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Two Thomases ?

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  • jmgcormier
    Greetings all, and all the best for 2008. I was having a bit of a cyber-joust with a colleague of mine earlier this week, and sensed that neither of us came
    Message 1 of 13 , Jan 1, 2008
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      Greetings all, and all the best for 2008.

      I was having a bit of a cyber-joust with a colleague of mine
      earlier this week, and sensed that neither of us came out a clear
      winner in our respective leaning on this issue, so I thought I might
      check the thoughts of list members just to see where (or "if") a
      consensus or predominant leaning might exist …

      The point made was that in the Gospel of John, "Thomas" is
      referred to in two repeated ways … in 11:16, 20:24, and 21:02 he is
      referred to as "Thomas called the twin", whereas in 14:05, 20:26,
      20:27 and 20:28 he is simply called Thomas (short and sweet). The
      point argued was twofold …1st is it possible that there are two
      Thomas' at play in the Gospel of John, and more importantly, if so,
      (2nd) why would the first Thomas (called the twin) not simply be
      referred to as "Thomas the (de facto) twin" period ?

      The first issue seems to be resolved (but perhaps not
      necessarily so) by way of 20:24 where Thomas is referred to as "one
      of the twelve called the twin" (i.e. Thomas called the twin is thus
      seemingly the same person as Thomas "short and sweet") … but this
      does not explain why two designations are used to identify him. The
      closest we could come, was to pontificate that perhaps the Gospel of
      John has two or more sources, and that the series 20:24 / 26 / 27 and
      28 belong to one source while the references to "Thomas called the
      twin" belong to another source.

      Having said this, however, the greater of the two mysteries
      remain … why would anyone refer to a "twin" as being "called the
      twin" and not simply as "the twin" period. Some of the possible
      explanations include perhaps (1) that "the twin" was a nickname or
      sobriquet to distinguish the first Thomas from the apostle Thomas.
      Yet again, (2) it may be a quirk of the early Greek and / or Hebrew /
      or Aramaic languages that "called the twin" is a sort of emphasis or
      intensification (popularly used in the vernacular for reasons unclear
      to mere laypersons like myself and my colleague), or (3) possibly it
      may be for other, completely different, reasons such as translation
      or other niceties. (For example, why does the Gospel of Thomas refer
      to Thomas in the third person in logion #13, and why does its incipit
      refer to both Didymos and to Tomas as opposed to simply or
      possibly "Judas the twin" ?) etc. etc.

      The monkey wrench in John's gospel, of course, is the whole
      comparable issue of the "beloved disciple" where the author uses a
      similar "trompe oeil" to (presumably) identify himself (why does he
      not simply say "John" or "myself" instead of "the beloved disciple"
      if such is the case) … and there is always that strange addendum
      (John 21:20 – 21:25) where the gospel writer refers to himself
      as "this man" … ("Lord, what about this man?") … and not to "I" or
      to "myself" ….

      Theories or thoughts, anyone ? …


      Maurice Cormier
    • Judy Redman
      It s late and I m just about to go to bed, but it would seem to me that Judas Didymos Thomas is probably named thus because the Greek speakers called him
      Message 2 of 13 , Jan 1, 2008
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        It's late and I'm just about to go to bed, but it would seem to me that
        Judas Didymos Thomas is probably named thus because the Greek speakers
        called him Didymos and the Aramaic speakers called him Thomas to distinguish
        him from another Judas (Judas Iscariot?) who wasn't a twin. I suspect that
        Thomas, called the Twin, is actually a bad translation. It is probably
        Thomas called Didymos as in "Big Feller" called "Le Gros".

        Of course, this may not seem nearly as clear or sensible tomorrow morning.

        Judy

        --
        Rev Judy Redman
        Uniting Church Chaplain
        University of New England
        Armidale 2351 Australia
        ph: +61 2 6773 3739
        fax: +61 2 6773 3749
        web: http://www.une.edu.au/chaplaincy/uniting/ and
        http://blog.une.edu.au/unitingchaplaincy/
        email: jredman@...


