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[gthomas] Re: Q and Jesus

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  • Stevan Davies
    So, Bill, did the Q12 sayings circulate as sayings of Jesus and, if so, how do we know that? Thomas says so 102 times but as far as I know Q12 says so
    Message 1 of 28 , Jul 19, 1999
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      So, Bill, did the Q12 sayings circulate as sayings "of Jesus"
      and, if so, how do we know that? Thomas says so 102 times
      but as far as I know Q12 says so between 0 and 1 times. Or
      am I wrong about that?

      Steve

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    • William E. Arnal
      ... Q12??? What stratum is that? Or is that a text reference? Anyway, I was thinking about this a little when you first raised the question, and the upshot of
      Message 2 of 28 , Jul 19, 1999
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        On Mon, 19 Jul 1999, Stevan Davies wrote:

        > So, Bill, did the Q12 sayings circulate as sayings "of Jesus"
        > and, if so, how do we know that? Thomas says so 102 times
        > but as far as I know Q12 says so between 0 and 1 times. Or
        > am I wrong about that?

        Q12??? What stratum is that? Or is that a text reference?
        Anyway, I was thinking about this a little when you first
        raised the question, and the upshot of all that thinking is:
        haven't a clue. There are some problems here -- Matthew and
        Luke, by absorbing Q into their larger narratives and
        contextualizing its sayings material in different places,
        are almost forced to provide their own (narrative)
        introductions to constituent speeches, and so we might
        assume that very frequently original Q introductions
        (whatever they might have been) are no longer recognizable
        as such. Of course, the reverse might be true as well --
        just because Matthew and Luke agree in introducing something
        along the lines of "elegen Iesous" or whatever doesn't mean
        that agreement stems from Q.
        I suspect the identity of the speaker in the Q2
        stuff is more obvious than in the Q1 stuff, simply because
        of the forms involved. With chreia, even though, of course,
        a particularly good story could be attributed to several
        different people, the form isn't all that conducive to
        anonymity. Image: "some dude (tis), when asked about. . .,
        responded thus. . ." I mean, this stuff is all about
        establishing character, so there has to BE a character to
        establish.
        The Q1 stuff, by contrast, requires very little
        attribution, which is not to say that such attribution
        wasn't there, but that the material, being purely speech and
        mostly sensible in terms of its content alone, doesn't much
        change in terms of sense or logic if spoken by, say,
        Gamaliel, or (non-existent?) Hillel, or Pontius Pilate, or
        Marcus Borg. (The context of reproduction, of course,
        matters hugely for interpretation, but in terms of the
        speaker, all that really counts is that s/he be someone
        assumed to have a measure of authority.) Even some of the Q1
        stuff, though, in terms of content (but not form) requires
        assumptions about the identity of the speaker (e.g., "why
        do you call me Lord, and do not do what I say?"), although
        that speaker need not be Jesus, again (in fact, Pilate works
        well for this example). In terms of form, too, Q1 CAN'T
        adopt the same device as Thomas has for establishing the
        identity of the speaker, because the arrangement of Q1 is so
        much more sophisticated than Thomas. Instead of individual
        sayings more or less randomly arranged, we have relatively
        sensible and argumentative SPEECHES. Hence, if there's room
        for a "Jesus said" here or there, the place is at the start
        of each extended speech, rather than in front of each
        discrete saying. This at least suggests to me -- assuming
        that genre is never innocent or arbitrary -- that the folks
        responsible for Q1 were much more interested in the
        argumentative quality of their speeches than in the SOURCE
        of those speeches -- and that strikes me as true even if one
        assumes that Q1 did explicitly attribute all this material
        to Jesus. Thomas, by contrast, seems to hang a lot of weight
        on the fact that these sayings -- sensible or not -- come
        from Jesus, and hence should be taken seriously primarily on
        that basis.
        And in the end, this comes back to: I don't really
        know. I do think that the link between the content of Q1 and
        the identity of the speaker as Jesus was pretty loose, and
        that it became both stronger and more explicit in Q2. In
        both cases, though, how the document may have originally
        read seems nearly impossible to recover. In Thomas, by
        contrast, the identity of the speaker is THE primary
        "argumentative" strategy -- these sayings are preserved
        BECAUSE Jesus spoke them.

        humbly and self-effacingly (hyuck, hyuck),
        Bill
        ________________________________________
        William E. Arnal e-mail: wea1@...
        Religious Studies/Classics Check out my web page, at:
        New York University http://pages.nyu.edu/~wea1/


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      • Stevan Davies
        ... Q 1 and 2. I m assuming that the narrative bits in 3 must have mentioned the name of the guy involved which I m assuming was Jesus. That raises, though,
        Message 3 of 28 , Jul 19, 1999
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          Bill:
          > Q12??? What stratum is that? Or is that a text reference?

          Q 1 and 2. I'm assuming that the narrative bits in 3 must have
          mentioned the name of the guy involved which I'm assuming
          was Jesus. That raises, though, the question of how both Mark
          and Q3 separately decided to come up with a Jesus oriented
          sayings system tied to a vaguely similar biographical system.

          > The Q1 stuff, by contrast, requires very little
          > attribution, which is not to say that such attribution
          > wasn't there, but that the material, being purely speech and
          > mostly sensible in terms of its content alone, doesn't much
          > change in terms of sense or logic if spoken by, say,
          > Gamaliel, or (non-existent?) Hillel, or Pontius Pilate, or
          > Marcus Borg. (The context of reproduction, of course,
          > matters hugely for interpretation, but in terms of the
          > speaker, all that really counts is that s/he be someone
          > assumed to have a measure of authority.) Even some of the Q1
          > stuff, though, in terms of content (but not form) requires
          > assumptions about the identity of the speaker (e.g., "why
          > do you call me Lord, and do not do what I say?"), although
          > that speaker need not be Jesus, again (in fact, Pilate works
          > well for this example). In terms of form, too, Q1 CAN'T
          > adopt the same device as Thomas has for establishing the
          > identity of the speaker, because the arrangement of Q1 is so
          > much more sophisticated than Thomas. Instead of individual
          > sayings more or less randomly arranged, we have relatively
          > sensible and argumentative SPEECHES. Hence, if there's room
          > for a "Jesus said" here or there, the place is at the start
          > of each extended speech, rather than in front of each
          > discrete saying.

          Yes. If there's any particular point in putting in Jesus Said
          in Thomas, apart from just asserting authority as you mention,
          it would simply be to AVOID having the sayings turned into
          speeches. One notes that in Thomas' sets of sayings without
          Jesus Said, such as in 21, there is a scholarly presumption
          that the whole business is one coherent statement about something
          or other with each bit a part of a coherent (ha ha) whole.
          It could have been this that the Jesus Saids were trying to
          avoid.

          >This at least suggests to me -- assuming
          > that genre is never innocent or arbitrary -- that the folks
          > responsible for Q1 were much more interested in the
          > argumentative quality of their speeches than in the SOURCE
          > of those speeches -- and that strikes me as true even if one
          > assumes that Q1 did explicitly attribute all this material
          > to Jesus. Thomas, by contrast, seems to hang a lot of weight
          > on the fact that these sayings -- sensible or not -- come
          > from Jesus, and hence should be taken seriously primarily on
          > that basis.

          I think so. In fact I think that there is an implication that
          if you don't take them seriously on that basis you can't
          take them seriously at all. Because Jesus said them, they
          MUST be taken seriously and, indeed, if you can figure
          them out you live forever.

          As per my present view of Thomas' origin, folks just reciting
          stuff and it getting written down, isn't it altogether likely that
          the rather staggering and unmanagable collection of diverse
          notions to be found in Thomas is, in fact, representative
          of the diversity of notions to be found in any early Xian group?

          I've just been reading Bart Ehrmann's encomium to Walter
          Bauer in *The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture* and he
          reminds me that the idea that a given Christian community
          had a given Christian idea of things is just plain doggone silly
          until the orthodox party had finally managed to kill everybody
          else. Then, finally, we know what Christianity is. Prior to that
          they didn't seem to know.

          So what did they know? They must have known something.

          Indeed, I wonder if the whole idea of "orthodoxy" isn't itself
          a later Christian idea. The Rabbis didn't spend their time
          explaining how every other opinion about important things
          but theirs was wrong, they just got to work explaining their
          own set of things. Suppose one comes up with a social model
          for early Xianity where a huge range of views was what was expected.
          As Irenaeus puts it about Gnostics "every one of them comes
          up with something new."

          "You can say anything you want but you have to use the
          word Jesus somewhere in the paragraph" may have been the
          prevailing Christianity until the usual social forces of
          consolidation and leadership control got to work.

          > And in the end, this comes back to: I don't really
          > know.

          I don't know either. When I first got into this stuff, knowing
          what was what would take, I figured, about two years.
          Centuries later all I know is that the prevailing consensus is
          trivially obviously wrong. That's pretty poor progress.

          > I do think that the link between the content of Q1 and
          > the identity of the speaker as Jesus was pretty loose, and
          > that it became both stronger and more explicit in Q2. In
          > both cases, though, how the document may have originally
          > read seems nearly impossible to recover.

          It does seem reasonable that if there is a sayings list it is
          a sayings list of some named person's sayings. And
          reasonable that this person, by coincidence, was named
          Jesus because otherwise a connection to the Pauline Jesus
          couldn't have happened.

          > In Thomas, by
          > contrast, the identity of the speaker is THE primary
          > "argumentative" strategy -- these sayings are preserved
          > BECAUSE Jesus spoke them.

          Yep.

          How do you account for the fact that no Jesus imagined
          to date actually did speak most of them and that they
          evidence no one ideology being imposed upon Him?
          Oddly enough there are bits in Thomas that indicate that
          worrying about "the historical Jesus" or "the Jesus you seek"
          or "the Jesus in the Prophets" is wrong. What matters
          is "discovery" made by yourself. So why on earth have a list
          of sayings?

          It all just makes less and less sense.

          Steve



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        • William Arnal
          ... Mmmm, well, you know I don t entirely agree with this view. It does seem to me that there is some consistency within the Thomas material. But, on the other
          Message 4 of 28 , Jul 20, 1999
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            At 10:06 PM 7/19/99 -0500, Stevan Davies wrote:

            >As per my present view of Thomas' origin, folks just reciting
            >stuff and it getting written down, isn't it altogether likely that
            >the rather staggering and unmanagable collection of diverse
            >notions to be found in Thomas is, in fact, representative
            >of the diversity of notions to be found in any early Xian group?

            Mmmm, well, you know I don't entirely agree with this view. It does
            seem to me that there is some consistency within the Thomas material. But,
            on the other hand, in terms of the provenance of much of the material, yes,
            it does seem to attest to a very wide diversity among Xians.
            But wait -- WHY are we assuming that the source of material about
            Jesus must come from CHRISTIANS? I'm completely serious; in fact, I think
            the (apparent) failure to entertain this possibility is one of the biggest
            failings of traditional form criticism, and is also one of the big failings
            of current, Mack-like, efforts to push the development of Xianity into a
            single linear development. It actually makes much more sense to me for
            "Christians" to have obtained information about Jesus from non-Christians
            than the reverse.

            >It does seem reasonable that if there is a sayings list it is
            >a sayings list of some named person's sayings. And

            Not necessarily -- look at Proverbs, for instance, or large-ish chunks of
            the Mishnah. And even where material is attributed to some named figure,
            often the attribution is little more than a flourish, a way of associating
            stuff assumed to be wise with a figure who has that same reputation.

            >reasonable that this person, by coincidence, was named
            >Jesus because otherwise a connection to the Pauline Jesus
            >couldn't have happened.

            Not necessarily. If Q1 didn't attribute any of its material to Jesus ("these
            are the sayings of Pontius Pilate"), all it would take is for Q2 to have
            done so for all of the Q1 to material to instantly become "Jesus tradition."
            Not that I think this is the case -- but it's reasonable enough. The big
            stumbling block to such a view, so far as I can tell, isn't Paul -- it's
            Thomas. Thomas, apparently lacking ANY literary relationship to any stage of
            Q, explicitly attributes to Jesus some of the material that crops in Q1.
            That suggests a link prior to the composition of EITHER document.

            >How do you account for the fact that no Jesus imagined
            >to date actually did speak most of them and that they
            >evidence no one ideology being imposed upon Him?

            I disagree with the latter part, and so do you, Steve, in print -- there is
            an ideology here, one that focuses on e.g., asceticism, escaping the
            material forces of corruption, returning to the beginning ("protology") and
            so on.

            >Oddly enough there are bits in Thomas that indicate that
            >worrying about "the historical Jesus" or "the Jesus you seek"
            >or "the Jesus in the Prophets" is wrong. What matters
            >is "discovery" made by yourself. So why on earth have a list
            >of sayings?

            Well, because, as per above, the notion of self-discovery strikes me as a
            redactional hermeneutic fiction. It's the DEVICE by which the
            author/compiler can find his own ideology in the mass of tradition at his
            disposal without having to alter it too much.

