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Re: [GTh] GTh and Counter Culture

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  • Jim Bauer
    ... My comment: The problem I have with this is that there were a few hundred years in between the earliest Greek fragments of Thomas and the final Coptic
    Message 1 of 29 , Apr 18, 2002
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      Rick says in the following post:

      > What we have then, in the existing Coptic text of Thomas, is evidence of a
      > social ethos that was at odds with "the establishment" and its values.

      My comment: The problem I have with this is that there were a few hundred
      years in between the earliest Greek fragments of Thomas and the final Coptic
      document found at Nag Hammadi. In short, there was no one thing at the
      times of compilation which could be called "the" counter-culture. The
      Greek originals were probably also derived in turn from earlier, highly
      fragmented, Aramaic originals in the form of notes on Jesus' sermons and
      other "sayings" which the compilers of Thomas collected. During this long
      time-span there was probably no one thing which could be called
      "counter-cultural".

      Consider the counter-cultural "hippies" of the 60s. In fact, Timothy Leary
      originated the term as far as I know. In the last book he wrote before he
      died, _Chaos and Cyber-Culture" argues (fairly lucidly for someone who's
      done acid 1,000 times) that the student protestors in China's Tien en Mein
      (sp?) square were a continuation of the counter-culture of the 60s.

      Were they?

      I've made quite a few on-line friends in China and they've never even heard
      of the hippies. ISTM that there could have been no direct cultural
      propagation of "counter-cultural" ideas between China's student protesters
      and the group which Tim inaugurated. Also, much of the 60s counter-culture
      revolved around doing mass quantities of psychedelic drugs, and it's very
      sad to say this, but the drug scene has degenerated from seeking mystical
      experiences (whether real or imaginary) into a bunch of crack heads
      destroying their brains with drugs worse than LSD and the dope dealers who
      support their habits by getting them addicted.

      > Patterson postulates that the connection between this anti-establishment
      > mentality and what is conventionally described as "Gnosticism" with this
      > statement: "Gnosticism provided the framework in which the social protest
      of
      > leaving family and village behind could be re-imagined in theological
      terms.

      My comment: Reimagining things in theological terms was done by nearly all,
      if not all, theological groups at that time, whether Gnostic or orthodox.
      Also, I don't think that during the epoch Jesus himself lived there was a
      dualism between these two and that he probably heard thoughts from both
      sides, as did the authors of Thomas. It also seems possible that leaving
      family and friends is not at all uncommon in ascetic practice of many
      different cultures, and not all these can be called "counter-cultural".

      > In my opinion, Patterson has correctly observed that Coptic GTh represents
      > the views of a group of people (but not necessarily a "community") who
      have
      > abandoned the dominant social order.

      My comment: I'm not quite sure what you mean by stating that "the group of
      people who have abandoned the dominant social order" is not a "community".
      As far as I know, a community is simply a group of people who share common
      characteristics, whether in physical location (rural, town, city, country
      &c), similar spiritual ideas (pagan, Christian, Muslim &c) and share many,
      more types of other characteristics. In short, a community can be made of
      virtually any set of similarities as long as they have something in common.
      ISTM that you'd _have_ to call the early composers of Thomas "a community"
      no matter how close or disparate it was.

      Jim Bauer
    • fmmccoy
      ... From: Jim Bauer To: Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2002 10:46 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] GTh and Counter Culture ...
      Message 2 of 29 , Apr 19, 2002
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Jim Bauer" <jbauer@...>
        To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2002 10:46 PM
        Subject: Re: [GTh] GTh and Counter Culture


        > Frank McCoy, after he stated that there were few conspicuous elements of
        > Gnostic thought in GThom,

        Jim Bauer:

        To clarify, the above is not my position--for I am *not* absolutely
        convinced that there is even one element of Gnostic thought in GThomas, much
        less a few conspicuous elements of Gnostic thought in GThomas.

        To repeat what I said in the previous post, this is my position, "I guess
        that what I'm saying is that we face a chicken and egg
        problem--which came first, Gnosticism or the thought we find in GThomas?
        Until I see firm evidence that Gnosticism came first, I cannot accept the
        notion that there are undeniable elements of Gnostic thought in GThomas."

        Frank McCoy
        1809 N. English Apt 17
        Maplewood, MN USA 55109
      • Michael Everson
        ... I would like to suggest that wisdom is, well, wisdom, and would like to ask whether the Wisdom tradition capitalized the noun or not. Wisdom is the
        Message 3 of 29 , Apr 20, 2002
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          At 05:10 -0600 2002-04-19, Lance Owens wrote:
          >An excellent summary of the Wisdom connection of GTh from Frank
          >McCoy. I agree with the thesis.
          >
          >Next question: What is "Wisdom"? The Wisdom tradition praises it,
          >but never explicates it.

          I would like to suggest that wisdom is, well, wisdom, and would like
          to ask whether the "Wisdom tradition" capitalized the noun or not.

          Wisdom is the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good
          judgement; the quality of being wise. (The Oxford New Dictionary of
          English, 2001)

          If a definition like that doesn't satisfy, then don't use the word
          "wisdom". Use one of the native terms. Or look at the Sanskrit
          tradition, where these concepts always have equivalents.
          --
          Michael Everson *** Everson Typography *** http://www.evertype.com
        • fmmccoy
          ... From: Ron McCann To: Sent: Friday, April 19, 2002 4:53 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] GTh and Counter Culture
          Message 4 of 29 , Apr 20, 2002
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Ron McCann" <ronmccann1@...>
            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Friday, April 19, 2002 4:53 PM
            Subject: Re: [GTh] GTh and Counter Culture


            (snip)

            > I am quite convinced, now, that Thomas underwent a major revision circa AD
            > 90 during which a lot of Philo's ideas were incorporated. I am beginning
            to
            > think this took place in Alexandria where Philo's ideas may then have been
            > coin-of-the-realm.
            >
            > I think Frank makes a good case for part of the Thomas material, although
            > clearly not all of it is grist for his mill. But it should not be
            dismissed
            > or taken lightly, in my view, even if his approach is not an "approved"
            > scholarly one.
            >
            > It seems to me we will all continue to "spin our wheels" here until we
            > "psyche-out" the theology or theologies of the groups that had a hand in
            the
            > creation/revision of Thomas, and this is a good start.
            > That post is a superb piece of exegesis based on Philo's notions. It
            yields
            > an uncanny "fit". Credit where credit is due.
            > Thank you Frank.
            >

            Ron McCann:

            You're welcome!

