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RE: [GTh] #95 & #109

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  • Rick Hubbard
    [Bill wrote:] This contradiction in the use of imagery is a point I ve also noted, and I think it has significance, [snip] This is an approach I took to Thomas
    Message 1 of 25 , Mar 8, 2002
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      [Bill wrote:]
      This contradiction in the use of imagery is a point I've also noted, and I
      think it has significance,
      [snip]
      This is an
      approach I took to Thomas in a long-ago article in HTR (1995?), in which I
      attempt a preliminary stratification of the text, partly on this basis.

      For those who wish to read this article which I definitely encourage) it is
      "The Rhetoric of Marginality: Apocalyptisim, Gnosticism, and Sayings
      Gospels." _Harvard Theological Review_ 88:4 (1995)471-494.

      [Bill wrote:]
      On the other hand, it occurred to me later that Thomas involves these sorts
      of contradictions WAY too often for the phenomenon to be just an accidental
      by-product of different layers of tradition.
      [snip]
      I've written an
      article on this as well, much more recently, but unfortunately it's still in
      press. I MIGHT have even posted a version of it to this list. (I don't
      remeber.)

      A version of Bill's article is in fact still posted on the GThomas
      discussion group's home page at:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/files/reviews/ThomRhet.htm

      Bill's remark below serves as an appropriate point of departure for those
      who may wish to explore his thesis in further detail.

      Anyway, this sort of deliberate opposition of images strikes me as
      one of Thomas' key redactional characteristics, and a decidely
      under-recognized one at that.

      Rick Hubbard
      Humble Maine Woodsman
    • Rick Hubbard
      [Bill Arnal wrote:] ... said, if you have money, do not lend it at interest, but give it to one from whom you will not get it back of GoT 95 versus son
      Message 2 of 25 , Mar 8, 2002
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        [Bill Arnal wrote:]

        >>This contradiction in the use of imagery [i.e., "Jesus
        said, 'if you have money, do not lend it at interest, but
        give it to one from whom you will not get it back" of GoT 95
        versus son finding a treasure, and loans it out at interest
        of GoT 109) is a point I've also noted, and I think it has
        significance,

        [David Hindley wrote:]
        But is it really a contradiction? Lending at interest is
        forbidden in the torah - but only between Jews. It was
        perfectly "legal" to lend (with interest) to Gentiles. The
        two sayings may well refer to two different, and unstated,
        contexts: inter-ethnic charity (GoT 95) and unexpected
        bounty/change in status (GoT 109).

        Agreed. The two sayings may arise from different social circumstances. The
        issue, however, is that they are clearly juxtaposed in Thomas AND that
        juxtapositions in Thomas are not isolated to the practice of usury. It seems
        to me that Bill has identified a characteristic feature in GTh that invites
        much closer scrutiny. Throughout GTh there are contradictory assessments
        about poverty, wealth, commercial enterprise, political power, and other
        social behaviors. In my opinion, Bill is right when he confers significance
        to this phenomenon.

        I am eager to see Bill's revised article on this subject (where will it be
        published, Bill?). In particular, I am interested in whether there are any
        correlations between the strata identified in the 1995 HTR article and the
        refined dichotomies which he presumably discusses in his forthcoming paper.



        Rick Hubbard
        Humble Maine Woodsman
      • William Arnal
        ... I m not sure what you re getting at here. Of course, I agree with this statement (above) as it stands, but don t quite see how you would apply this to the
        Message 3 of 25 , Mar 8, 2002
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          David Hindley wrote:

          >Snippets can be made use of out of their original context,
          >and literary use of such snippets may involve relationships
          >not inherent in the original accounts.

          I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Of course, I agree with this
          statement (above) as it stands, but don't quite see how you would apply this
          to the sayings at issue. IF your point is that both (contradictory) sayings
          could have been spoken by Jesus, in different contexts, and not originally
          have contradicted each other, well, I agree that this is possible, though
          (as per below), I also have no reason to think that everything (or anything,
          for that matter) that Thomas attributes to Jesus was really spoken by him.

          >These seem to be platforms upon which to anchor commentary.
          >But where did they come from? I am not ready to say "Well,
          >it must be Jesus." Neither, it appears, does your mentor
          >Kloppenborg-Verbin, based upon the seminar of the prior
          >year. At least he is being cautious with that kind of
          >speculation.