            Bill
            __________________________________
            William Arnal wea1@...
            Religion/Classics check out my web page, at:
            New York University http://pages.nyu.edu/~wea1/


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          • Stevan Davies
            SD ... Bill A ... OK. It s Thursday GMT and on Thursdays I do think Thomas makes some sense. ... This is so obviously true that it s amazing hardly anybody
            Message 5 of 28 , Jul 20, 1999
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              SD
              > >As per my present view of Thomas' origin, folks just reciting
              > >stuff and it getting written down, isn't it altogether likely that
              > >the rather staggering and unmanagable collection of diverse
              > >notions to be found in Thomas is, in fact, representative
              > >of the diversity of notions to be found in any early Xian group?
              Bill A
              > Mmmm, well, you know I don't entirely agree with this view. It does
              > seem to me that there is some consistency within the Thomas material. But,
              > on the other hand, in terms of the provenance of much of the material, yes,
              > it does seem to attest to a very wide diversity among Xians.

              OK. It's Thursday GMT and on Thursdays I do think Thomas makes
              some sense.

              > But wait -- WHY are we assuming that the source of material about
              > Jesus must come from CHRISTIANS? I'm completely serious; in fact, I think
              > the (apparent) failure to entertain this possibility is one of the biggest
              > failings of traditional form criticism, and is also one of the big failings
              > of current, Mack-like, efforts to push the development of Xianity into a
              > single linear development. It actually makes much more sense to me for
              > "Christians" to have obtained information about Jesus from non-Christians
              > than the reverse.

              This is so obviously true that it's amazing hardly anybody notices.
              Standard Q theorizing has a good chunk of Q being things Jesus did
              NOT say. All Thomas theorizing has at least half of it things Jesus
              did NOT say. All John theoring has virtually NONE of it things Jesus
              did say. And it just gets worse through the NHL material etc.
              Then when you get down to the basic fundamental "authentic" sayings
              you really do have to ask how it is that, in a movement HUGELY prone
              to make up stuff Jesus didn't say, we can affirm that he did say that
              one set of stuff? Because it is demonstrably the earlier stratum, it
              is said. OK... maybe... but exactly how probable is it that there was
              some foundational guy Jesus that said it just because it's earlier?

              We live in a causal scholarly environment, after all. That earlier
              stratum is said to be the causal factor that leads toward all the
              rest. No. No. That can't be.

              > >It does seem reasonable that if there is a sayings list it is
              > >a sayings list of some named person's sayings. And
              >
              > Not necessarily -- look at Proverbs, for instance, or large-ish chunks of
              > the Mishnah. And even where material is attributed to some named figure,
              > often the attribution is little more than a flourish, a way of associating
              > stuff assumed to be wise with a figure who has that same reputation.

              Good point. Yet, still and all, the quality of the "authentic"
              sayings isn't intellectually interesting enough, or socially useful
              enough, to compel much agreement all by itself. Yet again, adding
              the name "Jesus" to it doesn't do a darn thing, does it, unless we
              assume He was God's Son etc.

              The "authentic" level doesn't compel admiration or even interest
              by itself. So its author has to be validated pantocrator to give it
              interest (so Gospel of Thomas). And yet Thomas draws back to insist
              that the author per se is not to be the main focus. The author
              validates the sayings and that's all, and the sayings betray what is
              actually the point (seeing things As They Truly Are). The sayings
              aren't themselves the point (finger point moon not moon).

              > >reasonable that this person, by coincidence, was named
              > >Jesus because otherwise a connection to the Pauline Jesus
              > >couldn't have happened.
              >
              > Not necessarily. If Q1 didn't attribute any of its material to Jesus ("these
              > are the sayings of Pontius Pilate"), all it would take is for Q2 to have
              > done so for all of the Q1 to material to instantly become "Jesus tradition."
              > Not that I think this is the case -- but it's reasonable enough. The big
              > stumbling block to such a view, so far as I can tell, isn't Paul -- it's
              > Thomas. Thomas, apparently lacking ANY literary relationship to any stage of
              > Q, explicitly attributes to Jesus some of the material that crops in Q1.

              I'm just absolutely in the opaque now as to what/where/why that word
              "Jesus" begins to be attached to things.
              Must we assume that there was some primordial Jesus movement out
              there that had considerable success and then later stuff began to
              claim authenticity by adding that name?

              If so, it was pretty well
              established before Paul began to persecute it.

              Makes more sense to presume that it started with a COSMIC GOD FIGURE
              named Jesus than with a wisdomcynic. As it came to pass that
              the Cosmic G F was thought to have had an earthly career,
              there came to be His sayings in increasing quantities.

              > That suggests a link prior to the composition of EITHER document.

              Would this give us:

              1. Common Tradition sayings as a fairly established set

              2. Some motivation to assume that Cosmic Jesus said things and
              then the adoption of that set for him to say, most reasonably
              because, by coincidence, they were attributed to a Jesus.

              3. Rather quick developments toward new and better things for
              Cosmic Jesus to say to show how Cosmic he really was, going
              off in various Q2, Thomas2 directions.

              4. Culminating in the John effort to dump all the original lot and
              replace them with nothing but Cosmic Jesus sayings?

              As I think we agree that John knew-of Mark we really do have to
              accept that John has violently rejected all of the Mark-type sayings
              material. I think that's pretty interesting. Folks are happy to think
              that John added all the John-sayings stuff, but the contrary, that
              John rejected all of the Synoptic stuff hasn't been mentioned
              to my knowledge.

              > >How do you account for the fact that no Jesus imagined
              > >to date actually did speak most of them and that they
              > >evidence no one ideology being imposed upon Him?
              >
              > I disagree with the latter part, and so do you, Steve, in print -- there is
              > an ideology here, one that focuses on e.g., asceticism, escaping the
              > material forces of corruption, returning to the beginning ("protology") and
              > so on.

              You sound like the poor Finns in Uro's new book who try and cite
              Davies for this and that but discover that Davies keeps changing his
              mind about things. Still, it's Thursday and Thomas makes some sort
              of sense on Thursdays.

              > >Oddly enough there are bits in Thomas that indicate that
              > >worrying about "the historical Jesus" or "the Jesus you seek"
              > >or "the Jesus in the Prophets" is wrong. What matters
              > >is "discovery" made by yourself. So why on earth have a list
              > >of sayings?
              >
              > Well, because, as per above, the notion of self-discovery strikes me as a
              > redactional hermeneutic fiction. It's the DEVICE by which the
              > author/compiler can find his own ideology in the mass of tradition at his
              > disposal without having to alter it too much.

              I dunno. More likely the discovery motif (self and kingdom on earth)
              was the ideology that then decided (WHY?) to attach itself to the
              Jesus business, giving it a bunch of common-tradition sayings that it
              didn't have any use for. In response those sayings were framed in the
              gold of (I changed this from buried in the casket of) sayings that
              reasserted the group's ideology.

              I just went through and took out the sayings in Thomas that are
              in Question Answer format. Here's some of the result.

              113. When will the Kingdom come? It's here.
              51. When will the repose of the dead and the new world come? Here
              now, dummies.
              18. What will our end be? The beginning now.

              These are the "attacks on eschatology" folks have noticed. If Q is
              a shift of sayings stuff toward eschatology, Thomas is the rejection
              of that shift.

              Even more interesting

              52 OT Prophets predicted you. Irrelevant, it's here now.
              24. Where are you? In light in man now enlightening world.
              91. Who are you? Right here and now.
              37. When you revealed? You strip then see.
              43. Who are you to say things? I am what is said and the sayer (you
              dummies like to pick one or the other).

              This is a rejection of Christology! A rejection of people seeking
              Jesus (and prooftexts). It's the adoption of Jesus sayings and
              the repudiation of Jesus as The Point per se. Go figure.

              Thomas may, then, presuppose that there are people who are
              focused on Jesus and who spoke of the End. [There are about several
              hundred million of these folks singing hymns in North America every
              Sunday]. Oh, yeah, and those people are interested also in Jewish
              customs, prayer and so forth, and (cf. Thomas) are mistaken there too.

              What then, Bill, if anything, can be made of a Jewish custom-
              practicing - seeking JESUS - future-end-oriented set of ideas
              for Thomas to disapprove of?

              Which is to say, the postive working-out of Thomas' point of view
              might be made a lot easier if we can fathom what Thomas is against.
              [I suppose it needs mentioning that this is not a chronological
              problem; Thomas may just as well be against a new set of themes
              as to be offering a new set of themes].

              Thomas is "about" seeking the stuff now and doing so via sayings
              (generated then and now, I think). It is AGAINST seeking Jesus
              and His Future Kingdom through Pious Deeds.
              Why then any common-tradition sayings at all?

              Your turn Bill.

              Steve


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            • William Arnal
              ... How odd. I thought today was Wednesday. ... I m not sure I follow this, and I wonder if you ve misconstrued what I said (or rather, if I was unclear about
              Message 6 of 28 , Jul 21, 1999
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                At 09:13 PM 7/20/99 -0500, Stevan Davies wrote:

                >OK. It's Thursday GMT and on Thursdays I do think Thomas makes
                >some sense.

                How odd. I thought today was Wednesday.

                >This is so obviously true that it's amazing hardly anybody notices.
                >Standard Q theorizing has a good chunk of Q being things Jesus did
                >NOT say. All Thomas theorizing has at least half of it things Jesus
                >did NOT say. All John theoring has virtually NONE of it things Jesus
                >did say. And it just gets worse through the NHL material etc.
                >Then when you get down to the basic fundamental "authentic" sayings
                >you really do have to ask how it is that, in a movement HUGELY prone
                >to make up stuff Jesus didn't say, we can affirm that he did say that
                >one set of stuff? Because it is demonstrably the earlier stratum, it
                >is said. OK... maybe... but exactly how probable is it that there was
                >some foundational guy Jesus that said it just because it's earlier?

                I'm not sure I follow this, and I wonder if you've misconstrued what
                I said (or rather, if I was unclear about what I MEANT). Yes, I imagine it's
                reasonable enough that stuff various folks said, about life or whatever, got
                absorbed within the Jesus tradition. And yes, there's no real reason to
                assume that a lot of the allegedly early stuff can't fall into this category.
                But what I actually meant was this: IF we assume that Jesus was a
                real person, and one who taught, or acted, or did whatever the hell he did,
                in a public setting, presumably there would be a significant number of folks
                out there who might have stories to tell about him. There is no reason for
                ANY of those people to be "followers" of Jesus. Or "opponents" for that
                matter. I'm not for a MINUTE suggesting the incredibly implausible and
                implicitly conservative kind of scenario whereby "Christians," because they
                are so concerned about historical accuracy (snort, snort) go to Galilee to
                "research" their founder. That's dumb. What I mean is, why do we assume that
                the original tradents of stories about/sayings of Jesus were committed in
                any way at all to "following" him? Why not just see these traditions as a
                kind of local story telling about some dude who was significant enough, at a
                local level and in a restricted way, to make telling such stories worth
                doing. Much like John the Baptist, for instance. According to Josephus, at
                least, all kinds of people were aware of John's execution and considered it
                unjust, without their being actual John the Baptist devotees.

                >We live in a causal scholarly environment, after all. That earlier
                >stratum is said to be the causal factor that leads toward all the
                >rest. No. No. That can't be.

                Not just that, but, as scholars, we tend to assume that the causality in
                question works through the dissemination of ideas and doctrines.

                >Good point. Yet, still and all, the quality of the "authentic"
                >sayings isn't intellectually interesting enough, or socially useful
                >enough, to compel much agreement all by itself. Yet again, adding
                >the name "Jesus" to it doesn't do a darn thing, does it, unless we
                >assume He was God's Son etc.

                Again, I'm not so sure of this. I think it's difficult to tell whether
                something for which we have little or not context was interesting, and if
                so, why. Some of the "oral traditions" in our own culture are of rather
                elusive significance. For instance, the two MOST widely disseminated "urban
                legends" that I'm aware of are both apparently UTTERLY lacking in any point.
                And yet they form so wide a part of contemporary oral culture (or something)
                that almost everyone I know who's roughly my age is familiar with both stories.

                >The "authentic" level doesn't compel admiration or even interest
                >by itself. So its author has to be validated pantocrator to give it
                >interest (so Gospel of Thomas). And yet Thomas draws back to insist
                >that the author per se is not to be the main focus. The author
                >validates the sayings and that's all, and the sayings betray what is
                >actually the point (seeing things As They Truly Are). The sayings
                >aren't themselves the point (finger point moon not moon).

                But the reverse might be true also. The sayings might have tended to
                authorize their speaker if they were regarded, for whatever reason, as
                having some kind of significance. And hence Jesus the Pantocrator might be a
                function of "hey aren't these cool stories?" rather than the reverse. I
                guess on this point I'm closer to Mack-like thinking than Davies-like thinking.

                >I'm just absolutely in the opaque now as to what/where/why that word
                >"Jesus" begins to be attached to things.
                >Must we assume that there was some primordial Jesus movement out
                >there that had considerable success and then later stuff began to
                >claim authenticity by adding that name?

