1377[gthomas] Re: Pre or post-Easter Jesus
- Aug 10 6:35 AMOn 7 Aug 99, at 11:12, Stevan Davies wrote:
> I'd suggest option (4), that the question presupposes a worldviewI think that this is just my (3) (the author either did not care or did not
> absent from Thomas and therefore it is meaningless.
think about it or was deliberately ambiguous) refined a bit in a
particular direction. Of course the question presupposes a worldview
absent in Thomas: that's why the question needs to be asked and
why, in the context of discussion of Christian origins (in which this
question emerged), it is interesting.
> For an examplePerhaps. Unless it is a part of Thomas's agenda to avoid such things
> 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.
deliberately, in which case the question becomes quite relevant. The
difference between the question posed and this analogy is the
historical context within which Thomas emerges, isn't it? If it is unique
or anomalous among similar early texts that focus on Jesus, then that
very fact is historically interesting, isn't it?
> In both cases something absent from the text seems to be takenI agree that we do not want to skew interpretation of Thomas as a
> 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.
text by asking it questions that it does not want to answer. But I think
that for the question of Christian origins, Thomas's lack of story-time
is indeed interesting, isn't it? For example, what Jesus texts are there
that compare in this respect with Thomas? If there are some, how
similar are they? If there aren't any, then how interesting!
Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom
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