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Re: [GTh] Out of Jerusalem

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... and cult ... robbers. ... ... rules and ... one s loins ... To which might be added that the houses mentioned in Thomas are all either metaphors
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 13, 2003
      > Thomas Bond writes:
      >
      > In general, I do not see any incompatibility between "submit to community
      and cult"
      > and "gird your loins against the world, and protect your house from the
      robbers." ...
      > I would say that in first century Judaism/s, submitting to community
      rules and
      > participating in the community's cult was part and parcel of girding
      one's loins
      > against the world and keeping a person from harm.

      To which might be added that the "houses" mentioned in Thomas are all either
      metaphors themselves or occur within the context of parables. There's
      nothing to suggest actual private ownership of lands or houses on the part
      of the Thomasines. In fact, ascetism and abnegation from the world would
      seem to imply that one gets rid of as many ties to the physical world as
      possible. There still remains, however, the question of whether Thomas
      represents a more individualistic - as opposed to collectivistic - ascetic
      Christian ethic. It seems that one could adduce evidence on either side from
      the text, but aside from that, we know that some monastics preferred to live
      off by themselves, while others ('cenobites') gathered into communities
      governed by a "community rule". And clearly, monastics ("single ones") are
      in view within Thomas. Whether that means that Thomas (or parts of it) is
      individualistic, or (secondly) later than Tom Saunders speculates, is up for
      grabs.

      > Regarding Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 (also Barnabas, a few verses
      > before): the issue was not one of relinquishing private ownership of
      property.
      > Peter rebukes Ananias for saying that he sold property and gave all the
      profit
      > to the apostles, when in fact he did not.

      That's certainly the way the issue is framed, but the author clearly implies
      that folks who owned land and/or houses and who wished to join the community
      were _expected_ to sell their property and give the _entire_ proceeds to the
      community. Which means that it wouldn't have been acceptable for Ananias (or
      anyone else) to say that he had sold his property for X amount, but was
      turning over only part of the proceeds (X-Y) to the community. Thus, the lie
      was only part of the offense. The clear implication is that if someone had
      "held back", but told the truth about it, the holding back would in itself
      be an offense against the spirit, and cause for rejection of communal
      membership.

      > There are some "summaries" in Acts (e.g., 2:41-47) that
      > seem to refer to communal ownership of property.

      As well Acts 4:34, which immediately precedes the Ananias story.

      > Two things come to mind, however: (1) the summaries in Acts
      > utilize other language that falls within the "friendship" topos; and
      > (2) 1QS, a text which likely reflects the organization of a voluntary
      > association, speaks of merging property with the "community,"
      > but also (in the penal code) requires that, if a person fraudulently
      > uses the money of the community, it must be repaid from private funds.
      > I.e., "having all things common" does not necessarily imply a rejection
      > of private ownership of property. It seems to me that what we see in
      > Acts parallels the kind of social obligation found in Hellenistic v!
      > oluntary

      The HTML formatting evidently caused this last line to be garbled. (This
      happened to me some time back when I temporarily switched from plain text to
      html formatting.) You meant "Hellenistic voluntary associations"? OK, let's
      take 1QS first. I think the implication you draw from that may not be
      warranted. There's a distinction to be made between "property" and "private
      funds" that may better account for what's in the text. "Property" would
      include houses and lands - the two items specifically mentioned in Acts as
      being sold to benefit the community. On the other hand, there's nothing said
      about the community member having or earning other private monies (from
      which the penalty mentioned in 1QS would presumably be paid).

      As to the friendship topos and Hellenistic voluntary associations, I have to
      confess ignorance about that. Can you elaborate on instances of voluntary
      associations wherein prospective members were expected to sell their houses
      and lands in order to gain membership?

      Finally, I have a "big picture" question. The account in Acts of communal
      living accords well with the designation of the Jerusalem community as "The
      Poor", but how does that connect exactly with J's purported teaching?
      "Blessed are the poor" and "Sell everything you have and follow me" are
      certainly there, but so is a lot of other stuff. Yet, when the apostles were
      on their own, this seems to be the central message that they drew from the
      teachings - in spite of the fact that Jesus himself apparently didn't give
      any thought to establishing any such community. What do you make of all
      this?

      Mike Grondin
      The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
      http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
    • David C. Hindley
      ... disunity) in the Roman world, and a Christianity that is closely alligned with Judaism (which would give Christianity tenure), though by the time Acts was
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 13, 2003
        Thomas Bond says:

        >>Luke presents a Christianity that is not a cause for problems (i.e.,
        disunity) in the Roman world, and a Christianity that is closely alligned
        with Judaism (which would give Christianity tenure), though by the time Acts
        was written Judaism had lost many of the priviledges of religio licita it
        had once enjoyed.<<

        If I remember correctly, excepting for the conversion of the voluntary
        Temple tax into an obligatory Roman poll tax after 70 CE, the other Jewish
        privileges were not *legally* infringed upon. Whether general social
        attitudes towards Judaism became more negative or at least more suspicious
        or envious I don't know for sure, but would guess yes.

        What specific privileges are you referring to?

        Also, "religio licita" or "illicita" is kind of a modern scholarly
        construct, isn't it? I believe that these terms describe a technical *legal
        standing* that is inferred from rather scanty or much later evidence.

