Re: [gthomas] pushing the list limits
- See ** below--
On Thu, 31 Aug 2000 08:03:14 -0400, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Tom Ragland wrote:
> Tom Ragland:
> With DSS and NH dating up to perpetual debates, I researched the
> of every book I could get my hands on, performed a personal analysis of
> interrelationships of documents via themes, keywords, and scope. I'm
> saying that Thomas as we now know it was published in hardback in 33 AD,
> that I pisis (admittedly) that it represents an authentic core of
> that goes back to an historical person named Jesus who last taught in 33
Your conclusion about GThom seems to cohere with that of the Jesus
Seminar. I would be curious, however, to know the "route" which you used
to arrive at your assessment. Precisely how does GThom's "themes,
keywords and scope" illuminate your conclusion?
** Tom ** It was interesting to read the findings of the Jesus Seminar and
discover that they had come to some of the same conclusions I had reached in
solitary study. I have been influenced on several books on redaction
criticism of gospel content. What intrigues me about Thomas is the many
parallels in the Matthew and Luke Material which scholars have called "Q"
for over a century now. It is also my discovery that the fully synoptic
(Matthew, Mark, and Luke) texts centering around the passion play seem to be
of a school of thought alien to the teaching collection of "Q". Then there
is the material only found in Matthew, which could be dismissed except for
the fascinating fact that this material is also pre-echoed in Thomas.
> Tom Ragland:
> ................ You may also note that I date gnostic texts to even 50
> which conservative scholars place at 350 AD, but I am not alone in this
> I do have good scholarly (as yet unpublished) reasons for my chronology
> the first couple of centuries AD.
Without "letting the cat out of the bag" before publication of your
hypotheses about "gnostic texts", perhaps you could provide some
additional detail regarding which particular texts you date to 50 BCE
and the evidence which you cite in support of that dating?
** Tom ** Actually, dating Eugnostos to 50 BC is from the introduction in
the common edition of NHL. Their argument was that the three major
philosophical systems mentioned would not make sense after that dating.
Then if you group the documents that have no Christian references at their
core, they fit in well in the timeframe of the diversity of thought in the
first century BC. Then starting with those texts that are penciled in as
early, the themes (key words and phrasings) were noted for each text and
those with unique common terms were assigned schools of thought. Then, for
example with the Eugnostos rewrite as the Sophia of Jesus Christ, the themes
were found to gel with the themes attributed to Simon. That together with
the supposition that one could not publish a "gospel" of Jesus that was this
extremely "Gnostic" after the time when the more catholic versions of the
gospel stories were commonplace. With Philip, even though the final version
is of a late date, I argue for the core of the material to be first century
AD because of the simplicity of themes.
The dating of the DSS material rests on the school that has the main
characters belonging to the first century BC, which jives with the dating of
other Jewish materials such as Enoch, Adam and Eve, Twelve Patriarchs, and
the known tensions between Jewish factions in the post-Maccabean era in the
first century BC. The DSS texts that contain Christian sounding themes have
been pushed to the time of Jesus. If later, then they would be more
blatently Christian. All of the pieces of the puzzle fit well within my
paradigm, but I am always open to ideas. I balk at the idea that some of
the DSS are describing tensions between Paul and James. It seems like too
much wishful thinking.
So do you think I'm way radical or do you understand why I have come up with
the conclusions that I have reached? If only I could be beamed back to
Alexandria a couple of thousand years ago!
Tom Ragland --> tomragland@...
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