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RE: [GTh] I stilll don't understand

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  • David C. Hindley
    ... but I don t think what I found was really it. I would be interested in further discussions of the Diatessaron.
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 11, 2003
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      Steve Allison says:

      >>A couple of years ago I attempted to find the Diatessaron on the internet
      but I don't think what I found was really it. I would be interested in
      further discussions of the Diatessaron.<<

      As far as I know, the only online version of the Diatessaron is that based
      on volume X of _The Ante-Nicene Fathers to A.D. 325_, Alexander Roberts and
      James Donaldson, editors, Christian Literature Publishing Company, 1896.
      When I first obtained the full set back in my college days (about 1977) I
      was surprised to learn that even though some church fathers spoke of the
      Diatessaron as if it contained some noncanonical words of Jesus, none of the
      manuscripts known to the editor of that volume supported such readings.
      Availing myself of several libraries, it appeared that this situation had
      not changed much through the late 1970's or early 1980's. In fact, there was
      suspicion that the manuscripts identified as the Diatessaron were in fact
      independent gospel harmonies that somehow became identified with the
      Diatessaron.

      I do not know if this is still the opinion of most researchers, or whether I
      am even correct in my recollection.

      Respectfully,

      Dave Hindley
      Cleveland, Ohio, USA
    • pessy@chez.com
      ... http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/diatessaron.html points to extant fragments and discussions. Klaus Schilling
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 11, 2003
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        swallison writes:
        > A couple of years ago I attempted to find the Diatessaron on the
        > internet but I don't think what I found was really it.

        http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/diatessaron.html points to
        extant fragments and discussions.


        Klaus Schilling
      • sarban
        ... From: David C. Hindley To: Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 8:19 AM Subject: RE: [GTh] I stilll don t
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 11, 2003
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "David C. Hindley" <dhindley@...>
          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 8:19 AM
          Subject: RE: [GTh] I stilll don't understand


          > Steve Allison says:
          >
          > >>A couple of years ago I attempted to find the Diatessaron on the
          internet
          > but I don't think what I found was really it. I would be interested in
          > further discussions of the Diatessaron.<<
          >
          > As far as I know, the only online version of the Diatessaron is that based
          > on volume X of _The Ante-Nicene Fathers to A.D. 325_, Alexander Roberts
          and
          > James Donaldson, editors, Christian Literature Publishing Company, 1896.
          > When I first obtained the full set back in my college days (about 1977) I
          > was surprised to learn that even though some church fathers spoke of the
          > Diatessaron as if it contained some noncanonical words of Jesus, none of
          the
          > manuscripts known to the editor of that volume supported such readings.
          > Availing myself of several libraries, it appeared that this situation had
          > not changed much through the late 1970's or early 1980's. In fact, there
          was
          > suspicion that the manuscripts identified as the Diatessaron were in fact
          > independent gospel harmonies that somehow became identified with the
          > Diatessaron.
          >
          > I do not know if this is still the opinion of most researchers, or whether
          I
          > am even correct in my recollection.
          >
          The Text of the Diatessaron in the Ante-Nicene Fathers is based on
          Arabic translations from Syriac that have been largely adjusted to the
          Peshitta, the standard Syriac bible text. In other words it preserves the
          original order of gospel passages much more accurately than the original
          text. Our best piece of evidence concerning the original text of the
          Diatessaron is the commentary on the Diatessaron written by Ephraem in
          the late fourth century. This was originally written in Syriac but is
          preserved
          more fully in Armenian translation. This commentary mentions several
          non-canonical passages.

          Andrew Criddle
        • Michael Grondin
          ... I m wondering what s meant by a very early date here. Would late first century count? Arguably, that might be a point at which the synoptics would be
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 19, 2003
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            Back on June 10th, Andrew Criddle wrote:
            > ... the great majority of people involved in Diatessaronic or early
            > Syriac studies accept the connection [between GTh and DT] for
            > which there are three possible explanations.
            > 1/ Thomas is based on the Diatessaron.
            > 2/ The Diatessaron is based on Thomas.
            > 3/ Thomas and the Diatessaron used a common source or sources.
            > For a very early date of Thomas explanation 2 is required.

            I'm wondering what's meant by "a very early date" here. Would late first
            century count? Arguably, that might be a point at which the synoptics would
            be available in Syriac, but GJn would not yet be on the scene. Or does GTh
            have to be pre-synoptic to count as "very early"? The reason I ask is that
            it's just not clear to me why explanation 2 is required for a "very early
            date".

