Ben H. Swett
(Extract from Stonehenge chatroom in Spirit Web Chat, 18 April 2000)

kemokae< Ben: I have a question for you. If indeed the bible says there are a "chosen" 144,000 people ... I take it "Jewish" ... does that mean any of the rest of the world have a "chance" at heaven, or do we just kind of "hang it up" for not qualifying?

dhroovananda< kemokae: The prophet Elijah was told that there were 10,000 faithful left in Israel.

Ben< kemokae: The 144,000 is from John's vision, called "Revelation" though it is the least revealing book in the Bible. That whole book is allegory, written in talk-around-code to get it past the Roman censors, so I take none of it literally.

kemokae< Ben: What's the word about the Gospels of St. Thomas? Ever hear of them?

Ben< kemokae: Yes, I have the Gospels of Thomas. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas is entirely fiction. The Saying Gospel of Thomas echoes some of the sayings of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels, and adds some that may or may not be original.

kemokae< Ben: Well, I found a whole web site in reference to the 114 sayings of Jesus in this text, and not one saying does it say, but everyone is talking about them. There are nearly 4,000 messages on "what" he said, and it's beyond me!!!!

solon< Isn't the Gospel of St. Thomas a Coptic and Gnostic writing?

Ben< kemokae: The 114 sayings are the Sayings Gospel of Thomas. As a collection, it has been dated to about 140-180 AD. // solon: It may be Coptic, since early fragments were found in Egypt. Some of the additional sayings sound rather Gnostic. The 114th saying is especially unlike anything else attributed to Jesus.

solon< Thank you, Ben. That time period in Egypt would certainly make it Coptic.

integrator< A very Gnostic Gospel, kemokae.

kemokae< Ben: What was the 114th saying?

Ben< kemokae: Jesus respected women, as almost no other man did in his day. However, the Gospel of Thomas says: 114 Simon Peter said to them, "Mary should leave us, for females are not worthy of life." Jesus said, "Look, I shall 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 heaven's kingdom." This isn't typical of Jesus, from everything else we read of him.

solon< Ben: I think the ancient Jews as a culture respected women in some sense. Debra was a Judge. I agree that saying seems not like Jesus who respected Mary Magdalene.

kemokae< Ben: You mean he was the first instigator of Women's rights ... in being like a man? Simon Peter probably said that because in those days the only thing a woman was for was reproducing and taking care of the house as a servant ... by that culture. Women now are more like men, in that this so-called "helpless, brainless thing" now can take care of herself as well as any man if given the opportunity. You know this "creates" more "respect" of women when it's done with equality.

Ben< kemokae: I don't believe that Peter or Jesus ever said those things. I believe that a Gnostic writer used their names to push his own doctrine. When I first read Saying 114, I thought: "So much for the Gospel of Thomas."

SheWhoFlies< Ben: The Bible and a lot of the teachings of Jesus degrade women -- and people like you believe it!! Where is the divinity in separateness??!!??

tuliptoot< Ohhhhhh, no, SheWhoFlies ... I would have to say there has been some mistake on intent with Ben's post ... um ... Ben has high respect/honor for women. (((huggg)))

LadyV< Women that are Jewish are so very feminine. I admire them very much.

solon< Kemokae: 1200 years before Jesus, Hetshepsut was Pharaoh of Egypt, arguably the most important figure of the ancient world, I am not saying what you say isn't true, just that it is a bit oversimplified.

SheWhoFlies< Solon: You are obviously a man. The ancient Jews DID NOT respect women -- just look at the Kabbalah!!

dhroovananda< SheWhoFlies: You misconstrue the Bible.

SheWhoFlies< dhroovananda: I do not, I only challenge it, and that is my right.

Ben< solon: Yes, I agree, the Jews have always respected women within the Law. Jesus also respected women outside the Law. Only he would have said to the most religious people of his day, "Prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God ahead of you."

dhroovananda< Ben: That is nowhere written.

