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Re: [gthomas] Re: Kuchinsky's GThom dating argument

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  • Andrew Smith
    ... It s compatible with Judaism because you made it up! ;- But if we accept this as a reconstruction of some sort, which parts of the Gospel of Thomas are in
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 3, 2000
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      on 8/2/00 10:35 AM, Yuri Kuchinsky at yuku@... wrote:

      > In my view, the most logical
      > picture of the earliest Jewish-Christian catechesis would have been as
      > follows.
      >
      > "Jesus was a remarkable man, very wise and righteous. He was the son of
      > God, and he healed the sick, and performed many miracles. But the cruel
      > and unjust authorities of our country arrested and killed him, just as
      > they killed his teacher John before that. But then God his Father accepted
      > Jesus into his bosom, and, as a reward for his righteousness, made his the
      > Messiah of Israel. Jesus is alive, and he will come back soon in glory to
      > judge the actions of all, and to usher in a New Age of God. Believe in
      > Jesus, or you will never have life everlasting."
      >
      > All this is fully compatible with Judaism. But the Crucified Messiah of Mk
      > is clearly a distortion of Judaism.

      It's compatible with Judaism because you made it up! ;->

      But if we accept this as a reconstruction of some sort, which parts of the
      Gospel of Thomas are in line with this, since you are saying that the
      "Jewish" parts of the GoT are early? "Jesus is alive" is more or less
      Thomasine, but what else in your catechesis is compatible with GoT? Or, from
      another point of view, which are the parts of GoT that you think are Jewish
      and early?

      Best Wishes

      Andrew
    • Jim Bauer
      There s a book out that may prove helpful for this debate, Charles Foxworth s _Jesus within Judaism_. I didn t get a chance to read the whole thing so I can t
      Message 2 of 10 , Aug 3, 2000
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        There's a book out that may prove helpful for this debate, Charles
        Foxworth's _Jesus within Judaism_. I didn't get a chance to read the whole
        thing so I can't synopsize here but think it worthy of at least drawing it
        to the attention of the list members.

        Jim Bauer
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Andrew Smith <asmith@...>
        To: gthomas@egroups.com <gthomas@egroups.com>
        Date: Thursday, August 03, 2000 4:41 PM
        Subject: Re: [gthomas] Re: Kuchinsky's GThom dating argument


        >on 8/2/00 10:35 AM, Yuri Kuchinsky at yuku@... wrote:
        >
        >> In my view, the most logical
        >> picture of the earliest Jewish-Christian catechesis would have been as
        >> follows.
        >>
        >> "Jesus was a remarkable man, very wise and righteous. He was the son of
        >> God, and he healed the sick, and performed many miracles. But the cruel
        >> and unjust authorities of our country arrested and killed him, just as
        >> they killed his teacher John before that. But then God his Father
        accepted
        >> Jesus into his bosom, and, as a reward for his righteousness, made his
        the
        >> Messiah of Israel. Jesus is alive, and he will come back soon in glory to
        >> judge the actions of all, and to usher in a New Age of God. Believe in
        >> Jesus, or you will never have life everlasting."
        >>
        >> All this is fully compatible with Judaism. But the Crucified Messiah of
        Mk
        >> is clearly a distortion of Judaism.
        >
        >It's compatible with Judaism because you made it up! ;->
        >
        >But if we accept this as a reconstruction of some sort, which parts of the
        >Gospel of Thomas are in line with this, since you are saying that the
        >"Jewish" parts of the GoT are early? "Jesus is alive" is more or less
        >Thomasine, but what else in your catechesis is compatible with GoT? Or,
        from
        >another point of view, which are the parts of GoT that you think are Jewish
        >and early?
        >
        >Best Wishes
        >
        >Andrew
        >
        >
        >-------------------------------------------------
        >To post to gthomas, send email to gthomas@egroups.com
        >To unsubscribe, send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@egroups.com
      • Rick Hubbard
        On Mon, 24 Jul 2000, Rick Hubbard wrote: The as-yet-unresolved problem of how to devise a defensible dating theory for the Gospel of Thomas moves no closer to
        Message 3 of 10 , Aug 4, 2000
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          On Mon, 24 Jul 2000, Rick Hubbard wrote:

          "The as-yet-unresolved problem of how to devise a defensible dating
          theory for the Gospel of Thomas moves no closer to denouement by simply
          adopting Loisy's hypotheses about the origin and development of the
          intracanonical gospels."