        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
        > [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jmgcormier
        > Sent: Tuesday, 1 January 2008 11:05 PM
        > To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [GTh] Two Thomases ?
        >
        > Greetings all, and all the best for 2008.
        >
        > I was having a bit of a cyber-joust with a colleague of
        > mine earlier this week, and sensed that neither of us came
        > out a clear winner in our respective leaning on this issue,
        > so I thought I might check the thoughts of list members just
        > to see where (or "if") a consensus or predominant leaning
        > might exist .
        >
        > The point made was that in the Gospel of John, "Thomas"
        > is referred to in two repeated ways . in 11:16, 20:24, and
        > 21:02 he is referred to as "Thomas called the twin", whereas
        > in 14:05, 20:26,
        > 20:27 and 20:28 he is simply called Thomas (short and sweet).
        > The point argued was twofold .1st is it possible that there
        > are two Thomas' at play in the Gospel of John, and more
        > importantly, if so,
        > (2nd) why would the first Thomas (called the twin) not simply
        > be referred to as "Thomas the (de facto) twin" period ?
        >
        > The first issue seems to be resolved (but perhaps not
        > necessarily so) by way of 20:24 where Thomas is referred to
        > as "one of the twelve called the twin" (i.e. Thomas called
        > the twin is thus seemingly the same person as Thomas "short
        > and sweet") . but this does not explain why two designations
        > are used to identify him. The closest we could come, was to
        > pontificate that perhaps the Gospel of John has two or more
        > sources, and that the series 20:24 / 26 / 27 and
        > 28 belong to one source while the references to "Thomas
        > called the twin" belong to another source.
        >
        > Having said this, however, the greater of the two
        > mysteries remain . why would anyone refer to a "twin" as
        > being "called the twin" and not simply as "the twin" period.
        > Some of the possible explanations include perhaps (1) that
        > "the twin" was a nickname or sobriquet to distinguish the
        > first Thomas from the apostle Thomas.
        > Yet again, (2) it may be a quirk of the early Greek and / or
        > Hebrew / or Aramaic languages that "called the twin" is a
        > sort of emphasis or intensification (popularly used in the
        > vernacular for reasons unclear to mere laypersons like myself
        > and my colleague), or (3) possibly it may be for other,
        > completely different, reasons such as translation or other
        > niceties. (For example, why does the Gospel of Thomas refer
        > to Thomas in the third person in logion #13, and why does its
        > incipit refer to both Didymos and to Tomas as opposed to
        > simply or possibly "Judas the twin" ?) etc. etc.
        >
        > The monkey wrench in John's gospel, of course, is the
        > whole comparable issue of the "beloved disciple" where the
        > author uses a similar "trompe oeil" to (presumably) identify
        > himself (why does he not simply say "John" or "myself"
        > instead of "the beloved disciple"
        > if such is the case) . and there is always that strange
        > addendum (John 21:20 - 21:25) where the gospel writer refers
        > to himself as "this man" . ("Lord, what about this man?") .
        > and not to "I" or to "myself" ..
        >
        > Theories or thoughts, anyone ? .
        >
        >
        > Maurice Cormier
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --------------------------------------------------------------
        > ----------
        > Gospel of Thomas Homepage: http://home.epix.net/~miser17/Thomas.html
        > Interlinear translation:
        > http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/x_transl.htm
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
      • jmgcormier
        Hello Judy … … interesting observation that … Judas Didymos Thomas is probably named thus because the Greek speakers called him Didymos and the Aramaic
        Message 3 of 13 , Jan 1, 2008
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          Hello Judy …

          … interesting observation that " … Judas Didymos Thomas is
          probably named thus because the Greek speakers called him Didymos and
          the Aramaic speakers called him Thomas to distinguish him from
          another Judas (Judas Iscariot?) who wasn't a twin."

          So accordingly, Judy, do you see a possibility that the so-called
          Gospel of Thomas, then, should perhaps more correctly be called the
          Gospel of Judas … given that Tomas and Didymos are simply words used
          by the manuscript's scrivener to make the point for both Aramaic and
          Greek audiences that Judas (the possible real name of the author) was
          a twin (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot)? Hmmm ! This would at
          least explain why logion # 13 seems to be written in the third person
          … that is, that Judas is not to be confused with Thomas which is
          simply used here as an adjective and is not the proper name of the
          author …

