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5289Re: [GTh] The Kingdom sayings

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  • James Lambert
    Oct 2, 2002
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      Rick Hubbard wrote:

      > Several questions arise about the manner in which you have tried to classify
      > certain blocks of material in Thomas. In particular, what are the criteria
      > by which you identify the so called "Kingdom Sayings"? Is it that you have
      > located every occurrence of "kingdom" [MNTERO] in the text and concluded
      > that the adjacent material is therefore part of the genus "Kingdom Saying"?

      Hello Rick,

      No. Unfortunately, it was not as simple as that.

      > If that is the case, then do I understand correctly that you have further
      > categorized these sayings by examining whether they contain the
      > constructions "kingdom of heaven" or "kingdom of the father" as markers of
      > whether they should be called KoH or KoF?

      I shall explain my method. First, I began with the KoH sayings. Again
      there is the contention concerning the 54-53 couplet, but the three KoH
      sayings are clearly 114, 54, and 20. Secondly, I identified the KoF
      sayings: 113, 99, 98, 97, 96, 76, and 57. It was only then that I
      initiated a search for the relevant Kingdom sayings.

      Had I simply searched for the word "kingdom" [MNTERO] as you suggest I
      would have come up with twenty sayings containing the word. After
      excluding those which contain the constructions "kingdom of heaven" and
      "kingdom of the father" I would have still been left with ten "Kingdom"
      sayings. However, as you are no doubt aware, I only consider eight of
      those ten to be "Kingdom" sayings. This is due to the fact that the same
      word does not always have the same meaning. Consider the two sayings
      below. In each, the word translated as "domain" is [MNTERO]. The context
      of the sayings identifies the proper meaning of the term.

      (103) Jesus said, "Fortunate is the man who knows where the brigands
      will enter, so that he may get up, muster his domain, and arm himself
      before they invade."

      (21B) Therefore I say, if the owner of a house knows that the thief is
      coming, he will begin his vigil before he comes and will not let him dig
      through into his house of his domain to carry away his goods. You, then,
      be on your guard against the world. Arm yourselves with great strength
      lest the robbers find a way to come to you, for the difficulty which you
      expect will (surely) materialize. Let there be among you a man of
      understanding.

      Compare the above sayings to the operative phrases culled from the three
      of groups of Kingdom sayings:

      (109) Jesus said, "The kingdom is like ...

      (107) Jesus said, "The kingdom is like ...

      (82) Jesus said, "... he who is far from me is far from the kingdom."

      (49) Jesus said, "Blessed are the solitary and elect, for you will find
      the kingdom. ..."

      (46) Jesus said, "... whichever one of you comes to be a child will be
      acquainted with the kingdom ..."

      (27) <Jesus said,> "If you do not fast as regards the world, you will
      not find the kingdom. ..."

      (22) Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples, "These
      infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom."
      They said to him, "Shall we then, as children, enter the kingdom?"
      ...

      (3) Jesus said, "... the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of
      you. ..."

      Which is to say:

      X is like Y
      [distance] from X
      [who] will (not) find X
      [who] will enter X
      [who] will be acquainted with X
      X is inside and outside

      (113) "... the kingdom of the father is spread out upon the earth ..."

      (97) Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like ..."

      (98) Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like ..."

      (99) "... they who will enter the kingdom of my father."

      (76) Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like ..."

      (57) Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like ..."

      In other words:

      X-Father is like Y
      X-Father is [location]
      [who] will enter X-Father

      (114) "... every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom
      of heaven."

      (54) "... yours is the kingdom of heaven."

      (20) "...(the kingdom of heaven) is like ... "

      Or:

      X-Heaven is like Y
      [whose] is X-Heaven
      [who] will enter X-Heaven

      In each case, X is being compared to something, or its location is
      given, or the requirements of entry are given, while the term translated
      as "domain" in the two sayings below is used in an entirely different
      manner.

      (103) Jesus said, "Fortunate is the man who knows where the brigands
      will enter, so that he may get up, muster his domain, and arm himself
      before they invade."

      (21B) Therefore I say, if the owner of a house knows that the thief is
      coming, he will begin his vigil before he comes and will not let him dig
      through into his house of his domain to carry away his goods. You, then,
      be on your guard against the world. Arm yourselves with great strength
      lest the robbers find a way to come to you, for the difficulty which you
      expect will (surely) materialize. Let there be among you a man of
      understanding.

      The focus is not on the kingdom but on the man whose domain is under
      threat. These can hardly be considered among the Kingdom sayings.

