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Why did Gospel of John call the Apostle Thomas "Didymos"

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  • Roger Mott
    Hi everyone, I have been pondering why the author of Gospel of John designated the Apostle Thomas as one who was called Didymos. I feel very confident that the
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 23, 2008
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      Hi everyone,

      I have been pondering why the author of Gospel of John designated the
      Apostle Thomas as one who was called Didymos.

      I feel very confident that the synoptics do not even remotely suggest
      that Thomas had a brother, let alone a male twin. So the Septuagint
      use of "didymos" in describing of Esau and Jacob (Gen 25:24), and
      Zarah and Perez (Gen 38:27) as birth twins almost certainly does not
      apply as to what the author of John meant.

      Clement of Alexandria (c.150 - 211/216), mentions a Didymus
      THE STROMATA, OR MISCELLANIES
      OF CLEMENS ALEXANRIUS
      BOOK I
      CHAP. I.--PREFACE--THE AUTHOR'S OBJECT--THE UTILITY OF WRITTEN
      COMPOSITIONS.(1)
      CHAP. XVI.--THAT THE INVENTORS OF OTHER ARTS WERE MOSTLY BARBARIANS.

      "Didymus, however, in his work On the Pythagorean Philosophy, relates
      that Theano of Crotona was the first woman who cultivated philosophy
      and composed poems The Hellenic philosophy then, according to some,
      apprehended the truth accidentally, dimly, partially; as others will
      have it, was set a-going by the devil. Several suppose that certain
      powers, descending from heaven, inspired the whole of philosophy."

      The question is which "Didymus was Clement referring too.? (both
      from Wiki)

      Didymus Chalcenterus, ("Didymus bronze-guts"), ca. 63 BCE to 10 CE,
      was a Hellenistic Greek scholar and grammarian who flourished in the
      time of Cicero and Augustus.

      Or

      "Arius Didymus, a citizen of Alexandria, was a Stoic philosopher in
      the time of Augustus, who esteemed him so highly, that after the
      conquest of Alexandria, he declared that he spared the city chiefly
      for the sake of Arius"

      End Wiki excerpts:

      If the above is the ancient scholar that perhaps Thomas was known to
      quote in "Apostle circles"; then he could have been nick
      named "Didymos". And in the childhood Gospel of Thomas accounts,
      Thomas was called a Philosopher allegedly authoring the Gospel.

      Another line of thought is that the author of John used "Didymos" for
      the Apostle because Thomas had "didymos" personalities. At first, he
      was a "doubter" then he became a "testifier" as he stated to the
      risen Jesus, "My Lord and my God". Perhaps Jesus was playing on the
      fact he, Jesus, did not have "bronze guts" as Thomas could insert his
      hand into his side.

      Any thoughts?

      Roger Mott
      Waterloo, Iowa
    • David Cavanagh
      ... Do the Synoptics actually mention Thomas? My impression was that he appears only in the fourth gospel.... ... Surely Thomas would have been much earlier
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 23, 2008
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        Roger Mott wrote:
        >
        > Hi everyone,
        >
        > I have been pondering why the author of Gospel of John designated the
        > Apostle Thomas as one who was called Didymos.
        >
        > I feel very confident that the synoptics do not even remotely suggest
        > that Thomas had a brother....
        >








        Do the Synoptics actually mention Thomas? My impression was that he
        appears only in the fourth gospel....
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > If the above is the ancient scholar that perhaps Thomas was known to
        > quote in "Apostle circles"; then he could have been nick
        > named "Didymos".
        >








        Surely Thomas would have been much earlier than this figure?
        >
        >
        >
        > Another line of thought is that the author of John used "Didymos" for
        > the Apostle because Thomas had "didymos" personalities. At first, he
        > was a "doubter" then he became a "testifier" as he stated to the
        > risen Jesus, "My Lord and my God". Perhaps Jesus was playing on the
        > fact he, Jesus, did not have "bronze guts" as Thomas could insert his
        > hand into his side.
        >









        This is an interesting suggestion, and it's worth playing around with.
        On the other hand, I thought the common understanding was that Thomas is
        "Didymos" because he is our twin -he is an example of faith in his great
        confession, although he is also distinguished from us because he insists
        on seeing before he will believe, while we must beleive on the basis of
        the apostolic testimony.

