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Re: [GTh] Saying 77 is it a very late addition ?

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  • Tom Reynolds
    Mike-   In my view the prologue reveals the conclusion that the author desires the reader to come to after reading the work. I see the prologue as an I
    Message 1 of 26 , Aug 19 4:45 PM
      Mike-
       
      In my view the prologue reveals the conclusion that the author desires the reader to come to after reading the work. I see the prologue as an "I was" statement of Jesus preexistance as the active creative power of God, and the "I will be" statement of who Jesus is (?re-becomes?) after His Ressurection while the balance of the work is the "I am" statement of "the Word become flesh", not the preexistant Word.
       
      GTh 77 appears to be an "I am" statement of Jesus as the preexistant Word which Jesus seems to avoid in Jn.
       
      I would be interested in what Chris Skinner, Judy Redmond or one of their coauthors have to say on this subject.
       
      Given your previous points on how the GTh 77 textural similarity to John could be from other sources I don't see an influence.
       
      The more interesting question to me is how hermeneutics and lingusitics interact and sometime conflict in textural analysis.
       
      Regards,
       
      Tom Reynolds

      From: Mike Grondin <mwgrondin@...>
      To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, August 19, 2013 12:51 PM
      Subject: Re: [GTh] Saying 77 is it a very late addition ?
       
      
      Tom Reynolds writes:
      > From a hermeneutical perspective 77 appears to say Jesus is claiming omnipresence.
      > That is not something I remember Jesus doing in Jn. Instead he makes a distinction
      > between himself and “Heavenly Father.”
       
      There's more to the Gospel of John than what the character Jesus is made to say.
      Th 77.1, at least, seems to reflect the theological view of GJn ch. 1, according to
      which Jesus is identified as the incarnation of the divine Logos from which all things
      come into being. This Logos is said to be not only with God (Theos) from the beginning
      but also, in some sense, to be God. Since everything ("the all") is said to come from the
      Logos, it follows from the Johannine line of thinking that in some sense the Logos is in
      everything - which is omnipresence, no?
       
      Mike G.
    • Tom Reynolds
      Tim-   As of now my working concept is that there was a core oral history (actually multiple depending on region) of Jesus which all 5 authors drew on. My
      Message 2 of 26 , Aug 19 4:58 PM
        Tim-
        As of now my working concept is that there was a core oral history (actually multiple depending on region) of Jesus which all 5 authors drew on. My process, as�I have previously posted, was to try to relate the sayings in GTh to the NT. However I matched thoughts, not the text. This is not the core as is normally thought of.� Call it a "thought core." It is much larger than the "text core" and seems to show a significant commonality of thought between the 5 Gospels.
        I believe that the obviously Gnostic sayings in Thomas are the later additions. There was a largely orthodox version of Thomas that was now lost written in the AD 60-80 timeframe that all the Gospels save Jn were written.
        Regards,
        Tom

        From: chaptim45
        To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Monday, August 19, 2013 10:48 AM
        Subject: Re: [GTh] Saying 77 is it a very late addition ?
        Tom,

        Can I ask what dating stratification method you are applying to
        determine which sayings are early and which are late? Are you following
        DeConnick, Arnal, Crossan or Puig? Do you think sayings from Thomas'
        Gospel that parallel cannonical sources are core or added later? Do you
        think the Gospel of John is earlier than Thomas' Gospel? I'm just trying
        to get an idea of your criteria.

        Thanks.

        Tim Staker

      • Mike Grondin
        ... So how do you explain ... before Abraham was born, I am. ? (8:58) Other statements clearly imply that the character Jesus believes that he pre-existed in
        Message 3 of 26 , Aug 19 8:57 PM
          
          [Tom Reynolds]:
           
          > ... the balance of [GJn] is the "I am" statement of "the Word become flesh", not the preexistant Word.
          > ...GTh 77 appears to be an "I am" statement of Jesus as the preexistant Word which Jesus seems
          > to avoid in Jn.
           
          So how do you explain "... before Abraham was born, I am."? (8:58) Other
          statements clearly imply that the character Jesus believes that he pre-existed
          in the divine realm, and that, since "The Father and I are one,"  he is "the light
          of the world". That the "I am" statement in Thomas may be seen as somewhat
          more grandiose seems to me of little account, given that what is said in 77.1 isn't
          anything that wasn't also said or implied of Jesus in GJn.
           
          > Given your previous points on how the GTh 77 textural similarity to John could be
          >  from other sources I don't see an influence.
           
