Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [GTh] Body vs Flesh

Expand Messages
  • fmmccoy
    ... From: Judy Redman To: Sent: Sunday, July 03, 2005 9:31 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] Body vs Flesh ... Hi
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 3, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Judy Redman" <jredman@...>
      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Sunday, July 03, 2005 9:31 AM
      Subject: Re: [GTh] Body vs Flesh



      > In T112, the two words in question are SARX and PSYCHE/PSUCHE
      > (depending on which school of transliteration you went to). Lambdin
      > translates them as 'flesh' and 'soul'.
      >
      > T80 uses SWMA 'body' which is compared with KOSMOS 'world'.
      >
      > T29 uses SARX 'flesh' and PNEUMA 'spirit'
      >
      > All of these are words that have been adopted from the Greek and one
      > imagines that they have the same sorts of meanings as they have in the
      > Greek.
      >
      > T87 is translated by Lambdin as "wretched is the body (SWMA) that is
      > dependent on a body (SWMA) and wretched is the soul (PSUCHE) that is
      > dependent on these two"
      >
      > but if you look at Mike's interlinear translation you will see:
      >
      > "a wretched one is he, the body which depends on a body, and a
      > wretched one is she, the soul which depends on these, the two."
      >
      > If I read the key to editorial signs correctly in my copy of GThom,
      > the word which is translated 'the two' begins with two letters that
      > are 'paleographically ambiguous', so perhaps it's the translation of
      > 'these two' that's problematic (not that I can suggest anything that
      > makes better sense, just off the top of my head).
      >
      > Is it perhaps something like:
      >
      > Wretched is the body that is (simply) dependent on a body (ie does not
      > recognise any spiritual aspect) and wretched is the soul that is
      > dependent on a body that depends only on a body - the two of them (ie
      > both the body that ignores its spirit and the soul that is dependent
      > on this kind of body)?
      >
      > My Coptic is still not sufficiently sophisticated to enable me to know
      > if this is a reasonable explanation, but that's what struck me when I
      > read it in conjunction with Maurice's first post.


      Hi Judy!

      My Coptic is basically non-existent, so I depend upon others for
      translations. I do find Mike's interlinear translation extremely valuable,
      because it enables me to see the underlying Coptic words and to see where
      else in Thomas one might find a particular Coptic word. As a crutch, it
      enables me to hobble around, even though I can't keep up with the
      able-bodied like yourself.

      Gosh, I think you're on the right track in intepreting T87, but I suspect
      that it might be more accurate to interpret it to roughly mean this,
      "Wretched is the body of spirit that is dependent upon a body of flesh.
      Wretched is the soul that is dependent upon these two."

      This manner of interpreting T87 arises out of a line of interpretation
      beginning with T112, next moving to T29, then moving to T7, and finishing at
      T22.:

      THE THREE BASIC ASPECTS OF A HUMAN BEING

      Let us look at T112, "Jesus said, 'Woe to the flesh that depends on the
      soul; woe to the soul that depends on the flesh.'"

      Each human being has a body of flesh and a soul (psyche). Both are mortal.
      So, neither can gain eternal life through the other. Hence, sorry is the
      state of the body of flesh that is relying on the soul to gain eternal life
      and sorry is the state of the soul that is relying on the body of flesh to
      gain eternal life.

      Next, let us look at T29. "Jesus said, 'If the flesh came into being because
      of spirit (pneuma), it is a wonder. But if spirit came into being because of
      the body, it is a wonder of wonders. Indeed, I am amazed at how this great
      wealth has made its home in this poverty.'"

      A human being also has, besides the soul and body of flesh, a spirit. It is
      potentially immortal, which makes it a great wealth in comparison to the
      mortal body of flesh.

      So, I suggest,, there are three basic aspects to a human being in Thomas
      thought: (1) a spirit (pneuma), a soul (psyche), and a body of flesh. The
      spirit is potentially immortal, while the soul and the body are mortal.

