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Everything posted by Skye

  1. Also this sort of research might be able to finally clarify the issue one day... Thomas and Tatian: The relationship between the "Gospel of Thomas" and the "Diatessaron" Nicholas Perrin, Marquette University Abstract Since the 1946 discovery of the Coptic Gospel of Thomas , the relationship between the sayings found in this collection (almost all of them attributed to Jesus) and the synoptic gospels has been disputed. Some have affirmed that the sayings in the Coptic texts reflect a line of transmission independent of the synoptic tradition. Others have contended that Thomas shows a reworking of the Greek synoptic gospels. In my study I propose a third possibility: namely, that the Gospel of Thomas was dependent on a second-century Syriac gospel harmony known to us as Tatian's Diatessaron (written 170-175 CE). I begin with a reexamination of the gospel's original language of composition. While most scholars have held that the collection was first written in Greek, and others have proposed Coptic, I align myself with those who have argued for a Syriac hyparchtype. Through my linguistic analysis of Thomas, I identify 502 catchwords (words that can be linked semantically, phonologically, or etymologically) in a hypothetical Syriac reconstruction of the text--almost double the number found in a Greek reconstruction or in the Coptic. Many of these (Syriac) verbal connections are realized through puns involving the interplay of word-sounds and meanings, a technique typical not only of early Syriac literature, but also of certain texts dealing with esoteric revelation Some of these Syriac puns are even paralleled in another Syriac text of the same period, the Odes of Solomon . From the linguistic analysis it can further be inferred that the Gospel of Thomas was composed by an author who appropriated and modified the canonical tradition in order to create catchwords. While the elaborate aligning and reworking of sources suggests written rather than oral sources behind Thomas , more telling is the fact that the sayings collections, at points, follows the sequence of the Diatessaro n. Given these considerations, I conclude that the author of Thomas knew and used the Diatessaron .
  2. Historically, there seems to be some evidence that the apostle Thomas went to India and established a Christian community there, which was in accord with orthodox Christianity.
  3. I think there is a radical difference between the two approaches, revealing the light that is intrinsically within us versus deferring to light that is God/Jesus and seeking the way for that light to enter into us, and I think it matters which perspective is adhered to. I get what you are saying though, I can only have a personal opinion on the relative value of each perspective for now, and can only hope that some long lost text comes to light to resolve the issue officially one day.
  4. I wonder what others think of the GoT, I find it impossible to believe that Jesus actually said half of the things he is quoted as saying, I think half of it is gnostic extrapolation, is it that simple for others, or do some think this is a genuine record that was not included in the bible for political reasons, which seems to me to be the common new age understanding?
  5. Psychologically, it can be subconscious material being released without safeguards, long hours of intense prayer might destabilise the psyche and result in the apparition of demons - the contents of the subconscious are dark and powerful to say the least, and I say this as someone who has spent their life avidly examining this content. I wonder if the psychological explanation of poltergeist phenomena might be a parallel to try and understand demons, there seems little doubt that poltergeists are uncontrolled subconscious activity of unstable minds. If nothing else this indicates our own minds are capable of more than we are usually able to access ie. telekinetic ability. But then again, I've had personal experience of someone I believed was under the influence of a succubus, which sounds so impossible and superstitious, but it seemed to make sense at the time. I'm still torn between belief systems, and find myself agreeing with a persuasive argument from either side.
  6. Thanks for this link Burl, I read it with interest, and found it persuasive.
  7. If you read an article like this The battle for souls -The mystic saints vs. the demons - the demons are considered to be real, and most of the mystic saints seem to have had these sort of battles. Is it possible that they are experiencing a level of reality generally unseen, or can it all be explained by psychology? The answer makes a lot of difference in how we go about our lives. I'm torn between the two views, and just wondered what others might have to say on the issue.
  8. This seems like a half-measure, half psychologically healthy, but perfectly persuasive to the masses. Accepting the feeling and focusing on it is healthy, but our psychological issues are formed by emotions and thoughts, and only focusing on the emotion is a half-measure. Analysing the thinking behind it is also required, and once analysed the feeling can be purely felt. Doing the two together is not advised, but doing the two consecutively works very well. Tolle bypasses the thought strand by this device of focusing on the 'one who observes'. It effectively numbs the emotional pain in the mind by splitting it from consciousness, where it remains free to control the person subconsciously, without their awareness.
  9. Would a progressive Christian view the first coming as an event in time and the machinations of a distinct 'God'? I would think not.