          Huh? The only other source I mentioned was Paul, but my position was that
          the major textual influence was Johannine. Other possible influences that've
          been mentioned strike me as more probably secondary than primary.
           
          Mike G.
        • Tom Reynolds
          Mike   I think we study John differently.   I am speaking of the impression of God that one would get from hearing the Gospel of John read orally as was the
          Message 4 of 26 , Aug 20 8:32 AM
            Mike
             
            I think we study John differently.
             
            I am speaking of the impression of God that one would get from hearing the Gospel of John read orally as was the practice in antiquity. The  statements you mention and a few others I found notwithstanding, the overall impression the Gospel gives is of God being a seperate person from Jesus. The instances of Jesus speaking of 'My Heavenly father', 'Your Heavenly Father', 'doing My Heavenly Father's will',  praying to Him, etc, etc, etc. seem to me to overwhelm the individual instances of 'I and the father are one.'
             
            It seems to me far more likely that this concept (GTh 77) comes from a tradition where Jesus is seen as spirit, not flesh.
             
            I feel we make a mistake visualizing authors in antiquity sitting down with the red-letter, chapter and verse anotated text of John and analyzing individual scriptures as we do today but, as we've been there before, I won't belabor the point.
             
            Regards,
             
            Tom Reynolds

            From: Mike Grondin <mwgrondin@...>
            To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, August 19, 2013 8:57 PM
            Subject: Re: [GTh] Saying 77 is it a very late addition ?
             
            
            [Tom Reynolds]:
             
            > ... the balance of [GJn] is the "I am" statement of "the Word become flesh", not the preexistant Word.
            > ...GTh 77 appears to be an "I am" statement of Jesus as the preexistant Word which Jesus seems
            > to avoid in Jn.
             
            So how do you explain "... before Abraham was born, I am."? (8:58) Other
            statements clearly imply that the character Jesus believes that he pre-existed
            in the divine realm, and that, since "The Father and I are one,"  he is "the light
            of the world". That the "I am" statement in Thomas may be seen as somewhat
            more grandiose seems to me of little account, given that what is said in 77.1 isn't
            anything that wasn't also said or implied of Jesus in GJn.
             
            > Given your previous points on how the GTh 77 textural similarity to John could be
            >  from other sources I don't see an influence.
             
            Huh? The only other source I mentioned was Paul, but my position was that
            the major textual influence was Johannine. Other possible influences that've
            been mentioned strike me as more probably secondary than primary.
             
            Mike G.
          • chaptim45
            I think the Johannine author expected the hearers of his text to respond to Jesus saying I and the Father are One to fall over backwards like the guards do
            Message 5 of 26 , Aug 21 8:45 AM

              I think the Johannine author expected the hearers of his text to respond to Jesus saying "I and the Father are One" to fall over backwards like the guards do in  his story!

              I also disagree with the idea that L77 sees Jesus as a "spirit".  That is a literalizing of the text.  The Thomasine believer probably would hear it much differently. When Thomas' Jesus identifies with the light which is "over all" (SV, Patternson-Robertson BWG) or "above all" (Blatz, Lambdin), Jesus is most likely speaking of the primordial light, the light that "came into being by itself" (L50). This is the light that brought the first dawn falling upon the Garden of the First Creation, the light that helps initiate the new creation. The power of light lies in its ability to expose things that are formerly hidden in darkness—like the inside of wood or the underside of a rock (L77B). So, identifying with "light", Thomas' Jesus takes on the role of a spiritual guide, Jesus helps reveal the inner hidden mysteries of life.

              When Thomas' Jesus says"I am all", I believe this should be understood in the light of "oneness" as a theme in Thomas's Gospel  (L 4, 11, 22, 23, 48, 61, 75, 106). In other words, Jesus being "all" is another way of saying he has experienced the oneness of all things. This concept, misunderstood and taken literally by early orthodoxy, is what eventually elevated Jesus the human being to Christ the second person of the Trinity. But, in Thomasine things, when all things are one, then so are we all. If the universe is as interconnected as many modern physicists tell us, then any part or it or any person who recognizes the oneness can boldly say "I am all".  As a spiritual guide, Thomas' Jesus leads his disciples into that oneness.  The phrase "from me all came forth, and to me all attained" should be understood in the same way.  Jesus here sees himself as a part of the circle of Creation.  As primordial light began the work of all creation, all creation looks back to the light to discover the unity of all things. All who seek and discover his message become "children of the light" and "the chosen of the Father" (L50).

