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Re: Paul and Jesus' teaching

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  • sdavies0
    Have you all noticed how the word teaching gets used in so many radically different ways here? A sentence about Paul conveying teaching implies, for some,
    Message 1 of 10 , Jul 2, 2002
      Have you all noticed how the word "teaching" gets used in so many
      radically different ways here? A sentence about Paul
      conveying "teaching" implies, for some, that he promulgates some
      sort of message-of-Jesus from the mouth of the Nazarene, for others
      it means that he "teaches" his own gospel which he got from A)God or
      B)Xians he persecuted. For others it means that Paul's teachings
      themselves became normative in some or many churches and were later
      incorporated into the teachings attributed to Jesus. I won't demand
      that everybody henceforth define their terms, but I hope that
      everybody will be a little more aware that claims
      regarding "teaching" vis a vis Paul or Jesus can mean a whole
      variety of things and if one wishes to communicate, i.e. teach (
      pace Bob S ), one should be somewhat careful to explain what one is
      talking about.

      Steve Davies
    • Bob Schacht
      ... Not guilty! :-) Or, what was the charge? In fact, one of the burdens under which attempts to understand Jesus teaching has labored is the lack of clarity
      Message 2 of 10 , Jul 2, 2002
        At 12:31 AM 7/3/2002 +0000, sdavies0 wrote:
        >Have you all noticed how the word "teaching" gets used in so many
        >radically different ways here? A sentence about Paul
        >conveying "teaching" implies, for some, that he promulgates some
        >sort of message-of-Jesus from the mouth of the Nazarene, for others
        >it means that he "teaches" his own gospel which he got from A)God or
        >B)Xians he persecuted. For others it means that Paul's teachings
        >themselves became normative in some or many churches and were later
        >incorporated into the teachings attributed to Jesus. I won't demand
        >that everybody henceforth define their terms, but I hope that
        >everybody will be a little more aware that claims
        >regarding "teaching" vis a vis Paul or Jesus can mean a whole
        >variety of things and if one wishes to communicate, i.e. teach ( pace Bob
        >S ),
        >one should be somewhat careful to explain what one is
        >talking about.
        >
        >Steve Davies

        Not guilty! :-)
        Or, what was the charge?
        In fact, one of the burdens under which attempts to understand Jesus'
        teaching has labored is the lack of clarity about the difference between
        Jesus' teachings, whatever they might have been, and his sayings in
        general. This stems, I think, from a Docetic view of Jesus, in which, as
        One who was One with God, Jesus was viewed as Omniscient, so that even if
        he said, "please pass the Ketchup" at dinner, one would assume that he was
        teaching something (please excuse the blatant anachronism). In my view,
        this is not helpful.

        I think it is more helpful to ask questions such as the following:
        * Did Jesus' contemporaries (i.e., people who, as adults, knew
        him) regard him as a teacher?
        * If so, what did it mean to them?
        * Did Jesus' contemporaries regard him as having a didache (teaching or
        doctrine?) If so, what did they think it was?
        * What were other people described as didaskolos and rabbi doing in
        Roman Judea and Galilee, and how did they do it, during Jesus' day? (this
        might cast light on the second bullet above.)
        We must also avoid rampant anachronism and ethnocentrism. To most people
        today, "teaching" means something done by a "teacher" in a "classroom." We
        are helped by that classroom thing, so that when Professor McCorkle is
        holding forth in the evening at the Boar's Head Tavern, we don't call that
        "teaching." Nor do we think he is teaching when we meet him by chance in
        the Grocery store and chat for a moment. But when he steps in front of the
        podium at 223 Schweitzer Hall at 9 AM in the John Dominic Crossan School of
        Religious Studies in the room scheduled for Religious Studies 353, you had
        better be ready to take notes, because you are about to be Taught. Even
        more, you had better have his textbook on the subject, in case you take bad
        lecture notes. I do not find it helpul to require that Jesus' teaching be
        held to this kind of standard.

        There will naturally be some difficulty here with Jesus, because he did not
        have a "classroom," there was not a class number or syllabus, and he was
        not a Member of the Faculty. Consequently conservative Christian circles,
        in trying to make sense of the fact that in all of the gospels he is
        addressed as "teacher," that Jesus WAS the Faculty (all of it, except maybe
        also J the B), and the classroom was anywhere he was. I don't find this
        approach very helpful, either.

        So, besides looking for the Authentic Sayings of Jesus, I want to know
        which of those sayings were regarded as teaching, and which were of the
        "Please pass the grits" stuff of daily non-teaching life.

        Furthermore, I want to know about forms of teaching as well as content, and
        other clues to when Jesus was in "teaching" mode, and when he wasn't.

        And I also want to know whether he also taught by deed as well as by word,
        and how that was recognized and understood.

        Your humble student,
        Bob
        Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
        Northern Arizona University
        Flagstaff, AZ

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • sdavies0
        ... Jesus ... between ... in ... which, as ... even if ... that he was ... view, ... I have tried to make the same point myself. If we take the turn the
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 3, 2002
          --- In crosstalk2@y..., Bob Schacht <bobschacht@i...> wrote:

          > In fact, one of the burdens under which attempts to understand
          Jesus'
          > teaching has labored is the lack of clarity about the difference
          between
          > Jesus' teachings, whatever they might have been, and his sayings
          in
          > general. This stems, I think, from a Docetic view of Jesus, in
          which, as
          > One who was One with God, Jesus was viewed as Omniscient, so that
          even if
          > he said, "please pass the Ketchup" at dinner, one would assume
          that he was
          > teaching something (please excuse the blatant anachronism). In my
          view,
          > this is not helpful.

