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Re: [GTh] Beyond Belief ...

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... Barsabbas? Well, at any rate, the range of meanings of the Greek loan-word ophelei used in Th53 doesn t seem to have included necessary . Typically, it
    Message 1 of 14 , Jun 7, 2003
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      Maurice:

      > ... as I recall (and while opinions most certainly vary), the
      > Diatessaron seems to "log in" at appx. 175 C.E. That sounds a little
      > late for people to be asking (Thomas #53) if "circumcision is
      > necessary" (remember ... this question was settled by Paul & Barsabbas
      > in or around 49 C.E.)

      Barsabbas? Well, at any rate, the range of meanings of the Greek loan-word
      'ophelei' used in Th53 doesn't seem to have included 'necessary'. Typically,
      it meant 'advantageous', 'beneficial', 'profitable', etc. - something beyond
      necessity. Even after Paul, a Christian audience might still have been
      asking, "OK, circumcision isn't necessary, but isn't it (at least)
      advantageous?" Or: "We know it isn't necessary to be Jewish, but isn't it
      helpful?" This continuing question might be taken to favor post-Paul dating,
      though I'm myself agnostic on the dating issue.

      > ... to posture that John was
      > written to counter Thomas seems a bit much. Indeed, not to go
      > so far (in time, that is) as Perrin, it may well even be that John was
      > written long before Thomas .... no ?

      I don't know about the entirety of the original version of John, but chapter
      21 is widely accepted as a later interpolation, and the part about Thomas in
      chapter 20 strikes me as a bit suspicious as well. It seems to have been
      written to counter a specific set of beliefs about the "resurrection", and
      Thomas was chosen as representative of those beliefs, which must mean
      something. Could the "doubting Thomas" material have been added at the same
      time as chapter 21? There doesn't seem to be much, if any, anti-Thomas stuff
      elsewhere in John, however, so I'd agree with you that the general
      conclusion about the whole of John having been written to counter Thomas is
      "a bit much". (This said having not yet read Pagels' new book.)

      Mike
      The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
      http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
    • pessy@chez.com
      ... Following G.A. Van den Bergh van Eysinga , i see it coming from semi-gnostic circels in the second quarter of the second century, and gradually catholised
      Message 2 of 14 , Jun 8, 2003
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        Michael Grondin writes:
        > I don't know about the entirety of the original version of John,

        Following G.A. Van den Bergh van Eysinga ,
        i see it coming from semi-gnostic circels in the second quarter
        of the second century, and gradually catholised in the second half.

        Klaus Schilling
      • odell mcguire
        Dear Mike, list I read Beyond Belief a month ago, after it first came out, and don t have time right now to revisit. But I have the distinct impression that
        Message 3 of 14 , Jun 8, 2003
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          Dear Mike, list

          I read Beyond Belief a month ago, after it first came out, and don't have
          time right now to revisit. But I have the distinct impression that she
          placed the writing of both gospels in the 90s, GThom being the earlier, in
          the vicinity of Syria, if not explicitly, then easily inferred. She shows
          little or no interest in the the thesis, accepted by most, that both are
          compilations rflecting the incorporation of both earlier sources and later
          additions. Actually the calender time is unimportant to her; only the
          sequence and place of writing.


          Her main point is that author 4G was a salesman for the LOGOS solution to
          the "Who WAS Jesus, anyway?" probem. As a salesman, he had competitors,
          active in the same neighborhood, and part of his pitch was a diminution,
          denigration of THEIR products--so modern readers can best judge who that
          competiton was by who it was that author 4G was most interested in
          diminishing.
          In 4G, to be specific: The Baptist, was a Witness to The Light, nothing
          more; The Magdalen, tho first to enter the tomb, mistook Jesus for the
          gardener; Peter was outrun by the BD (John, no real ? about it here) to the
          tomb; Thomas was out of town, was the absolute LAST of the original Apostles
          to see the risen Jesus, and even then, didn't believe what he saw.
          Obviously, the gnostics, Mary M. and Thomas, are LEAST qualified to answer
          ?s about Jesus' identity and that places their cults, if not their written
          expositions, among author 4G's existing competitors.