          To which Y. Kuchinsky replied:

          "Well, I beg to disagree, Rick."

          Rick Hubbard Responded:

          The absence of specifically stated reasons for disagreement, makes it is
          difficult to rebut this statement. Disagreement is a normal part of
          discourse, but it should be noted that it is both conventional and
          courteous to explain *why* one disagrees with another (even on this
          list).

          With that in mind, I can do nothing more than review the evidence upon
          which I based the conclusion that adopting Loisy's hypotheses about the
          origin and development of the intracanonical gospels contributes nothing
          to the dating of GThom.


          My apologies for not including the proper references to Loisy's work in
          my previous post. In order to rectify that oversight, I have included
          them below.

          (Birth) Loisy, Alfred F. _The Birth of the Christian Religion_. Tr L.P.
          Jacks. New York: Macmillan, 1950.

          (Origins) Loisy, Alfred F. _The Origins of the New Testament_. Tr L.P.
          Jacks. New York: MacMillan, 1950.

          In addition, I have also provided more extensive quotations from each
          work previously cited in order to illuminate more clearly what Loisy
          actually said. Hopefully, this will neutralize Kuchinsky's thinly veiled
          accusation that I falsified my citations or otherwise mis-represented
          what Loisy has written, ("...somehow I don't think you've represented
          his views on this accurately," and "I cannot check out your **purported
          quotes** [my emphasis]....").


          Rick Hubbard wrote on July 24, 2000:

          "First, Loisy's central thesis is that the intracanonical gospels
          functioned as didactic instruments during the formative years of
          Christianity. They were, in other words, catechisms or manuals of
          instruction for Christian initiates (Birth, 43)."

          To expand on this comment, Loisy's precise words on page 43 are as
          follows:

          "The Gospels when closely examined are far less the echoes of a
          tradition zealous to keep intact the memories of Jesus than a didactic
          instrument, we might even say a catechism of the worship rendered to the
          Lord Christ.... Two cycles are, or centres, are discernable, the cycle
          of the preaching in Galilee and the cycle of the passion in Jerusalem;
          the instruction of catechumens and the revelation of a mystery; the
          bapstismal catechism and the eucharistic [catechism]."

          Rick Hubbard also wrote on July 24, 2000:

          "Second, Loisy asserts that the catechesis of the gospels originated
          before the gospels themselves, i.e., in the teaching of the primitive
          church (Origins, 41)."

          Again, to amplify this citation, Loisy's words on page 41 read:

          "This profession of faith was all gathered up as it were in one word,
          'Maranatha'- '"the Lord comes,"' is on the point of coming (cf. I
          Corinthians xvi, 22). From First Corinthians (i,12-15) it results quite
          clearly that the above profession of faith in Romans [Rom 10:9-10], *in
          which the earliest catechetical teaching was summarized* [my emphasis],
          was the profession of catechumens at baptism..."

          Rick Hubbard wrote on July 24, 2000:

          "Third, Loisy unequivocally states that the earliest forms of the
          catechesis contained no reference to "the career and ministry of Jesus"
          and that "considerable time lapsed before it [the catechesis] included
          any record of the personal action and teaching of Jesus" (Origins, 43)."

          Loisy's exact words on page 43 read:

          "There is therefore no difficulty in obtaining a clear idea of of
          Christian catechetical teaching in its primitive form. *The career and
          ministry of Jesus had no place in it;* [my emphasis] .... While the
          first form of the catechesis is thus clearly defined, documentary
          evidence is defective as to the detail of the of its evolution to the
          form which followed. *It seems, however, that a considerable course of
          time elapsed before it included any record of the personal action and
          teaching of Jesus..."