                No! This is what I was trying to get at above. The movement could be a
                function of the attribution, rather than the attribution being any function
                of a particular movement. 1. Jesus was a real person, in Galilee, and he did
                stuff; 2. people who saw said stuff talked about it; 3. the talk came to
                have some sort of significance; 4. a movement (which by no means need have
                been comprised by the people resposnible for #2) developed in light of this
                significance; 5. people within this movement talked about Jesus in terms of
                that movement's agenda (repeat step five for almost 2000 years). Note too
                that steps number 3 and 4 can have multiple instances, which would do much
                to account for the wild diversity of the Jesus movements -- there WAS no
                primal movement at all, but something (who knows what?) that got folks
                talking, and of course that talk spread in several quite different connections.

                >As I think we agree that John knew-of Mark we really do have to
                >accept that John has violently rejected all of the Mark-type sayings
                >material. I think that's pretty interesting. Folks are happy to think
                >that John added all the John-sayings stuff, but the contrary, that
                >John rejected all of the Synoptic stuff hasn't been mentioned
                >to my knowledge.

                Or just took it for granted. Actually, I've always seen those scenes in John
                involving Peter and the beloved disciple as allegories represnting the
                relationship between the Johannine group and the "mainstream" church
                (whatever THAT was) -- if that's valid at all, it indicates that the
                Johannine folk were willing to recognize the authority and legitimacy of
                other forms of Christianity but at the same time felt that their own version
                was superior. So: GMark is fine, but HERE's the really important stuff.

                >This is a rejection of Christology! A rejection of people seeking
                >Jesus (and prooftexts). It's the adoption of Jesus sayings and
                >the repudiation of Jesus as The Point per se. Go figure.

                Go figure indeed. I think you're probably right, but I'm not sure what to
                make of it. Is Thomas a reaction to the gradual drift toward a defensive
                sectarianism that we see, e.g., in Q2's development?

                >What then, Bill, if anything, can be made of a Jewish custom-
                >practicing - seeking JESUS - future-end-oriented set of ideas
                >for Thomas to disapprove of?

                Well hell, the answer is obvious -- Q2. Which is not to say that Thomas
                bears ANY literary relationship to Q at any stage (a position I think is
                false) but rather that it may have been composed by people who were somehow
                aware of the developments taking place among the people responsible for Q.

                >Which is to say, the postive working-out of Thomas' point of view
                >might be made a lot easier if we can fathom what Thomas is against.
                >[I suppose it needs mentioning that this is not a chronological
                >problem; Thomas may just as well be against a new set of themes
                >as to be offering a new set of themes].

                If it's the same set of developments that crop up in Q2, I think Thomas is
                playing the conservative rather than the innovator.

                >Thomas is "about" seeking the stuff now and doing so via sayings
                >(generated then and now, I think). It is AGAINST seeking Jesus
                >and His Future Kingdom through Pious Deeds.
                >Why then any common-tradition sayings at all?

                I'm not sure I understand this question.

                Bill
                __________________________________
                William Arnal wea1@...
                Religion/Classics check out my web page, at:
                New York University http://pages.nyu.edu/~wea1/


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              • Stevan Davies
                ... Yes. And I wrote it on Tuesday. It s just madness, pay no mind. ... I ve been greatly impressed by the theory that he wasn t a real person. But I cannot
                Message 7 of 28 , Jul 21, 1999
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                  > At 09:13 PM 7/20/99 -0500, Stevan Davies wrote:
                  >
                  > >OK. It's Thursday GMT and on Thursdays I do think Thomas makes
                  > >some sense.
                  >
                  > How odd. I thought today was Wednesday.

                  Yes. And I wrote it on Tuesday. It's just madness, pay no mind.

                  > But what I actually meant was this: IF we assume that Jesus was a
                  > real person, and one who taught, or acted, or did whatever the hell he did,
                  > in a public setting, presumably there would be a significant number of folks
                  > out there who might have stories to tell about him.

                  I've been greatly impressed by the theory that he wasn't a real
                  person. But I cannot account for the "authentic" Common Tradition
                  (henceforth CT) sayings that way. Somebody said that stuff and,
                  whether I think so or not THEY thought that stuff was very
                  significant. (I keep forgetting this point). The only way I can
                  possibly account for things is to assume that the CT material
                  was attributed to a Jesus.

                  I think there was an Odes religion out there in Western Syria
                  (Charlesworth often points out that this includes Galilee) before
                  Jesus of Nazareth and it probably had members up through Judea
                  as well. Paul persecutes it and then joins it, giving his own genius
                  twists to it and focusing particularly on crucifixion as a big deal.
                  He uses the term Jesus Christ but I have no idea why.

                  Meanwhile the CT material is circulating around as important stuff
                  and the Odes religion gets hold of it and adds in elements of their
                  particular interests. The Q people get hold of it and shift it around
                  to their particular interests (i.e. Q2). The Odes people find out
                  about this and put in the question material denying the validity of
                  the Q2 approach.

                  At this point there are two religious movements talking about what
                  Jesus said but in entirely different ways. The Q2 people began
                  biographicalizing it into Q3, more or less at the same time as people
                  began to construct legends about the sayer of the stuff (miracle
                  stories) about whom they know nothing except perhaps that he was
                  Jesus "of Nazareth."

                  Here comes Mark who enters a more or less Pauline church and
                  identifies the Jesus Christ of that movement with the Jesus of
                  Nazareth of the Q movement. He writes The Biography focusing
                  on the Crucifixion angle, downplaying the sayings - miracles angle.
                  Nobody known to us had previously thought the CT Jesus and the
                  Pauline Jesus had anything to do with each other.

                  Mt and Lk, who like the sayings-miracles angle a lot, rewrite Mark
                  to heighten that.

                  John, from the Odes religion side of things, rewrites Mark to take
                  all of the sayings out to replace them with revealer sayings. (The
                  Odes are in great part revealer sayings themselves... albeit not
                  in the Johannine style per se).

                  > >We live in a causal scholarly environment, after all. That earlier
                  > >stratum is said to be the causal factor that leads toward all the
                  > >rest. No. No. That can't be.
                  >
                  > Not just that, but, as scholars, we tend to assume that the causality in
                  > question works through the dissemination of ideas and doctrines.

                  OK. The CT material must be "ideas and doctrines" of a sort, as
                  is Q2 and hence Mt and Lk. The Odes tradition is about experiential
                  transformation into the Son/Spirit.

                  Luke does both, one in Gospel where the "message" is crucial
                  and one in Acts where the experience of the Spirit is crucial.

                  We seem to have in Mark and in Luke two rather different attempts
                  to put the two entirely unrelated movements together into one system,
                  Mark by admitting the CT-miracles material but insisting upon the
                  sacrifice of the Son of Man; Luke
                  via two almost completely unrelated books. Leading, of course, to
                  much of the conceptual chaos that is "Christian Origins."

                  > >Good point. Yet, still and all, the quality of the "authentic"
                  > >sayings isn't intellectually interesting enough, or socially useful
                  > >enough, to compel much agreement all by itself. Y
                  >
                  > Again, I'm not so sure of this. I think it's difficult to tell whether
                  > something for which we have little or not context was interesting, and if
                  > so, why.

                  Yes. I must often be reminded that me thinking that this is all
                  nonsense doesn't logically entail them thinking so too.

                  > The sayings might have tended to
                  > authorize their speaker if they were regarded, for whatever reason, as
                  > having some kind of significance. And hence Jesus the Pantocrator might be a
                  > function of "hey aren't these cool stories?" rather than the reverse. I
                  > guess on this point I'm closer to Mack-like thinking than Davies-like thinking.

                  Well, that must stop. You have a Pantocrator system out there and a
                  CT system out there. What we have in various mid to late first
                  century texts is the effort to put them together somehow. The
                  Mack-like thinking (standard since Luke at least) is that somehow
                  the one gave rise to the other, but nobody has ever had a clue how
                  except that the Resurrection somehow was so unheard of (trivially
                  false assumption) that it all came about thereby. Actually Mack
                  directly writes against this in Myth of Innocense, doesn't he? So you
                  can't be Mackian. I think you're just Lukan.

                  If you start thinking that it is NOT the case that CT somehow gave
                  rise to Pantocrator but, rather, that there are two wholly different
                  things being combined (Davies-like thinking) later on you may come
                  into the light.

                  > No! This is what I was trying to get at above. The movement could be a
                  > function of the attribution, rather than the attribution being any function
                  > of a particular movement. 1. Jesus was a real person, in Galilee, and he did
                  > stuff; 2. people who saw said stuff talked about it; 3. the talk came to
                  > have some sort of significance; 4. a movement (which by no means need have
                  > been comprised by the people resposnible for #2) developed in light of this
                  > significance; 5. people within this movement talked about Jesus in terms of
                  > that movement's agenda (repeat step five for almost 2000 years). Note too
                  > that steps number 3 and 4 can have multiple instances, which would do much
                  > to account for the wild diversity of the Jesus movements -- there WAS no
                  > primal movement at all, but something (who knows what?) that got folks
                  > talking, and of course that talk spread in several quite different connections.

                  So far I concur. Now, if you add in an entirely unrelated completely
                  different system known to us from Odes (Asc. Isaiah, 2 Logos Seth,
                  Apoc Adam for other almost but not quite unrelated texts) and then
                  Paul and Hebrews, a movement that managed to use the word "Jesus"
                  what happens when the sayings of Jesus of Nazareth movement begins
                  to merge with that other Jesus Christ Revealer Sacrifice movement is
                  the texts we know.

                  I point out that virtually everybody who writes about Thomas (except
                  R. V.) flat out ignores virtually all of the CT sayings in order to
                  explain what Thomas is up to. Thus, at least as scholarship today
                  deals with the material, the CT material is in Thomas just as an
                  overlay of matter uninteresting to the Thomas group. In this respect
                  one is reminded of John who just flat trashed it all, replacing it
                  with Revealer material.

                  > I've always seen those scenes in John
                  > involving Peter and the beloved disciple as allegories represnting the
                  > relationship between the Johannine group and the "mainstream" church
                  > (whatever THAT was) -- if that's valid at all, it indicates that the
                  > Johannine folk were willing to recognize the authority and legitimacy of
                  > other forms of Christianity but at the same time felt that their own version
                  > was superior. So: GMark is fine, but HERE's the really important stuff.

                  No. You can't do that. GMark is NOT fine, it contains all of that CT
                  material that is NOT what Jesus said. John does not recognize the
                  legitimacy of that form of Christianity whatsoever. John seems to be
                  saying that if you want a biography of the Revealer, here's what that
                  would look like. John's reverted back beyond even Paul to a death of
                  the revealer scenario where the revealer is completely in charge of
                  everything and the "suffering" element has vanished.

                  > >What then, Bill, if anything, can be made of a Jewish custom-
                  > >practicing - seeking JESUS - future-end-oriented set of ideas
                  > >for Thomas to disapprove of?
                  >
                  > Well hell, the answer is obvious -- Q2. Which is not to say that Thomas
                  > bears ANY literary relationship to Q at any stage (a position I think is
                  > false) but rather that it may have been composed by people who were somehow
                  > aware of the developments taking place among the people responsible for Q.

                  Must be. There would be two movements working there in Western Syria
                  and the Thomas people, from the Odes side (which becomes the John
                  side), are appropriating the big important deal from the Q side (the
                  CT material) and rejecting the effort to turn it into Q2.

                  > If it's the same set of developments that crop up in Q2, I think Thomas is
                  > playing the conservative rather than the innovator.

                  In rejecting Q2 Thomas is conservative. In blending CT with Odes
                  Revealer ascetic ideology it's innovative.

                  > >Thomas is "about" seeking the stuff now and doing so via sayings
                  > >(generated then and now, I think). It is AGAINST seeking Jesus
                  > >and His Future Kingdom through Pious Deeds.
                  > >Why then any common-tradition sayings at all?
                  >
                  > I'm not sure I understand this question.

                  Thomas doesn't need CT but it's in there. Why? Because CT was
                  known, and respected, and then appropriated by Q2... Thomas
                  repudiates that move and then appropriates it for itself?

                  Which is something like what John did in appropriating the
                  biography form from Mk and then repudiating its movement toward
                  Q2 ideas by replacing them wholesale with Revealer material.

                  One keeps trying....

                  Steve

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                • Stevan Davies
                  ... Well, it s the wave of the future, the infant zeitgeist slouching toward Damascus to be born. ... I notice that I have a three strata theory there. 1. CT
                  Message 8 of 28 , Jul 22, 1999
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                    > From: William Arnal
                    >He's pretty much convinced -- and has almost
                    > succeeded in convincing me, that there was a pre-Christian Syrian movement
                    > with a strong focus on mystical or metaphysical transformation that came to
                    > be secondarily associated with a Christian movement, and one can see the
                    > resultant blending in certain documents, including Thomas. Wild stuff. It's
                    > amazing to see different people arrive at very very similar conclusions like
                    > this.

