Forest and "Givens"
I hope you will all be indulgent and allow me to move my discussion from
the I still dont 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 Mikes 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 ... )
Mikes 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 hes *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 Schillings 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 .