          I have tried to make the same point myself. If we take the "turn the
          other cheek" saying, as our text, then it may have been said at some
          particular point for some reason altogether lost. Or it may have
          been said to a particular sort of audience with a general
          application for members of that audience, e.g. destitute itinerants.
          But on the whole I think it is utterly wrong to think that Jesus'
          every utterance properly should be taken to apply to all humans at
          all times. But, as we see, this is often done.

          And it is easy to do, especially with Seminary training. Hobbled by
          the lack of same I will still venture to say that when Jesus
          said "please pass the Ketchup" we hear the voice of one who has
          humbled himself into the human form so that he does not force a
          miraculous Ketchup upon us but humbly begs for human Ketchup to be
          passed. His use of "please" is a particularly telling point, because
          we know from contemporary archaeological work that in his time and
          place the word "please" was used by Jews as a signifier or "word of
          politeness" initiating a formal request during mealtimes and
          elsewhere. The quoted "Ketchup saying" is very probably of the
          ipsissima verba (John Meier says so, as does N. T. Wright, two
          giants of scholarship) because it fits so well into the Lukan
          pattern of table fellowship which we know traces back to Jesus
          himself. This inference is confirmed by its coherence with the Q
          saying found only in Luke: "eat what is set before you." Note that
          we learn from Jesus that while we "eat what is set before us" even
          he shows us by his own example that we must call upon the assistance
          of others to improve that which we find before us. Through the
          assistance of others, by their provision of Ketchup, we can take
          what is set before us and make of it a better and more whole-some
          meal. We find Jesus opening up a world of sharing and world-
          improvement that lessons us to move out into the world and pour our
          Ketchup upon those affairs that are set before us, just as he did,
          with the help of those to whom he turned.

          > I think it is more helpful to ask questions such as the following:
          > * Did Jesus' contemporaries (i.e., people who, as adults, knew
          > him) regard him as a teacher?

          I do not think you can assume that if the Synoptics say so it was
          so. But the preservations of his sayings leads to legitimate
          inferences that for some reason what he said was considered quite
          significant.

          > * If so, what did it mean to them?

          I think we are safer if we just make up stuff for it to mean to us
          and then blithely attribute that to them. Based on thinking about
          Thomas sayings, synoptic ones, which are strikingly devoid of
          context, I have basically concluded that it is literally impossible
          to say what they meant originally. Hence, I would say, Mark comes up
          with the idea of giving them a context so that they can mean
          something. Which, as you know, is what Mark thinks they meant,
          rather than what Jesus or the audience thought.

          > * Did Jesus' contemporaries regard him as having a didache
          (teaching or
          > doctrine?) If so, what did they think it was?

          Here I must reiterate what I keep iterating and that is that the
          answer appears to be NO. Why? Because they (Mark, Thomas) insist
          even his most intimate followers didn't understand. Because they all
          felt free to make up things for him to teach. Because they, Paul,
          John, Hebrews, do not care enough about that teaching or doctrine to
          include it. The standard theory that he had a didache but it was
          essentially forgotten by the time we have any records of his stuff
          doesn't appeal.

          > * What were other people described as didaskolos and rabbi
          doing in
          > Roman Judea and Galilee, and how did they do it, during Jesus'
          day? (this
          > might cast light on the second bullet above.)

          Or not. We have a frightening tendency to fall into the "drunk under
          the streetlamp" fallacy, which is to look for our lost keys under
          the streetlamp because that's where the light is rather than look in
          the darker vicinity of the place we lost the keys. So we look for
          information from the writings of General - Priest Josephus or the
          Essene (Priestly?) collection from Qumran for the "how did they do
          it" of a Galilean peasant prophet because we have no good
          information about how Galilean peasant prophets did it.

          > We must also avoid rampant anachronism and ethnocentrism.

          Good idea. Can I include in "ethnocentrism" the notion that the
          Nazarene was a Judean?

          > To most people
          > today, "teaching" means something done by a "teacher" in
          a "classroom."

          I don't think this is true for HJ aficionados.

          > Consequently conservative Christian circles,
          > in trying to make sense of the fact that in all of the gospels he
          is
          > addressed as "teacher," that Jesus WAS the Faculty (all of it,
          except maybe
          > also J the B), and the classroom was anywhere he was. I don't find
          this
          > approach very helpful, either.

          Why do you write "conservative?" I think our liberals do exactly
          this.

          > So, besides looking for the Authentic Sayings of Jesus, I want to
          know
          > which of those sayings were regarded as teaching, and which were
          of the
          > "Please pass the grits" stuff of daily non-teaching life.

          But here you quote as authentic a non-canonical saying. In the canon
          it reads "Please pass the Ketchup" and not "Please pass the grits."
          It does us all a disservice, Bob, for you to bring into the
          discussion material that clearly is Gnostic and second or third
          century. Grits, as we know, are not a flavoring-device to improve
          the quality of the food set before us, as is Ketchup, but is an
          alternative food in and of itself. Jesus, in the saying you quote,
          is dissatisfied with his food and wants more or better food. But we
          know from the sayings in the Bible that he insisted that we should
          eat what is set before us. It does not say that we should demand
          other foods. Because of the verbal identity in the initiational
          phrase "Please pass theĀ…" we can tell that the variant with "grits"
          is dependent on the original "Ketchup," but changed in such a way as
          to reject this world, symbolized by the food upon which the Ketchup
          is to be poured, in favor of a different higher world symbolized by
          the term "grits," in a way typical of third century Gnosticism.