            Note, too, that, in that post, I also cited Ecclesiasticus and the Wisdom of
            Solomon. They were a part of the Septuagint bible used in Alexandria. So,
            that they might also have had an influence on some GThomas material is
            additional evidence that at least a part of the GThomas tradition is based
            on Alexandrian Judaism.

            If so, then the big question is over when and where the influence of
            Alexandrian Judaism first entered into the GThomas tradition.

            You are suggesting that this occurred roughly 90 CE in Alexandria.

            Where do you think that the GThomas community was located before 90CE?
            Also, what do you think was its thelogical perspective prior to it being
            influenced by Alexandrian Judaism?


            Frank McCoy
            1809 N. English Apt. 17
            Maplewood, MN USA 55109
          • Rick Hubbard
            [Frank Wrote;] I have difficulties accepting that there are undeniable elements from Gnosticism in GThomas. I fail to see in it, for example, the notion of
            Message 5 of 29 , Apr 21, 2002
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              [Frank Wrote;]
              I have difficulties accepting that there are undeniable elements from
              Gnosticism in GThomas. I fail to see in it, for example, the notion of the
              emanations of progressively inferior beings that is an integral element of
              classical Gnosticism. Again, I fail to see in it the notion that the Cosmos
              was created by an inferior being.

              This observation is entirely correct. There are none of the mentioned
              elements present in GTh. I doubt if anyone would argue to the contrary. The
              absence of a particular cosmology does not, however, mean that there is no
              evidence of gnostic sensitivities in the gospel.

              It would exceed the time and space available for me to cite every
              commentator who agrees that there is unmistakable evidence of gnostic
              proclivities in Thomas (and in fact, I'm not sure I could even provide an
              exhaustive list of *all* those who do). Perhaps it is sufficient to simply
              mention one of the more prominent scholars who have compiled what I believe
              is compelling evidence for gnostic tendencies in GTh.

              First on the list would of course be Stephen Patterson (The Gospel of Thomas
              and Jesus [Sonoma: Polebridge Press, 1993]). In my previous post I offered
              the following comment by Patterson:

              “Gnosticism provided the framework in which the social protest of leaving
              family and village behind could be re-imagined in theological terms. Within
              a gnostic framework, social radicalism [Patterson’s special technical term
              for counter-culturalism] could become something more that radical *askesis*
              designed to raise questions about the social world. …it has become a matter
              of identity and the basis of a claim to life.” [Patterson, 1993 200].

              The point Patterson is trying to make here, if I understand him correctly,
              is that the shift toward gnostic sensibilities grew out a new orientation to
              the world that resulted from the failure of social radicalism as an
              alternative way of living. This gave rise to a fundamentally anti-cosmic
              stance, but this stance did not, in itself, require adoption of the
              so-called "classical" gnostic cosmogony. Therefore, it seems tome, it is not
              unsurprising that evidence of this cosmogony is lacking in GTh.

              [snip]

              [Frank wrote:]
              I guess that what I'm saying is that we face a chicken and egg
              problem--which came first, Gnosticism or the thought we find in GThomas?
              Until I see firm evidence that Gnosticism came first, I cannot accept the
              notion that there are undeniable elements of Gnostic thought in GThomas.

              With respect to the final sentence above, I'll simply repeat what I said
              earlier. There is evidence, and there are sound arguments, that "undeniable
              elements of Gnostic thought" *are* present in GTh. Unless I see a convincing
              rebuttal to the arguments made by Patterson, and a through-going impeachment
              of the evidence he cites in those arguments, I will remain in disagreement
              with Frank's position. The question about which came first can easily be
              answered by a brief survey of recent research on Gnosis (Gnosis was *not*
              invented by Thomas and it borders on the absurd to even speculate that it
              was).

              It seems to me that one of the catalysts for misunderstanding and
              disagreement on this topic may be that the very definition of "Gnosticism"
              is misunderstood. The classic definition of Gnosticism may be found in Kurt
              Rudolph's _Gnosis_ [Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1984]. To be sure, a certain
              cosmogony is one of the characteristics of gnosticism (and that is, as I've
              conceded, missing from Thomas). Often overlooked (perhaps intentionally) by
              students of the history of the religions of the ancient Mediterranean basin
              is that Gnosticism is also a kind of "social protest." Rudolph observes,
              "...the social situation of the oppressed and exploited was not given much
              attention anywhere in antiquity. The utopian schemes put forward by many
              Greek literary men and philosophers like Zeno, Hecataeus, Euhermus, or
              Iambulus remained pure ideals and were without effect in practice. [to this
              list I believe should be added Philo]... the dependent classes, lacking in
              support because of their ideological isolation, were left to develop their
              own concepts...[Rudolph, 1984 292]. The development of alternatives to the
              mainstream culture (i.e., conventional values) "became means of expression
              of a social protest. Gnosis was without doubt the most radical voice in this
              circle." To my utter delight, Rudolf quotes Karl Marx in this regard, it is
              "'protest against the real misery'. Thus Gnosis can be largely understood as
              an ideology of the dependent petty bourgeoisie..." [idem, 292].

              With this in mind, Patterson's characterization of the connection between
              the counter-culturalism/social radicalism and gnosticism comes into sharper
              focus.

              Rick Hubbard
              Humble Maine Woodsman
            • BitsyCat1@aol.com
              In a message dated 04/21/2002 10:00:36AM, rhubbard@midmaine.com writes:
              Message 6 of 29 , Apr 21, 2002
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                In a message dated 04/21/2002 10:00:36AM, rhubbard@... writes:

                << Gnosticism provided the framework in which the social protest of leaving

                family and village behind could be re-imagined in theological terms. Within

                a gnostic framework, social radicalism [Patterson’s special technical term

                for counter-culturalism] could become something more that radical *askesis*

                designed to raise questions about the social world. …it has become a matter

                of identity and the basis of a claim to life.” [Patterson, 1993 200].


                The point Patterson is trying to make here, if I understand him correctly,

                is that the shift toward gnostic sensibilities grew out a new orientation to

                the world that resulted from the failure of social radicalism as an >>

                JOHN Moon< to which I make this inquiry and Point>?

