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

Re: Does disrobing in saying 37 refer to baptism?

Expand Messages
  • danw888
    I ve been running some searches to understand #37 better I like Ron McCann explanation in message 5104 very much: 2) Next we have the three point answer. 1)
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 29, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      I've been running some searches to understand #37 better


      I like Ron McCann explanation in message 5104 very much:

      2) Next we have the three point answer. 1) When they can strip naked
      publically, 2) when they can do so without shame, and 3) when they
      can do so without FEAR, THEN they will see Jesus again. Our author
      here seems to be clearly flagging Genesis 2 where, after the
      disobedience, A & E (1) realized they were naked (2) hid themselves
      in shame of their nakedness, and had to be clothed, and (3)
      experienced fear of God. The last line- "and you shall not fear"
      addresses this last issue. Prior to the Fall, these were not issues.
      The author seems to be saying "when you acquire the state of pre fall
      Adam, you will see me again"- that is- when you reverse the Fall of
      Man and re-enter Paradise. Jesus will meet them in Paradise. In the
      cool of the evening.

      April DeConick has an article on #37 published in the early 90s.

      "Stripped Before God: A New Interpretation of Logion 37 in the Gospel
      of Thomas"
      Abstract: This article challenges the long-held tradition started by
      Jonathan Z. Smith, that saying 37 is baptismal. Through comparative
      analysis, DeConick and Fossum suggest that the actual ritual alluded
      to may be unction.
      Co Authored with Jarl Fossum. This paper began DeConick's examination
      of the Gospel of Thomas against the mirror of Jewish mystical traditions.
      In Vigiliae Christianae 45, pages 123-150.

      A footnote in the following on-line paper has some good refs to the
      light body in relation to Adam, Moses, and God.

      Some Targums say 'garment of glory' rather than garment of animal
      skins re the adam/eve story, apparently.

      Andrei Orlov and Alexander Golitzin "Many Lamps are Lightened from the
      One": Paradigms of the Transformational Vision in Macarian Homilies
      [published in: Vigiliae Christianae 55 (2001) 281-98]
      footnote 31
      For discussions about the luminous garment/image/body of Adam see:
      David H. Aaron, "Shedding Light on God's Body in Rabbinic Midrashim:
      Reflections on the Theory of a Luminous Adam," HTR 90 (1997) 299-314;
      S. Brock, "Clothing Metaphors as a Means of Theological Expression in
      Syriac Tradition," Typus, Symbol, Allegorie bei den östlichen Vätern
      und ihren Parallelen im Mittelalter (Eichstätter Beiträge, 4;
      Regensburg: Friedrich Pustet, 1982) 11-40; A.D. De Conick and J.
      Fossum, "Stripped before God: A New Interpretation of Logion 37 in the
      Gospel of Thomas," VC 45 (1991) 141; L. Ginzberg, The Legends of the
      Jews (7 vols.; Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of
      America, 1955) 5.97; Alon Goshen Gottstein, "The Body as Image of God
      in Rabbinic Literature," HTR 87 (1994) 171-95; B. Murmelstein, "Adam,
      ein Beitrag zur Messiaslehre," Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des
      Morgenlandes 35 (1928) 255; W. Staerk, Die Erlösererwartung in den
      östlichen Religionen (Stuttgart and Berlin, 1938) 11

      Hi, Maria

      I note the 888 in your handle. Are you a gematria buff?

      Dan


      --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "sweetsimran888" <sweetsimran888@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > If baptism is an initial stage, an initiation, a beginning process of
      > evolving spiritually than one would not be ready to stand
      > naked before God at such an early stage. I agree trampling on the
      > garments probably refers to putting off the body, so if the clothes are
      > the body than it is the soul that stands naked before God. On this
      > physical plane one cannot survive without a body therefore I would
      > gather that this stand naked is happening on a higher heaven.
      >
      > Maria
      >
    • danw888
      ... This gives us the Thomasine idea of what becoming a little child again means (you can put your clothes under your feet like little children and trample
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 30, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "danw888" <danw@...> wrote:

        > Ron McCann's explanation in message 5104:
        > 1) When they can strip naked
        > publically, 2) when they can do so without shame, and 3) when they
        > can do so without FEAR, THEN they will see Jesus again. Our author
        > here seems to be clearly flagging Genesis 2 where, after the
        > disobedience, A & E (1) realized they were naked (2) hid themselves
        > in shame of their nakedness, and had to be clothed, and (3)
        > experienced fear of God. The last line- "and you shall not fear"
        > addresses this last issue. Prior to the Fall, these were not issues.
        > The author seems to be saying "when you acquire the state of pre fall
        > Adam, you will see me again"- that is- when you reverse the Fall of
        > Man and re-enter Paradise. Jesus will meet them in Paradise. In the
        > cool of the evening.
        >

        This gives us the Thomasine idea of what 'becoming a little child
        again' means (you can put your clothes under your feet like little
        children and trample on them - paraphrase). It is a return to the
        innocence of Eden, an abolishing of body shame.