          > Furthermore, I want to know about forms of teaching as well as
          content, and
          > other clues to when Jesus was in "teaching" mode, and when he
          wasn't.
          > And I also want to know whether he also taught by deed as well as
          by word,
          > and how that was recognized and understood.
          >
          > Your humble student,

          Oh, you're not as humble as all that.

          Steve Davies
        • Frank McCoy
          ... (Steve Davies) ... (Frank McCoy) Who was a Galilean peasant prophet? Are you referring to Jesus the Nazorean? If so, what makes you sure he was a
          Message 4 of 10 , Jul 3, 2002
            --- sdavies0 <sdavies@...> wrote:
            > --- In crosstalk2@y..., Bob Schacht
            > <bobschacht@i...> wrote:
            >

            (Steve Davies)
            > Or not. We have a frightening tendency to fall into
            > the "drunk under
            > the streetlamp" fallacy, which is to look for our
            > lost keys under
            > the streetlamp because that's where the light is
            > rather than look in
            > the darker vicinity of the place we lost the keys.
            > So we look for
            > information from the writings of General - Priest
            > Josephus or the
            > Essene (Priestly?) collection from Qumran for the
            > "how did they do
            > it" of a Galilean peasant prophet because we have no
            > good
            > information about how Galilean peasant prophets did
            > it.

            (Frank McCoy)
            Who was a Galilean peasant prophet? Are you referring
            to Jesus the Nazorean? If so, what makes you sure he
            was a Galilean? If so, what makes you sure he was a
            peasant? If so, what makes you sure he was a prophet?


            (Bob Schacht)
            > > We must also avoid rampant anachronism and
            > ethnocentrism.

            (Steve Davies)
            > Good idea. Can I include in "ethnocentrism" the
            > notion that the
            > Nazarene was a Judean?

            (Frank McCoy)
            According to John 4:44-45, a prophet has no honor in
            his own country, but Jesus was greeted by the
            Galileans upon his arrival there after having come
            there from Judea by way of Samaria.

            What makes you sure, then, that the Nazorean was not a
            Judean?

            Frank McCoy
            1809 N. English Apt. 17
            Maplewood, MN USA 55109





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          • Frank McCoy
            I 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
            Message 5 of 10 , Jul 7, 2002
              I 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
              3.
              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
              come from
              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
              come from
              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
              postulated sayings
              document have almost three times as many logia in the
              postulated sapiential
              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
              document (TDD).

              Also, since the postulated TSD has a much higher
              percentage of
              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
              than was
              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
              be divided
              into postulated early and late blocks of material as
              follows:

              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 (2.5.9.10), three S sayings (3.5.9) and no G
              sayings.

              3. A late block of material: Sayings 11-30. One P
              sayings (26), ten B
              sayings (11.15.16.17.19.23.27.28.29.30), 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
              sayings
              (31,32,33,35,36,39,41,45,47), two B sayings (38, 44),
              seven S sayings
              (31,32,34.36.42.45,47), 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
              (49,50).

              6. An early block of material: Sayings 61-65. Four P
              sayings (62,63,64,65),
              no B sayings, three S sayings (63,64,65), and no G
              sayings.

              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
              sayings
              (89,92,94,95,96,97,98), one B saying (90), five S
              sayings (89,95,96,97,98),
              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
              sayings (101,105,108,111).

              The net tallies for the postulated early blocks of
              material are: 24 P
              sayings, four B sayings, 18 S sayings, and no G
              sayings.

              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
              the same."
              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
              measure."
              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
              a pit."
              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
              destroyed."
              41. Jesus said, "Whoever has something in his hand
              will receive more, and
              whoever has nothing will be dprived of even the little
              he has."
              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
              move away."
              61a. Jesus said, "Two will rest on a bed: the one will
              die and the other
              will live."
              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
              the outside?"
              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
              in."
              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."

              Frank McCoy
              1809 N. English Apt. 17
              Maplewood, MN USA 55109





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            • goranson@duke.edu
              Perhaps you would be interested in an article in the latest Vigiliae Christianae which presents several possible schemes for the growth of Gospel of Thomas.
              Message 6 of 10 , Jul 8, 2002
                Perhaps you would be interested in an article in the latest Vigiliae
                Christianae which presents several possible schemes for the growth of
                Gospel of Thomas.

                best,
                Stephen Goranson
                goranson@...
              • Frank McCoy
                ... Dear Stephen Goranson: Thank you! This is a most informative article. It has helped me to develop yet another possible early version of GTh, a
                Message 7 of 10 , Jul 16, 2002
                  --- goranson@... wrote:
                  > Perhaps you would be interested in an article in the
                  > latest Vigiliae
                  > Christianae which presents several possible schemes
                  > for the growth of
                  > Gospel of Thomas.
                  >

                  Dear Stephen Goranson:

                  Thank you! This is a most informative article.

                  It has helped me to develop yet another possible early
                  version of GTh, a Proto-Thomas text, which is outlined
                  below.

                  DEFINITIONS

                  There are certain terms used in this post that should
                  be defined for purposes of clarity.

                  1. Unit = a numbered division of GTh, of which there
                  are 114. It is assumed that this strictly modern
                  numbering system accurately reflects the individual
                  units of GTh as conceived by its author(s).

