Can we uncontroversially say there that Thomas is stratified?
- 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:
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
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?