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RE: [GTh] John and Thomas

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  • Rick Hubbard
    [Rick Sumner wrote:] I must confess, I m somewhat outside my element on this E-List, however, I m wondering if any here could recommend works pertaining to
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 31, 2003
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      [Rick Sumner wrote:]

      I must confess, I'm somewhat outside my element on this E-List, however, I'm
      wondering if any here could recommend works pertaining to Thomas and John,
      and could think of nowhere better to inquire.


      A ready-to-hand starting point, I think, may be Uro, Risto. _ Thomas at the
      Crossroads_. ed. (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998).

      Chapter 2, by Ismo Dunderberg, discusses the "I Saying" in GJn and their
      relationship to GTh but most useful for your interests may be the citations
      contained in the footnotes.


      Rick Hubbard
      Humble Maine Woodsman
    • sarban
      Elaine Pagels has suggested in Beyond Belief that the figure of Thomas in the Gospel of John is a response to the Thomas school or tradition which produced
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 10, 2005
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        Elaine Pagels has suggested in 'Beyond Belief' that the figure
        of Thomas in the Gospel of John is a response to the Thomas
        school or tradition which produced the Gospel of Thomas.

        I would like to suggest another interpretation.

        a/ Thomas in John is a mouthpiece for Johannine concerns, at this
        date (c 100 CE) there is no Thomas school or tradition. The earliest
        version of what would become the Gospel of Thomas already existed
        but was not attributed to Thomas and lacked much of the 'gnostic'
        type material found in Thomas as we know it.

        b/ Around 125-150 CE Christians, probably in Syria, are looking for
        an apostolic pedigree for their esoteric form of the Faith. Under the
        influence of John's Gospel Thomas becomes the pattern of 'Faith
        seeking Understanding'..A 'School of Thomas' now develops,
        connected to the historical Thomas only via the account in John.

        c/ 150-175 CE the final revision of the Gospel of Thomas occurs. The
        Gnostic esoteric elements in Thomas are increased and sayings linking
        it to Thomas (eg the preface and saying 13) are added.

        d/ 200-250 CE Other works 'Acts of Thomas', 'Thomas the Contender'
        produced by 'School of Thomas'.Thomas becomes explicitly identified
        as twin brother of Jesus.

        Any comments ?

        Andrew Criddle

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • David Arbuckle
        I m not a scholar, but in my opinion thomas has nothing to do with john. nor is john a response to thomas. In my opinion thomas is very early, before john.
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 10, 2005
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          I'm not a scholar, but in my opinion thomas has
          nothing to do with john. nor is john a response to
          thomas. In my opinion thomas is very early, before
          john. probably right around the time of Jesus's death.
          I tend to think that John is the work of Lazarus. I
          get the feeling that the beloved is Jesus's buddy who
          he raised from the dead. something tells me they were
          inseparable from that moment. I don't in any way mean
          to imply a orthodox homosexual connection either.
          (secret mark)

          dave

          I think John is about 70 yrs later.

          dave
        • Rick Hubbard
          [Andrew Wrote:] Elaine Pagels has suggested in Beyond Belief that the figure of Thomas in the Gospel of John is a response to the Thomas school or tradition
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 11, 2005
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            [Andrew Wrote:]
            Elaine Pagels has suggested in 'Beyond Belief' that the figure
            of Thomas in the Gospel of John is a response to the Thomas
            school or tradition which produced the Gospel of Thomas.

            I would like to suggest another interpretation.

            "a/ Thomas in John is a mouthpiece for Johannine concerns, at this
            date (c 100 CE) there is no Thomas school or tradition. The earliest
            version of what would become the Gospel of Thomas already existed
            but was not attributed to Thomas and lacked much of the 'gnostic'
            type material found in Thomas as we know it."

            This notion is an intriguing one. I wonder, however, how one might assemble
            persuasive evidence to support such an argument.

            It seems to me that the perennial problem of dating Thomas once again rears
            its miserable head. It is very likely, IMHO, that until this particular
            issue is fully resolved, that it is going to be very difficult to construct
            a viable "history of development" for the Thomas collection. But, having
            said that (and therefore disclosing my skepticism), I think investigation of
            the hypothesis would be a worthwhile exercise.

            {Andrew Wrote:]

            "b/ Around 125-150 CE Christians, probably in Syria, are looking for
            an apostolic pedigree for their esoteric form of the Faith. Under the
            influence of John's Gospel Thomas becomes the pattern of 'Faith
            seeking Understanding'..A 'School of Thomas' now develops,
            connected to the historical Thomas only via the account in John."

            This makes perfect sense, provided that one doesn't get too fussy about the
            125-150 CE dating. I think that the majority of critical scholars agree that
            the "apostolic pedigree" phenomena was a catalyst for a good deal of early
            xtn literary effort.

            [Andrew Wrote:]

            "c/ 150-175 CE the final revision of the Gospel of Thomas occurs. The
            Gnostic esoteric elements in Thomas are increased and sayings linking
            it to Thomas (eg the preface and saying 13) are added."

            This whole business of Thomas and "gnosticism" gives me the heebie-jeebies
            since I've read Karen King's _What is Gnosticism_. I once thought I had a
            grip on how one defines "gnosticism" but now, I'm not so sure. With that in
            mind, Andrew, how would you like to take a try at describing what criteria
            one might use to define "gnostic esoteric elements" in Thomas. I assure you
            that I'm not being bull-headed about this- I truly would appreciate reading
            a thoughtful exposition about the entire matter.

            [Andrew Wrote:]
            "d/ 200-250 CE Other works 'Acts of Thomas', 'Thomas the Contender'
            produced by 'School of Thomas'.Thomas becomes explicitly identified
            as twin brother of Jesus."

            In my opinion? Dead on, probably (again with the tentativeness "dating
            issue" as a caveat).

            Rick Hubbard
            Humble Maine Woodsman
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