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1378[gthomas] Re: Pre or post-Easter Jesus

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  • joseph baxter
    Aug 10, 1999
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      >On 7 Aug 99, at 11:12, Stevan Davies wrote:
      >
      > > I'd suggest option (4), that the question presupposes a worldview
      > > absent from Thomas and therefore it is meaningless.

      The question is not meaningless just because the worldview is absent from
      Thomas, unless we are ready to assume that the passages in issue (those
      potentially, or suggestively post-Easter) are pre-Easter (in which case we
      want to explain the context in which they arise, taking into account the 4G).

      If we look at the passages in issue in a post-Easter context, the issue of
      how Yeshu's presence post-Easter came about arises to us. So we
      consider why the author, who was closer in time to these events than us,
      and who had heard the main stories, or possibly even witnessed some of the
      events, made no direct reference to them.

      True, there are many possible explanations. The issue is speculative.
      Nonetheless, the simplest explanation is that the author wasn't concerned
      with history. In a sense, the teachings were being offered as being beyond
      history.

      Even so, we are concerned with history, and so it is right that we examine
      the passages for historical inferences. I haven't seen this done by anyone
      closely.

      Isn't it true that our texts may stem from a period in which it was
      unacceptable, unwise, or even dangerous, to write anything that directly
      challenged certain views? For example, Theophilis, the bishop who torched
      the Library of Alexandria, also reportedly rode the Egyptian monastery
      circuit, fanatically cleaning house. Codes were sometimes used between
      monasteries.



      > > 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.

      Well, if I knew what these kayas were, I could comment with my bogas.

      >The question in question
      > > presupposes that Thomas is a text of resurrection-oriented
      > > Christianity, which it isn't.


      Mark:

      If it is unique
      >or anomalous among similar early texts that focus on Jesus, then that
      >very fact is historically 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!

      The text that comes to mind, as a kind of passionate sequel to Thomas, is
      the Gospel of Philip. There we find that interesting counter-cultural view
      that the resurrection must occur before death. A de-emphasis of the
      external resurrection. This is all very consistent with the Thomasine
      emphasis on the inside.

      With kind regards,

      Joe Baxter






      joe
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