      THE TWO BASIC CLASSES OF HUMAN BEINGS

      In Thomas thought, while a human being apparently has three basic aspects,
      there apparently are two basic classes of human beings.

      Let us look at T7, "Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by
      man; and cursed is the man whom the lion comsumes, and the lion becomes
      man."

      Here, the man who consumes the lion in the beginning of this passage and the
      man who consumes the lion in the ending of this passage are two different
      men. The first is the inner man and it is the spirit. The second is the
      outer man and it is the body of flesh.

      In this case, in T7, the lion represents the third major aspect of a human
      being, i.e., the soul.

      So, I suggest, T7 can be roughly paraphrased, "Blessed is the inner man
      (i.e., the spirit) which absorbs the soul, and the soul becomes a part of
      the inner man (i.e., spirit). Cursed is the inner man (i.e., spirit) which
      is absorbed by the soul, with the soul, in turn, being absorbed by the outer
      man (i.e., the body of flesh)."

      In this case, what it tells us is that the potential immortality of the
      spirit can be actualized by it maintaining its identity--which occurs when
      it absorbs the soul. Conversely, it loses its potential immortality if it
      loses its identity by being absorbed by the soul, which, in turn, is
      absorbed by the body of flesh.

      In this case, further, there are two basic kinds of human beings. First,
      there are the saved: whose spirits have absorbed their souls. At the death
      of the mortal body of flesh, the spirit continues to live and, indeed, has
      eternal life. Second, there are the cursed: whose spirits have been
      absorbed by their souls, with the souls, in turn, being absorbed by their
      bodies of flesh. At the death of a body of flesh, since the spirit has
      become a part of this body of flesh, the spirit dies as well.

      THE TWO TYPES OF BODIES

      In Thomas thought, one not only has the body of flesh, but another body as
      well--this apparently being the body of the spirit.

      Particularly important is T22. "Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to
      his disciples, 'These infants being suckled are like those who enter the
      Kingdom.' They said to Him, 'Shall we then, as children, enter the Kingdom?'
      Jesus said to them, 'When you make the two one, and when you make the inside
      like the outside and the outside like the inside and the above like the
      below, and when you make the male and the female and and the same, so that
      the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in
      place of an eye and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a
      foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then you will enter [the
      Kingdom].'"

      This refers to a type of rebirth in which the human being becomes, for a
      second time, a child. This rebirth involves a new body different from the
      old body. So, there are eyes in place of an eye and a hand in place of a
      hand and a foot in place of a foot. Finally, such a rebirth with a new body
      is necessary before this human being can enter the Kingdom.

      Compare John 3:5-3:7, "Amen. Amen. I say to you, unless someone is born of
      water and Spirit, he is not able to enter into the Kingdom of God. The
      thing having been born of the flesh is flesh and the thing having been born
      of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that, I said, it is necessary for
      you to be born again."

      Here, if, "The thing having been born of the flesh is flesh and the thing
      having been born of the Spirit is spirit.", should be understood, more
      fully, as meaning, "The thing having born of the flesh is (a body of) flesh
      and the thing having been born of the Spirit is (a body of) spirit.", then
      this passages relates how, for one to enter the Kingdom, and must be reborn
      by the Spirit: this being a second birth in a new type of body, i.e., a body
      of spirit.

      So, I suggest, in T22, the rebirth a human being must undergo to enter the
      Kingdom, a re-birth in a new type of body, is a rebirth in the body of
      spirit. Unlike the body of flesh, the body of spirit has no up or down, no
      inside or outside, and no male and female. Therefore, in this rebirth, these
      twos become ones. Still, the body of spirit is like the body of flesh in
      that it has spiritual equivalents to fleshly eyes, fleshly hands, and
      fleshly feet. So, in this rebirth, there is the fashioning of spiritual eyes
      in place of a fleshly eye, of a spiritual hand in place of a fleshly hand,
      and of a spiritual foot in place of a fleshly foot: in short, the fashioning
      of spiritual likenesses in place of their fleshly likenesses.