          Of possible further relevance, and if I am not mistaken, the names
          Judas and James are / were essentially synonymous at the time of
          GoT's writing. If so, one should also note the Eastern / Syrian
          tradition that Jesus had a "twin" brother called … yes … "Judas" as
          you no doubt know. Indeed, then, there may be a possibility that
          Jesus' twin brother, Judas (designated as "Thomas" or "Dydimos"
          meaning "the twin" in both Aramaic and in Greek) may have somehow had
          a hand in the "sayings of Thomas", and led in recent years to the
          popular suggestion that the "Gospel of Thomas so-called" may be, or
          indeed "is", of Eastern or Syrian provenance. Thus, it may indeed be
          entirely possible as you suggest, that the inclusion of "Judas" in
          Thomas' incipit may well have had a purpose far beyond introducing
          the idea or concept of a "twin" (of Jesus) to the reader. Even in
          Western tradition, James (aka Judas ?) is generally referred to
          as "brother of the Lord" or "Adelphotheos" in Greek as I understand.
          Hmmm !

          So … nice shot, Judy, and all the best for 2008 …

          Maurice
        • ariadneg33
          Happy New Year Maurice and everyone, I am new to the forum and am an author on dreams and mysticism best known for Ariadne s Book of Dreams, Warner Books and
          Message 4 of 13 , Jan 1, 2008
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            Happy New Year Maurice and everyone,
            I am new to the forum and am an author on dreams and mysticism best known for
            Ariadne's Book of Dreams, Warner Books and my new book Divine Complement. When I
            received your thoughts this morning in my email I wanted share some of my thoughts and
            research on the topic of the "twin twin" perplexing puzzle in the introduction of the
            sayings.

            The question arises who wrote the gospel? Someone who held a mystery that he conveyed
            through a meaningful and often symbolic language as most mystics do. I think that most
            scholars suffer with the title because they assume it is "the name" of the person who
            transcribed the sayings or wrote the gospel. What if the name of the scribe was not a
            name at all? If you use the etymology of the words Didymus and Thomas meaning "twin"
            in the two languages, why not consider Judas for its etymology? It is Hebrew for "Praise
            God", Yehuda. The title then would be deciphered as a code, Twin-God Praise--Twin".
            Therefore, the author cleverly used three languages to convey something of a mystery.
            And when we consider, so many of the sayings refer to the mystery of unification "making
            the two one," the initiation of the Bridal Chamber, and to quote Jesus, 'what will you do
            when you are two?" it now makes more sense. So who was the author praising? You must
            understand the mystery of the Bridal Chamber, what the bridegroom truly means and why
            spiritual unity is of such importance in the Gospel of Thomas to begin to answer that
            question. Anyway, I have just finished an article on the Gospel of Thomas that introduces
            my research from a new manuscript

            As far as John goes, I really wish he had never gotten a hold of the Gospel of Thomas and
            began writing an altogether different doctrine. I agree that John wrote his gospel to
            counter the Gospel of Thomas as Elaine Pagels has so wonderfully pointed out. Why did
            he identify Thomas as Didymus, well because he was referencing the Gospel of Thomas.
            That's all. And why did he later just call him Thomas, sweat and simply he had already
            identified Thomas as synonymous with Didymus.

            Would love to hear your thoughts.
            Ariadne
          • Judy Redman
            Hi Maurice ... Well, the Gospel of Thomas certainly starts by telling us that it contains the secret words that Judas the Twin the Twin wrote down, which would
            Message 5 of 13 , Jan 1, 2008
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              Hi Maurice

              > So accordingly, Judy, do you see a possibility that the
              > so-called Gospel of Thomas, then, should perhaps more
              > correctly be called the Gospel of Judas . given that Tomas
              > and Didymos are simply words used by the manuscript's
              > scrivener to make the point for both Aramaic and Greek
              > audiences that Judas (the possible real name of the author)
              > was a twin (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot)? Hmmm !
              > This would at least explain why logion # 13 seems to be
              > written in the third person . that is, that Judas is not to
              > be confused with Thomas which is simply used here as an
              > adjective and is not the proper name of the author .

