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RE: [GTh] Redman's Response to Goodacre's Thomas Book

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  • Stephen Goranson
    Thanks. Are you suggesting an interpreter for the Greek and for the Coptic? In other words, were the two used similarly? If so, also, was there a lineage of
    Message 1 of 26 , Mar 24, 2013
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      Thanks. Are you suggesting an interpreter for the Greek and for the Coptic? In other words, were the two used similarly? If so, also, was there a lineage of interpreters?

      Stephen Goranson
      www.duke.edu/~goranson


      From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [gthomas@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of Stephen Carlson [stemmatic@...]
      Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2013 11:49 AM
      To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [GTh] Redman's Response to Goodacre's Thomas Book

       

      On Sun, Mar 24, 2013 at 2:28 PM, Stephen Goranson <goranson@...> wrote:

      Interesting, Stephen.
      You mention author, purveyor, and interpreter. Singular or plural?
      Applying to the Greek and Coptic?

      Good questions. They did not make it to the list, so I'm re-posting them.

      At this point, singularity of authorship is more of a convention or working hypothesis on my part (cf. the Gospel of Matthew), but I'm open to reading about views involving a plurality of authorship.  I'm personally skeptical of rolling corpus models for Thomas, and my personal approach is to assume integrity as a working hypothesis until shown to be unworkable.
      --
      Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
      Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala

    • Tom Reynolds
      Given the oral nature of the culture, it is possible that GTh is simply talking points and neither meant to be read or understood absent additional commentary
      Message 2 of 26 , Mar 24, 2013
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        Given the oral nature of the culture, it is possible that GTh is simply talking points and neither meant to be read or understood absent additional commentary by the orator.

        [Tom Reynolds]

      • Mark Goodacre
        I am most grateful to both Tony Burke and Judy Redman for their appreciative and thoughtful reviews. In due course, I d like to add a few reflections on them
        Message 3 of 26 , Mar 25, 2013
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          I am most grateful to both Tony Burke and Judy Redman for their appreciative and thoughtful reviews.  In due course, I'd like to add a few reflections on them in my blog.  But one thought with respect to DeConick's "rolling corpus" model they both mention.  I think that they are right that it rewards serious reflection, but I am puzzled by the appeal to it in this context.  DeConick's "kernel gospel" in fact features virtually all of the Synoptic parallels.  In other words, DeConick's later materials, the accretions that form the later parts of this "rolling corpus", are virtually all among the non-Synoptic material.  

          All best
          Mark

          --
          Mark Goodacre           
          Duke University
          Department of Religion
          Gray Building / Box 90964
          Durham, NC 27708-0964    USA
          Phone: 919-660-3503        Fax: 919-660-3530

          http://www.markgoodacre.org

        • Judy Redman
          Mark, I obviously can’t speak for Tony, but what I am referring to when I say that I find the “rolling corpus” model more convincing is the notion that
          Message 4 of 26 , Mar 25, 2013
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            Mark,

             

            I obviously can’t speak for Tony, but what I am referring to when I say that I find the “rolling corpus” model more convincing is the notion that we have an early kernel that was adapted as it moved between oral and written modes ie that the Synoptic material was adopted and adapted over time within a Thomas community before it stabilised in the final text.  As I understand it, you are arguing rather that the author of Thomas picked up the Synoptic material at a later date – some time in the 140s – and adapted it at the point at which he wrote the original Greek version of the text. I agree with you that we need to take care not to get so enthusiastic about the role of orality that we neglect the textual relationships, but I would attribute a bigger role to oral transmission and the effect of human memory than you appear to.

             

            Does that help?

             

            Judy

             

            From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark Goodacre
            Sent: Tuesday, 26 March 2013 1:03 AM
            To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [GTh] Redman's Response to Goodacre's Thomas Book

             

             

            I am most grateful to both Tony Burke and Judy Redman for their appreciative and thoughtful reviews.  In due course, I'd like to add a few reflections on them in my blog.  But one thought with respect to DeConick's "rolling corpus" model they both mention.  I think that they are right that it rewards serious reflection, but I am puzzled by the appeal to it in this context.  DeConick's "kernel gospel" in fact features virtually all of the Synoptic parallels.  In other words, DeConick's later materials, the accretions that form the later parts of this "rolling corpus", are virtually all among the non-Synoptic material.  

             

            All best

            Mark

             

            --
            Mark Goodacre           
            Duke University
            Department of Religion
            Gray Building / Box 90964
            Durham, NC 27708-0964    USA
            Phone: 919-660-3503        Fax: 919-660-3530

            http://www.markgoodacre.org

          • Mark Goodacre
            Thanks, Judy. As I read DeConick s use of the rolling corpus model, the synoptic material almost all occurs in the kernel gospel . The accretions are
            Message 5 of 26 , Mar 25, 2013
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              Thanks, Judy.  As I read DeConick's use of the "rolling corpus" model, the synoptic material almost all occurs in the "kernel gospel".  The "accretions" are generally non-synoptic material.   For example, Thomas 79 is part of the "kernel" and it is also synoptic material (Luke 11.27-28, 23.27-31).  Thomas 80 (non-synoptic material) accretes to the previous saying.  In other words, in her rolling corpus, the Synoptic material generally occurs at the formative stage; the accretions are basically non-synoptic material.  When we are looking at the Synoptic parallels, therefore, we need to be comparing them specifically to the kernel gospel and not the rolling corpus more generally, no?  Cheers, Mark


              --
              Mark Goodacre           
              Duke University
              Department of Religion
              Gray Building / Box 90964
              Durham, NC 27708-0964    USA
              Phone: 919-660-3503        Fax: 919-660-3530

              http://www.markgoodacre.org

            • Judy Redman
              This is not really a response to anyone s post, but a further comment on the issue of the nature of the relationship between Thomas and the Synoptics. One of
              Message 6 of 26 , Mar 25, 2013
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                This is not really  a response to anyone’s post, but a further comment on the issue of the nature of the relationship between Thomas and the Synoptics.