      This rebirth, it is noteworthy to mention, involves one's transformation
      from the cursed type of humanity (i.e., the humans whose spirits have merged
      into their souls, with their souls, in turn, merging into their bodies,
      thereby becoming nothing but bodies of flesh) to the blessed type of
      humanity (i.e., the humans whose souls have merged into their spirits,
      making their entire non-fleshly selves pure spirit). Thus, it is a
      transformation from one who faces death to one whose spirit will eternally
      live. When this transformation is complete, then one can, with one's (body
      of) eternally living spirit, enter the Kingdom.

      THOMAS 87

      We are now ready to look at T87, "Wretched is the body that is dependent
      upon a body, and wretched is the soul that is dependent upon these two."

      Wretched is the body of spirit that is dependent upon a body of flesh, for
      it then becomes a part of that body of flesh and, so, shares in its death.
      Wretched is the soul that is dependent upon these two because it shares in
      the death of both of them.

      Judy, does sound like a reasonable intepretation to you? I'd appreciate
      your feed-back.

      Frank McCoy
      1809 N. English Apt 15
      Maplewood, MN USA 55109
    • jmgcormier
      ... not quite this simple ... ... is dependent on a body (SWMA) and wretched is the soul (PSUCHE) that is dependent on these two but if you look at Mike s
      Message 2 of 11 , Jul 3, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Judy Redman" <jredman@p...> wrote:

        > I hope it's not too late to respond to this, but, ISTM that it's
        not quite this simple ...
        >
        > (snip ... snip ...)

        > T87 is translated by Lambdin as "wretched is the body (SWMA) that
        is dependent on a body (SWMA) and wretched is the soul (PSUCHE) that
        is dependent on these two" but if you look at Mike's interlinear
        translation you will see:
        >
        > "a wretched one is he, the body which depends on a body, and a
        > wretched one is she, the soul which depends on these, the two."
        >
        > If I read the key to editorial signs correctly in my copy of GThom,
        > the word which is translated 'the two' begins with two letters that
        > are 'paleographically ambiguous', so perhaps it's the translation
        of 'these two' that's problematic (not that I can suggest anything
        that makes better sense, just off the top of my head).
        >
        > Is it perhaps something like:
        >
        > Wretched is the body that is (simply) dependent on a body (ie does
        not recognise any spiritual aspect) and wretched is the soul that is
        > dependent on a body that depends only on a body - the two of them
        (ie both the body that ignores its spirit and the soul that is
        dependent on this kind of body)?

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

        Judy ... thank you ever so much. I believe that "now, we are finally
        cooking with gas ..." i.e. doctrinally, with minor adjustments, the
        logion now makes sense. (Well, at least to me it does) The nub of
        the difficulty, of course, is that we are working with a three
        tiered translation if not a four tiered one... Aramaic to Coptic to
        English, or probably even Aramaic to Greek to Coptic to English.

        The main difficulty as I have been involved / working with this sort
        of thing, is always that Aramaic words tend to have several (at
        times quite varying) meanings. This means that without the original
        Aramaic to work from (remember all of Jesus' sayings should normally
        have been in Aramaic "red letter") a translator from the Coptic into
        any living language works at the mercy of either (or both of) an
        earlier Aramaic to Greek or an Aramaic to Coptic translator. If the
        Copt knew no Aramaic (i.e. if he translated from the Greek for
        instance)he would have had no way to double check the true meaning
        of what he was translating, and could possibly have translated a mis-
        translated original word. This, of course, would have been a serious
        difficulty for he/she who translated the final product into a living
        language ...

        Would you perhaps be so kind as to give me your opinion on a
        similar "non sensical as such" comment in Logion # 6.

        "Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate ..."