          We might be talking past each other again. Did I seem to imply that Thomas
          sayings must or should go back to Jesus? No, like you and like Kloppenborg,
          I can't see Thomas as testimony to the historical Jesus -- it, like the
          canonicals, is a theological-literary production, I assume.

          >Since you have evidently engaged in quite a bit of research
          >into the economic life of the peasant society of
          >Galilee/Judea, I am interested in your perspective about the
          >relevance for this. I believe there is a chapter or so in
          >your book about this, so maybe I should take a look. You may
          >already have there answered my question, but perhaps a
          >lurker or two would like to be keyed in.

          I'm still not sure what your question is!

          Bill
          ___________________________
          William Arnal
          Department of Religion
          University of Manitoba

          "Well, I can see I'm not in Paris"
          -- Ernest Hemingway, on landing in Winnipeg



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        • William Arnal
          ... Not much revised at all, actually. The version that s posted in connection with this list is essentially the final version. The things was originally
          Message 4 of 25 , Mar 8, 2002
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            Rick Hubbard wrote:

            >I am eager to see Bill's revised article on this subject (where will >it be
            >published, Bill?).

            Not much revised at all, actually. The version that's posted in connection
            with this list is essentially the "final" version. The things was originally
            written for last year's meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies,
            in Edmonton, Alberta, in connection with a larger session on Rhetoric in the
            NT organized by Willi Braun. After it was all over, Willi decided to publish
            the papers in a forthcoming volume from Wilfrid Laurier University Press. I
            have no idea when this will be completed, or when it's likely to see the
            light of day.

            >In particular, I am interested in whether there are >any
            >correlations between the strata identified in the 1995 HTR article and >the
            >refined dichotomies which he presumably discusses in his forthcoming
            > >paper.

            No! I haven't. This is an issue I'm afraid to touch, at least for the
            moment.

            Bill
            ___________________________
            William Arnal
            Department of Religion
            University of Manitoba

            "Well, I can see I'm not in Paris"
            -- Ernest Hemingway, on landing in Winnipeg



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          • David C. Hindley
            ... I guess I was questioning the literary or theological priority that you put on the shared word interest over socio-economic factors that might explain
            Message 5 of 25 , Mar 8, 2002
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              Bill Arnal asks, quizzically:

              >>I'm still not sure what your question is!<<

              I guess I was questioning the literary or theological
              priority that you put on the shared word "interest" over
              socio-economic factors that might explain two apparently
              contradictory statements about lending money. Your heart of
              your interest in Thomas apparently has more to do with the
              finished product rather than the origin of its source(s).
              The latter is where my interest lies.

              My comments about peasant economy were to suggest that quite
              a few sayings/parables in Thomas have such a setting in
              mind. The implication, which I did not state but was
              alluding to, is that the sayings/parables (whatever their
              origin) drawn upon by the author(s) and/or editors of Thomas
              may have alluded to a wide range of situations. However, the
              way that the author(s) and/or editors of Thomas chose to
              associate them (by pairing them in order to emphasize
              oppositions based upon keywords like "interest") may, then,
              be secondary to their origins.

              >>Neither saying, however, specifies to WHOM the
              interest-bearing loans are given, a critical datum, and one
              that clearly cannot be taken for granted, if one wishes to
              read the sayings as you've suggested. Indeed, in neither
              case is the motif of "interest" required by the story, or by
              the story's basic point: in the first, you can just say,
              give without expecting to receive; and in the second, you
              can just say, and the man had lots of money, and (e.g.)
              engaged in commerce, or some such thing. Which suggests to
              me that the "interest" here is important and central to the
              author, since its appearance is not just dictated by the
              structure of the stories themselves.<<

              You reasoned that since there are no overt statements in
              these sayings about the context of the lending activity,
              then such contexts "cannot be taken for granted." I would
              disagree. Few statements, especially if they are trying to
              make a rhetorical point, expressly state all their premises.
              The author/speaker often intends for context to be assumed
              by the reader/hearer's imagination, so as to get them
              personally involved in the conclusion (as in the enthymeme).

              The use to which such sayings were put by a later author,
              such as the author of Thomas, may deliberately (and I would
              think probably did, in this case) ignore or modify those
              original contexts, if only to make a new, and different,
              point.

              Since you have apparently invested a large amount of time
              and resources reading on the subject of peasant economy (and
              I agree with almost everything you said in _Jesus and the
              Village Scribes_), I had hoped you would have a greater
              appreciation for the implied circumstances of some of these
              sayings. Or do they only help us understand why and how
              Galilean village scribes preserved sayings traditions, such
              as Q?