        Respectfully,

        Dave Hindley
        Cleveland, Ohio, USA
      • Michael Grondin
        ... either ... Thomasines should view the aspect of wealth and ownership. As you state it, I wouldn t agree with it either. But the point you refer to
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 14, 2003
          [Mike]:
          > To which might be added that the "houses" mentioned in Thomas are all
          either
          > metaphors themselves or occur within the context of parables. There's
          > nothing to suggest actual private ownership of lands or houses on the part
          > of the Thomasines. In fact, asceticism and abnegation from the world would
          > seem to imply that one gets rid of as many ties to the physical world as
          > possible.

          [Tom]:
          > I would not agree on the point that there is nothing to suggest how
          Thomasines should view the aspect of wealth and ownership.

          As you state it, I wouldn't agree with it either. But the "point" you refer
          to doesn't seem to be in the quoted material or anywhere else in my note. I
          think you've seriously misunderstood and misstated "the point" you thought I
          was making.

          As to the rest of your "big picture", Tom, I have to say that it's highly
          speculative, and not particularly well-grounded in historical and textual
          details. Too many mistakes in factual matters (such as your earlier mistake
          in identifying Philip the Evangelist with Philip the Apostle), too many
          misunderstandings and equivocations, too many jumpings to conclusions. I
          think the lesson in all this is that one probably shouldn't attempt a "big
          picture" until one has a good grasp of most of the relevant detailed
          historical evidence - and that takes many years of study. If I'm not at the
          point yet (and I don't think I am), then you aren't either. In general, it
          seems to be a good rule of thumb to match the size of one's hypotheses to
          the extent of one's actual competence in relevant matters textual and
          historical. Ironically, while this may seem quite a come-down from our
          inherent ambitions, it often (maybe even always!) turns out that important
          hypotheses are rooted in - and revealed by - what appear to be unimportant
          details. (You yourself have done some of this, but I think you're too
          anxious to move on to the big picture to give proper attention to the
          details.)

          Mike Grondin
          Mt. Clemens, MI
        • BrerFrase@aol.com
          In reply to Mr. Bond, Mr. Grondin poses this provocative big picture query -- ====================================================
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 15, 2003
            In reply to Mr. Bond, Mr. Grondin poses this provocative "big picture" query
            --
            ====================================================
            <<
            Finally, I have a "big picture" question. The account in Acts of communal
            living accords well with the designation of the Jerusalem community as "The
            Poor", but how does that connect exactly with J's purported teaching?
            "Blessed are the poor" and "Sell everything you have and follow me" are
            certainly there, but so is a lot of other stuff. Yet, when the apostles were
            on their own, this seems to be the central message that they drew from the
            teachings - in spite of the fact that Jesus himself apparently didn't give
            any thought to establishing any such community. What do you make of all
            this?

            Mike Grondin
            The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
            <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm>>">http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm>></A>
            ===========================================================

            My question --

            Anyone going to tackle Mr. Grondin's provocative query?
            If not, why not?


            TIA

            F. Hubbard



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • BitsyCat1@aol.com
            In a message dated 03/17/2003 6:29:55AM, tom@cherokeetel.com writes:
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 17, 2003
              In a message dated 03/17/2003 6:29:55AM, tom@... writes:

              << What exactly did I miss that Phillip wasn't Phillip, >>

              Acts 6:5, Then Acts 8:5 to 14 (Now when the apostles who were in Jerusalem)
              The Philip in 6:5 and into 8:5 on is not an Apostle Philip
              He is the Philip chosen in Acts 6:5( A Hellenist) Note also in 8-14 that this
              is in Samaria and that Peter and John are then sent from Jerusalem to Samaria.
              Then in Act 8-25 they return to Jerusalem.( Peter and John)
              Presumably back to the Apostles village (You mention).
              He is also the one caught away on 8-39 and into Caesarea.Acts 8-40

              Regards,

              JOHN MOON
              Springfield, Tenn. 37172
              johnmoon3717@...
            • Tom Saunders
              Thank you John Moon. In an effort to establish a structure of observation for proposing theory I have run across and slightly modified a list that was used in
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 18, 2003
                Thank you John Moon.

                In an effort to establish a structure of observation for proposing theory I have run across and slightly modified a list that was used in an argument against Creationism. Science vs. non-science. It occurred to me that this list might help formulate better arguments.

                The list is as follows:

                Observation
                Hypothesis
                Testing
                Debate
                Rational Conclusion

                Please feel free to expand on the elements of this list and the possible uses it could serve in determining proofs (likelihood) concerning the factual, textual, and historical study of the GThom.

                Could I use the above set as an outline to argue a historical, and textual argument for placing the Apostle's village in the Southern part of the city at the foot of the Mt. of Olives? What other uses might this list have in studying Thomas?

                Tom Saunders
                Platter Flats, OK


                ----- Original Message -----
                From: BitsyCat1@...
                To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Monday, March 17, 2003 5:26 AM
                Subject: Re: [GTh] Out of Jerusalem

                In a message dated 03/17/2003 6:29:55AM, tom@... writes:

                << What exactly did I miss that Phillip wasn't Phillip, >>

                Acts 6:5, Then Acts 8:5 to 14 (Now when the apostles who were in Jerusalem)
                The Philip in 6:5 and into 8:5 on is not an Apostle Philip
                He is the Philip chosen in Acts 6:5( A Hellenist) Note also in 8-14 that this is in Samaria and that Peter and John are then sent from Jerusalem to Samaria.
                Then in Act 8-25 they return to Jerusalem.( Peter and John)
                Presumably back to the Apostles village (You mention).
                He is also the one caught away on 8-39 and into Caesarea.Acts 8-40

                Regards,

                JOHN MOON
                Springfield, Tenn. 37172
                johnmoon3717@...


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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