10498Re: [XTalk] Excavating GThomas
- Jul 7 6:35 PMI propose the hypothesis that there are two written
sources for GTh. The first solely consists of
free-standing sayings of
Jesus: making it of the same genre as the Nag Hammadi
text, The Sentences of
Sextus. The other consists of dialogues between Jesus
and others: making it
of the same genre as the Nag Hammadi texts, The
Apocryphon of James and The
Dialogue of the Savior.
I further propose that this is what comes from the
sayings document: Introduction,
1-5, 7-11, 15-17. 19, 23, 25-36, 38-42, 44-50, 54-59,
61a, 62-71, 73-78,
80-90, 92-98, 101-103, and 105-112; and that this is
what comes from the
dialogue document: 6, 12-14, 18, 20-22, 24, 37, 43,
51-53, 60, 61b, 72, 79,
91, 99-100, 104, and 113-114.
In "The Rhetoric of Marginality: Apocalypticism,
Gnosticism, and Sayings Gospels" (Harvard Theological
Review, 88:4, 1995), Bill Arnal postulates the
existence of two stratum in GTh. The earlier (see p.
478) is "the sapiential stratum" and it includes GTh
5. 6. 9. 14. 16. 20. 26. 31, 32, 34-36, 42, 45, 47,
54, 55, 57, 63-65, 71, 74, 76, 89, 95-98, 107, 109,
and 110. The later (see p.479) is "the
gnostic-leaning stratum" and it includes Gth 11, 13,
15, 18, 21-22, 27-28, 49-50, 51, 60, 61, 83, 84, 101,
105, 108, 11, and 114. This is thirty-three logia for
the sapiential stratum and twenty logia for the
gnostic-leaning stratum--a ratio of 3.3/2.
There is a marked difference in the ratios between
the postulated sayings document (to be referred to as
the Thomas Saying Document or TSD) and the postulated
dialogue document (to be referred to as the Thomas
Dialogue Document or TDD).
In the postulated TSD, there are thirty logia which
the postulated sapiential stratum (3, 5, 9, 16, 26,
31-32, 34-36, 42, 45,
47, 54-55, 57, 63-65, 71, 74, 76, 86, 89, 95-98, 107,
and 109-110) and
twelve logia which come from the postulated
gnostic-leaning stratum (11, 15,
27-28, 49-50, 83-84, 101, 105, 108, and 111). This is
a ratio of 3/1.2.
In the postulated TDD, there are three logia which
the postulated sapiential stratum (6, 14, and 20) and
eight logia which come
from the postulated gnostic-leaning stratum (13, 18,
21-22, 51, 60, 61b, and
114). This is a ratio of 3/8.
The two ratios are radically different: with (1) the
document have almost three times as many logia in the
stratum as in the postulated gnostic-leaning stratum,
but with (2) the
postulated dialogue document having almost three times
as many logia in the
postulated gnostic-leaning stratum as in the
postulated sapiential stratum.
These radically different ratios lend support to the
hypothesis that there
are two written sources for GTh: a sayings document
(TSD) and a dialogue
Also, since the postulated TSD has a much higher
material from the postulated earlier sapiential
stratum than does the
postulated TDD, this evidence is consistent with the
hypothesis that the postulated TSD was written earlier
the postulated TDD.
Next, I propose the hypothesis that the postulated
TSD, which might be the earliest written source for
GTh, is divisible into two layers: an early layer and
a later layer. Further, the later layer was added to
the original document by block insertion of material,
so that the TSD consists of alternating blocks
of early and late material.
The hypothesised early version of the TSD, consisting
solely of the postulated early layer, will be referred
to as the Early Thomas Saying Document or ETSD.
For detecting possible blocks of early and late
material in the postulated
TSD, two methods of detection are used.
The first regards sayings from Arnal's postulated
sapiential layer of
tradition (to be referred to as S sayings) and sayings
from his postulated
gnostic-leaning layer of tradition (to be referred to
as G sayings).
It will be assumed that S sayings will tend to be
found in the early layer
blocks, while G sayings will tend to be found in the
late layer blocks.
The second regards the Jesus Seminar's grading of the
sayings in GTh as
recorded in their The Five Gospels.
It will be assumed that sayings they designate as
wholly black (to be
referred to as B sayings) will tend to be found in the
late layer blocks,
while sayings they designate wholly or in part either
pink or red (to be
referred to as P sayings) will tend to be found in the
early layer blocks.
When the postulated TSD is analyzed this way, it can
into postulated early and late blocks of material as
1. A late block of material: The Introduction and
saying 1. One B saying
(1) and no S, G, or P sayings..
2. An early block of material: Sayings 2-10. One B
saying (7) and four P
sayings (126.96.36.199), three S sayings (3.5.9) and no G
3. A late block of material: Sayings 11-30. One P
sayings (26), ten B
sayings (188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.29.30), two S sayings
(16 and 26), and four
G sayings (11,15.27.28).
