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Re: [GTh] Of/According to Thomas

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  • Andrew Smith
    ... accurate ... impression ... title ... What I was implying by this was: 1. Kata Thomas implies authorship by Thomas 2. Modern scholarship indicates that
    Message 1 of 16 , Sep 1, 2001
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      --- In gthomas@y..., "Andrew Smith" <smithand44@h...> wrote:
      > It seems to me that "The Gospel From Thomas" might be a more
      accurate
      > translation of the title if we want to avoid "according to". I
      > suspect that "of" is preferred because it doesn't give the
      impression
      > of claiming authorship by Thomas, but that's precisely what the
      title
      > does claim, isn't it?
      >

      What I was implying by this was:
      1. Kata Thomas implies authorship by Thomas
      2. Modern scholarship indicates that it's very unlikely that the
      gospel was writeen by an apostle Thomas.
      3. So we get "the Gospel of Thomas" as the title, which softens the
      authorship claim of the title.
      4. But the title actually does imply authorship, so "according to" is
      actually a better translation than a generic "of"

      I wasn't intending to suggest that 'KATA' should make us think that
      it was actually written by Thomas.

      Best Wishes

      Andrew Smith
    • Miceal Ledwith
      ... accurate ... impression ... title ... What I was implying by this was: 1. Kata Thomas implies authorship by Thomas 2. Modern scholarship indicates that
      Message 2 of 16 , Sep 1, 2001
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        Andrew Smith <smithand44@...> wrote:
        --- In gthomas@y..., "Andrew Smith" wrote:
        > It seems to me that "The Gospel From Thomas" might be a more
        accurate
        > translation of the title if we want to avoid "according to". I
        > suspect that "of" is preferred because it doesn't give the
        impression
        > of claiming authorship by Thomas, but that's precisely what the
        title
        > does claim, isn't it?
        >

        What I was implying by this was:
        1. Kata Thomas implies authorship by Thomas
        2. Modern scholarship indicates that it's very unlikely that the
        gospel was writeen by an apostle Thomas.
        3. So we get "the Gospel of Thomas" as the title, which softens the
        authorship claim of the title.
        4. But the title actually does imply authorship, so "according to" is
        actually a better translation than a generic "of"

        I wasn't intending to suggest that 'KATA' should make us think that
        it was actually written by Thomas.

        Best Wishes

        Andrew Smith

        IN REPLY TO ABOVE POST BY ANDREW SMITH

        One of the most basic principles of scientific scholarship is not to go beyond the evidence.

        The Coptic text of GTh dates from about 350 AD. The Ox. fragments are earlier and suggest the original was not in Coptic, and that some redaction has taken place to produce the Coptic text. Without evidence of a scholarly kind many believe the document originated from the region of Edessa. There are indicators that Thomas was in Edessa; indeed it becomes very hard to explain how it became such a centre of the Thomas "cult" unless this were so. (Indeed there are some interesting ideas being floated that Eusebius did not fabricate the Abgar correspondence at all). Further, the narrative style of GTh indicates it belongs to the most primitive stage of Christian writings, pre-dating probably the narrative style canonical Gospels.
        All that being said, how is it possible to say that scholars agree that it was very unlikely that GTh was written "by an Apostle Thomas." It should be clear from what I have summarized above, that what evidence there is in fact seems to incline in the opposite direction.
        It is not possible to prove under the rigorous canons of scholarship at present that Thomas the Apostle wrote GTh; but it would be even more difficult to be able to say from a scholarly point of view that he did not write it. There is nowhere near enough evidence to make such a statement if you wish to stick with the rigid canons of scientific scholarship.
        Immensely valuable scholarly debate has taken places in these pages over the past year, and such discussion is essential in order to decide on questions such as the authenticity of the text and original structure of GTh, which have such implications for discovering its true meaning. However, beyond those issues lie the more important ones: what was purpose of the text; what was it written to help us achieve? This takes us into the sphere of what I call in a soon to be published book, 'the mechanics of spiritual evolution.' In this area of course the identity of the author assumes even greater importance. From a scholarly point of view it is certainly premature to deny that the author was Thomas. What evidence there is I would suggest points (if anywhere), in the opposite direction.
        Miceal Ledwith
        Humble Washington Schismatic.







