I enjoyed William Arnal's article and would like to address a couple of
points in regard to it.
As to the point of understanding Thomas as a product of the semantic time
slot, there seems to be no discernable 'now code' language in the text. This
meaning code, as to the time of Thomas has to be changes that took place
in the 'elaborated code' of the time. This gives Thomas an intentional
clarity that the writers would have perceived necessary for the document
to be of use to future generations. The writers must have realized that
the text would be translated into other languages which makes 'now coded'
language very damaging to semantic content.
There is no question that the text is directed to a utility for different
people. The parables are well explained in Matthew as how Jesus addressed
This is impoortant to understand because Jesus not only used parables
but symbolism which can distort the intended meaning if you do not understand
the context and intention for a particular audience. For instance references
to the spirit, Satan, the soul and God can be highly misunderstood, and are.
Thomas and Mary refer to demons as internal, psychological concepts. Mark,
Luke and others refer to them as external, and seperate from the individual.
This is one way the Pharisees have hidden the keys of knowledge.