Twin Footnotes by panniuniu

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									Notes „Thought Provoking Sayings of Jesus.‟


Fn.1. Maggie – in the text „Mary‟, almost certainly Mary of Magdala rather than
Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Gospel of Thomas reflects the honour given to Maggie
in the earliest days of the Christian communities, some of which was transferred to
Mary the mother in succeeding generations when the gospel characters were no longer
remembered from personal contact. There are clear indications in the Gnostic writings
that Maggie rivalled Rocky in authority, a competition she was bound, because of the
culture of the time, to lose.

Fn.2. “Trust your senses” i.e. “if you‟ve got ears, use them!”

Fn.3. The nearest equivalent to this advice from Jesus is to be found in the words he
spoke to his friends in the garden, according to Luke. Either they should stand by him
or make good their escape. The worst course was to dither. See Luke 22:35-38 and the
accompanying footnote.

Fn.4. Sally – in the text „Salome‟. Obviously, like others among Jesus‟s female
disciples, Sally was from the upper classes, and may, like Joan (Joanna), have been a
member of the court of Herod Antipas. She may even be identified as Rose‟s dancing
daughter, as suggested in John Henson‟s imaginative biographies, “Or was it like
this?”

Fn.5. Literally, “Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”, as in
Matthew 6:3. In Matthew it is used in the context of giving, but the absence of such a
clear indication of meaning here suggests the more basic meaning of circumspection.

Fn.6. Literally, “I‟m going to knock the whole house down, and no-one will be able to
re-build it.” There are different versions of this saying of Jesus, quoted against him at
his trial. Unlike the other gospel writers, Twin does not soften its radicalism by
seeking to explain it or put it in context. Perhaps, therefore, he gives us the saying in
its original form, advocating the total destruction of that which has served it purpose.

Fn.7. Jesus enjoyed this kind of banter where one person throws a proverb or witty
saying at the other. He did not aim to win the game, but to establish the truth by
means of dialogue. (His dialogue with the Syrian woman is a good example of his
cheerfully losing the contest! See Mark 7:24-30.) Socrates had used a similar method,
as Jesus would probably have been aware.

Fn.8. „humanity‟, literally „Son of Man‟, which we generally translate „The Complete
Person‟. In the context Twin gives it here, it seems to have its more basic meaning,
humankind in general. See Matthew 8:20 and Luke 9:58 for the differing slants the
gospel writers give to the words of Jesus.

Fn.9. More literally, “The New World is like an assassin planning to kill a well-
known public figure. First of all he practices with his weapon and puts his skill to the
test, then he goes out and does the deed.” Our translation makes the same point, but in
our culture an assassin is not acceptable as a role model. (Jesus had within his circle of
friends at least one who would have understood his metaphor.)

Fn.10. We have amended the order of the verses, postponing the well-known response
of Jesus to the question of taxes to the Romans, since it interrupts the flow. The text at
this point is incomplete, so we hope we have conveyed the most likely meaning. The
language of the original is extreme, like the language of the equivalent texts in
Matthew and Luke. This example of Hebrew hyperbole requires softening in
translation.

Fn.11. Jesus quotes directly from one of Aesop‟s fables. Aesop lived from 620-560
BCE, and his stories were popular throughout the world of Jesus‟s day.

Fn.12. Jesus had to face gossip concerning his biological parents. Some believed him
to be a Samaritan, i.e. of mixed race (John 8:48). Origen records the tradition that
some believed him to be the illegitimate child of Mary and a soldier called Panthera.
A gravestone marks a Sidonian archer of that name who was stationed in Palestine
around the time of the birth of Jesus. It is interesting that, according to both John and
Twin, Jesus did not directly contradict the rumours.

Fn. 13. “Those who show me affection”, literally, „whoever drinks from my mouth‟
(i.e. „kisses me‟)

Fn.14. As in the other gospels, the explanation of a parable is the gospel-writer‟s idea
of what Jesus had in mind. The method of Jesus was to allow his hearers to work out
the meaning for themselves. This parable is rich in possible interpretations.

Fn.15. Literally, Jesus promises to make Maggie (Mary of Magdala) „male‟, and
encourages other women to seek this step. Jesus was talking about roles, since it was
Maggie‟s already established place in the group of leaders that Rocky objected to. A
power struggle in the early church is reflected here, with women leaders as one of the
issues. It seems that Twin was on opposite sides from Rocky and claimed the
authority of Jesus for his position. Rocky won and women lost out for two thousand
years. Twin‟s witness is making slow but sure headway at last.

								
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