1376[gthomas] Re: Pre or post-Easter Jesus
- Aug 7, 1999
> At 09:39 AM 8/6/99 , Mark wrote:I'd suggest option (4), that the question presupposes a worldview
> >It seems to me that there are three options:
> >(1). that Thomas is depicting a pre-Easter Jesus
> >(2). that Thomas is depicting a post-Easter Jesus.
> >(3). that Thomas is ambivalent, unclear about or uninterested in the
> >distinction between pre and post-Easter Jesus.
> >The most plausible option is thus some form of (3): the author either did
> >care or did not think about it or was deliberately ambiguous.
absent from Thomas and therefore it is meaningless. For an example
of another meaningless question: "Is it the nirmanakaya,
sambogakaya, or dharmakaya of Jesus who speaks in the Gospel of
Thomas?" Such a question presupposes that Thomas is a text of
Mahayana Buddhism, which it isn't. The question in question
presupposes that Thomas is a text of resurrection-oriented
Christianity, which it isn't. One cannot say of the Buddhist
question that "Thomas is ambivalent, unclear about or uninterested
in the distinction between nirmanakaya and sambogakaya Jesus,"
for all of those options presuppose that Thomas is familiar with the
terms. Rather, Thomas' standing in regard to the question is not
a characteristic of Thomas in any way.
> > As KoesterAgain, I think this sort of statement is meaningless. Does it mean
> >says,Thomas is apparently indifferent to story-time.
anything to say that the sayings of Lao Tzu, or Proverbs, are
"indifferent to story-time?" Seems to me the same as if to say
that the texts are "indifferent to the taxonomy of beetles."
In both cases something absent from the text seems to be taken
to be a definitive characteristic of the text. I suppose one can say
"we have texts that concern themselves with story-time leading
to an easter post-easter differentiation and Thomas isn't one of
them" but that doesn't amount to much.
> The fundamental theological tendency of the gospel is, as HK rightly notes,Joe Baxter
> "the view that the Jesus
> who spoke these words was and is the Living One, and thus gives life
> through his words" (quoted from "Gnomai Diaphorai", p. 139).
> I am not sure if I agree with Koester's interpretation of the Living OneI agree with Joe here. Indeed, there are a few question/answer
> as one external being, i.e. Jesus.
> IMO the concept may be very similar to Atman, or Self, i.e., that the
> Living One is actually our self beyond ego. Being. Thus, we have the
> explanation of this passage as " Does not Jesus say, 'Whoever finds himself
> is superior to the world?' " Thus, one who finds himself is the Living One.
segments of Thomas where disciples are "seeking Jesus" and are
told rather to direct their efforts to their own present
circumstances. That "Jesus gives life" is not what Thomas is
about but, rather, it is about individuals finding life for themselves.
"The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon." Thomas' sayings
are the finger but Koester et al. seem to think them the moon.
>> (1.)There is nothing that can be done, so far as I can tell, about this
> 28. Jesus said, "I took my place in the midst of the world, and I appeared
> to them in the flesh. I found all of them intoxicated; I found none of them
> thirsty. And My soul became afflicted for the sons of men, because they are
> blind in their hearts and do not have sight; for empty they came into the
> world, and empty too they seek to leave the world. But for the moment they
> are intoxicated. When they shake off their wine, then they will repent."
> Funk and Hoover in their 5G say of this passage
> "Yeshu depicts himself as a redeemer who descends to earth and ascends to
> heaven. . . . However, . . .there are specifically gnostic twists. The
> spiritual state of humanity . . . is stupefied with passion and
> drunkenness, blind to any spiritual understanding. The savior comes to
> awaken such persons to their true origins. This complex . . . is a summary
> version of gnostic redeemer myths that depict the human condition and the
> possibility for salvation."
sort of incompetence. NOWHERE in 28 is there any reference to
"passion." NOWHERE in 28 is there any reference to "awakening" much
less to "persons' true origins." This stuff just isn't in there. Why
do they say it is? Because you have to have it in there in order to
have it be a "summary version of gnostic redeemer motifs." This is
reasoning on the abysmal level of John Meier. In fact, if F and H had
bothered to read #28 they would discover that people "come into the
world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty." Thus
the desideratum is something in the world to be found there. It is
not something folks arrive into the world with but don't know they
have, as it would be for gnosticism.
> (2.)Mark is ENTIRELY focused on the immediacy of Jesus' departure so you
> 12. The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that You will depart from us. Who
> is to be our leader?"
> Jesus said to them, "Wherever you are, you are to go to James the
> righteous, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."
> I understand that this passage is sometimes taken as a creation of James's
> followers. That, of course, is one of the possibilities. Whether or not
> this may be the case, the passage seems to imply a post-Easter time frame.
> There is nothing in the pre-Easter story line which suggests the immanence
> of Jesus's departure.
can indeed have a "pre-Easter story line which suggests the immanence
of Jesus's departure." The time-frame of the passage is prior to
Jesus departure... presumably it was made-up afterwards though.
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