                Not to Argue as it were with Paterson, but wouldn't a great deal of this
                statement also be true of the Essenes and the Qumran community.
                Didn't they also abandon family in search of a new religious radicalism and
                attempt social reform in the desert?
                What IM saying Is This. These conditions pre existed the writing of Thomas
                and possibly Y 'shua Bar Yosefs Ministry and Life.
                If we accept this as a definition then we must entertain a Jewish
                Gnosticism that pre exists The 30 CE Mark. This may be in fact true. I pose
                this as a question >
                Does this mean That Thomas is Gnostic or it grew out of a pre existing
                Jewish Gnostic Climate. The Product of A. Gnostic element already in Judaism?


                Regards John Moon
                Springfield, Tenn 37172
                johnmoon3717@...
              • Jacob Knee
                Dear Rick, Thanks for the thought provoking messages. It reminds me, in a way, of Valantasis work on Thomas. I m just wondering if you see any specific social
                Message 7 of 29 , Apr 21, 2002
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                  Dear Rick,

                  Thanks for the thought provoking messages. It reminds me, in a way, of
                  Valantasis work on Thomas.

                  I'm just wondering if you see any specific social location with respect to
                  which Thomas is counter cultural?

                  Best wishes,
                  Jacob Knee
                  (Cam, Gloucestershire)
                • Rick Hubbard
                  [Jacob wrote:] I m just wondering if you see any specific social location with respect to which Thomas is counter cultural? My apologies for the delay in
                  Message 8 of 29 , Apr 25, 2002
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                    [Jacob wrote:]
                    I'm just wondering if you see any specific social location with respect to
                    which Thomas is counter cultural?

                    My apologies for the delay in responding to this straight-forward question.
                    I've tried to be careful about my answer, but I'm less than certain that it
                    is fully satisfactory.


                    I'll begin with this general observation. Stephen Patterson's _Gospel of
                    Thomas and Jesus_ (Polebridge, 1993) offers a fairly through discussion of
                    the question of Thomas' social setting (esp. pp 163-170; 196-213). Patterson
                    seems to align himself (mostly) with Gerd Thiessen's proposition that the
                    earliest Jesus people were wandering itinerants who were fundamentally
                    un-rooted in society. Patterson suggests that, fairly early on, many of
                    these wanderers adopted a more sedentary life style that embraced the social
                    structures of settled communities. There were exceptions however; some
                    people seem to have continued to practice less sedentary modes of existence.
                    Thomas seems to reflect the ethos of the latter constituency. Patterson's
                    appraisal, at this level, is persuasive.

                    Nevertheless, the identity of the precise social location reflected in GTh
                    remains elusive. At best, we can only say that Thomas seems to exhibit low
                    esteem for certain conventional practices that one would ordinarily
                    associate with highly structured social settings (urban, perhaps?). In
                    particular, exploitative business and economic conventions are routinely
                    deprecated. The closing line of GTh 64, "Dealers and merchants [will] not
                    enter the places of my Father," is an explicit condemnation of commerce. The
                    description of the fate of the usurer's son, after the usurer "gave" a
                    vineyard to some farmers and then "taxed" the recipients, illustrates
                    Thomas' low regard for landlords. Conversely, on a positive note, the
                    victims of an oppressive economic system are praised and comforted in GTh
                    54, 68, 69 (Blessed are the poor..; Blessed are you when[ever] they hate
                    (and) persecute you...; Blessed are those who suffer from hunger so that the
                    belly of the one who wishes (it) will be satisfied." In a few words, Thomas
                    clearly seems to identify the privileged elite as antagonists.

                    Religion in general, and regulations about piety and purity in particular,
                    are unfavorably cast at various junctures in GTh. Logion 14 places on Jesus'
                    lips outright condemnations of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, "If you
                    fast, you will bring forth sin for yourselves. And if you pray you will be
                    condemned. And if you give alms, you will do harm to your spirits." The
                    same saying inverts traditional distinctions between pure and impure, For
                    what goes into your moth will not defile you. Rather, what comes out of your
                    mouth will defile you.". GTh 53 should also not be overlooked as evidence of
                    Thomas's rejection of conventional religious practices. When the disciples
                    inquire whether circumcision is beneficial, Jesus is made to say, "...if it
                    were beneficial, their father would beget them circumcised from their
                    mother..." Likewise the criticism of the Pharisees in GTh 39 should not go
                    un-noticed. "The Pharisees and the scribes have received the keys of
                    knowledge, (but) they have hidden them."

                    Thomas exhibits indisputable hostility toward both economic and religious
                    social institutions on the occasions cited above. While this hostility does
                    not represent an consistent "theme" in the gospel, its presence, in what is
                    presumably a heavily redacted document, suggests that the gospel's curators
                    sympathized with these counter cultural sentiments (or at least did not find
                    them sufficiently offensive to expunge them). Thomas' concerns therefore cut
                    across the grain of these social conventions, in particular. Patterson cites
                    other examples (121-170) which he summarizes with this statement:

                    "...Thomas Christianity was characterized by a socially radical ethos, which
                    included much time on the road, if not a thoroughly itinerant lifestyle
                    altogether, severance of family ties and responsibilities, a kind of willful
                    poverty which required the Thomas Christian to beg for food and shelter, a
                    relativizing of the codes of purity and the conventions of piety, including
                    prayer, fasting, and the giving of alms, a certain cynical attitude over
                    against the powers that be (emperors, kings and the like), a predilection
                    for minimal organization and openness to participation by women in the
                    group."




                    Rick Hubbard
                    Humble Maine Woodsman
                  • fmmccoy
                    ... From: Rick Hubbard To: Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2002 5:48 AM Subject: RE: [GTh] GTh and Counter
                    Message 9 of 29 , Apr 28, 2002
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                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Rick Hubbard" <rhubbard@...>
                      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2002 5:48 AM
                      Subject: RE: [GTh] GTh and Counter Culture


                      (snip)
                      >
                      > Nevertheless, the identity of the precise social location reflected in GTh
                      > remains elusive. At best, we can only say that Thomas seems to exhibit low
                      > esteem for certain conventional practices that one would ordinarily
                      > associate with highly structured social settings (urban, perhaps?). In
                      > particular, exploitative business and economic conventions are routinely
                      > deprecated. The closing line of GTh 64, "Dealers and merchants [will] not
                      > enter the places of my Father," is an explicit condemnation of commerce.

                      Rick Hubbard:

                      As I have mentioned in past posts, there are some indications that some of
                      the counter-cultural and/or unconventional aspects of GThomas thought might
                      have their roots in Therapeutism.

