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[GTh] Re: Does disrobing in saying 37 refer to baptism?

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  • danw888
    ... Hi, Ron Thanks for your insights into the adam and eve story in relation to #37. They have been really useful to me in working on this saying. Please give
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 31, 2007
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      --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, Ron McCann <ronmccann1@...> wrote:

      Hi, Ron

      Thanks for your insights into the adam and eve story in relation to
      #37. They have been really useful to me in working on this saying.

      Please give me a rain check on logion 2. Its on my agenda to write
      up my baptismal ideas, but right now I am wrestling with my
      objections to April DeC's encratite take on #37 in her 'Stripped
      before God', which I will pass on to the list in a bit.

      I assume that the Thomasines had a sacramental system, you just
      don't hear much about it since GTh is a sayings gospel. References
      would be oblique hints to the symbols used in the rituals. If you
      just read the gospel of mark, you wouldn't know much about Christian
      baptism, either.

      Cliff

      >
      > Thanks, Dan.
      > I hope you didn't mind me butting in, but you'd quoted me on
      logion 37, and I didn't want to leave anyone with the impression
      that I thought this was a Baptismal-referencing logion.
      > I still don't, and I'm aware of the scholarly consensus. Let's
      just say I'm out of step with the rest of the parade on this.
      >
      > The only ritual or sacramental practice I think I see in Thomas
      are possible allusions to the Gnostic "Bridal Chamber" ritual
      (mentioned in the quasi-gnostic Gospel of Philip) in logions 75 and
      104, and even that's "iffy".
      >
      > As for logion 2 (seek, find, be disturbed, marvel, reign) in all
      frankness, my jaw dropped when I saw your assertion that this was a
      baptismal saying. I confess that what immediately crossed my mind
      was a scene from Cheers where Frasier, in reply to something Cliff
      has just said, says "And what colour is the sky in your world,
      Cliff?" (grin). But to be serious, I would dearly love to know how
      you arrived at that conclusion, and perhaps you might explain.
      Perhaps Offlist? (since we're shifting to a new logion).
      > I've always viewed that saying as outlining the steps and stages
      and feelings to be encountered in a supplicant's pursuit of truth
      and possible sequential initiations into the succeedingly higher
      levels of the Thomas Mysteries, as he or she progressed towards the
      ultimate level of spiritual attainment and revelation that seems
      promised. A sort of spiritual "road-map". Very Gnostic stuff, in my
      view, and I see no indication here that Baptism was one of these
      stages-rather the whole thing seems to flow as a consequence of
      persistence in "seeking and finding". But let's hear what you have
      to say.
      >
      > Ron McCann
      > Saskatoon, Canada
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: danw888
      > To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Monday, July 30, 2007 6:43 PM
      > Subject: [GTh] Re: Does disrobing in saying 37 refer to baptism?
      >
      >
      > --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, Ron McCann <ronmccann1@> wrote:
      > >
      > > My own view of this logion is that it does not relate to any
      actual
      > baptism ritual. As Toli suggested, we are looking at a new
      theology in
      > Thomas, and this logion merely sets out one priciple of the
      Thomasines
      > (Thomasites?) theology- which seems to be that one could reverse
      the
      > Fall of Man. How they purported to accomplish this, seems not to
      have
      > been preseved. But I see no evidence to suggest that they
      belived to
      > be achieved through baptism or ever practiced that.
      >
      > Hi, Ron -
      >
      > The saying seek until you find, troubled, wonder, reign, rest is
      a
      > baptismal saying.
      >
      > I happen to believe that GT was early and that its theology is
      closely
      > related to the teachings of jesus not a new departure at all. It
      was
      > not some crazy encratite cult made up in syria in the 3rd
      century.
      > According to April DeC a baptismal sitz has been the basic theory
      > since Jonathan Z. Smith published an article on it in 1966.
      (April
      > DeConick Stripped before God VC 45(1991)) She of course has other
      > ideas, which I don't find very convincing.
      >
      > >
      > > Jim raises an interesting point about Mandean influence and
      one I
      > have often pondered. Just how many of the sayings attributed to
      Jesus
      > in the Gospels and Thomas, might, in fact, have originated with
      John
      > the Baptist? Are we perhaps looking at the sayings of two
      different
      > men, in Thomas, and in the Gospels? Sometimes I "hear" two
      different
      > voices there, and have been tempted to separate them.
      >
      > Possible but really hard to come up with criteria for separating
      them.
      > I tend to be a skeptic on sayings research which tries to
      identify
      > those coming from Jesus and those invented in the early churches
      or
      > elsewhere. E. P Sanders has pointed out what a swamp this whole
      line
      > of endeavor is.
      >
      > >
      > > On the related thread of whether Jesus may have actually lived
      and
      > maybe got his education in Jerusalem rather than Nazareth, a
      Mandean
      > Gospel actually says he lived there at the time of the Baptist.
      > >
      > > Ron McCann
      > > Saskatoon, Canada
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: Jim Bauer
      > > To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Monday, July 30, 2007 7:40 AM
      > > Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: Does disrobing in saying 37 refer to
      baptism?
      > >
      > >
      > > This is the X-ian interpretation of baptism. The Mandaens
      claimed
      > to be the original religion founded by John the Baptist. I'm not
      a
      > scholar, need to rely on translations, (something now near-
      impossible
      > because of my low-vision), but ISTM that, were Mandaens
      baptizing at
      > the same time as X-ians or whatever eventually developed into
      > X-ianity, could there not be elements of Mandaenism thereby
      entering
      > Thomas?
      > >
      > > As I said, I really don't have the wherewithall to make a case
      for
      > this. I'm wondering if anyone else has any thoughts on this?
      > >
      > > Jim Bauer
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: danw888
      > > To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Monday, July 30, 2007 5:40 AM
      > > Subject: [GTh] Re: Does disrobing in saying 37 refer to
      baptism?
      > >
      > > --- 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
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
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