7489Re: [GTh] Thomas saying 64 and the synoptics
- Feb 25, 2007This was also held up as spam.
> ' The master said to his servant, 'Go outside to theThis is interesting because it is an "anti big business" message.
> streets and bring back those whom you happen to meet, so that
> they may dine.' Businessmen and merchants will not enter the
> Places of My Father."
Jesus says that "businessmen and merchants" will not enter the
"Places of My Father". By today's standards this seems harsh.
But in ancient Israel and in the Judah of Jesus' day there were
enormous economic problems... the business class of both
houses had fallen into ripping off the common folk. That is the
main condemnation we read in the prophet Hosea, the merchants
did not know how to put limits on their greed. Hosea is scathing.
I was just reading Crossan's "Who killed Jesus?" and he forcefully
argues that there were major changes in the way business was
in the early first century. Folks were loosing their land, which
the Torah does not allow, but it was happening anyway.
The common folk were being exploited by the business class.
The businessmen and merchants were seeking new sources
of revenue and increases in margins. Their exploitation; their
unlawful taking of ancestral land was extremely troubling to
the common folk; from which Jesus, his disciples, and the John
the Baptist sprang.
If you read the little that has been preserved of what John the
Baptists preached you are struck with the fact his is almost
100% an economics messgae.
Luke 3:10-14 KJV "And the people asked him, saying,
What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them,
He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none;
and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also
publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what
shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that
which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded
of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them,
Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be
content with your wages."
I think what we see in GThomas is older and more closely matches
the original words of Jesus. It more clearly reflects the sad
economic realities of the times; the exploitation by the business
class that helped push the nation to civil unrest.
Jesus would have liked Sarbanes-Oxley.
One final point, I've never seen "the Places of My Father" used
in any other place. This is a beautiful and fascinating phrase,
what and where are the Places of Jesus' Father?
----- Original Message -----
From: Ron McCann
Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2007 11:56 AM
Subject: Re: [GTh] Thomas saying 64 and the synoptics
I won't get into the sources issue in your post, but I wanted to
point out another difference between the Thomas and the Synoptics
that is quite striking,
The excuses for not attending are *really* compelling, in Thomas, but
elsewhere they are feeble and wishy-washy and could be set
aside if the invitee really wanted to attend.
What are we to make of this?
At 02:45 AM 24/02/07, Andrew wrote:
>Jesus said, "A man had received visitors. And when he had
>prepared the dinner, he sent his servant to invite guests. He
>went to the first one and said to him, "My master invites you.'
>He said, 'I have claims against some merchants. They are coming
>to me this evening. I must go and give them my orders. I ask to
>be excused from the dinner.' He went to another and said, 'My
>master has invited you.' He said to him, 'I have just bought a
>house and am required for the day. I shall not have any spare
>time.' He went to another and said to him, 'My master invites
>you.' He said to him, 'My friend is going to get married, and I
>am to prepare the banquet. I shall not be able to come. I ask to
>be excused from the dinner.' He went to another and said to him,
>'My master invites you.' He said to him, 'I have just bought a
>farm, and I am on my way to collect the rent. I shall not be able
>to come. I ask to be excused.' The servant returned and said to
>his master, 'Those whom you invited to the dinner have asked to
>be excused.' The master said to his servant, 'Go outside to the
>streets and bring back those whom you happen to meet, so that
>they may dine.' Businessmen and merchants will not enter the
>Places of My Father."
>Is the longest and maybe most rambling of the sayings and clearly
>has some relation to the parable of the Great Feast in Matthew
>22:1-10 and Luke 14:15-24.
>However in some ways it is longer than either. It has four separate
>requests to the unwilling guests by the unfortunate servant compared
>to three in Luke and a request repeated twice in Matthew.
>Thomas has clearly rewritten his earlier tradition to express his
>own rejection of involvement in worldly affairs. However his
>original source may have been a conflation of Matthew and Luke.
>Tatian's Diatessaron has for the account of the excuses
>And they would not come, but began all of them with one voice to make
>excuse. And the first said unto them, Say to him, I have bought a
>field, and I
>must needs go out to see it: I pray thee to release me, for I ask to
>And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to examine
>them: I pray thee to release me, for I ask to be excused. And another said, I
>have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. And the king sent
>servants, and said, Say to those that were invited, that my feast is
>my oxen and my fatlings are slain, and everything is ready: come to
>But they made light of it, and went, one to his field, and another to his
>Here combining together Matthew and Luke has resulted in a list of
>four requests to the invited guests with at least limited
>resemblance to the list in Thomas.
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