(Fwd) Re: Thomasine independence 1
- Forwarded message:
From: Self </S Davies>
Subject: Re: Thomasine independence 1
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 19:42:37
> From: "Mark Goodacre"Yes it is. The question is the old one of how much similarity allows
> Steve commented on Holding's arguments:
> > That the "genre" of the "sayings list" was somehow a
> > threat to the orthodox doesn't seem sound to me. But the simple
> > logic that lists preceded narratives has a lot going for it. It's
> > especially strong if you accept the Q theory (as Holding seems to)
> > so that you do have an example of a presynoptic sayings list. There
> > is no counterexample of a separate list drawn from the synoptics.
> Even if one accepts the Q theory, Q is not a sayings list. There is
> simply too much narrative sequence (especially from Q3 to
> Q7 where Luke is paralleling the non-Markan aspects of Matthew's
> narrative sequence) for it to be like Thomas in this respect. This
> is a problem that is not commonly perceived, but it is a problem that
> is not going to go away.
categorization? There never are easy answers. The NHC texts
Sentences of Sextus and Teachings of Silvanus seem the same,
but the one has short things and the other longer things. Two
genres? Proverbs contains texts of how many genres? One?
Fifteen? and so forth. Yet ALL of those texts lack ANY narrative
elements whatsoever. No little dialogues or "they showed him
a coin" or anything. What puts Thomas and Q into the same
category IS that they have narrative elements, not that the one
does and the other doesn't. So, if you like, they aren't sayings
collections but some slightly different thing called "sayings
collections with a little narrative." If you say "but Q has a little
more...." so what? Human thought works with generalizations
(e.g. words) and the fine cutting and slicing that concludes that
this text differs from that text and so by virtue of the fact that
they are not identical, they are not the same... this isn't useful.
As for the laws of sayings-transmissions I can't really argue
generalities with you. What's needed is a study of how Thomas
variants are and are not like other second century Patristic
variants. I don't think this has been done... but I hope to be
shown wrong. How Thomas is like Gnostic variants is a frequently
advanced thesis shown wrong by me frequently, if only by just
pointing to the original texts supposedly similar and saying "read
them, they haven't any commonalities at all."
Honestogod I don't think most who discuss the Gnosticism of
Thomas have ever read a Gnostic text in their lives.
How's the World Cup going in you Europeans' opinions? We had
a huge spate of anti-Iranian TV propaganda before that game to
the point where I, at least, rooted for the Iranians throughout.
Professor of Religious Studies
College Misericordia, Dallas, Pennsylvania, USA
The Gospel of Thomas Homepage