                  2. Saying Unit = a unit in which only Jesus speaks

                  3. Dialogue Unit = a unit in which, besides Jesus, one
                  or more other people also speak.

                  4. Section = a sequence of an odd number of units: (a)
                  that is symmetrical, so that the two end units of a
                  sequence will always be of the same type and (b) in
                  which the two end units belong to a different type of
                  unit than the center unit (i.e., if the two end units
                  are saying units, then the center unit is a dialogue
                  unit, and if the two end units are dialogue units,
                  then
                  the center unit is a saying unit).

                  5. Special Unit = a unit that is one of the end or
                  center units of a section

                  A PROPOSAL

                  It is proposed that there was an earlier version of
                  GTh. a Proto-Thomas, consisting of these three
                  sections:

                  Section 1 GTh 2-10

                  Section 2 GTh 31-48 and 61-65 and 89-90.

                  Section 3 GTh 91-99

                  REASONS FOR THINKING THIS LIKELY WAS A REAL DOCUMENT

                  There are two basic reasons for thinking that the
                  postulated Proto-Thomas likely was a real document.
                  The first basic reason is that it appears to have
                  internal organization. The second basic reason is
                  that, it appears, the units in it are, on the average,
                  of earlier origin than the rest of the units in
                  GTh--which is what we would expect it it consists of
                  the part of GTh first written down.

                  INTERNAL ORGANIZATION--PART I

                  Where s = saying unit and d = dialogue unit and a
                  capitalized s (i.e. S) or a capitalized d (i.e., D) =
                  a special unit, this is how each of the three
                  proposed sections looks:

                  1. 2-10: SsssDsssS

                  2. 31-48, 61-65, 89-90:
                  SsssssdsssssDsssssdsssssS

                  3. 91-99: DsssSsssD

                  Note that, if the center special unit be treated as a
                  mirror plane, then each of these three sections
                  displays mirror symmetry.

                  Note, too, that each section consists of a square
                  number of units. Thus, sections 1 and 3 each consist
                  of 9 units--and 3x3 = 9. Again, section 2 consists of
                  25 units--and 5x5 = 25.

                  Indeed, this does not appear to be coincidence: for
                  each of the 3x3 sections consists of three groups,
                  with each of the three groups consisting of three
                  units. So, in section 1, there are two sss groups and
                  the remainding units (2S and 1D) constitute a third
                  group of three units. Again, in section 3, there are
                  two sss groups and the remaining units (2D and 1S)
                  constitute a third group of three units.

                  Further, section 2, the 5x5 section, consists of five
                  groups, with each of the five groups consisting of
                  five units. So, it contains four sssss groups and the
                  remaining units (2S, 2d, and 1D) constitute a fifth
                  group of five units.

                  Note that, while section one is symmetrical, and while
                  section three is symmetrical, and while both are of
                  the same length, they are, as respects their special
                  units, in an oppositional type of relationship:
                  1. SsssDsssS
                  3. DsssSsssD

                  In any event, the highly organized mirror symmetrical
                  arrangement to each of the three sections of the
                  proposed Proto-Thomas is evidence which supports
                  the hypothesis that this proposed document really did
                  exist.

                  INTERNAL ORGANIZATION--PART II

                  There is evidence of a symmetrical relationship
                  between the beginning SsssD
                  sequence of the proposed Proto-Thomas (i.e., GTh 2-6)
                  and the ending SsssD
                  sequence of it (i.e., GTh 95-99).

                  GTh 2-6 reads, "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 the same." 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." 6.
                  "His disciples questioned Him and said to Him, 'Do You
                  want us to fast? How shall we pray? Shall we give
                  alms? What diet shall we observe?' Jesus
                  said, 'Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate,
                  for all things are plain in the sight of heaven. For
                  nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing
                  covered will remain without being uncovered.'"

                  GTh 95-99 reads, "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." 99. The disciples said to Him, "Your
                  brothers and your mother are standing outside." He
                  said to them, "These here who do the will of my Father
                  are My brothers and My mother. It is they who will
                  enter the Kingdom of My Father."

                  Note that 5 and 95 are clearly related: for both
                  include the topic of alms-giving. Note, too, that we
                  do not have the out-right rejection of alms-giving
                  that is reflected in GTh 14--which is one of the units
                  belonging to the proposed later additions to the
                  proposed Proto-Thomas.

                  Note that 96-99 regard the Kingdom: with 96-98 being
                  three parables of the Kingdom and 99 being an
                  admonition about the type of people who will
                  enter the Kingdom. Note, too, that 99, where the
                  brothers of Jesus are treated harshly, strongly
                  contrasts with the outright adulation of James the
                  Just (a brother of Jesus) in GTh 12--which is one of
                  the units belonging to the proposed later additions to
                  the proposed Proto-Thomas.

                  In this regard, it is possible that 2-5 also regard
                  the Kingdom. This is explicitly the case for 3, which
                  describes how the Kingdom is both outside of you and
                  inside of you. In 2, what is to be sought and found
                  might be the Kingdom. In 4, the place of life might
                  be the Kingdom as something outside you. In 5, the
                  hidden that will become plain might be the Kingdom as
                  something hid inside of you.

                  To conclude, 2-6, the beginning to the proposed
                  Proto-Thomas, might have a relationship to 95-99, the
                  ending to the proposed Proto-Thomas: with 6 relating
                  to 95 because both mention alms-giving and with 2-5
                  relating to 96-99 because these units might all regard
                  the Kingdom. With the units mentioning alms-giving
                  designated A and the other units designated B, this
                  is the relationship: BBBBA ABBBB

                  Such a possible mirror symmetrical relationship
                  between the beginning and the ending of the proposed
                  Proto-Thomas increases the likelihood that it is
                  a real document.