        To me, it is non sensical to suggest to someone not "do what you
        hate". After all, being human, we all tend to ONLY do that which we
        like. (So why bother to tell one's followers to "not do what you
        hate")

        IN ARAMAIC, the word for "hate" (sanah) also means to "leave behind"
        or to "sever from". Might it be you opinion (as it is mine) that
        this particular phrase in logion #6 would have originally been (in
        Aramaic) something like ... "Do not go back to the ways you have
        left behind ..." or again "If you have chosen to change your sinful
        ways, do not backslide, but be steadfast in your new resolve ..."

        Maurice Cormier
      • Judy Redman
        Maurice, ... The other thing we are working with is having only one (more or less) complete version of the text, plus a few fragments. With the four canonical
        Message 3 of 11 , Jul 4, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          Maurice,

          > Judy ... thank you ever so much. I believe that "now, we are finally
          > cooking with gas ..." i.e. doctrinally, with minor adjustments, the
          > logion now makes sense. (Well, at least to me it does) The nub of
          > the difficulty, of course, is that we are working with a three
          > tiered translation if not a four tiered one... Aramaic to Coptic to
          > English, or probably even Aramaic to Greek to Coptic to English.

          The other thing we are working with is having only one (more or less)
          complete version of the text, plus a few fragments. With the four canonical
          Christian gospels, we have many copies of any given text, which makes it
          somewhat easier to check what might be the most sensible things to put into
          lacunae in the text and whether things that don't make sense are truly odd
          or simply the result of a copyist's error.
          >
          > The main difficulty as I have been involved / working with this sort
          > of thing, is always that Aramaic words tend to have several (at
          > times quite varying) meanings.

          This, of course, is a problem when translating from any one language into
          another. Words that in one language only have one meaning can have several
          in another, and regional colloquialisms and idiom can also cause problems.
          My daughter is currently learning German and she gets my dictionary and
          looks up words to translate English idiom directly into German, which she
          then tries out on her German teacher. Sometimes I tell her the correct
          German idiom and sometimes I just let her go. Her teacher gets a good laugh
          at times!!!


          You ask:

          > Would you perhaps be so kind as to give me your opinion on a
          > similar "non sensical as such" comment in Logion # 6.
          >
          > "Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate ..."

          My immediate reaction, before looking at the Coptic text, is that it has
          echoes of Paul at his most dense in Romans 7 v 15 says: "I do not
          understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very
          thing I hate." (RSV). This is part of an extended piece on sin and the law,
          where he says that even though we know from the law what is good and right,
          and want to do what is good and right, because of our fleshly human nature,
          our sinful passions (v5), we cannot do this all the time, but instead we
          sin.

          "So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at
          hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, but I see in my
          members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me capitve to
          the law of sin which dwells in my members" (vv 21-23)


          > IN ARAMAIC, the word for "hate" (sanah) also means to "leave behind"
          > or to "sever from". Might it be you opinion (as it is mine) that
          > this particular phrase in logion #6 would have originally been (in
          > Aramaic) something like ... "Do not go back to the ways you have
          > left behind ..." or again "If you have chosen to change your sinful
          > ways, do not backslide, but be steadfast in your new resolve ..."

          I have no Aramaic at all, so I wouldn't like to attempt an educated opinion
          on it. The Coptic word in question appears to have only one meaning - to
          hate, and the text at this point seems to have no problems. I don't have
          access to Crum's dictionary at the moment and it sometimes lists extensive
          extra options that aren't in the back of Lambdin's text or my concise
          dictionary.

          However, your suggestion makes sense, both in view of what I suggested from
          Romans, and also in the context of the logion itself. The disciples are
          asking for some nice easy rules that they can follow so that they and
          everyone else will know that they are good followers of Jesus but Jesus
          turns around and asks them to do something different and significantly more
          difficult - something that, moreover, will not necessarily make them look
          good in the eyes of others. Reminds me of some of the material in Matthew
          23 - the "woe to you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites" bit.