Ben< dhroovananda: Yes, it is written. Did you think I made it up?

kemokae< Ben: One thing is for sure ... about the only thing you can count on is the specific little red words ... I think! ... *wink*

dhroovananda< Ben: I am not sure. You are not quoting correctly anyway. Try to find the passage, please.

kemokae< Ben: My experience with "JC" is that he "gives" whatever you have the thought of. It is very hard for me to explain this but he denies no one anything. So if that was what Thomas was thinking, he may of said it. The "beauty" of the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene was that he gave her something for "free" without expectation of a fee ... he gave pure "love" not sex. He gave her the ability to earn her way without being "used" ... as a woman.

samadhi< I am very bored here now. Any more sincere questions about Self Knowledge?

SheWhoFlies< Interesting that you cannot even debate that which you offer, Solon, Ben and Kemokae ... disappointed ... *grins and shrugs*

mini-me< SheWhoFlies: And do women respect men? I was talking about this with LadyV. There is a line from the kabbalah/zohar: "The soul ascends when the passion of the feminine falls for the masculine" ... thought it was quite beautiful. Seems pretty respectful to me. But perhaps there are other quotes not as nice ... but I wouldn't know cause LadyV is holding out with the book. *G*

samadhi< Good bye and good luck

dhroovananda< samadhi: Why don't you retire into your "eternal" Self?

samadhi< dhroovananda: I have, how about you?

dhroovananda< samadhi: I found "my" Self yet I found nothing that was not there before or after.

solon< SheWhoFlies: Please give one example of a teaching of Jesus that degrades women, and please do not quote Paul. The ancient Hebrews were the only culture who expected all their people, men and women, to be literate. As I said earlier, they were once led by a woman. If they assigned a different function to women, that is not necessarily degradation, especially when judged by the culture and times.

SheWhoFlies< I am not enjoying this conversation any more. It seems to me that there are a lot of people here trying to force their beliefs upon others, and not respecting points of view ... Time for me to go - Love to you all!!!

LadyV< What does sex have to do with it? Does it matter that Jesus Christ perhaps ... just perhaps ... had a private life? I have pondered this ... and sometimes I think if the great Lord ... and He is that ... was born of woman and worked as man ... did he not feel as man? Look at all the rascals he forgives for fooling around. He surely must understand them ... gee ... I don't know ... the more I live the more I wonder if Jesus Christ was man and Holy ... but then that is only my thoughts ... do not know.

RosePetal< I thought Jesus married Mary Magdalene ...

kemokae< RosePetal: The French claim their "kingship" from their so-called "union".

RosePetal< kemokae: Yes ... and the fleur~de~lis being a symbol of circumcision ... Le Mer ...

tuliptoot< *cringes* at the obvious slur ... geesh ...

dhroovananda< Many xians are wolves in sheep's clothing. Jesus Christ, save me from some of your followers!

Ben< dhroovananda: I don't usually quote scripture in here, but since you asked: Matt. 21:28 "What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, `Son, go and work in the vineyard today.' 29 And he answered, `I will not'; but afterward he repented and went. 30 And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, `I go, sir,' but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him.

dhroovananda< Thank you, Ben, that's the way I like it!

kemokae< Ben: John was the first "re-cycler" of his day ... even if it was man's soul. The Gods played good and evil upon man, but the Father played only "ever lasting life" for the good. The Father was the first to display only "love" toward his subjects also ... as a child/father relationship goes. The Father works with good vs evil ... and overcomes the evil.

[Ben< This much is stated about Mary of Magdala in the Gospels. Seven demons were cast out of her. She was one of the women who supported Jesus's ministry in Galilee and contributed financially to it. She went with Jesus and his disciples to Jerusalem, was present at his crucifixion, went to the tomb to anoint his corpse, reported to his disciples that the tomb was empty, told them the message of the angels, and then went back to the tomb. She was the first person to whom Jesus appeared after his resurrection. Everything else that is said about her and her relationship to Jesus is speculation (and slander) that first appeared about 140 AD -- when there were no living witnesses to say it was false.]

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