Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

[gthomas] Q2 and Thomas part 2

Expand Messages
  • Paul Miller
    From: Stevan Davies To: crosstalk@info.harpercollins.com Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 17:11:48 +0000 Subject: Re: Q2 and Thomas
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 18, 1999
      From: "Stevan Davies" <miser17@...>
      To: crosstalk@...
      Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 17:11:48 +0000
      Subject: Re: Q2 and Thomas

      Dennis wrote:

      > Mack (following Kloppenborg) makes the point that "approximately one
      > third of the sayings in the Gospel of Thomas have parallels in Q, and
      > 60% of these [ie 20% of the whole?] are from the earliest layer of Q"
      > (Who Wrote the New Testament, 61; the bracketed remarks are mine).
      > The other 40% comes from the rest of Q. In Mack's timeline in
      > Appendix A of "The Lost Gospel" he indicates that GosThom borrowed
      > from Q as redacted by Q2.

      > If I understand Mack and Kloppenborg correctly, they
      > believe that the Q2 redactions were created in response to the
      > negative reaction the Q1 community had received.

      This is certainly true for Mack. I don't know about Kloppenborg. Maybe
      you can elucidate, or William Arnal might.

      > Even if Q2 drew on
      > existing tradition, the apocalyptic and judgemental elements would
      > still presumably be part of the Q2 redaction and would not have
      > existed before Q2 (if someone says that the apocalyptic and
      > judgemental elements existed in tradition previous to Q2,there would
      > be no basis on which to stratify Q).

      Before W.A. goes flying up the wall let me remind you that Klop.'s
      stratification is not based on these principles but on redaction
      critical grounds that produce the result of Q2 having apocalyptic and
      judgmental elements which is another thing altogether. Thus your
      parenthetical comment is not true. Did you receive Arnal's summary of Klop?
      If not I can forward one to you.

      Since GosThom has parallels to
      > the Q2 tradition all we can say about a GosThom community is that it
      > produced the GosThom sometime after Q2.

      Here's how I understand the situation.

      1. There was an oral tradition labeled, now, (misguidedly
      misleadingly) "sapiential" and much of Q1 is sapiential. Much of
      Thomas is also sapiential with a good bit of overlap. Either both
      Q and Thomas drew on that oral tradition, or Thomas drew on Q
      for some of what GTh has of that or vice versa Q drew on Thomas.

      2. There are judgemental sayings in Q2 and in GTh. Either they
      also circulated in common oral tradition or, again, Thomas drew on
      Q for those sayings or vice versa Q drew on Thomas.

      3. Kloppenborg argues that Q2 is chronologically later than Q1 but
      does not, as W.A. reiterates with some frequency, conclude strongly
      that the Q2 sayings were invented at that time by the Q people. He
      leaves it quite open that the Q2 sayings also circulated orally and
      were selected by Q to add to Q1 to produce Q2. In this case Thomas
      also could have selected some of the same sayings from the same oral
      pool. Q would be choosing them to fit an ideological agenda, Thomas
      just wrote 'em down for no discernable purpose (Thomas does not
      share Q2's ideological purpose, at any rate).

      4. HOWEVER. Mack seems to make a stronger argument that Q2 sayings
      were invented by the Q community and not by others and that those
      Q-community-invented sayings were added to Q1 to produce Q2. This
      leads to one of two conclusions.

      A. Thomas has some of those Q2 sayings and so necessarily post-dates
      Q2. The most-likely-hypothesis would be that Thomas took those sayings
      from Q. This would mean that Thomas also took his Q1
      overlaps from Q as well (unless Thomas had read Klop's book).

      B. Thomas has some of those Q2 sayings and so Mack's thesis that they
      were invented by the Q community to serve the mythmaking
      self-justifying god-hates-everybody-but-us tendencies of that later Q
      community is shown to be false. Since the Q1 sayings as they appear in
      Thomas do not show any signs of identifiable Q redaction (relying on
      Patterson here) it is highly unlikely that Thomas took either Q1 or
      Q2 sayings from Q itself and hence Thomas undermines this element
      of Mack's thesis. And, come to think of it, this is Mack's MAIN
      thesis in his Lost Gospels book, i.e. that Q2 sayings were invented
      by the later Q people and thus give us good insight into the
      development of that community.

      It seems to me that the Q2//Thomas parallels challenge Kloppenborg's
      thesis but they don't by any stretch of the imagination destroy it.
      But don't those parallels DESTROY Mack's thesis? [Unless he can
      show literary dependence by Thomas on Q, which he hasn't.]

