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[gthomas] Who's the man in logion 8?

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  • Mike Grondin
    ... Well, maybe. But what a terribly awkward way to put things in these logia. On this interpretation, they all basically take the form: The kingdom is like a
    Message 1 of 1 , May 9, 1999
      Steve Davies writes:

      >So what's the Big Fish[8], Sheep[107], Pearl[76], Treasure[109]?
      >Answer: Kingdom of the Father.

      Well, maybe. But what a terribly awkward way to put things in these logia.
      On this interpretation, they all basically take the form: "The kingdom is
      like a man who found an X," where the Kingdom turns out to be like the X,
      not like the man! Why not: "The kingdom is like an X that a man found"?
      It's this awkwardness that makes me hesitate to wholly agree with Steve's
      assessment, plausible as it is.

      But anyway, the main purpose of this note is to draw attention away from
      the "great fish" toward a couple of features of #8 that are not present in
      the other three logia referred to above.

      1. #8 begins "And he said", rather than "J said". Why? Is this supposed to
      imply that #8 is to be connected with #7 (lion/man)? Or is there another
      saying to which #8 is meant to be connected? Or is the "he" in #8 not J at

      2. #8 ends with "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" I don't think that
      this was thrown in haphazardly whenever they felt like it. In both the NT
      and GTh, it's got to have some significance, IMO. Why attach it to one
      saying and not others? At the very least, it's got to indicate either some
      extra emphasis being given to this saying, or an indicator that this saying
      is somehow more opaque than others. But why?

      3. #8 says "Man (lit. 'the man') is like ...", rather than "The Kingdom is
      like ...". Why? And does it really say that "Man is like a wise fisherman"?
      What sense does that make? If all men were like a wise fisherman, then
      there wouldn't be any stupid fishermen, and the phrase 'wise fisherman'
      would be redundant, cuz all fishermen would be wise.

      But there's another option: we might interpret "the man" as a reference to
      a specific man, rather than to mankind in general. Might it be that "the
      man" is the Father? And that the "great fish" that he catches is "the Son
      of Man", i.e., J? I realize that Ockham's razor would seem to recommend
      against this interpretation, since it would mean that the "great fish" of
      #8 might then not be identical with the "great sheep" of #107. But then
      again, remember that the "great sheep" went astray, whereas the "great
      fish" did not. If "going astray" means sinning, then the "great fish"
      evidently did not sin, which already indicates a difference between the two
      found objects, in spite of other similarities between the logia. (This is
      to say nothing of the difference between a fisherman, who catches things,
      and a shepherd, who watches over things already in captivity.)

      I have no good answer to the 'why' questions in 1-3, but I do want to
      suggest that things might be a bit more complicated than has so far been
      suggested with respect to logion 8.

      The Coptic GThomas, saying-by-saying

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