                 

                One of Mark’s arguments is that we are setting the bar too high when we expect the kind of verbatim correspondence between Thomas and the Synoptics that we find between the Synoptics themselves – that this is not usual in literature of the time. I think this depends on what level of evidence we are looking for. If we want to be able to say that there is very little doubt that the relationship between two texts is a literary one, I think we need either to have a high degree of verbatim or near verbatim correspondence, or to be sure that there is no other way that the author of the later text can be familiar with the material contained in the former than by having seen a copy of the text. If we are prepared to accept that Jesus was a real person who moved around first century Palestine teaching a reformed understanding of the Jewish faith, then we have to accept that there were many people who heard him teach, including quite a few who heard him many times and that he lived in a culture where oral transmission of stories and teachings was the norm, so parallel content without verbatim agreement doesn’t provide a particularly high level of certainty about a literary relationship between two texts.  By a high level of verbatim correspondence, I mean long strings of words – too long to be remembered by rote or to have occurred by chance. Without this, all that we can say is that it is clear that the author of the later text was familiar with the content of the earlier one and that this may have been a literary relationship.

                 

                In looking at the relationship between the various Synoptics, we have a number of passages of verbatim or near verbatim agreement that are way too long to have come about in any other way than either copying directly from one text into another or a deliberate effort on the part of the early church to learn vast amounts of material by rote. With Thomas, the amount of evidence available is very much smaller – we can only compare Greek with Greek in the POxy fragments and there is only a small amount of parallel material in these. McIver and Carroll (McIver, Robert K. and Marie Carroll. "Experiments to Develop Criteria for Determining the Existence of Written Sources, and Their Potential Implications for the Synoptic Problem." JBL 121, no. 4 (2002): 667-687 and McIver, Robert K. and Marie Carroll. "Distinguishing Characteristics of Orally Transmitted Material When Compared to Material Transmitted by Literary Means." Applied Cognitive Psychology 18, no. 9 (2004): 1251-1269) suggest that we need to have at least 15-18 words correspondence to be able to be sure that copying has taken place. I would certainly argue that for stories in circulation in oral form within a community, 8-10 words could easily be achieved by chance supported by familiarity with an oral tradition. While copying could have taken place, this string length is not long enough to provide concrete evidence of copying. The only verbatim string of words from POxy  that is longer than 7-9 is a 13 word string from POxy1 and this presents a significant problem because POxy is the fragment that contains GTh26-30 then 77b then 31-33. If this is part of an actual manuscript of GTh, then we have evidence that the text was not always in the same form as we have it in NHC II,2, which provides support for a rolling corpus theory. If it is part of either a homily or a collection of favourite sayings from Thomas, then an equally plausible explanation for the correspondence is a harmonisation attempt on the part of a/the scribe.

                 

                I would therefore say that the level of verbatim correspondence that we can demonstrate between Thomas and the Synoptics does not provide strong evidence for the author’s familiarity with the Synoptic texts, merely with the Synoptic tradition. Of course, it doesn’t exclude the possibility that the author of Thomas was familiar with the Synoptic texts because, as Mark argues, the fact that the author had a copy of a text in front of him would not have compelled him to copy it verbatim.

                 

                Judy

                 

                 

                --

                Judy Redman
                PhD Candidate, School of Humanities
                University of New England
                Armidale 2351 Australia
                ph:  +61 2 6040 4571
                mob: 0437 044 579
                web:  http://judyredman.wordpress.com/
                email:  jredman2@...
                 

                 

                 

              • sarban
                Hi Judy Would you agree that Thomas and the Synoptics share a common GREEK synoptic tradition (whether oral or written) ? Or do you think it possible that the
                Message 7 of 26 , Mar 25, 2013
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                  Hi Judy
                   
                  Would you agree that Thomas and the Synoptics share a common GREEK synoptic tradition (whether oral or written) ?
                  Or do you think it possible that the Synoptics and Thomas are ultimately based on independent translations from Palestinian Aramaic into Greek ?
                   
                  Andrew Criddle
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Monday, March 25, 2013 8:54 PM
                  Subject: RE: [GTh] Redman's Response to Goodacre's Thomas Book

                   

                  This is not really  a response to anyone’s post, but a further comment on the issue of the nature of the relationship between Thomas and the Synoptics.

                  One of Mark’s arguments is that we are setting the bar too high when we expect the kind of verbatim correspondence between Thomas and the Synoptics that we find between the Synoptics themselves – that this is not usual in literature of the time. I think this depends on what level of evidence we are looking for. If we want to be able to say that there is very little doubt that the relationship between two texts is a literary one, I think we need either to have a high degree of verbatim or near verbatim correspondence, or to be sure that there is no other way that the author of the later text can be familiar with the material contained in the former than by having seen a copy of the text. If we are prepared to accept that Jesus was a real person who moved around first century Palestine teaching a reformed understanding of the Jewish faith, then we have to accept that there were many people who heard him teach, including quite a few who heard him many times and that he lived in a culture where oral transmission of stories and teachings was the norm, so parallel content without verbatim agreement doesn’t provide a particularly high level of certainty about a literary relationship between two texts.  By a high level of verbatim correspondence, I mean long strings of words – too long to be remembered by rote or to have occurred by chance. Without this, all that we can say is that it is clear that the author of the later text was familiar with the content of the earlier one and that this may have been a literary relationship.

