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4094Re: [GTh] Of/According to Thomas

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  • Michael Grondin
    Sep 4, 2001
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      Miceal wrote:
      > ... the third person is a well know "humility" device.
      > It could just as well leave the question open as resolve
      > it in the sense of Thomas not being or being the author.
      > Consult the similar usage at end of Fourth Gospel, which
      > is being taken both ways by Biblical experts.

      I don't see the ending of GJohn as being a "humility device", nor am I
      familiar with the third person being so used. Do you have another example
      that would be clearer?

      > Likewise the absence of any references to being present in Galilee
      > is in harmony with the nature of the text, which as has been pointed
      > out so frequently, contains no reference to Resurrection, miracles,
      > etc..as presumably Q and any possible other sources. It does not mean
      > the author was not there: I think it rather shows his intent was not
      > to produce a story/narrative.

      Well, first you'd have to believe that a Galilean, say, would be capable of
      an almost total rejection of orthodox Judaism, in spite of the fact that
      Jacob - who is given a great accolade in Th12 - was said to have been
      praying in the Temple daily, and John -given another high accolade - was
      not known for having been opposed to orthodox Judaism. Then you'd have to
      believe that Thomas had some grudge against the purported leader of the
      disciples, Simon Peter, since he pretty well trashes him. Then you'd have
      to believe that the Temple incident was of no importance to Thomas, even
      though it seems to have been connected with the death of Jesus. And on and
      on. Even given the focus of GTh, it's hard to believe that there would be
      nothing at all that showed some clear evidence of having been there.

      > My issue here is that I prefer to remain on the scholarly level
      > - on both sides of any argument. When the evidence becomes persuasive
      > in my judgment, then that's the time for decision one way or the other.
      > Unless we sray open it can often seal off other very profitable avenues
      > of investigation in the future becasue we prematurely decided an issue.

      In general, I agree. I just don't agree that the authorial decision is
      premature. I can see plenty of evidence on the one side, and nothing on the
      other side except for plenty of speculative explanations of why there isn't
      any evidence on that side. In addition, the only "profitable avenue of
      investigation" that I can see that might depend on whether or not Thomas
      wrote GTh is whether or not GTh might represent the authentic views of
      Jesus. I don't know any reputable person who thinks they do, however. Even
      if originally very early, by the time our copy was made, several hundred
      years had elapsed - plenty of time to add, delete, revise, etc. - so that
      even if the original were authentic, we're very much removed from that.
      Furthermore, we actually have evidence that the GTh was subject to a lot of
      revision, in the POxy fragments, and the quotations from other versions of
      GTh by church writers. But I don't mean to dissuade you from your view,
      just give reasons for mine.

      Mike
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