                    Well, it's the wave of the future, the infant zeitgeist slouching toward
                    Damascus to be born.


                    > >Meanwhile the CT material is circulating around as important stuff
                    > >and the Odes religion gets hold of it and adds in elements of their
                    > >particular interests. The Q people get hold of it and shift it around
                    > >to their particular interests (i.e. Q2). The Odes people find out
                    > >about this and put in the question material denying the validity of
                    > >the Q2 approach.
                    >
                    > Yes, and I think this is what aforementioned student said about Q2 as well.
                    > He's in Russia for the summer, otherwise I'd ask him.

                    I notice that I have a three strata theory there.
                    1. CT
                    2. Odd Stuff
                    3. Anti-Q dialogues
                    The dialogical material is somewhat more coherent than the Odd Stuff,
                    though as it makes only three points: don't seek Jesus per se, don't
                    worry about the end, don't do pious stuff. We can't stratify doing
                    text-critical analysis a la Kloppenborg and so have to use historical
                    imagination as to which came first. Would it be more reasonable to
                    think that the order was 1 3 2?

                    > I think my HTR piece accounts for many of them both on their
                    > own, and in the context of completed Thomas. But I'm aware, of course, that
                    > you don't buy my reading of this stuff.

                    You overlook the fact that I have renounced my usual stance
                    "everybody else is wrong" in favor of a more absolute position
                    "everybody is wrong including me." So if I'm wrong maybe you're
                    right. What happens to your HTR perspective if the dialogue material
                    is a distinct stratum?

                    > >Nobody known to us had previously thought the CT Jesus and the
                    > >Pauline Jesus had anything to do with each other.
                    >
                    > I'm less sure about this. In any case, maybe they didn't have anything to do
                    > with each other even if they ostensibly referred to the same person.

                    Well, you see, that just brings you back to the initial quandry: how
                    do we get from HJ to Epistleographers (Paul, Colossians, Hebrews)?
                    I'm suggesting that if they don't refer to the same person at all
                    (and this, for example, will mean that the CT Jesus wasn't crucified)
                    that problem goes away.

                    Leaving new problems. 1. What was a pre-Paul proto-Christianity
                    like? 2. How did the two movements come to combine? 3. Where
                    on earth did Paul pick up "Jesus Christ" from?

                    1. Odes etc.
                    2. Mark
                    3. No clue --- and yet,
                    since everybody else seems to be entitled to discover interpolations
                    whenever Paul says things that don't fit their own views of what Paul
                    should say, perhaps I can venture the guess that the term "Jesus"
                    was added in at the time of the letters' first copying as a normative
                    collection. I count 8 sentences that cannot simply be accounted for
                    by the addition of the word "Jesus" to the words "Christ" or "Lord."

                    Be that as it may, it may well be said that since the prevailing model has
                    been tried and tried and tried over the last century or more and
                    just hasn't worked, indeed hundreds of bright people have devoted
                    themselves to trying to make it work without any success, another
                    model is certainly needed.

                    > >If you start thinking that it is NOT the case that CT somehow gave
                    > >rise to Pantocrator but, rather, that there are two wholly different
                    > >things being combined (Davies-like thinking) later on you may come
                    > >into the light.
                    >
                    > And become a son of God?

                    Actually, I dunno. "When you come into the light what will you do?"
                    (GTh 11).

                    > The question here then becomes: what is the
                    > motivation for combining them? Does this motivation spring from Odes
                    > freakazoids, or from the CT types? If the latter, we can still trace a more
                    > or less linear development from CT, through various acts of rationalization,
                    > to Pantocrator, the only real difference being that the Pantocrator-style
                    > rationalizations don't arise ex nihilo (a silly notion anyway) but are
                    > borrowed from the current culture.

                    I don't think you can do a linear development of that sort no matter
                    how hard you try. Clearly the Pantocrator notion derives from Wisdom
                    speculations and its connection with Revealer/Son/Spirit stuff is
                    obvious. But I don't see that in any CT trajectory anywhere....

                    well, it seems to have coexisted so that a tad came in at Q10:22
                    and "the wisdom of god said" bit, but the latter is a prooftext and
                    not a Christological Affirmation. If you go all James Robinsony
                    on me and say that the CT sayings are "wisdom sayings" and
                    therefore they figured that the speaker must have created the universe
                    I will have to assume that you are intoxicated and in poverty (3, 28).

                    What's the motive for combining them? Far as I can tell you
                    have to ask Mark because he appears to have been the guy who
                    did it. If Paul is speaking of a Cosmic Myth crucifixion/resurrection
                    it's Mark who will have that happen in concrete history. Once it
                    appears in history it begs the question (famously not a question
                    of interest to Paul) what happened to the guy before that? Or,
                    for Mark more particularly, if the big thing is him crucified, what
                    were the causal factors that led up to his crucifixion (2:7, 3:2
                    etc.).

                    If there was a movement preaching a crucified messiah and Mark
                    wants to locate that in history and not mythology, voila.

                    Like as if he had decided that Ode 22 was historical fact ===

                    3.He who scattered my enemies, and my adversaries;
                    4.He who gave me authority over bonds, so that I might unbind them;
                    5.He who overthrew by my hands the dragon with seven heads, and
                    set me at his roots
                    that I might destroy his seed;

                    Then we need to know who the enemies and adversaries are and
                    what is their problem, and where the dragon comes from and how
                    the great battle was waged and where it took place and what
                    the crowds thought while watching the battle and so forth.

                    People do tend to take things literally, don't they?

                    I can see why a biography would be attractive to Q types if
                    all they had were sayings and miracle legends and so forth.
                    And a biography that winds up with the guy rising from the dead
                    might appeal a good bit.

                    Isn't it one of the standard problems
                    arising from Q GTh considerations that they don't seem to have
                    ever heard of any crucifixion or resurrection? [And for Paul that
                    he doesn't seem to have heard of anything else?]

                    > >Paul and Hebrews, a movement that managed to use the word "Jesus"
                    > >what happens when the sayings of Jesus of Nazareth movement begins
                    > >to merge with that other Jesus Christ Revealer Sacrifice movement is
                    > >the texts we know.
                    >
                    > Ok. I actually can buy this. But then again, I would think that such a
                    > merging would be motivated by more than mere similarity of names.

                    Well, Mark's motivation for constructing a biography to place a myth
                    into history is one thing. Given that he wants to do this, it would
                    help for him to have some body of stuff to use. "Why this body
                    of stuff and not some other body of stuff?" might be answerable
                    simply via the mere similarity of names.

                    Steve
                  • Stevan Davies
                    ... But obviously there is indeed a Pantocrator notion 77 in the CT trajectory called Thomas. Then I got to wondering if there is something similar in the
                    Message 9 of 28 , Jul 23, 1999
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                      I wrote:

                      > I don't think you can do a linear development of that sort no matter
                      > how hard you try. Clearly the Pantocrator notion derives from Wisdom
                      > speculations and its connection with Revealer/Son/Spirit stuff is
                      > obvious. But I don't see that in any CT trajectory anywhere....

                      But obviously there is indeed a Pantocrator notion 77 in the
                      CT trajectory called Thomas.

                      Then I got to wondering if there is something similar in the Odes,
                      and there is.

                      ============
                      12:12.For the dwelling place of the Word is man,
                      and His truth is love.

                      41:11.And His Word is with us in all our way, the
                      Savior who gives life and does not reject ourselves.

                      16:18.And there is nothing outside of the Lord, because He was
                      before anything came to be.
                      19.And the worlds are by His Word, and by the thought of His heart.
                      =============

                      The Word who is Savior comes within us; he made the worlds.
                      This is combined in the Odes with what Christians would call
                      a docetic-death motif:

                      42:5.All my persecutors have died, and they sought me,
                      they who declared against me, because I am living.
                      6.Then I arose and am with them, and will speak by their mouths.

                      42:10.I was not rejected although I was considered to be so,
                      and I did not perish although they thought it of me.

                      [This sort of thing is found in Apoc Adam etc.].

                      The "speak by their mouths" element connects with the Word.

                      10:1.The Lord has directed my mouth by His Word, and has
                      opened my heart by His Light.
                      ==================

                      From here we can go in one direction to John, of course,
                      and in another direction to Paul for whom the spirit of the
                      crucified Christ is a combination of elements above.

                      Paul doesn't seem to have
                      been docetic, though and that makes a nice intervening stage
                      toward Mark who is not only not docetic, but moves the
                      events to the historical arena. [The Philippians 2:6-8
                      hymn is, of course, docetic-death oriented.]
                      The docetic-death (appears as late as Quran ca. 630) kept
                      going outside Orthodoxy.

                      So Thomas seems to be getting the Pantocrator notion from
                      the same thought-world the others get it from.

                      It's conspicuous by its absence in the synoptic material.
                      Folks ought to give some though to how such a VERY
                      widely attested motif (Paul, Colossians, Hebrews, John,
                      Thomas) manages to disappear there. I suppose it's
                      just too hard to both have a human guy and the creator
                      of the world simultaneously (but cf. Chalcedon). John
                      tried to do it... but nobody seems to think that John's
                      Historical Jesus is actually historical. [Bhagavad Gita
                      does a better job, actually].

                      Thomas may be doing something of the same
                      thing Mark is doing -- pulling the "perished" "Word" down
                      to earth. Each focuses on half of the system... Thomas
                      on the revealing Word half, Mark on the "perished" half.
                      To pull these into the historical arena Thomas identifies
                      the historical speaker while Mark tells an historical story.

                      And thus Thomas is also doing something of what John
                      is doing, substituting a revealer orientation for the
                      historical orientation of CT and Mark respectively.

                      Going further, suppose Mark knows that Thomas has
                      done this and knows the Odes ideology out of which
                      Thomas seems to arise. As that ideology is docetic and
                      ahistorical, Mark repudiates it --- mainly by deleting any
                      aspects of it he finds in Thomas and by wholly revising
                      a particular piece of it (GTh 13) into the "pseudo-confession"
                      of Peter story. Mark will then be insisting on the historicity
                      of the Revealer (who is simply a speaker of sayings in Mark)
                      and of the Crucifixion.

                      Incidentally, I think there's another hint of Mark Thomas
                      intertextuality worth thinking about.

                      4:30Again he said, "What shall we say the kingdom of God is like,
                      or what parable shall we use to describe it?
                      31It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant
                      in the ground.

                      Thomas: (20) The disciples said to Jesus,
                      "Tell us what the kingdom of heaven is like."
                      He said to them, "It is like a mustard seed. It is the smallest
                      of all seeds.

                      What's odd here is that both for Mark and Thomas it is only
                      this parable that has an introduction. As frequently happens
                      when comparing GTh and Mk stuff, the Mk introduction is
                      flamboyantly Markan (pointless doubled rhetorical question)
                      and yet the passage is also strikingly non-Thomasine for
                      it is out of place in the "disciples said to him" material.

                      I hope this has made everything clear.

                      Steve
                    • William Arnal
                      ... This is all starting to baffle me, in part because I wasn t paying any attention to the initial Odes thread, with which this has come to be conflated.
                      Message 10 of 28 , Jul 24, 1999
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                        At 05:08 PM 7/22/99 -0500, Stevan Davies wrote:

                        >I notice that I have a three strata theory there.
                        >1. CT
                        >2. Odd Stuff
                        >3. Anti-Q dialogues
                        >The dialogical material is somewhat more coherent than the Odd Stuff,
                        >though as it makes only three points: don't seek Jesus per se, don't
                        >worry about the end, don't do pious stuff. We can't stratify doing
                        >text-critical analysis a la Kloppenborg and so have to use historical
                        >imagination as to which came first. Would it be more reasonable to
                        >think that the order was 1 3 2?

                        This is all starting to baffle me, in part because I wasn't paying any
                        attention to the initial "Odes" thread, with which this has come to be
                        conflated. Anyway, if I'm following this properly (don't hold your breath),
                        yes, the 1 3 2 order works for me. But that's only because I'm still working
                        within the framework of the CT actaully being COMMON to Q and Thomas, and a
                        rift developing as a result of Q2's sectarian strategies. Whatever may fall
                        into category #2 seems to bear a much looser relationship the rest of the
                        material than 1 and 3 do to each other and/or to Q. And if this sounds
                        confusing it is because I am confused.

                        >What happens to your HTR perspective if the dialogue material
                        >is a distinct stratum?

                        Hard to say. Most of it (all of it?) falls into the secondary stratum of
                        Thomas anyway, so it'd be easy enough to argue that a later Thomas redactor
                        took this dialogue stratum up as a major part of his redaction.

                        >I'm suggesting that if they don't refer to the same person at all
                        >(and this, for example, will mean that the CT Jesus wasn't crucified)
                        >that problem goes away.

