Gospel of Thomas 114 & Theodotus

Simon Peter said to them, “Make Mary leave us, for females don’t deserve life.” Jesus said, “Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven.”

– Gospel of Thomas, saying 114

Saying 114 has always caused issues amongst a lot of people. If you take it literally, it comes off as misogynistic. As I have mentioned elsewhere on this blog, these esoteric texts should always be read allegorically and not necessarily literal. I have viewed this saying as Mary (or you, the reader) needs to make 2 into 1, a theme that has been expressed in various times in the GoT and other gnostic texts. Now I do admit, the wording of the saying is not the greatest and that could have been a translation error from Greek to Coptic. Academics have suggested this saying was added at a later date. Who knows, but as it is, it’s here to stay. Recently I read the “Extracts from the Works of Theodotus and the So-Called Oriental Teachings at the Time of Valentinus” by Clement of Alexandria and one of the 86 extracts sounded kind of familiar.

 The Valentinians say that the finest emanation of Wisdom is spoken of in “He created them in the image of God, male and female created he them.” Now the males from this emanation are the “election,” but the females are the “calling” and they call the male beings angelic, and the females themselves, the superior seed. So also, in the case of Adam, the male remained in him but all the female seed was taken from him and became Eve, from whom the females are derived, as the males are from him. Therefore the males are drawn together with the Logos, but the females, becoming men, are united to the angels and pass into the Pleroma. Therefore the woman is said to be changed into a man, and the church hereon earth into angels.

-Extracts from the works of Theodotus, saying 21

Reading that extract, it puts saying 114 into a new light.

While on the subject of Theodotus, I HIGHLY recommend reading this work. It is an amazing piece of literature that really breaks down the Valentinian theology. I will probably do more blog posts on the literature but wanted to provide another example that I really thought was interesting. It is one of those things I never thought about, but once I read it, yeah, that makes sense! This extract is about the Cross:

The Cross is a sign of the Limit in the Pleroma, for it divides the unfaithful from the faithful as that divides the world from the Pleroma. Therefore Jesus by that sign carries the Seed on his shoulders and leads them into the Pleroma. For Jesus is called the shoulders of the seed and Christ is the head. Wherefore it is said, “He who takes not up his cross and follows me is not my brother.” Therefore he took the body of Jesus, which is of the same substance as the Church.

-Extracts from the works of Theodotus, saying 42

Like I said, check out the Theodotus literature if you haven’t already!

Theodotus: LINK

-bP

Published by bP

A gnostic wanderer

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