        David Cavanagh
        Major (The Salvation Army)
        Naples (Italy)
        >
        >



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jack Kilmon
        ... From: David Cavanagh To: Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 1:55 AM Subject: Re: [John_Lit]
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 24, 2008
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "David Cavanagh" <davidcavanagh@...>
          To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 1:55 AM
          Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Why did Gospel of John call the Apostle Thomas
          "Didymos"


          > Roger Mott wrote:
          >>
          >> Hi everyone,
          >>
          >> I have been pondering why the author of Gospel of John designated the
          >> Apostle Thomas as one who was called Didymos.
          >>
          >> I feel very confident that the synoptics do not even remotely suggest
          >> that Thomas had a brother....
          >>
          >> Another line of thought is that the author of John used "Didymos" for
          >> the Apostle because Thomas had "didymos" personalities. At first, he
          >> was a "doubter" then he became a "testifier" as he stated to the
          >> risen Jesus, "My Lord and my God". Perhaps Jesus was playing on the
          >> fact he, Jesus, did not have "bronze guts" as Thomas could insert his
          >> hand into his side.
          >>
          >
          > This is an interesting suggestion, and it's worth playing around with.
          > On the other hand, I thought the common understanding was that Thomas is
          > "Didymos" because he is our twin -he is an example of faith in his great
          > confession, although he is also distinguished from us because he insists
          > on seeing before he will believe, while we must beleive on the basis of
          > the apostolic testimony.


          This disciple's name was Yehudah. It is very possible that Jesus' penchant
          for assigning second names to his disciples was based on his d'wale lekon
          l'mithiladu min d'resh..."you must be born again" prerequisite for entrance
          into the malkutheh d'alaha.

          The Jewish concept was that until a father held a newborn up and spoke the
          name loudly, the newborn was not yet "born." We know of a few of these
          "second birth names" in Kefa for Shymeon bar Yonah and Levi for Mattaya bar
          Halfai and apparently "Toma" for Yehudah. Whether or not the disciple
          Yehudah was Jesus' brother Yehudah is not known but Toma is Aramaic for
          "double" or "twin" and Didymos is simply the redundant Greek translation
          while QWMAS is the Greek transliteration. It is certainly possible that two
          of the bar yahosef boys were twins. It could explain Mary's sizeable brood
          of sons (5) in addition to at least two girls in a society where infant
          mortality was high for the lesser economic class...although I do not believe
          the Yahosef family was dirt-poor and poverty stricken. There are too many
          indicators otherwise.

          Sticking strictly to the historical kernels, wherever they may lie, I am
          inclined more to the practicality side of this naming practice than with
          retrojected Gnostic hoodoo.

          Regards,

          Jack

          Jack Kilmon
          San Antonio, TX
        • David Cavanagh
          ... Jack, what basis is there for this assertion? I m not aware of any text in the gospels renaming Yehudah..... David Cavanagh Major (The Salvation Army)
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 24, 2008
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            Jack Kilmon wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            > This disciple's name was Yehudah. ....
            >




            Jack, what basis is there for this assertion? I'm not aware of any text
            in the gospels renaming Yehudah.....


            David Cavanagh
            Major (The Salvation Army)
            Naples (Italy)


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jack Kilmon
            ... From: David Cavanagh To: Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 9:54 AM Subject: Re: [John_Lit]
            Message 5 of 10 , Jul 24, 2008
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "David Cavanagh" <davidcavanagh@...>
              To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 9:54 AM
              Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Why did Gospel of John call the Apostle Thomas
              "Didymos"


              > Jack Kilmon wrote:
              >>
              >>
              >>
              >> This disciple's name was Yehudah. ....
              >>
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Jack, what basis is there for this assertion? I'm not aware of any text
              > in the gospels renaming Yehudah.....

              "Didymus Thomas," as you know, is a tautology and the name...or
              designation...is a hapax as far as names go and as I posted, I believe a
              "rebirth name" from Jesus. He would have had a first name..what was it?
              What we notice is a reluctance to use his first name hence the tautology at
              John 20:24 and 21:2 as well as the care.taken to identify THAT Judas or to
              separate him at John 14:22, Luke 6:6, John 13:26, John 14:22. It appears
              that Thomas was unfortunate enough to have the same first name as Judas
              Iscariot...as did Jesus' brother...but the name is preserved in the Gospel
              of Thomas and the Acts of Thomas which are apocryphal works that find
              support for the name Yehudah/Jude/Judas from the Curetonian Old Syriac John
              14:22 with "Amar leh yehudah toma, maran....."