          Finally on July 24, 2000 Rick Hubbard wrote:

          Fourth, that which characterizes the catecheses imbedded in the
          gospels are the themes of baptism and eucharist, the former of which
          forms the cycle of preaching and deeds of Jesus and the latter of which
          forms the framework for the passion narrative (Birth, 43).

          To which Y. Kuchinsky replied on August 2, 2000:

          "I'm now looking at page 43 in BIRTH (Allen and Unwin edition, 1948),
          but I don't think this is what is said there."

          It should be noted that the Allen and Unwin 1948 edition to which
          Kuchinsky refers is not the same as the one from which I quote, so there
          is a possibility that the pagination is different. In any case, however,
          the edition which I cite contains these exact words of Loisy on page 43
          (also cited above in support of my first point):

          "The Gospels when closely examined are far less the echoes of a
          tradition zealous to keep intact the memories of Jesus than a didactic
          instrument, we might even say a catechism of the worship rendered to the
          Lord Christ.... Two cycles are, or centres, are discernable, the cycle
          of the preaching in Galilee and the cycle of the passion in
          Jerusalem;.."

          Hopefully this clarifies precisely what Loisy *did* write and that I am
          thereby absolved from being guilty of fabricating citations or
          misrepresenting what that author wrote.

          It seems likely that Kuchinsky and I will remain in disagreement about
          whether Loisy can make a substantial contribution to determining the
          date of composition of GThom. On the one hand, I am unpersuaded by
          Kuchinsky's undocumented opinions while he remains unconvinced that I
          have accurately represented what Loisy wrote (as well as, apparently, my
          own integrity).

          It seems therefore that this discussion should be concluded simply by
          repeating, once again, my original assertion from July 24, 2000:

          "The as-yet-unresolved problem of how to devise a defensible dating
          theory for the Gospel of Thomas moves no closer to denouement by simply
          adopting Loisy's hypotheses about the origin and development of the
          intracanonical gospels."

          Rick Hubbard
          Humble Maine Woodsman
        • Yuri Kuchinsky
          ... No way, Andrew! In fact, this was my rock-solid and completely objective reconstruction of what I ve found in the earliest texts! :) ... Of the most
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 4, 2000
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            On Thu, 3 Aug 2000, Andrew Smith wrote:
            > on 8/2/00 10:35 AM, Yuri Kuchinsky at yuku@... wrote:
            >
            > > In my view, the most logical
            > > picture of the earliest Jewish-Christian catechesis would have been as
            > > follows.
            > >
            > > "Jesus was a remarkable man, very wise and righteous. He was the son of
            > > God, and he healed the sick, and performed many miracles. But the cruel
            > > and unjust authorities of our country arrested and killed him, just as
            > > they killed his teacher John before that. But then God his Father accepted
            > > Jesus into his bosom, and, as a reward for his righteousness, made his the
            > > Messiah of Israel. Jesus is alive, and he will come back soon in glory to
            > > judge the actions of all, and to usher in a New Age of God. Believe in
            > > Jesus, or you will never have life everlasting."
            > >
            > > All this is fully compatible with Judaism. But the Crucified Messiah of Mk
            > > is clearly a distortion of Judaism.
            >
            > It's compatible with Judaism because you made it up! ;->

            No way, Andrew!

            In fact, this was my rock-solid and completely objective reconstruction of
            what I've found in the earliest texts! :)

            > But if we accept this as a reconstruction of some sort,

            Of the most reasonable sort...

            > which parts of the Gospel of Thomas are in line with this, since you
            > are saying that the "Jewish" parts of the GoT are early?

            I'm saying that GOT as a whole is a Jewish-Christian document.

            > "Jesus is alive" is more or less Thomasine, but what else in your
            > catechesis is compatible with GoT?

            I'm saying that the earliest catechesis did not involve any document such
            as GOT. So this came later, but still earlier than all the Gentile stuff
            that went into the Synoptics.