          Judy

          --
          " Let us forever remember that the sense for the sacred is as vital to us as
          the light of the sun." - Abraham Joshua Heschel, 1944

          Rev Judy Redman
          Uniting Church Chaplain
          University of New England
          Armidale 2351
          ph: +61 2 6773 3739
          fax: +61 2 6773 3749
          web: http://www.une.edu.au/campus/chaplaincy/uniting/
          email: jredman@...
        • Judy Redman
          Frank, You ve presented a lot of material to digest! ... [cut] ... Yes, this seems about right. Strong s Greek Lexicon takes the King James Version of the NT
          Message 4 of 11 , Jul 5, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            Frank,

            You've presented a lot of material to digest!

            >
            > THE THREE BASIC ASPECTS OF A HUMAN BEING
            >
            > Let us look at T112, "Jesus said, 'Woe to the flesh that
            > depends on the soul; woe to the soul that depends on the flesh.'"
            >
            > Each human being has a body of flesh and a soul (psyche).
            > Both are mortal.
            [cut]
            >
            > Next, let us look at T29. "Jesus said, 'If the flesh came
            > into being because of spirit (pneuma), it is a wonder. But if
            > spirit came into being because of the body, it is a wonder of
            > wonders. Indeed, I am amazed at how this great wealth has
            > made its home in this poverty.'"
            >
            > A human being also has, besides the soul and body of flesh, a
            > spirit. It is potentially immortal, which makes it a great
            > wealth in comparison to the mortal body of flesh.
            >
            > So, I suggest,, there are three basic aspects to a human
            > being in Thomas
            > thought: (1) a spirit (pneuma), a soul (psyche), and a body
            > of flesh. The spirit is potentially immortal, while the soul
            > and the body are mortal.

            Yes, this seems about right. Strong's Greek Lexicon takes the King James
            Version of the NT and numbers all the significant words according to which
            Greek word they are translating (it does the same for Hebrew words in the
            OT). [You can find the Index to the Greek Lexicon at
            http://www.cscholar.com/obs/stg/index.htm%5d

            Strong defines the words we are talking about as follows:

            4983 soma so'-mah from G4982; the body (as a sound whole), used in a very
            wide application, literally or figuratively:--bodily, body, slave.

            [so, mortal - we transliterated it SWMA because the 'o' is a long one - the
            Greek omega]

            4561 sarx sarx probably from the base of G4563; flesh (as stripped of the
            skin), i.e. (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension)
            the body (as opposed to the soul (or spirit), or as the symbol of what is
            external, or as the means of kindred), or (by implication) human nature
            (with its frailties (physically or morally) and passions), or (specially), a
            human being (as such):--carnal(-ly, + -ly minded), flesh(-ly).

            [so, mortal]

            5590 psuche psoo-khay' from G5594; breath, i.e. (by implication) spirit,
            abstractly or concretely (the animal sentient principle only; thus
            distinguished on the one hand from G4151, which is the rational and immortal
            soul; and on the other from G2222, which is mere vitality, even of plants:
            these terms thus exactly correspond respectively to the Hebrew H5315, H7307
            and H2416):--heart (+ -ily), life, mind, soul, + us, + you.

            [so, mortal]

            [2222 zoe dzo-ay' from G2198; life (literally or
            figuratively):--life(-time). Compare G5590].

            4151 pneuma pnyoo'-mah from G4154; a current of air, i.e. breath (blast)
            or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively, a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational
            soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or
            (superhuman) an angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy
            Spirit:--ghost, life, spirit(-ual, -ually), mind. Compare G5590

            [so, immortal]

            Soma (body) is (I am fairly sure) sarx (flesh) plus psuche
            (spirit/breath/animation). The dualism that Paul used was soma vs pneuma -
            the soma is perishable and the pneuma is the soul, that which unites with
            Christ to become the one spirit (see 1 Cor 6, for example).