          I think her case is convincing. You ought to read it Mike.

          As far as Irenaeus is concerned, I think the most interesting thing about
          him is that, according to Pagels, he wrote out of a conviction that he,
          himself, could trace his apostolic succession directly through Polycarp, his
          1st teacher, to John, the BD and author 4G, who in turn was Polycarp's 1st
          teacher. Again, she has a good case. And in any case, the notion that such
          a writer as Irenaeus could be a mere mouthpiece for the Latin Tertulian is
          about as preposterous as any I've seen voiced on this list. And as you
          know, from my own contributions if not otherwise, thats goin' some.

          Odell McGuire
          Lexington, VA




          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Saturday, June 07, 2003 11:42 PM
          Subject: Re: [GTh] Beyond Belief ...


          > Maurice:
          >
          > > ... as I recall (and while opinions most certainly vary), the
          > > Diatessaron seems to "log in" at appx. 175 C.E. That sounds a little
          > > late for people to be asking (Thomas #53) if "circumcision is
          > > necessary" (remember ... this question was settled by Paul & Barsabbas
          > > in or around 49 C.E.)
          >
          > Barsabbas? Well, at any rate, the range of meanings of the Greek loan-word
          > 'ophelei' used in Th53 doesn't seem to have included 'necessary'.
          Typically,
          > it meant 'advantageous', 'beneficial', 'profitable', etc. - something
          beyond
          > necessity. Even after Paul, a Christian audience might still have been
          > asking, "OK, circumcision isn't necessary, but isn't it (at least)
          > advantageous?" Or: "We know it isn't necessary to be Jewish, but isn't it
          > helpful?" This continuing question might be taken to favor post-Paul
          dating,
          > though I'm myself agnostic on the dating issue.
          >
          > > ... to posture that John was
          > > written to counter Thomas seems a bit much. Indeed, not to go
          > > so far (in time, that is) as Perrin, it may well even be that John was
          > > written long before Thomas .... no ?
          >
          > I don't know about the entirety of the original version of John, but
          chapter
          > 21 is widely accepted as a later interpolation, and the part about Thomas
          in
          > chapter 20 strikes me as a bit suspicious as well. It seems to have been
          > written to counter a specific set of beliefs about the "resurrection", and
          > Thomas was chosen as representative of those beliefs, which must mean
          > something. Could the "doubting Thomas" material have been added at the
          same
          > time as chapter 21? There doesn't seem to be much, if any, anti-Thomas stu
          ff
          > elsewhere in John, however, so I'd agree with you that the general
          > conclusion about the whole of John having been written to counter Thomas
          is
          > "a bit much". (This said having not yet read Pagels' new book.)
          >
          > Mike
          > The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
          > http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > --------------------------------------------------------------------
          > Gospel of Thomas Homepage: http://home.epix.net/~miser17/Thomas.html
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          >
          >
        • sarban
          ... From: Michael Grondin To: Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2003 4:42 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] Beyond Belief ... ...
          Message 4 of 14 , Jun 8, 2003
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2003 4:42 AM
            Subject: Re: [GTh] Beyond Belief ...


            > Maurice:
            >
            > > ... as I recall (and while opinions most certainly vary), the
            > > Diatessaron seems to "log in" at appx. 175 C.E. That sounds a little
            > > late for people to be asking (Thomas #53) if "circumcision is
            > > necessary" (remember ... this question was settled by Paul & Barsabbas
            > > in or around 49 C.E.)
            >
            > Barsabbas? Well, at any rate, the range of meanings of the Greek loan-word
            > 'ophelei' used in Th53 doesn't seem to have included 'necessary'.
            Typically,
            > it meant 'advantageous', 'beneficial', 'profitable', etc. - something
            beyond
            > necessity. Even after Paul, a Christian audience might still have been
            > asking, "OK, circumcision isn't necessary, but isn't it (at least)
            > advantageous?" Or: "We know it isn't necessary to be Jewish, but isn't it
            > helpful?" This continuing question might be taken to favor post-Paul
            dating,
            > though I'm myself agnostic on the dating isssue.