4. An early block of material: Sayings 31-48. Nine P
(31,32,33,35,36,39,41,45,47), two B sayings (38, 44),
seven S sayings
(31,32,220.127.116.11,47), and no G sayings.
5. A late block of material: Sayings 49-59. One P
saying (54), five B
sayings (49,50,56,58,59), three S sayings (54,55,57),
and two G sayings
6. An early block of material: Sayings 61-65. Four P
no B sayings, three S sayings (63,64,65), and no G
7. A late block of material: Sayings 66-88. Four P
sayings (69,76,78,86), 14
B sayings (66,67,70,71,73,74,75,77,80,83,84,85,87,88),
four S sayings
(71,74,76,86), and two G sayings (83,84).
8. An early block of material: Sayings 89-98. Seven P
(89,92,94,95,96,97,98), one B saying (90), five S
and no G sayings.
9. A late block of material: Sayings 101-112. One P
saying (109), seven B
sayings (101,102,105,108,110,111,112), and four G
The net tallies for the postulated early blocks of
material are: 24 P
sayings, four B sayings, 18 S sayings, and no G
The net tallies for the postulated late blocks of
material are: 7 P sayings,
37 B sayings, 12 S sayings, and 12 G sayings.
In any event, here is the text of the hypothesised
Early Thomas Saying
Document (ETSD), consisting of the postulated early
layer of the postulated
TSD--which hypothesised ETSD is my current best guess
as to what constitutes
the earliest material in GTh:
2. Jesus said, "Let him who seeks continue seeking
until he finds. When he
finds he will become troubled. When he becomes
troubled, he will be
astonished, and he will rule over the All."
3. Jesus said, "If those who lead you say to you,
'See, the Kingdom is in
the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you.
If they say to you,
'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you.
Rather the Kingdom is
inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you
come to know yourselves,
then you will become known, and you will realize that
is is you who are the
sons of the living Father. But if you will not know
yourselves, you dwell
in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."
4.Jesus said, "The man old in days will not hesitate
to ask a small child
seven days old about the place of life, and he will
live. For many who are
first will become last, and they will become one and
5.Jesus said, "Recognize what is in your sight, and
that which is hidden
from you will become plain to you. For there is
nothing hidden which will
not become manifest."
7.Jesus said, "Blessed is the lion which becomes man
when consumed by man;
and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, and the
lion becomes man."
8. And he said, "The man is like a wise fisherman who
cast his net into the
sea and drew it up from the sea full of small fish.
Among them the wise
fisherman found a fine large fish. He threw all the
small fish back into the
sea and chose the large fish without difficulty.
Whoever has ears to hear,
let him hear."
9. Jesus said, "Now the sower went out, took a handful
(of seeds), and
scattered them. Some fell on the road; the birds came
and gathered them up.
Others fell on rock, did not take root in the soil,
and did not produce
ears. And others fell on thorns; they choked the
seed(s) and worms ate
them. And others fell on the good soil and produced
good fruit: it bore
sixty per measure and a hundred and twenty per
10. Jesus said, "I have cast fire upon the world, and
see, I am guarding it
until it blazes."
31. Jesus said, "No prophet is accepted in his own
village; no physician
heals those who know him."
32. Jesus said, "A city built on a high mountain and
fortified cannot fall,
nor can it be hidden."
33. Jesus said, "Preach from your housetops that which
you hear hear in your
ear (and) in the other ear. For no one lights a lamp
and puts it under a
bushel, nor does he put it in a hidden place, but
rather he sets it on a
lampstand so that everyone who enters and leaves will
see its light."
34. Jesus said, "If a blind man leads a blind man,
they will both fall into
35. Jesus said, "It is not possible for anyone to
enter the house of a
strong man and take it by force unless he binds his
hands; then he will (be)
able to ransack his house."
36. Jesus said, "Do not be concerned from morning
until evening and from
evening until morning about what you will wear."
38.Jesus said, "Many times have you desired to hear
these words which I am
saying to you, and you have no one else to hear them
from. There will be
days when you will look for Me and will not find Me."
39. Jesus said, "The Pharisees and the scribes have
taken the keys of
Knowledge and hidden them. They themselves have not
entered, nor have they
allowed to enter those who wish to. You, however, be
as wise as serpents
and as innocent as doves."
40. Jesus said, "A grapevine has been planted outside
of the Father, but
being unsound, it will be pulled up by its roots and
41. Jesus said, "Whoever has something in his hand
will receive more, and
whoever has nothing will be dprived of even the little
42. Jesus said, "Become passers-by."
44.Jesus said, "Whoever blasphemes against the Father
will be forgiven, and
whoever blasphemes against the Son will be forgiven,
but whoever blasphemes
against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven either on
earth or in heaven."
