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Re: Two Thomases ?

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  • 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 1 of 13 , Jan 2, 2008
      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 2 of 13 , Jan 2, 2008
        --- 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 3 of 13 , Jan 3, 2008
          > ... 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 4 of 13 , Jan 3, 2008
            > 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 5 of 13 , Jan 4, 2008
              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 6 of 13 , Jan 4, 2008
                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 7 of 13 , Jan 13, 2008
                  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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