                  <SNIP>

                  I would therefore say that the level of verbatim correspondence that we can demonstrate between Thomas and the Synoptics does not provide strong evidence for the author’s familiarity with the Synoptic texts, merely with the Synoptic tradition. Of course, it doesn’t exclude the possibility that the author of Thomas was familiar with the Synoptic texts because, as Mark argues, the fact that the author had a copy of a text in front of him would not have compelled him to copy it verbatim.

                  Judy

                • Jack Kilmon
                  Hi Andrew: No book of the New Testament had ever been written originally in Aramaic, however, portions of the Gospels, including the vox Iesu, are translations
                  Message 8 of 26 , Mar 25, 2013
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                    Hi Andrew:
                         No book of the New Testament had ever been written originally in Aramaic, however, portions of the Gospels, including the vox Iesu, are translations of written and/or oral Judean Aramaic sources. Aramaic interference in the syntax of those areas of New Testament Greek is obvious.  It gets more difficult with Thomas to identify Aramaisms in translational Coptic of translational Greek since it requires scholars facile in Greek, Coptic and Judean Aramaic (not Syriac).
                     
                    Jack Kilmon
                     
                    From: sarban
                    Sent: Monday, March 25, 2013 4:34 PM
                    Subject: Re: [GTh] Redman's Response to Goodacre's Thomas Book
                     


                    Hi Judy
                     
                    Would you agree that Thomas and the Synoptics share a common GREEK synoptic tradition (whether oral or written) ?
                    Or do you think it possible that the Synoptics and Thomas are ultimately based on independent translations from Palestinian Aramaic into Greek ?
                     
                    Andrew Criddle
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Sent: Monday, March 25, 2013 8:54 PM
                    Subject: RE: [GTh] Redman's Response to Goodacre's Thomas Book
                     
                     

                    This is not really  a response to anyone’s post, but a further comment on the issue of the nature of the relationship between Thomas and the Synoptics.

                    One of Mark’s arguments is that we are setting the bar too high when we expect the kind of verbatim correspondence between Thomas and the Synoptics that we find between the Synoptics themselves – that this is not usual in literature of the time. I think this depends on what level of evidence we are looking for. If we want to be able to say that there is very little doubt that the relationship between two texts is a literary one, I think we need either to have a high degree of verbatim or near verbatim correspondence, or to be sure that there is no other way that the author of the later text can be familiar with the material contained in the former than by having seen a copy of the text. If we are prepared to accept that Jesus was a real person who moved around first century Palestine teaching a reformed understanding of the Jewish faith, then we have to accept that there were many people who heard him teach, including quite a few who heard him many times and that he lived in a culture where oral transmission of stories and teachings was the norm, so parallel content without verbatim agreement doesn’t provide a particularly high level of certainty about a literary relationship between two texts.  By a high level of verbatim correspondence, I mean long strings of words – too long to be remembered by rote or to have occurred by chance. Without this, all that we can say is that it is clear that the author of the later text was familiar with the content of the earlier one and that this may have been a literary relationship.

                    <SNIP>

                    I would therefore say that the level of verbatim correspondence that we can demonstrate between Thomas and the Synoptics does not provide strong evidence for the author’s familiarity with the Synoptic texts, merely with the Synoptic tradition. Of course, it doesn’t exclude the possibility that the author of Thomas was familiar with the Synoptic texts because, as Mark argues, the fact that the author had a copy of a text in front of him would not have compelled him to copy it verbatim.

                    Judy

                  • Judy Redman
                    Hi Mark, Yes, but I think we are talking past one another here. In talking about how the Synoptic-Thomas parallel material happened, we obviously need to be
                    Message 9 of 26 , Mar 26, 2013
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                      Hi Mark,

                       

                      Yes, but I think we are talking past one another here. In talking about how the Synoptic-Thomas parallel material happened, we obviously need to be making comparisons with the material that they have in common much of which is, as you say, the material that April designates as kernel.  What I find helpful about her model is not so much what she designates as kernel and what she designates as accretions but that the gospel began as a set of sayings which grew over time to accommodate the reality that Jesus did not return as expected and that it moved between written and oral form along the way. I think this is more likely than that Thomas came into being all at once in the 140s and this, for me, is to a very large extent a separate issue to that of whether the relationship between the texts is a literary one or not.

                       

                      I hope that makes a bit more sense – I was woken at 5 am by a mobile phone insisting that it needed to be plugged in to charge (not my phone) and at the end of the day am not feeling at my best and brightest and most coherent.

                       

                      Judy

                       

                      From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark Goodacre
                      Sent: Tuesday, 26 March 2013 7:51 AM
                      To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [GTh] Redman's Response to Goodacre's Thomas Book

                       

                       

                      Thanks, Judy.  As I read DeConick's use of the "rolling corpus" model, the synoptic material almost all occurs in the "kernel gospel".  The "accretions" are generally non-synoptic material.   For example, Thomas 79 is part of the "kernel" and it is also synoptic material (Luke 11.27-28, 23.27-31).  Thomas 80 (non-synoptic material) accretes to the previous saying.  In other words, in her rolling corpus, the Synoptic material generally occurs at the formative stage; the accretions are basically non-synoptic material.  When we are looking at the Synoptic parallels, therefore, we need to be comparing them specifically to the kernel gospel and not the rolling corpus more generally, no?  Cheers, Mark

                       

                      --
                      Mark Goodacre           
                      Duke University
                      Department of Religion
                      Gray Building / Box 90964
                      Durham, NC 27708-0964    USA
                      Phone: 919-660-3503        Fax: 919-660-3530

                      http://www.markgoodacre.org

                    • Judy Redman
                      Jack, I understood Andrew to be asking me at what point I think the two traditions diverged - before or after the vox Iesu was translated from Aramaic into
                      Message 10 of 26 , Mar 26, 2013
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                        Jack, I understood Andrew to be asking me at what point I think the two traditions diverged – before or after the vox Iesu was translated from Aramaic into Greek – rather than suggesting that there was a written version of any of the gospels.