              I do not think that it is an uncritical assumption to
              understand GoT 95 as a critique of Jewish landowners or
              government retainers who lend to fellow Jews at interest (a
              practice that the literary and papyri evidence clearly shows
              was happening in the 1st century CE) which by extension
              means the saying was suggesting that such people lend money
              at interest to Gentiles (a practice also known from literary
              evidence), and understand GoT 109 to be a representation of
              the joy someone might feel to be unexpectedly released from
              a subsistence existence (specifically, as a freeholding
              peasant farming a family plot) to the much more secure
              position of a wealthy man with money to lend to Gentiles.

              The message of these two sayings seems to have been an
              examination of just who was one's brother was supposed to be
              and how one treated him: Charity voluntarily extended to
              fellow-Jews vs economic exploitation extended to Gentiles.
              It clearly suggests a reversal of normal roles between Jews
              and Gentiles. Perhaps this is not, today, a politically
              correct position for the original author(s) of these sayings
              to have had, but it does appear to me to be what he/they was
              thinking.

              Respectfully,

              Dave Hindley
              Cleveland, Ohio, USA
            • Jim Bauer
              I was just digging around in Strong s exhaustive concordance trying to find a line of scripture which I think relevant to this discussion. It was the line,
              Message 6 of 25 , Mar 8, 2002
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                I was just digging around in Strong's exhaustive concordance trying to find
                a line of scripture which I think relevant to this discussion. It was the
                line, spoken to Peter(?), "Go, sell all that you have and come follow me."
                The idea is that encouraging people to give away their money and join a
                group led by a wandering itinerant wisdom teacher may be part of some
                general ascetic slant on the part of the authors of Thomas. I didn't find
                the passage I wanted but instead found the following. Matthew 13:44, which
                parallels Thomas very strikingly:
                "The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found
                and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys
                that field."

                The material here is recognizably similar to the version in Thomas, but
                Thomas seems more complete, more complex, adds more detail. One argument
                often made about Thomas as a possible source of original sayings/historical
                Jesus material for the Bible is that the canonical ones seem to have been
                fleshed out, that Thomas is more primitive. Yet in this case it seems like
                the opposite happened and loss of components has actually made it more
                adaptive to its audience. As in Matthew 13:52, it seems a mixture of "what
                is new and old". Ideas only survive if they are selected-for, so possibly
                the saying had to be pared down to make it acceptable to a Gentile audience,
                which in turn allowed it to survive as a creed (Christianity) and not a cult
                (Gnosticism and related ideas).

                (45) continues with a similar theme:

                "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a man in search of fine pearls, who,
                on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and
                bought it."

                I am particularly impressed between the resemblance's here between this
                scripture and the Gnostic "The Hymn of the Pearl". I am not well acquainted
                enough with this particular scripture to objectively comment on this
                particular bit of speculation.

                #47 repeats a theme from Thomas--a net being cast into the sea by a wise
                fisherman--but at a different location in the text. In Thomas this
                particular parable, #8, is removed from the two sayings, #95 and #109, which
                were originally being discussed here. In this case it does seem to resemble
                the idea that Thomas was put together somewhat randomly, or perhaps that the
                author of Matthew deliberately chose to cluster these sayings purely as a
                literary device.

                Jim Bauer
              • William Arnal
                ... Okay, I ve got it now. What I d say in response is this: at the very least, my comments on the interest mtoif were focused on Thomas as a finished
                Message 7 of 25 , Mar 8, 2002
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                  David Hindley wrote:

                  >I guess I was questioning the literary or theological
                  >priority that you put on the shared word "interest" over
                  >socio-economic factors that might explain two apparently
                  >contradictory statements about lending money. Your heart of
                  >your interest in Thomas apparently has more to do with the
                  >finished product rather than the origin of its source(s).
                  >The latter is where my interest lies.

                  Okay, I've got it now. What I'd say in response is this: at the very least,
                  my comments on the "interest" mtoif were focused on Thomas as a finished
                  product, and were made without prejudice to the earlier significance,
                  sources, context, etc. of these two sayings. I am not UNinterested in the
                  question of the origin of Thomas' sources; I just wasn't addressing that in
                  my comments.