              Tim Staker


              --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, Tom Reynolds wrote:
              >
              > Mike
              >  
              > I think we study John differently.
              >  
              > I am speaking of the impression of God that one would get from hearing the Gospel of John read orally as was the practice in antiquity. The  statements you mention and a few others I found notwithstanding, the overall impression the Gospel gives is of God being a seperate person from Jesus. The instances of Jesus speaking of 'My Heavenly father', 'Your Heavenly Father', 'doing My Heavenly Father's will',  praying to Him, etc, etc, etc. seem to me to overwhelm the individual instances of 'I and the father are one.'
              >  
              > It seems to me far more likely that this concept (GTh 77) comes from a tradition where Jesus is seen as spirit, not flesh.
              >  
              > I feel we make a mistake visualizing authors in antiquity sitting down with the red-letter, chapter and verse anotated text of John and analyzing individual scriptures as we do today but, as we've been there before, I won't belabor the point.
              >  
              > Regards,
              >  
              > Tom Reynolds
              >
              >
            • Tom
              [To Tim] I don t think we disagree. Your intrepretation is certainly not Johnanne, and seems to come from a Gnostic perspective that I described as a tradition
              Message 6 of 26 , Aug 22 8:39 AM
                [To Tim]

                I don't think we disagree.

                Your intrepretation is certainly not Johnanne, and seems to come from a Gnostic perspective that I described as a tradition that "Jesus is seen as a spirit, not flesh"

                [Tom Reynolds]
              • Jordan Stratford
                ... I believe you mean docetic, not Gnostic. Valentinus, who s as Gnostic as they come, affirmed Jesus as both flesh and spirit (hylic, psychic and pneumatic
                Message 7 of 26 , Aug 22 10:06 AM

                  On 2013-08-22, at 8:39 AM, Tom wrote:

                  Your intrepretation is certainly not Johnanne, and seems to come from a Gnostic perspective that I described as a tradition that "Jesus is seen as a spirit, not flesh"

                  I believe you mean docetic, not Gnostic. Valentinus, who's as Gnostic as they come, affirmed Jesus as both flesh and spirit (hylic, psychic and pneumatic natures). This is a view largely consistent throughout classical Gnosticism. The idea that Gnostics held that Jesus was only spirit seems to be a misunderstanding or a misrepresentation by Irenaeus.

                  Jordan
                • Mike Grondin
                  ... Well, I won t disagree here with your characterization of Jesus-statements in GJn, but by juxtaposing the reference to orality, you seem to suggest that
                  Message 8 of 26 , Aug 22 10:55 AM
                    
                    [Tom Reynolds]:
                     
                    > I am speaking of the impression of God that one would get from
                    hearing the Gospel of
                    > John read orally as was the practice in antiquity.
                    The  statements you mention and a few
                    > others I found notwithstanding, the overall impression the
                    Gospel gives is of God being
                    > a seperate person from Jesus. The instances of Jesus
                    speaking of 'My Heavenly father',
                    > ... etc, etc. seem to me to overwhelm the individual
                    instances of 'I and the father are one.'
                     
                    Well, I won't disagree here with your characterization of Jesus-statements in GJn, but
                    by juxtaposing the reference to orality, you seem to suggest that whatever familiarity 
                    the authors of Th77.1 might have had with GJn should be assumed to be that of having
                    had it read to them, and only that. I think that's an unwarranted assumption. Further-
                    more, you seem to suggest that what they would remember from GJn would be only
                    the most-commonly repeated themes, not the prologue, e.g.. I think that's also an
                    unwarranted assumption. Surely they would remember the very opening words.
                     
                    > It seems to me far more likely that this concept
                    (GTh 77) comes from a tradition where
                    > Jesus is seen as spirit, not flesh.
                     
                    Well, the Thomasines did seem to have an inherent problem in their theology, viz.,
                    that by giving no importance to the passion and death of Jesus, they were perilously
                    close to docetism. Nevertheless, there's L28 ("I appeared to them in flesh") to assure
                    us that they believed (as did John) that Jesus was an incarnate spirit sent from above.
                     
                    > I feel we make a mistake visualizing authors in
                    antiquity sitting down with the red-letter,
                    > chapter and verse anotated text of John and analyzing
                    individual scriptures as we do today
                    > but, as we've been there before, I won't belabor the
                    point.
                     