            On a related matter, it's sometimes argued or implied that GTh must be
            pre-synoptic because the sayings-list genre preceded the narrative genre.
            Even if this general observation is true, however, I think it tends to
            over-simplify and ignore the way folks actually operate. Rather than a
            strict chronological dividing-line between genres (wherein at time T we
            suddenly see a new genre taking up and the older one completely
            disappearing), we often see an interim period characterized by a kind of
            "backlash" effect, where the older genre attempts to survive by
            incorporating or adapting itself to the new reality. (What I mean by
            "attempts to survive", of course, is that list-oriented folks might
            naturally try at first to preserve their favored genre by a process of
            absorption or adaptation.) Would the existence of such an interim historical
            period plausibly account for the nature of GTh?

            Respects,
            Mike Grondin
            Mt. Clemens, MI
          • sarban
            ... From: Michael Grondin To: Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2003 2:59 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] I stilll don t
            Message 5 of 11 , Jun 19, 2003
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
              To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2003 2:59 PM
              Subject: Re: [GTh] I stilll don't understand


              > Back on June 10th, Andrew Criddle wrote:
              > > ... the great majority of people involved in Diatessaronic or early
              > > Syriac studies accept the connection [between GTh and DT] for
              > > which there are three possible explanations.
              > > 1/ Thomas is based on the Diatessaron.
              > > 2/ The Diatessaron is based on Thomas.
              > > 3/ Thomas and the Diatessaron used a common source or sources.
              > > For a very early date of Thomas explanation 2 is required.
              >
              > I'm wondering what's meant by "a very early date" here. Would late first
              > century count? Arguably, that might be a point at which the synoptics
              would
              > be available in Syriac, but GJn would not yet be on the scene. Or does GTh
              > have to be pre-synoptic to count as "very early"? The reason I ask is that
              > it's just not clear to me why explanation 2 is required for a "very early
              > date".
              >
              In my original post very early means pre-synoptic, but it is a good question
              how early a date for Thomas is compatible with explanation 3. (explanation
              1 obviously requires a late date.) I think any plausible version of 3
              requires a date for Thomas later than say CE 70. More specificity depends
              on the type of common source we are talking about. I think the most likely
              common sources for the unusual readings in Thomas and the Diatessaron
              are things like an early synoptic harmony or a Syriac/Aramaic Jewish
              gospel like the "Gospel of the Nazareans" based on Matthew or
              Matthew's sources. These synoptic based sources can hardly be
              earlier than the very end of the first century and if Thomas is based
              on them it must be second century although quite possibly
              very early second century. Different ideas about the type of common
              source involved would obviously give a different date range.

              Andrew Criddle
            • jmgcormier
              ... wrote: (snip ... snip .... ... be ... genre. ... I always find it interesting to hear this popular hypothesis. In fact, it has become so often repeated
              Message 6 of 11 , Jun 19, 2003
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                --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, Michael Grondin <mwgrondin@c...>
                wrote:

                (snip ... snip ....


                >
                > On a related matter, it's sometimes argued or implied that GTh must
                be
                > pre-synoptic because the sayings-list genre preceded the narrative
                genre.

                --------------------------------------------------------------------

                I always find it interesting to hear this popular hypothesis. In fact,
                it has become so often repeated that it has now almost acquired the
                status of a "given", and we generally accept it as factual whereas
                there is absolutely no proof that it is necessarily true. Personally,
                I could think of dozens of instances where a sayings-list genre might
                not necessarily precede a "narrative" genre .... suppose that someone
                is taking crib notes from a written text in the hope of later making a
                point or an argument ... suppose someone is impressed by a speaker who
                is rendering a point of view and he/she decides to "take notes" for
                purposes of later recalling the highlights or the perceived logics of
                the address for whatever reason, etc etc. Despite the opinion of
                "experts", I really have to wonder why a saying-list genre would
                necessarily have to precede a "narrative" genre ... makes no sense to
                me as a cornerstone of logics ....

                ----------------------------------------------------------------------


                Even if this general observation is true, however, I think it tends
                to
                > over-simplify and ignore the way folks actually operate.

                ----------------------------------------------------------------------

                Agreed 100%, Mike !

                ---------------------------------------------------------------------

                Rather than
                a
                > strict chronological dividing-line between genres (wherein at time T
                we
                > suddenly see a new genre taking up and the older one completely
                > disappearing), we often see an interim period characterized by a
                kind of
                > "backlash" effect, where the older genre attempts to survive by
                > incorporating or adapting itself to the new reality. (What I mean by
                > "attempts to survive", of course, is that list-oriented folks might
                > naturally try at first to preserve their favored genre by a process
                of
                > absorption or adaptation.) Would the existence of such an interim
                historical
                > period plausibly account for the nature of GTh?

