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[gthomas] Re: Thomas 79 again

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  • Mark Goodacre
    ... The fact that Thom.79c functions nicely as an anti-parallel (if that is the right term) to Thom.79a does not necessarily point to the original integrity of
    Message 1 of 3 , May 6, 1999
      On 30 Apr 99 at 17:39, Stevan Davies wrote:

      > The concluding lines, of course, are the antiparallel (?) to the
      > opening lines. By Mark's thesis, we will have to assume that
      > Thomas found Luke 23:29
      > For the time will come when you will say,
      > `Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore
      > and the breasts that never nursed!'
      > and eliminated the pointless redundancy in order to construct
      > an antiparallel passage perfectly fitting into saying 79.
      > Is it not altogether easier to imagine saying 79 as original
      > and Luke then separating the last bit from 11:27-28 because
      > it may be read to imply that it would be better if Jesus'
      > mother had remained barren?
      > It is sometimes argued (must be, by Thomas dependence folks)
      > that Thomas constructs parallel structures lacking in
      > the synoptics (e.g. as in 31 and 93)... but surely this is
      > a tactic born of desperation.
      > So, did Luke split up a parallel construction saying or did
      > Thomas by happy chance manage to construct a parallel
      > structure saying from materials that happened to be in Luke?

      The fact that Thom.79c functions nicely as an anti-parallel (if that is the
      right term) to Thom.79a does not necessarily point to the original integrity of
      Thom. 79. I did not make this an element in the draft article because the case
      is not strong enough for it, but I think that the hints are that Thom.79c is
      dependent on Luke 23.29:

      (a) We are all agreed, are we not, that Thomas brings together diverse material
      into single sayings, whether from independent oral traditions, or from direct
      knowledge of the synoptics, or from combination and variation of those two?
      Catchword connection is frequent, but so are broader links of terminology and
      concept. It is quite plausible to see Thomas drawing together the two sayings
      from Luke / oral tradition here on the standard basis. "Barren women" drops
      out, indeed, because of the desire for neat parallelism. The lack of alleged
      redundancy can always be just as much a matter of a later writer eliminating it
      (e.g. Matthew's and Luke's redaction of Mark on the assumption of Markan P.) as
      it can be something added by a later writer.

      (b) There are signs of the original apocalyptic context "Days are coming . . ."
      finding their way into Thomas here. "Days are coming" are frequent in the
      synoptics and Luke, less so Thomas.

      (c) Another hint is provided by the plural "in which you will say . . ." This
      shows signs of Thomas inadvertently switching to the plural audience of Luke
      23.27 (many people + women) from the singular audience of 11.27 (one woman).

      (d) Luke 23.27-31 has the character of a Lukan redactional expansion of Mark --
      women / weeping / apocalyptic trauma / gynaecology inserted into the Markan

      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
      University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
      Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

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