                  INTERNAL ORGANIZATION--PART III

                  After deleting the above discussed 2-6 and 95-99, the
                  remaining units of the proposed Proto-Thomas (i.e.,
                  7-10, 31-48, 61-65, and 89-94) have this arrangement:
                  sssSSsssssdsssssDsssssdsssssSDsss.

                  Let us look at the three S units in this sequence.
                  The first is 10, "Jesus said, 'I have cast fire upon
                  the earth, and see, I am guarding it until it
                  blazes.'" The second is 31, "Jesus said, "No prophet
                  is accepted in his own village; no physician heals
                  those who know him.'" The third is 90, "Jesus
                  said, 'Come unto me, for My yoke is easy and My
                  lordship mild, and you will find repose for
                  yourselves.'"

                  All three of the S units appear to regard Jesus. This
                  is clearly the case for 10 and 90. This is probably
                  the case for 31. So, in Mark 6:4, Jesus applies this
                  saying to himself. Again, in John 4:44, it is assumed
                  that this saying applies to Jesus.

                  This is remarkable, for, of the 26 s units, only 5
                  (roughly, 20%) appear to regard Jesus, i.e., 38, 44
                  (if the Son be understood to be Jesus), 62, 65 (if the
                  son of the vineyard owner be understood to be Jesus),
                  and 92.

                  This suggests that it is no accident that the 3 S
                  units in the postulated Proto-Thomas in the zone from
                  7 to 94 all appear to regard Jesus. As a result, this
                  is evidence which supports the hypothesis that the
                  postulated Proto-Thomas was a real document.

                  Again, let us look at the four dialogue (i.e., d and
                  D) units. The first is 37, "His disciples said,
                  'When will you become revealed to us and
                  when shall we see You?' Jesus said, 'When you disrobe
                  without being ashamed and take up your garments and
                  place them under your feet like little children and
                  tread on them, then [will you see] the Son of the
                  Living One and you will not be afraid.'" The second
                  is 43, "His disciples said to him, 'Who are You, that
                  You should say these things to us?' 'You do not
                  realize who I am from what I say to you, but you have
                  become like the Jews, for they (either) love the tree
                  and hate its fruit (or) love the fruit and hate the
                  tree.'" The third is 61, "Jesus said, 'Two will rest
                  on a bed: the one will die and the other will live.'
                  Salome said, 'Who are You, man, that You, as
                  though from the One, have come up on my couch and
                  eaten from my table?' Jesus said to her, 'I am He who
                  exists from the Undivided. I was given some of the
                  things of my Father.' 'I am your disciple.'
                  'Therefore I say, if he is <undivided>, he will be
                  filled with light, but if he is divided, he will be
                  filled with darkness.'" The fourth is 91, "They
                  said to Him, 'Tell us who You are so that we may
                  believe in You.' He said to them, 'You read the
                  face of the sky and of the earth, but you have not
                  recognized the one who (or: that which) is before you,
                  and you do not know how to read this moment.'"

                  As can be seen, each of these discourse units contains
                  a request to Jesus, by one or more of his disciples,
                  for him to provide knowledge regarding himself.

                  This is remarkable, for none of the other 20 discourse
                  units in GTh contain a request to Jesus, by one or
                  more of his disciples, for him to provide knowledge
                  regarding himself.

                  This suggests that it is no accident that the four
                  discourse units in the postulated Proto-Thomas in the
                  zone from 7 to 94 all regard a request to Jesus, by
                  one or more of his disciples, for him to provide
                  knowledge about himself. As a result, this is
                  evidence which supports the hypothesis that the
                  postulated Proto-Thomas was a real document.

                  EVIDENCE OF EARLY ORIGIN: PART I

                  If the postulated Proto-Thomas is real, then, as it is
                  postulated to be the early version of GTh, there
                  should be evidence that its units, on the average, are
                  earlier than the units in the proposed later
                  additions. (Note: these proposed later additions are:
                  Introduction-1, 11-30, 49-60, 66-88, and 100-114).

                  Indeed, such is the case.

                  For example, let us take the Jesus Seminar's grading
                  of the sayings in GTh as recorded in their The Five
                  Gospels--where grades range from black (almost
                  certainly not genuine) to red (almost certainly
                  genuine).

                  It will be assumed that sayings of Jesus they
                  designate as wholly black (to be referred to as B
                  sayings) will, on average, be later in origin than
                  sayings they designate to be wholly or in part either
                  pink or red (to be referred to as P sayings).

                  Of the 43 units in the proposed Proto-Thomas, there
                  are 26 that contain P sayings (2, 5, 6, 9, 10, 31, 32,
                  33, 35, 36, 39, 41, 45, 47, 62, 63, 64, 65 89, 92,
                  94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99) and 6 that contain B sayings
                  (7, 37, 38, 43, 44, 90)

                  Conversely, of the 71 units in the proposed later
                  additions to Proto-Thomas, there are 47 that contain B
                  sayings (1, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 27,
                  28, 29, 30, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59, 60, 66,
                  67, 69, 70, 71, 73, 74, 75, 77, 80, 83, 84, 85, 87,
                  88, 101, 102, 104, 105, 108, 110, 111, 112, 114) and
                  10 that contain P sayings (14, 20, 26, 54, 69, 76, 86,
                  100, 109, 113).

