Showing posts from January, 2011

The Thomasines, the Noachides and the Jew

Hi there, I hope everyone had a good Sabbath yesterday.  I have started a simple keeping of Sabbath simply as a day of rest and relaxation.  I have an enviable job working with the less fortunate and those in need throughout the week.  The Sabbath for me has become a time of resting and recharging my batteries so to speak.  Yeshua (Jesus) speaks of keeping the Sabbath as a sabbath in the Gospel of Thomas.  For some this may be a traditional Jewish Sabbath, and other Thomasines interpret this to a time and or place of rest.  For me at this time I keep it simple though I have thought of incorporating a simple Sabbath celebration on Friday night to mark the time.
Building on what I wrote about yesterday, I think Jesus established a new type of Judaism.  Whether he meant to or not, I do not know.  It may not even be appropriate to call it a Judaism yet I think elements of it are there while others are discarded.  Perhaps he was the worlds first Reform Jew! (hee hee)  But out of respect fo…

Another Theory on Thomasine Origins

Sorry to bore any readers going on with this.  I just find this speculation fun and fascinating. :)
In the Gospel of Thomas... there is a constant reference to Genesis -specifically the first chapter and first two verses of the 2nd chapter, commonly called the first creation story.  There are references to the Sabbath, circumcision, as well as other Jewish groups.  I think Jesus was a Jew.  However I think he was a reformer and a mystic.  He taught a way that included Gentiles, shunned the need for circumcision and rejected the law rather pointing to a more universal time...the time of creation where the man and woman and all all nature were created by God as very good.  There is in Jesus teaching a view that the Jews are the chosen ones.  Instead, Jesus welcomes all humanity back to the beginning where there was God..then the light...from the light came all creation, and humanity made in God's image.  Then the Sabbath which was simply a time of rest.  So Jesus calls us to remembe…

A Pig Wearing Pearls

Jesus said, "Don't offer what is sacred to the dogs, lest they cast it upon the dunghill. Don't toss pearls to swine, lest they turn into [mud]."  Gospel of Thomas 93

The Thomasine path is not one of strong evangelizing.  It is not one of altar calls or laying tracts instead of tips for waitresses.  Rather the practice of knowing who you are, a child of the God beyond all comprehension is the point of our path.  Of course with this is the protecting of our brothers and sisters of humanity who are trampled under the feet of larger society.  In fact, all people are children of God.  However not all people are going to respond to the Thomasine message.  And as far as the Gospel of Thomas goes...that is fine.  There  is no mention of a hell for those who do not awaken.  In fact, in one of the sayings in the GoT, the mature fish are taken up and those not mature are allowed to go back to the sea.  To me this implies a type of reincarnation of some type, with a promise th…

Why Are You Standing Outside? Come On In!

Jesus said, "If you seek, you will find. In the past, I did not tell you the things about which you asked me then. Now I am willing to tell them, but you are not seeking them." Gospel of Thomas 92

I remember my shock when seeing a mom with a baby in her arms and she was sharing a soda with the baby.  Not to be too harsh, but baby need so much nutrition when they are very small, and things such as diabetes is so rampant, I wonder why she would give her baby a soda pop.   But it is the same for many of us on the spiritual path.  We enter the path with tons of questions, wants, and needs.  But often the answers are not immediately forthcoming.  It takes years and years of spiritual practice to garner the insights and spiritual maturity that come with following a spiritual tradition.  Today in our era of instant gratification and McReligion shopping, people just are not willing to wait that long.  They jump from religion to religion digging so many shallow wells, none going very…

The Radical Dr. King


The Thomasines - People of the Middle Way

I am still plowing on through Thomasine texts and scholarly writings, really trying to get a feel for the ancient community of Thomasines and where they stood in relation to the other early Christian communities.

I am really convinced the Thomasines stand in a unique position between the Ebionites and Pauline Christians. You have the Ebionites, who were Jews and Jewish converts who kept the law but saw Jesus as either teacher or a messiah figure. You have the Pauline Christians who were mostly gentiles who rejected the law and incorporated some of the pagan and philosophical elements into the Jesus story. You also have the Sethian types who engaged the Jewish scriptures (especially genesis) and Greek philosophy but turn the stories on their head through a radical midrash.

