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 Post subject: The Acts of Thomas
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I have recently come into the exploration of the following ancient scriptures, whose accounts were held both in Greek Record and in Syriac Record:
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/t ... homas.html

This Acts of Thomas, if I might explain briefly, is not the very Apostle Thomas, according to Urantia papers, since the person "Judas who is called Thomas" had his preachment in India, an martyrdom in the Region of Madra (SE India), rather than as according to Urantia Papers at the Mediterranean Island of Malta. Therefore, I relegate this conversation into the consideration of "The Christian Quality of This Judas Thomas' Preachment", rather than some debate as to whether Judas Thomas IS the Apostle Thomas.

However, in many of the declarations, we find similitude with the Fifth Epochal Revelation:
"Come, thou holy name of the Christ that is above every name. (The Recognised Michael and/or The Spirit of the Comfortor)

Come, thou power of the Most High, and the compassion that is perfect. (??)

Come, gift (charism) of the Most High. (The Triumvirate of the Most Highs Rule in Edentia)

Come, compassionate mother. (Divine Minister and/or Holy Spirit Presence)

Come, communion of the male. (??)

Come, she that revealeth the hidden mysteries. (Could be several Personalities related to Creature Destiny)

Come, mother of the seven houses, that thy rest may be in the eighth house. (Adjutant Mind Spirits, and "eight house" could be representative of the 10 levels of initial phase morontial-intelligence)

Come, elder of the five members, mind, thought, refiection, consideration, reason; communicate with these young men. (The Spirit of Worship??)

Come, holy spirit, and cleanse their reins and their heart, and give them the added seal, in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost. "
(The seal refers to the consecration in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as adopted by the Apostle Paul, and elaborated elsewhere in the text, this is perhaps linguistically related to "seal" used by John Zebedee in the Book of Revelation, since the death of Judas Thomas precurses this writing of by at least 25 years (72 A.D.).)

These identifications are hardly found in any other Christian Writing. The Judas Thomas, according to the story I share in the hyperlink, is one who has "given all to serve Christ". There is an allusion to seeking eternal life through the Thought Adjuster, as being "the pearl of great price", a narrative as one who has sought this goal ever since "having sat at the feet of the Master". Of one who is believing, yet fearful of his own fate, nevertheless willing to pay the cost in serving Jesus Christ.

I am amazed to have found such an edifying scripture. Although this is not the Apostle Thomas spoken of in the Fourth Book of Urantia, I do wonder if these remnants were collected and interpreted, before for instance the Gospels of Luke and Mathew. I wonder why Hieronymous Saint Jerome "left this out of the Vulgate", since the Acts of Thomas appears to be in circulation during the 3rd and 4th Centuries A.D..

I wonder if anyone has experienced confusion between the Apostle Thomas of "Malta" and this one Judas Thomas of "Madras".

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 Post subject: Re: The Acts of Thomas
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Fascinating!


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 Post subject: Re: The Acts of Thomas
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I think for a moment, about the life of Jesus, and I come to one important consideration in my analysis. Jesus grew up with Joseph of Nazareth up until roughly the age of 14, yeah? During that time Joseph had developed the idea to become a foreman while exiled in Egypt. Joseph later became the contractor who built the imperial palace for Roman Empire in the Hellenized World. Okay, so what if Jesus had actually developed the skills necessary to built palaces? What if Jesus taught the Apostles much more skills than have been recorded in the Urantia Book, the "ability to built palaces, and to hem furnishings and every ornament necessary for worship"? The translation of Jesus' skills while coordinating the efforts of the Zebedee shop, and the time that the Apostles spent in Caphernaum? Some of them, like the Apostle Thomas who is called Didymus (Judas Thomas?), could have worked along-side Jesus, and acquiring more than spiritual truth but rather every skill necessary in the upbuilding and maintenance of the home, in a functional sense rather than a principled one.
"17 Now when the apostle was come into the cities of India with Abbanes the merchant, Abbanes went to salute the king Gundaphorus, and reported to him of the carpenter whom he had brought with him. And the king was glad, and commanded him to come in to him. So when he was come in the king said unto him: What craft understandest thou? The apostle said unto him: The craft of carpentering and of building. The king saith unto him: What craftsmanship, then, knowest thou in wood, and what in stone? The apostle saith: In wood: ploughs, yokes, goads, pulleys, and boats and oars and masts; and in stone: pillars, temples, and court-houses for kings. And the king said: Canst thou build me a palace? And he answered: Yea, I can both build and furnish it; for to this end am I come, to build and to do the work of a carpenter." (the Acts of the Apostle Judas who is called Thomas)

What do you think? It is not enough for Jesus to teach John Zebedee the true tenets of a spiritually founded religion, but Jesus also taught many people the way to hone the skills they already possessed, helped them to direct those skills properly for the building of God's Kingdom on earth?