            > Or, from another point of view, which are the parts of GoT that you
            > think are Jewish and early?

            Take a look e.g. at saying #27 which talks about fasting and keeping the
            Sabbath favourably.

            BTW I said nothing about stratification of GOT so far. Sure, such a
            stratification would be a legitimate and useful exercise, and a number of
            attempts have been made already. In my view, these sayings that look most
            like "gnostic" would probably be a late stratum.

            But this is a different subject from what we've been discussing so far. My
            main point so far is that we should look at GOT _as a whole_, and see it
            as basically a Jewish-Christian document that, unlike the canonicals,
            lacks any obvious late Gentile editorial intrusions. For example, the
            original disciples are not bad-mouthed continously like they are in the
            canonicals. Thus, redactionally, as a whole, GOT should be dated previous
            to all three Synoptics.

            Also, in regard to what Jim Bauer said, the book that he meant was
            probably James H. Charlesworth, "Jesus within Judaism". There are quite a
            few webpages mentioning it, and providing quotes.

            Regards,

            Yuri.

            Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku -=O=- Toronto

            But scientists, who ought to know
            Assure us that it must be so.
            Oh, let us never, never doubt
            What nobody is sure about.
            -- Hilaire Belloc
          • Andrew Smith
            ... Here s your catechesis again. I ve divided it into sections. 1. Jesus was a remarkable man, very wise and righteous. 2.He was the son of God, 3. and he
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 4, 2000
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              on 8/4/00 10:05 AM, Yuri Kuchinsky at yuku@... wrote:

              >> "Jesus is alive" is more or less Thomasine, but what else in your
              >> catechesis is compatible with GoT?
              >
              > I'm saying that the earliest catechesis did not involve any document such
              > as GOT. So this came later, but still earlier than all the Gentile stuff
              > that went into the Synoptics.

              Here's your catechesis again. I've divided it into sections.

              "

              1. Jesus was a remarkable man, very wise and righteous.

              2.He was the son of God,

              3. and he healed the sick, and performed many miracles.

              4. But the cruel and unjust authorities of our country arrested and killed
              him, just as they killed his teacher John before that.

              5. But then God his Father accepted Jesus into his bosom, and, as a reward
              for his righteousness, made his the Messiah of Israel.

              6. Jesus is alive, and he will come back soon in glory to
              judge the actions of all, and to usher in a New Age of God.

              7.Believe in Jesus, or you will never have life everlasting."

              If this is typical of early Christianity, as you propose, surely GThomas is
              very different to this. Which Thomas sayings or motifs are in line with the
              various points of your catechesis? You could just insert the numbers of the
              logia next to the parts of your catechesis, with a couple of comments.
              Otherwise, why is Thomas so different to this?

              Andrew
            • Ronald David McCann
              I am getting lost here. I have read your debates since last october and frankly they usually blow me away. I have loved Joe s injections into the fray because
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 5, 2000
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                I am getting lost here. I have read your debates since last october and
                frankly they usually blow me away. I have loved Joe's injections into the
                fray because they inject some "horse sense":

                But I just don't understand this last exchange. How can anybody
                debate if
                Jesus was Jewish? Is everything up for debate in moderm scholarship?

                There are "lurkers" who watch your exchanges with great interest. Youu
                guys are always "On stage". Remember that. And Remember we are not as
                bright as you are. But we are still interested

                Ron
                On Thu, 3 Aug 2000, Andrew Smith wrote:

