Re: [GTh] Two Thomases ?
> ... Mike Grondin ... makes excellent points on the issue by suggestingSorry, Maurice, but you're misquoting me here. I was referring only to
> that tri-form names were apparently common in Syriac texts.
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] ...I can't locate it at the moment, but I have a recollection of once
> offer up other interpretations of the words Didymos / T[h]omas
> than the popular word "twin"...?
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'.
> I can't locate it at the moment, but I have a recollection of onceStill can't locate the reference to this, but with respect to DIDYMOS,
> 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'.
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.
- 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 says:
> I am working on the premise that the Gospel of Thomas wasI assume you mean April DeConick, who is currently a Professor at Rice
> 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.
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?
"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
- 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
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