                    No problem your mentioning this point again, but you needn't stack the case this way.
                    In point of fact, there's no more (and probably less) reason to assume (as you do) that
                    the authors of GThom couldn't read, than that they could.
                     
                    Mike Grondin
                  • E Bruce Brooks
                    To: GThos In Response To: Mike G From: Bruce In the course of replying to another suggestion, Mike said: Well, the Thomasines did seem to have an inherent
                    Message 9 of 26 , Aug 22 3:09 PM

                      To: GThos

                      In Response To: Mike G

                      From: Bruce

                       

                      In the course of replying to another suggestion, Mike said:

                       

                      “Well, the Thomasines did seem to have an inherent problem in their theology, viz., that by giving no importance to the passion and death of Jesus, they were perilously close to docetism.”

                       

                      The word “perilous” seems to assume the viewpoint of a modern heresiologist. What peril would have attached to a docetic position for the Thomasines? Why would they have sought to avoid such a position? Or, to put it more generally: Are there places in Thomas where an alternate understanding of Jesus is specifically opposed? Taking note of such places together ought to help fix Thomasine theology within the map of the possible.

                       

                      What interests me about Thomasine theology, assuming it to be one thing and not a stack of successive positions, is precisely that it gives no importance to the death of Jesus. This position can also be found within early Christianity (the Epistle of James, the Didache, the early hymn slightly misquoted by Paul in Philippians 2). On that particular point, the Thomasines and the primitive Christians are indistinguishable.

                       

                      As best I can currently understand the chronology of the texts, the attribution of significance to Jesus’ death occurred some years AFTER his death, and the nature of that significance continued to evolve, as theology grew in the following years (I see the Atonement doctrine as coming about half a generation after Jesus). To an Epiphanius, Thomasine theology would look like an aberration, whereas it is more naturally seen as a failure to evolve in the direction which, for us, is mainstream, but that is because those for whom it WAS mainstream were the ones who defined the present NT canon.

                       

                      Nor did the earlier understanding vanish with the appearance of the Atonement doctrine. What I may call the pre-Atonement doctrine persisted alongside, and is displayed at great length in the pseudo-Clementine materials (4c). That is, such a position remained viable, and was actively developed, for several centuries. The historical question, it seems to me, is: can we define a point at which Thomas Christianity diverged from, or was left behind by, Pauline and other Christianity?

                       

                      In taking account, from my Synoptic perspective, of the (to me) less familiar Thomas material, it would help to have a concise summary of Thomasine theology. Or if that is not possible due to complexity or to differences within the material, then a *medium* concise summary. Can anyone conveniently provide, or cite, such a thing?

                       

                      Thanks in advance.

                       

                      Bruce

                       

                      E Bruce Brooks
                      Warring States Project

                      University of Massachusetts at Amherst

                       

                    • chaptim45
                      Tom, Actually, if you look closely at my post, you ll see that I am using the Gospel of Thomas to interpret itself, not later Gnostic texts. If you d like to
                      Message 10 of 26 , Aug 22 4:35 PM
                        Tom,

                        Actually, if you look closely at my post, you'll see that I am using the
                        Gospel of Thomas to interpret itself, not later Gnostic texts. If you'd
                        like to put a label on it, I'd prefer "proto-gnostic" or "Thomasine". I
                        am not referring to Jesus as a spirit, but human. But I can see how you
                        are reading L77a in light of your Johanine disposition and Christian
                        tradition, so I can understand how you arrived at that point.

