Re: [GTh] editors & compilers
Although your comments didn't seem too me to be precisely on point here,
since you raised this issue, I thought I should address it.
As you know, I subscribe to the view that Mark, The Q people, and Thomas all
took some of their material from a common earlier source document- a Loggia
Collection allegedly assembled and written down by the Apostle Matthew in
Aramaic. There are several attestations to the existence of such a document
in early writings, and Eusebius comments that "everyone (Greek speakers)
translated it as best he could". Naturally then, sayings taken from it and
converted to Greek, might retain some of the original Aramaic form and
flavor which you seem to find in them. A double or triple attestation in
Mark, Q, or Thomas suggests to me an origin in this Aramaic collection; some
variations attributable to translation variances and/or editing. On this
view, Markan-Thomas parallels, nay, even the occasional Markan-Thomas
"exclusive", are not surprising.
Although I am over-simplifying, Thomas itself, seems to be a combination of
material from this collection, (whenever a Thomas saying has a Synoptic
parallel) and material from another collection with no Synoptic parallels-
the so called 'secret" stream. Whereas about a dozen of the latter's sayings
are probably intrusive- added about AD 95 or even later, say, the rest of
them may comprise a genuine core of material provided by the Apostle Thomas-
his "take" so to speak. It seems odd that this Gospel and this material
would be attributed to Thomas if he provided nothing for it. And the Gospel
itself attests he did. If all the material, as you have suggested, came from
Peter, why not call it Peter's Gospel? If anything, the Gospel seems
anti-Petrine, but of course those may be late additions.
It seems to me that it would be most productive to examine the
non-Synoptic-parallel material of Thomas, the so-called "hidden" or "secret"
stream for any indications that some of this had originally been written in
Aramaic. All examples I have seen from you, where you explore this, have
been sayings with Synoptic parallels, mostly Mark, as I recall. If I am
right about Thomas (who likely spoke and wrote in Aramaic) providing these
sayings, these non-Synoptic-parallel sayings should preserve some of that
Aramaic flavor and may disclose evidence of being in an early written form.
One might begin with such sayings as the Parable of the Woman with the Jar,
or the Parable of the Killing of the Powerful Man. I lack the expertise to
do this myself. I have no Greek or Aramaic. Have you by any chance done this
with any of the non-Synoptic-parallel sayings in Thomas (Thomas
"exclusives')? Has anyone?
It strikes me that if none exhibit any Aramaic flavor or provenance, then
*all* the so called "secret" sayings of Thomas are likely late additions,
and were not part of the early core.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jack Kilmon" <jkilmon@...>
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 10:37 AM
Subject: Re: [GTh] editors & compilers
> The GoT is essentially a list of "Jesus saids..." and according to various
> references by the patristics there may have been several floating around
> the latter half of the first century. Most scholars postulate "Q" as a
> common sayings source document used by Matthew and Luke (although I
> Luke used an Aramaic "Q" while the Matthean scribe used a Greek
> and some believe that GoT had its origins in the "Logia/Q" trajectory. I
> have always been fascinated by the Markan/Thomas parallels. Cllement in
> Letter to Theodosius that discusses "Secret Mark" says:
> "But when Peter died a martyr, Mark came over to Alexandria, bringing both
> his own notes and those of Peter, from which he transferred to his former
> books the things suitable to whatever makes for progress toward knowledge.
> Thus he composed a more spiritual Gospel for the use of those who were
> Could this be a clue to the origins of Thomas? Mark's and Peter's notes
> would certainly include a list of "Jesus saids..." I can well understand
> how Peter/Kefa's own list of "Jesus saids...." could take on a life of its
> own. Translated from Peter's Aramaic notes to a Greek document (P. Oxy
> trajectory) and then into Coptic when Gnostics adopted and slightly
> the list that was, after all, "wisdom stuff." If I read my Goulder
> correctly, a Petrine origin would explain the preservation of Logion 12
> (which I believe is genuinely Yeshuine). Although the canonical Mark is
> the same edition, it still contains materials from the Alexandrian edition
> noticeable in the Thomas parallels.
> OK, that's my wild, rabid speculation on the origin of GoT and how it got
> Egypt and that it was not originally Syrian but Palestinian Aramaic.