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RE: [XTalk] Patterson's The God of Jesus

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  • David C. Hindley
    Steven, ... Questers, the folks who have become fed up for good with the Christian Church of the two sorts and who want something else to massage their
    Message 1 of 19 , Jul 7, 2002
      Steven,

      >>There is a third wing on the dove, and that's the New Age, the Spiritual
      Questers, the folks who have become fed up for good with the Christian
      Church of the two sorts and who want something else to massage their
      spiritual goodness with. <<

      In *this* neighborhood? There goes the intellectual property values!

      >>Thomas becomes the valuable piece of evidence that Jesus was not either an
      American Social Gospel Protestant, or an American Born Again Protestant� but
      Jesus may have been an American New Age Spiritual Quester.<<

      Whew, you had me goin' there for a minute!

      Respectfully,

      Dave Hindley
      Cleveland, Ohio, USA
    • bjtraff
      ... I m sorry, but which fact is this Steve? That GThomas is probably 2nd Century and dependent on the Canonicals? :-) ... Good heavens. The known first
      Message 2 of 19 , Jul 7, 2002
        --- In crosstalk2@y..., "sdavies0" <sdavies@m...> wrote:

        > As our very Stephen Patterson took pains to demonstrate, in
        > "The Gospel of Thomas and Jesus" book the Gospel of Thomas is
        > independent of the Canonical scriptures. It is probably
        > first century in date.
        > This fact...


        I'm sorry, but which "fact" is this Steve? That GThomas is probably
        2nd Century and dependent on the Canonicals? :-)

        > is strong evidence against the
        > common presumption that because Mark and its revisions are
        > in the canon therefore Mark and its
        > revisions are the only possible ways of viewing Jesus (pace half of
        > Crosstalk).

        Good heavens. The "known" first century documents are in the Canon.
        Those that "might be first century, but are probably second and later
        are not. Yet many silly scholars appear bent on using the earlier
        texts over the later ones. How odd.

        >Thus as it becomes clearer that the canonical scriptures
        >are a particular point of view (or related set of points of view)
        >chosen by people who, we have reason to think, hated and
        >suppressed the POV of Thomas (cf. Irenaeus)

        Oh dear. Poisoning the well now? Is this why they elected not to
        include 1 Clement? Or is it more likely because it is too late to be
        apostolic? Now, if you could prove that it is a FACT that GThomas
        was 1st Century, that would be interesting to say the least.

        >Thomas becomes the valuable piece of evidence that
        >Jesus was not either an American Social Gospel Protestant, or
        >an American Born Again ProtestantÂ… but Jesus may have been
        >an American New Age Spiritual Quester.

        Hmmm... which one of these are the Catholics? ;-)

        >That's why Thomas assumes such importance to some.

        Are you saying that it is important because it is congenial to the
        theology of some, and antithical to others? I thought historicans
        were supposed to treat data on the basis of its independence and
        early dating, as well as its probable authenticity and closeness to
        the historical Jesus.

        >Just as rootexts from Matthew's Sermon on the Mount become the
        >essential HJ to the Social Gospelers, and the Born Agginers pick
        >prooftexts from Paul, to the New Agers find in Thomas their
        >prooftexts of choice.

        Fortunately, scholars are above all of this, and work from the
        evidence on the basis of how reliable it is in itself, right? ;-)

        Peace,

        Brian Trafford
        Calgary, AB, Canada
      • David C. Hindley
        My apologies if my Steven should have been StevAn ... Respectfully, Dave Hindley Cleveland, Ohio, USA
        Message 3 of 19 , Jul 7, 2002
          My apologies if my "Steven" should have been "StevAn" ... <gotta get me some
          of them there spectacles>

          Respectfully,

          Dave Hindley
          Cleveland, Ohio, USA
        • smithand44
          ... probably ... Canon. ... later ... ? Or is it more likely because it is too late to be ... Isn t it a bit odd to claim that the canon was formed of first
          Message 4 of 19 , Jul 9, 2002
            --- In crosstalk2@y..., "bjtraff" <bj_traff@h...> wrote:

            > I'm sorry, but which "fact" is this Steve? That GThomas is
            probably
            > 2nd Century and dependent on the Canonicals? :-)


            > Good heavens. The "known" first century documents are in the
            Canon.
            > Those that "might be first century, but are probably second and
            later
            > are not. Yet many silly scholars appear bent on using the earlier
            > texts over the later ones. How odd.

            ? Or is it more likely because it is too late to be
            > apostolic? Now, if you could prove that it is a FACT that GThomas
            > was 1st Century, that would be interesting to say the least.

            Isn't it a bit odd to claim that the canon was formed of first
            century documents when it wasn't even the first century at that time?
            It isn't a FACT that Thomas is first century, but then it isn't a
            FACT that the canonical gospels are, either. I happen to think that
            both are, but how could it truly be a fact without external evidence?

            Best Wishes

            Andrew Smith
          • bjtraff
            ... {Snip my stuff} ... Hello Andrew Actually, I was tweaking Steve a bit for his hyperbole, as curious assertion about the *factual dating* of GThomas and why
            Message 5 of 19 , Jul 14, 2002
              --- In crosstalk2@y..., "smithand44" <smithand44@h...> wrote:

              {Snip my stuff}

              >Isn't it a bit odd to claim that the canon was formed of first
              >century documents when it wasn't even the first century at that
              >time? It isn't a FACT that Thomas is first century, but then it
              >isn't a FACT that the canonical gospels are, either. I happen to
              >think that both are, but how could it truly be a fact without
              >external evidence?

              Hello Andrew

              Actually, I was tweaking Steve a bit for his hyperbole, as curious
              assertion about the *factual dating* of GThomas and why it never made
              it into the Canon in the first place. As you have rightly noted, the
              question of dating ancient texts can often prove quite problematic,
              though I would add that this does not make the effort impossible. I
              would argue that given the criteria that we use in dating ancient
              texts, it can be more confidently demonstrated that many of the books
              found in the Canon are 1st Century. Using this same criteria, and
              applying it objectively, we can demonstrate that other texts are more
              likely 2nd Century. Can any of Christian text be called 1st Century
              as historical FACT? Well, perhaps FACT is too strong a word
              (excepting the undisputed Pauline's, which do look to be 1st Century
              as historical fact). After all, in the past I have argued that
              *facts* are pretty scarce commodities in historical studies. All of
              that said, I will stick with my original argument that all of the
              KNOWN 1st Century Christian documents available to us are found in
              the Canonical NT. Some of those books are very likely 2nd Century
              (i.e. 2 Peter and probably the final form of GJohn). But the fact
              (pun intended) remains that nothing has been proven about the
              apocryphal texts visa vie their date ranges, outside of the
              possibility that some of them MIGHT be 1st Century.

              As you can see, when it comes to the specific case of GThomas, I have
              yet to be convinced, but remain open to arguments that others may
              wish to put forward.

              Peace,

              Brian Trafford
              Calgary, AB, Canada
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