                      The closing line of GTh 64 might be another example of possible Therapeutic
                      influence on the GThomas community. The "dealers and merchants" of this
                      line, ISTM, are people who are seeking to make profits on their commercial
                      activities. As such, they are, in terms of Therapeutic thought, people
                      acting evily--for the Therapeutae believed profit-taking to be evil. So, in
                      Cont (66), Philo states, "They take their stand in a regular line in an
                      orderly way, their eyes and hands lifted up to Heaven, eyes because they
                      have been trained to fix their gaze on things worthy of contemplation,
                      *hands in token that they are clean from gain-taking and not defiled through
                      any cause of the profit-making kind."* (my emphasis) In a foot-note, the
                      translator, F.H Colson, states that the final phrase "any cause of the
                      profit-making kind" can perhaps be more loosely rendered as "anything that
                      might be regarded as a money-making enterprise."


                      >The
                      > description of the fate of the usurer's son, after the usurer "gave" a
                      > vineyard to some farmers and then "taxed" the recipients, illustrates
                      > Thomas' low regard for landlords. Conversely, on a positive note, the
                      > victims of an oppressive economic system are praised and comforted in GTh
                      > 54, 68, 69 (Blessed are the poor..; Blessed are you when[ever] they hate
                      > (and) persecute you...; Blessed are those who suffer from hunger so that
                      the
                      > belly of the one who wishes (it) will be satisfied." In a few words,
                      Thomas
                      > clearly seems to identify the privileged elite as antagonists.

                      Again, there might be a Therapeutic influence here. They believed that all
                      people should be equal and, so, were against the prevailing system where a
                      few economically exploited and politically subjugated the many. So,
                      according to Philo (Cont., 70), they condemned "the wrongful and covetous
                      acts of some who pursued that source of evil, inequality, (and) have imposed
                      their yoke and invested the stronger with power over the weaker."

                      >
                      > Religion in general, and regulations about piety and purity in particular,
                      > are unfavorably cast at various junctures in GTh. Logion 14 places on
                      Jesus'
                      > lips outright condemnations of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, "If you
                      > fast, you will bring forth sin for yourselves. And if you pray you will be
                      > condemned. And if you give alms, you will do harm to your spirits." The
                      > same saying inverts traditional distinctions between pure and impure, For
                      > what goes into your moth will not defile you. Rather, what comes out of
                      your
                      > mouth will defile you.". GTh 53 should also not be overlooked as evidence
                      of
                      > Thomas's rejection of conventional religious practices. When the disciples
                      > inquire whether circumcision is beneficial, Jesus is made to say, "...if
                      it
                      > were beneficial, their father would beget them circumcised from their
                      > mother..." Likewise the criticism of the Pharisees in GTh 39 should not go
                      > un-noticed. "The Pharisees and the scribes have received the keys of
                      > knowledge, (but) they have hidden them."

                      As I mentioned in a prior post, Philo provides evidence that the Therapeutae
                      made a distinction between Mosaic Law and the Word of God and that, further,
                      some of them stopped obeying Mosaic Law on the premise that it is sufficent,
                      for salvation, to only obey the Word of God.


                      >
                      > Thomas exhibits indisputable hostility toward both economic and religious
                      > social institutions on the occasions cited above. While this hostility
                      does
                      > not represent an consistent "theme" in the gospel, its presence, in what
                      is
                      > presumably a heavily redacted document, suggests that the gospel's
                      curators
                      > sympathized with these counter cultural sentiments (or at least did not
                      find
                      > them sufficiently offensive to expunge them). Thomas' concerns therefore
                      cut
                      > across the grain of these social conventions, in particular. Patterson
                      cites
                      > other examples (121-170) which he summarizes with this statement:
                      >
                      > "...Thomas Christianity was characterized by a socially radical ethos,
                      which
                      > included much time on the road, if not a thoroughly itinerant lifestyle
                      > altogether, severance of family ties and responsibilities, a kind of
                      willful
                      > poverty which required the Thomas Christian to beg for food and shelter, a
                      > relativizing of the codes of purity and the conventions of piety,
                      including
                      > prayer, fasting, and the giving of alms, a certain cynical attitude over
                      > against the powers that be (emperors, kings and the like), a predilection
                      > for minimal organization and openness to participation by women in the
                      > group."
                      >

                      Again, there are indications of a Therapeutic influence on the GThomas
                      community. For example, the Therapeutae forsook home, family, and personal
                      wealth. Again, they were the only Jewish sect at the time of Jesus who made
                      women full members of their group.

                      As respects an itinerant lifestyle, some Therapeutae practiced it, but
                      others (such as those at their headquarters near Alexandria) had a settled
                      life-style and lived in cheaply constructed dwellings. But, then, didn't
                      the GThomas community have both those practicing an itinerant lifestyle and
                      those practicing a settled life-style?

                      (Note: Rick, out of curiousity, how does Patterson reconcile his belief that
                      Thomas Christians begged for food with the condemnation, in GTh 14, of
                      alms-giving? Does he have any "hard" evidence that they begged for food?)

                      Frank McCoy
                      1809 N. English Apt. 17
                      Maplewood, MN USA 55109
                    • rs_oxbrow
                      from steve oxbrow, yeovil UKRE: [GTh] GTh and Counter Culture I have always taken the denigration of usurers and traders etc to be much more overtly anti Roman
                      Message 10 of 29 , Apr 29, 2002
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                        from steve oxbrow, yeovil UKRE:
                        [GTh] GTh and Counter Culture I have always taken the denigration of
                        usurers and traders etc to be much more overtly anti Roman and Judean
                        elite than the 4 gospels that 'made it' into the Bible.I questioned
                        why Gth was not included in the set texts for our Open University
                        coures on "Culture, identity and power in the Roman Empire" The
                        impression I gain is that GTh is the original on which the other 4
                        were based in order to make the new religion fit the Roman culture
                        and fill the power vacuum created by the increasing dissatisfaction
                        with the Pagan panoply and thus firmly of right period (Roman Empire)
                      • Rick Hubbard
                        [Frank Wrote:] As I have mentioned in past posts, there are some indications that some of the counter-cultural and/or unconventional aspects of GThomas
                        Message 11 of 29 , Apr 30, 2002
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                          [Frank Wrote:]
                          As I have mentioned in past posts, there are some indications that some of
                          the counter-cultural and/or unconventional aspects of GThomas thought might
                          have their roots in Therapeutism.

                          Frank, if you ever hear of a company looking for a Philo Salesman, you
                          should apply. Your persistence and tenacity would make you a very wealthy
                          man <grin>.