                  >My comments about peasant economy were to suggest that quite
                  >a few sayings/parables in Thomas have such a setting in
                  >mind. The implication, which I did not state but was
                  >alluding to, is that the sayings/parables (whatever their
                  >origin) drawn upon by the author(s) and/or editors of Thomas
                  >may have alluded to a wide range of situations. However, the

                  Yes, I have no problem with this.

                  >way that the author(s) and/or editors of Thomas chose to
                  >associate them (by pairing them in order to emphasize
                  >oppositions based upon keywords like "interest") may, then,
                  >be secondary to their origins.

                  Again, I completely agree. In fact, I might be inclined to state this even
                  more emphatically: what the author/editor did with these sayings is PROBABLY
                  secondary to their origins, and probably recasts this import considerably.

                  >You reasoned that since there are no overt statements in
                  >these sayings about the context of the lending activity,
                  >then such contexts "cannot be taken for granted." I would
                  >disagree. Few statements, especially if they are trying to
                  >make a rhetorical point, expressly state all their premises.
                  >The author/speaker often intends for context to be assumed
                  >by the reader/hearer's imagination, so as to get them
                  >personally involved in the conclusion (as in the enthymeme).

                  Fair enough, though I'm not sure how well this observation applies in this
                  case. Again, I was talking about the import of the sayings IN THOMAS, and
                  not their original point. I would think that UNLESS the wording and context
                  really make a particular external but supposedly implicit interpretive move
                  "natural" (e.g., if there were much talk about Jew-Gentile distinctions in
                  Thomas; and if the sayings in question more flatly contradicted each other
                  [as in, "Jesus said, do not lend moeny at interest" and "Jesus said, lend
                  money at interest"]; etc.), it's most safe to avoid invoking such a thing
                  FOR THE TEXT IN QUESTION (I'm not shouting, just underlining). I don't know
                  if that's very clear.

                  >The use to which such sayings were put by a later author,
                  >such as the author of Thomas, may deliberately (and I would
                  >think probably did, in this case) ignore or modify those
                  >original contexts, if only to make a new, and different,
                  >point.

                  Yes, again. I think our "disagreement" here is really just a function of my
                  having originally misunderstood your point.

                  >Since you have apparently invested a large amount of time
                  >and resources reading on the subject of peasant economy (and
                  >I agree with almost everything you said in _Jesus and the
                  >Village Scribes_), I had hoped you would have a greater
                  >appreciation for the implied circumstances of some of these
                  >sayings.

                  Ouch! But the problem here is that I can't for the life of me really figure
                  out what the context of Thomas -- as a text! -- might be. I assume that the
                  sayings that appear in Thomas (at least the ones the author didn't compose
                  himself) do derive from a Galilean, peasant, rural context. But I'm not at
                  all confident that Thomas as a document SHARES that context. Maybe so, maybe
                  not. Even if it does, the text strikes me as having such a "spiritualizing"
                  religiosity as to make the links between its theology and context
                  extraordinarily difficult to make out. To put this as sharply as possible: I
                  think Thomas can indeed tell us a great deal about peasant ideology and
                  context; but I do not think (or at least, have yet to be convinced) that
                  peasant ideology and context can tell us a lot about Thomas (in its final
                  form)!

                  >The message of these two sayings seems to have been an
                  >examination of just who was one's brother was supposed to be
                  >and how one treated him: Charity voluntarily extended to
                  >fellow-Jews vs economic exploitation extended to Gentiles.
                  >It clearly suggests a reversal of normal roles between Jews
                  >and Gentiles. Perhaps this is not, today, a politically
                  >correct position for the original author(s) of these sayings
                  >to have had, but it does appear to me to be what he/they was
                  >thinking.

                  As I say, I have no difficulty with this interpretation as it applies to the
                  "original" context of the individual sayings. But for me to be convinced
                  that it applies to Thomas, as a literary work, I would want to see some
                  evidence that Thomas assumes and cares about the Jew-Gentile distinction.

                  Bill
                  ___________________________
                  William Arnal
                  Department of Religion
                  University of Manitoba

                  "Well, I can see I'm not in Paris"
                  -- Ernest Hemingway, on landing in Winnipeg



                  _________________________________________________________________
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                • mwgrondin
                  ... But Dave, the person who finds the treasure in Th109, and who then proceeds to lend money at interest, is not the one who originally owned the family plot,
                  Message 8 of 25 , Mar 10, 2002
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                    --- Dave Hindley wrote:
                    > I do not think that it is an uncritical assumption to
                    > understand ... GoT 109 to be a representation of
                    > the joy someone might feel to be unexpectedly released from
                    > a subsistence existence (specifically, as a freeholding
                    > peasant farming a family plot) to the much more secure
                    > position of a wealthy man with money to lend to Gentiles.

