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Re: [XTalk] Excavating GThomas

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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 1 of 10 , Jul 8 10:09 AM
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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 2 of 10 , Jul 16 12:00 PM
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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 3 of 10 , Jul 16 12:02 PM
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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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