                        Tim Staker




                        --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Tom" wrote:
                        >
                        > [To Tim]
                        >
                        > I don't think we disagree.
                        >
                        > Your intrepretation is certainly not Johnanne, and seems to come from
                        a Gnostic perspective that I described as a tradition that "Jesus is
                        seen as a spirit, not flesh"
                        >
                        > [Tom Reynolds]
                        >
                      • Tom Reynolds
                        To: Bruce   As best I can currently understand the chronology of the texts, the attribution of significance to Jesus’ death occurred some years AFTER his
                        Message 11 of 26 , Aug 22 5:21 PM
                          To: Bruce
                          "As best I can currently understand the chronology of the texts, the attribution of significance to Jesus’ death occurred some years AFTER his death, and the nature of that significance continued to evolve, as theology grew in the following years (I see the Atonement doctrine as coming about half a generation after Jesus)."
                          If you take Paul at his word, Gal 2:1, your chronology��is absolutely correct. Paul's Gospel of Atonement did not surface until about 15 years after Jesus's Ressurection. Further, if one takes Luke at his word (Acts 21:17ff), I question if Paul's doctrine had a positive reception from the Jerusalem Church. �However, I can't see the�Jerusalem Church, or any Jew from Judah/Galilee�adopting a docetic view.
                          If a specific Thomasine theology could be developed, that would be most interesting. Futher, �if�Thomasine theology could be shown to specifically reject Paul's Gospel of Atonement and could be dated as contemporary to Paul, that would be an astounding revalation.
                          Regards,
                          TomReynolds
                        • Tom Reynolds
                          Tim,   My thinking is that the NT Gosepels do not portray Jesus as Spirit overall although their are specific scriptures that do. I agree with Mike s point
                          Message 12 of 26 , Aug 22 9:19 PM
                            Tim,
                            My thinking is that the NT Gosepels do not portray Jesus as Spirit overall although their are specific scriptures that do. I agree with Mike's point that if 77 is influenced by John, then it is likely from the prologue. It is 18 verses that would stick in a person's mind. My opinion is that it is more likely influenced by Marcion. That was how I saw your intrepretation.
                            Regards,
                            Tom

                            From: chaptim45
                            To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2013 4:35 PM
                            Subject: Re: [GTh] Saying 77 is it a very late addition ?

                            Tom,

                            Actually, if you look closely at my post, you'll see that I am using the
                            Gospel of Thomas to interpret itself, not later Gnostic texts. If you'd
                            like to put a label on it, I'd prefer "proto-gnostic" or "Thomasine". I
                            am not referring to Jesus as a spirit, but human. But I can see how you
                            are reading L77a in light of your Johanine disposition and Christian
                            tradition, so I can understand how you arrived at that point.

                            Tim Staker

                            --- In mailto:gthomas%40yahoogroups.com, "Tom" wrote:
                            >
                            > [To Tim]
                            >
                            > I don't think we disagree.
                            >
                            > Your intrepretation is certainly not Johnanne, and seems to come from
                            a Gnostic perspective that I described as a tradition that "Jesus is
                            seen as a spirit, not flesh"
                            >
                            > [Tom Reynolds]
                            >

                          • Jack Kilmon
                            The Gospel of John, in its early edition, began at 1:19 and we do not know when the prologue was added, perhaps at the same time Chapter 21 was appended. The
                            Message 13 of 26 , Aug 22 11:44 PM
                              The Gospel of John, in its early edition, began at 1:19 and we do not know when the prologue was added, perhaps at the same time Chapter 21 was appended.  The Gospel appears to have undergone a massive amount of editing, chapter shuffling, interpolation and redactions...I think in the 3rd century.  IF Logion 77 takes a cue from the prologue, was it from the antiphonal hymn before it was added to the Gospel, or after it was added? The Logion in P. Oxy 1 omits the divine light from this logion dated early 3rd century while the Coptic version adds it, dated (if from the Pachomian library) early 4th century.
                              Regards,
                              Jack kilmon
                               
                              Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2013 11:19 PM
                              Subject: Re: [GTh] Saying 77 is it a very late addition ?
                               


                              Tim,
                              My thinking is that the NT Gosepels do not portray Jesus as Spirit overall although their are specific scriptures that do. I agree with Mike's point that if 77 is influenced by John, then it is likely from the prologue. It is 18 verses that would stick in a person's mind. My opinion is that it is more likely influenced by Marcion. That was how I saw your intrepretation.
                              Regards,
                              Tom
                               
                              From: chaptim45
                              To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2013 4:35 PM
                              Subject: Re: [GTh] Saying 77 is it a very late addition ?

                              Tom,

                              Actually, if you look closely at my post, you'll see that I am using the
                              Gospel of Thomas to interpret itself, not later Gnostic texts. If you'd
                              like to put a label on it, I'd prefer "proto-gnostic" or "Thomasine". I
                              am not referring to Jesus as a spirit, but human. But I can see how you
                              are reading L77a in light of your Johanine disposition and Christian
                              tradition, so I can understand how you arrived at that point.

                              Tim Staker

                              --- In mailto:gthomas%40yahoogroups.com, "Tom" wrote:
                              >
                              > [To Tim]
                              >
                              > I don't think we
                              disagree.
                              >
                              > Your intrepretation is certainly not Johnanne, and
                              seems to come from
                              a Gnostic perspective that I described as a tradition that "Jesus is
                              seen as a spirit, not flesh"
                              >
                              > [Tom
                              Reynolds]
                              >

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