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Re: Thoughts of GosThom

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  • Stevan Davies
    Jeff Peterson wrote about chriae collections etc.. I wonder if he has consulted Kloppenborg s *The Formation of Q* the first long part of which seems to be
    Message 1 of 56 , Oct 1, 1998
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      Jeff Peterson wrote about chriae collections etc.. I wonder if he has
      consulted Kloppenborg's *The Formation of Q* the first long part of
      which seems to be very similar to his own thinking.

      But even if we label Thomas this way, and Q this way too, we are
      no further into answering whether these texts were dependent upon
      the Synoptics. If Q isn't (by definition) then there is no reason to
      declare that Thomas is for Q would be a chriae collection that
      derives from oral material without recourse to the synoptics.

      > {The incipit} commends an interpretation of the text as not a naive transcription of
      > words of Jesus current in oral tradition but the product of sophisticated
      > reflection on sayings of Jesus over which the author (and his community?)
      > had taken much trouble in study and meditation; the context of study itself
      > suggests that some, at least, of the author's sources were in writing.

      I don't think Thomas' first few lines can bear this weight. The idea
      of "study" in your sense is not found in those lines. If it is
      assumed, then the study in question is the study of Thomas itself,
      which would have been created in order to give the community
      something to study. The "product of sophisticated reflection" after
      "much trouble in study and meditation" is, I think, your own
      imagination at work. It would apply to Valentasis' recent book
      about Thomas, but I don't see what evidence there is that it applies
      to the text's community.

      P) These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke
      and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down.
      1) And He said, "Whoever finds the interpretation of these
      sayings will not experience death."

      This is all there is about that.

      I would think that much study and meditation and sophisticated
      reflection would inevitably be reflected in the sayings themselves...
      but they lack anything like sophisticated commentary. I find it
      easier to imagine the community mulling over these sayings orally
      and, eventually deciding to have Judas the Twin (their only literate
      member?) write them down.

      >the philosophic tradition includes sayings transmitted with and without
      >suggestive. In Thomas, commentary on the Jesus-lemmata is eschewed, but
      >that each saying has an interpretation is clear from the incipit: the words
      >of Jesus included here are "hidden," and whoever "finds their meaning" will
      >be spared from death, i.e., the implied reader is invited to supply a
      >commentary to the text.

      I suppose "supply a commentary to the text" is one way of thinking of
      "finds the interpretation of these sayings" but it is a very
      "scribal" or "literate-society" way of putting it. The point of
      Thomas is to provide an asceticism that will lead to personal
      transformation through self-discovery and kingdom-discovery. I'd not
      think that "supply a commentary" would be the way to put this.

      > If no satisfactory principle of arrangement has yet been identified, that is
      > an invitation to redouble our efforts to find the unstated meaning of these
      > hidden sayings that the author holds out as a possibility for the reader.
      > In this we may find the rationale for the presentation of the sayings in
      > the Thomasine order.

      Maybe it just ain't got no damn order.
      I think the attempt to discover Thomas' order has been pretty
      thorough. Dart, Davies, Dehanschutter(?) did this to nobody's
      satisfaction. Patterson's "catchword organization" lends itself to
      the explanation that the sayings derived from memory (Davies)
      or was designed to facilitate memory (Patterson) and so the
      "order" is not ideological at all.

      Steve
    • Michael T. MacDonell
      Dear Rene: I think it has a much simpler answer: Nobody cares what gender anybody is. Why should they? You pick the most likely, that s all. I cannot imagine
      Message 56 of 56 , Oct 22, 1998
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        Dear Rene:

        I think it has a much simpler answer: Nobody cares what gender anybody is.
        Why should they? You pick the most likely, that's all. I cannot imagine
        that the distinction, if known would alter any item in the ongoing
        conversation.

        Best Regards,
        Mike


        At 07:49 AM 10/22/98 -0700, you wrote:
        > This disembodied forum of cyberspace, where all is transmitted via
        >printed word, can lead to amusing curiosities such as myself
        >being referred to lately on Crosstalk as "she" and even most recently
        >"Renee" (contrary to the evidence!) when I am in fact quite happily
        >male... :) No apologies are in order by anyone except myself for not
        >putting "Mr." in front of the name.
        > It just goes to show how easy it is for all of us to go beyond the
        >documentary evidence!
        >
        > ------------------------
        >
        > I'll be posting more GTh-Synoptic parallel statistics in the next 24
        >hours...
        >
        >Regards,
        >
        >-Rene
        >
        >
        >Rene Salm
        >386 E. 29th Ave.
        >Eugene OR USA 97405
        >Tel: (541) 686-0296
        >e-mail: rsalm@...
        >
        ____________________________________
        Michael T. MacDonell, Ph.D.
        Doctoral Student in Biblical Studies
        Trinity College and Seminary
        ____________________________________
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