                          More seriously, however, I am not persuaded (nor even intrigued) by your
                          suggestion that there is a "Therapeutism" present in Thomas.

                          Regrettably I don't have time to discuss some of the "finer points" of your
                          proposition. Instead, I'd like to call your attention (and that of other
                          correspondents) to the article at this link:

                          http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m2399/n1_v91/20512260/p1/article.jhtml

                          This is a copy of an article from the _Harvard Theological Review_ (Jan
                          1998, 1-25). It was jointly written by Joan Taylor and Philip Davies
                          (although the on-line version does not properly credit Davies). The on-line
                          version lacks the Greek text, so it is a bit difficult to follow.
                          Nevertheless, one can get a general sense of the authors' arguments.

                          Just to summarize, Taylor and Davies argue that there was no such thing as a
                          "species Therapeutae." Therapeutae is nothing more than a generic word that
                          describes those who lead a contemplative life. One example of these
                          therapeutae was a community of evidently elite and privileged navel-gazers
                          who congregated in Egypt. According to Taylor and Davies, it is incorrect to
                          conclude that there was a clearly identifiable sect (like the Essenes)
                          called Therapeutae.

                          I doubt seriously if you will be especially receptive to the article, but I
                          look forward to your rebuttal.

                          Rick Hubbard
                          Humble Maine Woodsman
                        • Ron McCann
                          ... From: Rick Hubbard To: Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 8:45 AM Subject: RE: [GTh] GTh and Counter Culture
                          Message 12 of 29 , Apr 30, 2002
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                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "Rick Hubbard" <rhubbard@...>
                            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 8:45 AM
                            Subject: RE: [GTh] GTh and Counter Culture


                            > [Frank Wrote:]
                            > As I have mentioned in past posts, there are some indications that some
                            of
                            > the counter-cultural and/or unconventional aspects of GThomas thought
                            might
                            > have their roots in Therapeutism.
                            >
                            > Frank, if you ever hear of a company looking for a Philo Salesman, you
                            > should apply. Your persistence and tenacity would make you a very wealthy
                            > man <grin>.
                            >
                            > More seriously, however, I am not persuaded (nor even intrigued) by your
                            > suggestion that there is a "Therapeutism" present in Thomas.
                            >
                            I would have to agree with Rick, here, Frank. You've raised this before. I
                            didn't think then and I don't think now that your case for that is strong;
                            although I still find your Philo stuff compelling.

                            Ron McCann
                            Saskatoon, Canada
                          • Tom Saunders
                            Therapeutism and other isms and cisms seem to get discounted quickly, but the GThom does not seem to render too much that lends to its origin in
                            Message 13 of 29 , Apr 30, 2002
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                              Therapeutism and other 'isms and cisms' seem to get discounted quickly, but the GThom does not seem to render too much that lends to its origin in epistemology. Chadwick's "The Early Church" has Valantinus advocating the GThomas. I think it is likely that early Marcionites used it too, as Marcion is more noted for the use of gospels and written material. This puts at least a version of the GTh before the 2nd century.

                              Accordig to some of the literature on the Marcion website, Marcion had followings that could have encompassed almost half the Christian population at one time...... http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/3827/Library.html

                              Chadwick points out that the early church was in a life and death struggle with Valantinians, and Marcionites which lasted well into the 4th centruy. The Gnostic sects numbered over a dozen in Marcion's time and none of them agreed, many of them hated the other for the particular epistemology each of them 'dreamed up.' The rest of Chritianity in the 1st century was just as big a mess, some addressed by Paul. Orgies in one church, complete celabacy in others.

                              Our Coptic version of the GTh does not promote any distinctive qualities from a Valentinian, or Marcionic point of view that I see. I wonder if the redactions some in this group detect in the GTh are attempts to put it back in its original form, outside the boundries of particular Gnostic secular beleifs?

                              Tom Saunders






                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Jacob Knee
                              I m just trying to imagine a concrete social location for this pattern of existence. The Gospel of Thomas is produced by wandering scribes? But who is
                              Message 14 of 29 , May 6, 2002
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                                I'm just trying to imagine a concrete social location for this pattern of
                                existence. The Gospel of Thomas is produced by wandering scribes? But who is
                                receiving them and why?

                                (I think in a way of Bill Arnal's book on Q - and wonder if his critique of
                                the itinerancy hypothesis extends to Pattterson's suggestion about the folks
                                who produced Thomas?)

                                Best wishes,
                                Jacob

                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: Rick Hubbard [mailto:rhubbard@...]
                                Sent: 25 April 2002 11:49
                                To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: RE: [GTh] GTh and Counter Culture

                                [snip]

                                "...Thomas Christianity was characterized by a socially radical ethos, which
                                included much time on the road, if not a thoroughly itinerant lifestyle
                                altogether, severance of family ties and responsibilities, a kind of willful
                                poverty which required the Thomas Christian to beg for food and shelter, a
                                relativizing of the codes of purity and the conventions of piety, including
                                prayer, fasting, and the giving of alms, a certain cynical attitude over
                                against the powers that be (emperors, kings and the like), a predilection
                                for minimal organization and openness to participation by women in the
                                group."
                              • Tom Saunders
                                Jacob Knee writes: I m just trying to imagine a concrete social location for this pattern of existence. The Gospel of Thomas is produced by wandering scribes?
                                Message 15 of 29 , May 6, 2002
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                                  Jacob Knee writes:

                                  I'm just trying to imagine a concrete social location for this pattern of
                                  existence. The Gospel of Thomas is produced by wandering scribes? But who is
                                  receiving them and why?

                                  From some recent reading I get the idea that most of the Gnostics and those related to them lasted longer than history gives them credit for.

                                  Tatian's "Letter to the Greeks" mirrors in parts word for word some of the early texts of the Chinese monastery in Xian, 641. The Chinese texts were written from early texts brought by a missionary from Syria named Aluoben. Tatian founded a group called Encratites (Masters of Themselves). Most of the works of these early Gnostic influenced groups probably disappeared, as early as the 2rd century.

                                  It is likiely that these groups became seperatist in nature and lasted as long as their house systems survived. Beginning with Marcion and then Valentinus, the Gnostics fell out of favor with the centralized Christian leadership in Antioch, Alexandria and the major cities which influenced the Christian epistemologies.

                                  Because some of these organizations lasted through the first 600 years it is likely that house systems that fell out of favor with larger organizations faded away like the Donates. The Nag Hammadi being found in Luxor suggests Gnostics got pushed further and further away from other centralized Christian groups which formed around Alexandria. Likely there were groups that are completely forgotten, but once had their own networks throughout the Eastern Christian movements.

