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The Thinking Behind

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  • Michael Grondin
    For many years now, I ve attempted to penetrate into the thinking behind GThom. It occurs to me that in all my various notes, I ve never tried to make clear
    Message 1 of 2 , May 3, 2000
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      For many years now, I've attempted to penetrate into the thinking behind
      GThom. It occurs to me that in all my various notes, I've never tried to
      make clear why I think this is possible, or why I take this approach, as
      opposed to others.

      As many of you may know, I'm a pretty hard-headed and down-to-earth guy. By
      training, I consider myself a logician, and by career-choice a computer
      programmer (though I've always been a teacher at heart). The reason for
      giving this background is to draw an analogy between understanding Thomas
      and understanding a program written by someone else. There've been many
      occasions over the years when I've been faced with the problem of
      understanding why another person wrote a particular piece of coding, or why
      he/she designed a program in a particular way. In most cases, it's actually
      possible to do this, if one pays close attention to all the details and
      little hints that give clues to the state of mind of the person writing the
      program. Of course, there is the problem of "stratification", that is, the
      hand of later programmers adding to the code or otherwise altering what the
      original programmer wrote. In many cases, this turns out to be a moot
      question, since what really matters is not WHO wrote some piece of code,
      but what was their reason for writing it. (In case you're wondering, the
      reason why "the reason why" matters is that it has to do with whether it's
      safe to modify or delete a certain section of code.)

      Turning more properly to the GoT, I'm neither equipped to answer, nor even
      much interested at this point in the question of whether it was Jesus who
      said any of these things or not. It may be that if we understood what they
      meant, it might give a clue as to who authored them - but that's a
      secondary question in my mind. (In analyzing a program written by someone
      else, one never gets to the point of knowing everything about that person -
      only the thinking behind what they've written.) I guess it could be said
      that I'm finding in Thomas what I seek to find, the difference being that I
      personally wouldn't be content unless I firmly believed that the answers I
      had come up with about "the thinking behind" Thomas were objectively true,
      and not just wishful thinking or a product of my imagination. This is what
      I think of as having a "robust sense of reality". These were real people
      who wrote and/or modified Thomas, and while we can't know everything about
      him/them, we do have some hope of understanding the thinking behind at
      least some of what they wrote, based on those patterns of human thinking
      which we can still understand in other ancient writings.

      Mike

      The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
      http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm
    • Amy Clark
      I would like to congratulate Michael on a wonderful statement about his pursuit of GTh. I think he has come the closest I have ever seen to a subjective study
      Message 2 of 2 , May 3, 2000
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        I would like to congratulate Michael on a wonderful statement about
        his pursuit of GTh. I think he has come the closest I have ever seen
        to a subjective study of holy texts. I as well, have always aspired
        to find out why things were said, not necessarily who said them. The
        latter is the basis of religion, the former, academia (in my
        opinion). I find no fault with either road, it's just nice to know
        that someone out there pursues such topics with the same (or atleast
        a very similar) point of view as mine. Thank you for clarifying your
        intent Michael, and thank you all for providing such wonderful
        discussion on such an amazing piece of work. Though I don't respond
        as often as I would like, I thoroughly enjoy reading everyone's
        commentary.

        Amy
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