                  So, this does suggest that, on the average, the
                  sayings attributed to Jesus in the proposed
                  Proto-Thomas are significantly earlier in origin than
                  the
                  sayings attributed to Jesus in the proposed later
                  additions to Proto-Thomas--just as one would expect if
                  Proto-Thomas was a real document.

                  EVIDENCE OF EARLY ORIGIN: PART II

                  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
                  3. 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.

                  In the proposed Proto-Thomas, the proposed earlier
                  Sapiential sayings are more highly represented than
                  the proposed later Gnostic-leaning sayings: with 20
                  Sapiential sayings (3, 5, 6, 9, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36,
                  42, 45, 47, 63, 64, 65, 89, 95, 96, 97, 98) and one
                  Gnostic-leaning saying (61).

                  Conversely, in the proposed later additions to
                  Proto-Thomas, the proposed later Gnostic-leaning
                  sayings are more highly represented than the proposed
                  earlier Sapiential sayings: with 19 Gnostic-leaning
                  sayings (11, 13, 15, 18, 21, 22, 27, 28, 49, 50, 51,
                  60, 83, 84, 101, 105, 108, 111, 114) and 13 Sapiential
                  sayings (14, 16, 20, 26, 54, 55, 57, 76, 85, 86, 107,
                  109, 110).

                  Again, this is an indication that, on the average, the
                  sayings attributed to Jesus in the proposed
                  Proto-Thomas are of significantly earlier origin than
                  the sayings attributed to Jesus in the proposed later
                  additions to this Proto-Thomas--just as one would
                  expect if Proto-Thomas was a real document.

                  EVIDENCE OF EARLY ORIGIN: PART III

                  In "The Original Gospel of Thomas" (Vigiliae
                  Christianae, LVI: 2, 2002, pp. 167-199), A. D.
                  DeConick postulates that there was an early edition of
                  GTh he calls the kernel gospel.

                  Of the 114 units in GTh, he suggests that 60 were
                  wholly present in the postulated kernel gospel. Of
                  these 60, 34 are present in the postulated
                  Proto-Thomas (2, 5, 8, 9, 10, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36,
                  39, 40, 41, 42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 62, 63, 65, 89,
                  90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99) and 26 are not
                  (15, 17, 20, 25, 26, 30, 54, 55, 57, 58, 66, 71, 72,
                  73, 74, 76, 78, 79, 81, 82, 86, 102, 103, 104, 107,
                  109).

                  Of the 114 units in GTh, he suggests that 16 were
                  partially present in the postulated kernel gospel. Of
                  these 16, five are present in the postulated
                  Proto-Thomas (4, 6, 38, 61, 64) and 11 are not (11,
                  14, 16, 21, 23, 24, 60, 68, 69, 100, 111).

                  Of the 114 units in GTh, he suggests that 38 were
                  completely absent from the postulated kernel gospel.
                  Of these 38, four are in the postulated Proto-Thomas
                  (3, 7, 37, 43) and 34 are not (1, 12, 13, 18, 19, 22,
                  27, 28, 29, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 56, 59, 67, 70, 75,
                  77, 80, 83, 84, 85, 87, 88, 101, 105, 106, 108, 110,
                  112, 113, 114).

                  The evidence he presents for the existence of the
                  postulated kernel gospel is quite weak. In
                  particular, he fails to demonstrate that this kernel
                  gospel has any internal organization to it.

                  Still, I think it likely that the units in his
                  proposed kernel gospel are, on the average, of earlier
                  origin than the other units in GTh,

                  For example, he (p. 198) states, "Second, just over
                  fifty percent of the sayings in the kernel gospel are
                  paralleled in Q. Not even one saying with a Q
                  parallel, however, can be found in the later layers.
                  This also cannot be a coincidence. It suggests to me
                  that the sayings in the kernel gospel of Thomas are
                  some of the oldest witnesses to the Jesus traditions.
                  Additionally, my initial analysis of the kernel gospel
                  seems to indicate that neither Q nor the kernel Thomas
                  were literarily dependent upon the other."

                  Assuming that, *on the average*, the units wholly
                  present in the postulated kernel gospel are earlier
                  than those partially present in the postulated
                  kernel gospel and that, in turn, the units partially
                  present in the postulated kernel gospel are, *on the
                  average*, earlier than those completely absent from
                  the postulated kernel gospel, then, if the postulated
                  Proto-Thomas is a real document, the expectation is
                  that it contains a higher percentage of the units
                  wholly in the postulated kernel gospel than of the
                  units partially present in the postulated kernel
                  gospel and that, in turn, it contains a higher
                  percentage of the units partially present in the
                  postulated kernel gospel than of the units completely
                  absent from the postulated kernel gospel.

                  Indeed, this is the case: with the postulated
                  Proto-Thomas containing 34/60 (57%) of the units
                  wholly present in the postulated kernel gospel, 5/16
                  (31%) of the units partially present in the postulated
                  kernel gospel, and 4/38 (11%) of the units completely
                  absent from the postulated kernel gospel.

                  Again, this is an indication that, on the average, the
                  sayings attributed to Jesus in the proposed
                  Proto-Thomas are of significantly earlier origin than
                  the sayings attributed to Jesus in the proposed later
                  additions to this Proto-Thomas--just as one would
                  expect if Proto-Thomas was a real document.

                  (Note: While I find the evidence for the postulated
                  kernel gospel to be weak, I think it likely that there
                  was at least one intermediate document between the
                  proposed Proto-Thomas and GTh. Further, it is
                  possible that such an intermediary document might have
                  consisted of the proposed Proto-Thomas plus many of
                  the kernel sayings not to be found in the proposed
                  Proto-Thomas.)

