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Re: Doubting Thomas 1

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  • Stevan Davies
    ... We know by observation the character of Thomas sayings. We know by observation the character of Justin sayings. The hypothesis is advanced that Thomas
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 1998
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      > From: "Stephen C. Carlson"

      > At 06:25 6/30/98 -0400, Stevan Davies wrote:
      > >As for the Thomas question, I put it strongly that the very fact
      > >that YOU CAN TELL WHEN JUSTIN IS USING MT AND LK
      > >COMBINED and you know that's what he's doing and I don't deny
      > >it for a minute (but am curious as to the manner) is the reason
      > >why Justin's harmony (from memory, from text?) of two obvious
      > >known to us sources is NOT THE SAME THING as Thomas,
      > >where Tucket et al. have to struggle mightily to adduce instances
      > >that would testify to Thomas' doing so.
      > >
      > >Justin is the answer to the question "would it be obvious to us
      > >if an author combined Mt and Lk into various sayings?" Answer
      > >is yes. "Is this obvious in Thomas?" No.
      >
      > What we have here is a moving target. First we're told that no
      > one would "pick random words from the dialog sections of separate
      > narratives to create hybrid logia devoid of their original narrative
      > context." Well, let see, the example from Antonio and Sanders &
      > Davies shows us Justin, who picked words from Matt 10.28 and Luke
      > 12:4-5 from dialog sections of their respective narratives and
      > created a hybrid logia devoid of the original narrative context --
      > all without a Pentium 233!
      >
      > Now, the new target is that it is not "obvious" (whatever *that*
      > means!) that Thomas combined Mt and Lk. But this is begging the
      > question.

      We know by observation the character of Thomas sayings.

      We know by observation the character of Justin sayings.

      The hypothesis is advanced that Thomas sayings are mixtures of
      Mt and Lk on the level generally of single words within material
      that shows by vast preponderance no sign of Mt and Lk material.
      Even by those who think Thomas a mixture it is recognized that
      there are not very many indications of this.

      It is suggested that we look at Justin to see what material looks
      like which is a mixture of Mt and Lk. When we look at that material
      we see that it is not generally of single words within material
      that shows by vast preponderance no sign of Mt and Lk material.
      Rather, we recognize easily by the fact of very many indications that
      Justin drew from Mt and Lk... which is "obvious" by virtue of the
      fact that no one denies this and everyone affirms this.

      Accordingly, since we know what second century material that draws
      from Mt and Lk looks like, from the instance of Justin, we must
      conclude that since Thomas does not look like this, it is not drawn
      from Mt and Lk.

      So I can concede that it was done to take some from Mt and from
      Lk and come up with a hybrid. And I reiterate, that in doing so an
      author will either show impossible skill in redaction so as to
      disguise the origins of the hybrid to an almost perfect degree (a
      reductio ad absurdum) or the author will leave plentiful traces of
      the sources used. Justin proves that authors leave evident traces of
      the sources used.

      This will apply in either the case that Justin is using a written
      harmony (and so Thomas is not such a harmony) or if Justin is
      using personal or general secondary orality (i.e. Justin remembers
      or has heard the sayings in this form) and so Thomas is
      not an example of secondary orality.

      Or another way...

      a It is argued that Thomas came into being through process X.
      b It is denied that process X ever took place.
      c Justin shows that process X did take place.
      d Thus the denial is invalid.
      e Then the question will be did Thomas come into being through
      process X.
      f Justin shows what the outcome of process X looks like.
      g The outcome of process X does not look like Thomas.
      h. Therefore either c/d or a are false.

      It can be argued that while Justin is a particular case of process X
      Thomas is a radically different sort of process X.... which will,
      of course, be special pleading.

      Your argument seems to me to be as if one were to say that it
      is simply impossible to imagine catching salmon in Harvey's Lake
      because there are no fish there. But when it is shown that people catch
      sunfish there we are said therefore to be able to conclude that salmon are
      caught there.

      Steve
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