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Re: [GTh] Three Blocks/Sayings and GThomas Cosmology

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  • fmmccoy
    ... From: Michael Grondin To: Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 12:28 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] The Alpha-Omega
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 31, 2005
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, January 28, 2005 12:28 PM
      Subject: Re: [GTh] The Alpha-Omega Principle

      (Frank)
      > > Indeed, this is the case for lines 469-470: which consitute 1 saying
      > > (i.e.,
      > > 71) and 1 block (i.e., block 12)!

      (MIchael)
      > Are you aware that there's another 2-line block (lines 646-47)?

      I was not aware of this.

      What this means is that we do not have two instances of where: (1) we have a
      block/saying, i.e., a block that is also a single saying and (2) the
      block/saying consists of one or two lines. Rather, we actually have three:
      1. a block/saying, 6/42, consisting of a line (280)
      2. a block/saying, 12/71, consisting of two lines (469-470)
      3. a block/saying, 23/110, consisting oftwo lines (646-647)

      The number of blocks in the Coptic text of Thomas is 24--which is far less
      than the number of sayings (114) and way far less than the number of lines
      (668).

      As a result, that there are three blocks which, added together, total only 3
      sayings and five lines is so improbable that it is plausible to posit that
      this is deliberate.

      What, though, would be the purpose in deliberately creating these three
      blocks/sayings--with the first one consisting of one line and the other two
      consisting of two lines each?

      Well, in the beginning of saying 111, which *immediately follows the last
      of these blocks/sayings (i.e., block 23, saying 110)*, we find, "The heavens
      and the earth will be rolled up in your presence."

      This is, I suggest, a clue that the three blocks/sayings constitute a cosmos
      consisting of the earth and of two heavens--with the first block/saying of
      one line representing the earth and with each of the other two of two lines
      each representing one of the two heavens.

      Indeed, in line with this, it appears that, in GThomas, it is posited that
      there are two heavens. So, saying 11 begins, "This heaven will pass away,
      and the one above it will pass away."

      Also supporting this hypothesis that the three blocks/sayings constitute a
      cosmos consisting of earth and two heavens is a very remarkable feature to
      them. That is, the second one, 12/71, is, in terms of sayings numbers,
      equidistant from the first one, i.e., 12/42, and the third one, 23/110--for
      71-29 = 42 and 71 + 29 = 110!

      Since 29 is the number of full days in a lunar cycle, this indicates that
      the second block/saying is associated in some fashion with the moon.

      This is an indication that it represents a heaven for the wandering
      stars--for the moon was, at the time, classified with the sun and what we
      today call planets as wandering stars.

      Indeed, at the time, there was a widespread belief that there are two
      heavens--an inner one for the wandering stars (and frequently sub-divided
      into seven sub-heavens) and an outer one for the fixed stars.

      So, what is indicated by the middle block/saying being 29 sayings away from
      each of the other two is that the three block/sayings constitute a cosmos
      consisting of an earth (6/12), an inner heaven for the wandering stars
      (12/42), and an outer heaven for the fixed stars (23/110).

      What, though, is the purpose for envisoning these three blocks/sayings to
      constitute an earth-heaven-heaven trio?

      The answer, I suggest, is to indicate to the reader that these three
      blocks/sayings are to be interpreted in sequential order, beginning with the
      earth and ending in the outer heaven--and with, further, on the interpretive
      level, something in last part of one block/saying being echoed in the first
      part of the next block/saying..

      To be more specific, I suggest that this is to clue in the reader that they
      are to be interpreted in this fashion:
      6/42 A.come into being (as an imperishable spirit)
      B as you pass away (as a *perishable body of flesh*)
      12/71 A I will destroy this building (i.e., I will voluntarily end the life
      of my *perishable body of flesh*)
      B and no one will be able to rebuild it (i.e., and no one will be
      able to restore it to *having life*)
      23/110 A whoever finds the world (where one, as a spirit, *has life*) and
      becomes rich
      B let him renounce the world (where one, as a body of flesh,
      faces death)

      In support of this interpretation of 12/71, it is noteworthy that, in John
      2:21, the building/temple of another version of this saying is declared to
      have been the body of Jesus.

