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Forest and "Givens"

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  • Maurice Cormier
    Note: I hope you will all be indulgent and allow me to move my discussion from the “I still don’t understand” thread to a new one which I will simply
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 21, 2003
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      Note:

      I hope you will all be indulgent and allow me to move my discussion from
      the “I still don’t understand” thread to a new one which I will simply
      call “Forest and Givens” . .. the reason being that the points I would
      like to raise are quite separate and distinct from those of earlier
      (excellent) posts on the “Thomas/Diatessaron” lineage and Mike’s post #
      5659 which deals with “Saying List” genres vs “Narrative” genres. In
      short, for sake of focus I dont’ want to interlace the two subjects ...
      (life is confusing enough as it is...) My points herein are thus of
      particular reference and interest to Klaus Schilling and Mike Grondin
      who were both kind enough to grace my “Forest and Givens” argument (post
      # 5662) with follow-up observations .... both of which (from my bias at
      any rate) may serve to add credence to my original point about “not
      seeing the forest because of the givens” ....

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

      For starters, I must apologize for not being more detailed when in my
      post (5662) when I raised suspicion about Thomas’ intentions in Logion
      #3 (“If those who lead you say ... )
      Mike’s reply to my point is quite correct in pointing out that Jesus’
      comment is, in fact, “conditional”...

      Having said this, however, one has to nonetheless wonder from a
      “doctrinal point of view” how Thomas could make his statement about the
      Kingdom not being in the sea (or in the sky for that matter) in logion
      #3, and only five logia later (Thomas # 8) suggest to us that “the
      Kingdom” (- or man ?”) is like a fisherman catching a “large fish from
      “the sea”. Am I missing something here ??? As a second interesting
      doctrinal point, how could the same Jesus who tells us that the “Kingdom
      is not in the sky”, suddenly point out in logion # 20 that the “Kingdom”
      is a great plant which somehow “shelters” the birds “of the sky” ????
      Hmmm ! Is Jesus’ allegory here (or that of the cunning/devious wordsmith
      Thomas) redundant with respect to exactly where the “Kingdom” really is,
      or are we being patronized here ???? (Trees vs “givens”)

      Later on, Mike points out (correctly so) that Thomas (logion #13) then
      has Jesus saying that “he’s *not* the master/teacher of the everyman
      Thomas”. But again here, is the (cunning and devious ?) Thomas again
      trying to “lead us down the garden path” without us realizing it (Trees
      vs Givens) ???

      Consider the Synoptic parallels Matt 16:13, Mark 8: 27 - 33, and Luke
      9: 18 etc where on the one hand Jesus never uses the expression “I am
      not your master/teacher...”, and on the other, where none of the
      evangilists record Thomas as even being present at the event. Now,for
      the sake of argument, perhaps the translator or scribe of GoTh can be
      given a bit of “room to manoeuver’ here in order to make the point, but
      why would he be unduly creative in his/her translation when he/she
      necessarily has all three synoptic gospels at his side to consult ????
      (By the way, he/she has to have all three synoptic gospels at his/her
      side because not only does Thomas draw about two thirds of his logia
      from these gospels, but in addition, he includes in his rendering one
      “plagerized quote” from “Special Luke” (logion 79), one from “Special
      Mark” (logion 21), and no less than seven from “Special Matthew” ... So
      the bottom line here, is that Thomas “clearly knows” that he is being
      creative in logion #13, and he is clearly “spotlighting himself” in the
      logion which according to the three synoptics does not even include him
      on the scene ... let alone in the theatre parking lot ! Hmmmm ! ....
      sorry folks, but my bias is that the real question here seemingly has
      little to do with “Saying list” genres versus “Narrative” genres.
      Indeed, I would rather submit that it has everything to do with the fact
      that Thomas “at times” lays out (there are other examples throughout
      GTh) “quasi true and subliminally receptive” environments around his
      logia such as to dupe us into believing certain things (doctrine) which
      he would have us believe flows from these (invented) environments and
      situations. (Thomas would have made a great tax accountant... I guess
      ...)

      Now, where was I .... Oh yes ! .... Klaus ....

      Being first and foremost a doctrinist, I am extremely interested in
      Klaus Schilling’s Post # 5663. My question to Klaus is ... when you ask
      the question “Could it be an antipaulinic statement ? ” in reference to
      my queery about relying too heavily on supposed “givens”, are you asking
      the question because you simply sense (from subliminal “givens” and/or
      the points of view of “experts”) that Thomas is an anti-Pauline
      document, or have you come to this conclusion by way of personal
      research .... the reason I ask is that I believe very strongly that
      Thomas is overwhelmingly Pauline (as it is overwhelmingly Johanine), and
      I would love to exchange notes with you on this subject if you have done
      related research which you might be willing to share (one-on-one,
      perhaps, so as to not unduly monopolize the venue of this list)

      Well ... again, I apologize for the pontifications etc, but the more I
      read Thomas, the more I see Madison Avenue techniques in his approach,
      and I do want to focus in as closely as I can on “why” he wrote his
      gospel, and in particular “who” he might have written it for ....

      Maurice Cormier .
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