  10. Some radical fundamentalist beliefs (lifted from a Christian forum):1. a six-day creation, not evolution (I actually believe the majority of scientists today are deceived)2. a literal world-wide flood, where God spared 8 people and animals in an ark3. the red sea parted while a million people crossed4. a man was swallowed by a great fish (and vomited back on land after three days)5. Jesus was born from a virgin woman (and hence, he is the Son of God)6. Jesus is God (and yet was a man)7. Jesus came back to life, days after being crucified (physically, and appeared to many people, and even ate with them)8. Jesus is the only way to God (all other religions are false, and from the devil)9. the sanctity of life (abortion is murder -- and I'm utterly horrified by the recent US Supreme Court ruling that gives guidelines on how to rip apart a baby as it is being born)10. women should be in submission, both in the home and in the church (men should lovingly lead)11. Jesus will return (straight from the sky), and this world will be destroyed by fire12. Eternal life and hell -- We who believe in Jesus will live with him forever (those who reject him -- i.e., most people -- will go to hell) Is this really all in the bible? If it is I don't think I am a biblical fundamentalist, I have my own personal reading of the bible, and am most inclined to the gospels and the historical Jesus literature, and perhaps Acts.
  11. I have somewhat naively been perceiving myself as progressive, but it now appears I might have a different label, biblical fundamentalist.? A very brief history of my relationship to Christianity: I was brought up in a Catholic school and never felt a need for Jesus, though I always had some affection for the notion of God. I determined to discover the truth of myself via psychology instead, basically implementing a self-psychoanalysis program, and following my own way (I even studied psychology at uni in the hope of finding the key to 'self'). I was interested in all religions and read about them as much as I could, really I think I might have been labelled primarily a searcher in this period. Being psychoanalytically inclined I couldn't help but notice during this seeking period that 'the Father' seemed to crop up in my dreams occasionally, and always in a very profound context. At a certain point I managed to worm my way into the deepest recesses of my heart, and found that it was completely dark, but at the same time I was presented with a task to continue further that required light to see by. After a few days of pondering this dilemma I thought to myself "Jesus is the name associated with light par excellence," and in that moment quite literally a small light started to shine (in the psychic space of my heart), that was just enough to enable me to continue on my way. Since then resonances with some of the gospel images have surfaced for me, and 'the Father' has also reappeared in my dreams, closer to myself than before. I believed, before coming to this site, that my attitude to Jesus had profoundly and violently matured, yet I arrive at the notion today that my new heartfelt relation to Jesus and the Father via the gospels and my resonance with them might be termed biblical fundamentalism. I don't really mind, it is at it is and it suits me, but it's quite funny to go from feeling quite progressive to fundamentalist in an instant.
  12. I am choosing to believe what is written in the bible, instead of commentary and philosophical musings. Things that we might find unacceptable might be necessary for reasons we do not comprehend. Matthew 16:21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” 23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” John 12;27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Acts 9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” Some of what is written might not be true, but overall if I choose to believe it all and there is x% untrue, it still might be a higher percentage of overall truth than if I start deciding according to my own logic what is truth or not.
  13. I used to dislike John and even more so Paul, I thought they were less original and therefore inferior. But a funny thing is happening, ever since I accepted that I needed the light of Jesus to see how to go further on my spiritual journey, I've opened more to the possibility that some of the events recorded in the bible were less random and more God-steered than I had previously allowed. Take two events, the crucifixion and Paul on the road to Damascus. With the crucifixion I more or less believed that this was just the consequence of Jesus offending the Jewish rabbi's and the Romans, but now I can see a distinct possibility that it was a course that was deliberately chosen by 'The Father,' that it was in fact 'The Plan'. And with the blinding and healing of Paul, as an analogy it is so profound, and so meaningful as well in relation to the OT, but I can also allow that God (or Jesus) did actually choose this exact man to do exactly what he then proceeded to do, taking the Jesus message to the gentiles. Maybe the kind of garbled message from Paul was better than no memory of Jesus at all. Maybe he was vital in a plan to awaken humanity to 'The Father.' I still have many doubts that are not too far from the surface, because I've spent most of my life rationalising and to an extent dismissing the bible as happenstance. But this belief (or is it Faith, which I've had precious little of up till now) side is growing, where I read a passage in the bible now and think "ah, I get it now."
  14. Skye


    Thanks Thormas, Joseph and Paul ?
  15. I appreciate the ongoing discussion. I have come to feel that Jesus and The Father have made their abode in me, and still there are questions, maybe the questions never end, of course I don't even really need to know the answers, if I'm smart enough to just keep following - Hebrews 11:8 (NKJV) By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
  16. This is actually the issue I was struggling with last night. The Father may be found within and John 14:23 expresses this perfectly for me "Jesus replied, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him." And of late I truly feel he (and indeed Jesus) have made their abode in me, but then I was getting confused about the boundaries between Him in me and whether an external God exists at all or whether it was just humanities expression of the sense of God within.
  17. Skye


    Hi, I have come to Christianity recently after many decades of spiritual searching, I found this forum by accident a couple of days ago and I hope it is somewhere I can dialogue about certain Christian issues that I'm trying to get a handle on.
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