              Yehudah was the third most common name at the time of Jesus. So the gospel
              text as preserved in the 5th century Old Syriac and copied/translated from
              an older text.

              I also do not believe the name of Judas/Yehudah would have beeb associated
              with the disciple Thomas by the early Thomas Christians had it not been his
              name.

              My basis, Dave, is the weight of the evidence.

              Jack
            • Arlene Sheldon
              Roger,   This is maybe not the kind of answer that you are expecting, but it is about all I know on the subject:   The author of the Gospel of John referring
              Message 6 of 10 , Jul 24, 2008
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                Roger,
                 
                This is maybe not the kind of answer that you are expecting, but it is about all I know on the subject:
                 
                The author of the Gospel of John referring to Thomas as a "twin" in John 20 serves an important symbolic purpose, which is to draw attention to the twins, Jacob and Esau, and Jacob's twin grandsons, Zerah and Perez. This is relevant to the account of Jesus entering the room when the door was locked, because both sets of twins switched roles with each other, and switching roles is what the account of Jesus entering the room when the door was locked is all about. Within Jacob's family there were three pairs of role-switching brothers. The two sets of twins, plus Ephraim and Manasseh. One set of grandsons (Zerah and Perez) belonged to Judah. The other set (Ephraim and Manasseh) belonged to Joseph. Therefore, Judah and Joseph were surrounded by role-switching pairs of brothers in the family tree. In addition, Jacob's wives, the two sisters, Leah and Rachel, switched roles with each other (on what was supposed to have been Rachel's wedding night). All of
                these role-switching pairs of siblings form a "frame" around Judah and Joseph in the family tree, as if to draw our attention to them. The relationship between Judah and Joseph is characterized by Judah selling Joseph into slavery, followed by Judah offering to become a slave to Joseph. Quite a reversal of roles. Judah's purpose in offering to be a slave to Joseph is to obtain Benjamin's freedom after Benjamin has been accused of being a thief. So, in conclusion, twins are associated with role-switching, and role switching with Judah offering to become a "thief" for Benjamin, so that Benjamin can go free.
                 
                Fast-forwarding to John 20, Jesus had said that he was the good shepherd, and that the person who enters the sheep pen through the door is the shepherd of the sheep, and that a thief gets in some other way. So we would expect him to enter the room through the door, like a shepherd of the sheep; however, Jesus got into the room, not through the door, but some other way, like a thief. As Judah offered to become a "thief" in place of Benjamin, Jesus became a "thief" in our place. The use of the name "Thomas" ("twin") in John 20 acts like a hyperlink, linking in the story of Judah and Benjamin, to the story of Jesus entering the room when the door was locked, to explain the substitutionary death of Christ.
                 
                Arlene Sheldon
                Author of 'Confirming Signs in the Gospel of John' web site


                --- On Wed, 7/23/08, Roger Mott <mottrogere3@...> wrote:

                From: Roger Mott <mottrogere3@...>
                Subject: [John_Lit] Why did Gospel of John call the Apostle Thomas "Didymos"
                To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Wednesday, July 23, 2008, 6:40 PM






                Hi everyone,

                I have been pondering why the author of Gospel of John designated the
                Apostle Thomas as one who was called Didymos.

                I feel very confident that the synoptics do not even remotely suggest
                that Thomas had a brother, let alone a male twin. So the Septuagint
                use of "didymos" in describing of Esau and Jacob (Gen 25:24), and
                Zarah and Perez (Gen 38:27) as birth twins almost certainly does not
                apply as to what the author of John meant.

                Clement of Alexandria (c.150 - 211/216), mentions a Didymus
                THE STROMATA, OR MISCELLANIES
                OF CLEMENS ALEXANRIUS
                BOOK I
                CHAP. I.--PREFACE- -THE AUTHOR'S OBJECT--THE UTILITY OF WRITTEN
                COMPOSITIONS. (1)
                CHAP. XVI.--THAT THE INVENTORS OF OTHER ARTS WERE MOSTLY BARBARIANS.

                "Didymus, however, in his work On the Pythagorean Philosophy, relates
                that Theano of Crotona was the first woman who cultivated philosophy
                and composed poems The Hellenic philosophy then, according to some,
                apprehended the truth accidentally, dimly, partially; as others will
                have it, was set a-going by the devil. Several suppose that certain
                powers, descending from heaven, inspired the whole of philosophy."