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 Post subject: Re: The Acts of Thomas
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The Gospel of the Thomas of Malta versus the Acts of the Judas Thomas of Madras. This is a tricky mire to navigate indeed. I believe one who would know the difference would be sensitive to the offbranching of inferential dichotomy. The Malta is in the West, and the Madras is in the east, also being akin to the narrative of "Eastern Philosophy" versus "Western Philosophy", Western being more Pauline and rational, having more historical precedence with which to draw from theologically. Eastern being more Abnerian, inheriting perhaps the truth that is rejected or omitted from the Pauline branch of philosophy, theosophy. Yes, there are two completely different Gospels each one not trying to make a claim "the Authoratative Works of THE Apostle" - this is a mystery to the modern age - yet they do relate to the differences between Christianity as it evolved in these separate churches "the Hebronic" (of Pauline) and "the Philadelphian" (or Abnerian/Lazarite) (you have a different categorisation of course).

I think someone, anyone why not I, should address the means by which such Gospels would "filter back into the Christian Church". Abner and Paul are both disciples of Jesus, and Abner much in the way that he adopted the policies of Andrew with much support and enthusiasm during the lifetime of Jesus. Paul's Christianity, and Peter's, are "built around Rome, the preestablishment of Authority", whereas this Judas who is called Thomas' gospel, if it might be Abnerian, "knows how to build kingdoms", certainly would be categorised as being "more of an Revelatory Nature, ethically speaking."

Could it be that the Thomas of Madras, was more Abnerian in his conduct, whilst the Thomas of Malta was more "pre-Pauline" "Peterian" or "Andrewian", in his ethos? Could it be that during 1934-1955 the Urantia Foundation did become aware of the Gospel of Thomas of Malta (which is read like a set of Aphorism, in the style of "Wisdom of Solomon"), and though they vowed "to retain the original texts in its sacrosanctity or original draftation", decided to use the Gospel of Thomas of Malta, to "dress" or "interpret" some of the original phraseology? And this even for a minute portion could have left the Full Text of the Urantia Book "compromised", in the sense that not all of the material that the Authors "wished to present", did appear in the final format of 1955?? And I am not complaining about the way rationally thinking human beings try to imbellish the purpo of the original instructions, the original "indictments" (i.e. the Urantia Papers were "indited" by Gabriel). It means that if the text is alterred that the Urantia Foundation publicants are adding their own interpretation to the words, much as Paul smeared his own interpretation to the shape and the growth of the Christian Church. But then how do we work with a text which is containing the subjective interpretation, whereas in other portions claiming to be Authoritative Instruction? A piece is missing, or something posited by one of the Authors "was added wrongly, or added according to the custom of the time, rather than the ideal custom." And such gaps pull at my mind greatly: how could I know which parts are truly "God's word, the words of God's Authors", and what parts of the Urantia Book, like the Hebrew Scripture written in Babylonian Captivity, a mix of cultural lore and institutional policy rather than revealed word or perscribed order.

Could it be that Thomas of Malta was something heard around the Mediterranean Regions, being believed to be the actual follower of Jesus, whereas Thomas of Malta was one of the many disciples of Jesus? Could it be that Judas Thomas of Madras, was pretty much lost to the early Mediterranean Christians of Roman times, but that "in spirit and in deed", was much like Abner, caring more that the will of God be Done, rather than the Emoluments of God heard and known verily?

Like I have mentioned, the dichotomy is very difficult to negotiate. In all matters, we need to remember that these are essentially two branching of the same original tree of religion that "stem from the Life and Works of Jesus, a Jehudite of Roman Times". So that we are not looking simply for philosophical trappings and similitude but for the spread of the adaptation, even the diaspora, of Roman Policy according to the consideration of Jesus, "how to be an ideal citizen." Jesus ideal citizen of Nazareth, of Alexandria, of Jerusalem, of Rome, and even of Nebadon or the Grand Universe.

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 Post subject: Re: The Acts of Thomas
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Stephen posts above: "Joseph later became the contractor who built the imperial palace for Roman Empire in the Hellenized World."

Me here: This is a falsification, way beyond exaggeration, of the UB. Simply untrue. A misrepresentation.

Stephen posts above: "Okay, so what if Jesus had actually developed the skills necessary to built palaces?"What if Jesus taught the Apostles much more skills than have been recorded in the Urantia Book, the "ability to built palaces, and to hem furnishings and every ornament necessary for worship"? The translation of Jesus' skills while coordinating the efforts of the Zebedee shop, and the time that the Apostles spent in Caphernaum? Some of them, like the Apostle Thomas who is called Didymus (Judas Thomas?), could have worked along-side Jesus, and acquiring more than spiritual truth but rather every skill necessary in the upbuilding and maintenance of the home, in a functional sense rather than a principled one.