      I look forward to hearing from Dennis and W.A. and others on this
      subject.

      Will Maureen please forward this to Dennis?

      Date: Mon, 8 Apr 1996 13:25:07 -0400 (EDT)
      From: William Arnal <warnal@...>
      To: Stevan Davies <miser17@...>
      Subject: Re: Q2 and Thomas

      On Wed, 3 Apr 1996, Stevan Davies wrote:

      > > If I understand Mack and Kloppenborg correctly, they
      > > believe that the Q2 redactions were created in response to the
      > > negative reaction the Q1 community had received.
      >
      > This is certainly true for Mack. I don't know about Kloppenborg. Maybe
      > you can elucidate, or William Arnal might.

      OK -- yes, Kloppenborg does appear to think that Q2 as a document was
      generated at least in part because of the reception had either by Q1 or
      by the people responsible for Q1 (I'm not sure we should think in terms
      of Q1 getting a bad review in JBL). But we have to maintain the
      distinction between incorporation into a document and redactional
      creations. How come no one makes this mistake when we talk about Mark?
      Say Mark was written around 66-70. Does anyone really think that that
      means that every story in Mark dates from 66-70? So why do we do this
      with Q? Since we distinguish between the oral circulation of much or
      Mark's material PRIOR to 66-70, and 66-70 as the date at which Mark sewed
      thatr material together, and his composition at the time of various
      redactional seams and comments (say, to be uncontroversial, the first
      verse of the gospel), why can't people imagine the same for Q? So, at the
      point at which Q2 is composed, this is what happens: a)the Q folks (i.e.,
      the collection of people responsible for Q1) get irritated because they
      feel their ethos as expressed in Q1 is being marginalized or leading to
      their marginalization as a group; b) they take their already-written Q1
      and add material to it: some of this material is orally-circulating (for
      instance, the Son of Man sayings, or 3:16, or the healing of the
      centurion's boy, etc.) but it's addition to Q1 is REDACTIONAL. It's not
      created by the Q2 hand, but the Q2 hand is responsible for placing it in
      the document; c)in the act of placing this material in the document, some
      of it already serves their purposes largely as is, and remains intact;
      d)some requires redactional modification; and e) some pericopes were
      probably created wholescale to support Q2's perspective. On this last
      point, MOST Q scolars are conservative, and very few instances are
      offered up as redactional creations. Marz has argued for redactional
      composition of 12:49-50; I have argued (QUITE against the grain of most
      scholarship) for the redactional composition of 3:7-9, 17. But we're not
      dealing with a huge amount of material here.

      > Before W.A. goes flying up the wall let me remind you that Klop.'s
      > stratification is not based on these principles but on redaction
      > critical grounds that produce the result of Q2 having apocalyptic and
      > judgmental elements which is another thing altogether. Thus your
      > parenthetical comment is not true. Did you receive Arnal's summary of
      Klop?
      > If not I can forward one to you.

      Thanks for sparing me the tirade, with necessary subsequent apologies.
      I'm quite sick of making this point (and I don't mean primarily on this
      list). No one seems to get it, but it's not that hard.

      > Here's how I understand the situation.
      >
      > 1. There was an oral tradition labeled, now, (misguidedly
      > misleadingly) "sapiential" and much of Q1 is sapiential. Much of
      > Thomas is also sapiential with a good bit of overlap. Either both
      > Q and Thomas drew on that oral tradition, or Thomas drew on Q
      > for some of what GTh has of that or vice versa Q drew on Thomas.

      Agreed in theory: but I think it's nearly impossible to make any kind of
      case that either of these documents borrowed from each other, at any
      stage in their development (barring, of course, scribal corruption of our
      one complete copy of Thomas to assimilate it to Matthew and Luke -- but
      that's not quite the same thing, is it?). There's no evidence of Thomas'
      redactional interests in Q anywhere, nor vice-versa, so far as I can
      tell. Same goes with order of material.

      > 2. There are judgemental sayings in Q2 and in GTh. Either they
      > also circulated in common oral tradition or, again, Thomas drew on
      > Q for those sayings or vice versa Q drew on Thomas.

      As above. Q2 did not INVENT judgement per se. It just incoporated it into
      a document that didn't have it yet. I'd like point out that the Son of
      Man sayings in Q2 show NO sign of redactional composition; they are
      slightly at variance with Q2's redactional interests, and in Q appear
      to have been glossed or emended at a later date. Also: in MY
      (idiosyncratic) opinion, Q2 invented the title "coming one" (erchomenos)
      in order to reinterpret and correct the Son of Man imagery.