                         

                        I have no Aramaic, so don’t feel competent to make this kind of determination. I am not actually saying that it is impossible for Mark’s theory to be correct, just that the evidence that we have available is does not offer a strong enough support to be categorical about this and other explanations are, IMHO, equally well supported.

                         

                        Judy

                         

                         

                        From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jack Kilmon
                        Sent: Tuesday, 26 March 2013 2:33 PM
                        To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [GTh] Redman's Response to Goodacre's Thomas Book

                         

                         

                        Hi Andrew:

                             No book of the New Testament had ever been written originally in Aramaic, however, portions of the Gospels, including the vox Iesu, are translations of written and/or oral Judean Aramaic sources. Aramaic interference in the syntax of those areas of New Testament Greek is obvious.  It gets more difficult with Thomas to identify Aramaisms in translational Coptic of translational Greek since it requires scholars facile in Greek, Coptic and Judean Aramaic (not Syriac).

                         

                        Jack Kilmon

                         

                        From: sarban

                        Sent: Monday, March 25, 2013 4:34 PM

                        Subject: Re: [GTh] Redman's Response to Goodacre's Thomas Book

                         




                        Hi Judy

                         

                        Would you agree that Thomas and the Synoptics share a common GREEK synoptic tradition (whether oral or written) ?

                        Or do you think it possible that the Synoptics and Thomas are ultimately based on independent translations from Palestinian Aramaic into Greek ?

                         

                        Andrew Criddle

                        ----- Original Message -----

                        Sent: Monday, March 25, 2013 8:54 PM

                        Subject: RE: [GTh] Redman's Response to Goodacre's Thomas Book

                         

                         

                        This is not really  a response to anyone’s post, but a further comment on the issue of the nature of the relationship between Thomas and the Synoptics.

                        One of Mark’s arguments is that we are setting the bar too high when we expect the kind of verbatim correspondence between Thomas and the Synoptics that we find between the Synoptics themselves – that this is not usual in literature of the time. I think this depends on what level of evidence we are looking for. If we want to be able to say that there is very little doubt that the relationship between two texts is a literary one, I think we need either to have a high degree of verbatim or near verbatim correspondence, or to be sure that there is no other way that the author of the later text can be familiar with the material contained in the former than by having seen a copy of the text. If we are prepared to accept that Jesus was a real person who moved around first century Palestine teaching a reformed understanding of the Jewish faith, then we have to accept that there were many people who heard him teach, including quite a few who heard him many times and that he lived in a culture where oral transmission of stories and teachings was the norm, so parallel content without verbatim agreement doesn’t provide a particularly high level of certainty about a literary relationship between two texts.  By a high level of verbatim correspondence, I mean long strings of words – too long to be remembered by rote or to have occurred by chance. Without this, all that we can say is that it is clear that the author of the later text was familiar with the content of the earlier one and that this may have been a literary relationship.

                        <SNIP>

                        I would therefore say that the level of verbatim correspondence that we can demonstrate between Thomas and the Synoptics does not provide strong evidence for the author’s familiarity with the Synoptic texts, merely with the Synoptic tradition. Of course, it doesn’t exclude the possibility that the author of Thomas was familiar with the Synoptic texts because, as Mark argues, the fact that the author had a copy of a text in front of him would not have compelled him to copy it verbatim.

                        Judy

                      • E Bruce Brooks
                        To: GThos In Response To: Mark G On: Rolling Corpus From: Bruce Judy Redman, and now Mark G, have repeatedly referred to DeConick s rolling corpus theory of
                        Message 11 of 26 , Mar 26, 2013
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                          To: GThos

                          In Response To: Mark G

                          On: Rolling Corpus

                          From: Bruce

                           

                          Judy Redman, and now Mark G, have repeatedly referred to DeConick’s “rolling corpus” theory of Thomas. I continue to wish I could persuade people to abandon this highly misleading term. A rolling average is an average of a constant number of terms, which discards at one end as it add at the other end, while moving along those numbers. It stays the same size, while varying in content. I can imagine a text that evolves in such a way, but this is not what DeConick is actually claiming for Thomas.

                           

                          To quote her (Vigiliae Christianae v56 #2 (May 2002) 180f, paraphrasing her source, McKane on Jeremiah, “a rolling corpus is a book that begins with the ipsissima verba of a prophet . . . Over time, additional material becomes aggregated and organized in relation to the core.” That is, no material is discarded, and the model is that of what I have elsewhere called an accretional text: a text that grows over time by the addition of material to an original core.

                           

                          DeConick’s example (p182) of a text process that discards is Marcion’s Luke and Pauline Letters. She might as easily have cited Luke’s treatment of Mark, let alone John’s treatment of both Mark and Luke (though these add as well as subtract). But these are examples of Text B operating on a complete and prior and outside Text A. They are not examples of text formation ab initio.

