Monday, January 1, 2024

Saying 7


Jesus said, ‘The lion which the man eats is favored, and the lion becomes a man. And the man whom the lion eats is cursed, and the man becomes a lion.’


Saying 7 is widely recognized as one of the more difficult to interpret. Some think it alludes to the resurrection, and the divide between redeemable humanity and irredeemable animal life. A human body becomes part of an animal if it is eaten by that animal and so will not be included in the resurrection, and vice versa. However, Saying 7 has no applicable message for its readers under this interpretation. They would simply have to hope their body is not eaten by an animal. It has instead become common to interpret the text far less literally. The ‘lion’ represents a person’s irrational, instinctive desires. If a person subjugates such desires to their rational, enlightened self, they will have divine favor. This places Saying 7 at a much later stage in the community’s development, after they had shifted away from apocalyptic thinking to sapiential self-reflection and self-restraint.



1.4 Abstain from carnal passions.


8–10 Yet in the same way these dreamers also defile the flesh, reject authority, and slander the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael contended with the devil and disputed about the body of Moses, he did not dare to bring a judgment of slander against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’ But these people slander whatever they do not understand, and they are destroyed by those things that, like irrational animals, they know by instinct.

2 Peter

2.10–13 Especially those who indulge their flesh in depraved lust,and who despise authority. Bold and willful, they are notafraid to slander the glorious ones, whereas angels,though greater in might and power, do not bring againstthem a slanderous judgment from the Lord. These people,however, are like irrational animals, mere creatures ofinstinct, born to be caught and killed. They slander whatthey do not understand, and when those creatures aredestroyed, they also will be destroyed, suffering thepenalty for doing wrong.

Manichaean Psalms

257 This lion that is within me, I have strangled him. I have turned him out of my soul, him who ever defiles me.

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