7478Re: [GTh] Thomas saying 64 and the synoptics
- Mar 1, 2007Similarities 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
(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".)
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