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As I have said earlier, the use of repetitive formulae is one of the main rhetorical devices in
Thomas. However, unlike sayings 8, 21, 24, 63, 65, and 96 with their unified formula (“whoever has
ears should hear!”), these two sayings are terminologically different. Unlike the expression Ŀʼnġേ
ĿʼnőŇ, the word ĹĿĻġōĿŅ has something to do with uniqueness and loneliness. Yet the two words are
inserted in the same formula in order to echo or mirror each other, which makes it plausible that,
among other things, the term μοναχός in Thomas is supposed to mean “he who is one.” That the word
could have had such a meaning is confirmed by the fact that the verb μοναχόω meant “to make one”
in Aquila’s translation of Ps 85/86:11.479
7.3. Conclusions
In this chapter, I have dealt with two important Thomasine expressions, ĿʼnġേĿʼnőŇ (sayings 4,
11, 22, 23, and 106), and ĹĿĻġōĿŅ (sayings 16, 49, and 75). My conviction is that both terms express
the Platonist idea of oneness as perfection.
In section 7.1, I discussed the background of the expression Ŀʼnġേ ĿʼnőŇ. My first objective
(section 7.1.1) was to revisit the widespread interpretation of the sayings about becoming ĿʼnġേĿʼnőŇ
that was once proposed by Klijn. According to Klijn, the theology of Thomas presupposes a Jewish
myth about Adam, who was originally an androgyne but was later divided into two parts. The
fundamental feature of the myth Thomas knew of was the idea of Adam’s initial oneness. According
to Klijn, the only Jewish author that shares this tradition with Thomas is Philo. As I tried to point out,
Klijn’s hypothesis is hardly compelling, since Philo does not seem to adhere to said myth. As for
Thomas, a few Thomasine sayings might allude to this myth, but the Thomasine motif of becoming
one can hardly be explained away by it.
My second objective (section 7.1.2) was to demonstrate that becoming ĿʼnġേĿʼnőŇ in Thomas
should not be identified with becoming asexual. The most important saying in this regard is Thomas
22. As scholars of Thomas have recently realized, the Coptic of the saying is quite difficult. I find the
understanding of the text of the saying I have proposed in this chapter the most economical one.
According to my interpretation, to become neither male nor female is one of many transformations
required for becoming one.
My third objective (section 7.1.3) was to show that the sayings about becoming Ŀʼnġേ ĿʼnőŇ
should be studied against the background of Platonist metaphysics. Various Platonist authors,
including Philo and Clement, understood human perfection as oneness. Although the texts disagree
in details, and Thomas is no exception, the fundamental sentiment underlying these speculations is
the same.
In section 7.2, I discussed the meaning of the Thomasine term ĹĿĻġōĿŅ. I started with calling
into question the hypothesis of the same Syriac or Aramaic expression underlying Ŀʼnġേ ĿʼnőŇ and
ĹĿĻġōĿŅ. Indeed, it is quite clear that the concepts ĿʼnġേĿʼnőŇ and ĹĿĻġōĿŅ are not entirely identical.
479
Having established that the Thomasine term μοναχός presupposes the notion of oneness as perfection, we may take a
closer look at Thomas 16:2, where Jesus says that he brought “divisions,” ƙͩŁőŃƛ, into this world. Going through these
“divisions” is a prerequisite of becoming a μοναχός. Thus, just like saying 75, saying 16 presents the reader with a paradox:
according to saying 75, the bridal chamber is for the celibates; according to saying 16, division brings unity.
112
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