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7478Re: [GTh] Thomas saying 64 and the synoptics

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  • Michael Grondin
    Mar 1, 2007
      Similarities and differences between my analysis of Matthew's version
      of the parable and that of the Jesus Seminar (in _The Five Gospels_,
      which I should have read beforehand, but didn't):

      (1-2) King = God, son = Jesus
      JSem agrees.

      (3) invitees = the Jews
      JSem says 'Israel'. Same difference.

      (4) servants of the King = Christian disciples
      JSem says 'the prophets'. OK, I'll buy that. But it's impossible to
      believe that Matthew didn't _also_ have in mind events involving
      Christians, such as the mob-execution of James the Righteous.
      He may also have had in mind the execution of Jesus, although
      strictly speaking that wouldn't fit the allegorical scheme. (Later
      Christians such as Origin blamed the destruction of Jerusalem
      on the execution of Jesus or James, or both.)

      (5) King's armies = Roman armies, "their city" = Jerusalem
      JSem basically agrees.

      (6) guest not in wedding clothes = converted Jew holding traditions.
      JSem says this guest represents any bad Christian. The goats, as
      opposed to the sheep - or the weeds that are allowed to grow up
      with the good seed, and then separated out at the day of the harvest
      (final judgment). Could very well be. Doesn't rule out what I suggested,
      but other considerations might.

      (6a) "outer darkness" = hell
      This accords with the JSem interpretation above, but I wonder. For
      a Christian, the place of "wailing and the gnashing of teeth" in this
      life would be outside the church. Furthermore, that the ejected guest
      should be "bound hand and foot" might be taken to suggest that he
      would be unable to save himself outside of the church. Nevertheless,
      the allusions are hellian.

      Luke's addendum (second call to non-Jews):
      JSem reads this as the call to the Gentiles. First call to the poor and
      physically disadvantaged among the Jews, then when banquet hall
      not filled up, second call to the Gentiles. (Some early Christians
      thought that the reason why the parousia was delayed was that "the
      banquet hall" wasn't yet filled.) Makes sense, but not yet clear why
      Gentiles had to be forced to come in.

      As to a possible literary relationship to the Diatessaron, I've now read
      the entire parable as it stands there, and find it very difficult to believe
      that the Thomasines could have weeded out the Matthean stuff that
      infests it at every turn - including the very beginning (no wedding, but
      a King and his son involved, which would surely tie in with Thomas'
      end-reference to "the places of my Father".)

      Mike Grondin
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