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I still don't comprehend the late dating of Thomas....

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  • Michael Mozina
    As a layman who s followed this forum for a couple of years now, I m still puzzled by the late dating of Thomas. I got interested in this topic after reading
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 8, 2003
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      As a layman who's followed this forum for a couple of years now, I'm still
      puzzled by the late dating of Thomas.

      I got interested in this topic after reading Steven Davies work on the
      connections between the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Thomas. What
      intrigued me was the possibility that the Gospel of Thomas actually could be
      an authentic saying list from one of Y'shua's actual apostles.

      If Mark and other subsequent writers truely did use the GoT as reference
      material, that would suggest to me that this was done because the GoT was
      already in circulation within the "Christian" (for lack of a better term)
      communities, and this was Mark's way of adding credibility to his narrative.
      The only reason such a document would have credibitility at that time is if
      it had been considered authentic within the Christian (The Way?) community.

      To this day, I still get the distinct impression that the GoT very well
      could be an authentic document based on it's genre, it's style and it's use
      by subsequent synoptic gospel writers.

      Is there any real and demonstrateable reason I'm overlooking that precludes
      this document from being an actual sayings list the one of the apostles
      might have penned down while on the road with Jesus the man?

      Michael Mozina
      Mt. Shasta, CA
    • pessy@chez.com
      ... see logion 65, where the benevolent owner (God) of the wineyard sends his servants (prophets of the Tanakh) to the landworkers (people of Israel), in order
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 8, 2003
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        Michael Mozina writes:
        > Is there any real and demonstrateable reason I'm overlooking that precludes
        > this document from being an actual sayings list the one of the apostles
        > might have penned down while on the road with Jesus the man?

        see logion 65, where the benevolent
        owner (God) of the wineyard sends his servants (prophets of the Tanakh)
        to the landworkers (people of Israel),
        in order to remind them of their duties,
        and the servants get beaten and chased away.
        Finally, the owner sends his son (Jesus) who gets slain.
        Thus Jesus would anachronistically anticipate his execution.

        In addition, Jesus denigrates the Pharisees,
        but doesn't talk at all about Saducees,
        who are the ones in charge with the temple administration
        and auxiliary to the Roman occupators.
        This leads to a point when Saduccees were down
        and Pharisees the leading sect,
        as happened after the fall of Jerusalem,
        after Yohannan ben Zakkai compromised with Caesar Vespasianaus.

        Klaus Schilling
      • sarban
        ... From: Michael Mozina To: Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2003 7:17 PM Subject: [GTh] I still don t comprehend
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 8, 2003
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Michael Mozina" <michael@...>
          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Sunday, June 08, 2003 7:17 PM
          Subject: [GTh] I still don't comprehend the late dating of Thomas....


          > As a layman who's followed this forum for a couple of years now, I'm still
          > puzzled by the late dating of Thomas.
          >
          > I got interested in this topic after reading Steven Davies work on the
          > connections between the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Thomas. What
          > intrigued me was the possibility that the Gospel of Thomas actually could
          be
          > an authentic saying list from one of Y'shua's actual apostles.
          >
          > If Mark and other subsequent writers truely did use the GoT as reference
          > material, that would suggest to me that this was done because the GoT was
          > already in circulation within the "Christian" (for lack of a better term)
          > communities, and this was Mark's way of adding credibility to his
          narrative.
          > The only reason such a document would have credibitility at that time is
          if
          > it had been considered authentic within the Christian (The Way?)
          community.
          >
          > To this day, I still get the distinct impression that the GoT very well
          > could be an authentic document based on it's genre, it's style and it's
          use
          > by subsequent synoptic gospel writers.
          >
          > Is there any real and demonstrateable reason I'm overlooking that
          precludes
          > this document from being an actual sayings list the one of the apostles
          > might have penned down while on the road with Jesus the man?
          >
          > Michael Mozina
          > Mt. Shasta, CA
          >
          >
          There are three types of evidence of varying strength against a very
          early date for Thomas in its present form.

          1/ Although some of the synoptic type material in Thomas may
          be more primitive than the synoptic gospels some sayings appear
          secondary. E.g. in saying 14 a reference to healing the sick occurs
          which is irrelevant in its context in Thomas but makes perfect sense
          in the parallel in Luke 10:9 and in saying 57 (wheat and tares) the
          agreement with Matthew extends to features that are probably
          Matthean redaction.
          2/ Several sayings in Thomas seem to refer to distinctively
          Gnostic ideas which probably did not enter the Christian
          tradition before the very late 1st century CE. E.g sayings
          50, 77 and 114.
          (Steven Davies presents detailed arguments that these sayings
          are part of the Wisdom tradition and not Gnostic but most
          scholars do not agree with him and his arguments against
          Gnostic ideas in Thomas sometimes involve a narrow
          definition of Gnosticism. )
          3/ There are connections between Thomas and the 2nd
          century Syriac Christian tradition. Not only linguistic and
          textual similarities but also such ideas as the "single one"
          important in Thomas and in Syrian monasticism.
          These connections could be due to influence of Thomas
          on early Syriac Christianity but are more probably due to
          the use of a common tradition.

          This evidence even if valid refers to the present form of
          Thomas. An earlier form of Thomas type material could
          well be very early.

          Andrew Criddle
        • Stephen
          ... [....] ... Which assumes that the son = Jesus, the owner = God. This is the meaning given to the saying in the canonical gospels. But there is nothing in
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 11, 2003
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            > see logion 65, where the benevolent
            > owner (God) of the wineyard sends his servants (prophets of the Tanakh)
            > to the landworkers (people of Israel),
            > in order to remind them of their duties,
            > and the servants get beaten and chased away.
            > Finally, the owner sends his son (Jesus) who gets slain.
            > Thus Jesus would anachronistically anticipate his execution.
            >
            >
            [....]
            >
            > Klaus Schilling
            >

            Which assumes that the son = Jesus, the owner = God. This is the meaning
            given to the saying in the canonical gospels. But there is nothing in the
            Thomas version to indicate that this is the intended meaning. Like so much
            else the canonical writers have taken what must have been to them an
            incomprehensible saying and have assigned it a meaning based on their
            understanding of a literal Jesus.

            Stephen Peter
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