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RE: [GTh] was the Tnomas commujnity a religion of the book?

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  • David C. Hindley
    ... was put forth that the treasure was a bible . I sincerely doubt that as, at least IMO, the bible did not exist at that time. However, there are
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 23, 2002
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      Jim Bauer reflects:

      >>Awhile back, in the discussion of #95 and #109, the idea
      was put forth that the "treasure" was "a bible". I
      sincerely doubt that as, at least IMO, the bible did not
      exist at that time. However, there are without a doubt
      "religions of the book" where the book--Torah (OT), Bible
      (including NT), or Quran--has attained some sort of
      semi-divine status in its own right. As I understand it,
      the Quran is technically not even translatable; it must be
      read in the original tongue. Although the opening section
      of Thomas states, "whoever experiences the meaning of these
      words will not experience death" it doesn't strike me as
      that this asserts that Thomas is a religion of the book,
      rather, I get the impression that the exact opposite is the
      truth--like the Gnostic scriptures the book is only there
      for the people who need it and the enlightened man is free
      to abandon it.

      I'd like to know how some of the other list members feel
      about this.<<

      When I first read Dave Stanforth's post I sort of dismissed
      it, but the way you restated it above causes me to rethink.

      A while back, in a discussion about a pair of related
      sayings (55 & 101) in GoT and their relationships to sayings
      in the synoptics, I had suggested that the GoT appeared to
      be loose commentaries built upon lone sayings from one of
      the gospels.

      For instance, Got 55/101:

      GOT 55 Jesus said, "Whoever does not 'hate his father and
      his mother' [Luk 14:26] cannot become a disciple to Me [a
      paraphrase of 'deny himself' in Mar 8:37; Mat 16:24; Luk
      9:23?]. And whoever does not 'hate his brothers and sisters'
      [Luk 14:26] and 'take up his cross' [Mar 8:37; Mat 10:37,
      16:24; Luk 9:23] in My way will 'not be worthy of Me.' [Mat

      The "seed" citation was apparently from the tradition of
      Luke 14:26 (outside of GoT "hate" is unique to Luke) with a
      dabble of commentary about becoming a disciple to Jesus
      paraphrased, I think, from the same tradition as Luke 9:23's
      "deny himself," (although it could also have come from the
      same tradition as used by Matthew or Mark). Yet he seemed to
      be aware of Mat 10:38 ("not worthy of me"). So far, GoT 55
      could be seen as building on pericopes in Luk by adding
      commentary from Matthew.

      GOT 101 <Jesus said,> "Whoever does not 'hate his father and
      his mother' [Luk 14:26] as I do 'cannot become a disciple to
      Me' [apparently picking up this phrase from GoT 55]. And
      whoever does [not] 'love his father and his mother' [Mat
      10:37] 'as I do' [also apparently picking up this phrase
      from GoT 55] 'cannot become a [disciple] to Me' [ditto]. For
      My mother [gave me falsehood], but [My] true [Mother] gave
      me life."

      Saying 101 actually builds upon 55 by utilizing 55's
      "disciple" paraphrase and replacing 55's use of the
      tradition of Matt 10:38 with 55's interpretative gloss "in
      My way," yet still adds a comment derived from the tradition
      of Mat 10:37. It ends with an interpretative conclusion,
      that appears to be similar to Dave Stanforth's idea that Got
      109 intended to show that the "field" (scripture) has a
      "treasure" (wisdom) buried in it that the keepers of the
      scriptures did not perceive, but which was worked out by
      others who inherited the tradition.

      In short, the GoT may operate on the philosophy that the
      traditional Christian sacred tradition, while apparently
      unproductive (to them) on the surface, still contains
      treasures for the perceptive interpreter. The mechanism for
      finding these treasures seems to be through a process of
      conflating bits of different versions of sayings traditions
      together in order to create entirely new meanings from them.


      Dave Hindley
      Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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