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

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  • 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 1 of 19 , Jul 14, 2002
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      --- 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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