              Well, the Gospel of Thomas certainly starts by telling us that it contains
              the secret words that Judas the Twin the Twin wrote down, which would lead
              one to suspect that he was known both as Didymus and Thomas in different
              circles. According to Richard Bauckham's "Jesus and the Eyewitnesses" Judas
              was the fourth most common name for male Palestinian Jews in the first
              century, so lots of men named Judas would likely have had nicknames to
              distinguish between them, especially if they happened to be Judas bar Judas
              (or bar Simeon or bar Joseph - the top two names). And if Thomas was
              actually Judas son of James, it would help with the confusion about the
              names of the Twelve in the various gospel accounts. Since most of the names
              of the early Christian texts were apparently added some time down the track,
              and the NH codex is dated around the mid-300s or so, I would suggest that
              the name was added by a community that was Aramaic/Syriac speaking and
              possibly at a point where its author had become known simply as The Twin
              because everyone knew *which* twin was being referred to (in much the same
              way that if you say The Duke most people understand that you mean John Wayne
              and The King is usually understood to be Elvis Presley). This name was then
              passed down in various copies of the manuscript because that was now its
              official name. But, yes, it probably should be known as the Gospel of Judas
              the Twin (as opposed to the other Gospel of Judas - Judas Iscariot) which is
              very different.

              > Of possible further relevance, and if I am not mistaken, the
              > names Judas and James are / were essentially synonymous at
              > the time of GoT's writing. If so, one should also note the
              > Eastern / Syrian tradition that Jesus had a "twin" brother
              > called . yes . "Judas" as you no doubt know. Indeed, then,
              > there may be a possibility that Jesus' twin brother, Judas
              > (designated as "Thomas" or "Dydimos"
              > meaning "the twin" in both Aramaic and in Greek) may have
              > somehow had a hand in the "sayings of Thomas", and led in
              > recent years to the popular suggestion that the "Gospel of
              > Thomas so-called" may be, or indeed "is", of Eastern or
              > Syrian provenance. Thus, it may indeed be entirely possible
              > as you suggest, that the inclusion of "Judas" in Thomas'
              > incipit may well have had a purpose far beyond introducing
              > the idea or concept of a "twin" (of Jesus) to the reader.
              > Even in Western tradition, James (aka Judas ?) is generally
              > referred to as "brother of the Lord" or "Adelphotheos" in
              > Greek as I understand.

              I personally don't find the notion that Jesus was a twin particularly
              convincing. If you look at it from the perspective of Christian myth, this
              would mean that said twin was also conceived by the Holy Spirit and there is
              certainly nothing around that claims this or tells Mary and Joseph which of
              the boys was to be called "Jesus." I also have difficulty with the notion
              that the birth narratives would not have mentioned a twin - surely this
              would have been something miraculous and worthy of mention? I have less
              problem with the idea that Jesus had a brother who was a twin - the twin of
              one of his other siblings. Of course, if you want to run with the perpetual
              virginity of Mary line, you have problems with Jesus having any brothers or
              sisters, but there are other things in the gospels that make the notion that
              Mary was a perpetual virgin difficult. I don't know about James being the
              same as Judas at the time. James is more usually synonymous with Jacob and
              that's how Bauckham lists the names (James is the 11th most popular). Note
              that the statistics are not Bauckham's research per se - he uses a couple of
              sources and I don't have time to read the text properly to sort out what
              exactly he says about them.

              Please note, however, that all this is pretty much "off the top of my head".
              My research is about the text of Gos Thom as we have it, so I am not
              particularly interested in who wrote it and thus haven't researched this at
              any depth.

              Judy
              --
              "Politics is the work we do to keep the world safe for our spirituality" -
              Judith Plaskow, Phoenix Rising, 2000

              Rev Judy Redman
              PhD candidate, Postgraduate member of Council & Uniting Church Chaplain
              University of New England Armidale 2351
              ph: +61 2 6773 3739
              fax: +61 2 6773 3749
              web: http://www-personal.une.edu.au/~jredman2 and
              http://judyredman.wordpress.com/
              email: jredman2@...
            • Michael Grondin
              Hi Maurice, ... Undoubtedly, the simple name is used in 20:26-28 because the character had already been specified as called Didymos in 20:24, and there was
              Message 6 of 13 , Jan 1, 2008
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                Hi Maurice,

                In your first note to Judy, you wrote:
                > ... in the Gospel of John, "Thomas" is
                > referred to in two repeated ways . in 11:16, 20:24, and 21:02 he is
                > referred to as "Thomas called the twin", whereas in 14:05, 20:26,
                > 20:27 and 20:28 he is simply called Thomas (short and sweet).
                > The point argued was twofold .1st is it possible that there are two
                > Thomas' at play in the Gospel of John, and more importantly, if so,
                > (2nd) why would the first Thomas (called the twin) not simply be
                > referred to as "Thomas the (de facto) twin" period ?