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      • Michael Grondin
        In reply to Miceal Ledwith: The virtually-unanimous belief among experts that the Apostle Thomas did not write GTh derives from the internal evidence of the
        Message 3 of 16 , Sep 1, 2001
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          In reply to Miceal Ledwith:

          The virtually-unanimous belief among experts that the Apostle Thomas did
          not write GTh derives from the internal evidence of the text as much as
          anything else. In the two places where Thomas is mentioned in the text,
          it's in the third person. In the prologue, it's "he" (Didymos Judas Thomas)
          who wrote down these sayings, and again in Th13, Jesus says so-and-so to
          "him", and Thomas returns to "his" companions. Not 'I/me/my', but
          'he/him/his' throughout. In addition, there's no indication of any special
          historical knowledge on the part of the author which would indicate that he
          had been present during the happenings in Galilee and Judaea in 30 C.E. It
          seems that only faith-based factors would lead one to ignore or minimize
          this evidence from the text itself.

          Regards,
          Mike
        • Stacey Mozina
          Thank you for that explanation. Would this however be explainable by the copying process itself. When someone transcribed it, they may have intentionally made
          Message 4 of 16 , Sep 2, 2001
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            Thank you for that explanation. Would this however be explainable by the
            copying process itself. When someone transcribed it, they may have
            intentionally made their copy a "third person" copy?

            Stacey Mozina

            I suppose that's possible, but there's no evidence of it ever happening,
            as far as I know. To believe that it might have in this case, I'd want
            to see some indication of personal knowledge in the text.

            M.
          • Miceal Ledwith
            Dear Mike, Thanks for your reply. With respect, could I also suggest the following: the third person is a well know humility device. I t could just as well
            Message 5 of 16 , Sep 3, 2001
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              Dear Mike,
              Thanks for your reply. With respect, could I also suggest the following: the third person is a well know "humility" device. I t could just as well leave the question open as resolve it in the sense of Thomas not being or being the author. Consult the similar usage at end of Fourth Gospel, which is being taken both ways by Biblical experts.
              Also it could well have been Thomas's message which might have been put down in writing by a third party, but I think that would not make it the Gospel of someone else.So I do not feel that postion is necessarily "faith based" by which I suppose you mean that it is prejudiced agaisnt evidence. I have not time for that attitude I'm afraid.
              Likewise the absence of any references to being present in Galilee is in harmony with the nature of the text, which as has been pointed out so frequently, contains no reference to Resurrection, miracles, etc..as presumably Q and any possible other sources. It does not mean the author was not there: I think it rather shows his intent was not to produce a story/narrative.
              My issue here is that I prefer to remain on the scholarly level - on both sides of any argument. When the evidence becomes persuasive in my judgment, then that's the time for decision one way or the other. Unless we sray open it can often seal off other very profitable avenues of investigation in the future becasue we prematurely decided an issue.
              Please note that my point in the post was not to say that Thomas could be proven to be the author, but that that he was not the author I do not think can be established with certitude either - that was all I was saying. I still think its an open question.
              Thanks for your many very valuable insights in the pages over the past year,
              Sincerley,
              Miceal Ledwith
              Michael Grondin <mgrondin@...> wrote: In reply to Miceal Ledwith:

              The virtually-unanimous belief among experts that the Apostle Thomas did
              not write GTh derives from the internal evidence of the text as much as
              anything else. In the two places where Thomas is mentioned in the text,
              it's in the third person. In the prologue, it's "he" (Didymos Judas Thomas)
              who wrote down these sayings, and again in Th13, Jesus says so-and-so to
              "him", and Thomas returns to "his" companions. Not 'I/me/my', but
              'he/him/his' throughout. In addition, there's no indication of any special
              historical knowledge on the part of the author which would indicate that he
              had been present during the happenings in Galilee and Judaea in 30 C.E. It
              seems that only faith-based factors would lead one to ignore or minimize
              this evidence from the text itself.

              Regards,
              Mike

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            • Michael Grondin
              ... I don t see the ending of GJohn as being a humility device , nor am I familiar with the third person being so used. Do you have another example that would
              Message 6 of 16 , Sep 4, 2001
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                Miceal wrote:
                > ... the third person is a well know "humility" device.
                > It could just as well leave the question open as resolve
                > it in the sense of Thomas not being or being the author.
                > Consult the similar usage at end of Fourth Gospel, which
                > is being taken both ways by Biblical experts.

