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[XTalk] Davies Re: Paul and Jesus' teaching

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  • 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 1 of 10 , Jul 2, 2002
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      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 2 of 10 , Jul 3, 2002
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        --- 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 3 of 10 , Jul 3, 2002
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          --- 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 4 of 10 , Jul 7, 2002
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            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 5 of 10 , Jul 8, 2002
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              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 6 of 10 , Jul 16, 2002
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                --- 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 7 of 10 , Jul 16, 2002
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                  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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