5555Re: [GTh] Timelessness
- May 13, 2003On 19 Apr 2003 at 12:12, Michael Grondin wrote:
> I didn't realize you were trying to follow Mark's thought experiment.What I was trying to think about was whether we'd be able to work out
> You seem to have deviated from it at key points, such as when you
> discussed Caesar's coin. As I understand Mark's "game", it was to
> pretend that we didn't know who any of the persons were in GTh. That
> would presumably include Caesar.
when and where the Gospel was set if we had no reference to
characters known primarily from early Christian literature, Thomas,
Peter, Matthew, Mary Magdalene etc. In other words, there is no
specifically datable "political" figure in Thomas like Pontius
Pilate, Herod Antipas, Caiaphas, which provides a contrast with the
canonical Gospels. But as Frank points out, there is Caesar in 100;
I suppose that's about as specific as Thomas gets with political
Even in 100, is Thomas rather less specific than the canonicals? We
have a "gold piece" (NOUB) compared to "tribute money" (KHNSOS).
> I myself, however, wasn't playing theGood point; I wondered if that was too great a flaw before suggesting
> game, since it seems to me to be seriously flawed. At the very least,
> it seems to do nothing other than to guarantee its own point. If we
> cannot know who John the Baptist was - or Jacob the Righteous - then
> of course we don't know anything at all.
the thought experiment, not least because we do know of John the B.
and James from Josephus. Even here, though, they are not major
leaders / political figures in the same way Antipas, Pilate et al
are, are they? Or is that too simplistic a way of looking at the
> If our not knowing anythingI'm interested in this. How do we know that the the text assumes its
> at all makes the text "timeless", then so be it, but that seems an
> empty and artificial "timelessness" indeed. GThomas was written in a
> context and assumes reader's knowledge of that context - whether that
> context was itself written or oral or both - and that context made
> sense of it, and without that context there's little sense to be made
> of it.
readers' knowledge of the context within which it was written?
Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 4381
Birmingham B15 2TT UK
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