                    But Dave, the person who finds the treasure in Th109, and who then
                    proceeds to lend money at interest, is not the one who originally
                    owned the family plot, and evidently is not a peasant. For all we
                    know, this buyer might have been a Gentile.

                    Regards,
                    Mike
                  • David C. Hindley
                    ... who then proceeds to lend money at interest, is not the one who originally owned the family plot, and evidently is not a peasant. For all we know, this
                    Message 9 of 25 , Mar 10, 2002
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                      Mike Grondin says:

                      >>But Dave, the person who finds the treasure in Th109, and
                      who then proceeds to lend money at interest, is not the one
                      who originally owned the family plot, and evidently is not a
                      peasant. For all we know, this buyer might have been a
                      Gentile.<<

                      You are right that I assumed the ethnicity of the subject of
                      the story was a Jew. In a way, you have uncovered a problem
                      in my way of interpretation of these sayings. Ironically, it
                      is the same problem I complained that others were doing.
                      <oops!>

                      I am not sure I understand what you mean when you say the
                      man who finds the treasure was "not a peasant."

                      109) Jesus said, "The Kingdom is like a man who had a
                      [hidden] treasure in his field without knowing it. And
                      [after] he died, he left it to his son. The son did not know
                      (about the treasure). *He inherited the field and sold
                      [it].* And the one who bought it went plowing and found the
                      treasure. He *began* to lend money at interest to whomever
                      he wished."

                      First, the son who inherited the field went on to sell it.
                      Generally, in this period (1st century CE) peasants had a
                      propensity to sell land and elites to buy or otherwise
                      acquire control over it. That tells me that the seller (the
                      inheriting son) was likely not himself an elite/wealthy
                      landowner, although still a freeholder. Where his father's
                      treasure came from is a puzzle. It would seem that the son
                      was not as affluent as the father was.

                      Using what we do know about the economics of that time (and
                      I am basing this on what I am currently reading, David A.
                      Fiensy, _The Social History of Palestine in the Herodian
                      Period_, 1991, and Jack Pastor, _Land and Economy in Ancient
                      Palestine_, 1997) I reconstruct the following scenario:

                      The father, facing confiscation of his good land, tries to
                      hedge his future prospects by hiding money in the poor lands
                      he expected to retain (possibly part of ancestral lands),
                      but ultimately did not survive the transition, never having
                      the chance of telling his son about the treasure. Loss of
                      status by an elite family often accompanied changes in
                      government. The best land was often confiscated from the
                      retainers of the former rulers and turned into royal
                      estates.

                      Another possibility is that the father acquired the treasure
                      by brigandage, and was thus himself a poor peasant who had
                      nothing but crappy land to farm. He is caught and executed
                      before telling his son what he secreted.

                      That the buyer discovers it when the inheriting son did not
                      suggests that he discovered it while trying to plough/work
                      the land. This would imply that the inheriting son did not
                      do so, or he would likely have found his father's treasure
                      himself. This in turn suggests that the son was not used to
                      working poor land, so I am inclined to think his father was
                      a dispossessed elite of an old order. The inheriting son,
                      then, unaware of the treasure his father secreted, and
                      facing the prospect of farming poor land as a common
                      peasant, throws up his hands and gives up farming entirely,
                      likely moving to a town or city to become a retainer for the
                      elite classes, or worse.

                      That the buyer only begins to lend money at interest after
                      discovering the treasure suggests that he was also not
                      already an elite/wealthy landowner. But why would a peasant
                      buy crappy land? According to James C. Scott, peasants in SE
                      Asia will invest quite a lot of physical effort and capital
                      just to eke a little more productivity out of land and meet
                      family subsistence needs. This includes buying or leasing
                      additional sub-par land that requires more intense farming
                      effort than the other land he already owns or leases. Scott
                      notes that the less land a family owns, the more they are
                      willing to pay for more. [_The Moral Economy of the
                      Peasant_, 1976, pg. 13-14] If there is any correspondence
                      between these cultures, the inheriting son saw a good
                      opportunity to unload the land, and ran with it.