                                  Tom Saunders


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Tom Saunders
                                  The determination of whether or not the GTh can be aligned with counter culturism has to be associated with its effects on the corpus of the groups that had
                                  Message 16 of 29 , May 6, 2002
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                                    The determination of whether or not the GTh can be aligned with counter culturism has to be associated with its effects on the corpus of the groups that had it. We know very little about that, except most historians might point out the trouble the Gnostics caused the rest of Christianity. That is when they went outside their own circles.

                                    Clear up until the time of Augustine, Manichees seem to have existed in force in Egypt. There is one aspect of Gnostics that must be considered and that is different groups did not like each other to the point of violence. Augustine had the power of the empire trough straight from Theodosious to 'crush' heretics.(380) But it appears that there was a network of early Christians that used Thomas. I think it is likely that Marcion had Thomas as well as Luke and Matthew. (There is a Gospel of Marcion which contains many possible references to Thomas)

                                    The Gospel of Mary addresses the subjects of matter, the mind, soul, and spirit, exactly in the same line of explanation as Tatian. These subjects got the early 'judasizers,' Romans and post Origen critic leaders nervous. (the moderators of this group seem to identify with this reluctance) This tension alone brought the early church into contention with anyone they proclaimed a heretic. Post Origen critics think everyonw but them, before them, were heretics. Now they are all Saints, go figure.

                                    Augustine rejected anyone who thought 'free will' was involved in any human/spiritual pursuit. Tatian, and the GTh as well as "Acts of Thomas," "Thomas the Contender" like the "Gospel of Mary" make it clear in part that Thomas is (must be) associated with the ideas common to Tatain, Valentinus, and possibly Marcion. That makes it a deadly piece of heretical eveidence to have in your possession by the time Theodosious gave the major leadership of the 'church' the power to put down heretics.

                                    This period many of the Manichees in Egypt gave up their texts. They were later critisized for this by other sects that hung on to them. The Coptic GTh is a survior of that time and along with the other Gnostic texts can be looked at as counter-cultural from the standpoint of early Christian anti-Gnostic movements from the 'establishment.'

                                    In my opinion the GTh was a major contributor to early Christian ideas which become fundamental to Gnosticism, some secular movements had radical ideas in regard to the main corpus of Christianity of the time. I think many of them scared everybody. I do not think all Gnostics were radical except in part. In its form Thomas seems to have a 'universal' appeal which might make it a highly desirable reference to enculturate others with vastly different ideas. This could have made it a suspect document as early as Paul's time in regard to Pagan magic.

                                    Tom Saunders








                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • William Arnal
                                    ... Yup, it s hard to conceive of this in any concrete way, isn t it? Moreover, how and why are wandering radicals WRITING stuff? Do they carry around paper
                                    Message 17 of 29 , May 7, 2002
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                                      Jacob Knee wrote:

                                      >I'm just trying to imagine a concrete social location for this pattern >of
                                      >existence. The Gospel of Thomas is produced by wandering scribes? But >who
                                      >is
                                      >receiving them and why?

                                      Yup, it's hard to conceive of this in any concrete way, isn't it? Moreover,
                                      how and why are wandering radicals WRITING stuff? Do they carry around paper
                                      and pen while refraining from carrying purse and staff?

                                      >(I think in a way of Bill Arnal's book on Q - and wonder if his >critique
                                      >of
                                      >the itinerancy hypothesis extends to Pattterson's suggestion about the
                                      > >folks
                                      >who produced Thomas?)

                                      Yes and no. I try to criticize the itinerancy hypothesis as vigorously as
                                      possible. This includes criticizing it in a general way, and so taking on
                                      briefly folks like Patterson and Crossan who have applied this concepts to
                                      texts other than Q. But the bulk of the book focuses on Q. I do quite
                                      explicitly address Patterson and Thomas, though, but briefly.

                                      Bill
                                      ___________________________
                                      William Arnal
                                      Department of Religion
                                      University of Manitoba

                                      "I wish that I was born a thousand years ago.
                                      I wish that I'd sailed the darkened seas
                                      on a great big clipper ship,
                                      going from this land here to that,
                                      in a sailor suit and cap."
                                      -- Lou Reed


                                      _________________________________________________________________
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                                    • Jacob Knee
                                      I ve read and really enjoyed your book but just wondered if the same kind of critique could be extended to cover the thought of wandering, destitute scribes
                                      Message 18 of 29 , May 7, 2002
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                                        I've read and really enjoyed your book but just wondered if the same kind of
                                        critique could be extended to cover the thought of wandering, destitute
                                        scribes scribbling away at the Gospel of Thomas.

                                        In the case of Q you replace the wandering scribe theory with a much more
                                        specific, materially grounded hypothesis. Do you think anything like the
                                        same is possible for Thomas?

                                        Best wishes,
                                        Jacob

                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: William Arnal [mailto:warnal@...]
                                        Sent: 07 May 2002 16:44
                                        To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: RE: [GTh] GTh and Counter Culture

                                        >(I think in a way of Bill Arnal's book on Q - and wonder if his >critique
                                        >of
                                        >the itinerancy hypothesis extends to Pattterson's suggestion about the
                                        > >folks
                                        >who produced Thomas?)

                                        Yes and no. I try to criticize the itinerancy hypothesis as vigorously as
                                        possible. This includes criticizing it in a general way, and so taking on
                                        briefly folks like Patterson and Crossan who have applied this concepts to
                                        texts other than Q. But the bulk of the book focuses on Q. I do quite
                                        explicitly address Patterson and Thomas, though, but briefly.

                                        Bill
                                        ___________________________
                                        William Arnal
                                        Department of Religion
                                        University of Manitoba
                                      • William Arnal
                                        ... Okay, I see what you re saying. And my answer is, yes, I think such an approach is not only possible with Thomas, but absolutely NECESSARY. I ve not really
                                        Message 19 of 29 , May 7, 2002
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                                          Jacob Knee wrote:

                                          >In the case of Q you replace the wandering scribe theory with a much >more
                                          >specific, materially grounded hypothesis. Do you think anything like >the
                                          >same is possible for Thomas?

                                          Okay, I see what you're saying. And my answer is, yes, I think such an
                                          approach is not only possible with Thomas, but absolutely NECESSARY. I've
                                          not really attempted such an approach in any serious way myself, and in many
                                          ways, I think, Thomas would present obstacles to such an analysis that are
                                          not there for Q. But it's still do-able, I think. Any volunteers?

