- I'm not sure whether there is anything in this or not, but I found it

an intriguing possibility.

I've been thinking about structure and pattern in Thomas and was

considering the number of different sayings.

Normally Thomas is regarded as containing 114 sayings and despite

my best efforts I was unable to find significance in 114.

However i/ saying 1 'And he said Whoever finds the interpretation of

these sayings will not taste death' is IMO more a prologue to the

collection of sayings than a saying within the collection

and ii/ I have previously argued on this group that sayings 42 and 43

should really be regarded as one saying not two.

Hence there are really 112 separate sayings within the collection and

112 is a very significant number.

It is 4 times 28, 4 being a significant square and 28 a perfect number

particularly associated with 7 and with speculation about the mystical

body of Christ.

It is 16 times 7, 16 being another significant square and 7 a highly

significant number in Greek Christian and Jewish tradition. (see eg

the Book of Revelation)

112 is also the seventh heptagonal (seven sided) number (7 times

(35-3) divided by 2) which links it to seven twice over.

I'm not sure whether this is being over imaginative but I do think

there are some deliberate significant numerical relations in Thomas

even if the above is not one of them.

Andrew Criddle

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed] - If the Gthom has some relationship to the concepts of Oriental thought, like the I-Ching it is possible that the number of sayings may at one time have correlated with a geometric pattern, or set of progressive geometric patterns. It will be impossible to prove or even correlate beyond speculation what those were, unless we get some independent information concerning this matter.

That being said, there is very little stock in the number of sayings and how the total would stack up mathematically for a correlation to the geometric schema of the I-Ching. We do see some similarity in possible 'stacking' of the sayings, (doublets) which is like the stacking of I-Ching elements, which are called trigrams.

Trigrams put together are hexagons. There are 64 possible hexagons or pairs of trigrams. These all are formed from the invention of Emperor Fu Hsi (3000 B.C.), which is an octagonal formation pictured around the yin-yang symbol. (I recommend that if what I said confuses you, a personal study of the I-Ching might make these formations and how they are used more clear.)

An example of stacking in the GThom would be like putting the sayings of 39, and 102 together.

Th-39. Jesus said, "The Pharisees and the scholars have taken the keys of knowledge and have hidden them. They have not entered nor have they allowed those who want to enter to do so. As for you, be as sly as snakes and as simple as doves."

Th-102. Jesus said, "Damn the Pharisees! They are like a dog sleeping in the cattle manger: the dog neither eats nor [lets] the cattle eat."

You could tailor the GThom to work out into a schema that worked like I-Ching, or Tarot cards, but it is not likely it will work the same. The I-Ching is based upon the idea of "fixing the question" to be asked.

We can conclude that although this kind of combination, like 39, and 102, appears significant, but we cannot see a definite purpose of the pattern in mathematical progression, or final tally of the GThom. All the sayings can fit, and this is characteristic of things based upon the I-Ching. This is the norm with other things that are directly related to the I-Ching, like karate kata (pre-set forms). There is no significance to the number of moves in the body of a form. I have watched people for over 30 years try to find one, and none is ever found.

What is significant is the use of the form in supplying the mode for interpretation, and this works the same, or appears to. Each saying can be linked to another, as pairs or a whole, or interpreted individually. Each saying or unit can have a literal and hidden meaning(s) and symbolism. This is common in the Oriental construction of ancient martial forms, and 'wisdom poetry' called 'kambun.'

I have serious doubts about the validity of the I-Ching as a real tool of prophecy. The GThom seems more of a tool to mold the future of the user rather than predict it.

Tom Saunders

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed] - --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Saunders" <tom@c...> wrote:
>

and how the total would stack up mathematically for a correlation to

>

> That being said, there is very little stock in the number of sayings

the geometric schema of the I-Ching. We do see some similarity in

possible 'stacking' of the sayings, (doublets) which is like the

stacking of I-Ching elements, which are called trigrams.

In the essay, Steve speculates that the Gospel of Thomas might be

divided up into 108 sayings which could be randomised by three throws

of a six-sided die.

Best Wishes

Andrew Smith