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On the primacy of the sayings

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... Rikk, I think there is some basis in evidence for the priority of the sayings, which goes something like this (I m on the road again, so the top of my head
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 4, 1980
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      At 06:01 PM 8/2/00 -0400, RSBrenchley@... wrote:
          Rikk Watts  writes: <I'm fascinated as to why what Jesus' said should
      <have priority over what he did (if you'll pardon the observation, sounds
      <very much like the kind of value structure we scholars who probably talk
      <much more than act might affirm).  Couldn't one just as easily argue that
      <Jesus' actions are vital for providing the context in which his sayings
      <should be understood?

      Rikk,
      I think there is some basis in evidence for the priority of the sayings, which goes something like this (I'm on the road again, so the top of my head rather than the contents of my bookshelves must suffice):

      Scholars have often observed that it seems like the same saying of Jesus appears in different narrative frames in different gospels-- or even without the frame at all (GThomas.) This is what might be expected if the sayings were primary and the narrative secondary.

      If the narrative was primary, we ought to find repeated examples of the same narrative frame with different sayings associated. This would tell us that the story was most important, and what Jesus said didn't really make that much of an impression. So I offer this challenge to the list:
      What examples are there of strikingly similar narrative frames associated with dissimilar sayings of Jesus? That is, parallel pericopes where there is more similarity in the narrative frames than in the words attributed to Jesus?

      Bob
    • RSBrenchley@aol.com
      Rikk Watts writes:
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 2, 2000
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        Rikk Watts writes: <I'm fascinated as to why what Jesus' said should
        <have priority over what he did (if you'll pardon the observation, sounds
        <very much like the kind of value structure we scholars who probably talk
        <much more than act might affirm). Couldn't one just as easily argue that
        <Jesus' actions are vital for providing the context in which his sayings
        <should be understood?

        If we can take 4Q521, 'He shall release the captives, make the blind see,
        raise up the do[wntrodden]... then he will heal the sick, resurrect the dead,
        and to the meek announce glad tidings.' together with Luke 4:18-19 and
        Matthew 11:2-6 together as evidence that some significant tradition within
        Israel pointed to these as expected signs of the Messiah, then for that
        group, a collection of sayings without miracle stories appears to make little
        sense. So do we have two parallel traditions, with the Synoptics developing
        within an eschatological/apocalyptic tradition with a keen interest in a
        theological understanding of its history, while sayings collections like
        Thomas developed within some more mystical group of disciples?

        Regards,

        Robert Brenchley

        RSBrenchley@...
      • Rikki E. Watts
        Indeed, one might suggest further that the author responsible for GThom held the restoration of the body (and thus also creation?) as being of little
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 2, 2000
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          Indeed, one might suggest further that the author responsible for GThom held
          the restoration of the body (and thus also creation?) as being of little
          significance or none at all (cf. perhaps saying 29). What general
          provenance might that suggest?

          Dr. R. E. Watts (PhD, Cantab) Phone (604) 224 3245
          Regent College, Univ. Brit. Col. Fax (604) 224 3097
          5800 University Boulevard
          Vancouver, BC
          CANADA V6T 2E4

          > From: RSBrenchley@...
          > Reply-To: crosstalk2@egroups.com
          > Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2000 18:01:00 EDT
          > To: crosstalk2@egroups.com
          > Subject: [XTalk] Re: Gospel of Thomas
          >
          > Rikk Watts writes: <I'm fascinated as to why what Jesus' said should
          > <have priority over what he did (if you'll pardon the observation, sounds
          > <very much like the kind of value structure we scholars who probably talk
          > <much more than act might affirm). Couldn't one just as easily argue that
          > <Jesus' actions are vital for providing the context in which his sayings
          > <should be understood?
          >
          > If we can take 4Q521, 'He shall release the captives, make the blind see,
          > raise up the do[wntrodden]... then he will heal the sick, resurrect the dead,
          > and to the meek announce glad tidings.' together with Luke 4:18-19 and
          > Matthew 11:2-6 together as evidence that some significant tradition within
          > Israel pointed to these as expected signs of the Messiah, then for that
          > group, a collection of sayings without miracle stories appears to make little
          > sense. So do we have two parallel traditions, with the Synoptics developing
          > within an eschatological/apocalyptic tradition with a keen interest in a
          > theological understanding of its history, while sayings collections like
          > Thomas developed within some more mystical group of disciples?
          >
          > Regards,
          >
          > Robert Brenchley
          >
          > RSBrenchley@...
          >
          >
          >
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        • JamesZuc@netscape.net
          I am interested in the assumption of the Jesus Seminar and the HJ research concerning the Gospel of Thomas. I realize that this source has become of great
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 4, 2001
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            I am interested in the assumption of the Jesus Seminar and the HJ research concerning the Gospel of Thomas. I realize that this source has become of great interest for many historians in the search of the HJ.

            1. I realize that the Gospel of Thomas may have been complied over a long period of time. However, what evidence exists that the Gospel was largely written before the major canonical gospels?

            2. Many of the authors I have read recently have criticized this tendency because the Gospel of Thomas is more likely to have been influenced by the canonical gospels. Since the gospel has been dated for the second century, what evidence exists that the order should be reversed?

            James


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