                           

                          DeConick thinks that an accretional model (composition in more than one impulse, and with more than one theological idea) is required by the diverse and sometimes self-contradictory nature of the contents of GThos. That can be evaluated on its merits (others, seemingly, are prepared to explain GThos as, well, explainable as it stands). But that discussion will proceed more smoothly, it seems to me, if all hands see DeConick’s proposal as that of a growth text, not that of a growth-and-discard text.

                           

                          Bruce

                           

                          E Bruce Brooks

                          Warring States Project

                          University of Massachusetts at Amherst

                           

                          Perhaps relevantly, Quispel in commenting on DeConick’s article (Vig Chr v60 #2, May 2006, 231-233), says “the authoress describes the growth of a kernel (“a speech Gospel”) into the present shape of the Gospel of Thomas.” Quispel does not, either in this sentence or later, refer to a “rolling corpus” model. I think that his description (as a growth text) is accurate for what DeConick is proposing, and that his ignoring of DeConick’s own term (“rolling corpus”) is wise, and worthy of present emulation.

                           

                        • ravensschmavens
                          I am not sure how helpful this corrective will be, but I don t think it is often enough said that the phrase, rolling corpus was originally coined by the Old
                          Message 12 of 26 , Mar 26, 2013
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                            I am not sure how helpful this corrective will be, but I don't think it is often enough said that the phrase, "rolling corpus" was originally coined by the Old Testament scholar, William McKane in his work on the text of Jeremiah. If we are going to wrangle over its use (and especially if we are going to call it a misleading term), we should probably look at the way it was originally used by McKane and then borrowed for the construction of DeConick's model. (BTW, I have no dog in this fight as I am not particularly persuaded my April's argument. Just wanted to inject some clarity into the discussion.)

                            Chris

                            Sent from my iPad

                            On Mar 26, 2013, at 2:12 PM, "E Bruce Brooks" <brooks@...> wrote:

                             

                            To: GThos

                            In Response To: Mark G

                            On: Rolling Corpus

                            From: Bruce

                             

                            Judy Redman, and now Mark G, have repeatedly referred to DeConick’s “rolling corpus” theory of Thomas. I continue to wish I could persuade people to abandon this highly misleading term. A rolling average is an average of a constant number of terms, which discards at one end as it add at the other end, while moving along those numbers. It stays the same size, while varying in content. I can imagine a text that evolves in such a way, but this is not what DeConick is actually claiming for Thomas.

                             

                            To quote her (Vigiliae Christianae v56 #2 (May 2002) 180f, paraphrasing her source, McKane on Jeremiah, “a rolling corpus is a book that begins with the ipsissima verba of a prophet . . . Over time, additional material becomes aggregated and organized in relation to the core.” That is, no material is discarded, and the model is that of what I have elsewhere called an accretional text: a text that grows over time by the addition of material to an original core.

                             

                            DeConick’s example (p182) of a text process that discards is Marcion’s Luke and Pauline Letters. She might as easily have cited Luke’s treatment of Mark, let alone John’s treatment of both Mark and Luke (though these add as well as subtract). But these are examples of Text B operating on a complete and prior and outside Text A. They are not examples of text formation ab initio.

                             

                            DeConick thinks that an accretional model (composition in more than one impulse, and with more than one theological idea) is required by the diverse and sometimes self-contradictory nature of the contents of GThos. That can be evaluated on its merits (others, seemingly, are prepared to explain GThos as, well, explainable as it stands). But that discussion will proceed more smoothly, it seems to me, if all hands see DeConick’s proposal as that of a growth text, not that of a growth-and-discard text.

                             

                            Bruce

                             

                            E Bruce Brooks

                            Warring States Project

                            University of Massachusetts at Amherst

                             

                            Perhaps relevantly, Quispel in commenting on DeConick’s article (Vig Chr v60 #2, May 2006, 231-233), says “the authoress describes the growth of a kernel (“a speech Gospel”) into the present shape of the Gospel of Thomas.” Quispel does not, either in this sentence or later, refer to a “rolling corpus” model. I think that his description (as a growth text) is accurate for what DeConick is proposing, and that his ignoring of DeConick’s own term (“rolling corpus”) is wise, and worthy of present emulation.

                             

                          • Jordan Stratford
                            Re: rolling vs accretional The layman s term that arose from the Gospel of Philip group was drunken dinner party transcript to account for the repetition and
                            Message 13 of 26 , Mar 26, 2013
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                              Re: rolling vs accretional

                              The layman's term that arose from the Gospel of Philip group was "drunken dinner party transcript" to account for the repetition and contradictory voices. The metaphor would seem to apply to Thomas as well.

                              Jordan
                            • E Bruce Brooks
                              To: GThos (GPG to see) In Response To: Christopher Skinner On: Rolling Corpus From: Bruce In my last, I carefully noted DeConick s reliance on McKane, and
                              Message 14 of 26 , Mar 26, 2013
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                                To: GThos (GPG to see)

                                In Response To: Christopher Skinner

                                On: Rolling Corpus

                                From: Bruce

                                 

                                In my last, I carefully noted DeConick’s reliance on McKane, and quoted her own characterization of that model. I am not concerned with whether McKane’s term “rolling corpus” rightly describes his view of Jeremiah, and I am not concerned to take up Jeremiah as such. I *am* concerned with the misleading implications of the term, which DeConick (and as far as her quote goes, also McKane) use to describe what I think is better labeled a growth or accretional text.

                                 

                                I continue to think that Quispel had the right idea, and that the term “rolling corpus” should be silently disused in connection with DeConick’s view of GThos. That is, unless someone really wants to propose an add-and-discard model for that text, in which case “rolling corpus” will be available to them as the appropriate label.