                        I'm not sure that this is an unreasonable suggestion at all. Why not? I've
                        sometimes wondered something similar (though without ever having the guts,
                        Davies style, to actually bring it up) about a story Josephus tells of a
                        certain Jesus who, just before the War, starts running around making
                        doomsday prophecies about the temple (War 6.300-309). He is a "rude
                        peasant," he shows up during a festival, he talks about voices coming from
                        east and west, he condemns the temple, he is arrested by fellow Jews, he is
                        chastised but won't say a word in his own defense, and so he is brought
                        before the Romans. He is whipped by the Romans but says nothing; he is asked
                        about his identity but doesn't reply, and finally, in exasperation, the
                        Romans let him go.
                        Uh, does this sound familiar? Of course this CAN'T be OUR Jesus,
                        because all the stuff in question seems to take place around 62 CE, and
                        besides, the guy never gets crucified. But then again, the only sources we
                        have that record such details as parallel this story -- GMark and his
                        followers -- are later still. So prior to 62 we hear (from Paul) about some
                        dude with the common name of Jesus (or, perhaps, simply "Christ") who was
                        crucified, but with no real details. We also have a Jesus who is attached to
                        the CT. And finally, AFTER 62 (really, after 70) we have yet another Jesus,
                        who is, a la Paul, crucified, but who has come to be combined with this
                        OTHER Jesus who was anti-temple and was tried in the way described above.
                        (All this of course would make Josephus' famous testimony to OUR Jesus
                        either wholly an interpollation, or a result of Josephus drawing from
                        already befuddled Xian sources.) A simpler way of saying this is: I have
                        speculated that Mark, in fleshing out a narrative about the (previously
                        unnarrativized) crucified Christ of Paul has assimilated him to stories of a
                        much later person who was named Jesus. Pure speculation, but that's a pretty
                        awesome series of coincidences, no? And "Jesus" is a pretty common name.

                        >Be that as it may, it may well be said that since the prevailing model has
                        >been tried and tried and tried over the last century or more and
                        >just hasn't worked, indeed hundreds of bright people have devoted
                        >themselves to trying to make it work without any success, another
                        >model is certainly needed.

                        Ok. Of course, as is my wont, I will leave this to braver folks than me. Or
                        tenured folks, at least.

                        >Isn't it one of the standard problems
                        >arising from Q GTh considerations that they don't seem to have
                        >ever heard of any crucifixion or resurrection? [And for Paul that
                        >he doesn't seem to have heard of anything else?]

                        Absolutely. Of course, we fcan't presuppose a single community or any direct
                        linear development. So even if Paul was spouting off about resurrections as
                        early as, say, 35, and Q1 wasn't written until, say, 60, that doesn't mean
                        that Q1 doesn't still represent an earlier WAY of thinking than does Paul.
                        It's just that some folks have gotten beyond that way of thinking and some
                        have not. People had figured out that Thomas was independent and/or that not
                        all non-canonical stuff should be treated together long before Meier came
                        along and wrote his book on Jesus; but Meier, writing later, still
                        represents what we might think of as a pre-Koester viewpoint.

                        Bill
                        __________________________________
                        William Arnal wea1@...
                        Religion/Classics check out my web page, at:
                        New York University http://pages.nyu.edu/~wea1/
                      • Achilles37@aol.com
                        ... While it is true that the Q GTh sayings traditions do not explicitly refer to the crucifixion or resurrection (nor do they ever mention Messiah), we
                        Message 11 of 28 , Aug 1, 1999
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                          On 99-07-22 at 17:14:39 EDT, Stevan Davies wrote:

                          > Isn't it one of the standard problems
                          > arising from Q GTh considerations that they don't seem to have
                          > ever heard of any crucifixion or resurrection? [And for Paul that
                          > he doesn't seem to have heard of anything else?]

                          While it is true that the Q GTh sayings traditions do not
                          explicitly refer to the crucifixion or resurrection (nor do they
                          ever mention "Messiah)," we cannot conclude from this
                          that the authors of Q and GTh are unfamiliar
                          with the crucifixion, the resurrection, or the conception of
                          Jesus as Messiah. Just that they didn't attribute sayings
                          about these matters to the pre-Easter Jesus.

                          Furthermore, these sayings traditions do include a few
                          indirect references to these matters -

                          "Pick up your cross and follow me;" (GTh 55)
                          "We know that you will leave us;" (GTh 12)
                          "There is nothing buried that shall not be raised" (Gr. GTh 6,
                          Oxyrhynchus burial shroud);
                          "Twenty-four prophets spoke in Israel and all of them spoke
                          about (lit. "in") you" (GTh 52)

                          and so on. Hence, I do not believe that the sayings
                          tradition embodied in Q and GTh can be considered
                          as evidence of groups of early Christians who have
                          a form of Christianity that was devoid of the concept
                          that Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, died,
                          and then rose from the dead three days later - that is,
                          a form of Christianity based on the Jesus son of Ananus
                          story where the hero is not crucified and does not rise
                          from the dead. All we can say is that, for the author of
                          GTh at least, eternal life was gained by understanding
                          the words of Jesus, and not necessarily by faith in the
                          Risen Jesus, a la Pauline Christianity.

                          The Passion story was believed to have circulated
                          independently at a very early date before it was
                          incorporated into the narrative gospels. If so, this might
                          account for the fact that the Q/GTh sayings traditions
                          don't deal with it - there may have been a separate
                          document or oral tradition that already did.

                          - Kevin Johnson
                        • Mark Goodacre
                          ... This is an important qualification. In the case of Q we need to tread more carefully still since it is, of course, source-critically extrapolated from
                          Message 12 of 28 , Aug 2, 1999
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                            On 1 Aug 99, at 11:35, Achilles37@... wrote:

                            > While it is true that the Q GTh sayings traditions do not
                            > explicitly refer to the crucifixion or resurrection (nor do they
                            > ever mention "Messiah)," we cannot conclude from this
                            > that the authors of Q and GTh are unfamiliar
                            > with the crucifixion, the resurrection, or the conception of
                            > Jesus as Messiah. Just that they didn't attribute sayings
                            > about these matters to the pre-Easter Jesus.

                            This is an important qualification. In the case of Q we need to tread
                            more carefully still since it is, of course, source-critically extrapolated
                            from Matthew and Luke. Since Q is often defined as a sayings
                            source with no passion and resurrection story, one might almost say
                            that there is no passion & resurrection by definition, particularly since
                            there are well known Minor Agreements between Matthew and Luke
                            against Mark in the Passion Narrative (cf. Kloppenborg, _Formation
                            of Q_, pp. 85-7).

                            Further, on the question of whether the "Christ" terminology is present
                            in Q, it is arguable that it is implicit in Q 7.22. In the same passage,
                            the Matthean version has the explicit terminology (Matt. 11.2),
                            sometimes overlooked in reconstructions of Q, in spite of the fact that
                            the usage is rather un-Lukan.

                            > Furthermore, these sayings traditions do include a few
                            > indirect references to these matters -
                            >
                            > "Pick up your cross and follow me;" (GTh 55)
                            > "We know that you will leave us;" (GTh 12)
                            > "There is nothing buried that shall not be raised" (Gr. GTh 6,
                            > Oxyrhynchus burial shroud);
                            > "Twenty-four prophets spoke in Israel and all of them spoke
                            > about (lit. "in") you" (GTh 52)

                            See too David Seeley's interesting piece on "Jesus Death in Q" from
                            NTS 32 (1992), reproduced on-line on the Synoptic-L site:

                            http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l/jdeath.htm

                            Mark
                            --------------------------------------
                            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

                            http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
                            The New Testament Gateway
                            Mark Without Q
                            Aseneth Home Page
                          • joseph baxter
                            ... On what basis do you assume that the Gospel of Thomas refers to a pre-Easter Jesus? Joe Baxter joe
                            Message 13 of 28 , Aug 2, 1999
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                              At 08:35 AM 8/1/99 , "Achilles" wrote:
                              >On 99-07-22 at 17:14:39 EDT, Stevan Davies wrote:
                              >
                              > > Isn't it one of the standard problems
                              > > arising from Q GTh considerations that they don't seem to have
                              > > ever heard of any crucifixion or resurrection? [And for Paul that
                              > > he doesn't seem to have heard of anything else?]
                              >
                              >While it is true that the Q GTh sayings traditions do not
                              >explicitly refer to the crucifixion or resurrection (nor do they
                              >ever mention "Messiah)," we cannot conclude from this
                              >that the authors of Q and GTh are unfamiliar
                              >with the crucifixion, the resurrection, or the conception of
                              >Jesus as Messiah. Just that they didn't attribute sayings
                              >about these matters to the pre-Easter Jesus.


                              On what basis do you assume that the Gospel of Thomas refers to a
                              pre-Easter Jesus?

                              Joe Baxter



                              joe
                            • joseph baxter
                              I am re-posting this as I don t see it on Netscape. Even so, I received a copy. Strange. ... On what basis do you assume that the Gospel of Thomas refers to a
                              Message 14 of 28 , Aug 5, 1999
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                                I am re-posting this as I don't see it on Netscape. Even so, I received a
                                copy. Strange.

                                At 08:35 AM 8/1/99 , "Achilles" wrote:
                                >On 99-07-22 at 17:14:39 EDT, Stevan Davies wrote:
                                >
                                > > Isn't it one of the standard problems
                                > > arising from Q GTh considerations that they don't seem to have
                                > > ever heard of any crucifixion or resurrection? [And for Paul that
                                > > he doesn't seem to have heard of anything else?]
                                >
                                >While it is true that the Q GTh sayings traditions do not
                                >explicitly refer to the crucifixion or resurrection (nor do they
                                >ever mention "Messiah)," we cannot conclude from this
                                >that the authors of Q and GTh are unfamiliar
                                >with the crucifixion, the resurrection, or the conception of
                                >Jesus as Messiah. Just that they didn't attribute sayings
                                >about these matters to the pre-Easter Jesus.


                                On what basis do you assume that the Gospel of Thomas refers to a
                                pre-Easter Jesus?

                                Joe Baxter



                                joe
                              • Mike Grondin
                                ... Egroups has been having problems the last week or so with their message boards. They say they re working on it, but as I write this, for example, our board
                                Message 15 of 28 , Aug 5, 1999
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                                  At 12:28 AM 08/05/99 -0700, joseph baxter wrote:
                                  >I am re-posting this as I don't see it on Netscape. Even so, I received a
                                  >copy. Strange.

                                  Egroups has been having problems the last week or so with their message
                                  boards. They say they're working on it, but as I write this, for example,
                                  our board says "1359-1369 of 1372", which means that messages 1370-1372 are
                                  not immediately accessible. They can be read by selecting message 1369,
                                  then using the forward arrow that appears within that message. Rest assured
                                  that if you've received a message from the group, others have received it
                                  as well, and it is archived.

                                  Mike
                                • Mark Goodacre
                                  Joe Baxter wrote: ... It seems to me that there are three options:  (1). that Thomas is depicting a pre-Easter Jesus (2). that Thomas is depicting a
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Aug 6, 1999
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                                    Joe Baxter wrote:

                                    > On what basis do you assume that the Gospel of Thomas refers to a
                                    > pre-Easter Jesus?

                                    It seems to me that there are three options:
                                    
                                    (1). that Thomas is depicting a pre-Easter Jesus
                                    (2). that Thomas is depicting a post-Easter Jesus.
                                    (3). that Thomas is ambivalent, unclear about or uninterested in the
                                    distinction between pre and post-Easter Jesus.

                                    In favour of (1) we have the fact that so many of the sayings attributed
                                    to Jesus are paralleled in other texts that attribute them to a pre-Easter
                                    Jesus, i.e locate them in the narrative of a ministry that takes place
                                    before his crucifixion. Also in favour of this are the occasional hints of
                                    human relationships and the trappings of the ministry as reported
                                    elsewhere, e.g. eating at table, a woman popping up in the crowd,
                                    interaction with disciples like Simon Peter, Mary Magdalene and so
                                    on.

                                    Against (1) we have the absence of any solid geographical location at
                                    all, reference to "the living one" and general lack of interest in the
                                    narrative features that are a part of all our other early texts that depict
                                    the pre-Easter Jesus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Q, Peter, P. Eg.
                                    etc.

                                    These same features might speak in favour of (2), but against this
                                    option are the features that speak in favour of (1), as well as the lack
                                    of reference to resurrection. Jesus is "the living one", not "the
                                    resurrected one". It is difficult to believe that the author was
                                    deliberately giving known pre-Easter sayings a post-resurrection
                                    setting without some statement that he was doing this.

                                    The most plausible option is thus some form of (3): the author either did not
                                    care or did not think about it or was deliberately ambiguous. As Koester says,
                                    Thomas is apparently indifferent to story-time. The fundamental theological
                                    tendency of the gospel is, as he rightly notes, “the view that the Jesus
                                    who spoke these words was and is the Living One, and thus gives life
                                    through his words” (quoted from "Gnomai Diaphorai", p. 139).

                                    As a relative newcomer to Thomas studies I would be interested to
                                    hear other opinions. Do the three options above exhaust the
                                    possibilities? If so, is option 3 the most helpful option?