      In support of this intepretation of 23/110, it is noteworthy that, in the
      immediately preceding saying (i.e., 109), the Kingdom is likened to
      treasure. So, the world which one finds *and, in which, one gets rich* is
      not the perishable cosmos, but an imperishable one that includes the
      treasure of the Kingdom. Conversely, in this case, the world which one
      renounces must be the perishable comsmos. Indeed, the very next saying
      (i.e., 111) begins by emphasising that the earth and the heavens will be
      perishing.

      If, as siggested, these three blocks/sayings represent a cosmos of earth
      and two heavens and are to be interpreted in sequential order, the
      possiblity arises that the Coptic text of GThomas is a word puzzle in which,
      as part of the process of solving it, these three widely separated
      blocks/sayings are to be gathered together into one spot in sequential
      order. So, this suggestion is consistent with the theory that the Coptic
      text of GThomas is a word puzzle. Still, IMO, it is, by itself, only weak
      evidence for this theory.

      A final note: Because this suggestion utilizes the non-Barbeleotic cosmology
      of one earth and two heavens to be found in GThomas itself, it raises
      serious questions about the validity of any variety of the theory that the
      Coptic text of GThomas is a word puzzle which depends upon the premise that,
      in solving this puzzle, a knowledge of the Barbeleotic concept of the cosmos
      is necessary or, even, useful.

      Frank McCoy
      1809 N. English Apt. 15
      Maplewood, MN USA 55109
    • Michael Grondin
      ... You re on the right track to be thinking in terms of numbers, but 71+29 = 100, not 110. Also, the three blocks in question (which are the smallest of the 9
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 31, 2005
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        Frank McCoy writes:

        > Also supporting this hypothesis that the three blocks/sayings constitute a
        > cosmos consisting of earth and two heavens is a very remarkable feature to
        > them. That is, the second one, 12/71, is, in terms of sayings numbers,
        > equidistant from the first one, i.e., 12/42, and the third one,
        > 23/110--for
        > 71-29 = 42 and 71 + 29 = 110!

        You're on the right track to be thinking in terms of numbers, but 71+29 =
        100, not 110. Also, the three blocks in question (which are the smallest of
        the 9 single-saying blocks) don't represent the world.

        > Since 29 is the number of full days in a lunar cycle, this indicates that
        > the second block/saying is associated in some fashion with the moon.

        Isn't 28 the number of days in a lunar (and Jewish) month? That explains why
        the number 280 is important. I don't see any such importance to the number
        29.

        > This is an indication that it represents a heaven for the wandering
        > stars--for the moon was, at the time, classified with the sun and what we
        > today call planets as wandering stars.
        >
        > Indeed, at the time, there was a widespread belief that there are two
        > heavens--an inner one for the wandering stars (and frequently sub-divided
        > into seven sub-heavens) and an outer one for the fixed stars.

        Thanks for that. I was wondering why there should be two heavens.

        > To be more specific, I suggest that this is to clue in the reader that
        > they
        > are to be interpreted in this fashion:
        > 6/42 A.come into being (as an imperishable spirit)
        > B as you pass away (as a *perishable body of flesh*)
        > 12/71 A I will destroy this building (i.e., I will voluntarily end the
        > life
        > of my *perishable body of flesh*)
        > B and no one will be able to rebuild it (i.e., and no one will be
        > able to restore it to *having life*)
        > 23/110 A whoever finds the world (where one, as a spirit, *has life*) and
        > becomes rich
        > B let him renounce the world (where one, as a body of flesh,
        > faces death)

        Very nice interpretation, Frank. I won't be catty and ask if you have any
        Roman Empire texts to support this; I'll just say that it's my experience
        that the textual puzzle-pieces intended to go together fit just as snugly as
        pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. Although finding the right combination of pieces
        is difficult, when you find them, it's evident that there can be no other.
        This is "the rule of multiple witnesses" - i.e., several different factors
        point in exactly the same direction, and they do so non-ambiguously.

        > In support of this interpretation of 12/71, it is noteworthy that, in John
        > 2:21, the building/temple of another version of this saying is declared to
        > have been the body of Jesus.

        You're on the right track to be thinking in terms of John's writings (both
        gospel and Revelations). The AoJ wasn't called _The Apocryphon OF JOHN_ for
        nothing. (As I've already indicated, the aleph/nu in that title points to
        P-LOGOS at line 510. There is other evidence that I won't get into because
        it's not firmed up yet.)

