I thought it best to reveal my point-of-view about various subjects that I might comment on here.
First, I am not a fan of the "two source" (sometimes four source) solution to the Synoptic Gospels. My reason is rather simple. Luke writes "In as much as many have undertaken to compile an account...."
As I tend to take authors at their word unless there is a good reason [not] to do so, I conclude that there were many written accounts prior to Luke. I further conclude that the so called synoptics as well as GT were based on many written sources.
Second if an author tells us his/her purpose I believe the author and assign a genere accordingly. (This applies to Lk and Jn)
Third, my current studies are about cultural anthropology specifically how different the culture was in the 1st and 2nd Century is from the American culture of the 21st century and how this affects our current understanding of 1st and 2nd century works.
I am here because I wish to discuss GT from a cultural perspective: What it meant to the first hearers/readers.
- Adrian-I am sure we can have some interesting debates concerning ones linguistic ability to separate a document into its sources but our studies may, nevertheless, coincide nicely.However, at the beginning of Lk is the statement that “many accounts were compiled of the things accomplished among us.” Taking LK at his word this means that LK had many written sources as well as eyewitnesses to conduct his investigation with.This being so, the synoptic gospels need not be as dependent on each other as current scholarship suggests (two-source theory). A body of written documents existed and the similarities found in the synoptics can be easily explained by their use of the same, earlier source.The same is true, of course, for GT which is why I am here.Going back to the world of the first century we find an oral society where written documents [other than contracts and inventories] were essentially used as a memory aid for an oral presentation. Silent reading was generally not practiced. I therefore conclude that the “many” accounts Lk is speaking about are based on actual events and discourses but are redacted to suit the style of the orator.I have a DVD on a professor from Rutgers. While he is lecturing on Genesis his points about oral hearing versus silent reading I believe are germane. The professor showed how listeners are more engaged in the story they are listening to because they don’t have the opportunity to go back and consult a previous section as a silent reader does. He also talks about how an orator can call attention to specific phrases by verbal mechanisms that are lost to the silent reader.I am looking at GT from this perspective (culture of the 1st century) and wondering is some of the sayings are really a different way of saying the same thing that is said in the synoptics but the texts, which are very different, are simply memory aids for different orators. In other words, the same point is being made [orally] to 1st century hearers but the similarities are lost on us (21st century American) silent readers because of the vast difference in culture.I therefore propose to post my analysis of various GT sayings from a cultural perspective and seek to match them to synoptic sayings that have the same point but not the same words. My thinking is that this forum, which has been studying GT in more depth than me, could illuminate my thinking.Regards,Tom ReynoldsFrom: Adrian Millar <millaradrian@...>
To: "tomreynolds_ilan@..." <tomreynolds_ilan@...>
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2012 6:51 AM
Subject: Re: Introduction-New member
Hello Tom,Thankyou for joining this group. As a fellow Anthropologist and me (a linguist) I have been watching this site for some time and drawing my own conclusions. I have been working independently on a grammatical analysis of the Gospel of Thomas, and drawing my own conclusions about this Nag Hammadi document. My own conclusion (so far) is that the pre-Coptic redactor was drawing on a number of documents to compose and add to what we have here in the Nag Hammadi version of the Gospel of Thomas. I think I can separate these into the following groups: a Mission Document, a Sectarian Document, an Inversionary Document, a Protological Document, and the final Gospel of Thomas Document with some final editorial changes courtesy of some Coptic creative transcribers. In terms of the Anthropological approach, I think it is something that has been neglected so far in this discussion group, and is essential to inform our understanding of what is was that these scribes brought to the development of 1st and 2nd Century culture in the Near East, and I agree that this needs to be considered in the proliferation of new ideas and interpretations of what is given. Welcome.Yours sincerely,Adrian Millar