                                    Mark

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

                                    http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
                                    The New Testament Gateway
                                    Mark Without Q
                                    Aseneth Home Page
                                  • joseph baxter
                                    ... . . . . ... I think you are probably right. The fundamental theological tendency of the gospel is, as he rightly notes, the view that the Jesus who spoke
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Aug 7, 1999
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                                      At 09:39 AM 8/6/99 , Mark wrote:

                                      >It seems to me that there are three options:
                                      >(1). that Thomas is depicting a pre-Easter Jesus
                                      >(2). that Thomas is depicting a post-Easter Jesus.
                                      >(3). that Thomas is ambivalent, unclear about or uninterested in the
                                      >distinction between pre and post-Easter Jesus.
                                      >
                                      >In favour of (1) we have the fact that so many of the sayings attributed
                                      >to Jesus are paralleled in other texts that attribute them to a pre-Easter
                                      >Jesus, i.e locate them in the narrative of a ministry that takes place
                                      >before his crucifixion.

                                      . . . .

                                      >The most plausible option is thus some form of (3): the author either did
                                      >not
                                      >care or did not think about it or was deliberately ambiguous. As Koester
                                      >says,
                                      >Thomas is apparently indifferent to story-time.



                                      I think you are probably right.

                                      The fundamental theological tendency of the gospel is, as he rightly notes,
                                      "the view that the Jesus
                                      who spoke these words was and is the Living One, and thus gives life
                                      through his words" (quoted from "Gnomai Diaphorai", p. 139).


                                      I am not sure if I agree with Koester's interpretation of the Living One
                                      as one external being, i.e. Jesus.
                                      IMO the concept may be very similar to Atman, or Self, i.e., that the
                                      Living One is actually our self beyond ego. Being. Thus, we have the
                                      explanation of this passage as " Does not Jesus say, 'Whoever finds himself
                                      is superior to the world?' " Thus, one who finds himself is the Living One.

                                      But let me get back to the principal subject. Along with the ambiguity you
                                      spoke of, there references that can probably best be interpreted in a
                                      post-Easter time frame. For example

                                      (1.)
                                      28. Jesus said, "I took my place in the midst of the world, and I appeared
                                      to them in the flesh. I found all of them intoxicated; I found none of them
                                      thirsty. And My soul became afflicted for the sons of men, because they are
                                      blind in their hearts and do not have sight; for empty they came into the
                                      world, and empty too they seek to leave the world. But for the moment they
                                      are intoxicated. When they shake off their wine, then they will repent."

                                      Funk and Hoover in their 5G say of this passage

                                      "Yeshu depicts himself as a redeemer who descends to earth and ascends to
                                      heaven. . . . However, . . .there are specifically gnostic twists. The
                                      spiritual state of humanity . . . is stupefied with passion and
                                      drunkenness, blind to any spiritual understanding. The savior comes to
                                      awaken such persons to their true origins. This complex . . . is a summary
                                      version of gnostic redeemer myths that depict the human condition and the
                                      possibility for salvation."

                                      5G's view is forced by the assumption that these words are associated with
                                      Yeshu before his crucifixion. Yeshu after his crucifixion would not be
                                      viewed as someone who descended to earth. Yeshu's "I took my place in the
                                      midst of the world" looks more like a post-crucifixion statement which
                                      looks back on his public role as depicted in the 4G . Truly he found that
                                      the spiritual state of humanity was "stupefied with passion and
                                      drunkenness."He found them blind to any spiritual understanding. This is
                                      not a redeemer speaking, but a man who had suffered at the hands of his
                                      fellow man.

                                      The suggestion here is a Jesus who has retired from his public role. This
                                      is consistent with the lack of crowd scenes in GThomas. As I recall only
                                      one of the sayings refers to a crowd. Jesus's role is somewhat reminiscent
                                      of a Lao Tse who has gone into retreat in the wilderness.


                                      (2.)
                                      12. The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that You will depart from us. Who
                                      is to be our leader?"

                                      Jesus said to them, "Wherever you are, you are to go to James the
                                      righteous, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."


                                      I understand that this passage is sometimes taken as a creation of James's
                                      followers. That, of course, is one of the possibilities. Whether or not
                                      this may be the case, the passage seems to imply a post-Easter time frame.
                                      There is nothing in the pre-Easter story line which suggests the immanence
                                      of Jesus's departure.

                                      (3.) Then we have the recurring theme of "deathlessness" in many of the
                                      passages. Pre-crucifixion, it really doesn't have a heck of a lot of
                                      context. There is very little correspondence in the synoptics. John uses
                                      the phrase "eternal life," but that is a somewhat different term, and even
                                      in John the term is not really rooted in the storyline. Instead it's part
                                      of the theological fluff.

                                      Looking at it from the post-rez perspective, the term at least has some
                                      relationship to the story line. Someone who is resurrected is arguably
                                      immortal.

                                      I think another perspective should also be considered, i.e., that Jesus
                                      didn't die, but instead survived the cross. Looking at it from the
                                      post-crucfxn survival perspective the term has a vivid relationship to the
                                      story line and is very appropriate. Given Yeshu's many miracles, his
                                      survival of the crucifixion might be interpreted as evidence of his
                                      deathlessness.

                                      While both the post-rez perspective and the post-crucfxn survival
                                      perspective are consistent with the theme of deathlessness, and both imply
                                      a post-Easter time frame, the choice of deathlessness as a theme and an
                                      adjective, while overlooking the rez theme and rez adjectives, arguably
                                      imply some distancing from a resurrection interpretation of Jesus's
                                      post-crucifixion survival.

                                      (4.) Many of the differences between the 4Gs and GThomas can (among other
                                      interpretations) be interpreted as a line of development in Jesus's
                                      thinking and teaching. From my perspective, at least, I see many of the
                                      GThomas passages as the more advanced philosophical expression. This could
                                      be interpreted in at least two ways:
                                      1. These passages in Thomas represent a private teaching for those
                                      capable of understanding it.
                                      2. These passages represent a post-Easter teaching.

                                      With kind regards,

                                      Joe Baxter




                                      joe
                                    • Stevan Davies
                                      ... I d suggest option (4), that the question presupposes a worldview absent from Thomas and therefore it is meaningless. For an example of another
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Aug 7, 1999
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                                        > At 09:39 AM 8/6/99 , Mark wrote:
                                        >
                                        > >It seems to me that there are three options:
                                        > >(1). that Thomas is depicting a pre-Easter Jesus
                                        > >(2). that Thomas is depicting a post-Easter Jesus.
                                        > >(3). that Thomas is ambivalent, unclear about or uninterested in the
                                        > >distinction between pre and post-Easter Jesus.

                                        > >The most plausible option is thus some form of (3): the author either did
                                        > >not
                                        > >care or did not think about it or was deliberately ambiguous.

                                        I'd suggest option (4), that the question presupposes a worldview
                                        absent from Thomas and therefore it is meaningless. For an example
                                        of another meaningless question: "Is it the nirmanakaya,
                                        sambogakaya, or dharmakaya of Jesus who speaks in the Gospel of
                                        Thomas?" Such a question presupposes that Thomas is a text of
                                        Mahayana Buddhism, which it isn't. The question in question
                                        presupposes that Thomas is a text of resurrection-oriented
                                        Christianity, which it isn't. One cannot say of the Buddhist
                                        question that "Thomas is ambivalent, unclear about or uninterested
                                        in the distinction between nirmanakaya and sambogakaya Jesus,"
                                        for all of those options presuppose that Thomas is familiar with the
                                        terms. Rather, Thomas' standing in regard to the question is not
                                        a characteristic of Thomas in any way.

                                        > > As Koester
                                        > >says,Thomas is apparently indifferent to story-time.

                                        Again, I think this sort of statement is meaningless. Does it mean
                                        anything to say that the sayings of Lao Tzu, or Proverbs, are
                                        "indifferent to story-time?" Seems to me the same as if to say
                                        that the texts are "indifferent to the taxonomy of beetles."

                                        In both cases something absent from the text seems to be taken
                                        to be a definitive characteristic of the text. I suppose one can say
                                        "we have texts that concern themselves with story-time leading
                                        to an easter post-easter differentiation and Thomas isn't one of
                                        them" but that doesn't amount to much.

                                        > The fundamental theological tendency of the gospel is, as HK rightly notes,
                                        > "the view that the Jesus
                                        > who spoke these words was and is the Living One, and thus gives life
                                        > through his words" (quoted from "Gnomai Diaphorai", p. 139).
                                        >
                                        Joe Baxter
                                        > I am not sure if I agree with Koester's interpretation of the Living One
                                        > as one external being, i.e. Jesus.
                                        > IMO the concept may be very similar to Atman, or Self, i.e., that the
                                        > Living One is actually our self beyond ego. Being. Thus, we have the
                                        > explanation of this passage as " Does not Jesus say, 'Whoever finds himself
                                        > is superior to the world?' " Thus, one who finds himself is the Living One.

                                        I agree with Joe here. Indeed, there are a few question/answer
                                        segments of Thomas where disciples are "seeking Jesus" and are
                                        told rather to direct their efforts to their own present
                                        circumstances. That "Jesus gives life" is not what Thomas is
                                        about but, rather, it is about individuals finding life for themselves.
                                        "The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon." Thomas' sayings
                                        are the finger but Koester et al. seem to think them the moon.

                                        >> (1.)
                                        > 28. Jesus said, "I took my place in the midst of the world, and I appeared
                                        > to them in the flesh. I found all of them intoxicated; I found none of them
                                        > thirsty. And My soul became afflicted for the sons of men, because they are
                                        > blind in their hearts and do not have sight; for empty they came into the
                                        > world, and empty too they seek to leave the world. But for the moment they
                                        > are intoxicated. When they shake off their wine, then they will repent."
                                        >
                                        > Funk and Hoover in their 5G say of this passage
                                        >
                                        > "Yeshu depicts himself as a redeemer who descends to earth and ascends to
                                        > heaven. . . . However, . . .there are specifically gnostic twists. The
                                        > spiritual state of humanity . . . is stupefied with passion and
                                        > drunkenness, blind to any spiritual understanding. The savior comes to
                                        > awaken such persons to their true origins. This complex . . . is a summary
                                        > version of gnostic redeemer myths that depict the human condition and the
                                        > possibility for salvation."

                                        There is nothing that can be done, so far as I can tell, about this
                                        sort of incompetence. NOWHERE in 28 is there any reference to
                                        "passion." NOWHERE in 28 is there any reference to "awakening" much
                                        less to "persons' true origins." This stuff just isn't in there. Why
                                        do they say it is? Because you have to have it in there in order to
                                        have it be a "summary version of gnostic redeemer motifs." This is
                                        reasoning on the abysmal level of John Meier. In fact, if F and H had
                                        bothered to read #28 they would discover that people "come into the
                                        world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty." Thus
                                        the desideratum is something in the world to be found there. It is
                                        not something folks arrive into the world with but don't know they
                                        have, as it would be for gnosticism.

                                        > (2.)
                                        > 12. The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that You will depart from us. Who
                                        > is to be our leader?"
                                        >
                                        > Jesus said to them, "Wherever you are, you are to go to James the
                                        > righteous, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > I understand that this passage is sometimes taken as a creation of James's
                                        > followers. That, of course, is one of the possibilities. Whether or not
                                        > this may be the case, the passage seems to imply a post-Easter time frame.
                                        > There is nothing in the pre-Easter story line which suggests the immanence
                                        > of Jesus's departure.

                                        Mark is ENTIRELY focused on the immediacy of Jesus' departure so you
                                        can indeed have a "pre-Easter story line which suggests the immanence
                                        of Jesus's departure." The time-frame of the passage is prior to
                                        Jesus departure... presumably it was made-up afterwards though.

                                        Steve
                                      • Mark Goodacre
                                        ... I think that this is just my (3) (the author either did not care or did not think about it or was deliberately ambiguous) refined a bit in a particular
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Aug 10, 1999
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                                          On 7 Aug 99, at 11:12, Stevan Davies wrote:

                                          > I'd suggest option (4), that the question presupposes a worldview
                                          > absent from Thomas and therefore it is meaningless.

                                          I think that this is just my (3) (the author either did not care or did not
                                          think about it or was deliberately ambiguous) refined a bit in a
                                          particular direction. Of course the question presupposes a worldview
                                          absent in Thomas: that's why the question needs to be asked and
                                          why, in the context of discussion of Christian origins (in which this
                                          question emerged), it is interesting.

                                          > For an example
                                          > of another meaningless question: "Is it the nirmanakaya,
                                          > sambogakaya, or dharmakaya of Jesus who speaks in the Gospel of
                                          > Thomas?" Such a question presupposes that Thomas is a text of
                                          > Mahayana Buddhism, which it isn't. The question in question
                                          > presupposes that Thomas is a text of resurrection-oriented
                                          > Christianity, which it isn't. One cannot say of the Buddhist
                                          > question that "Thomas is ambivalent, unclear about or uninterested
                                          > in the distinction between nirmanakaya and sambogakaya Jesus,"
                                          > for all of those options presuppose that Thomas is familiar with the
                                          > terms. Rather, Thomas' standing in regard to the question is not
                                          > a characteristic of Thomas in any way.