                  CONCLUDING REMARKS

                  It can be hypothesised that there was a Proto-Thomas
                  document consisting of GTh 2-10, 31-48, 61-65, and
                  89-99. There are two basic reasons for thinking that
                  this hypothesis is likely to be true. First, the
                  postulated Proto-Thomas appears to have an internal
                  structure to it. Second, the units assigned to
                  Proto-Thomas appear to be, on average, of earlier
                  origin than
                  the units assigned to the later additions to
                  Proto-Thomas.

                  This is the first part of a two part posting. The
                  second part will regard a possible sitz em leben for
                  the writing of Proto-Thomas. It also will include the
                  text of Proto-Thomas.

                  Any suggestions or comments?

                  Regards,

                  Frank McCoy
                  1809 N. English Apt. 17
                  Maplewood, MN USA 55109






                  > goranson@...
                  >
                  >









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                • Frank McCoy
                  INTRODUCTION This is the second part of a two part posting on Proto-Thomas--a proposed early version of GTh which consists of GTh 2-10, 31-48, 61-65, and
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jul 16, 2002
                    INTRODUCTION

                    This is the second part of a two part posting on
                    Proto-Thomas--a proposed early version of GTh which
                    consists of GTh 2-10, 31-48, 61-65, and 89-99.

                    In this second part, it is suggested that Proto-Thomas
                    was written at Tyre in the late fifties. Also, text
                    of Proto-Thomas is given.

                    THE SITZ EM LEBEN FOR PROTO-THOMAS

                    For determining the sitz em leben for Proto-Thomas, I
                    think that unit 61 is a good place to start, "Jesus
                    said, 'Two will rest on a bed: the one will die and
                    the other will live.' Salome said, 'Who are You, man,
                    that You, as though from the One, have come up on my
                    couch and eaten from my table?' Jesus said to her, 'I
                    am He who exists from the Undivided. I was given some
                    of the things of my Father.' 'I am your disciple.'"

                    Salome is a very important person to the Proto-Thomas
                    community, for she is, except for Jesus himself, the
                    only person given a name in Proto-Thomas. Indeed,
                    such a unique status indicates, to me, that she
                    is the founder of the Proto-Thomas community.

                    I suggest that she is the Syro-Phoenician woman, from
                    the area around Tyre, mentioned in Mark 7:24-30.

                    For one thing, this woman had a daughter lying on a
                    bed. Is it a coincidence that lying on a bed/couch
                    plays an important role in 61a? I think not.

                    For another thing, the Syro-Phoenician woman tells
                    Jesus, "Lord, even the doggies under the table eat
                    from the crumbs of the children." Is it a
                    coincidence that eating at a table plays an important
                    role in 61a? I think not.

                    So, I suggest, Salome is the name of the
                    Syro-Phoenician woman of Mark 7:24-30 and she was the
                    founder of the Proto-Thomas community.

                    If so, then, as she resided in the vicinity of Tyre,
                    and as she was a Gentile, and as Jews were a small
                    minority in Tyre, the expectation is that the
                    Proto-Thomas community was centered at Tyre and
                    consisted of Gentiles.

                    In this regard, unit 64 is very important.

                    64 is a parable which also is found in the Q
                    tradition. The Q tradition version of this parable,
                    though, lacks this ending to 64, "Businessmen and
                    merchants will not enter the Places of My Father."

                    I take this to mean that the ending of 64 is not
                    original to the parable, but was added to it because
                    the Proto-Thomas community lived in an area which was
                    a major center for trade and commerce. In this
                    regard, it is significant that Tyre was a major center
                    for trade and commerce.

                    Also important is unit 8: where a man is fishing in
                    the sea and takes the large fish and throws the rest
                    back. This parable would have been of interest to
                    people living on the sea-coast--and Tyre was on the
                    sea-coast.

                    Also, in view of the extensive over-lap between the
                    Proto-Thomas tradition and the Q tradition, and in
                    view of both communities focusing on sayings of Jesus
                    and down-playing the significance of Jesus' death,
                    there is a likelhood that the Proto-Thomas community
                    was geographically close to the Q community.

                    This is consistent with the Proto-Thomas community
                    being located at Tyre--for Tyre was geographically
                    close to Galilee: which probably was the location of
                    the Q community.

                    Further, there are several indications that the
                    Proto-Thomas community consisted of Gentiles.

                    Particularly important is unit 43b, where Jesus tells
                    his disciples, "You do not realize who I am from what
                    I say to you, but you have become like the Jews, for
                    they (either) love the tree and hate its fruit (or)
                    love the fruit and hate the tree."

                    To me, this is a clear indication that the
                    Proto-Thomas community consisted of Gentiles.

                    Also, the lack of any references to Jewish scriptures
                    in Proto-Thomas is consistent with the idea that the
                    Proto-Thomas community was purely Gentile: being
                    founded by a Gentile (i.e., the Syro-Phoenician woman)
                    and consisting of Gentiles.

                    Finally, the harsh attitude towards the brothers of
                    Jesus in unit 99 is consistent with the idea that the
                    Proto-Thomas community consisted of Gentiles who were
                    hostile towards the Jerusalem Church led by James the
                    Just, one of the brothers of Jesus--presumably because
                    they were resisting pressure, from the Jerusalem
                    Church, to start observing the Law of Moses.

