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[gthomas] Dating of "Thomas"

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  • Beta David
    Thom-Comp/Gibbon (P.Miller) ref: #1030 this list Historical benefit of Gibbon s ignorance --Sorry to hear you re stepping down, Paul, since just I wrote this
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 1999
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      Thom-Comp/Gibbon (P.Miller)
      ref: #1030 this list

      "Historical benefit of Gibbon's ignorance"

      --Sorry to hear you're stepping down, Paul, since just I wrote this however
      as `dating of Thomas`
      has popped up again, I'll send it along...

      Dear Paul Miller,

      I laughed out loud when I read your note - sorry I missed it.

      You made a very good point.

      I wrote: (Gibbon)

      >has a 'middle of the road' treatment of the question.

      I mean in general terms and how Gibbon portrayed Gnosticism; given writing
      of the time, etc.

      (Here's the part that made me laugh), you wrote:

      >Gibbon died in 1794 long before the discovery of Thomas.

      Yes. You included in your letter, my PS:

      >PS. I'd date the document earlier than Gibbon did;

      I mean here that Thomas was *part of a larger find* and given *the find
      overall* (also included in
      your letter):

      >within the bounds of radiometric dating

      I'd say Thomas can be dated *within* Gibbon's characterization of Christian
      Gnosticism. I ask you
      (seem's you brought it up; so long ago you might not remember), as Gibbon
      was not alive when we
      could measure decay rates, i.e. in 1794, then what business do we even have
      manuscripts Churchmen wrote about in the 3rd century?

      If your assertion is followed through to it's bitter end then Gibbon was, in
      fact, in a better
      chronological position to contemplate Gnosticism than we are. I know you
      don't think this ;-)
      Christian Gnosticism however is well documented by Gibbon. Though he didn't
      write about Thomas,
      his overall portrayal speaks to the *NH find which Gibbon was ignorant of*.

      I'm not recommending Gibbon as an authority on Thomas (though I don't think
      Gibbon's portrayal of
      Gnosticism is historically horrific) I merely wanted to, in answering a
      general question, paint a big
      picture of *historical validity; proved by Gibbon's ignorance* and thus
      delineate Thomas from
      canonical literature with one broad (glowing) brush. Sorry I didn't get back
      to you on this, Paul, I
      only just saw it.

      Cheers, Beta David
      betadavid (at) hotmail

      Incidentally, just moments ago I posted an article that `dates Q` - as if Q
      were an historical
      document. I'm unaware if the Q-folks have an *exact year* in mind (I
      couldn't find a posting about
      this anyway); so I'd really appreciate someone letting me know if
      so/who/etc. Thanks.


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