                I don't see the ending of GJohn as being a "humility device", nor am I
                familiar with the third person being so used. Do you have another example
                that would be clearer?

                > Likewise the absence of any references to being present in Galilee
                > is in harmony with the nature of the text, which as has been pointed
                > out so frequently, contains no reference to Resurrection, miracles,
                > etc..as presumably Q and any possible other sources. It does not mean
                > the author was not there: I think it rather shows his intent was not
                > to produce a story/narrative.

                Well, first you'd have to believe that a Galilean, say, would be capable of
                an almost total rejection of orthodox Judaism, in spite of the fact that
                Jacob - who is given a great accolade in Th12 - was said to have been
                praying in the Temple daily, and John -given another high accolade - was
                not known for having been opposed to orthodox Judaism. Then you'd have to
                believe that Thomas had some grudge against the purported leader of the
                disciples, Simon Peter, since he pretty well trashes him. Then you'd have
                to believe that the Temple incident was of no importance to Thomas, even
                though it seems to have been connected with the death of Jesus. And on and
                on. Even given the focus of GTh, it's hard to believe that there would be
                nothing at all that showed some clear evidence of having been there.

                > My issue here is that I prefer to remain on the scholarly level
                > - on both sides of any argument. When the evidence becomes persuasive
                > in my judgment, then that's the time for decision one way or the other.
                > Unless we sray open it can often seal off other very profitable avenues
                > of investigation in the future becasue we prematurely decided an issue.

                In general, I agree. I just don't agree that the authorial decision is
                premature. I can see plenty of evidence on the one side, and nothing on the
                other side except for plenty of speculative explanations of why there isn't
                any evidence on that side. In addition, the only "profitable avenue of
                investigation" that I can see that might depend on whether or not Thomas
                wrote GTh is whether or not GTh might represent the authentic views of
                Jesus. I don't know any reputable person who thinks they do, however. Even
                if originally very early, by the time our copy was made, several hundred
                years had elapsed - plenty of time to add, delete, revise, etc. - so that
                even if the original were authentic, we're very much removed from that.
                Furthermore, we actually have evidence that the GTh was subject to a lot of
                revision, in the POxy fragments, and the quotations from other versions of
                GTh by church writers. But I don't mean to dissuade you from your view,
                just give reasons for mine.

                Mike
              • Andrew Smith
                Here s something strange: in Marvin Meyer s book The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus he uses of in the the book s title and According to
                Message 7 of 16 , Sep 5, 2001
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                  Here's something strange:

                  in Marvin Meyer's book "The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of
                  Jesus" he uses "of" in the the book's title and "According to" when
                  he translates the title at the end of the Coptic text of Thomas (page
                  65). He also translates "According to" in the notes to the incipit )
                  page 67.)

                  So he obviously thinks that "according to" is the better translation,
                  and yet has to use "Of" in the book's title. I presume that marketing
                  reasons must have determined the "of", but does anyone have a better
                  suggestion?

                  Best Wishes

                  Andrew Smith
                • Rick Hubbard
                  It seems to me that The Gospel From Thomas might be a more accurate translation of the title if we want to avoid according to . I suspect that of is
                  Message 8 of 16 , Sep 8, 2001
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                    It seems to me that "The Gospel From Thomas" might be a more
                    accurate
                    translation of the title if we want to avoid "according to". I
                    suspect that "of" is preferred because it doesn't give the
                    impression
                    of claiming authorship by Thomas, but that's precisely what the
                    title
                    does claim, isn't it?

                    You are correct, both the title and the incipit attribute the
                    composition of GTh to Thomas.

                    Neither of these two elements are sufficient evidence, however,
                    to support the conclusion that someone named Thomas (much less
                    that the disciple of Jesus named Thomas) was the "author" of GTh.

                    FIRST, The title appended to GTh derived from a scribe. During
                    antiquity copyists were not only responsible for reproducing
                    texts, they also regularly assigned names to their work purely
                    for organizational reasons. When they assigned descriptive terms
                    such as KATA this, that or the other, they were doing nothing
                    more than using primitive "information management" conventions.
                    These titles reflected the copyists' own judgment, not historical
                    facticity.

