Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jesus' twin

Recent scholarship has emphasized the importance of the so-called gnostic Gospel of Thomas, which some regard as a fifth such text, on a par with the canonical set of four.

The gospel is ascribed to the apostle Thomas, one of the twelve. What in fact do we know of this this Thomas? His full name was Didymus Judas Thomas. That is to say, Judas was his proper name, while the additions Didymus and Thomas (Te’omas) are descriptive adjuncts. Both mean “twin,” one in Greek and the other in Aramaic. This disciple then was a twin of someone. But of whom?

The apocryphal Acts of Thomas, apparently written in Syria in the third century, is the source of the legend that this disciple became a missionary in India. The text also asserts that Thomas was the brother of Jesus. Likwise, this claim appears in one of the gnostic Nag Hammadi documents.

For a long time, Catholics and others, eager to defend their notion of the perpetual virginity of Mary, have claimed that Jesus’ brothers were not truly uterine siblings, born of the womb of Mary, but cousins perhaps, or children of Joseph by another mother.

The New Testament texts do not offer support for these speculations. Instead, they speak directly of Jesus’ having brothers (and sisters as well, though they are not named). The fullest list of brothers (not necessarily exhaustive) is given in Matthew 13:55, where four are mentioned: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. It is unlikely that the last is the disciple who betrayed Jesus, as he is never identified as Jesus’ brother. This person could be the Jude to whom an epistle is ascribed in the New Testament. Yet there is a real possibility that the last brother named in Matthew’s list is our Didymus Judas Thomas.

On this interpretation Jesus had a twin brother, also born of Mary. One child was divine, the other an ordinary human being. This seems bizarre, yet the situation is not without precedent--at least in classical mythology. One parallel concerns the supreme Greek hero Heracles (Hercules), who had a mortal twin named Iphicles. According to the story, Alcmene had conceived a child with her husband, Amphitryon. Then she attracted the amorous attentions of Zeus, who made love to her in human form--in the guise of her husband Amphitryon. As a result of these couplings two children grew in her womb, one the son of a mortal, the other the son of a god.

Let us review the facts as presented in the legend. First came the “normal” impregnation: male human to female human. Then there occurred the extraordinary fertilization of the woman with the sperm of a god. The result of the first act was the mortal Iphicles. Herakles, whose heroic stature approached but did not quite attain the status of a god, resulted from Alcmene’s second coupling.

In the case of Mary we would need to reverse the order. First she was impregnated by the Holy Spirit, while still a virgin. Not long thereafter, Joseph (or some other man) impregnated her with the child who was to become Didymus Judas Thomas, Jesus’ twin brother. As the Trinity could not become a quaternity, Thomas was denied divine status.

Recent scholarship has explored many fascinating bypaths of Early Christianity. To the best of my knowledge, though, Bart Ehrman (in his book “Lost Christianities”) is the only one to have discussed frankly this extraordinary possibility--that Jesus had a twin brother. However, he does not explore the implications further.

Did Thomas acquire special knowledge of divine truths while still in the womb? Was it uncomfortable for him, having to share the cramped space with a divine being? Did Thomas received any of the gifts of the magi? What was his status in Joseph’s carpentry shop? And so forth.

These questions may seem facetious--and they probably are. But the theological implications of this twinship are enormous. They literally boggle the mind.

15 Comments:

Blogger Shane said...

There seems to be evidence that Jesus was actually Julius Caesars and Cleopatra's son. After Julius Caesar died Cleopatra remarried to Mark Anthony and had 3 more children. 2 where twins (this is known fact). So Jesus after leaving from the age of 13 to 30 into the desert to escape being killed returned and met again with his brothers and sisters of which one was Thomas who was his brother and who was a twin.

5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edgar Cayce the Sleeping Prophet advises us that Jesus had 30 reincarnations to reach that PURE status of the CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS..or Son of God. In one lifetime in Persia Jesus was called ZEND and his father was UHJLTD (Edgar Cayce). Edgar knew him well and LOVED him so. Edgar advises that Jesus first appeared on Earth as AMILIUS or ADAM (Garden of Eden) and in the lifetime as Son of God..MARY was his TWIN SOUL. He was of Virgin Birth not fathered and MARY took 10 yrs before she gave birth to 3 children fathered by Joseph. James..Ruth and Jade are Jesus's siblings BUT NO TWINS are ever mentioned by EDGAR. Yet one author wrote a book about the TWIN of Jesus that was crucified on the cross. Jesus the Christ escaped.

3:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

facinating, just found your blog, will be back for more!

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An interesting theory - perhaps correct in part. However you don't understand the underlying "principles" of the time. Firstly Jesus' agenda was to claim the crown of the Jewish Kingdom. Of primary importances was the satisfaction of ritual. This included ceremonies that are misunderstood by modern scholars. The "raising of the dead" is one such ceremony.