      Notice, however, that this flexibility based on context cuts both ways.
      If we exclude certain sayings because they do not follow the proper
      pattern as set by the other sayings highlighting the word "kingdom"
      [MNTERO], we must also be ready to include any sayings which follow that
      same pattern while employing different, though synonymous, terms. Which
      means that we need to look through the sayings again. This time, we will
      be searching for all the sayings which contain Heaven or Father to see
      if we can find any equivalent sayings. Specifically, what we are looking
      for is a saying which conforms to the patterns outlined above, but which
      uses different, though equivalent, terminology.

      (64) Jesus said, "A man had received visitors. And when he had prepared
      the dinner, he sent his servant to invite the guests.
      He went to the first one and said to him, 'My master invites you.'
      He said, 'I have claims against some merchants. They are coming to me
      this evening. I must go and give them my orders. I ask to be excused
      from the dinner.'
      He went to another and said to him, 'My master has invited you.' He
      said to him, 'I have just bought a house and am required for the day. I
      shall not have any spare time.'
      He went to another and said to him, 'My master invites you.' He
      said to him, 'My friend is going to get married, and I am to prepare the
      banquet. I shall not be able to come. I ask to be excused from the
      dinner.'
      He went to another and said to him, 'My master invites you.' He
      said to him, 'I have just bought a farm, and I am on my way to collect
      the rent. I shall not be able to come. I ask to be excused.'
      The servant returned and said to his master, 'Those whom you
      invited to the dinner have asked to be excused.' The master said to his
      servant, 'Go outside to the streets and bring back those whom you happen
      to meet, so that they may dine.' Businessmen and merchants will not
      enter the places of my father."

      Notice the last sentence:

      "... Businessmen and merchants will not enter the places of my father."

      [who] will (not) enter X-Father

      Here we have a clear fit. That being the case, I would also argue that
      it be considered among the KoF sayings.

      The word translated as PLACES also occurs in the following sayings:

      (68) Jesus said, "Blessed are you when you are hated and persecuted.
      Wherever you have been persecuted they will find no PLACE."

      (60) <They saw> a Samaritan carrying a lamb on his way to Judea. He said
      to his disciples, "That man is round about the lamb."
      They said to him, "So that he may kill it and eat it."
      He said to them, "While it is alive, he will not eat it, but only
      when he has killed it and it has become a corpse."
      They said to him, "He cannot do so otherwise."
      He said to them, "You too, look for a PLACE for yourself within
      repose, lest you become a corpse and be eaten."

      (24) His disciples said to him, "Show us the PLACE where you are, since
      it is necessary for us to seek it."
      He said to them, "Whoever has ears, let him hear. There is light
      within a man of light, and he lights up the whole world. If he does not
      shine, he is darkness."

      (4) Jesus said, "The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a small
      child seven days old about the PLACE of life, and he will live. For many
      who are first will become last, and they will become one and the same."

      It can be argued that since I have allowed the word translated as PLACE
      to serve as KINGDOM, that these four sayings should therefore be
      included among the Heaven sayings. Below I have rewritten the sayings to
      reflect such a reading. I have also included the number of those
      "Kingdom" sayings with which they share features and/or themes.

      (68) Jesus said, "Blessed are you when you are hated and persecuted.
      Those who have persecuted you will not find the KINGDOM."
      Kingdom sayings match: (27)

      (60) <They saw> a Samaritan carrying a lamb on his way to Judea. He said
      to his disciples, "That man is round about the lamb."
      They said to him, "So that he may kill it and eat it."
      He said to them, "While it is alive, he will not eat it, but only
      when he has killed it and it has become a corpse."
      They said to him, "He cannot do so otherwise."
      He said to them, "You too, look for a KINGDOM for yourself wherein
      you may rest, lest you become a corpse and be eaten."
      Kingdom sayings match: (107)

      (24) His disciples said to him, "Show us the KINGDOM where you are,
      since it is necessary for us to seek it."
      He said to them, "Whoever has ears, let him hear. There is light
      within a man of light, and he lights up the whole world. If he does not
      shine, he is darkness."
      Kingdom sayings match: (82)

      (4) Jesus said, "The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a small
      child seven days old about the KINGDOM of life, and he will live. For
      many who are first will become last, and they will become one and the
      same."
      Kingdom sayings match: (46) and (22)

      The existence of these links does lend support for the inclusion of
      these sayings among the Kingdom sayings.

      To summarize, my technique was to first identify KoH sayings, then KoF,
      and finally the "Kingdom" sayings. I did not rely solely on the
      existence of the word within the saying but also the context and
      structure. This attention to context and structure has led to the
      recognition of several additional sayings. The new sayings also tend to
      reinforce the impression that the KoF focuses on conflict and exclusion,
      while the "Kingdom" sayings highlight children, light, and the fact that
      the "Kingdom" is a place free from hated and persecution.


      --
      James Lambert
      http://web.telecom.cz/Gnostradamus
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