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Re: [GTh] GTh 3/Deut 30:11-14 Parallels

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  • fmmccoy
    ... From: Randall Helzerman To: Sent: Monday, October 06, 2003 10:17 AM Subject: [GTh] GTh 3/Deut
    Message 1 of 10 , Oct 7, 2003
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Randall Helzerman" <rahelzer@...>
      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, October 06, 2003 10:17 AM
      Subject: [GTh] GTh 3/Deut 30:11-14 Parallels


      > There is an interesting parallel to saying #3 in Deuteronomy:
      >
      > 11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or
      beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask,
      "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey
      it?" 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will
      cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 14 No,
      the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may
      obey it.
      >
      > A couple of questions:
      >
      > 1. Does deutronomistic theology play a central role in GTh?
      >
      > 2. More so/less so than in the cannonical sayings of Jesus?

      Dear Randy:

      How do you define "deutronomistic theology"? I'd like your answer before
      attempting to address either of the two questions you raise.

      In any event, it is worthwhile noting that, besides GTh 3a, there are number
      of other passages related to Deut. 10:11-14.

      One is Romans 10:6b-8, where Paul states, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who
      will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down) or 'Who will
      descend into the abyss?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But
      what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart
      (that is, the word of faith which we preach);...". (RSV)

      Another is Baruch 3:29-30, "Who hath gone up into heaven, and taken her
      (i.e., Wisdom), and brought her down from the clouds? Who hath gone over
      the sea, and found her, and will bring her for pure gold?"

      Yet another is Praem (80), where Philo states, "Nor is the Good far away
      either beyond the sea or at the end of the earth, so that it requires of you
      a lingering and wearisome exile, not has it suddenly left this earth to
      settle in Heaven, so that one can scarce reach them though he soar on high
      and wing his way thither. No, it is close by, very near, firmly set in
      three parts of which each is constituted mouth and heart and hand
      representing in a figure respectively speech and thought and action."

      A fifth is Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, "It is not in Heaven, that one should
      say, 'Who shall ascend to Heaven for us and take it and teach it to us that
      we may do it?'; and it is not across the great sea, that one should say,
      'Who
      will cross the great sea for us and take it and teach it to us that we may
      do it'; but the word is nearby to you, in your study houses--open your
      mouths in order to read them [the divine commandments], and purify your
      hearts so that you may do them."

      In each case, there appears to be an attempt to identify the "word" (LXX:
      hrema rather than logos), of Deut 30:11-14, that is not to be found in the
      sky or across the sea, but in one's heart and one's mouth. For Paul, it is
      the word of faith which he preached. For Baruch, it is Wisdom. For Philo,
      it is the Good. For the author of Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, it is the Law of
      Moses.

      Let us now look at GTh 3a, "If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the
      Kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they
      say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the
      Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you."

      Like the other passages listed above, GTh 3a is, I suggest, an attempt to
      identify the
      "word" of Deut. 30:11-14. If so, then, for the Thomas community, this
      "word" is the Kingdom.

      For reasons given in earlier posts, I think that the Kingdom of GThomas is
      Wisdom. So, I suggest, the Thomas community, since they took the "word" of
      Deut. 30:11-14 to be the Kingdom, identified it as being Wisdom.

      If so, then the Thomas community had interpreted Deut 30:11-14 in a manner
      rather similar to the way that the author of Baruch had interpreted this
      passage--for this person did take the "word" of Deut 30:11-14 to be Wisdom..

      I also think that, like Philo, the Thomas community interpreted your "heart"
      and your "mouth" of Deut. 30:11-14 to be, respectively, your "thoughts" and
      your "speech". As a result, they concluded, that the "word" is in your
      "heart" and in your "mouth" means that this "word" (which is the Kingdom
      (i.e., Wisdom) is to be found both within you (i.e., in thoughts you have
      within yourself) and without you (i.e., in your speech that is transmitted
      outside of you through the air).