                                 

                                Bruce

                                 

                                E Bruce Brooks
                                Warring States Project

                                University of Massachusetts at Amherst

                                 

                                I think the real question is: Does the nature of the GThos material suggest a hypothesis of unitary or successive composition? Can the inconsistencies to which DeConick points be explained away (some esoteric texts are intentionally paradoxical), or must they be acknowledged as problematic for single-stage composition? If the latter, then DeConick’s argument holds, and a layer hypothesis will work better than an integral one.

                                 

                                Quispel in passing proposed one core possibility, with which I happen to agree, but I don’t mean to preclude discussion. I *would* like to see the discussion take place. DeConick (in her Vigiliae Christianae article) gives specific examples of what she sees as “conflicting content” in GThos (p179). These include:

                                 

                                Th 12 and 53; Th 113 and 111a

                                 

                                and such “troublesome doublets” as Th 3/113. 38/92, 48/106, 55/101, 56/80, 87/112.

                                Would anyone care to discuss any of them? DeConick herself says (p180), “ . . . but is also evidence for multi-authors who layered the text with new source materials over a lengthy period of time.” (Notice DeConick’s use here of the term “layered”).

                                 

                                I notice that it is almost but not quite possible to draw a line in gThos that divides the members of the the “troublesome doublets” she cites. If we exclude only the last of the above “doublets,” that line might come somewhere between Th 56 and 80. Implied question: Is there a point between those two passages that might have served, at one point in the process, as an intentional ending? In the way John 20 makes a plausible ending in the absence of John 21?

                                 

                                A text can simply trail off, and I know several that do. But is this how gThos ends, or once ended?

                                 

                              • Jack Kilmon
                                JACK] I see. I am convinced that Thomas was translated into Coptic from translational Greek for those logia that are genuine to Jesus based on at least one
                                Message 15 of 26 , Mar 26, 2013
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                                  JACK] I see.  I am convinced that Thomas was translated into Coptic from translational Greek for those logia that are genuine to Jesus based on at least one Aramaism that is identifiable.  I may go over Mike’s interlinear when I have time since he has done such a great job.
                                   
                                  Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 4:17 AM
                                  Subject: RE: [GTh] Redman's Response to Goodacre's Thomas Book
                                   


                                  Jack, I understood Andrew to be asking me at what point I think the two traditions diverged – before or after the vox Iesu was translated from Aramaic into Greek – rather than suggesting that there was a written version of any of the gospels.

                                   

                                  I have no Aramaic, so don’t feel competent to make this kind of determination. I am not actually saying that it is impossible for Mark’s theory to be correct, just that the evidence that we have available is does not offer a strong enough support to be categorical about this and other explanations are, IMHO, equally well supported.

                                   

                                  Judy

                                   

                                   

                                  From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jack Kilmon
                                  Sent: Tuesday, 26 March 2013 2:33 PM
                                  To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: Re: [GTh] Redman's Response to Goodacre's Thomas Book

                                   

                                   

                                  Hi Andrew:

                                       No book of the New Testament had ever been written originally in Aramaic, however, portions of the Gospels, including the vox Iesu, are translations of written and/or oral Judean Aramaic sources. Aramaic interference in the syntax of those areas of New Testament Greek is obvious.  It gets more difficult with Thomas to identify Aramaisms in translational Coptic of translational Greek since it requires scholars facile in Greek, Coptic and Judean Aramaic (not Syriac).

                                   

                                  Jack Kilmon

                                   

                                  From: sarban

                                  Sent: Monday, March 25, 2013 4:34 PM

                                  Subject: Re: [GTh] Redman's Response to Goodacre's Thomas Book

                                   




                                  Hi Judy

                                   

                                  Would you agree that Thomas and the Synoptics share a common GREEK synoptic tradition (whether oral or written) ?

                                  Or do you think it possible that the Synoptics and Thomas are ultimately based on independent translations from Palestinian Aramaic into Greek ?

                                   

                                  Andrew Criddle

                                  ----- Original Message -----

                                  Sent: Monday, March 25, 2013 8:54 PM

                                  Subject: RE: [GTh] Redman's Response to Goodacre's Thomas Book

                                   

                                   

                                  This is not really  a response to anyone’s post, but a further comment on the issue of the nature of the relationship between Thomas and the Synoptics.

                                  One of Mark’s arguments is that we are setting the bar too high when we expect the kind of verbatim correspondence between Thomas and the Synoptics that we find between the Synoptics themselves – that this is not usual in literature of the time. I think this depends on what level of evidence we are looking for. If we want to be able to say that there is very little doubt that the relationship between two texts is a literary one, I think we need either to have a high degree of verbatim or near verbatim correspondence, or to be sure that there is no other way that the author of the later text can be familiar with the material contained in the former than by having seen a copy of the text. If we are prepared to accept that Jesus was a real person who moved around first century Palestine teaching a reformed understanding of the Jewish faith, then we have to accept that there were many people who heard him teach, including quite a few who heard him many times and that he lived in a culture where oral transmission of stories and teachings was the norm, so parallel content without verbatim agreement doesn’t provide a particularly high level of certainty about a literary relationship between two texts.  By a high level of verbatim correspondence, I mean long strings of words – too long to be remembered by rote or to have occurred by chance. Without this, all that we can say is that it is clear that the author of the later text was familiar with the content of the earlier one and that this may have been a literary relationship.

                                  <SNIP>

                                  I would therefore say that the level of verbatim correspondence that we can demonstrate between Thomas and the Synoptics does not provide strong evidence for the author’s familiarity with the Synoptic texts, merely with the Synoptic tradition. Of course, it doesn’t exclude the possibility that the author of Thomas was familiar with the Synoptic texts because, as Mark argues, the fact that the author had a copy of a text in front of him would not have compelled him to copy it verbatim.