            >
            > THE TWO BASIC CLASSES OF HUMAN BEINGS
            >
            > In Thomas thought, while a human being apparently has three
            > basic aspects, there apparently are two basic classes of human beings.
            >
            > Let us look at T7, "Blessed is the lion which becomes man
            > when consumed by man; and cursed is the man whom the lion
            > comsumes, and the lion becomes man."
            >
            > Here, the man who consumes the lion in the beginning of this
            > passage and the man who consumes the lion in the ending of
            > this passage are two different men. The first is the inner
            > man and it is the spirit. The second is the outer man and it
            > is the body of flesh.

            I am not sure that I quite follow your reasoning here, but if it is based on
            the first sentence of the above para, there is a problem, since the first
            man *eats* the lion, whereas the second man *is eaten by* the lion. Your
            first sentence suggests that the man is doing the eating in both cases.

            > In this case, in T7, the lion represents the third major
            > aspect of a human being, i.e., the soul.
            >
            > So, I suggest, T7 can be roughly paraphrased, "Blessed is the
            > inner man (i.e., the spirit) which absorbs the soul, and the
            > soul becomes a part of the inner man (i.e., spirit). Cursed
            > is the inner man (i.e., spirit) which is absorbed by the
            > soul, with the soul, in turn, being absorbed by the outer man
            > (i.e., the body of flesh)."

            ISTM that the lion might represent something bad. The lion is blessed when
            it becomes man by being consumed by the man ie the man-nature overcomes the
            lion-nature and the man is cursed when he is eaten by the lion and the lion
            becomes man ie the lion-nature overcomes the man-nature. Lion may well
            represent soma and man psuche here, or simply animal and human
            characteristics of human beings.

            >
            > In this case, what it tells us is that the potential
            > immortality of the spirit can be actualized by it maintaining
            > its identity--which occurs when it absorbs the soul.
            > Conversely, it loses its potential immortality if it loses
            > its identity by being absorbed by the soul, which, in turn,
            > is absorbed by the body of flesh.
            >
            > In this case, further, there are two basic kinds of human
            > beings. First, there are the saved: whose spirits have
            > absorbed their souls. At the death of the mortal body of
            > flesh, the spirit continues to live and, indeed, has eternal
            > life. Second, there are the cursed: whose spirits have been
            > absorbed by their souls, with the souls, in turn, being
            > absorbed by their bodies of flesh. At the death of a body of
            > flesh, since the spirit has become a part of this body of
            > flesh, the spirit dies as well.

            I don't have any problem with a dualism that has two types of people - I
            just think that it is probably more likely that the dualism is about those
            who have allowed their baser, animal natures to overcome their higher, human
            natures, that part of them that is able to unite with the Divine. I think,
            without being able to back it up with references, that this is more in line
            with the kind of thinking in existence at the time.

            >
            > THE TWO TYPES OF BODIES
            >
            > In Thomas thought, one not only has the body of flesh, but
            > another body as well--this apparently being the body of the spirit.
            >
            > Particularly important is T22. "Jesus saw infants being
            > suckled. He said to his disciples, 'These infants being
            > suckled are like those who enter the Kingdom.'

            [cut]

            > This refers to a type of rebirth in which the human being
            > becomes, for a second time, a child. This rebirth involves a
            > new body different from the old body. So, there are eyes in
            > place of an eye and a hand in place of a hand and a foot in
            > place of a foot. Finally, such a rebirth with a new body is
            > necessary before this human being can enter the Kingdom.