                ----------------------------------------------------------------------

                Hmmmm ! I am going to guess here that in referring to the "nature" of
                Thomas, you are referring to its "sayings-list" genre/nature vs its
                "narrative" genre/nature. Well, from my bias as stated above, the
                answer would have to be a resounding "yes" ... as long as one accepts
                the premise that "sayings lists" always necessarily preceed
                "narrative" text ... Having said this, however, I would find it most
                interesting to step out a bit beyond the genre constraint of Mike's
                question, and canvass members for a list of the overall nature
                elements of GTh.

                In short, what do we know for sure about the nature of this Gospel. We
                know, for example that it is not a seamless document. We know that it
                was composed from several important building blocks. We know that it
                contains tell tale gramatical clues tying it to Semetic origins, we
                have part of a (earlier ?) Greek copy, we know that it was "tampered
                with" when comparing the Greek with the Coptic, etc., etc., etc.

                Perhaps we are assuming all too quickly that we truly have a grasp on
                Thomas' general "nature", whereas in reality, much like the assumed
                "given" of "sayings genre is earlier than narrative genre", we dont
                really grasp its true "nature". (Can't see the forest because of the
                "givens").

                As a "for instance" along these lines, I was always struck by logion
                #3 wherein Jesus tells his audience that they should "not listen to
                those who lead you" while he himself is seeking their leadereship on
                the one hand, and is advocating James' continuing leadership in his
                absence in logion #12 ... is this "text tampering" by way of a
                creative or zealous scribe (and if so why), or is Jesus 9for some
                unknown reason) asking that we not follow Him? ... hmmmm ... is this
                along with other such examples part of the nature of GTh which we tend
                to overlook because we rely too heavily on suppoded "givens" ????

                I recall some time ago (I suspect I could now never find the post in
                question) where Rick Hubbard was planning to give a talk to some group
                in the State of Maine on "what we know for certain" about the Gospel
                of Thomas. Indeed, he had canvassed list members at the time with
                respect to his "talk" material. I am pretty sure no one had added much
                to his list of "things we know for certain" about Thomas at the time,
                and unfortunately, he never gave a debriefing to list members as to
                how well or poorly his talk had gone. Pitty .... !

                I apologize for all the pontifications and ramblings, but I cant help
                but wonder if at times we really understand what we read ... shades of
                Thomas logion #2 B and C perhaps ....

                Maurice Cormier
              • pessy@chez.com
                ... Could it be an antipaulinic statement? Klaus Schilling
                Message 7 of 11 , Jun 20, 2003
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                  jmgcormier writes:

                  > As a "for instance" along these lines, I was always struck by logion
                  > #3 wherein Jesus tells his audience that they should "not listen to
                  > those who lead you" while he himself is seeking their leadereship on
                  > the one hand, and is advocating James' continuing leadership in his
                  > absence in logion #12 ... is this "text tampering" by way of a
                  > creative or zealous scribe (and if so why), or is Jesus 9for some
                  > unknown reason) asking that we not follow Him? ... hmmmm ... is this
                  > along with other such examples part of the nature of GTh which we tend
                  > to overlook because we rely too heavily on suppoded "givens" ????
                  >
                  Could it be an antipaulinic statement?

                  Klaus Schilling
                • Michael Grondin
                  ... Before we guess at its intent, let s get it right what it says. It isn t an unconditional statement about leaders(hip), as Maurice claims. Rather, it s a
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jun 20, 2003
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                    [Maurice Cormier]:
                    > > As a "for instance" along these lines, I was always struck by logion
                    > > #3 wherein Jesus tells his audience that they should "not listen to
                    > > those who lead you" while he himself is seeking their leadereship on
                    > > the one hand, and is advocating James' continuing leadership in his
                    > > absence in logion #12 ... is this "text tampering" by way of a
                    > > creative or zealous scribe (and if so why), or is Jesus 9for some
                    > > unknown reason) asking that we not follow Him? ... hmmmm ... is this
                    > > along with other such examples part of the nature of GTh which we tend
                    > > to overlook because we rely too heavily on suppoded "givens" ????
                    [Klaus Schilling]:
                    > Could it be an antipaulinic statement?

                    Before we guess at its intent, let's get it right what it says. It isn't an
                    unconditional statement about leaders(hip), as Maurice claims. Rather, it's
                    a conditional: IF your leaders say such-and-such about the kingdom, then
                    they're wrong. But since the Thomas Jesus denies the "such-and-such", he's
                    not in the same boat with those others. Also, he's made to say (Th13) that
                    he's *not* the master/teacher of the everyman Thomas. Th3 could be, I
                    suppose, directed toward one or more of the canonical Jesuses, but there's
                    no evident inconsistency within GTh on that score.

                    Mike Grondin
                    Mt. Clemens, MI
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