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[gthomas] Re: #63-65 wrapup

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... [Bill:] ... We need to distinguish an ordinary village from a community of tenant-farmers living on and working the land owned by someone else. Tenant
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 19 9:56 AM
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      >#4 has bought (TOOU) a farm (Bethge calls it a 'village', which
      >makes no sense). He has to go and collect the rents (cf. #65).
      >"Village" (kome) is what the text says, senseless or not. Actually, it DOES
      >make sense -- we have evidence from ancient Palestine (and elsewhere) of
      >landlords who owned whole villages. So what's senseless about this? -- he's
      >going to collect rent from the village that sits on and works land he owns.

      We need to distinguish an ordinary village from a community of
      tenant-farmers living on and working the land owned by someone else. Tenant
      farmers would live in a group of shacks that might be called a 'village' of
      sorts, though there must be another word for that, since it wouldn't be a
      'village' in the ordinary sense of the word. Lambdin has 'farm' and Meyer
      has 'estate'. I agree that the usual meaning of the Greek word is 'unwalled
      village', but if, as you say, the "villagers" were solely engaged in
      working the land owned by someone else, then 'village' seems misleading.
      Not that it wouldn't have been unheard-of, as you say, but it seems rare
      enough not to have likely entered the common consciousness to the extent of
      being reflected in GThom.

      >What I make of this is that [invitee] #3 doesn't belong in the
      >group - he's been put there intentionally for some purpose unrelated
      >to the conclusion. (I realize this is contrary to your presuppositions
      >about the text, but it does explain the inconsistency with Luke, which
      >has only three invitees.)
      >How does this run contrary to my presuppositions? I'm serious -- I don't
      >quite understand. It seems to me that the list of four excuses is very
      >probably secondary.

      What I'm suggesting is that the description of invitee #3 was put into
      logion 64 specifically for the purpose of being removed and placed
      elsewhere by the reader (thus leaving #64 with three invitees, and
      conforming more closely to Luke). It's not just _your_ presuppositions that
      this goes against - I should have said the _usual_ (even virtually
      universal) presuppositions. On the basis of certain anomalies, I adopted
      quite early on the belief that GThom is sui generis - a self-referential
      text that was intended to be "played with" by the reader as an object
      lesson in its own philosophy (including movement and rest). Under this
      view, the chaotic organization is intentional. If this is so, then the
      normal tools of NT analysis are insufficient, indeed misleading, for the
      task of analyzing Thomas.

      Among the "anomalies" I'm referring to are the "three words" of J in #13,
      and the difference between the Coptic and Greek versions of logion 2
      (addition of "trouble", missing "rest"). Frankly, I hadn't previously
      considered #64 as containing such an anomaly, but now that I see that it
      does, I'll take that as an another piece of evidence for the sui generis
      point of view. I'm sure there'll be more to come, just as I'm equally sure
      that they'll all be explained away. I guess this all falls under the
      category of being "overly subtle", but are you (and others) quite sure that
      the tools you're using aren't causing you to misinterpret something quite

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