                > on 8/2/00 10:35 AM, Yuri Kuchinsky at yuku@... wrote:
                >
                > > In my view, the most logical
                > > picture of the earliest Jewish-Christian catechesis would have been as
                > > follows.
                > >
                > > "Jesus was a remarkable man, very wise and righteous. He was the son of
                > > God, and he healed the sick, and performed many miracles. But the cruel
                > > and unjust authorities of our country arrested and killed him, just as
                > > they killed his teacher John before that. But then God his Father accepted
                > > Jesus into his bosom, and, as a reward for his righteousness, made his the
                > > Messiah of Israel. Jesus is alive, and he will come back soon in glory to
                > > judge the actions of all, and to usher in a New Age of God. Believe in
                > > Jesus, or you will never have life everlasting."
                > >
                > > All this is fully compatible with Judaism. But the Crucified Messiah of Mk
                > > is clearly a distortion of Judaism.
                >
                > It's compatible with Judaism because you made it up! ;->
                >
                > But if we accept this as a reconstruction of some sort, which parts of the
                > Gospel of Thomas are in line with this, since you are saying that the
                > "Jewish" parts of the GoT are early? "Jesus is alive" is more or less
                > Thomasine, but what else in your catechesis is compatible with GoT? Or, from
                > another point of view, which are the parts of GoT that you think are Jewish
                > and early?
                >
                > Best Wishes
                >
                > Andrew
                >
                >
                > -------------------------------------------------
                > To post to gthomas, send email to gthomas@egroups.com
                > To unsubscribe, send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                >
              • Rick Hubbard
                ... Your post raises some some interesting points which deserve response. First, while it does seem that everything is up for debate in contemporary
                Message 7 of 10 , Aug 7, 2000
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                  Ronald David McCann wrote:
                  >
                  > I am getting lost here. I have read your debates since last october and
                  > frankly they usually blow me away. I have loved Joe's injections into the
                  > fray because they inject some "horse sense":
                  >
                  > But I just don't understand this last exchange. How can anybody
                  > debate if
                  > Jesus was Jewish? Is everything up for debate in moderm scholarship?

                  Your post raises some some interesting points which deserve response.

                  First, while it does seem that everything is "up for debate" in
                  contemporary scholarship, some things are not *seriously* debatable
                  because either those things have been unanimously accepted as "the most
                  assured results of scholarship" or because there is insufficient
                  empirical evidence about which legitimate debate can revolve (in other
                  words, there are simply some things we would like to know about, but
                  which we cannot because there is no evidence on which to base defensible
                  conclusions).

                  Second, it is often difficult for non specialists to identify (on this
                  list) those topics which are *seriously debateable* because a good deal
                  of the discussion on this list occurs between folks who are not
                  themselves specialists, but who are under-informed about the topic over
                  which they argue. Those folks seem to fall naturally into two groups:
                  those are are aware that they do not know everything about the subject
                  which they discuss, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, those who
                  imagine that they do. Within that latter group, is a subset of people
                  who not only imagine that they are sufficiently informed to be able to
                  argue cogently, but who also insist that their insight is so keen that
                  their very assertions are to be accepted without question. The challenge
                  for those who are content to "listen in" on the list, is to determine
                  who is credible and who is not.

                  With respect to the "Jewishness of Jesus," that seems to be one of those
                  topics about which there is a good deal of certainty in mainstream
                  scholarship. But that relative certainty does not preclude debate on the
                  issue. On one hand some dispute his "Jewishness" because to accept that
                  conclusion would somehow interfere with their own assumptions or
                  eccentric indulgences. Others, as I suggested, debate the issue simply
                  because they are uninformed about the strength of the evidence which
                  suggest that he *was* Jewish.

                  Your observation that "you are all on-stage" is sobering. Sometimes we
                  forget (or at least I forget) that the number of people who participate
                  in discussions on this list represent only a fraction of the total
                  subscribers. For that reason alone, those who post here would be well
                  advised to put forward their best, and to refrain from the sort of
                  misbehavior that reflects badly on everyone else. Argument by assertion,
                  for example, is an anathema. Usually (depending of course on the person
                  involved and the circumstance), such representations automatically
                  disqualify their own credibility and cast upon the one who made the
                  assertion a cloud of suspicion about the veracity of all else the person
                  says elsewhere.

                  In any case, hang in there and always feel free to ask for
                  clarifications!