Intrisically Jesus' older brother Saint James [the just] had greater linear claim to the "Messiah-Christ" kingship, but I find no evidence of his annointment by John the Baptist - who was the current hier until Herod beheaded him.

That is why Jesus' "baptism" was so crucial. For the larger part (in reference to Jesus' grander agenda) his teachings were "fluff". Indeed if his brother-in-law Lazarus [John] wrote the 4th gospel, it is an exercise of hermantic thought rather than a rebellion against the parasitic determination of society.

The whole concept of the "virgin Mary" was the result of Constantines' censoring of 'all known' appocryphal texts. Everything [that conflicted] was changed to meet with the ideologies of the Sol Invictus [cult], so Catholics are defacto Sun worshippers. Thus the Roman tradition of the super natural is instilled into all Christian doctrines. Successive Albigensian crusades have ensured none dare question the holy trinity. Arianism is dead, fostered only by the intellectual minority.

Regards
Steve Kirton
quick2learn.steve@y7mail.com

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ur theories are just as funnu as they sound. Sorry huys but u need to research more and to have solid prove rather speculations...

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Wilmalie said...

Hi, there is a book that covers this theme of the twin, it's an e-book and you can download it here: www.verdadologia.org

It is available in English, even though the site is in Spanish. Just click where it says e-book (that part actually is in English). It's called BreacheDeception.

6:36 PM  
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11:11 AM  
Anonymous Christ Didymus Thomas said...

Hello, I enjoyed reading your comments,Steve Kirton and Srikanto Borrmon deserves consideration?
Some demand proof and that's a reasonable request. The rising of the dead = Reincarnation. I was dead and am alive again. I was lost and am found.

Christ Didymus Thomas

7:53 AM  
Blogger Dyneslines said...

I have long questioned the status of the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Trinity. Maybe Didymus Thomas was actually the third. lol

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Christ Didymus Thomas said...

And llyneecThe first great speculation made by the many herein is that the bible is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The history of the bible demonstrates that to be a falsehood. Blame the Catholic church. Another misconception is the bible does not speak to the issue of reincarnation, therefore, that issue generally is ignored by the mainstream religions. Jesus told the earth plainly, as prophesied, that John the Baptist was the reincarnated soul of Elijah. John the Baptist was also the cousin of Jesus. Of course, Jesus, stated not everyone would receive his revelation. Most of the Prophets were astrologers. The prophet Micah said watch the stars, for the sign of the son, shall be in the heavens. “The sign of Bethlehem.” This prophecy tracks the beginning of the Gospel of Thomas. Once discovered He shall rule the all.”
Mic 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
In 1653, the German astronomer, Johannes Kepler, correctly identified the Star of Bethlehem as a triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Pieces. When the planets aligned they pointed to the place on earth where Jesus and I were born.
The same planetary alignment appeared at the birth of my reincarnation. I was born October 12, 1940, in Copperhill, Tennessee. That alignment is easy to verify. Moreover, these are events which God has ordained. Unfortunately, they also bring, as foretold, the promised, by God, end times. Look upon the earth.

Christ Didymus Thomas

7:38 AM  
Anonymous ron.c said...

when all is said and done all Religions are created by Man . Question all things spoken & written by by Holy Men for they are tales of mythology & Fiction with very little true fact to back them up !

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the Book of Thomas the Contender, part of the Nag Hammadi, it is said to be Jesus himself: "Now, since it has been said that you are my twin and true companion, examine yourself…"

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James is a variant of Jacob and Jacob is also known as Israel. I have herd claim that James and Jesus were twins and others that say they were the same person while some have stated that James the brother of Jesus was actually the husband of Mary Magdalene and that they had twins whom they also named Jesus and James. This may also be suggested in the shepherds of Acadia having direct parallels with Leonardo's virgin of the rocks paintings which seem to tell a story of the first and second James and Jesus. I believe James Is referred to as Grames.

3:22 AM  
Anonymous William Westbrook said...

I never took any of this literally. I always assumed that the writer through the Christ character was telling us that the reader is the spiritual twin of Christ literally the same and with equal power that wells up from your spirit within you. After all if you do as Christians say and ask for forgiveness but remain in a state of guilt which has happened even to me, then it proves God can forgive nothing, unless knowing that God lives within us, we forgive ourselves, which only we can do. Draw out what is within (God) to be saved. Or stuff the divine thinking it's somewhere else in time or space and not part of you, and be dead. It's all so simple. Yet people still talk about virgin births and resurrections and 2nd comings as if such things were possible for anyone other than yourself... Or in my case myself. Know yourself, is it not written in your law that I said you are Gods?

6:09 PM  
Blogger Moya Holland said...

thecCeltic Church was founded in Iteland by Jesus brother Ioses . Jesus ( real name Joshua ) was the first born of twins The twins are depicted on the birth page in the Book of Kells .Jesus was not considered a son of god till the fourth century Rather he was a healer and a rabbi .

6:05 PM  

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