"What do you think? It is not enough for Jesus to teach John Zebedee the true tenets of a spiritually founded religion, but Jesus also taught many people the way to hone the skills they already possessed, helped them to direct those skills properly for the building of God's Kingdom on earth?"

Me here: Thanks for asking what I think!


The what ifs in your second post completely contradict the UB Stephen. There is a very detailed account of the skills developed by Jesus as youth and young adult and the training of the Apostles. Your speculations are not skeptical but in direct opposition of the UB. We are clearly told Jesus was a carpenter and furniture maker and boat builder as far as his building skills are concerned - although he was also a scribe and teacher and caravan leader and mastered other occupations while a young man. Not a mason or engineer or palace builder however.

And neither was Joseph. Joseph was working on a palace nearby his home - actually the governor's residence as described in the UB - at the time of his being killed on the job and we are told he worked as a foreman in Alexandria leading a crew working on a public building while in Egypt. Joseph was never a builder of "the imperial palace for Roman Empire in the Hellenized World."

You also contradict the very definition of "God's Kingdom" in your speculation, regressing to the Apostles's expectation of an earthly and material kingdom with palaces and thrones. You then assume to redirect and redefine the ministry of the Master to luxury and lords and away from the people from which he arose and walked among and baptized and taught and served. Ridiculous!!


Other than the contradictions TO the UB, this topic offers very little even remotely related to the Revelation. Good Grief...and save us from such incoherent, misguided, and contradictory speculation pretending to be "scholarship".

:roll:


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 Post subject: Re: The Acts of Thomas
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fanofVan wrote:
Stephen posts above: "Joseph later became the contractor who built the imperial palace for Roman Empire in the Hellenized World."

Me here: This is a falsification, way beyond exaggeration, of the UB. Simply untrue. A misrepresentation or lie even.


Perhaps Stephen means that Joseph was working at the governor's residence in Sepphoris, the capital of Galilee and home of Herod, the King of Judea appointed by the Roman Emperor?


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 Post subject: Re: The Acts of Thomas
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I don't know what he means. He evidently believes God's kingdom is an earthly and material kingdom. And that the Master trained the Apostles how to build castles and palaces for the high and mighty of this material kingdom!! I suppose the Apostles were told they would rule and reign the world and live in the castles and palaces they constructed? Go figure!

=; :-$ :-# :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: The Acts of Thomas
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SEla_Kelly wrote:
What do you think? It is not enough for Jesus to teach John Zebedee the true tenets of a spiritually founded religion, but Jesus also taught many people the way to hone the skills they already possessed, helped them to direct those skills properly for the building of God's Kingdom on earth?


I certainly do believe that Jesus taught the importance of work in the "building of God's Kingdom on earth". But more in important is the way work is done. It is best done selflessly as a faith-son.

(435.6) 39:4.13 It is not so much what you learn in this first life; it is the experience of living this life that is important. Even the work of this world, paramount though it is, is not nearly so important as the way in which you do this work.

(555:05) 48:6.37 You will learn that you increase your burdens and decrease the likelihood of success by taking yourself too seriously. Nothing can take precedence over the work of your status sphere--this world or the next. Very important is the work of preparation for the next higher sphere, but nothing equals the importance of the work of the world in which you are actually living. But though the work is important, the self is not. When you feel important, you lose energy to the wear and tear of ego identity so that there is little energy left to do the work. Self-importance, not work-importance, exhausts immature creatures; it is the self element that exhausts, not the effort to achieve. You can do important work if you do not become self-important; you can do several things as easily as one if you leave your self out.

(1579.4) 140:8.2 Jesus’ teaching to trust in the overcare of the heavenly Father was not a blind and passive fatalism. He quoted with approval, on this afternoon, an old Hebrew saying: “He who will not work shall not eat.” He pointed to his own experience as sufficient commentary on his teachings.

(2049.4)192.2.13  Never forget that, when you are a faith son of God, all upright work of the realm is sacred. Nothing which a son of God does can be common. Do your work, therefore, from this time on, as for God. And when you are through on this world, I have other and better worlds where you shall likewise work for me. And in all of this work, on this world and on other worlds, I will work with you, and my spirit shall dwell within you.

SEla_Kelly wrote:
I think someone, anyone why not I, should address the means by which such Gospels would "filter back into the Christian Church".


Keep in mind that all of the Gnostic Gospels and Christian Gospels were written by men and are therefore fallible.


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 Post subject: Re: The Acts of Thomas
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Your post reminds me of 155:6.11...all earthly occupations are sacred to the believing ascender and child of faith.

I don't think the building of God's kingdom on earth is primarily about the habitat of our world or anything material (or even secondarily!). I understand that the natural results of our spiritualization will be expressed in our planning, designing, and buildings as well as parks, gardens, and public spaces. Material expression will reflect spiritual progress and priorities.

