6237Re: [GTh] Crosstalk Discussions
- Apr 3, 2004
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 5:51 AM
Subject: Re: [GTh] Crosstalk Discussions
> This is notice that I've uploaded a spreadsheet for Gordon's
> scheme to our Files section (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/files)-
> together with a slightly emended version of his text (#68 was shown twice,
> with different shadings).
I'd like to thank Gordon for his work and then comment on it.
After reading through the Crosstalk discussion the basis for the
three layers seems the following.
Layer 1 is mainly the material in Thomas that goes back to the
Historical Jesus/Very Early Church
Layer 2 is mainly the material that goes back to the Church of
AD 70 and before
Layer 3 is mainly the substantially Post AD 70 material.
My difficulty is that these layers can be taken in 2 ways, either
i/ in a Form Critical way in which we are talking of the dates of
the origin of the sayings considered as isolated sayings
or ii/ in a Source or Redacton Critical way in which we are talking
of the dates and composition of various hypothetical documents.
If taken in sense i/ This seems valid in principle, (I agree some of
the sayings go back to the very earliest chrch some are well after
AD 70 some come inbetween), and although I would question
some of the details, Gordon's assignations of sayings to layers seems
However, from the general nature of Gordon's discussion and specific
suggestions about changes in order of sayings between Layers 1
and 2, it seems clear that the layers are to be taken as Source
documents for Thomas or Redactions of Thomas and I have
problems with this.
It is unlikely IMHO that there ever was a pre-70 document
attributed to Thomas, containing mainly the material which is in
our Thomas and goes back to the earliest church, and arranging
this material in a way similar to our Thomas. I think it more likely
that the selection and ordering of this material into a document
attributed to Thomas is later than AD 70, although the individual
sayings in the original form of this document may well be much earlier.
Nor am I convinced that all the early material in Thomas was
present in early versions of Thomas and that the last stage in
the redaction of Thomas was the addition of gnosticizing material.
It seems likely IMO that the last 10 sayings of our Thomas has
had gnosticizing material added at a very late stage, (maybe mid
2nd century). However most of the gnosticizing material in
Thomas may have been present in much earlier forms of the
document and some very early material, (eg the parables in
sayings 63-65 which IMHO interrupt the flow of Thomas's
themes), may have been added at a late stage, under the influence
of the canonical synoptic gospels.
Gordon, I may be misunderstanding what you are saying in
which case I apologize and would appreciate clarification.
Otherwise it would help if you went into more detail about how
you distinguish evidence for the date of origin of a saying from
evidence for the date at which a saying was incorporated in a
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