                                  Judy

                                • Mark Goodacre
                                  Thanks, Judy, for your helpful comments. Yes, but this is the key issue -- did the Gospel of Thomas begin as a setting of sayings which grew over time , in a
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Mar 26, 2013
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                                    Thanks, Judy, for your helpful comments.  Yes, but this is the key issue -- did the Gospel of Thomas begin as "a setting of sayings which grew over time", in a kind of evolutionary model?  My argument is that the diagnostic shards found in the parallel sayings in Thomas are sufficient to place a question mark against that kind of evolutionary model.  As you know, I think that one of the difficulties with studies of the Gospel of Thomas is that they tend to think in a kind of bottom-up form-critical way, beginning with primitive traditions and seeing development and accretion until we get to the unique materials.  I argue that a redaction-critical approach can look at the unique material and see how far that might help in understanding the selection of the Synoptic parallels.  But that, of course, is why the issue of Matthean and Lucan redaction in Thomas is so important, and it sounds like we disagree on that one.  Thanks again for engaging.  Cheers, Mark


                                    --
                                    Mark Goodacre           
                                    Duke University
                                    Department of Religion
                                    Gray Building / Box 90964
                                    Durham, NC 27708-0964    USA
                                    Phone: 919-660-3503        Fax: 919-660-3530

                                    http://www.markgoodacre.org

                                  • Mark Goodacre
                                    If I may, a quick comment on the use of McIver and Carroll in this context: ... There is a serious flaw in McIver and Carroll s experiments. They compared
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Mar 26, 2013
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                                      If I may, a quick comment on the use of McIver and Carroll in this context:

                                      On 25 March 2013 16:54, Judy Redman <jredman2@...> wrote:

                                      > McIver and Carroll (McIver, Robert K. and Marie Carroll.
                                      > "Experiments to Develop Criteria for Determining the Existence of Written
                                      > Sources, and Their Potential Implications for the Synoptic Problem." JBL
                                      > 121, no. 4 (2002): 667-687 and McIver, Robert K. and Marie Carroll.
                                      > "Distinguishing Characteristics of Orally Transmitted Material When Compared
                                      > to Material Transmitted by Literary Means." Applied Cognitive Psychology 18,
                                      > no. 9 (2004): 1251-1269) suggest that we need to have at least 15-18 words
                                      > correspondence to be able to be sure that copying has taken place.

                                      There is a serious flaw in McIver and Carroll's experiments. They
                                      compared results from experiments in contemporary English with data
                                      from the Gospels in Koine Greek. This is important because it takes
                                      many more words to say something in contemporary English than it takes
                                      to say the same thing in Koine Greek, so the 16/18 criterion is pretty
                                      useless. I have blogged about this on a couple of occasions and I am
                                      in the process of writing this up more fully:

                                      http://ntweblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/flaw-in-mciver-and-carrolls-article.html

                                      http://ntweblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/more-on-flaw-in-mciver-and-carrolls.html

                                      All best
                                      Mark

                                      --
                                      Mark Goodacre
                                      Duke University
                                      Department of Religion
                                      Gray Building / Box 90964
                                      Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
                                      Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530

                                      http://www.markgoodacre.org
                                    • Tom Reynolds
                                      Mark-   This could be flawed the other way. Quite a few scholars see oral societies as having virtually photographic memories with the ability to recite
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Mar 26, 2013
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                                        Mark-
                                         
                                        This could be flawed the other way. Quite a few scholars see oral societies as having virtually photographic memories with the ability to recite entire passages verbatum. They cite current oral societies as having this ability.
                                         
                                        Tom
                                      • Judy Redman
                                        Mark, Thank you for engaging, too. The reading I have been doing about eyewitness testimony and human memory suggests to me that there is a somewhat different
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Mar 27, 2013
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                                          Mark,

                                           

                                          Thank you for engaging, too. The reading I have been doing about eyewitness testimony and human memory suggests to me that there is a somewhat different way of looking at how Thomas and the Synoptics may have formed.  I have found the points you have made in analysing the issues raised by the texts really helpful, but I think that there may be another way of explaining them. I’ve also read recent papers by Paul Foster and Robert McIver which have added some other ideas. I have been trying for several months to find the mental space to pull everything together but it’s a very busy time of year for me because our academic year is only four weeks old, and  I haven’t been able to do so. I am hoping that I will get it done after Easter.  I don’t think that the bottom-up form-critical thinking works all that well, either, but the redactional model that you present doesn’t quite seem to work either.

                                           

                                          One issue I have with redactional models is that they imply that a later author takes someone else’s work and makes deliberate, calculated decisions to change it to fit the later author’s particular theological perspective. This doesn’t sit particularly well with me because I would like to think that the authors of the gospels were faithful people of good will who were recording the good news about Jesus as they understood it rather than deliberately trying to shape their audiences’ understanding by altering the tradition that was handed down by others. Another issue I have is that I think it relies too heavily on written text and while I agree that there has been a swing too far the other way, with orality being over emphasised, I would like to look more at the intersection between human memory and the oral phase of transmission. Thus, a model that allows for the development of variations over time and out of communities of faith and with some emphasis on oral transmission seems to me to be more in line with what would/should/could have happened.

                                           

                                          So at the moment I am saying that the general idea of a rolling corpus fits better with my understanding than something that produces a version at one point in time. In a month’s time, I might be saying something different. J  I think, incidentally, that Funk is wrong to say that simpler = earlier. Human memory studies on the handing down of stories suggest that it works the other way – as time goes on, the story gets simpler and simpler. Other forces, however, come into play, so I don’t think we can be dogmatic about it either way.

