posted on Jun, 30 2004 @ 08:24 AM
You have a good point about the Nag Hammadi corpus: after all what scraps they found there amount merely to rather loose COPTIC RE-TRANSLATIONS of
GREEK fragments which --in turn---were GREEK translations of originally ARAMAIC oral sayings...so we are clearly a couple of big steps away from any
"original" "Jeezzuzz" (Aramaic) tradition.
This will certainly account for some of the odd (un Aramaic) wording & theology in much of these books, even odder than the Greek Gospels that
"Christians" read today, which is already one full translational step removed from "Jeeezuzzz" original language and theological
So much hath-been-lost in the course of transmission, we'll never know what was spoken to whom by this "Jeeezuzzz": the brutal fact is that we
today do NOT have ANY of thethe Ipssissima Verba of the Galilean Aramaic that R. Yehoshua bar Yosef the Galilean ("Jeeezzzuzz") actually "spoke"
to his disciples etc. with the exception of one or two phrases ("talitha Cumi", = "girlie get up") or ("Ephraphtha" ="be opened") or ("Amen,
amen..." at the beginning of some of his weightier oracular "Son of Man" utterances) so we do NOT know to whom he was addressing his woes.
And yes, after the Sons of Zadok (i.e. the Levetical Tsaddukim priests who ran the Temple Complex in Jerusalem until the Romans destroyed it in AD70)
would more likely be a target for such sayings of "Jeeezuzz" as the "woes" that the later (AD 70- AD120) gospel writers re-addressed to the
Pharasim. But the early church clarly seems to have re-directed the "woes" in their current form to their "current AD 90 enemies", i.e. the Jewish
Rabbis (who did NOT believe in "Jeezzuz") after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem when the Sadduccees were put out of action.
The Pharasim, as you know, often agreed with the theology of John the Baptist (Yohannon bar Zechariah) who in turn taught "Jeeezuzzz" (and even
baptised him!) e.g. in the belief in Angels, the Resurrection of the Dead, and in the Prophets and Writings as "defiling the hands" (i.e. as
scripture). And they did not "split off from the Christian Nazorean movement" until after AD 70, long after "Jeeezuz" was put to death in c. 36
As you know, the "sons of Zadok" (Sadducees) rejected all of these beliefs and only held to their own translation of the Torah as divinely inspired
(10% of their text was a wholly different text-wording in Palestine from the Samaritan Pentateuch and different again in wording from the socalled
"Babylonian Recension" of the later Masoretic Text used by Jews and Christians for the OT today, AD 980 from a single copy in Lenningrad).
Moreover since the Levetical Sons of Zadok were the "Roman Empire-appointed ruling elite" (who even after 104 BC began to call themselves Kings
during the power Vaccuum in the absence of the Daviddic line) especially during the time of "Jeezzuzz" (BC 12 to AD 36), we can see that there
would have been a lot of political friction between his group which centered around the Daviddic blood line, "the True Vine":
"Every VINE that my Father has NOT PLANTED, shall be UPROOTED and THROWN INTO THE FIRE" (the vineyard is a play on words of D-V-D in Hebrew, a pun
on the family name of David, which was the lineage of "Jeezuzz")
But as for the "recasting of the sayings" of "Jeezuz" in the Nag Hammadi corpus: don't forget we are looking at 4th century AD copies-----plenty
of time for them to morph and morph and morph away from their original intent:
But who knows for sure how far back some of the base-traditions that are found in them actually go?
One can be fairly confident that only a few of the books (e.g. Thomas) can be linguistically traced to the Gospel period (AD 70-120):
It is possible that several dozen "sayings" placed into the mouth of "Jeeezuz" in Thomas in the Nag Hammadi Coptic Version may have a "pedigree"
older than the canonical gospels.
Some of the non Canonical gospel sayings included in the 113 "Jesus said" list in Thomas have a certain ring of authenticity to them, despite the
evident mangling of the translations upon re-translations into foreign tongues...
Here are some examples of what I am talking about:
(Logion 3) = Midrash on Jeremiah 31: 30-33
And Jesus said,
"If the Sofrim (lit: "leaders" of the Synagogues ="scribes" ) ever say to you, 'Behold, the Kingdom [of God] will appear from the sky!!,' will
not the Birds of the sky precede you?
If they say to you, 'Look, the Kingdom will come up from the sea!!' then will not the fish of the oceans precede you?
Rather, look ye for the Kingdom of God within your own hearts, whereupon it is engraved on both the inside and the outside. "
And the disciples say to Jesus, "Rabbi, what will happen if you are ever taken from our midst? Who then will lead us into the Kingdom? "
And Jesus said to them, "If I should depart from you, no matter where you are, you must follow [my brother] Yakkov ha-Tsaddiq (= James the Just One)
[to establish the Kingdom] for whose sake both heaven and earth came into existence."
And his disciples said to him , "When will you become manifested to us and when shall we see you coming into your Kingdom?"
And Jesus said, "When you disrobe without shame [like Adam in the garden before the Fall] and place your garments under your feet like infant
children who disdain wearing them: Amen I say unto you: only then will you see the Son of the Blessed One coming [in his kingdom], and in that Day
you will not be ashamed [of your nakedness]"
Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is like unto a woman carrying a jar full of meal. While she was walking along the road some distance from home, the
handle of the jar broke and the meal emptied out behind her as she walked, unaware of what happened. When she approached the door of her house, she
set the jar down and, behold, the jar was empty."
So try to keep a sharp lookout for some of these "diamonds in the rough" among the Nag Hammadi corpus, never know what gems you might lose if you
dismiss them all automatically out of hand !