            I am not sure that this logion is about rebirth, but rather about being
            nourished by Jesus. The infants are being suckled and what strikes me about
            suckling infants is that they recognise their mother as the source of
            nourishment and then take it in unquestioningly because it is from the
            source they trust, and the milk turns into their bodies, which allows them
            to grown eventually into mature adults. Another way of understanding it
            might well be to say that Jesus is telling his disciples that in order to
            enter into the Kingdom, they need to take in his teachings and allow the
            teachings to transform them so that there is no discernable difference
            between their internal and external personas. If this were the case, then
            the new body parts would be those that followed Jesus teachings rather than
            the disciples own unregenerated inclinations.
            >
            > This rebirth, it is noteworthy to mention, involves one's
            > transformation from the cursed type of humanity (i.e., the
            > humans whose spirits have merged into their souls, with their
            > souls, in turn, merging into their bodies, thereby becoming
            > nothing but bodies of flesh) to the blessed type of humanity
            > (i.e., the humans whose souls have merged into their spirits,
            > making their entire non-fleshly selves pure spirit). Thus,
            > it is a transformation from one who faces death to one whose
            > spirit will eternally live. When this transformation is
            > complete, then one can, with one's (body
            > of) eternally living spirit, enter the Kingdom.

            I agree that there is a transformation from cursed type of humanity to
            blessed type. (But then, religious systems seem to be largely about
            delineating who is in the in crowd and who is in the out crowd - the main
            differences seems to be what your in and out *of*, and how you get to be
            there.

            > THOMAS 87
            >
            > We are now ready to look at T87, "Wretched is the body that
            > is dependent upon a body, and wretched is the soul that is
            > dependent upon these two."
            >
            > Wretched is the body of spirit that is dependent upon a body
            > of flesh, for it then becomes a part of that body of flesh
            > and, so, shares in its death. Wretched is the soul that is
            > dependent upon these two because it shares in the death of
            > both of them.
            >
            > Judy, does sound like a reasonable intepretation to you? I'd
            > appreciate your feed-back.

            I think you might be trying to push the text a little too far, but you also
            need to remember that I am only recently come to the Gospel of Thomas - my
            expertise and experience until recently has been in the canonical Christian
            scriptures. If I were trying to get this kind of thing across with the
            Coptic vocabularly available, I think I would have been using sarx to
            indicate the body of the flesh, but I am not a native Coptic speaker !!! :-)

            One of the things I get uneasy about is that it is very easy to forget that
            the text we are working with here is based on only one copy in Coptic and a
            few fragments in Greek (which differ somewhat from the Coptic text but are
            close enough to make it pretty certain that they are the same document).
            The chances that the Nag Hammadi document is the original document are very
            slim, so there is a definite possibility of copyists' errors having been
            introduced. The text we have is not perfect. There are lacunae, traces of
            unidentified letters, ambiguous letter traces, blank spaces where we
            wouldn't expect them, corrupt words, crossings out by 'an ancient copyist" -
            not necessarily the same person as the one who made the copy, and at least
            in the edition in NHCodex II, there are examples of text added or deleted by
            the editor as a result of conjecture. It is a *good* ancient manuscript,
            but there is a lot of room for error, not the least because the writers of
            the time just wrote letter after letter with no spaces between words and
            thought nothing of putting a couple of letters from a word at the end of one
            line and the rest of them on the next line (or even the next page).

            As I said in response to Maurice, when we talk about the text of the
            canonical Christian scriptures, we have quite a few copies of very old MSS,
            which allows us to compare various versions of difficult passages and have a
            much better idea of whether the difficulties are intentional or the result
            of human error. (This, of course, has its own set of problems) With Thomas,
            we don't have this, so we really need to take into consideration the
            possibility that there is a mistake in the manuscript. I therefore think
            that when we get to passages that almost defy interpretation, we really need
            to take into consideration that either the copyist has made a mistake and/or
            the editor might have made an error in deciding where the word breaks should
            come.

            And that translating Coptic into English is interesting. In my last Coptic
            exam, the lecturer wrote a sentence for the class to translate. My
            translation was significantly different to the sentence she had written, so
            she asked me to justify it. I had divided one particular word differently
            to the way that she had intended, so I had read a different noun with
            different inflections to those she had intended, but they were legitimate
            and made sense in the context. I therefore got full marks for my
            translation, even though I had not understood what she had intended to
            convey! I don't have any suggestions about this particular passage, mind
            you.

