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

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  • 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 1 of 10 , Aug 4, 2000
      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 2 of 10 , Aug 4, 2000
        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 3 of 10 , Aug 4, 2000
          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 4 of 10 , Aug 5, 2000
            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 5 of 10 , Aug 7, 2000
              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 6 of 10 , Aug 22, 2000
                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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