        Jesus forgave sins. Did the follower of Jesus live in a state of
        Edenic sinlessness? Of childhood innocence. The previous saying to
        37 mentions Jesus' teaching about not worrying about clothing. J also
        teaches about not worrying about the future. If you are not worrying
        and are cared for by the father, you are back in the Edenic state.

        Admission to the kingdom was via baptism. If you are born again, if
        you become a child again, by baptism, then the kingdom may well be the
        psychological state of Adam and Eve in Eden: beloved by god, needs
        provided for, no worries, no work, seeing the beauty, sense of
        dominion over all things, no shame, no guilt.

        Again, the baptismal sign of this state may have been the ability to
        strip in public and immerse yourself in living water. Sins forgiven,
        right with god again, the body is purified with water and the soul is
        filled with the holy spirit.

        I am also reminded that portions of the Jerusalem temple were said to
        be symbolic of the garden of eden. (See Margaret Barker's book Gate
        of Heaven)

        Dan
      • Daniel N. Washburn
        Logion 37 His disciples said, when will you be revealed to us and when shall we see you. When you disrobe without being ashamed and and take up your garments
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 6, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Logion 37


          His disciples said, when will you be revealed to us and when shall we
          see you. "When you disrobe without being ashamed and and take up your
          garments and place them under your feet and trample on them like
          little children, then you will see the son of the living one and not
          be afraid."

          Jonathan Z. Smith concluded back in 1966 that the elements of
          undressing, being naked without shame, treading on garments, and being
          like little children were only found together in ‘baptismal rituals and
          homilies.’

          April De Conick and Jarl Fossum reject a baptismal basis for the saying
          in their article, ‘Stripped Before God: A New Interpretation of Logion
          37 In the Gospel of Thomas’ VC 45 (1991) 123-150.

          A&J (April and Jarl) say 37 is an encratite work, as is the Gospel of
          Thomas. They cite a definition of encratism as ‘self control’. It’s both
          a tendency and a sect, involving renunciation of this world expressed
          through abstinence from meat, wine, marriage, and property. Hence they
          focus on a renunciation of the body that they see symbolized in
          disrobing and treading on the clothing underfoot.

          But the image here is of naked children joyfully trampling their
          clothing. Have you ever seen a 5 year old running around naked. This is
          an event of laughter and exuberance, not of ascetic, stiff upper lip
          celibacy. Jesus’ emphasis was on eating, drinking, celebrating, and
          having fun at the messianic banquet, not on the asceticism of John the
          Baptist and his followers. To put the emphasis on the renunciation of
          the body is to miss the point entirely. The attainment is not in moving
          away from the body but in moving toward being clothed with the joy of God.

          The Gospel of the Egyptians cited by Clement of Alexandria has a saying
          that links trampling with another Thomas saying: Salome asks a question
          and Jesus says, “When you have trampled on the garment of shame and when
          the two become one and the male with the female (is) neither male nor
          female.” Here the two become one. You go beyond male and female. You do
          not stay male and female and grit your teeth to keep your sexual
          feelings under control. Keep seeking until you find Wonder and then you
          will reign over the All, including your body.

          I suggest that the fundamental feeling in trampling on the garment of
          shame is not renunciation but triumph. Asceticism is not the way to God
          but the consequence of finding God.

          “Unless you fast from the world” is one saying in GTh that A&J cite as
          evidence for the encratite nature to the gospel of Thomas. But another
          is “Don’t do what you hate”. This includes fasting, prayer and charity.
          You might injure your spirit if you perform these duties outwardly but
          inwardly hate what you are doing. This does not sound anything like
          encratite renunciation to me. Fasting from the world is much more likely
          to be an attitude of detachment (‘be a passer by’) than a renunciation
          of meat, wine, property or sex. The attitude of Paul to celibacy seems
          relevant to me here. It’s recommended, but if you hate it, don’t force
          yourself. Better to marry than to burn.

          A&J say that logion 37 does not relate to baptism, but rather to
          unction/anointing with oil:

          In the 300s Jerome describes how the candidate is said to remove the
          ‘tunic of skins’ and upon arising from baptism dons the ‘garment of
          Christ’ which is a white linen robe.

          How far back does this disrobing-rerobing baptismal ritual go? If it is
          early, then A&J may be incorrect. Charles Geischen in his article
          Baptismal Practice and Mystical Experience in the Book of Revelation has
          a discussion of the white garments: “Several texts [in Revelation]
          testify that the white garment is already a possession of followers of
          Jesus on earth, long before their glorification in heaven.” He believes
          that baptismal practice was based on the ordination of priests in
          Judaism with its anointing and vestment rituals. He concludes that the
          white-garment imagery in Revelation probably reflects both baptismal
          practice and theology.

          There are a couple of items that connect the Transfiguration, where J’s
          garments shine with light, with Baptism. Foremost is the voice from
          heaven, the same voice that spoke at the baptism of Jesus, saying much
          the same thing. There is also the introductory time period, ‘And after
          six days’. This is the same time period that appears in the Secret
          Baptism outlined in the letter of Clement of Alexandria discovered at
          Mar Saba (don’t bother me with the hoax hypothesis, it requires Morton
          Smith to be an idiot, which he clearly was not). If the transfiguration
          is a baptismal pericope as opposed to a misplaced resurrection story
          (the usual theory), then baptism in the latter half of the first century
          probably involved stripping off the clothes, symbolic of the physical
          body of sin, and replacing it with the light body of God’s Glory as in
          ‘an image in place of an image.’