                Undoubtedly, the simple name is used in 20:26-28 because the
                character had already been specified as "called Didymos" in 20:24,
                and there was no necessity to repeat that in the immediate vicinity.
                The only unexplained simple name occurrence, then, is 14:05. My
                suggestion is that 14:05 and 14:06 were a later addition to the text,
                placed there specifically to contradict the implications of 14:02's
                "In my Father's house are many dwelling places..." This and surrounding
                text implies that, simply put, Christians aren't the only folks in Heaven.
                Jesus prepares a place for his followers, but there's other places as
                well. Looks to me like someone thought that that wasn't something they
                wanted Jesus to say, so they decided to add the notorious 14:06 ("I am
                the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but
                through me.") That, of course, implies that there's only Christians in
                Heaven. I think that Thomas was chosen simply as the foil questioner,
                with the redactor probably giving no thought to adding "called Didymos".
                I don't think there's any doubt but that this is the same character
                mentioned elsewhere. (BTW, this portion of Jn came up in an argument
                I had with a fellow on Ben Witherington's blog some months back, about
                whether Christians believed that they were going to be the only folks in
                Heaven. It was the first time I'd looked closely at the beginning of Jn14,
                and it just jumps out at you, I'd say.)

                In your second note to Judy, you wrote:
                > Of possible further relevance, and if I am not mistaken, the names
                > Judas and James are / were essentially synonymous at the time of
                > GoT's writing.

                Nope. 'James' is the unfortunately-chosen English substitute for IAKOBOS,
                which is better rendered 'Jacob'. 'Jacob' and 'Judas' weren't
                interchangeable.

                By way of general remarks, it does seem to me that the choice of DIDYMOS
                IOUDAS QWMAS is at least a small indicator that the Coptic text wasn't a
                translation (at least not a simple one) from a Greek text - which is the
                usual assumption. The tri-form name was apparently common in Syriac texts.
                It also had a numeric symbolism (apparently lost on the Greeks): the
                number of letters in the names (7+6+5) was the value of IH (18), while
                the product of the sizes of the names (7*6*5) was the value of IS (210).
                IH and IS, of course, were perhaps the commonest abbreviations of the
                name 'Jesus' found in all the ancient texts. This is consistent with the
                theme of becoming a twin of Jesus. For that and other reasons, my own
                opinion is that the name had become associated with a particular way of
                "following Jesus", and that poor Thomas (assuming he existed) probably
                had nothing to do with the text.

                Mike Grondin
              • jmgcormier
                Top of the season to you Ariadne … Further to your recent post, indeed, most people read Thomas while necessarily assuming that the name of the person who
                Message 7 of 13 , Jan 2, 2008
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                  Top of the season to you Ariadne …


                  Further to your recent post, indeed, most people read Thomas
                  while necessarily assuming that "the name of the person who
                  transcribed the sayings" is the one who wrote the gospel." But I tend
                  to lean in the same direction as you and Judy and Mike that there is
                  lots of room to suspect otherwise when it comes to the Gospel
                  of "Thomas". Of particular interest (from my bias at least) I have
                  even speculated (a bit like yourself) that there is perhaps more
                  to "Judas" than meets the eye. My take on him, however, has largely
                  been that because his name (ethymologically) means "praised one"
                  or "celebrated one", the scrivener of Thomas could have included his
                  name in the Incipit for purposes of simply telling the reader or the
                  hearer that that which follows is from a "praised" or "celebrated"
                  source, and that it literally should be taken to mean that the "new"
                  message or revelation contained therein should be "acclaimed" far
                  beyond its possible earlier (or even its misunderstood) "original"
                  meaning … after all, Thomas' message is indeed at odds with many of
                  its New Testament inspired parallels.

                  Again in passing, I am not sure exactly where you are
                  headed in your comment on the "bridal chamber" and "spiritual unity",
                  and at the risk of sounding as though I am inciting you to "scoop
                  yourself" on your new manuscript, it would be interesting to hear
                  more specifics if you can find a moment to do so.