            I like simple, rather than complex, which is why I am interested in your
            posts about sources without Q, although I haven't had a chance to read them
            through carefully.

            Regards

            Judy

            --
            " Let us forever remember that the sense for the sacred is as vital to us as
            the light of the sun." - Abraham Joshua Heschel, 1944

            Rev Judy Redman
            Uniting Church Chaplain
            University of New England
            Armidale 2351
            ph: +61 2 6773 3739
            fax: +61 2 6773 3749
            web: http://www.une.edu.au/campus/chaplaincy/uniting/
            email: jredman@...
          • fmmccoy
            ... From: Judy Redman To: Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2005 6:58 AM Subject: RE: [GTh] Body vs Flesh (snip)
            Message 5 of 11 , Jul 7, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Judy Redman" <jredman@...>
              To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2005 6:58 AM
              Subject: RE: [GTh] Body vs Flesh

              (snip)

              (Frank McCoy)
              > > THE TWO BASIC CLASSES OF HUMAN BEINGS
              > >
              > > In Thomas thought, while a human being apparently has three
              > > basic aspects, there apparently are two basic classes of human beings.
              > >
              > > Let us look at T7, "Blessed is the lion which becomes man
              > > when consumed by man; and cursed is the man whom the lion
              > > comsumes, and the lion becomes man."
              > >
              > > Here, the man who consumes the lion in the beginning of this
              > > passage and the man who consumes the lion in the ending of
              > > this passage are two different men. The first is the inner
              > > man and it is the spirit. The second is the outer man and it
              > > is the body of flesh.

              (Judy Redman)
              > I am not sure that I quite follow your reasoning here, but if it is based
              on
              > the first sentence of the above para, there is a problem, since the first
              > man *eats* the lion, whereas the second man *is eaten by* the lion. Your
              > first sentence suggests that the man is doing the eating in both cases.

              Hi Judy!

              Ouch! I apologize for being losing my focus and making a very sloppy error.

              Here is, hopefully, an explanation without as egregious a gaffe.

              There are three mentions of "man" in T7. In the first two mentions, the
              "man" is the "inner man" of the spirit. In the last mention, the "man" is
              the "outer man" of the body of flesh. As for the "lion", it is the psyche.

              Compare II Cor. 4:16, where Paul states, "Therefore we do not lose heart,
              but if indeed our outward man is being decayed, yet our inward man is being
              renewed day by day. Here, I suggest, the outward man is the body of flesh,
              while the inward man is the spirit.

              Let us now turn to the first part of T7, "Blessed is the lion which becomes
              man when consumed by man;...".

              Here, the psyche is absorbed by the spirit, thereby becoming (a part of)
              this inner man. This psyche is blessed because it, thereby, shares in the
              potential immortality of the spirit.

              Next, let us turn to the last part of T7, "And cursed is the man whom the
              lion comsumes, and the lion becomes man."

              This relates to a two-step process. In the first step, the inner man of the
              spirit is absorbed by the psyche. In the second step,. the psyche, in turn,
              is absorbed by the outer man of the body of flesh, thereby becoming (a part
              of) this outer man. This inner man of the spirit is cursed because it ends
              up becoming (a part of) the outer man of the body of flesh, which is mortal,
              and, therefore, this inner man of the spirit loses its potential for being
              immortal.

              (snip)

              (Judy)
              > I like simple, rather than complex, which is why I am interested in your
              > posts about sources without Q, although I haven't had a chance to read
              them
              > through carefully.

              Yes, Ockham's razor definitely comes into play here. Why postulate Q when
              it is unnecesary to do so?

              Regards,

              Frank McCoy
              1905 N. English Apt. 15
              Maplewood, MN USA 55109
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.