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Re: [GTh] Proto Thomas

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  • Jim Bauer
    ... From: fmmccoy To: Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 12:55 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Proto Thomas ... Frank, I
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 18, 2002
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "fmmccoy" <FMMCCOY@...>
      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 12:55 PM
      Subject: Re: [GTh] Proto Thomas


      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Tom Saunders" <tom@...>
      > To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2002 3:46 AM
      > Subject: [GTh] Proto Thomas
      >
      > Thank you Frank McCoy for such an enlightening and detailed work.
      > Could the Proto Thomas be devoid of the parables at some stage in its
      > development? If we are looking at a rational organization of literature
      > in the GThom, the parables stand out as a type. Why could they not have
      > been assembled as a separate core text, and then added at some point?


      > Tom, thank you!.
      >
      > Your question on whether the parables were collected together as a
      > separate text is a good one.
      >
      > This second point is *very* significant: for, if, as appears to be the
      > case, they did recognize what we now call the Parabolic Stories to be a
      > distinct class of sayings, then the possibility arises that they might have
      > issued a document consisting solely of these Parabolic Stories. That is to
      > say, it then becomes possible that you are correct in surmising that they
      > could have issued a parable document--in this case, a parable document
      > consisting solely of Parabolic Stories.
      >
      > As for the Jesus Seminar, they reject only the genuiness of 8 and (except
      > for a few scattered phrases and sentences) rate all the others solid pink
      > (probably genuine).
      >
      > Indeed, this evidence for an early dating of the proposed Parabolic
      > Stories document is so solid that, if it be genuine, I think that it likely
      > dates to the 30s.
      >
      Frank,

      I agree that the Parobolic Document was indeed very early & probably among
      the genuine sayings of the historical Jesus but you haven't proved one
      thing, which is your assumption that this document was added to Thomas later
      on. Perhaps the original document was the Parobolic one & the rest of GThom
      added to it at a later date.

      Does anyone in the group have a comment on this?

      Jim Bauer
    • fmmccoy
      ... From: Jim Bauer To: Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 5:15 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Proto Thomas ... later ...
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 19, 2002
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Jim Bauer" <jbauer@...>
        To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 5:15 PM
        Subject: Re: [GTh] Proto Thomas

        > Frank,
        >
        > I agree that the Parobolic Document was indeed very early & probably among
        > the genuine sayings of the historical Jesus but you haven't proved one
        > thing, which is your assumption that this document was added to Thomas
        later
        > on. Perhaps the original document was the Parobolic one & the rest of
        GThom
        > added to it at a later date.
        >
        > Does anyone in the group have a comment on this?
        >

        Jim:

        To clarify, this is the scenario I propose:

        (1) Tyre--sometime in the mid-50s or earlier, perhaps even the 30s--The
        Parabolic Stories document, consisting of nine parabolic stories attributed
        to Jesus, is written

        (2) Tyre--late 50s--Proto-Thomas is written. While writing it, its author
        incorporated eight of the nine parabolic stories in the Parabolic Stories
        document.

        (3) Location ? --Time ?, but probably much later than the time that
        Proto-Thomas was written, GTh was written as an expanded version of
        Proto-Thomas. It includes everything in Proto-Thomas, including the eight
        parabolic stories originally written as a part of the Parabolic Stories
        document. These eight parabolic stories, in GTh as we know it, are sayings
        8-9, 63-65, and 96-98.

        In this scenario, the Parabolic Stories document precedes Proto-Thomas and
        was used as a source in writing Proto-Thomas.

        However, it would be incorrect to infer from this that Proto-Thomas is an
        expanded version of the Parabolic Stories document. The Parabolic Stories
        document is a list of parabolic stories, while Proto-Thomas is a sayings
        gospel similar to Q (if Q ever existed) and its later expanded version, GTh.
        So, we have a change in doc type between the Parabolic Stories document and
        Proto-Thomas.

        Also, the positioning of the Parabolic Stories document material at or near
        the end of each of the three sections of Proto-Thomas indicates that it is
        not a document upon which Proto-Thomas can be considered an expanded
        version.

        Does this make sense to you?