45. Jesus said, "Grapes are not harvested from thorns,
nor are figs gathered
from thistles, for they do not produce fruit. A good
man brings forth good
from his storehouse; and evil man brings forth evil
things from his evil
storehouse, which is in his heart, and says evil
things. For out of the
abundance of the heart he brings forth evil things."
46. Jesus said, "Among those born of women, from Adam
until John the
Baptist, there is no one so superior to John the
Baptist that his eyes
should not be lowered (before) him. Yet I have said,
whichever one of you
comes to be a child, will be acquainted with the
Kingdom and will become
superior to John."
47. Jesus said, "It is impossible for a man to mount
two horses or to
stretch two bows. And it is impossible for a servant
to serve two masters;
otherwise he will honor the one and treat the other
contemptuously. No man
drinks old wine and immediately desires to drink new
wine. And new wine is
not put into old wineskins, lest they burst; nor is
old wine put into a new
wineskin, let it spoil it. An old patch is not sewn
into a new garment,
because a tear would result."
48. Jesus said, "If two make peace with each other in
this one house, they
will say to the mountain, 'Move away,' and it will
61a. Jesus said, "Two will rest on a bed: the one will
die and the other
62.Jesus said, "It is those [who are worthy of My]
mysteries that I tell my
mysteries. Do not let your left hand know what your
right hand is doing."
63. Jesus said, "There was a rich man who had much
money. He said, "I shall
put my money to use so that I may sow, reap, plant,
and fill my storehouse
with produce, with the result that I shall lack
nothing.' Such were his
intentions, but that same night he died. Let him who
has ears hear."
64. Jesus said, "A man had received visitors. And
when he had prepared the
dinner, he sent his servant to invite the guests. He
went to the first one
and said to him, 'My master invites you.' He said, 'I
have claims against
some merchants. They are coming to me this evening.
I must go and give
them my orders. I ask to be excused from the dinner.'
He went to another
and said to him, 'My master has invited you.' He said
to him, 'My friend is
going to get married, and I am to prepare the banquet.
I shall not be able
to come. I ask to be excused from the dinner.' He
went to another and said
to him, 'My master invites you.' He said to him, 'I
have just bought a
farm, and I am on my way to collect the rent. I shall
not be able to come.
I ask to be excused.' The servant returned and said
to his master, 'Those
whom you invited to the dinner have asked to be
excused.' The master said to
his servant, 'Go outside to the streets and bring back
those whom you happen
to meet, so that they may dine.' Businessmen and
merchants will not enter
the Places of My Father.'"
65. He said, "There was a good man who owned a
vineyard. He leased it to
tenant farmers so that they might work it and he might
collect the produce
from them. He sent his servant so that the tenants
might give him the
produce of the vineyard. They seized his servant and
beat him, all but
killing him. The servant went back and told his
master. The master said,
'Perhaps <they> did not recognize <him>.' He sent
another servant. The
tenants beat this one as well. Then the owner sent
his son and said,
'Perhaps they will show respect to my son.' Because
the tenants knew that
it was he who was the heir to the vineyard, they
seized him and killed him.
Let him who has ears hear."
89. Jesus said, "Why do you wash the outside of the
cup? Do you not realize
that he who made the inside is the same one who made
90. Jesus said, "Come unto me, for My yoke is easy and
My lordship is mild,
and you will find repose for yourselves."
92.Jesus said, "Seek and you will find. Yet, what you
asked Me about in
former times and which I did not tell you then, now I
do desire to tell, but
you do not inquire after it. 93. Do not give what is
holy to dogs, lest
they throw them on the dung-heap. Do not throw the
pearls to swine, lest
they grind it [to bits]."
94. Jesus [said], "He who seeks will find, and [he who
knocks] will be let
95. [Jesus said,], "If you have money, do not lend it
at interest, but give
[it] to one from whom you will not get it back."
96. Jesus [said], "The Kingdom of the Father is like a
certain woman. She
took a little leaven, [concealed] it in some dough,
and made it into large
loaves. Let him who has ears hear."
97. Jesus said, "The kingdom of the [Father] is like a
certain woman who was
carrying a jar full of meal. While she was walking
[on] a road, still some
distance from home, the handle of the jar broke and
the meal emptied out
behind her on the road. She did not ralize it; she
had noticed no accident.
When she reached her house, she set the jar down and
found it empty,"
98. Jesus said, "The Kingdom of the Father is like a
certain man who wanted
to kill a powerful man. In his own house he drew his
sword and stuck it
into the wall in order to find out whether his hand
could carry through.
Then he slew the powerful man."
1809 N. English Apt. 17
Maplewood, MN USA 55109
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