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RE: RE: [GTh] Clement, Tatian and Thomas (was just Tatian and Thomas)

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  • Mark Goodacre
    ... I think I am wanting to say simply that the reasons given by Patterson for difficulties in dating Thomas equally well apply to Mark. I don t think the
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 22, 2002
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      On 22 Oct 2002 at 7:08, Rick Hubbard wrote:

      > I confess that I am uncertain whether you agree that it IS difficult
      > (impossible?) to date either Thomas or Mark or whether you are saying
      > that it is possible to date both.

      I think I am wanting to say simply that the reasons given by
      Patterson for difficulties in dating Thomas equally well apply to
      Mark. I don't think the difference in genre prejudices either. As
      it happens, I think it may be easier to date Mark given our current
      knowledge; there's an emerging consensus that it is dated in or
      around the time of the Jewish War. If Perrin is right, and I reserve
      judgement until I've had a chance to read his book, then Thomas will
      suddenly become much easier to date with such a narrow window
      available between the Diatessaron and the Oxy fragments. But the
      specific questions of when we date Mark and Thomas are different from
      the general issue raised by Patterson, and it's that that I disagree
      with. It seems to me that he is drawing a contrast that is not
      wholly legitimate.

      > Finally, I agree whole-heartedly with your observation about the
      > frequency of confusion (not just potential, but actual) between
      > tradition-history and literary-history (and not just in the case of
      > Thomas, but other writings from late antiquity as well). If one
      > attends exclusively to the respective ages of various traditions in
      > Thomas, for example, then it seems to me that it could be argued
      > persuasively that SOME PORTIONS of Thomas have connections to the most
      > primitive stages of the Jesus tradition(s). If such observations are
      > correct, then does one dare say that Thomas is "early"? Or,
      > conversely, based on material that clearly originated much later in
      > the history of emergent Christianity, does one argue Thomas is "late"?

      Yes, these are exactly the kinds of question I was trying to raise.
      A late date for the final composition of the Gospel of Thomas, were
      that to be established, would not necessarily mean that the
      traditions contained within it are also late.

      Mark
      -----------------------------
      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
      University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 4381
      Birmingham B15 2TT UK

      http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
      http://NTGateway.com
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