                      But to get back to your other point, yes these could well
                      have been Gentiles. I guess that the nationality of the
                      subjects of the stories hinges on where these stories
                      originated (e.g., from the Jesus movement in rural Galilee,
                      as many seem to think, or maybe borrowed for rhetorical
                      purposes from oral/written lore of Gentile origin, as I
                      think). It also hinges on how the author or editors of
                      Thomas intended these stories to be understood by the
                      readers and hearers of the book, and here I would think that
                      he intended the stories to be understood in a Jewish
                      context, which also presumes that the readers & hearers
                      would have a minimal awareness of Jewish land tenancy
                      practices.

                      Respectfully,

                      Dave Hindley
                      Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                    • mwgrondin
                      ... Well, I said that he was _evidently_ not a peasant, since he had money to buy the land. The price of the land, however, was evidently not nearly as great
                      Message 10 of 25 , Mar 10, 2002
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                        --- Dave Hindley wrote:
                        > I am not sure I understand what you mean when you say the
                        > man who finds the treasure was "not a peasant."

                        Well, I said that he was _evidently_ not a peasant, since
                        he had money to buy the land. The price of the land, however,
                        was evidently not nearly as great as the value of the treasure.

                        > The father, facing confiscation of his good land, tries to
                        > hedge his future prospects by hiding money in the poor lands
                        > he expected to retain (possibly part of ancestral lands),
                        > but ultimately did not survive the transition, never having
                        > the chance of telling his son about the treasure. ...
                        > Another possibility is that the father acquired the treasure
                        > by brigandage, and was thus himself a poor peasant who had
                        > nothing but crappy land to farm. He is caught and executed
                        > before telling his son what he secreted.

                        But Dave, you're forgetting that the father _didn't know_ about
                        the treasure! Looks like you'll have to redo this part of your
                        elaborate construction. I'd say you're right, however, about
                        the nature of the land, the Coptic word suggesting wilderness or
                        undeveloped land, as in Th78 ("Why did you come out into the
                        field?") and Th21 ("[My disciples] are like little children
                        dwelling in a field that isn't theirs.") The problem with the
                        word 'field' is that it's an open question whether it would be
                        developed or undeveloped, whereas the Coptic word and the Greek
                        underlying it apparently could only have meant undeveloped land
                        (hence when the buyer in Th109 "comes plowing", he's doing
                        something that the original owners hadn't done to that piece
                        of land). In simplistic terms, I think the moral of the story
                        isn't "Don't sell your land", but rather "Use the land you got."

                        M.
                      • tsgnosis
                        Hi Dave, This, to me, is the danger of taking too intellectual an approach to the Gospel of Thomas. According to the logion, the father did not know he had a
                        Message 11 of 25 , Mar 10, 2002
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                          Hi Dave,

                          This, to me, is the danger of taking too intellectual an approach to
                          the Gospel of Thomas. According to the logion, the father did not
                          know he had a treasure, so he couldn't have hidden it himself.

                          This logion seems to speak more of the treasure hidden within all of
                          us. When we go 'plowing' within, we find the treasure to which this
                          logion refers. Unfortunately, neither the father nor the son made the
                          effort.

                          Mike's translation from the Coptic actually says the person who
                          bought the land "Did he begin to give money (at interest) to those he
                          loves." This seems reasonable enough, that he would share the wealth,
                          since we have a fine example of this in Jesus. What I'm curious about
                          is the (at interest). Mike, could you shed some light on this?

                          Laura
                        • David C. Hindley
                          ... about the treasure! Looks like you ll have to redo this part of your elaborate construction. I was concentrating on the fact that
                          Message 12 of 25 , Mar 11, 2002
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                            Mike Grondin notes:

                            >>But Dave, you're forgetting that the father _didn't know_
                            about the treasure! Looks like you'll have to redo this part
                            of your elaborate construction.<<

                            Details, details! <g>

                            I was concentrating on the fact that the text *also* says
                            that the son knew nothing of the treasure. Why did the
                            author repeat that the father and the son both did not know
                            of it? It still seems as if the story is meant to form a
                            neat contrast: wealth to poverty to wealth.

                            The delay in response was due to my feeble attempt to try
                            and look at the Coptic, but I have "two" many distractions
                            competing for my attention (ages 9 & 2).