                    SECOND, the incipit to Thomas cannot be understood as anything
                    other than the work of an editor whose interest was to attribute
                    the composition of the collection to Didymos Judas Thomas. We
                    have no idea who this alleged recorder was or precisely when the
                    editor prefaced the collection with the incipit. We DO know that
                    the construction of the name suggests that whomever included the
                    incipit may not have known the identity of the author either.

                    THIRD, there are multiple acceptable ways to translate the Greek
                    preposition KATA, including "according to," "of," and "from." The
                    choice made by individual translators seem to be stylistic in
                    nature, not a bias toward some particular theory of authorship.

                    FINALLY, it seems to me that the question of Thomas' authorship
                    lies low on the hierarchy of importance. It does not even deserve
                    to be addressed until the more prominent issue of GTh's literary
                    pedigree is properly resolved.

                    Rick Hubbard
                    Humble Maine Woodsman
                  • Miceal Ledwith
                    Rick, How are you so CERTAIN that it derived from a scribe? Even if it did, it by no means can be assumed that thoam the apostle was not the author? Miceal
                    Message 9 of 16 , Sep 9, 2001
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                      Rick,
                      How are you so CERTAIN that it derived from a scribe?

                      Even if it did, it by no means can be assumed that \thoam the \apostle
                      was not the author?

                      Miceal Ledwith (from Bologna Italy, enjoying uncertain internet
                      service)
                    • Andrew Smith
                      ... Thanks for the interesting points, Rick, but I *wasn t* proposing that the text was written by an apostle Thomas, merely that our text claims that it was.
                      Message 10 of 16 , Sep 9, 2001
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                        --- In gthomas@y..., "Rick Hubbard" <rhubbard@m...> wrote:
                        > It seems to me that "The Gospel From Thomas" might be a more
                        > accurate
                        > translation of the title if we want to avoid "according to". I
                        > suspect that "of" is preferred because it doesn't give the
                        > impression
                        > of claiming authorship by Thomas, but that's precisely what the
                        > title
                        > does claim, isn't it?
                        >
                        > You are correct, both the title and the incipit attribute the
                        > composition of GTh to Thomas.
                        >
                        > Neither of these two elements are sufficient evidence, however,
                        > to support the conclusion that someone named Thomas (much less
                        > that the disciple of Jesus named Thomas) was the "author" of GTh.

                        Thanks for the interesting points, Rick, but I *wasn't* proposing
                        that the text was written by an apostle Thomas, merely that our text
                        claims that it was. Actually I think now that "of" is preferred
                        over "according to" probably because it sounds less conventionally
                        Christian. As I pointed out in my last post, Meyer prefers "according
                        to" as a translation within the text, but his book has to be
                        called "The Gospel of Thomas." As I said, it's my good guess that
                        marketing considerations have determined the title.

                        Best

                        Andrew Smith
                      • Jacob Knee
                        FWIW both of and according to are used to describe the four Gospels when they are used in christian liturgy. In addition, the NRSV incipit is, for example,
                        Message 11 of 16 , Sep 9, 2001
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                          FWIW both 'of' and 'according to' are used to describe the four Gospels when
                          they are used in christian liturgy.

                          In addition, the NRSV incipit is, for example, 'The Gospel according to
                          Matthew' as is the RSV and the NJB.

                          Perhaps this may be helpful,
                          Jacob Knee
                          (Cam, England)

                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Andrew Smith [mailto:smithand44@...]
                          Sent: 09 September 2001 15:54
                          To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [GTh] Of/According to Thomas

                          Thanks for the interesting points, Rick, but I *wasn't* proposing
                          that the text was written by an apostle Thomas, merely that our text
                          claims that it was. Actually I think now that "of" is preferred
                          over "according to" probably because it sounds less conventionally
                          Christian. As I pointed out in my last post, Meyer prefers "according
                          to" as a translation within the text, but his book has to be
                          called "The Gospel of Thomas." As I said, it's my good guess that
                          marketing considerations have determined the title.

                          Best

                          Andrew Smith
                        • Rick Hubbard
                          [Miceal wrote:] “How are you so CERTAIN that it [the title] derived from a scribe?” My certainty in this matter is mostly a reflection of scholarly opinion
                          Message 12 of 16 , Sep 16, 2001
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                            [Miceal wrote:]
                            “How are you so CERTAIN that it [the title] derived from a
                            scribe?”