                  Regards, Maurice







                  --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "ariadneg33" <ariadne@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Happy New Year Maurice and everyone,
                  > I am new to the forum and am an author on dreams and mysticism best
                  known for
                  > Ariadne's Book of Dreams, Warner Books and my new book Divine
                  Complement. When I
                  > received your thoughts this morning in my email I wanted share some
                  of my thoughts and
                  > research on the topic of the "twin twin" perplexing puzzle in the
                  introduction of the
                  > sayings.
                  >
                  > The question arises who wrote the gospel? Someone who held a
                  mystery that he conveyed
                  > through a meaningful and often symbolic language as most mystics
                  do. I think that most
                  > scholars suffer with the title because they assume it is "the name"
                  of the person who
                  > transcribed the sayings or wrote the gospel. What if the name of
                  the scribe was not a
                  > name at all? If you use the etymology of the words Didymus and
                  Thomas meaning "twin"
                  > in the two languages, why not consider Judas for its etymology? It
                  is Hebrew for "Praise
                  > God", Yehuda. The title then would be deciphered as a code, Twin-
                  God Praise--Twin".
                  > Therefore, the author cleverly used three languages to convey
                  something of a mystery.
                  > And when we consider, so many of the sayings refer to the mystery
                  of unification "making
                  > the two one," the initiation of the Bridal Chamber, and to quote
                  Jesus, 'what will you do
                  > when you are two?" it now makes more sense. So who was the author
                  praising? You must
                  > understand the mystery of the Bridal Chamber, what the bridegroom
                  truly means and why
                  > spiritual unity is of such importance in the Gospel of Thomas to
                  begin to answer that
                  > question. Anyway, I have just finished an article on the Gospel of
                  Thomas that introduces
                  > my research from a new manuscript
                  >
                  > As far as John goes, I really wish he had never gotten a hold of
                  the Gospel of Thomas and
                  > began writing an altogether different doctrine. I agree that John
                  wrote his gospel to
                  > counter the Gospel of Thomas as Elaine Pagels has so wonderfully
                  pointed out. Why did
                  > he identify Thomas as Didymus, well because he was referencing the
                  Gospel of Thomas.
                  > That's all. And why did he later just call him Thomas, sweat and
                  simply he had already
                  > identified Thomas as synonymous with Didymus.
                  >
                  > Would love to hear your thoughts.
                  > Ariadne
                  >
                • jmgcormier
                  ... I personally don t find the notion that Jesus was a twin particularly ... myth, this would mean that said twin was also conceived by the Holy Spirit and
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jan 2, 2008
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                    --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Judy Redman" <jredman@...> wrote:

                    I personally don't find the notion that Jesus was a twin particularly
                    > convincing. If you look at it from the perspective of Christian
                    myth, this would mean that said twin was also conceived by the Holy
                    Spirit and there is certainly nothing around that claims this or
                    tells Mary and Joseph which of the boys was to be called "Jesus." I
                    also have difficulty with the notion that the birth narratives would
                    not have mentioned a twin - surely this would have been something
                    miraculous and worthy of mention? I have less problem with the idea
                    that Jesus had a brother who was a twin - the twin of
                    one of his other siblings.


                    Hello again Judy ....

                    ... your commentary on the twinship of Jesus is an excellent, common
                    sense, read. In the wake of you note, Mike Grondin also makes
                    excellent points on the issue by suggesting that tri-form names were
                    apparently common in Syriac texts. (I did not know this, but it
                    certainly adds to the argument that Thomas indeed leans in that
                    direction as a source.) Perhaps more importantly, Mike raises the
                    point that "This is consistent with the theme of becoming a twin of
                    Jesus. For that and other reasons, my own opinion is that the name
                    had become associated with a particular way of "following Jesus", and
                    that poor Thomas (assuming he existed) probably had nothing to do
                    with the text."