        Frank McCoy
        1809 N. English Apt. 17
        Maplewood, MN USA 55109
      • Jim Bauer
        ... From: fmmccoy To: Sent: Friday, July 19, 2002 10:14 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] Proto Thomas ... among ...
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 19, 2002
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "fmmccoy" <FMMCCOY@...>
          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Friday, July 19, 2002 10:14 AM
          Subject: Re: [GTh] Proto Thomas


          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: "Jim Bauer" <jbauer@...>
          > To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          > Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 5:15 PM
          > Subject: Re: [GTh] Proto Thomas
          >
          > > Frank,
          > >
          > > I agree that the Parobolic Document was indeed very early & probably
          among
          > > the genuine sayings of the historical Jesus but you haven't proved that
          this document was added to Thomas
          > later
          > > on. Perhaps the original document was the Parobolic one & the rest of
          > GThom
          > > added to it at a later date.
          > >
          > Jim:
          >
          > To clarify, this is the scenario I propose:
          >
          > (1) Tyre--sometime in the mid-50s or earlier, perhaps even the 30s--The
          > Parabolic Stories document, consisting of nine parabolic stories
          attributed
          > to Jesus, is written
          >
          Why exactly would there have to be nine Parobolic Sayings in the original
          document? It's equally possible that there were only eight originally & the
          author of Proto-Thomas made use of what he had. Just because the other
          parables are broken down into groups of three does not prove that the first
          two had a missing third. I realize you are trying to find patterns in
          Thomas but to me it seems just as likely that there were eight parables as
          well as nine. If there is indeed a missing parable would it, in your
          opinion, be similar to any of the NT parables & if so which one(s)?

          Jim Bauer
        • Tom Saunders
          Jim Bauer writes: Does anyone in the group have a comment on this? I would like to make the case for jurisdiction, venue, and likelihood for the origin of the
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 19, 2002
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            Jim Bauer writes: Does anyone in the group have a comment on this?

            I would like to make the case for jurisdiction, venue, and likelihood for the origin of the first kernel Jesus sayings, being a combination of what any Apostles already had prior to the forming of the Jerusalem village, combined with those made the first three years. (33-36 CE) These documents would have been kernel sayings attributed to Jesus.

            We do not have a credible lineage for written works from this village, as it was destroyed in 70 A.D. We do have the history of the Apostles Council in 41 CE. We can relate sections of the GThom to this era. As a matter of fact I do not recall any association with any Thomas saying that could be linked to a time and event outside the findings (related to Jewish law) of the First Apostolic Council. This is with the possible exception of saying 114 as an add on.

            The sayings in Thomas that relate to the Pauline era, are the ones that age and align the document to the issues of the First Apostolic Council. This leaves other types of sayings that could well have originated from other lists, including the parables and those list sayings that relate to the term "blessed" or "fortunate." (If you change those translations in Thomas that use fortunate to blessed, there are comparisons in early gospels that suggest that Matthew, Tatian, and others may have had such a document. Woe to's and Blesseds are.

            In Matthew all the blesseds are in bundles, as they are in the Diatessaran. These blesseds are in conjunction with groups of "Woe to's." I will post the blesseds and skip the Woes. (below)

            Tatain:
            26 Then he lifted up his eyes unto them, and opened his mouth, and taught them, and said, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. 28 Blessed are the sorrowful: for they shall be comforted. 29 Blessed are the humble: for they shall inherit the earth. 30 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be satisfied. 31 Blessed are the merciful: for on them shall be mercy. 32 Arabic, Blessed are the pure in their hearts: for they shall see God. 33 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the sons of God. 34 Blessed are they that were persecuted for righteousness' sake: for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. 35 Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and separate you from them, and persecute you, and reproach you, and shall speak against you with all evil talk, for my sake, falsely. Then rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets before you.

            From Matthew:

            1. And seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain: and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him:
            2. and he opened his mouth and taught them, saying,
            3. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
            4. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
            5. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
            6. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
            7. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
            8. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
            9. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God.
            10. Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
            11. Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.


            Thomas: Fortunate = Blessed
            7. Fortunate is the lion which the man eats so that the lion becomes a man
            ; and cursed is the man whom the lion eats so that the man becomes a
            lion."
            (18) The disciples said to Jesus : "Tell us how our end will be." Jesus said : "So have You discovered the beginning, that You look for the end ? For where the beginning is, there the end will be. Fortunate is he who stands at the beginning ; he will know the end and will not taste death." (19) Jesus said : "Fortunate is he who was before he became. If You become My disciples and listen to My words, these stones will serve You. For there are five trees for You in Paradise which remain unshaken summer and winter and their leaves do not fall. He who knows them will not taste death." 54. Fortunate are the poor, for Yours is the Kingdom of Heaven."
            58. Fortunate is the man who has suffered ; he found Life."
            68. Fortunate are You when You are hated and persecuted. Where You were
            persecuted they will find no place."
            69. Fortunate are those who are persecuted in their hearts. It is they who
            have truly come to know the Father.
            69. Fortunate are those who are hungry, for they will satisfy their
            bellies."
            49. Fortunate are You, the alone and the elect, for You will find the
            Kingdom. Because You came from it, You will also return to it again."
            79. Fortunate are those who have heard the Word of the Father and kept it.

            If it seems sensible for the parables to have come from a single list, then it seems just as logical for the lists of 'Blesseds and Woes' to have come about as a kernel text. We see these 'blesseds and woes' in Thomas sort of custom fitted for the text, as well as distributed. Although if you happen to notice the number 9 sort of sticks out in the Thomas list. I do not know what we (I) could make of that.