                            My certainty in this matter is mostly a reflection of scholarly
                            opinion that the title is late and secondary (which, as Mike
                            Grondin noted previously, is nearly unanimous). However, the
                            evidence upon which the consensus is built almost speaks for
                            itself, in my opinion.

                            Moreover, I am almost equally certain that none of the evidence
                            cited as proof of the authorship of is reliable. From this I
                            conclude that the identity of the author is impossible to
                            determine.

                            There are two specific elements in the Coptic GTh manuscript that
                            overtly assert authorship by someone named Thomas. Those two
                            elements are the title (colophon) and the prologue (incipit). In
                            addition, Thomas, the disciple of Jesus, is apparently elevated
                            to preeminent status in one of the sayings in the collection.
                            Some argue that this is further evidence that Thomas was the
                            author.

                            In my opinion, none of these elements are reliable testimony
                            about the identity of ANY particular person as “author” of GTh,
                            much less Thomas, the follower of Jesus.

                            FIRST, the colophon is anachronistic. The designation of the
                            collection of Jesus sayings a “gospel” did not originate with the
                            person whom it names as author. The designation was probably not
                            native to the original collection (unless the collection
                            originated late in the second century, which is doubtful).

                            SECOND, the structure of incipit is confused and ultimately
                            ambiguous. The name combination “Didymos+Judas+Thomas” is not
                            attested anywhere else in the earliest tradition. Moreover, the
                            incipit exhibits a remarkable affinity to an incipit contained in
                            a writing that has been reliably dated to the early third century
                            (The Acts of Thomas). In my opinion, the incipit is not reliable
                            evidence for determining the authorship of GTh.

                            THIRD, the oblique references to Thomas in the text of the gospel
                            prove nothing about “authorship” of the document as a whole. If
                            it were not for the presence of the name Thomas in the colophon
                            and in the incipit, there would be nothing in the body of the
                            text itself that could provide a clue about the identity of the
                            author.

                            These three arguments deserve further explanation:

                            1. THE COLOPHON
                            The title “The Gospel According to Thomas” almost certainly
                            originated sometime after the middle of the first century, that
                            is, after 150 CE. Helmut Koester has demonstrated convincingly
                            that up until that time, the noun “gospel” was never used to
                            refer to a written document. Instead, prior to that time, the
                            word “gospel” consistently referred to the Kerygma, or
                            “preaching” [Koester, 1990:24]. Gospel-as-proclamation is the
                            sense in which Paul used the noun form of the word in his
                            mid-first century correspondence with the Christ communities in
                            Corinth, Thessalonica, Philippi, and Galatia. In none of the 48
                            occurrences of “gospel” in the undisputed Pauline corpus does the
                            word ever refer to a written document. It is instead used most
                            frequently as a “technical term for both the action of the
                            proclamation and for the content of the message” [Koester,
                            1989:5]. The Pseudo-Pauline corpus and the Pastoral letters
                            exhibit similar usages of the word.

                            The use of the word “gospel” by the intra-canonical evangelists
                            is a relatively complex topic to address, but it is safe to say
                            that they use the word in a way that is virtually identical with
                            the Pauline usage. Although it is not necessarily relevant to the
                            point I am trying to make here, it is at least a matter of
                            curiosity that neither the verb or noun form of “gospel” occur in
                            any of the Johannine material (the gospel or the letters).
                            Moreover, GLk never uses the noun, but seems to use the verb in a
                            way that is synonymous with the act of preaching or proclaiming.
                            The absence of the noun is particularly conspicuous in the Lukan
                            incipit where the author seems to include his account among other
                            “narratives” (Lk1.1). In other words, the composer of Luke does
                            not perceive his/her work as a literary genre called a “gospel.”

                            Around 110 CE, Ignatius continued to use the term in an almost
                            identical fashion. In one notable instance, he contrasts the
                            “gospel” with the “archives” (scriptures) in a way that indicates
                            a clear differentiation between the two [Ignatius, Phld 8.1].
                            Even later (ca. 150 CE) II Clement seems to quote sayings
                            attributed to Jesus but he does name the source of those sayings
                            as a written document called a gospel. Several other writings of
                            the earliest church fathers likewise seem to exhibit no knowledge
                            of a literary genre that they unequivocally designated as a
                            gospel [Koester, 1990:14-20].