                                          Perhaps. Unless it is a part of Thomas's agenda to avoid such things
                                          deliberately, in which case the question becomes quite relevant. The
                                          difference between the question posed and this analogy is the
                                          historical context within which Thomas emerges, isn't it? If it is unique
                                          or anomalous among similar early texts that focus on Jesus, then that
                                          very fact is historically interesting, isn't it?

                                          > In both cases something absent from the text seems to be taken
                                          > to be a definitive characteristic of the text. I suppose one can say
                                          > "we have texts that concern themselves with story-time leading
                                          > to an easter post-easter differentiation and Thomas isn't one of
                                          > them" but that doesn't amount to much.

                                          I agree that we do not want to skew interpretation of Thomas as a
                                          text by asking it questions that it does not want to answer. But I think
                                          that for the question of Christian origins, Thomas's lack of story-time
                                          is indeed interesting, isn't it? For example, what Jesus texts are there
                                          that compare in this respect with Thomas? If there are some, how
                                          similar are they? If there aren't any, then how interesting!

                                          Mark
                                          --------------------------------------
                                          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

                                          http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
                                          The New Testament Gateway
                                          Mark Without Q
                                          Aseneth Home Page
                                        • joseph baxter
                                          ... The question is not meaningless just because the worldview is absent from Thomas, unless we are ready to assume that the passages in issue (those
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Aug 10, 1999
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                                            >On 7 Aug 99, at 11:12, Stevan Davies wrote:
                                            >
                                            > > I'd suggest option (4), that the question presupposes a worldview
                                            > > absent from Thomas and therefore it is meaningless.

                                            The question is not meaningless just because the worldview is absent from
                                            Thomas, unless we are ready to assume that the passages in issue (those
                                            potentially, or suggestively post-Easter) are pre-Easter (in which case we
                                            want to explain the context in which they arise, taking into account the 4G).

                                            If we look at the passages in issue in a post-Easter context, the issue of
                                            how Yeshu's presence post-Easter came about arises to us. So we
                                            consider why the author, who was closer in time to these events than us,
                                            and who had heard the main stories, or possibly even witnessed some of the
                                            events, made no direct reference to them.

                                            True, there are many possible explanations. The issue is speculative.
                                            Nonetheless, the simplest explanation is that the author wasn't concerned
                                            with history. In a sense, the teachings were being offered as being beyond
                                            history.

                                            Even so, we are concerned with history, and so it is right that we examine
                                            the passages for historical inferences. I haven't seen this done by anyone
                                            closely.

                                            Isn't it true that our texts may stem from a period in which it was
                                            unacceptable, unwise, or even dangerous, to write anything that directly
                                            challenged certain views? For example, Theophilis, the bishop who torched
                                            the Library of Alexandria, also reportedly rode the Egyptian monastery
                                            circuit, fanatically cleaning house. Codes were sometimes used between
                                            monasteries.



                                            > > For an example
                                            > > of another meaningless question: "Is it the nirmanakaya,
                                            > > sambogakaya, or dharmakaya of Jesus who speaks in the Gospel of
                                            > > Thomas?" Such a question presupposes that Thomas is a text of
                                            > > Mahayana Buddhism, which it isn't.

                                            Well, if I knew what these kayas were, I could comment with my bogas.

                                            >The question in question
                                            > > presupposes that Thomas is a text of resurrection-oriented
                                            > > Christianity, which it isn't.


                                            Mark:

                                            If it is unique
                                            >or anomalous among similar early texts that focus on Jesus, then that
                                            >very fact is historically interesting, isn't it?
                                            >
                                            > For example, what Jesus texts are there
                                            >that compare in this respect with Thomas? If there are some, how
                                            >similar are they? If there aren't any, then how interesting!

                                            The text that comes to mind, as a kind of passionate sequel to Thomas, is
                                            the Gospel of Philip. There we find that interesting counter-cultural view
                                            that the resurrection must occur before death. A de-emphasis of the
                                            external resurrection. This is all very consistent with the Thomasine
                                            emphasis on the inside.

                                            With kind regards,

                                            Joe Baxter






                                            joe
                                          • Kevin Johnson
                                            ... There is the blessing from A woman in the crowd. There is the unnamed man who wants Jesus to divide his father s inheritance for him (which is probably
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Aug 12, 1999
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                                              Joseph Baxter wrote:

                                              > The suggestion here is a Jesus who has retired from his public role.
                                              > This is consistent with the lack of crowd scenes in GThomas.
                                              > As I recall only one of the sayings refers to a crowd.
                                              > Jesus's role is somewhat reminiscent
                                              > of a Lao Tse who has gone into retreat in the wilderness.

                                              There is the blessing from "A woman in the crowd."
                                              There is the unnamed man who wants Jesus to divide
                                              his father's inheritance for him (which is probably not the
                                              type of mundane request a person who has risen from
                                              the dead typically gets). There are unnamed questioners
                                              who ask Jesus about some of the controversial topics
                                              of the time, such as whether they should pay Roman taxes
                                              (as they show him a coin) and whether or not circumcision
                                              is beneficial. There is a Samaritan walking by carrying a
                                              lamb. There is the family of Jesus waiting outside. There is
                                              a meal inside Salome's house. No, these sayings are not
                                              uttered by a Jesus "who has retired from his public role,"
                                              but by a Jesus who is actively situated within the culture
                                              of the place and time.

                                              > I think another perspective should also be considered,
                                              > i.e., that Jesus didn't die, but instead survived the cross.

                                              Hmm... this sounds familiar. Was it, then, someone's else's
                                              (maybe Simon's?) side that the soldier (Longinus, I think)
                                              thrust his spear into? And was he, in actuality, looking down
                                              on them and laughing? (For someone who is not otherwise
                                              recorded as laughing, it's a rather odd time to break into
                                              hysterics, don't you think?). Or did the disciples take him
                                              down and manage to revive him?

                                              Regardless of whether you believe that Jesus
                                              never died on the cross (which makes for very interesting
                                              speculation, of course) or whether you take the more
                                              conventional approach of postulating a post-Resurrection
                                              speech, to impose a post-Easter framework on
                                              the Gospel of Thomas is like saying, as Steven put it, "Is
                                              it the nirmanakaya, sambogakaya, or dharmakaya of Jesus
                                              who speaks in the Gospel of Thomas?" It is imposing
                                              a framework from a different environment.

                                              Having said that, I agree with you that saying 28 is "suggestive"
                                              (though nothing more) of a post-Easter framework. In fact,
                                              it was taken for just that (being "suggestive" of a post-Easter
                                              framework) when only the Oxyrhynchus fragments were known.
                                              But now that we have the remainder of the Gospel, we see
                                              that it contains other evidence to the contrary, which I thought
                                              Mark Goodacre summed up well:

                                              > In favour of (1) we have the fact that so many
                                              > of the sayings attributed to Jesus are paralleled
                                              > in other texts that attribute them to a pre-Easter
                                              > Jesus, i.e locate them in the narrative of a ministry
                                              > that takes place before his crucifixion. Also in favour of
                                              > this are the occasional hints of human relationships
                                              > and the trappings of the ministry as reported
                                              > elsewhere, e.g. eating at table, a woman popping up
                                              > in the crowd, interaction with disciples like Simon Peter,
                                              > Mary Magdalene and so on.

                                              Mark also writes:
                                              > Against (1) we have the absence of any solid
                                              > geographical location at all, reference to "the living one"
                                              > and general lack of interest in the
                                              > narrative features that are a part of all our other early texts
                                              > that depict the pre-Easter Jesus, Matthew, Mark, Luke,
                                              > John, Q, Peter, P. Eg. etc.

                                              Surely saying 60 is the exception to Mark's geographical
                                              argument, but the general lack of place-names in Thomas
                                              is due to the paucity of narrative more than anything else.
                                              Whoever compiled this Gospel was interested in the actual
                                              words of Jesus more than the place (or time!) that he spoke
                                              them. Consequently, questions about location or story-time
                                              become irrelevant.

                                              Moreover, Mark is quite correct when he writes that

                                              > Jesus is "the living one", not "the
                                              > resurrected one". It is difficult to believe that the author was
                                              > deliberately giving known pre-Easter sayings a post-resurrection
                                              > setting without some statement that he was doing this.

                                              This is the critical factor here. Post-Easter speeches
                                              of Jesus were given post-Easter settings, usually with
                                              his disciples on the Mount of Olives. Furthermore, these
                                              writings were generally cast in the form of relevatory
                                              discourses in which the questioners of Jesus are never
                                              unnamed as they sometimes are in the Gospel of Thomas.

                                              This post-Resurrection relevatory discourse genre is
                                              foreign to the Gospel of Thomas. Consequently, I agree
                                              with Mark that the author of the Gospel of Thomas was:

                                              > ambivalent, unclear about or uninterested in the
                                              > distinction between pre and post-Easter Jesus.

                                              - Kevin Johnson
                                              (Achilles37@... / kjohnson@...)
                                            • joseph baxter
                                              ... Gthomas incorporates some of the sayings from the other Gospels (4G). I am not referring to the common materials. I am referring to the sayings which are
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Aug 12, 1999
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                                                At 08:37 AM 8/12/99 , Kevin wrote:
                                                >Joseph Baxter wrote:
                                                >
                                                > > The suggestion here is a Jesus who has retired from his public role.
                                                > > This is consistent with the lack of crowd scenes in GThomas.
                                                > > As I recall only one of the sayings refers to a crowd.
                                                > > Jesus's role is somewhat reminiscent
                                                > > of a Lao Tse who has gone into retreat in the wilderness.
                                                >
                                                >There is the blessing from "A woman in the crowd."
                                                >There is the unnamed man who wants Jesus to divide
                                                >his father's inheritance for him (which is probably not the
                                                >type of mundane request a person who has risen from
                                                >the dead typically gets). There are unnamed questioners
                                                >who ask Jesus about some of the controversial topics
                                                >of the time, such as whether they should pay Roman taxes
                                                >(as they show him a coin) and whether or not circumcision
                                                >is beneficial. There is a Samaritan walking by carrying a
                                                >lamb. There is the family of Jesus waiting outside. There is
                                                >a meal inside Salome's house. No, these sayings are not
                                                >uttered by a Jesus "who has retired from his public role,"
                                                >but by a Jesus who is actively situated within the culture
                                                >of the place and time.


                                                Gthomas incorporates some of the sayings from the other Gospels (4G). I am
                                                not referring to the common materials. I am referring to the sayings which
                                                are uniquely Thomas, and as to these I am raising the question of whether
                                                they are pre or post-Easter. In my opinion, the weight of the evidence from
                                                the GThomas unique sayings points to a post-Easter setting for these sayings.


                                                > > I think another perspective should also be considered,
                                                > > i.e., that Jesus didn't die, but instead survived the cross.
                                                >
                                                >Hmm... this sounds familiar. Was it, then, someone's else's
                                                >(maybe Simon's?) side that the soldier (Longinus, I think)
                                                >thrust his spear into? . . . . Or did the disciples take him
                                                >down and manage to revive him?


                                                Actually, the medical view frequently heard is that the spear relieved
                                                pressure and may have helped to keep him alive. This entire debate was
                                                fully aired in Crosstalk several months ago. In any case, the prevailing
                                                Christian view is that he was alive on the cross and alive three days
                                                later. If you believe he was alive on Easter, by far the simplest view is
                                                that he didn't die on the cross. This view is consistent with a post-Easter
                                                GThomas.

                                                Given the limited evidence concerning his death/survival/resurrection,
                                                it's really a matter of belief, i.e. what theological and/or evidentiary
                                                perspective provides you the greatest vision.

                                                With kind regards,

                                                Joe Baxter




                                                joe
                                              • Achilles37@aol.com
                                                In a message dated 99-08-13 02:13:41 EDT, Joseph Baxter writes: If, by this, you
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Aug 13, 1999
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                                                  In a message dated 99-08-13 02:13:41 EDT,
                                                  Joseph Baxter writes:

                                                  << Gthomas incorporates some of the sayings from the
                                                  other Gospels (4G). >>

                                                  If, by this, you mean to imply that Thomas was dependent
                                                  on the canonical gospels, then we differ here. If, on the other
                                                  hand, you are merely pointing out that they overlap, then
                                                  you are certainly correct.

                                                  To get to your next point - that the sayings that are unique
                                                  to Thomas are post-Easter. By what evidence? If you are
                                                  willing to grant that the overlapping sayings are pre-Easter,
                                                  what makes you believe that sayings not in the 4G imply
                                                  a post-Easter framework? Certainly the "overlapping" sayings
                                                  are mixed in with the "unique" sayings and the text itself
                                                  implies no difference between these types of sayings,
                                                  i.e., this is a distinction you are making which is not
                                                  to be found in the text itself. If the author provides no cues,
                                                  then your framework is external, rather than internal.
                                                  And since the framework is external, it might as well be the
                                                  framework of Mahayana Buddhism, as Steve suggested,
                                                  or anything else you might want to arbitrarily impose.