            From a practical standpoint it makes a great deal of sense for Thomas to have come from a combination of sources. Its purpose is to divulge the Secret Sayings of Christ, and we know it was used as a tool for evangelism which gives it the rightful category of gospel.

            We also know it existed in some form very early, having one copy found in Egypt which is very old. (90-100 A.D. Rudolph) Based upon what you can see from the works like Marcion's gospel and Tatian, as well as the NT gospels, it seems that sayings were written in Thomas very faithfully from like sources. Although its order is a mystery unless you see it written purposely like Oriental precepts for use in the East. Then, it makes some sense, to some as a tool for Eastern consumption.

            With the exception of 114, I see nothing that would suggest that the early versions of Thomas were not copied faithfully from the source texts of Jesus sayings. We know people like Marcion and Tatian to have used care in their works to copy from an original source. I think it likely for the original GThom to have come from the Apostle's Village, in parts, then assembled not much later than 42 CE., possibly the original from Thomas himself. If he was like his legend he would have left something like Thomas, which flat out makes people think. He founded churches and it is likely he used some written works, what better for Thomas than Thomas?

            If it makes sense for the kernel texts attributed to Jesus to have originated in the Apostles Village, then we can see this in terms of a window of opportunity. Thomas had a long ministry, and one that would have given him, for a time direct communication through the trade routes, to have passed Thomas on to others, including the Apostle's Village. I am saying he had a big window of opportunity to have produced Thomas, and distribute it. He also in 41 CE had the opportunity to collect written works produced in Jerusalem by other Apostles, and adjust Thomas to the findings of the Council. Can this be wrong?

            Tom Saunders Platter Flats, OK

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          • Grondin
            ... ... In most cases (Th79 being an exception), the underlying Greek word is the same - MAKARIOS. Some may recall that this is a name taken by some notable
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 19, 2002
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              [Tom Saunders]:
              > (If you change those translations in Thomas that use fortunate to blessed
              ...

              In most cases (Th79 being an exception), the underlying Greek word is the
              same - MAKARIOS. Some may recall that this is a name taken by some notable
              archbishops of the Eastern Orthodox church. 'Blessed' is the traditional
              translation, but 'fortunate' is becoming more common, since 'blessed' now
              lacks the punch of the original, which was akin to telling folks that
              they're _lucky_ to be weak, dispirited, meek, down-trodden, etc. (Also note
              the difference between "poor" - i.e., destitute - and "poor in spirit"
              between different versions of the beatitudes. This little difference of
              wording may be a clue to the author's opinion of the ascetic life-style.)

              Your list of Thomas: 7,18,19,49,54,58,68,69(2),79.
              As it turns out, #79 doesn't contain the word MAKARIOS. Rather, it contains
              three occurrences of a Coptic synonym which only occurs there. You may still
              want to include it in your list, but you might want to consider whether the
              choice of the Coptic word over the Greek might have indicated that the
              author did not want it to be considered among the beatitudes proper. Also,
              #103 _does_ contain the word MAKARIOS, so that should certainly be added to
              your list.

              I don't know how you went about making your list of beatitudes in Thomas,
              but it's well to keep in mind that English translations are not an accurate
              guide for researches of this sort. Translators don't always use the same
              English word for the same source-language word, and they sometimes use the
              same English word for different source-language words. Because of this, a
              recommended procedure to insure accuracy is to check out all occurrences of
              the underlying source words. Not to toot my own horn unnecessarily, but I
              think that my on-line presentation provides a relatively easy way to do
              this - once one gets used to the odd letters.

              Mike Grondin
              The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
              http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
            • Tom Saunders
              Mike writes: In most cases (Th79 being an exception), the underlying Greek word is the same - MAKARIOS. Thank you for your observations and talent in
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 20, 2002
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                Mike writes:
                In most cases (Th79 being an exception), the underlying Greek word is the
                same - MAKARIOS.

                Thank you for your observations and talent in translation. I would not think that the 'Blesseds' and 'Woes' in Thomas were meant to match the bundles of the sayings present in Matthew. Many on this list may be familiar with other early works that reflect the same bunching of the 'blesseds and woe' sayings. This might reveal a better notion of some early source for these sayings.

                My point about these sayings in Thomas is to reveal that the poor, hungry, hated and persecuted, bleesed seems to be from an early list source we see in other works. However in Thomas the distribution looks somewhat purposeful, in line with the balance and rhythm that Frank McCoy notes in the form of the GThom.

                In other words, the writer of Thomas appears to have some purpose rather than just creating a list. Otherwise there would be little reason to distribute these kinds of sayings throughout the rest of the Thomas sayings. Any ideas on what this could be?

                Tom Saunders
                Platter Flats, OK




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