      > 3. Kloppenborg argues that Q2 is chronologically later than Q1 but
      > does not, as W.A. reiterates with some frequency, conclude strongly
      > that the Q2 sayings were invented at that time by the Q people. He
      > leaves it quite open that the Q2 sayings also circulated orally and
      > were selected by Q to add to Q1 to produce Q2. In this case Thomas
      > also could have selected some of the same sayings from the same oral
      > pool. Q would be choosing them to fit an ideological agenda, Thomas
      > just wrote 'em down for no discernable purpose (Thomas does not
      > share Q2's ideological purpose, at any rate).

      Well, even though Thomas is peculiar document, I hate to concede "with no
      discernible purpose" and prefer the parenthetical implication: "for his
      own purposes. Sayings which were not judgemental in the Q2 sense were
      made so either by their mere incorporation into the document, or by
      modification (the best example I can think of is the healing of the
      Centurion's boy, which appears in John, but with no polemical interest
      whatsoever; but also: John's preaching in 3:16, which is also in Mark, is
      used for a markedly different purpose than in Mark). Sayings which aleady
      "fit" Q2 were probably incorporated as is. Same with Thomas: overtly
      judgmental stuff gets toned down and re-figured to suit Thomas' purposes,
      while other traditions, which Q2 modifies in a polemical direction,
      Thomas modifies differently, or leaves intact. The best example off the
      top of my head is Q 7:24-26/Thomas 78 -- Q adresses this in such a way
      that the expectations of the people are criticized, and by incorporating
      in teh same block as 7:23 and 7:31-35, turns it into polemic in which
      John and Jesus are allies again st "this generation." In Thomas, it
      doesn't refer to John, and is a critique of wealth.

      > B. Thomas has some of those Q2 sayings and so Mack's thesis that they
      > were invented by the Q community to serve the mythmaking
      > self-justifying god-hates-everybody-but-us tendencies of that later Q
      > community is shown to be false. Since the Q1 sayings as they appear in
      > Thomas do not show any signs of identifiable Q redaction (relying on
      > Patterson here) it is highly unlikely that Thomas took either Q1 or
      > Q2 sayings from Q itself and hence Thomas undermines this element
      > of Mack's thesis. And, come to think of it, this is Mack's MAIN
      > thesis in his Lost Gospels book, i.e. that Q2 sayings were invented
      > by the later Q people and thus give us good insight into the
      > development of that community.
      >
      > It seems to me that the Q2//Thomas parallels challenge Kloppenborg's
      > thesis but they don't by any stretch of the imagination destroy it.
      > But don't those parallels DESTROY Mack's thesis? [Unless he can
      > show literary dependence by Thomas on Q, which he hasn't.]

      I don't think, for the reasons I've said before, that it even challenges
      Kloppenborg's thesis. BUT: to whatever extent Mack is serious in
      imagining that all of Q2's material was invented by Q2 redaction (does he
      really say this? or are his readers still failing to distinguish between
      redaction-as-collection and redaction-as-composition?), the presence of
      such parallels in Thomas does indeed destroy his thesis. I tend to like
      Mack for his tendency to be liberal in assigning material to deliberate
      readactional composition (I think our guild is WAY too conservative on
      this: we have some unrealistic notion of a reified "tradition" out there,
      and seem to write off any real live human intentionality -- Mack
      counteracts such tendencies). But to the extent that he does this by
      forcing earliest Christianity into a series of boxes (called
      "communities") with linear developments between them, he's taken a
      conceptual step backwards AND is unsupported by teh evidence. Actually,
      the evidence that to mind absolutely destroys Mack's view (if it's as
      presented) is Davies' observations of the tendencies of FORMS in
      Mark/Thomas and Q/Thomas parallels. If, as I believe, this tendency is
      consequence of Thomas having access to pre-Q2 unredacted traditions
      (which in a way begs the question, I suppose Mack would counter), the
      fact that they do NOT take developed chreia form in Thomas suggests that
      Q2 redacted them in this direction, whereas Mark already possesed chreiai
      in his pre-redactional tradition. There's no reason for Thomas to strip
      chreia frames from Q sayings and not from Markan material. And so this
      suggests a vault of pre-redactional Q2 oral sentence material, which
      means Q2 did NOT invent these traditions. Does that make sense?

      Bill






      ------------------------------------------------------------------------

      eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/gthomas
      http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.