                            I noticed the word forms in your interlinear sounded funny:

                            The-kingdom * she-is-comparable * to-a-man * who-had-he *
                            [t]here * in *his-field * a-treasure * hid[ing] * [he-bein]g
                            * not-knowing * about him

                            I take it "she" is the field and "he" is the treasure.
                            "Hidden" is partly conjectural (unless it is the only
                            possible word that fits). The word you translate
                            "not-knowing" is in the word index, with the meaning "to
                            know (obj)".

                            I am still curious whether the statement that is usually
                            translated "without knowing it" could be also rendered
                            something like "without disclosing it." Is a meaning like
                            this possible, based upon your knowledge of Coptic?

                            Respectfully,

                            Dave Hindley
                            Cleveland, Ohio, USA

                            PS: John Moon pointed out, off list, that read the way it is
                            usually rendered, GoT 109 could be thought of as a lesson
                            about a heir who is unaware of the riches if his inheritance
                            and sells it, only to see another benefit from it's riches.
                            The "replacement theology" found in the canonical gospels
                            comes to mind, yet it does not seem that this was what the
                            editor of Thomas wanted to emphasize, as I cannot think of
                            any overtly anti-Jewish sayings in the entire book. Bill
                            Arnal, for his part, (seems to have) considered the emphasis
                            of 109 (when compared to 95) to be loan interest!
                          • William Arnal
                            ... Not at all. In fact I m not sure why you d say this. The saying *mentions* interest, and I noted that this (apparently) contradicts another saying in
                            Message 13 of 25 , Mar 12, 2002
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                              David Hindley wrote:

                              >any overtly anti-Jewish sayings in the entire book. Bill
                              >Arnal, for his part, (seems to have) considered the emphasis
                              >of 109 (when compared to 95) to be loan interest!

                              Not at all. In fact I'm not sure why you'd say this. The saying *mentions*
                              interest, and I noted that this (apparently) contradicts another saying in
                              valuation of interest. That's all. It doesn't mean that I think that
                              interest is the central point of this saying.

                              Bill
                              ___________________________
                              William Arnal
                              Department of Religion
                              University of Manitoba

                              "Well, I can see I'm not in Paris"
                              -- Ernest Hemingway, on landing in Winnipeg



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                            • Grondin
                              ... I assume that the author wanted to make it clear to the reader that the son was ignorant also. But as to why the story requires both father and son, I
                              Message 14 of 25 , Mar 12, 2002
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                                Dave Hindley writes:
                                > I was concentrating on the fact that the text *also* says
                                > that the son knew nothing of the treasure. Why did the
                                > author repeat that the father and the son both did not know
                                > of it?

                                I assume that the author wanted to make it clear to the reader that the son
                                was ignorant also. But as to why the story requires both father and son, I
                                don't know. Seems to me that it must be of some importance, but what?

                                > I noticed the word forms in your interlinear sounded funny:

                                > The-kingdom * she-is-comparable * to-a-man * who-had-he *
                                > [t]here * in *his-field * a-treasure * hid[ing] * [he-bein]g
                                > * not-knowing * about him
                                >
                                > I take it "she" is the field and "he" is the treasure.
                                > "Hidden" is partly conjectural (unless it is the only
                                > possible word that fits). The word you translate
                                > "not-knowing" is in the word index, with the meaning "to
                                > know (obj)".

                                The root word in the verbal phrase means 'to know' (or 'to be aware of'),
                                but the prefix 'NAT' is a negation, transforming it into its opposite 'to be
                                ignorant of', lit., 'to not know'.

                                > I am still curious whether the statement that is usually
                                > translated "without knowing it" could be also rendered
                                > something like "without disclosing it." Is a meaning like
                                > this possible, based upon your knowledge of Coptic?

                                Not that I'm aware of.

                                Regards,
                                Mike
                              • dchindley
                                ... *mentions* interest, and I noted that this (apparently) contradicts another saying in valuation of interest. That s all. It doesn t mean that I think that
                                Message 15 of 25 , Mar 13, 2002
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                                  --- In gthomas@y..., "William Arnal" <warnal@h...> wrote:

                                  >>Not at all. In fact I'm not sure why you'd say this. The saying
                                  *mentions* interest, and I noted that this (apparently) contradicts
                                  another saying in valuation of interest. That's all. It doesn't mean
                                  that I think that interest is the central point of this saying.<<

                                  Sorry, I did not mean to impute an idea to you.

                                  Out of curiosity, could you provide a brief summary of the criteria
                                  you used to base your published (1995?) analytical breakout of GoT
                                  mentioned in earlier posts? I have not yet had a chance to find a
                                  copy of the journal it is in, but am interested in what would have
                                  been written there.