                The question is which "Didymus was Clement referring too.? (both
                from Wiki)

                Didymus Chalcenterus, ("Didymus bronze-guts" ), ca. 63 BCE to 10 CE,
                was a Hellenistic Greek scholar and grammarian who flourished in the
                time of Cicero and Augustus.

                Or

                "Arius Didymus, a citizen of Alexandria, was a Stoic philosopher in
                the time of Augustus, who esteemed him so highly, that after the
                conquest of Alexandria, he declared that he spared the city chiefly
                for the sake of Arius"

                End Wiki excerpts:

                If the above is the ancient scholar that perhaps Thomas was known to
                quote in "Apostle circles"; then he could have been nick
                named "Didymos". And in the childhood Gospel of Thomas accounts,
                Thomas was called a Philosopher allegedly authoring the Gospel.

                Another line of thought is that the author of John used "Didymos" for
                the Apostle because Thomas had "didymos" personalities. At first, he
                was a "doubter" then he became a "testifier" as he stated to the
                risen Jesus, "My Lord and my God". Perhaps Jesus was playing on the
                fact he, Jesus, did not have "bronze guts" as Thomas could insert his
                hand into his side.

                Any thoughts?

                Roger Mott
                Waterloo, Iowa


















                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • David Cavanagh
                ... Jack, An amateur theologian like myself must be very cautious in challenging someone who engages in theology for a living: nevertheless, I m still not
                Message 7 of 10 , Jul 24, 2008
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                  Jack Kilmon wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > "Didymus Thomas," as you know, is a tautology and the name...or
                  > designation...is a hapax as far as names go and as I posted, I believe a
                  > "rebirth name" from Jesus. He would have had a first name..what was it?
                  >






                  Jack,

                  An amateur theologian like myself must be very cautious in challenging
                  someone who engages in theology for a living: nevertheless, I'm still
                  not convinced that you've made your case...The tautology is there, and I
                  can accept the "rebirth name" hypothesis, but I'm not at all convinced
                  there is enough evidence to say Thomas = Judas (not Iscariot)

                  > What we notice is a reluctance to use his first name hence the
                  > tautology at
                  > John 20:24 and 21:2 as well as the care.taken to identify THAT Judas
                  > or to
                  > separate him at John 14:22, Luke 6:6, John 13:26, John 14:22.
                  >



                  The care taken to distinguish the other Judas from Iscariot is certainly
                  there, and it's understandable enough.....after all, if you were called
                  Adolf Hitler you would want to put plenty of distance between yourself
                  and the German fuhrer; a similar edginess is visible in the current US
                  presidential campaign (and this is purely illustrative, I don't want to
                  get into USA politics) about the similarity between "Osama" and "Obama".
                  So, there was a second Judas, and early Christians were careful to
                  distinguish him from Iscariot.....but where is there any textual link to
                  Thomas? John 14:22 and Luke 6:16 just show the problem, while John 13:26
                  is a straightforward reference to Iscariot

                  > It appears
                  > that Thomas was unfortunate enough to have the same first name as Judas
                  > Iscariot...as did Jesus' brother...but the name is preserved in the
                  > Gospel
                  > of Thomas and the Acts of Thomas which are apocryphal works that find
                  > support for the name Yehudah/Jude/Judas from the Curetonian Old Syriac
                  > John
                  > 14:22 with "Amar leh yehudah toma, maran....."
                  >
                  > Yehudah was the third most common name at the time of Jesus. So the
                  > gospel
                  > text as preserved in the 5th century Old Syriac and copied/translated
                  > from
                  > an older text.
                  >











                  Isn't Thomas rather late and dubious to be quoting as authority? And the
                  point that Judas was such a common name also rather seems to tell
                  against your thesis: going back to my earlier illustration, is every
                  John in the USA to be identified with McCain?

                  David Cavanagh
                  Major (The Salvation Army)
                  Naples (Italy)
                  > .
                  >
                  >



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Roger Mott
                  ... Thomas is listed in all three synoptics when the author is introducing the 12. (See Mat 10:3, Luk 6:15 and Mar 3:18) The order within the 12 means
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jul 25, 2008
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                    --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, David Cavanagh
                    <davidcavanagh@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Do the Synoptics actually mention Thomas? My impression was that he
                    > appears only in the fourth gospel....