                    From a translation point of view, might Mike or yourself (I know from
                    your Blog that you are studying Coptic) offer up other
                    interpretations of the words Didymos / Tomas than the popular
                    word "twin", or is that about as far as it goes in either Coptic or
                    Aramaic ??? If there is / are other telltale meanings, we may indeed
                    have a strong hint here that Mike is absolutely correct in his
                    comment that "the choice of DIDYMOS IOUDAS QWMAS is at least a small
                    indicator that the Coptic text wasn't a translation (at least not a
                    simple one) from a Greek text - which is the usual assumption."
                    (Great observation, Mike ... )

                    Regards to both of you ... Maurice
                  • Michael Grondin
                    ... Sorry, Maurice, but you re misquoting me here. I was referring only to the specific tri-form name used in Coptic Thomas. I have no idea about any general
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jan 3, 2008
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                      > ... Mike Grondin ... makes excellent points on the issue by suggesting
                      > that tri-form names were apparently common in Syriac texts.

                      Sorry, Maurice, but you're misquoting me here. I was referring only to
                      the specific tri-form name used in Coptic Thomas. I have no idea about
                      any general convention. My immediate source is Stephen Patterson:

                      "It was Puech [_Gospel of Thomas_] who first drew attention to the
                      fact that the particular name for the apostle Thomas found in the
                      Prologue to the Gospel of Thomas, Didymus Judas Thomas ...
                      is associated especially with Christianity as it developed in eastern
                      Syria, in the area around Edessa."
                      (_The Gospel of Thomas and Jesus_, p.118)

                      The tri-form name is an integral part of the chiastic structure
                      of the Prologue, which was evidently designed with great care.

                      > From a translation point of view, might Mike or yourself [Judy] ...
                      > offer up other interpretations of the words Didymos / T[h]omas
                      > than the popular word "twin"...?

                      I can't locate it at the moment, but I have a recollection of once
                      coming across an etymological comment indicating that 'Thomas'
                      came from a phrase that meant something like "two things". Maybe
                      that has some connection with "doubting Thomas" and/or the
                      warning about being "double-minded" in some Christian texts.
                      It may be that the names had this sense in addition to 'twin'.

                      Mike
                    • Michael Grondin
                      ... Still can t locate the reference to this, but with respect to DIDYMOS, a simple Greek dictionary indicates that it can mean double or two-fold , which
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jan 3, 2008
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                        > I can't locate it at the moment, but I have a recollection of once
                        > coming across an etymological comment indicating that 'Thomas'
                        > came from a phrase that meant something like "two things". Maybe
                        > that has some connection with "doubting Thomas" and/or the
                        > warning about being "double-minded" in some Christian texts.
                        > It may be that the names had this sense in addition to 'twin'.

                        Still can't locate the reference to this, but with respect to DIDYMOS,
                        a simple Greek dictionary indicates that it can mean 'double' or 'two-fold',
                        which is precisely the meaning(s) I had in mind. Also of interest is that,
                        according to Westcott (_The Occult Power of Numbers_), the number
                        five was occasionally called 'didymos', "... because it divided the
                        Decad into two equal parts".

                        Hopefully, it's clear that the two senses I'm trying to distinguish here
                        are (1) being a double or twin of someone/thing else, and (2) having
                        a dual nature, as in 'two-fold'. I suspect that both 'Thomas' and 'Didymos'
                        had both senses.

                        Mike Grondin
                      • ariadneg33
                        Thank you Mike if you run across the etymology interpretation you were refering to let me know. I found Westcotts reference to the number 5, which does
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jan 4, 2008
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                          Thank you Mike if you run across the etymology interpretation you were refering to let me
                          know. I found Westcotts reference to the number 5, which does suggest a slightly
                          different meaning of didymus in Greek. Where I am going with this is I believe the author
                          of this Gospel was conveying a mystery as well as and giving praise to someone important
                          to Jesus ministry. The mystery of spiritual unification, "making the two one" in my mind
                          relates to the original separation in Genesis, a condition that I call "split soul" (split
                          masculine and feminine) and one that is resolved through the bridal chamber, referred as
                          the Holy of Holies in Phillip. Rather than an outward ritual, as in baptism or any of the
                          rites conducted in Solomon's temple it was achieved through a self-realizing experience,
                          initated in the heart I believe that the mystery was conveyed in Jesus early teachings and
                          we find hints of it in Thomas. I have written a great deal on the bridal chamber in my
                          book, Divine Complement, a book about soulmates. Anyway, my research into Thomas
                          became an obsession because after I started interpreting the sayings I found more in
                          Thomas than I had imagined.
                          I am working on the premise that the Gospel of Thomas was Jesus own gospel, many
                          reasons for saying this. And that Mary Magdalene was the twin being praised. I am with
                          the early camp in dating this gospel, very early. I know that April Rice, for instance, dates
                          the 1st layer as early as 30 AD. I would not agree with stratifying the Gospel as Rice has
                          done and would say that about 83 to 89 of the sayings are close enough to Jesus'
                          authentic teachings and words.