                                          Bill
                                          ___________________________
                                          William Arnal
                                          Department of Religion
                                          University of Manitoba

                                          "I wish that I was born a thousand years ago.
                                          I wish that I'd sailed the darkened seas
                                          on a great big clipper ship,
                                          going from this land here to that,
                                          in a sailor suit and cap."
                                          -- Lou Reed


                                          _________________________________________________________________
                                          Send and receive Hotmail on your mobile device: http://mobile.msn.com
                                        • Ron McCann
                                          Jacob, You are always politely wondering . Surely you have your own takes on this stuff. I know you are mostly blind. But what do you see? Iron ... From:
                                          Message 20 of 29 , May 7, 2002
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                                            Jacob,
                                            You are always politely "wondering".
                                            Surely you have your own takes on this stuff.
                                            I know you are mostly blind.
                                            But what do you see?
                                            Iron
                                            ----- Original Message -----
                                            From: "Jacob Knee" <jknee@...>
                                            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                                            Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2002 10:27 AM
                                            Subject: RE: [GTh] GTh and Counter Culture


                                            > I've read and really enjoyed your book but just wondered if the same kind
                                            of
                                            > critique could be extended to cover the thought of wandering, destitute
                                            > scribes scribbling away at the Gospel of Thomas.
                                            >
                                            > In the case of Q you replace the wandering scribe theory with a much more
                                            > specific, materially grounded hypothesis. Do you think anything like the
                                            > same is possible for Thomas?
                                            >
                                            > Best wishes,
                                            > Jacob
                                            >
                                            > -----Original Message-----
                                            > From: William Arnal [mailto:warnal@...]
                                            > Sent: 07 May 2002 16:44
                                            > To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                                            > Subject: RE: [GTh] GTh and Counter Culture
                                            >
                                            > >(I think in a way of Bill Arnal's book on Q - and wonder if his >critique
                                            > >of
                                            > >the itinerancy hypothesis extends to Pattterson's suggestion about the
                                            > > >folks
                                            > >who produced Thomas?)
                                            >
                                            > Yes and no. I try to criticize the itinerancy hypothesis as vigorously as
                                            > possible. This includes criticizing it in a general way, and so taking on
                                            > briefly folks like Patterson and Crossan who have applied this concepts to
                                            > texts other than Q. But the bulk of the book focuses on Q. I do quite
                                            > explicitly address Patterson and Thomas, though, but briefly.
                                            >
                                            > Bill
                                            > ___________________________
                                            > William Arnal
                                            > Department of Religion
                                            > University of Manitoba
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > --------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            > Gospel of Thomas Homepage: http://home.epix.net/~miser17/Thomas.html
                                            > To unsubscribe from this group,
                                            > send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                                            >
                                            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                            >
                                            >
                                          • Jacob Knee
                                            I don t think it s possible to give good answers without having done really detailed work. I haven t done the detailed work so any answers I give would be just
                                            Message 21 of 29 , May 7, 2002
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                                              I don't think it's possible to give good answers without having done really
                                              detailed work. I haven't done the detailed work so any answers I give would
                                              be just rehashes from the secondary literature or speculation which would
                                              only be right by accident, if at all.

                                              But I do 'wonder' and am happy to be provoking into trying to learn more.

                                              Hope this helps,
                                              Jacob Knee
                                              (Cam, Gloucestershire)

                                              -----Original Message-----
                                              From: Ron McCann [mailto:ronmccann1@...]
                                              Sent: 07 May 2002 19:08
                                              To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                                              Subject: Re: [GTh] GTh and Counter Culture

                                              [snip]
                                            • Rick Hubbard
                                              {Jacob Wrote:] ... [Bill Replied:] Okay, I see what you re saying. And my answer is, yes, I think such an approach is not only possible with Thomas, but
                                              Message 22 of 29 , May 12, 2002
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                                                {Jacob Wrote:]
                                                >In the case of Q you replace the wandering scribe theory with a much >more
                                                >specific, materially grounded hypothesis. Do you think anything like >the
                                                >same is possible for Thomas?

                                                [Bill Replied:]
                                                Okay, I see what you're saying. And my answer is, yes, I think such an
                                                approach is not only possible with Thomas, but absolutely NECESSARY. I've
                                                not really attempted such an approach in any serious way myself, and in many
                                                ways, I think, Thomas would present obstacles to such an analysis that are
                                                not there for Q. But it's still do-able, I think. Any volunteers?

                                                First of all, I'm not volunteering!

                                                Nevertheless- Bill, can you offer the **particular** obstacles you think may
                                                impede the avenue of inquiry to Thomas that have taken in _Jesus and the
                                                Village Scribes_?

                                                Rick Hubbard
                                                Humble Maine Woodsman
                                              • William Arnal
                                                ... Damn. You re just the man for the job, too! ... Yes, I think so. It s not that there are obstacles IN PRINCIPLE, it s that the way Q works, theologically
                                                Message 23 of 29 , May 13, 2002
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                                                  Hi Rick:

                                                  >First of all, I'm not volunteering!

                                                  Damn. You're just the man for the job, too!

                                                  >Nevertheless- Bill, can you offer the **particular** obstacles you >think
                                                  >may
                                                  >impede the avenue of inquiry to Thomas that have taken in _Jesus and >the
                                                  >Village Scribes_?

                                                  Yes, I think so. It's not that there are obstacles IN PRINCIPLE, it's that
                                                  the way Q works, theologically and redactionally, is rather different from
                                                  that of Thomas, and in ways that affect how the document can be analyzed. Q
                                                  is especially susceptible to detailed redaction criticism, as I think
                                                  Kloppenborg demonstrated in Formation, precisely because it is pretty
                                                  tightly organized. In Q you can use the construction of extended
                                                  elaborations, for example, to get at what the redactor was trying to
                                                  accomplish. In Thomas you're usually (or least more often) stuck with a
                                                  "primitive" form of the saying, with little redactional intervention, and
                                                  are forced to speculate about what the REDACTOR intended (where it's
                                                  different from the point of the saying on its own). Also, since Q has a
                                                  perspective that is pretty directly oriented toward the "real world," it's
                                                  relatively easy to draw out inferences from Q about what that real world
                                                  was. But Thomas' theology is so (apparently, anyway) "other-worldly," that
                                                  it's hard to infer a CONCRETE Sitz.