        > A final note: Because this suggestion utilizes the non-Barbeleotic
        > cosmology
        > of one earth and two heavens to be found in GThomas itself, it raises
        > serious questions about the validity of any variety of the theory that the
        > Coptic text of GThomas is a word puzzle which depends upon the premise
        > that,
        > in solving this puzzle, a knowledge of the Barbeleotic concept of the
        > cosmos
        > is necessary or, even, useful.

        It may not be necessary, but it certainly would be useful if we knew the
        _sequence_ of steps and/or stages in solving the puzzle. I believe (though I
        can't prove) that the Barbeloite initiate was to read the three texts as a
        trilogy. The outer two texts would have given clues (if properly
        interpreted) to the nature and solution of the Thomas puzzle. I note in this
        regard that GPh refers to a mule which goes round and round on a treadmill,
        traveling a great many miles, but never getting anywhere. I THINK that this
        was an analogy to someone who tries to put the puzzle together without
        sufficient guidance. One can see a great many potential moves, but if one
        has no idea of the overall strategy, one will go round and round without
        getting anywhere. That "overall strategy" is, I think, contained in saying
        22, but I also think there's helpful stuff in AoJ and GPh. In particular, I
        think that the cosmogony of AoJ reflects either how the "new world" is to be
        constructed, or perhaps how the "old world" (i.e., the text of GTh as it
        stands) WAS constructed. I can't yet prove that, because I can't decode the
        cosmogony, but it STM very likely.

        Mike Grondin
      • fmmccoy
        ... From: Michael Grondin To: Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 10:43 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] Three
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 1 7:41 AM
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, January 31, 2005 10:43 AM
          Subject: Re: [GTh] Three Blocks/Sayings and GThomas Cosmology


          >
          > Frank McCoy writes:
          >
          > > Also supporting this hypothesis that the three blocks/sayings constitute
          a
          > > cosmos consisting of earth and two heavens is a very remarkable feature
          to
          > > them. That is, the second one, 12/71, is, in terms of sayings numbers,
          > > equidistant from the first one, i.e., 12/42, and the third one,
          > > 23/110--for
          > > 71-29 = 42 and 71 + 29 = 110!

          > You're on the right track to be thinking in terms of numbers, but 71+29 =
          > 100, not 110. Also, the three blocks in question (which are the smallest
          of
          > the 9 single-saying blocks) don't represent the world.

          Sorry, math done in the head rather than with a calculator.

          The nine single blocks/sayings mentioned by Michael above are:
          1. 4/22, lines 178-193 (16 lines)
          2. 6/42, line 280 (1 line)
          3. 12/71, lines 469-470 (2 lines)
          4. 17/99, lines 592-597 (6 lines)
          5. 18/100, lines 598-602 (5 lines)
          6. 19/101, lines 603-608 (6 lines)
          7. 21/108, lines 635-637 (3 lines)
          8. 22/109, lines 638-645 (8 lines)
          9. 23/110, lines 646-647 (2 lines)
          The number of lines for each block/saying has been calculated by me in my
          head, but they should (hopefully!) be right as I've gone through them twice.

          There are regularities here that suggest that this group of nine is a
          deliberate creation.

          First of all, both the total number of blocks/sayings (which is 9) and the
          total number of lines (which is 49) are square numbers: for 9 = 3x3 and 49 =
          7x7.

          Second, there are is a tendency towards an ABB pattern usage.

          So, there is an ABB pattern to the block numbers. They are divisible into
          three groups:
          1. 4,6,12
          2. 17,18,19
          3. 21,22,23
          Further, these three groups fall into an ABB pattern because the last two
          are alike in that each consists of three consecutive numbers.

          There also is an ABB pattern to the three blocks/sayings with the least
          number of lines:
          6/42 1 line
          12/71 2 lines
          23/110 2 lines
          This ABB pattern is the first having one line, while each of the last two
          has two lines.

          There also is a reversed BBA pattern to three more of the blocks/sayings:
          17/99 6 lines
          19/101 6 lines
          21/108 3 lines
          This BBA pattern is the first two each having 6 lines, while the last one
          has three lines.