                  Rick Hubbard
                  Humble Maine Woodsman




                  >
                  > There are "lurkers" who watch your exchanges with great interest. Youu
                  > guys are always "On stage". Remember that. And Remember we are not as
                  > bright as you are. But we are still interested
                  >
                  > Ron
                  > On Thu, 3 Aug 2000, Andrew Smith wrote:
                  >
                  > > on 8/2/00 10:35 AM, Yuri Kuchinsky at yuku@... wrote:
                  > >
                  > > > In my view, the most logical
                  > > > picture of the earliest Jewish-Christian catechesis would have been as
                  > > > follows.
                  > > >
                  > > > "Jesus was a remarkable man, very wise and righteous. He was the son of
                  > > > God, and he healed the sick, and performed many miracles. But the cruel
                  > > > and unjust authorities of our country arrested and killed him, just as
                  > > > they killed his teacher John before that. But then God his Father accepted
                  > > > Jesus into his bosom, and, as a reward for his righteousness, made his the
                  > > > Messiah of Israel. Jesus is alive, and he will come back soon in glory to
                  > > > judge the actions of all, and to usher in a New Age of God. Believe in
                  > > > Jesus, or you will never have life everlasting."
                  > > >
                  > > > All this is fully compatible with Judaism. But the Crucified Messiah of Mk
                  > > > is clearly a distortion of Judaism.
                  > >
                  > > It's compatible with Judaism because you made it up! ;->
                  > >
                  > > But if we accept this as a reconstruction of some sort, which parts of the
                  > > Gospel of Thomas are in line with this, since you are saying that the
                  > > "Jewish" parts of the GoT are early? "Jesus is alive" is more or less
                  > > Thomasine, but what else in your catechesis is compatible with GoT? Or, from
                  > > another point of view, which are the parts of GoT that you think are Jewish
                  > > and early?
                  > >
                  > > Best Wishes
                  > >
                  > > Andrew
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > -------------------------------------------------
                  > > To post to gthomas, send email to gthomas@egroups.com
                  > > To unsubscribe, send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                  > >
                  >
                  > -------------------------------------------------
                  > To post to gthomas, send email to gthomas@egroups.com
                  > To unsubscribe, send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                • Isidoros
                  ... Not unlike, let us say, of the certainty in mainstream scholarship of the Catholic Middle Ages, say, about the relative movement and the positions of the
                  Message 8 of 10 , Aug 22, 2000
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                    To "lost" Donald David McCann's:

                    > > I am getting lost here [...] I just don't understand this last exchange.
                    > > How can anybody debate if Jesus was Jewish?
                    > > Is everything up for debate in moderm scholarship?

                    offered Rick Hubbard, on 7 Aug 2000:

                    >With respect to the "Jewishness of Jesus," that seems to be one of those
                    >topics about which there is a good deal of certainty in mainstream
                    >scholarship.

                    Not unlike, let us say, of the "certainty in mainstream scholarship"
                    of the Catholic Middle Ages, say, about the relative movement and
                    the positions of the Sun and Gaia and of the planets. Ask Galileo Galilei.


                    >But that relative certainty does not preclude debate on the
                    >issue. On one hand some dispute his "Jewishness" because to accept that
                    >conclusion would somehow interfere with their own assumptions or
                    >eccentric indulgences. Others, as I suggested, debate the issue simply
                    >because they are uninformed about the strength of the evidence which
                    >suggest that he *was* Jewish.

                    You don't say! Two possibilities, neatly taking care the all. How
                    wonderfully simple, and all exhaustive are the two solutions,
                    and how easily disposing of the"uninformed" "debaters". So didactic.

                    >In any case, hang in there and always feel free to ask for
                    >clarifications!

                    Isidoros,
                    who apologizes here (too) for the lateness to re-enter the fray-- and,
                    remembers, especially in lieu of the above offered "clarifications",
                    that has indeed asked for a certain "definitions" ("please" he pleaded)
                    before long. Yet, all one continues to read are the same "historical
                    suppositions". This 2000 years o()d debate goes on in part because
                    people will not question the "given".
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