas version of the
            parable of the vineyard, then one would expect the husbandmen of the GThomas
            version of the parable of the vineyard to ruin the vineyard. However, they
            do not do this.

            So, on the face of it, there is no link between Jeremaiah 12:10 and the
            GThomas version of the parable of the vineyard.

            (Stephen)
            > The importance of the detail of the two men/angels Noah and Moses
            > corresponding with the two servants in the parable is that it establishes
            > the link at the level of the Book of Enoch Midrash on scripture rather
            than
            > at the level of the scripture itself. It lifts the parable into the
            angelic
            > realm where servants and Shepherds are angels.

            (Frank)
            Even if (for the sake of argument) one grants that the two servants in the
            parable correspond to Noah and Moses as men/angels, this necessarily lifts
            the parable into the angelic realm only if, from the Enochian perspective,
            angels stick only to heavenly realms and, therefore, do not enter into our
            mortal realm.

            However, it appears that, in the Enochian perspective, the angels do not
            stick to heavenly realms but, rather, sometimes do enter into our mortal
            realm.

            For example, in an earlier post, you state, "Two versions of the
            proto-Gnostic myth exist in the Book of Enoch. The first is the story of
            the Watchers in Book 1. In this myth the angels, the Children of Heaven,
            look down on Earth and lust after the daughters of men. Under their leader
            Semjaza they descend to the earth and take wives. From these wives are born
            monstrous giants. The rebel angels also teach mankind forbidden knowledge
            such as the art of making weaponry, jewellery and cosmetics along with
            magic, plant lore and astrology."

            I view your contention that the action in the GThomas version of the
            parable of the vineyard takes place in a heavenly plane to be the weakest
            part of your total argument. That. angelic beings, in the Enochian
            perspective, do sometimes enter into our mortal realm is but another
            indication, IMO, of its weakness.

            (Frank)
            > > Also, I suggest that you do more thinking on what the vineyard
            > > represents in Thomas 65. You hypothesise that it represents a heavenly
            > > realm. Yet, an Enochian intepretaion of 65 seems to indicate that the
            > > vineyard represents the Israelites. So, if, as you propose, the rest of
            > the
            > > parable ought to be interpreted along Enochian lines, shouldn't the
            > > vineyard be interpreted along Enochian lines as well and, so, taken to
            > > represent the Israelites?

            (Stephen)
            > We are not actually told in 65 that the abuse of the servants and the
            murder
            > of the son takes place in the vineyard. We are just told that the owner
            > sent the servants and the son.

            (Frank)
            Arguments from silence, by their very nature, tend to be weak. So, I view
            this as a weak argument.

            To make it a strong argument, you need, IMO, to present evidence that, in
            the GThomas version of the parable of the sower, the abuse of the servants
            and the murder of the son take place somewhere else than the vineyard.

            Do you have such evidence?

            Regards,

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