            Doesn't the answer to the question about circumcision in Thomas suggest that
            the point isn't just that circumcision is unprofitable to Christians but
            that it was never
            of any value as a physical rite?
            This would be similar to the position of the "Epistle of Barnabas".

            Andrew Criddle
          • pessy@chez.com
            ... That epistle even predates Christianity. Therapeutae or other diaspora Jewish mystery cults may have given up on the outer expressions of the law when the
            Message 5 of 14 , Jun 8, 2003
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              sarban writes:
              > This would be similar to the position of the "Epistle of Barnabas".
              >
              That epistle even predates Christianity.
              Therapeutae or other diaspora Jewish mystery cults may have given up on
              the outer expressions of the law when the Romans oppressed those
              after the temple fall, and even more the messianic wars of Lukuas
              and Artunion,
              and sticked the more to the inner values of the Thorah instead,
              like some later Quietist Christian movements
              e.g. the Beguines (13th century) or Miguel De Molinos (17th century).
              Another important work of those circles is the Didache, or
              Doctrina Apostolorum.
              This has been developed in Edwin Johnson's book "Antiqua Mater".
              The Didache knows some of Matthew's logia,
              but in a varia lectio that represents a more judaist phase.
              For example, the Golden Rule appears still in its passive formulation
              the Talmud ascribed to Hillel (1 cent. BCE).

              Klaus Schilling
            • pessy@chez.com
              ... that d be Barnabas. Barsabbas is the guy who drank lethal poison without being harmed. ... Following Couchoud La Premie`re E dition de St. Paul and Van
              Message 6 of 14 , Jun 9, 2003
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                jmgcormier writes:
                > Your sense of Perrin overstating his case seems sound to me as
                > well ... as I recall (and while opinions most certainly vary), the
                > Diatessaron seems to "log in" at appx. 175 C.E. That sounds a little
                > late for people to be asking (Thomas #53) if "circumcision is
                > necessary"
                > (remember ... this question was settled by Paul & Barsabbas
                that'd be Barnabas.
                Barsabbas is the guy who drank lethal poison without being harmed.
                > in or around 49 C.E.)

                Following Couchoud "La Premie`re E'dition de St. Paul"
                and Van den Bergh van Eysinga "Marcion als Getuige voor een
                voor-katoliek Christendom" I put Paul's epistles into the
                second century, and posterior to the Marcionite versions
                reported by Tertullian and Epiphanius.
                Justin Martyr does not use the Paulinics where they should be used,
                so this first chief ideologer of fledgling Catholic Christianity
                does either not know about the canonical versions or not consider
                them as authorative, even if (which I doubt severely)
                they were extant before Irenaios and Tertullian wrote against Marcion.
                In any case this shows that in Antonius Pius' times, they were not
                accepted as guidelines throughout early Christianity.
                This has been pointed out by E. Johnson in "Antiqua Mater".
                Severians and Elkasaits also refused Paul as too hellenic.
                Van den Bergh van Eysinga, using H. Raschke's "Werkstatt des
                Markus-Evangelisten", showed also that the Marcionite Gospel
                predates, or at least is more original than the canonical ones.
                Turmel in "The Fourth Gospel" shows that John's contains much of
                Marcionite stuff, thinly overpainted by Catholic redactors.
                Justin Martyr even is ignorant about Evangelia as a literary genre,
                and talks about Memorabilia Apostolorum, which contained much
                of the material of the canonical Gospels.

                Klaus Schilling
              • kirby@earthlink.net
                ... Jay Raskin has shown (according to him) that Justin Martyr is the mouthpiece of Tertullian as well. best, Peter Kirby
                Message 7 of 14 , Jun 9, 2003
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                  On 9 Jun 2003, at 12:27, pessy@... wrote:

                  > Justin Martyr does not use the Paulinics where they should be used,
                  > so this first chief ideologer of fledgling Catholic Christianity
                  > does either not know about the canonical versions or not consider
                  > them as authorative, even if (which I doubt severely)
                  > they were extant before Irenaios and Tertullian wrote against Marcion.

                  Jay Raskin has shown (according to him) that Justin Martyr is the
                  mouthpiece of Tertullian as well.

                  best,
                  Peter Kirby
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