                                                  In terms of the idea that Jesus survived the cross,
                                                  again, where is the evidence? Is it just that this seems
                                                  to be the most natural explanation to account for
                                                  stories that he was seen again? Or do we have
                                                  evidence of others who survived crucifixion by the
                                                  Romans? At any rate, this concept is irrelevant to
                                                  the Gospel of Thomas. If you want to state, as you
                                                  do, that certain sayings in GThomas should be
                                                  understood in the light of a post-crucifixion framework,
                                                  (since "post-Easter" will no longer suffice as you
                                                  deny the Resurrection here), then whether he rose
                                                  from the dead or survived through some other means is
                                                  immaterial, unless you are arguing that there are clues
                                                  to his surviving the cross in the Gospel of Thomas.
                                                  And if that is the case, then we have moved from the
                                                  realm of evidence and argument into the sphere of
                                                  speculation and projection and GThomas once again
                                                  becomes the spiritual equivalent of a Rorschach ink
                                                  blot test.

                                                  - Kevin Johnson
                                                  (Achiless37@... / kjohnson@...)
                                                • Jim Bauer
                                                  HOW I ROSE FROM THE DEAD IN MY SPARE TIME AND SO CAN YOU ... From: joseph baxter To: gthomas@egroups.com ;
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Aug 14, 1999
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                                                    HOW I ROSE FROM THE DEAD IN MY SPARE TIME
                                                    AND SO CAN YOU
                                                    -----Original Message-----
                                                    From: joseph baxter <joseph@...>
                                                    To: gthomas@egroups.com <gthomas@egroups.com>; M.S.Goodacre@...
                                                    <M.S.Goodacre@...>
                                                    Date: Wednesday, August 11, 1999 12:32 AM
                                                    Subject: [gthomas] Re: Pre or post-Easter Jesus


                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > If it is unique
                                                    >>or anomalous among similar early texts that focus on Jesus, then that
                                                    >>very fact is historically interesting, isn't it?
                                                    >>
                                                    >> For example, what Jesus texts are there
                                                    >>that compare in this respect with Thomas? If there are some, how
                                                    >>similar are they? If there aren't any, then how interesting!
                                                    >
                                                    >The text that comes to mind, as a kind of passionate sequel to Thomas, is
                                                    >the Gospel of Philip. There we find that interesting counter-cultural view
                                                    >that the resurrection must occur before death. A de-emphasis of the
                                                    >external resurrection. This is all very consistent with the Thomasine
                                                    >emphasis on the inside.


                                                    Interesting that someone would bring up the counter-culture with respect to
                                                    the resurrection which occurs before death. Yeah, and I'm several decades
                                                    past my decade; before he died, Timothy Leary was one of my best friends.
                                                    So, the first time I ever dropped acid, I rose from the dead.
                                                    Unfortunately, despite Tim's telling me, "We all know illegal drugs are
                                                    better than legal ones," the stuff eventually turned me into a paranoid
                                                    manic-depressive.

                                                    Turning to more scholarly matters, you can find the following in the intro
                                                    to Jung's PSYCHOLOGY AND ALCHEMY: "I apologize if the above sounds like a
                                                    Gnostic myth. We are moving thru the deep psychological waters where gnosis
                                                    is in fact rooted. The message of Christianity is gnosis and the
                                                    unconscious compensation is gnosis to a still higher degree."

                                                    And, now that the subject of drug cults has come up, how does John Allegro's
                                                    THE SACRED MUSHROOM AND THE CROSS impact on the drunkenness which is not of
                                                    this world?

                                                    Jim Bauer
                                                    >
                                                    >With kind regards,
                                                    >
                                                    >Joe Baxter
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >joe
                                                    >
                                                    >------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    >
                                                    >eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/gthomas
                                                    >http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                  • joseph baxter
                                                    ... This is my meaning. ... . I have gone into this evidence already, although not in detail. In terms of the idea that Jesus survived the cross, again, where
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Aug 17, 1999
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                                                      At 04:34 AM 8/13/99 , you wrote:
                                                      >In a message dated 99-08-13 02:13:41 EDT,
                                                      >Joseph Baxter writes:
                                                      >
                                                      ><< Gthomas incorporates some of the sayings from the
                                                      >other Gospels (4G). >>
                                                      >
                                                      >If, by this, you mean to imply that Thomas was dependent
                                                      >on the canonical gospels, then we differ here. If, on the other
                                                      >hand, you are merely pointing out that they overlap, then
                                                      >you are certainly correct.

                                                      This is my meaning.


                                                      >To get to your next point - that the sayings that are unique
                                                      >to Thomas are post-Easter. By what evidence?
                                                      .
                                                      I have gone into this evidence already, although not in detail.

                                                      In terms of the idea that Jesus survived the cross,
                                                      again, where is the evidence?

                                                      Well, this was fully discussed in crosstalk some months ago, and many of
                                                      those who subscribe to GThomas many have read more than they wanted about
                                                      this. But for your benefit I will check the archives.

                                                      >Is it just that this seems
                                                      >to be the most natural explanation to account for
                                                      >stories that he was seen again?

                                                      His being seen again would offer an explanation for the powerful
                                                      development of Christianity. The survival view, as you say, seems to be a
                                                      natural explanation for the stories that he was seen again.

                                                      > Or do we have
                                                      >evidence of others who survived crucifixion by the
                                                      >Romans?

                                                      Yes, this was mentioned. Josephus (someone can provide the cite here) ,
                                                      does he not refer to his own approaching the Roman Governor, to save the
                                                      life of two men, and one lived? Joseph of A sought the body of Jesus from
                                                      Pilate long before the body should have died.

                                                      >At any rate, this concept is irrelevant to
                                                      >the Gospel of Thomas. If you want to state, as you
                                                      >do, that certain sayings in GThomas should be
                                                      >understood in the light of a post-crucifixion framework

                                                      I am not saying that they should be so understood. But, since that
                                                      represents 50 percent of the total possibilities, it deserves at least some
                                                      of our attention, especially since it hasn't received any of our attention
                                                      to date.

                                                      >,
                                                      >(since "post-Easter" will no longer suffice as you
                                                      >deny the Resurrection here)

                                                      I have never denied the resurrection. I do not deny the supernatural in our
                                                      lives. But it seems to me that belief in an event as supernatural requires
                                                      it being revealed to you. This is not the medium to share revelation. But
                                                      we can talk about things that occur naturally and let God reveal what He
                                                      will reveal.

                                                      >we have moved from the
                                                      >realm of evidence and argument into the sphere of
                                                      >speculation and projection

                                                      Well, it doesn't require speculation to expose the unique sayings to
                                                      possible contexts in which the sayings were uttered. Some will project, and
                                                      some won't. Why not look for signs of unity in our projections?


                                                      With kind regards,

                                                      Joe Baxter


                                                      >

                                                      joe
                                                    • joseph baxter
                                                      ... The unique sayings in Thomas are clearly counter-cultural. The philosophy is very modern. That is why is has appeal some 2000 years later. ... I also knew
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Aug 18, 1999
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                                                        At 09:58 AM 8/14/99 , you wrote:
                                                        >HOW I ROSE FROM THE DEAD IN MY SPARE TIME
                                                        >AND SO CAN YOU
                                                        >-----Original Message-----
                                                        >From: joseph baxter <joseph@...>
                                                        >To: gthomas@egroups.com <gthomas@egroups.com>; M.S.Goodacre@...
                                                        ><M.S.Goodacre@...>
                                                        >Date: Wednesday, August 11, 1999 12:32 AM
                                                        >Subject: [gthomas] Re: Pre or post-Easter Jesus
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > >
                                                        > > If it is unique
                                                        > >>or anomalous among similar early texts that focus on Jesus, then that
                                                        > >>very fact is historically interesting, isn't it?
                                                        > >>
                                                        > >> For example, what Jesus texts are there
                                                        > >>that compare in this respect with Thomas? If there are some, how
                                                        > >>similar are they? If there aren't any, then how interesting!
                                                        > >
                                                        > >The text that comes to mind, as a kind of passionate sequel to Thomas, is
                                                        > >the Gospel of Philip. There we find that interesting counter-cultural view
                                                        > >that the resurrection must occur before death. A de-emphasis of the
                                                        > >external resurrection. This is all very consistent with the Thomasine
                                                        > >emphasis on the inside.
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >Interesting that someone would bring up the counter-culture with respect to
                                                        >the resurrection which occurs before death.

                                                        The unique sayings in Thomas are clearly counter-cultural. The philosophy
                                                        is very modern. That is why is has appeal some 2000 years later.

                                                        > Yeah, and I'm several decades
                                                        >past my decade; before he died, Timothy Leary was one of my best friends.

                                                        I also knew Timothy Leary. I paid him a legal visit in prison. In a way he
                                                        was something of a Christ figure. He symbolized a very threatening
                                                        challenge to the dominant culture. The authorities really put it to him in
                                                        a big way. (Just like Yeshu) He got a 25 year term for a joint or two.
                                                        They also took his book rights. Unfortunately he lacked Yeshu's guts.
                                                        Under pressure, he turned on his friends.

                                                        Ultimately he was only into himself.

                                                        With kind regards,

                                                        Joe Baxter




                                                        joe
                                                      • Mark Goodacre
                                                        Apologies if some of you have seen this before, but it was new to me: http://www.gwdg.de/~rzellwe/nhs/nhs.html A first class site featuring German
                                                        Message 27 of 28 , Aug 18, 1999
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                                                          Apologies if some of you have seen this before, but it was new to me:
                                                          http://www.gwdg.de/~rzellwe/nhs/nhs.html
                                                          A first class site featuring German translations, introductions and notes to the Nag
                                                          Hammadi texts, including of course Thomas. Gerd Luedemann is involved with
                                                          this.
                                                          Mark

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

                                                          http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
                                                          The New Testament Gateway
                                                          Mark Without Q
                                                          Aseneth Home Page
                                                        • Kevin Johnson
                                                          ... True. But in this case, I do not believe it helps us to understand GTh 28 by viewing it as a saying of the Risen Jesus. I m not saying that exposing the
                                                          Message 28 of 28 , Aug 20, 1999
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                                                            joseph@... (joseph baxter) writes:

                                                            > Well, it doesn't require speculation to expose the unique sayings
                                                            > to possible contexts in which the sayings were uttered.

                                                            True. But in this case, I do not believe it helps us to understand
                                                            GTh 28 by viewing it as a saying of the Risen Jesus. I'm not
                                                            saying that "exposing the unique sayings to possible contexts"
                                                            is not a valid procedure, but (1.) some evaluation of the result should
                                                            follow and (2.) other possible contexts should also be explored. In
                                                            this case, (1.) shows us that there is relatively little other evidence that
                                                            GThomas sayings are post-Easter (no post-Easter settings, no overt
                                                            references to the crucifixion or resurrection, only one saying that is
                                                            placed in the Passion story [the end of 79 by Luke], and the
                                                            ambiguous phrases "the Living" and "the Living One"). As for (2.),
                                                            exploring other contexts, it seems to me that it is certainly possible
                                                            that saying 28 represents a lament similar to that spoken by the
                                                            pre-Easter Jesus in Mt 23:37 // Lk 13:34. Here are the two texts:

                                                            GThomas 28 -
                                                            Jesus said, "I took my stand in the midst of the world and in flesh I
                                                            appeared to them. I found them all drunk and I found none of them
                                                            thirsty. And my soul ached for the sons of men, because they are
                                                            blind in their hearts see not, for empty they came into the world
                                                            and empty they seek to leave it."

                                                            Mt 23:37 -
                                                            "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and
                                                            stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather
                                                            your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under
                                                            her wings, but you were not willing."

                                                            In the first instance (GTh 28), Jesus is lamenting the plight of
                                                            the "sons of men." In the second instance (Mt 23:37//Lk 13:34),
                                                            Jesus is lamenting the plight of the "children" of Jerusalem.
                                                            What is implied in both cases, it seems to me, is not so
                                                            much the temporal setting of the saying as the identity
                                                            of the speaker, i.e., that the speaker is speaking in the first
                                                            person voice of God, implying either Jesus-as-Prophet
                                                            (since the prophetic texts often assume the voice of God)
                                                            or Jesus-as-Messiah ("God engendered," as the Essenes put it).
                                                            And since GTh 28 specifically says, "in flesh I appeared to them,"
                                                            the meaning seems Messianic rather than Prophetic.

                                                            To cast 28 as post-Easter is to disregard the Messianic
                                                            implications of such a saying for a pre-Easter Jesus.

                                                            >Some will project, and
                                                            >some won't. Why not look for signs of unity in our projections?

                                                            I'd prefer "deductions" to "projections" but, in any case,
                                                            well said. Agreed.

                                                            - Kevin Johnson
                                                            (Achilles37@... / kjohnson@...)
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