                    Thomas is listed in all three synoptics when the author is
                    introducing the 12. (See Mat 10:3, Luk 6:15 and Mar 3:18) The order
                    within the 12 means something and the brothers Peter and Andrew are
                    listed together and usually first. Also brothers James and John are
                    listed together. The other brothers are sort of together but I have
                    to use a tradition that Thaddeus/ Lebbeus and Jude are one and the
                    same person.

                    So the supposed Apostle sons of Mary Alphaeus are Matthew/Levi, James
                    the Less, Jude, Simon/Nathanial. A 5th brother (Joses/Joseph) never
                    made the 12. But he is listed as another son of Mary in the
                    synoptics.

                    Bartholomew, Phillip, Judas Iscariot and Thomas do not have siblings
                    that were Apostles according to the 4 Gospels. And the alternate
                    name for Thomas that Jack has suggested (Judas) never appears in that
                    context in the 4 Gospels.

                    Since this is a John-Lit list, it is unique to the 4 Gospels that the
                    author of G. of John never uses the names of Jude/Thaddeus,
                    Matthew/Levi, or James and John ; or their mother Salome. If the
                    motive is to stay out of "spotlight" in the mid 1st century when
                    persecutions were occurring, (James Zebedee already was martyred c 43
                    CE). The planned obscurity gives support that it is indeed, John
                    Zebedee, who authored the Gospel.


                    > > If the above is the ancient scholar that perhaps Thomas was known
                    to
                    > > quote in "Apostle circles"; then he could have been nick
                    > > named "Didymos".
                    > >

                    > Surely Thomas would have been much earlier than this figure?

                    Caesar Augustus died 14 CE which means that the writings of
                    scholar "Didymus" were completed by that date. Very possible that
                    Thomas could have studied them in the 20's. I understand that a list
                    of Greek sayings/proverbs came from "Didymus" and it would be
                    interesting to read them and compare them to the OT.

                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Another line of thought is that the author of John used "Didymos"
                    for
                    > > the Apostle because Thomas had "didymos" personalities. At first,
                    he
                    > > was a "doubter" then he became a "testifier" as he stated to the
                    > > risen Jesus, "My Lord and my God". Perhaps Jesus was playing on
                    the
                    > > fact he, Jesus, did not have "bronze guts" as Thomas could insert
                    his
                    > > hand into his side.
                    > >
                    >
                    > This is an interesting suggestion, and it's worth playing around
                    with.
                    > On the other hand, I thought the common understanding was that
                    Thomas is
                    > "Didymos" because he is our twin -he is an example of faith in his
                    great
                    > confession, although he is also distinguished from us because he
                    insists
                    > on seeing before he will believe, while we must beleive on the
                    basis of
                    > the apostolic testimony.
                    >
                    > David Cavanagh
                    > Major (The Salvation Army)
                    > Naples (Italy)
                    > >

                    Thanks for you insights and comments, David

                    Roger Mott
                    Waterloo, Iowa
                  • Roger Mott
                    ... is about all I know on the subject: Thanks Arlene, I like the thinking that went into your post and perhaps your book. You took the idea of role reversals
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jul 25, 2008
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                      --- In johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com, Arlene Sheldon
                      <wellofbethlehem@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Roger,
                      >  
                      > This is maybe not the kind of answer that you are expecting, but it
                      is about all I know on the subject:

                      Thanks Arlene,

                      I like the thinking that went into your post and perhaps your book.
                      You took the idea of role reversals and showed the occurrences in the
                      OT and G. of John.

                      >  
                      > The author of the Gospel of John referring to Thomas as a "twin" in
                      John 20 serves an important symbolic purpose, which is to draw
                      attention to the twins, Jacob and Esau, and Jacob's twin grandsons,
                      Zerah and Perez. This is relevant to the account of Jesus entering
                      the room when the door was locked, because both sets of twins
                      switched roles with each other, and switching roles is what the
                      account of Jesus entering the room when the door was locked is all
                      about. Within Jacob's family there were three pairs of role-switching
                      brothers. The two sets of twins, plus Ephraim and Manasseh. One set
                      of grandsons (Zerah and Perez) belonged to Judah.

                      [comment]
                      Not every instance of Hebrew twain, twins, double or pair was
                      translated to Greek Didymos by the "seventy". Only the 2 of the 6
                      instances of Didymos in the Septuagint are applied to human twins.

                      According to the Septuagint, only Esau and Jacob (Gen 25:24) were
                      called "Didymos" and likewise, Zarah and Perez (Gen 38:27). I would
                      like to limit my comments to those who were actually
                      called "Didymos". But the idea of opposites or good son,
                      bad/obscure son is in the OT.