          The problem with A&J’s discussion of baptism in relation to #37 is that
          they artificially sever what they call unction from baptism. Their
          definition of baptism is too narrow. If you look at baptism broadly and
          include anointing with oil, sealing with the Name, immersion in living
          water, and donning a white robe, symbolic of receiving the garment of
          glory, then #37 retains its baptismal basis.

          For example they cite several Gnostic texts as mentioning trampling such
          things as the garment of flesh, death, and the power of the devil, in
          conjunction with anointing with oil (unction): a Manichaean psalm, a
          Valentinian fragment, and the Hypostasis of the Archons. All of these
          become part of the evidence for the connection of #37 with baptism if
          one views baptism as including anointing with oil.

          Dan Washburn

          > Ron McCann's explanation in message 5104:
          > 1) When they can strip naked
          > publically, 2) when they can do so without shame, and 3) when they
          > can do so without FEAR, THEN they will see Jesus again. Our author
          > here seems to be clearly flagging Genesis 2 where, after the
          > disobedience, A & E (1) realized they were naked (2) hid themselves
          > in shame of their nakedness, and had to be clothed, and (3)
          > experienced fear of God. The last line- "and you shall not fear"
          > addresses this last issue. Prior to the Fall, these were not issues.
          > The author seems to be saying "when you acquire the state of pre fall
          > Adam, you will see me again"- that is- when you reverse the Fall of
          > Man and re-enter Paradise. Jesus will meet them in Paradise. In the
          > cool of the evening.
          >

          This gives us the Thomasine idea of what 'becoming a little child
          again' means. It is a return to the
          innocence of Eden, an abolishing of body shame.

          Jesus forgave sins. Did the follower of Jesus live in a state of
          Edenic sinlessness? Of childhood innocence. The previous saying to
          37 mentions Jesus' teaching about not worrying about clothing. J also
          teaches about not worrying about the future. If you are not worrying
          and are cared for by the father, you are back in the Edenic state.

          Admission to the kingdom was via baptism. If you are born again, if
          you become a child again, by baptism, then the kingdom may well be the
          psychological state of Adam and Eve in Eden: beloved by god, needs
          provided for, no worries, no work, seeing the beauty, sense of
          dominion over all things, no shame, no guilt.

          Again, the baptismal sign of this state may have been the ability to
          strip in public and immerse yourself in living water. Sins forgiven,
          right with god again, the body is purified with water and the soul is
          filled with the holy spirit.

          I am also reminded that portions of the Jerusalem temple were said to
          be symbolic of the garden of eden. (See Margaret Barker's book Gate
          of Heaven)

          Dan




          there actually is a time in john/jesus
          practice where one publically disrobes.

          In John's baptism one confesses one's sins to the assembled crowd and
          then enters the Jordan, presumably naked. According to Josephus
          writing on John's baptism, baptism was the outward sign of the inward
          change. In other words, one confessed, was forgiven, was no longer
          ashamed, and could strip in public and receive the baptismal water as
          the outward sign.

          The didache, I believe, says that christian baptism should be done in
          living water, but if not available, etc. This means that early
          Christain baptism was still an immersion baptism not a sprinkling
          baptism.

          When will you see Jesus - in baptism, when you feel forgiven enough
          and open enough to strip in public, you will recieve the son of the
          living one, the spirit of Jesus, and not be afraid.

          Trampling on the garments probably refers to putting off the body and
          being clothed in light, symbolized by recieving a white robe at
          baptism, a custom that I believe goes back to New Testament times.

          Here stripping in public functions as a test of one's internal state,
          something like fire-walking in new age psycho/religion.

          Dan W.
        • clontzjm
          Hello Dan, Everything posted earlier below has some connection to saying 37. However, what is posted below does not resolve everything in the saying. For
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 6, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Hello Dan,

            Everything posted earlier below has some connection to saying 37.
            However, what is posted below does not resolve everything in the
            saying. For instance how does disrobing enable a person to see the
            son of the living one? Of course, if the garment is over your eyes
            and you take it off then that would allow you to see. 2 Corinthians
            3:14-18 mentions the veil that precludes a person from "seeing".

            The baptismal turn described by Cyril of Jerusalem mentions
            everything posted below and more. According to Cyril, once a person
            turned they could "see" the prophecies concerning the Son of God in
            the OT. As you mention below they physically disrobed and after the
            ceremony received a white robe. However the important aspect of the
            baptismal turn was that a person had turned from darkness to light
            and now could see the prophecies concerning the Son of God. The veil
            was removed.

            Jerry

            --------------------------
            Ed note: A verbatim copy of Dan's lengthy message has been removed
            from this note. Members are reminded that one of the list protocols
            is to refrain from copying lengthy material from other notes. If the
            reader of Jerry's note wants to read Dan's, it is readily available.
            (MWG)
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.