Gospel of Thomas - Chapter 002
Some rules for sensus plenior
(I use the term 'shadow' based on Heb 10:1 and others)
- Since God has said that not a jot or tittle will pass away (Mt 5:18), until one knows why each jot and tittle is there, a complete understanding has not been derived. (This keeps us humble). See Small_stuff_matters.
- Since man shall live “..by every word” (De 8:3, Mt 4:4, Lu 4:4), a doctrine is not sound until it sums up and includes all that God has said about it. (This keeps us searching). See Every word matters
- Since every word concerning life and death must be established by two or three witnesses (De 17:6, De 19:15, Mt 18:16, 2Co 13:1, 1Ti 5:19, Heb 10:28), every shadow must have at least two supporting scripture witnesses. This means we cannot define a shadow (metaphor) with a single verse. (This keeps us rigorous in methodology). See Corroboration matters
- Since God’s word is established forever (Ps 119:89, 1Pe 1:25, Is 40:8) , a shadow means the same thing everywhere is it used. So, since a donkey is a shadow of a prophet, everywhere there is a donkey, it is a shadow of a prophet. This rule alone makes the shadows humanly impossible to fabricate as it requires the interlocking of a double entendre found in all the scriptures. (This keeps us in awe). See Validation matters
- The riddle of Samson (Jud 14) tells us Christ is the answer to all the riddles. If the shadow doesn’t look like Christ, it isn’t a good shadow. (This keeps us focused). See Christ matters
- And since we are to "let God be true, but every man a liar”, outside references are not required to solve the riddles and see the shadows. (This keeps us devoted). See Purity of the word matters
These rules constrain any proposed hidden meaning so severely, that it makes the discernment of the solution to the riddles of sensus plenior verifiable, and self-correcting.
An example is that of 'leaven'. Some say that leaven represents sin, but since Jesus said that the Kingdom of God was like leaven (Mt 13:33) it just doesn't work. But the disciples understood it to represent 'teaching' (Mt 16:12) which works everywhere that leaven is used in scripture, and then sheds light on the nature of the kingdom of heaven. (It is teaching). It is in that context that I first read GOT.