                      For some reason, the OT makes a point that the second born twin
                      becomes "famously good" while the first born becomes an enemy of the
                      2nd born; or obscure, and not in the direct blood line of David. The
                      idea of opposites could be what G of John is conveying by using the
                      term "Didymos". Judas-Thomas of the GoT are opposites in behavior in
                      the NT. At first, Thomas was a "doubter" like Judas Iscariot and
                      perhaps a philosopher, and then Thomas became a "testifier".

                      Regarding Jesus comment that "Blessed are those who have not seen but
                      believe.", that could be a condemnation of the philosophers of the
                      day who touted the "know thyself" phrase (a form of seeing) whilst
                      Jesus followers were like little children and knew nothing of
                      philosophy but believed.

                      >snip<
                      >  
                      > Fast-forwarding to John 20, Jesus had said that he was the good
                      shepherd, and that the person who enters the sheep pen through the
                      door is the shepherd of the sheep, and that a thief gets in some
                      other way. So we would expect him to enter the room through the door,
                      like a shepherd of the sheep; however, Jesus got into the room, not
                      through the door, but some other way, like a thief. As Judah offered
                      to become a "thief" in place of Benjamin, Jesus became a "thief" in
                      our place. The use of the name "Thomas" ("twin") in John 20 acts like
                      a hyperlink, linking in the story of Judah and Benjamin, to the story
                      of Jesus entering the room when the door was locked, to explain the
                      substitutionary death of Christ.
                      >  
                      > Arlene Sheldon
                      > Author of 'Confirming Signs in the Gospel of John' web site
                      >
                      >

                      I am not convinced that G John use of Didymos to mean birth twin but
                      it could be a metaphor meaning pair, or two in a role reversal.

                      Roger Mott
                      Waterloo, Iowa
                    • Stan Harstine
                      After reading the comments on Thomas Didymos while on vacation, I would like to add a few pieces of research information. I deleted these comments from the
                      Message 10 of 10 , Aug 1 10:27 AM
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                        After reading the comments on Thomas Didymos while on vacation, I would
                        like to add a few pieces of research information. I deleted these
                        comments from the final copies of both the SBL presentation and the
                        Perspectives in Religious Studies publication of "Un-doubting Thomas".



                        "William Bonney briefly discusses this issue in a footnote. He
                        references Bultmann's discussion that the Greek word "Thomas" is a
                        transliteration of a Semitic word for twin, thus the evangelist's
                        identification "Thomas, the one called Didymus."[1] Some efforts have
                        been made seeking to identify the missing twin of Thomas. While the
                        Acts of Thomas identifies this absent sibling as Jesus,[2] other
                        possible siblings are also mentioned. Elizabeth C. Piasecki, argues in
                        her essay published in the National Student Essay Competition in
                        Divinity, 1981, that the "twin" is Nathanael. This identification is
                        based more on the literary structuring of the two pericope than on any
                        genetic information. Interestingly, both the Nathanael episode, Jn
                        1.43-51, and the Thomas episode, Jn 20.24-29 contain recognition scenes;
                        the topic to which we now turn. "



                        William Bonney, Caused to Believe, (Leiden: Brill, 2002), p. 137, n. 20

                        Piasecki, Elizabeth C. "Nathanael: the twin of 'doubting' Thomas." Pages
                        101-106 in Church Divinity, 1981: National Student Essay Competition in
                        Divinity. Edited by John H. Morgan. Notre Dame, IN: Church Divinity
                        Monograph Series, 1981.





                        I fear that we are prone to read too much into some comments recorded
                        2000 years ago. As most of this audience are aware, the Gospel of
                        Thomas refers to Thomas as the "twin" to Jesus.



                        Stan



                        Stan Harstine, Ph.D.

                        Friends University

                        2100 W. University Ave..

                        Wichita, KS 67213-3379



                        316-295-5876


                        ________________________________

                        [1] William Bonney, Caused to Believe, (Leiden: Brill, 2002), p. 137,
                        n. 20

                        [2] "But the Lord said to him; 'I am not Judas who is also Thomas, I am
                        his brother.'" Acts of Thomas, 11, translated by Han J.W. Drijvers in
                        Wilhelm Schneemelcher, ed., New Testament Apocrypha, Vol 2, translated
                        by R. McL. Wilson, (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1992), pp.
                        322-411.



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