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Thomas 62 (was: Re: The Thomas/Q Hypothesis)

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  • Mark Goodacre
    Mahlon wrote concerning every version of the hypothesis that Thom ... This may be in the nature of a footnote, but to talk of Thomas s glaring omission of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 1998
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      Mahlon wrote concerning "every version of the hypothesis that Thom
      is dependent on Matt & Luke":

      > (2) this hypothesis cannot explain why Thom generally does not
      > reproduce Markan material even though this is where Matt & Luke are
      > in greatest agreement. One cannot account for this simply by arguing
      > that Thom did not know Mark, since in a few places (like the parable
      > of the mustard seed) GThom is actually closer to Mark than to either
      > Matt or Luke. And even if one granted that Thom did not have a copy
      > of Mark handy, one would be hard pressed to explain why he omits
      > Markan passages that were taken over by Matt & Luke. A particularly
      > good example of this type of glaring omission is that difficult
      > logion in Mark 4:11f (//Luke 8:8//Matt 13:11,13)
      >
      > "To you has been given to know the secret of the KofG, but for those
      > outside everything is in parables, so that seeing they may see but
      > not perceive & hearing they may hear but not understand..."
      >
      > Now there's a logion that the author of GThom 1 should have found
      > right up his alley. IF the writer who began "These are the secret
      > sayings that the living Jesus spoke...Whoever discovers the
      > interpretation of these sayings will not taste death" had really
      > known Mark 4:11f or a synoptic parallel he probably would have made
      > it the very next saying in his work & issued an invitation to
      > readers like this: "Here's a real brain-twister, guys & gals. Let's
      > see what any of you can make of it! Solve it & you're guaranteed
      > immortality!"

      This may be in the nature of a footnote, but to talk of Thomas's
      "glaring omission" of Mark 4.11 and par. is surely a bit of an
      exaggeration:

      Thom. 62: "Jesus said, 'I disclose my mysteries to those [who
      are worthy] of [my] mysteries.'"

      In matters like this, I bow to the wisdom of the Jesus Seminar:

      "The disclosing of the 'mysteries' only to those who are worthy
      invites comparison with the saying in Mark 4.11 (and its
      parallels) about the mystery of God's kingdom being available to
      insiders . . ." (_Five Gospels_, p. 507).

      I am of course being cheeky because we go on to hear that "these
      sayings have little in common beyond these general ideas" (p. 508).
      But the parallel is also noted by (among others) Koester, _Ancient
      Christian Gospels_, p. 101 and Davies, "Mark's Use of the Gospel of
      Thomas" (about halfway down).

      But it does raise the question: would Thomas have featured a closer
      parallel to the specific wording of Mark 4.11 and par. had he known
      it? Well, we never hear the word "parable" in Thomas so we might
      not be surprised not to see it here either (contrast Matt./Mk/Lk:
      17/13/18), nor will we necessarily expect to see Mark's narrative
      setting reflected ("to you . . . to those outside"). Further, we
      will not expect "mysteries of the kingdom" will we, in the light of
      the prologue and Thom. 1?

      I am not saying that Thom. 62 is his version of Mark 4.11 //. It may
      be; it may not be (and, incidentally, the plural "mysteries" would
      incline us to see agreement not with Mark but with the
      minor agreement between Matthew and Luke against Mark). Rather,
      I am attempting to note that the argument for Thomasine independence
      on the basis of Thomas's "glaring omission" of Mark 4.11 // does not
      seem strong.

      All the best

      Mark
      --------------------------------------
      Dr Mark Goodacre M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology, University of Birmingham

      Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
      World Without Q: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/q
      (Please note new address)
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