                                                  That's my 2 cents.
                                                  Bill
                                                  ___________________________
                                                  William Arnal
                                                  Department of Religion
                                                  University of Manitoba

                                                  "I wish that I was born a thousand years ago.
                                                  I wish that I'd sailed the darkened seas
                                                  on a great big clipper ship,
                                                  going from this land here to that,
                                                  in a sailor suit and cap."
                                                  -- Lou Reed


                                                  _________________________________________________________________
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                                                • Rick Hubbard
                                                  [Rick wrote] ... [Bill replied] Yes, I think so. It s not that there are obstacles IN PRINCIPLE, it s that the way Q works, theologically and redactionally, is
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , May 20, 2002
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                                                    [Rick wrote]
                                                    >Nevertheless- Bill, can you offer the **particular** obstacles you >think
                                                    >may
                                                    >impede the avenue of inquiry to Thomas that have taken in _Jesus and >the
                                                    >Village Scribes_?

                                                    [Bill replied]
                                                    Yes, I think so. It's not that there are obstacles IN PRINCIPLE, it's that
                                                    the way Q works, theologically and redactionally, is rather different from
                                                    that of Thomas, and in ways that affect how the document can be analyzed. Q
                                                    is especially susceptible to detailed redaction criticism, as I think
                                                    Kloppenborg demonstrated in Formation, precisely because it is pretty
                                                    tightly organized. In Q you can use the construction of extended
                                                    elaborations, for example, to get at what the redactor was trying to
                                                    accomplish. In Thomas you're usually (or least more often) stuck with a
                                                    "primitive" form of the saying, with little redactional intervention, and
                                                    are forced to speculate about what the REDACTOR intended (where it's
                                                    different from the point of the saying on its own). Also, since Q has a
                                                    perspective that is pretty directly oriented toward the "real world," it's
                                                    relatively easy to draw out inferences from Q about what that real world
                                                    was. But Thomas' theology is so (apparently, anyway) "other-worldly," that
                                                    it's hard to infer a CONCRETE Sitz.



                                                    Perhaps classical redaction criticism is not the most effective method to
                                                    apply to the text of Thomas if the primary objective is to identify the
                                                    “real world” that it pre-supposes.

                                                    Last week I read through Kloppenborg (ed) _Conflict and Invention_ [Trinity,
                                                    1995]. One of the essays contained in the book was Jonathan Reed’s “The
                                                    Social Map of Q.” It seems to me that the tactic Reed uses to identify the
                                                    geographic locales in Q may suggest a way to approach Thomas so that, in a
                                                    very preliminary way, the outlines of its social context can be more clearly
                                                    identified.

                                                    I doubt that Reed had this in mind when he examined Q, but his method is
                                                    almost exactly the same as one that is used by software developers when
                                                    designing a new application. It is called ERD (Entity Relationship
                                                    Diagramming). The first step in this technique is to conduct a series of
                                                    interviews with everyone who will use, or will be otherwise affected by, the
                                                    proposed system. The interviews are written as a narrative (thereby creating
                                                    a text). When the “text” is complete, the next step is for a system analyst
                                                    to carefully comb through it and to identify all the “Entities” named by
                                                    those who were interviewed. Entities are people, organizations, physical
                                                    locations, and information clusters (documents such as reports, invoices,
                                                    etc.). These entities (all of which are nouns, incidentally) become the
                                                    backbone of the system design. They also describe the “real world” in which
                                                    the system will operate.

                                                    Reed follows this procedure almost exactly, although in a limited scope. He
                                                    identifies specific place names and topographical descriptions contained in
                                                    Q, then he notes, “Together, both the real and imagined places mentioned in
                                                    Q make up the *social map* [Reed’s emphasis] of the community behind Q. The
                                                    social map shared by the Q community is reflected in the text of Q and can
                                                    be analyzed and sifted for clues to the actual location of the Q community.”
                                                    [p18] In other words, Reed began with a text, identified specific entities
                                                    in the text, then created a diagram of the entities (a map). So far as I
                                                    know, Reed’s conclusions have not been overtly criticized by other Q
                                                    scholars, and therefore, it seems that his general strategy is sound.

                                                    The question, then, is whether a similar (but expanded) approach to Thomas
                                                    would be likely to yield any useful clues about the “real world(s)”
                                                    presupposed within the collection? I don't mean to suggest that it would be
                                                    useful to examine only place names (as Reed investigated in Q), but all
                                                    "entities" that are present in the GTh text. These entities should include
                                                    people, places, objects, and institutions (real and imaginary). I’m inclined
                                                    to think that this could be an informative investigation, but I’m reluctant
                                                    to exert much effort to do so without hearing some input from others.

                                                    Rick Hubbard
                                                    Humble Maine Woodsman
                                                  • William Arnal
                                                    ... In fact, as far as I can tell, they have been pretty thoroughly accepted by other Q folks. ... I think that this is a brilliant idea, and that there is a
                                                    Message 25 of 29 , May 20, 2002
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                                                      Rick Hubbard wrote:

                                                      >in the text, then created a diagram of the entities (a map). So far as >I
                                                      >know, Reed�s conclusions have not been overtly criticized by other Q
                                                      >scholars, and therefore, it seems that his general strategy is sound.

                                                      In fact, as far as I can tell, they have been pretty thoroughly accepted by
                                                      other Q folks.

                                                      >would be likely to yield any useful clues about the �real world(s)�
                                                      >presupposed within the collection? I don't mean to suggest that it >would
                                                      >be
                                                      >useful to examine only place names (as Reed investigated in Q), but all
                                                      >"entities" that are present in the GTh text. These entities should >include
                                                      >people, places, objects, and institutions (real and imaginary). I�m
                                                      > >inclined
                                                      >to think that this could be an informative investigation, but I�m
                                                      > >reluctant
                                                      >to exert much effort to do so without hearing some input from others.

                                                      I think that this is a brilliant idea, and that there is a lot of potential
                                                      here. Since it's possible that too many of the entities in Thomas will be
                                                      "spiritual entities" it is also possible that the procedure will not work.
                                                      But it SHOULD be tried, I think.

                                                      Bill
                                                      ___________________________
                                                      William Arnal
                                                      Department of Religion
                                                      University of Manitoba

                                                      "I wish that I was born a thousand years ago.
                                                      I wish that I'd sailed the darkened seas
                                                      on a great big clipper ship,
                                                      going from this land here to that,
                                                      in a sailor suit and cap."
                                                      -- Lou Reed


                                                      _________________________________________________________________
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