                                  Thanks!

                                  Dave Hindley
                                  Cleveland, OH (USA)
                                • Rick Hubbard
                                  [Dave asked:] Out of curiosity, could you provide a brief summary of the criteria you used to base your published (1995?) analytical breakout of GoT mentioned
                                  Message 16 of 25 , Mar 14, 2002
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                                    [Dave asked:]

                                    Out of curiosity, could you provide a brief summary of the criteria
                                    you used to base your published (1995?) analytical breakout of GoT
                                    mentioned in earlier posts?

                                    I did my best to try to summarize Bill's article last summer. Although there
                                    is always the danger that I have missed something altogether, or that I have
                                    mis-stated Bill's position, the "breakout" of the strata is close to
                                    accurate (at least). Here's the link:
                                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/message/3998

                                    Rick Hubbard
                                    Humble Maine Woodsman
                                  • William Arnal
                                    ... Thanks for this, Rick. I wasn t able to reply to Dave s original message yet because any copies of the article I have are back at the office, and I m at
                                    Message 17 of 25 , Mar 14, 2002
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                                      Hey all:

                                      >[Dave asked:]
                                      >
                                      >Out of curiosity, could you provide a brief summary of the criteria
                                      >you used to base your published (1995?) analytical breakout of GoT
                                      >mentioned in earlier posts?
                                      >
                                      >[and Rick replied]
                                      >
                                      >I did my best to try to summarize Bill's article last summer. Although
                                      > >there
                                      >is always the danger that I have missed something altogether, or that >I
                                      >have
                                      >mis-stated Bill's position, the "breakout" of the strata is close to
                                      >accurate (at least). Here's the link:
                                      >http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/message/3998

                                      Thanks for this, Rick. I wasn't able to reply to Dave's original message yet
                                      because any copies of the article I have are back at the office, and I'm at
                                      home today. But this saves me the necessity of a (belated) reply.

                                      Bill
                                      ___________________________
                                      William Arnal
                                      Department of Religion
                                      University of Manitoba

                                      "Well, I can see I'm not in Paris"
                                      -- Ernest Hemingway, on landing in Winnipeg



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                                    • David C. Hindley
                                      ... summer. Although there is always the danger that I have missed something altogether, or that I have mis-stated Bill s position, the breakout of the
                                      Message 18 of 25 , Mar 14, 2002
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                                        Rick Hubbard said:

                                        >>I did my best to try to summarize Bill's article last
                                        summer. Although there is always the danger that I have
                                        missed something altogether, or that I have mis-stated
                                        Bill's position, the "breakout" of the strata is close to
                                        accurate (at least). Here's the link:
                                        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/message/3998 <<

                                        I must have missed this one! Well, at least I now have
                                        something to do over the weekend. Still have to find the
                                        article, though.

                                        Thanks again!

                                        Respectfully,

                                        Dave Hindley
                                        Cleveland, Ohio, USA
                                      • Michael Mozina
                                        ... sayings must or should go back to Jesus? No, like you and like Kloppenborg, I can t see Thomas as testimony to the historical Jesus -- it, like the
                                        Message 19 of 25 , Jun 19 11:32 AM
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                                          William Arnal Wrote on 3/08/02:

                                          >>We might be talking past each other again. Did I seem to imply that Thomas
                                          sayings must or should go back to Jesus? No, like you and like Kloppenborg,
                                          I can't see Thomas as testimony to the historical Jesus -- it, like the
                                          canonicals, is a theological-literary production, I assume.

                                          I'm at work at the moment, and I can't seem to locate your posts about the
                                          oral traditions of Thomas. I'll look again at home for these posts since I
                                          am very curious about your analysis of this issue.

                                          I did however run across this comment of yours about the origins of Thomas,
                                          and I'm curious if you wouldn't mind giving me me a short explanation of
                                          *WHY* you can't see this as a testimony to the historical Jesus, and instead
                                          "assume" it's a theological-literary production. From my vantange point,
                                          Thomas seems very randomly slapped together and I don't see much of an
                                          underlying "production" to it. The randomness of these sayings, as opposed
                                          to grouped "themes", seems to lend credence to the notion that these were
                                          recorded at different times as the author happened to pen them down, rather
                                          than this list representing a well thought out "production" per se.

                                          [Michael Mozina]
                                          [sig added by ed. Contributors should sign messages.]
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