Not the other way around as inferred by Stephen. We are specifically told, and repeatedly so, that God's kingdom is "not of this world". See 171:2.15...Jesus reminds the Apostles he has told them over and over and over again his kingdom is not of this world. The kingdom is within.

Let's be clear here and not equivocate - Stephen claims and promotes a material kingdom and claims that Jesus taught the Apostles to build pretentious palaces for mortal rulers as taught to him by his father Joseph who contracted to build the royal palaces of Rome. This is the proposition presented. A total fabrication.

This is the danger Stephen so often delivers here as he pontificates his proclamations, theories, propositions, and speculations - which misrepresent and often directly contradict the Papers we study here. He is relentlessly unrepentant and stubbornly prejudiced in his presentations of personal beliefs and inventions of his own imagination.

Stephen does not appear to care what is in the Papers we study here together. It is only his own inventions that interest him...clearly.


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 Post subject: Re: The Acts of Thomas
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All I have to say is summed up best by this reference:

(1641.4) 146:3.2 The apostles were a bit disconcerted by the open manner of Jesus’ assent to many of the Greek’s propositions, but Jesus afterward privately said to them: “My children, marvel not that I was tolerant of the Greek’s philosophy. True and genuine inward certainty does not in the least fear outward analysis, nor does truth resent honest criticism. You should never forget that intolerance is the mask covering up the entertainment of secret doubts as to the trueness of one’s belief. No man is at any time disturbed by his neighbor’s attitude when he has perfect confidence in the truth of that which he wholeheartedly believes. Courage is the confidence of thoroughgoing honesty about those things which one professes to believe. Sincere men are unafraid of the critical examination of their true convictions and noble ideals.”


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 Post subject: Re: The Acts of Thomas
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But Stephen does not offer analysis or criticism of the UB ...which would or could be appropriate here. No. Stephen completely misrepresents and distorts the UB in hopes of gaining an audience for himself and his fictional inventions of contradiction of the UB.

We are not gathered as an audience for anyone's personal beliefs and inventions kat...we are gathered for a very specific and agreed upon purpose....study of the UB and not that which contradicts it. Or so I understand.


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 Post subject: Re: The Acts of Thomas
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My interpretation is that this topic is about the differences between the "Abnerian kingdom of heaven" and "Pauline Christianity". I may be mistaken.


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 Post subject: Re: The Acts of Thomas
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Neither of those are about or from the UB. And the what if speculations defy and contradict the Papers. Irrelevant on one hand and contrary to the guidelines on the other....in addition to the contradictions to the Revelation presented.

Stephen has years and hundreds of posts demonstrating his love of and preference for his beliefs rather than read, discuss, or learn the contents of the UB.


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 Post subject: Re: The Acts of Thomas
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fanofVan wrote:
Neither of those are about or from the UB.


I found several references:

(1869.2) 171:1.6 Within a short time after the destruction of Jerusalem, Antioch became the headquarters of Pauline Christianity, while Philadelphia remained the center of the Abnerian kingdom of heaven. From Antioch the Pauline version of the teachings of Jesus and about Jesus spread to all the Western world; from Philadelphia the missionaries of the Abnerian version of the kingdom of heaven spread throughout Mesopotamia and Arabia until the later times when these uncompromising emissaries of the teachings of Jesus were overwhelmed by the sudden rise of Islam.

(2072.4) 195:1.11 The Eastern version of the message of Jesus, notwithstanding that it remained more true to his teachings, continued to follow the uncompromising attitude of Abner. It never progressed as did the Hellenized version and was eventually lost in the Islamic movement.

(1430.1) 130:2.3 While the eastern branch of the early Christian church, having its headquarters at Philadelphia, held more faithfully to the teachings of Jesus than did the Jerusalem brethren, it was regrettable that there was no one like Peter to go into China, or like Paul to enter India, where the spiritual soil was then so favorable for planting the seed of the new gospel of the kingdom. These very teachings of Jesus, as they were held by the Philadelphians, would have made just such an immediate and effective appeal to the minds of the spiritually hungry Asiatic peoples as did the preaching of Peter and Paul in the West.

(1831.7) 166:5.4 It was the apparent misfortune of Abner to be at variance with all of the leaders of the early Christian church. He fell out with Peter and James (Jesus’ brother) over questions of administration and the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem church; he parted company with Paul over differences of philosophy and theology. Abner was more Babylonian than Hellenic in his philosophy, and he stubbornly resisted all attempts of Paul to remake the teachings of Jesus so as to present less that was objectionable, first to the Jews, then to the Greco-Roman believers in the mysteries.


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 Post subject: Re: The Acts of Thomas
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I appreciate your own interest and frequent text references and sincere appreciation for the Papers kat.

Enjoy your exploration of the Acts of Thomas. Whoever that might be.

Namaste. :smile:


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