Friday, January 5, 2024

Saying 114


Simon Peter said to them, ‘Mary should leave us because women are not worthy of life.’

Jesus said, ‘Look. I myself will guide her, to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit, like you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of the sky.’


Although Paul seems to have been relatively progressive in regards to his acceptance of women leaders within the Christian movement (cf. 1 Cor 16.19; Rom 16.1, 3, 7, 12), some of his followers were not. They forged interpolations and letters in his name, asserting the second-class nature of women (e.g. 1 Cor 14.34–35; 1 Tim 2.8–15; 5.9–16). The Christians who produced the final additions in Thomas were more severely misogynistic. Because they believed salvation comprised the restoration of Adam’s pre-sin state—non-binary, celibate, and unmarried, but nevertheless male—some came to believe that women would not be saved at all. In response, some Christians believed that women could indeed be saved, but only by being remade as men.


Philo of Alexandria

Questions on Genesis 2.49 But with respect to the inner meaning of this fact, we must say this: that, when the mind is about to wash off and purify its sins, then it is fit for male to live with male (that is to say, for the intellect, the chief part of a man, to be like a father—united to each separate thought—like a father with his sons), without any company from the female race. This is in accordance with the outward sense, since it is a time of battle, in which it is necessary to keep the order of the cohort distinct, and to preserve it strictly in order, that the soldiers may not be mixed in confusion, and so, instead of gaining a victory over the enemy, be conquered themselves. But when the purification is completed, and when the soul is dried up from all ignorance, and when a complete rescue from everything harmful has taken place, then it is proper for the man to collect his scattered forces together. Not in order that masculine thoughts may be rendered effeminate by softness, but that the female race (that is to say, the outward senses) may clothe themselves with the strength of the male, reaching to masculine thoughts.

Clement of Alexandria

Excerpts of Theodotus 79 So long, then, they say, as the seed is yet unformed, it is the offspring of the female, but when it was formed, it was changed to a man and becomes a son of the bridegroom. It is no longer weak and subject to the cosmic forces, both visible and invisible, but having been made masculine, it becomes a male fruit.

Acts of Paul

40 But Thecla yearned after Paul and searched for him, asking around in all places. And she was told that he was at Myra. And she took young men and women, and clothed herself, sewing her tunic into a cloak like a man’s. And she traveled to Myra and found Paul speaking the word of God, and went to him. But he when he saw her and the people that were with her was amazed, thinking to himself, ‘Has some other temptation come on her?’ But she noticed this, and said to him, ‘I have received the baptism, Paul, for he that has worked alongside you for the good news has also worked in me for baptism.’

Acts of Perpetua and Felicity

10 The day before we fought, I saw in a vision that Pomponius the servant had come here, to the door of the prison, and knocked hard on it. And I went and opened it for him. He was clothed in a white robe, untied, with oddly-made shoes. And he said to me, ‘Perpetua, we are waiting for you. Come.’ And he took my hand, and we went through rugged and winding places. At last, short of breath, we came to the amphitheater, and he led me into the middle of the arena. And he said to me, ‘Do not be afraid. I am here with you, and I work alongside you.’ And he went away. And I saw many people watching closely. And because I knew that I was condemned to the wild animals, I was surprised the animals were not sent against me. But there came out against me a certain ill-favored Egyptian, with his assistants, to fight with me. Also there came to me comely young men, my helpers and assistants. And I was stripped naked, and I became a man.

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