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[gthomas] Re: Interpretations of Thomas

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  • Stevan Davies
    ... I don t think it s either/or here. There s lots of different things ... The great Jacob Neusner repeatedly says God is in the details. Sometimes little
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 6, 1999
      Terry wrote:

      > So rather than dissecting minor details, let's some of us
      > talk about the mystery and launch out into the deep....

      I don't think it's either/or here. There's lots of different things
      that people might be interested in examining. For example:

      > I've been reading some of the postings and most of them seem to be hair
      > splitting over what appear to me to be insignificant details (my opinion, I
      > admit).

      The great Jacob Neusner repeatedly says "God is in the details."
      Sometimes little things mean a lot. This is especially true in terms
      of comparison between Thomas sayings and NT versions of them.
      And yet it's entirely possible that details are insignificant.

      > Would like to see some discussion of how the Gospel of Thomas
      > confirms and differs with the standard scriptures.

      Here you are often going to have to be interested in details.

      > In particular, there
      > are some accounts that differ markedly, ie, Passage 13 in which Jesus asks
      > the disciples who He resembles. There are also some unique passages
      > appearing nowhere else:
      > Passage 67:
      > He who knows the All
      > and does not know himself
      > Has missed everything.
      > Passage 59
      > Look to the Living One
      > as long as you live, lest you die,
      > Then search for him, and fail.
      > ...and others that directly point to the mystery. I don't think that it's
      > to be apprehended or understood (and it is probably incapable of being
      > understood by us, only felt).

      I tend to agree. But if it can't be apprehended or understood there
      really isn't much point in talking about it!

      > I think that rather than arguing over whether these say-ings can be truly
      > attributed to Jesus, we should take them for what they are.

      Again, you can do both. They are two quite different questions. Same
      questions occur with, e.g., Matthew scholarship. On the one hand
      you can try and figure out what if anything there is in Matthew that
      tells us about Jesus himself. On the other hand you can entirely
      ignore this and look at what Matthew tells us about its own self. So
      sure, you can take the sayings for what they are at the same time
      as you or others worry about whether Jesus said them or not.

      > Certainly the
      > apostle Paul's writings are taken as literal scripture by Protestants, yet
      > in some ways they are in direct conflict with other gospels (particularly
      > James), who Jesus supposedly left in charge of the church after his death
      > and resurrection. So rather than dissecting minor details, let's some of us
      > talk about the mystery and launch out into the deep...

      I thought it couldn't be apprehended or understood.


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