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Can we uncontroversially say there that Thomas is stratified?

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  • Randall Helzerman <rahelzer@ichips.intel
    The search for strata in Thomas presupposes that Thomas is indeed stratified. Can we assume this? Is there any incontrovertable evidence which shows that GTh
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 11, 2002
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      The search for strata in Thomas
      presupposes that Thomas is indeed
      stratified. Can we assume this?
      Is there any incontrovertable evidence
      which shows that GTh _must_ be stratified?

      By way of comparison, I ran across a
      modern "Logoi Sophon" from a great teacher
      in my own field (computer science)
      on the web:

      http://www-pu.informatik.uni-tuebingen.de/users/klaeren/epigrams.html

      It is a list of epigrams of Alan Perlis, a recently
      deceased Yale university professor. It was collected
      after his death by his students who wanted to remember him.
      It strikes me that it has all the trappings of the
      Gospel of Thomas: An incipit, a semi-random
      list of sayings, catchword association, even scribal errors.

      It was collected after his death by his students who wanted to
      remember him.

      But there's no thought of stratification here! Even
      though the sayings range from rather literal to rather
      metaphorical, they are all (discounting a few which are
      no doubt apocryphal) from the same person and from the same
      few decades. Non-computer scientists will find some of them
      easy to understand, and some of them totally meaningless--but
      that wouldn't lead us to postulate a "gnostic redaction"
      by a later community--just some specialized lingo understandable
      only to his students.

      So my question is: why should we assume that GTh is stratified?
      Why couldn't the sayings have been collected all at once,
      shortly after Jesus's death by people who wanted to remember him?

      Is there any incontrovertable evidence that GTh _has_ strata?

      -Randy Helzerman
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