                                           

                                          Judy

                                           

                                           

                                           

                                          From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mark Goodacre
                                          Sent: Wednesday, 27 March 2013 10:27 AM
                                          To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject: Re: [GTh] Redman's Response to Goodacre's Thomas Book

                                           

                                           

                                          Thanks, Judy, for your helpful comments.  Yes, but this is the key issue -- did the Gospel of Thomas begin as "a setting of sayings which grew over time", in a kind of evolutionary model?  My argument is that the diagnostic shards found in the parallel sayings in Thomas are sufficient to place a question mark against that kind of evolutionary model.  As you know, I think that one of the difficulties with studies of the Gospel of Thomas is that they tend to think in a kind of bottom-up form-critical way, beginning with primitive traditions and seeing development and accretion until we get to the unique materials.  I argue that a redaction-critical approach can look at the unique material and see how far that might help in understanding the selection of the Synoptic parallels.  But that, of course, is why the issue of Matthean and Lucan redaction in Thomas is so important, and it sounds like we disagree on that one.  Thanks again for engaging.  Cheers, Mark

                                           

                                          --
                                          Mark Goodacre           
                                          Duke University
                                          Department of Religion
                                          Gray Building / Box 90964
                                          Durham, NC 27708-0964    USA
                                          Phone: 919-660-3503        Fax: 919-660-3530

                                          http://www.markgoodacre.org

                                        • Stephen Carlson
                                          ... I thought that was basically the intent behind Goodacre s use of the term knowledge of rather than literarily dependent upon. I realize that Tony
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Mar 27, 2013
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                                            On Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 11:25 AM, Judy Redman <jredman2@...> wrote:

                                            One issue I have with redactional models is that they imply that a later author takes someone else’s work and makes deliberate, calculated decisions to change it to fit the later author’s particular theological perspective.  

                                             
                                            I thought that was basically the intent behind Goodacre's use of the term "knowledge of" rather than "literarily dependent upon."  I realize that Tony Burke's review basically conflates the two concepts, but I think it should be underscored that Mark's approach is more nuanced than that.
                                             
                                            Stephen
                                            --
                                            Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke)
                                            Post-Doctoral Fellow, Theology, Uppsala
                                          • JamesFrankMcGrath
                                            Tom, Hopefully the image used can show what is wrong with this reasoning, and why fewer and fewer scholars adopt the stance if they have kept up to date on the
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Mar 27, 2013
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                                              Tom,

                                              Hopefully the image used can show what is wrong with this reasoning, and why fewer and fewer scholars adopt the stance if they have kept up to date on the study of orality and memory. "Photographic" memory is the ability to recall what was seen or read. But the more one is dealing with an oral society, the more on has to talk about memory functioning in the absence of a written text which makes words available pictorially.

                                              With such a text available, in a society with literacy, one can read and repeat the same words over and over again and commit them to memory that way. But that requires writing as a means to memorization. Without such a visual or other verbatim transcript, the very notion of repeating the exact same words becomes meaningless and at best impossible to verify.

                                              Best wishes,

                                              James


                                              ____________________________________
                                              Dr. James F. McGrath
                                              Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature
                                              Butler University
                                              http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/
                                              ____________________________________

                                              --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, Tom Reynolds <tomreynolds_ilan@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Mark-
                                              >  
                                              > This could be flawed the other way. Quite a few scholars see oral societies as having virtually photographic memories with the ability to recite entire passages verbatum. They cite current oral societies as having this ability.
                                              >  
                                              > Tom
                                              >
                                            • E Bruce Brooks
                                              To: GThos In Response To: Judy Redman On: Redactional Models From: Bruce Judy: One issue I have with redactional models is that they imply that a later author
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Mar 27, 2013
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                                                To: GThos

                                                In Response To: Judy Redman

                                                On: Redactional Models

                                                From: Bruce

                                                Judy: One issue I have with redactional models is that they imply that a later author takes someone else’s work and makes deliberate, calculated decisions to change it to fit the later author’s particular theological perspective.  

                                                Bruce: That’s a rather pejorative way of putting it; it equates growth with corruption. Such things undoubtedly do happen (I have had editors either subtract my thoughts, or add their own, in a piece of mine which they are preparing for a collective volume, and I resent it enormously). But text growth can also occur if the author remains the same (or a series of text proprietors remains consecutive). An author (or proprietor; say the leader of a church) who still retains control of his original can at any time make changes in it, or add explanations to it, or supplement it with additional illustrations (just as I earlier today posted a revised version of my abstract for the SBL/EGL meeting next week). When (as frequently in Mark) we see a clearly interpolated passage, which nevertheless is present in all the manuscripts and thus does not come under suspicion of being a scribal change or other kind of subsequent alteration, we may well be in the presence of an authorial augmentation.

                                                 

                                                I don’t see a narrative mainthread in gThos, and I also don’t see a systematic plan of exposition. If these are lacking, there is no easy test of interpolated material. The only suggestive points, as far as I can see, would be the ones DeConick is pointing to: doctrinal inconsistency. I would still like to see someone either confirm or refute her list of inconsistent passages, or at the other end of the scale, deal with her too-consistent doublets.

                                                 

                                                If this list should not be thought a proper venue for those exercises, I would be glad to hear from any analytically-minded persons off-list.

                                                 

                                                Bruce

                                                 

                                                E Bruce Brooks

                                                Warring States Project

                                                University of Massachusetts at Amherst

                                                 

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