                            Koester’s observations have some thought provoking implications
                            for the hypothesis that the Thomas who is numbered among the
                            followers of Jesus was the author of GTh. If Koester is correct
                            when he concludes that the use of the word “gospel” as
                            designation for a written document did not begin until after the
                            middle of the second century CE, then it is reasonable to infer
                            that the colophon was not present in GTh until about that same
                            time. If one insists that the title was an original part of the
                            MS autograph, then that means GTh was written around 150 CE. If
                            it was written ca. 150, then clearly the disciple Thomas was not
                            the author.

                            If, on the other hand, one accepts the premise that GTh is an
                            early document, then it is impossible to argue that the colophon
                            was an original part of it (for the reasons mentioned above) and
                            so cannot be used as evidence to establish the identity of the
                            author.

                            2. THE INCIPIT
                            The testimony of the incipit is not subject to such quick
                            dismissal. It says unequivocally that the recorder of the sayings
                            of Jesus was Didymos Judas Thomas. The presence of this name in
                            the incipit, however, should not lead one to conclude that the
                            Thomas named here is the same Thomas who was named as a follower
                            of Jesus. The synoptics mention that there was a person named
                            Thomas who was a disciple of Jesus (Mk 3.18; Mt 10.3 and Lk
                            6.15). Nowhere, however, do the synoptics mention anyone named
                            Didymos Judas Thomas, either as a disciple of Jesus or any other
                            character. In contrast to the single reference to Thomas by each
                            of the synoptic evangelists, Thomas is mentioned 7 times in the
                            Johannine gospel (11.16; 14.5; 20.24, 26, 27f; 21.2). In three of
                            those instances (11.16, 20.24 and 21.2), the evangelist
                            identifies Thomas as the one “who is called the ‘twin’” (Gr.
                            DIDYMOS). Note carefully that none of these instances attempt to
                            form a proper name by combining “Thomas” with “Didymos,” nor is
                            the construction Didymos Judas Thomas found elsewhere in the
                            fourth gospel.

                            While this indicates that “Thomas” and “Didymos” seem to have
                            some connection in the early Johannine tradition, there is no
                            evidence in any of the remainder of the NT where the name “Judas”
                            is constructed with either “Thomas” or “Didymos.” Outside of the
                            NT there is, however, a single textual witness to a similar
                            tripartite name construction in The Acts of Thomas. There, “Judas
                            Thomas, who is also [called] Didymos,” is identified as the
                            apostle who accepted a mission to India and also as the twin
                            brother of Jesus (I.11).

                            A careful examination of the construction of the name that
                            appears in the incipit yields some startling inconsistencies and
                            raises an intriguing possibility. It has been noted that only one
                            of three names mentioned in the GTh contruction is a proper
                            name-- Judas. Thomas and Didymos are Semitic and Greek words,
                            respectively, that mean “twin.” The formation of the name in the
                            incipit is simply erroneous. It reads literally, “The Twin Judas
                            The Twin.” Patterson observes, “Apparently in the bilingual world
                            of the eastern reaches of the Roman Empire, this redundancy was
                            not noticed, and the name of the author was taken to be Judas
                            Thomas the Twin. Thus it is JUDAS THE TWIN (my emphasis) to whom
                            this text appeals as the guarantor of its traditions”
                            [Kloppenborg, 1990:90]. This raises two questions: Who was Judas
                            the Twin and why was this Judas connected to Thomas?

                            The name Judas appears several times in the NT and designates
                            different people. The most familiar Judas is the one called
                            Iscarioth, who is represented to have been a traitor to Jesus and
                            his followers. A second Judas, “son of Jacob,” is mentioned in Lk
                            6.16 as one of Jesus’ followers (along with Thomas in 6.15).
                            Clearly, this Judas, son of Jacob, and the disciple Thomas were
                            different people. Another Judas is cited in the salutation as the
                            sender of the NT “Letter of Jude” (whose name in Greek is IOUDAS
                            =Judas). This Judas claims to be the brother of James, who
                            presumably was the brother of Jesus. Perhaps this Judas who
                            penned the letter that bears his name intended to be identified
                            with the Judas enumerated among Jesus’ siblings in Mk 6.3//Mt
                            13.55.