          Further, these two sets of three are clearly related. If one divides the
          line numbers in the second set of three by three, then they become a 2-2-1
          pattern--the mirror image of the 1-2-2 pattern of the first set of three.

          What of the remaining set of three blocks/sayings (i.e., 4/22 with 16
          lines, 18/100 with 5 lines, and 22/109 with 8 lines)? Well, it forms an A
          to the BB of the other two--for the other two have in common the trait of
          possessing a 1-2-2 pattern or its reverse.

          In any event, ISTM, there are just too many regularities to this group of 9
          blocks/sayings for it to not be a deliberate creation.

          But, if it is a deliberate creation, then what is its purpose? Suggestions
          are welcomed!

          Frank McCoy
          1809 N. English Apt 15
          Maplewood, MN USA 55109
        • BitsyCat1@aol.com
          ... If I might interject? and ASK. Didnt you( Mike) propose that the disciples were broken down into Groups of Three? If there is a Tendency toward groups of
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 1 9:51 AM
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            In a message dated 2/1/05 11:42:04 AM, FMMCCOY@... writes:


            > the 9 single-saying blocks) don't represent the world.
            >
            > Sorry, math done in the head rather than with a calculator.
            >
            > The nine single blocks/sayings mentioned by Michael above are:
            > 1. 4/22, lines 178-193 (16 lines)
            > 2. 6/42, line 280 (1 line)
            > 3. 12/71, lines 469-470 (2 lines)
            > 4. 17/99, lines 592-597 (6 lines)
            > 5. 18/100, lines 598-602 (5 lines)
            > 6. 19/101, lines 603-608 (6 lines)
            > 7. 21/108, lines 635-637 (3 lines)
            > 8. 22/109, lines 638-645 (8 lines)
            > 9. 23/110, lines 646-647 (2 lines)
            > The number of lines for each block/saying has been calculated by me in my
            > head, but they should (hopefully!) be right as I've gone through them twice.
            >
            > There are regularities here that suggest that this group of nine is a
            > deliberate creation.
            >

            If I might interject? and ASK.

            Didnt you( Mike) propose that the disciples were broken down into Groups of
            Three?

            If there is a Tendency toward groups of Nine

            Might it be related to the Breakdown of Disciples

            Nine, plus a leader for each of the three groups of three

            This would come up with the Markan Twelve.

            Wouldn't this explain the groupings of 3 and The Number nine?
            Or wouldn't there be a direct relation to the reason for that Three and
            nine, that was previously proposed?


            Regards,
            John Moon
            Springfield,Tenn 37172


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Michael Grondin
            Frank- In this note, you play around a little with the 9 single-saying blocks, which is good. The observation that most drew my attention, though, was ...
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 1 10:58 AM
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              Frank-

              In this note, you play around a little with the 9 single-saying blocks,
              which is good. The observation that most drew my attention, though, was
              something I overlooked:

              > ... both the total number of blocks/sayings (which is 9) and the total
              > number of lines (which is 49) are square numbers ...

              Thanks for that. I hadn't put 2 and 2 together, so to speak. There's an
              enormous number of neat numerical patterns like that throughout the text.
              But they can only be "seen" if one thinks in terms of numbers, not words.

              > In any event, ISTM, there are just too many regularities to this group of
              > 9
              > blocks/sayings for it to not be a deliberate creation.
              >
              > But, if it is a deliberate creation, then what is its purpose?
              > Suggestions
              > are welcomed!

              Represents nine months of pregnancy preceding the birth of a new creation?
              All I know is that the transition from 9 to 10 (and again from 99 to 100)
              represented a "new beginning" - i.e., the beginning of a "new level" (from
              units to tens to hundreds, in the case of numbers.) Further, although 49 is
              significant, 50 is even more significant - being the number of a "jubilee
              year" - i.e., the year after a sabbath of sabbaths. I think, then, that
              there must be a hidden one-line block to go with - and to complete - these 9
              blocks of 49 lines. Further, I have a suggestion for what that might be -
              line 577. Think about it. Maybe you can come up with something that ties it
              nicely to the other nine blocks - or maybe you can come up with a better
              candidate for a 10th block that would make for 50 lines total.

              Mike Grondin
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