                          Ariadne
                        • Judy Redman
                          ... I assume you mean April DeConick, who is currently a Professor at Rice University, seeing this sounds like her work. If this is who you mean, I am not
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jan 4, 2008
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                            Ariadne says:

                            > I am working on the premise that the Gospel of Thomas was
                            > Jesus own gospel, many reasons for saying this. And that
                            > Mary Magdalene was the twin being praised. I am with the
                            > early camp in dating this gospel, very early. I know that
                            > April Rice, for instance, dates the 1st layer as early as 30
                            > AD. I would not agree with stratifying the Gospel as Rice
                            > has done and would say that about 83 to 89 of the sayings are
                            > close enough to Jesus'
                            > authentic teachings and words.

                            I assume you mean April DeConick, who is currently a Professor at Rice
                            University, seeing this sounds like her work. If this is who you mean, I am
                            not sure that she would agree with a dating as early as 30 CE. All I can
                            find in her most recent two books ("Recovering the Original Gospel of
                            Thomas" and "The Original Gospel of Thomas in Translation") is the date 50
                            CE as the beginning of the accretions on the kernel, so I'm wondering if you
                            have a reference for the 30 CE date?

                            Regards

                            Judy



                            --
                            "Politics is the work we do to keep the world safe for our spirituality" -
                            Judith Plaskow, Phoenix Rising, 2000

                            Rev Judy Redman
                            PhD candidate, Postgraduate member of Council & Uniting Church Chaplain
                            University of New England Armidale 2351
                            ph: +61 2 6773 3739
                            fax: +61 2 6773 3749
                            web: http://www-personal.une.edu.au/~jredman2 and
                            http://judyredman.wordpress.com/
                            email: jredman2@...
                          • ariadneg33
                            Hi Maurice, I agree that the one who is praised is not the author of the Gospel and that a great deal of mystery lies within tri-fold name that could be
                            Message 13 of 13 , Jan 13, 2008
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                              Hi Maurice,
                              I agree that the one who is praised is not the author of the Gospel
                              and that a great deal of mystery lies within tri-fold name that could be viewed as a secret
                              code in three different languages, all languages spoken in Jesus' community. There
                              appears to be a motive of expressing inclusiveness in that.

                              Regarding the mystery of the bridal chamber. I suggest
                              familiarizing yourself with the Gospel of Philip 84:23-85:20 and 53:10-25 which describes
                              the anointing in the Bridal Chamber, the Holy of Holies and with my book, Divine
                              Complement which was published in 2006. You can access the entire book, on Google
                              books and chapters 2 and 3 are the relevant chapter in understanding Thomas as well as
                              Philip.

                              Thomas saying 22 on "making the two one" expresses a
                              complete metamorphosis of the individual beyond a mere enlightened awakening,
                              one of unification of the divine aspects of the soul and one resulting in the rebirth
                              into one's masculine and feminine (god/goddess) nature so that the hand becomes the
                              instrument of God and one's image moves from human to the divine form.

                              According to the Gospel of Philip Jesus had accomplished the resurrection through the
                              living body not through death and had become Son of the Bridal Chamber through an
                              anointing described as with a fire of white light. The path of unification described in
                              Saying 22 is one that embraces the inner, the outer, the masculine, the feminine and one's
                              own power to perform the miracles of the hand. The Gospel of Philip tells us this
                              unification takes place in the Bridal Chamber. In my book, I define and describe the
                              initiation in the Bridal Chamber.

                              There are three in the equation, Didymus Judas Thomas, Twin-Praise God –Twin. It seems
                              to be an equation of masculine and feminine unity or as I define it in my book "tri-unity"
                              with God. Therefore the one being praised in my mind would most naturally have been
                              Mary.
                              Ariadne
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