                            It is very doubtful that the Judas mentioned in the incipit to
                            GTh is either Judas Iscarioth or Judas the son of Jacob. It is
                            more likely that mention of the name Judas in the GTh incipit is
                            an attempt to appeal to the authority of the Judas who was the
                            brother of Jesus. Patterson notes that, “It is likely that over
                            time, and especially in Syria, the figure of Judas, the brother
                            of Jesus, came to be identified with the apostle Thomas, perhaps
                            since were both known in some circles as ‘The Twin’”
                            [Kloppenborg, 1990:91]. That may explain the peculiar
                            construction of the name Didymos Judas Thomas in the GTh
                            prologue.

                            THOMAS IN THE GTH TEXT
                            Some readers of GTh claim that the prominence of Thomas in Logia
                            13 should be construed as evidence that Thomas was the author of
                            GTh. Mike Grondin has previously pointed out that Thomas the
                            student of Jesus is referred to in the third person in Logion 13
                            [GThomas 09/01/01]. This seems hardly consistent with an author
                            who writes about his own experience (an observation, by the way,
                            similar to the one that toppled the centuries old tradition that
                            Moses was the author of the Pentateuch). Moreover, as Mike also
                            observes,” In addition, there's no indication of any special
                            historical knowledge on the part of the author which would
                            indicate that he had been present during the happenings in
                            Galilee and Judea in 30 C.E.” [GThomas 09/01/01]. In other words,
                            the evidence of GTh 13 is simply too week to support such a
                            conclusion. In response to Mike’s remarks, Miceal Ledwith
                            suggested that the use of the third person could be construed as
                            a “humility device” by the author [GThomas 09/04/01]. This
                            suggestion is simply indefensible, even if use of such a device
                            could be convincingly demonstrated elsewhere in first century
                            literature (which I don’t believe it can). Regardless of the
                            inadequacy of the “humility device” assertion, the unity of GTh
                            13 with the rest of the document is subject to question. On form
                            critical grounds, the structure of the saying is inconsistent
                            with the bulk of the text of Thomas. Saying 13 is constructed in
                            the form of a dialogue, which is characteristic of material that
                            is later than the primitive wisdom sayings, legal/community
                            rules, and parables typified elsewhere in the document. In
                            addition to its heterogeneous formal characteristics, GTh 13
                            exhibits features typical of emendations. [A] It seems to be a
                            superfluous expansion of the preceding saying and is linked to it
                            by both the catchword “righteous” (DIKAIOS) and the juxtaposition
                            of the question of the prominence of James versus Thomas. [B] The
                            circumstances surrounding GTh 13 also seems to reflect a period
                            of time when the primacy of apostles was a matter of importance.
                            This was hardly the case during Jesus’ own lifetime (when the
                            sayings purportedly originated).

                            SUMMARY
                            1.The colophon and the incipit of the GTh are unreliable evidence
                            for determining the authorship of the work.
                            2.Nothing in the body of the text can be legitimately used to
                            build an argument that the Thomas mentioned there was the
                            “author” of the document.
                            3.Not only is their no reliable evidence that anyone named Thomas
                            was responsible for compiling the Gospel of GThomas, the identity
                            of the actual author is likely to remain permanently obscure.

                            References:

                            Koester, 1990. Koester, Helmut. _Ancient Christian Gospels_.
                            Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1990.

                            Kloppenborg, John S. and Marvin W. Meyer, Stephen Patterson,
                            Michael G. Steinhauser. _Q Thomas Reader_. Sonoma: Polebridge
                            Press, 1990.

                            Patterson, 1993. Patterson, Stephen J. _The Gospel of Thomas and
                            Jesus_. Sonoma: Polebridge Press, 1993.


                            Rick Hubbard
                            Humble Maine Woodsman
                          • BitsyCat1@aol.com
                            Whether I eventually agree or disagree on the authorship issue, this analysis i nicely done. Perhaps we should therefore use the term attributed to Thomas
                            Message 13 of 16 , Sep 17, 2001
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Whether I eventually agree or disagree on the authorship issue, this
                              analysis i nicely done. Perhaps we should therefore use the term "attributed
                              to Thomas"
                              Thereby including both view points on the Author issue
                              Regards John Moon
                              Springfield, Tenn 37172 johnmoon3717@....
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