The Thomasines, in my opinion, were proto-gnostic Jewish-Christian mystics. They turned primarily to the first creation story in Genesis...going back to the beginning. In fact this first chapter of Genesis seems esse…

Living a Thomasine Life

I do not know if I will ever post this for public consumption.  It really is not meant for the casual reader but rather serves as a type of spiritual reflection of mine...a type of taking inventory of my beliefs and practices as a Thomasine.  In the past I have written of different types of Thomasines-the monachos and the ecclesial.  The monachos are those who read the Gospel of Thomas as a guide only for individuals, perhaps believing even there was no presbyters or ministers in the Thomasine community, but rather only individual Thomasines.  The ecclesial Thomasines hold that there was some type of organization and leadership in the Thomasine community.  There may have been rituals and ministers.  They often seek that in some form today, perhaps in study groups, Christian churches, or the like.  I have also looked at the Trinitiarian and Oneness Thomasines..those that hold a divine Jesus and those that hold to a purely human Jesus.  

Looking at categories, I find that I am in the mid…

Belief Vs. Experience

Some people said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you." Jesus said to them, "You observe the face of heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to be mindful of the present moment." Gospel of Thomas 91

When I first began to meditate upon this passage, I had a hard time understanding what the contrast between the peoples words and Jesus response was.  Then as I held it in my mind and heart it began to reveal itself to me like a tiny seed sprouting up.  The people are wanting him to tell them who he is.  They want to rely on another's word for it.  They want belief or what is commonly called "faith alone".  Believe this and this and you will be saved.  However Jesus refutes this.  He challenges them to know experience his life and words in a living and transformative way, and thus to truly be here now.  Jesus has revealed himself as a son of God and challenges u…

Ride You Like a Cowboy! Where Is My Saddle?

Jesus said, "Come unto me, for the yoke I give you is comfortable and my lordship is gentle, and you will find rest for yourselves." Gospel of Thomas 90

This is one of those sayings that is so close to the mainstream gospels.  Jesus invites us to follow his way.  The rabbi is inviting any who are willing to follow and obey him.  In doing so, he will show and live the way to gnosis and the living revelation of union with our God.  Ours is not a faith only religion.  One cannot simply believe and that is enough.  The work of gnosis is a tough thing.  It is a lifelong process whereby we shed all that is temporal and merge with the Timeless.  Jesus is offering that for any who choose to follow him.

Hey Wash This Cup Too!

Jesus said, "Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Don't you understand that the one who made the outside is also the one who made the inside?" Gospel of Thomas 89

With New Years here and January underway, I am reminded of when I worked at a gym while in college.  They would count on a flood of memberships in January, knowing that many of them signing up in zeal would not keep coming by February or March.  These memberships were not cheap.  How many of us go to extremes to look attractive.  People dye their hair, pay big money for weaves or tummy tucks.  We care so much and will pay to extremes for the outside that will grow old, get sick and die.  It is simply the way of things for the flesh.  However how little real work we will put in to clean the inside of us.  To overcome things such as rage, the need to be right, to be judgmental , or simple sloth or gluttony.  That it is easier for me to read a piece of good fiction than to spend a few moments in scripture or eve…

Hey! Give it Back!

Jesus said, "The messengers and the prophets will come and give you what belongs to you. You, in turn, give them what you have, and say to yourselves, 'When will they come and take what belongs to them?'" Gospel of Thomas 88

A teacher in a school does what he or she does as an investment.  They plant seedlings of knowledge, life skills and such with a hope that their students will learn the information and internalize it, that they may grow up to be educated functioning members of society.  It can be a heartbreak for a teacher to find out a student has dropped out, gotten pregnant before leaving high school, or spends their life working in a fast food restaurant. So it is with the messengers of God.  There are those who have a word for us.  God can speak through any person, circumstance or through nature.   To be a messenger or prophet is to be one who speaks this word from God to another.  We too are called to be open to share the truths we have learned.  Not in a wa…

Wearing Your Depends?

Jesus said, "How despondent is the body that depends on a body, and how miserable is the soul that depends on these two." Gospel of Thomas 87

It is here that the Gospel of Thomas points out the basic outline of a human.  A person is made of a body, a soul, and the spirit.  The body is temporal.  It has desires and needs and is never truly satisfied.  It can get sick and die.  The soul is the mind and emotions.  This too is temporal.  One can change their mind or feel something different from day to day.  However what is left out but implied in this saying is to depend on the spirit.  This spirit within us is what descended from God.  The light we all came spark from the living flame of God.  To depend on the body or even another person's body for enlightenment/gnosis is a farce.  Living with my wonderful spouse these 13 years makes me incredibly thankful but also much more aware that we will grow old. Some day one of us will pass away, leaving the other alone. …