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5589Re: [GTh] Beyond Belief ...

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  • Michael Grondin
    Jun 7 8:42 PM

      > ... as I recall (and while opinions most certainly vary), the
      > Diatessaron seems to "log in" at appx. 175 C.E. That sounds a little
      > late for people to be asking (Thomas #53) if "circumcision is
      > necessary" (remember ... this question was settled by Paul & Barsabbas
      > in or around 49 C.E.)

      Barsabbas? Well, at any rate, the range of meanings of the Greek loan-word
      'ophelei' used in Th53 doesn't seem to have included 'necessary'. Typically,
      it meant 'advantageous', 'beneficial', 'profitable', etc. - something beyond
      necessity. Even after Paul, a Christian audience might still have been
      asking, "OK, circumcision isn't necessary, but isn't it (at least)
      advantageous?" Or: "We know it isn't necessary to be Jewish, but isn't it
      helpful?" This continuing question might be taken to favor post-Paul dating,
      though I'm myself agnostic on the dating issue.

      > ... to posture that John was
      > written to counter Thomas seems a bit much. Indeed, not to go
      > so far (in time, that is) as Perrin, it may well even be that John was
      > written long before Thomas .... no ?

      I don't know about the entirety of the original version of John, but chapter
      21 is widely accepted as a later interpolation, and the part about Thomas in
      chapter 20 strikes me as a bit suspicious as well. It seems to have been
      written to counter a specific set of beliefs about the "resurrection", and
      Thomas was chosen as representative of those beliefs, which must mean
      something. Could the "doubting Thomas" material have been added at the same
      time as chapter 21? There doesn't seem to be much, if any, anti-Thomas stuff
      elsewhere in John, however, so I'd agree with you that the general
      conclusion about the whole of John having been written to counter Thomas is
      "a bit much". (This said having not yet read Pagels' new book.)

      The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
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