                    Relevant to the discussion is Acts 21:3-5 (RSV), "When
                    we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left
                    we sailed to Syria, and landed at Tyre; for there the
                    ship was to unload cargo (Which underscores the
                    importance of Tyre as a center of trade and commerce).
                    And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there
                    for seven days. Through the Spirit they told Paul not
                    to go on to Jerusalem. And when our days there were
                    ended, we departed and went on our journey; and they
                    all, with wives and children,
                    brought us on our way till we were outside the city;
                    and kneeling down on the beach we prayed and bade one
                    another farewell."

                    Here, we learn, there was a Christian community at
                    Tyre in the mid-fifties. It apparently consisted of
                    Gentiles--for they treat Paul and his followers
                    as allies and warn him about the dangers he faced
                    (from Christian Jews zealous for the Law)if he
                    insisted on going to Jerusalem. This Christian
                    community at Tyre, apparently composed of Gentiles,
                    is, I suggest, the Proto-Thomas community.

                    In line with this idea, it is noteworthy that, in Acts
                    21:3-6, it is emphasised, the Spirit was important to
                    the members of the Christian community at Tyre.
                    Similarly, the Spirit was important to the members of
                    the Proto-Thomas community: see unit 44, "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."

                    As for the dating of Proto-Thomas, I think that it was
                    most likely written after the Proto-Thomas community
                    made contact with Paul and/or one or more of his
                    followers (for, I suspect, some of the units in it,
                    particularly 7, have been influenced by Pauline
                    thought), but while James the Just was still
                    presiding over the Jerusalem Church (for I suspect
                    that the harsh criticism of the brothers of Jesus in
                    unit 99 is aimed at him). If the Proto-Thomas
                    community be the Christian community at Tyre, with
                    which Paul first made contact in the mid-fifties, this
                    makes the most likely date for the writing of
                    Proto-Thomas to be sometime in the late 50s--after
                    Paul made contact with the Proto-Thomas community in
                    the mid fifties, but before the death of James the
                    Just in the early 60s.

                    So, to conclude, it is suggested that the Sitz em
                    Leben for Proto-Thomas was Tyre in the late fifties.
                    In this case, the Proto-Thomas community was founded
                    even while Jesus was still alive by a Syro-Phoenician
                    woman named Salome and it consisted of Gentiles. It
                    had contacts with both the Q community and the
                    Jerusalem Church. As respects the Jerusalem Church
                    and
                    its leader, James the Just, it appears to have had a
                    cool to hostile attitude. In this case, it came into
                    contact with Paul in the mid-fifties and he was
                    accepted by its members as an ally.

                    In this case, the Proto-Thomas community differed in
                    some major respects from the GTh community--which took
                    Thomas to be its founder and thought that James the
                    Just was the cat's meow. This indicates that there was
                    a major passage of time between the writing of
                    Proto-Thomas and GTh and/or that GTh was written at a
                    far different location than Proto-Thomas.

                    THE TEXT OF PROTO-THOMAS

                    Section 1

                    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 the same."
                    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."
                    6. His disciples questioned Him and said to Him, "Do
                    You want us to fast? How shall we pray? Shall we give
                    alms? What diet shall we observe?" Jesus said, "Do not
                    tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things
                    are plain in the sight of heaven. For nothing hidden
                    will not become manifest, and nothing covered will
                    remain without being uncovered."
                    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 measure."
                    10. Jesus said, "I have cast fire upon the world, and
                    see, I am guarding it until it blazes."

                    Section 2

                    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 upts 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 a pit."
                    35.Jesus said, "It is not possible for any one 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."
                    37. His disciples said, "When will you become revealed
                    to us and when shall we see You?" Jesus said, "When
                    you disrobe without being ashamed and take up your
                    garments and place them under your feet like little
                    children and tread on them, then [will you see] the
                    Son of the Living One and you will not be afraid."
                    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 destroyed."
                    41. Jesus said, "Whoever has something in his hand
                    will receive more, and whoever has nothing will be
                    deprived of even the little he has."
                    42. Jesus said, "Become passers-by."
                    43. His disciples said to him, "Who are You, that You
                    should say these things to us?" "You do not realize
                    who I am from what I say to you, but you have become
                    like the Jews, for they (either) love the tree and
                    hate its fruit (or) love the fruit and hate the tree."
                    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 move away."
                    61. Jesus said, "Two will rest on a bed: the one will
                    die and the other will live." Salome said, "Who are
                    You, man, that You, as though from the One,have come
                    up on my couch and eaten from my table?" Jesus said
                    to her, "I am He who exists from the Undivided. I was
                    given some of the things of my Father." "I am your
                    disciple." "Therefore I say, if he is <undivided>, he
                    will be filled with light, but if he is divided, he
                    will be filled with darkness."
                    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 ato 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 the outside?"
                    90. Jesus said, "Come unto me, for My yoke is easy and
                    My lordship is mild, and you will find repose for
                    yourselves."

                    Section 3

                    91. They said to Him, "Tell us who You are so that we
                    may believe in You." He said to them, "You read the
                    face of the sky and of the earth, but you have not
                    recognized the one who (or: that which) is before you,
                    and you do not know how to read this moment."
                    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. <Jesus said,> "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 in."
                    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."
                    99. The disciples said to Him, "Your brothers and Your
                    mother are standing outside." He said to them,
                    "Those here who do the will of My Father are My
                    brothers and My mother. It is they who will enter the
                    Kingdom of My Father."

                    Comments and suggestions are welcomed.

                    Frank McCoy
                    1809 N. English
                    Maplewood, MN USA 55109






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