      So, to summarize, I suggest that the resemblances between Deut. 30:11-14 and
      GTh 3a are due to GTh 3a being based on the interpretation of Deut 30:11-14
      that was held by the Thomas community. In this intepretation, they took the
      "word" to be the Kingdom (i.e., Wisdom), your "heart" to be your thoughts,
      and your "mouth" to be your speech. If so, then they interpreted Deut
      30:11-14 in a radically different way than does Paul in Romans 10:6b-8.

      Regards,

      Frank McCoy
      1809 N. English Apt. 15
      Maplewood, MN USA 55109
    • Jim Bauer
      ... obey ... No, ... may ... ... of ... Hi, Frank, If I had access to a Catholic Bible, I d research this myself. I may have to run
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 7, 2003
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        <Randy>
        >
        > > There is an interesting parallel to saying #3 in Deuteronomy:
        > >
        > > 11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or
        > beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask,
        > "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may
        obey
        > it?" 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will
        > cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 14
        No,
        > the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you
        may
        > obey it.
        > >
        <Frank>
        <snip>
        >
        > For reasons given in earlier posts, I think that the Kingdom of GThomas is
        > Wisdom. So, I suggest, the Thomas community, since they took the "word"
        of
        > Deut. 30:11-14 to be the Kingdom, identified it as being Wisdom.
        >
        Hi, Frank,

        If I had access to a Catholic Bible, I'd research this myself. I may have
        to run over to their office & pick one up if I seriously want to continue
        posting on this subject. It contains a number of added books & chapters
        called "the Apocrypha", although they're sometimes called
        "pseudopigraphical". I've noticed that people on this list are familiar
        with RSV & with the NHL, but I've never noticed anything regarding the
        Apocrypha. My question to you is, does your analysis have anything to do
        with Wisdom of Solomon?

        Jim Bauer
        Havre, MT
      • Randall Helzerman
        Thanks to Andrew Criddle and Frank McCoy for their replies. ... Interesting point. However, by Deuteronomistic Theology I don t necessarily mean just quotes
        Message 3 of 10 , Oct 8, 2003
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          Thanks to Andrew Criddle and Frank McCoy for their replies.

          Andrew writes:

          > There are several direct quotes from Deuteronomy in the
          >canonical Gospels, e.g. Jesus' replies to Satan during the
          >temptation in the wilderness all come from Deuteronomy.
          >Thomas, on the other hand, tends to avoid direct reference
          >to Old Testament scripture.

          Interesting point. However, by "Deuteronomistic Theology"
          I don't necessarily mean just quotes from the book of
          Deutoronomy; see below:

          > How do you define "deutronomistic theology"? I'd like your answer before
          > attempting to address either of the two questions you raise.

          There is a hypothesis that the books Deuteronomy through II Kings
          were formed under the influence of a theology which was
          prominent at the time of Josiah. There's some good web pages
          about it--just do a google query of "Deuteronomistic Theology".

          Another similarity between GTh and the Deuteronomistic Historical
          record (Deut through II Kings) is the complete lack of concern for
          the Devil.
        • fmmccoy
          ... From: Jim Bauer To: Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2003 9:37 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] GTh 3/Deut 30:11-14
          Message 4 of 10 , Oct 8, 2003
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Jim Bauer" <jbauer@...>
            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2003 9:37 AM
            Subject: Re: [GTh] GTh 3/Deut 30:11-14 Parallels


            >
            >>> <Randy>

            > > > There is an interesting parallel to saying #3 in Deuteronomy:11 Now
            what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your
            reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will
            ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 13
            Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea
            to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" 14 No, the word is
            very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
            > > >

            > <Frank>
            > <snip>
            > >
            > > For reasons given in earlier posts, I think that the Kingdom of GThomas
            is Wisdom. So, I suggest, the Thomas community, since they took the "word"
            of Deut. 30:11-14 to be the Kingdom, identified it as being Wisdom.
            > >

            > Hi, Frank,
            >
            > If I had access to a Catholic Bible, I'd research this myself. I may have
            > to run over to their office & pick one up if I seriously want to continue
            > posting on this subject. It contains a number of added books & chapters
            > called "the Apocrypha", although they're sometimes called
            > "pseudopigraphical". I've noticed that people on this list are familiar
            > with RSV & with the NHL, but I've never noticed anything regarding the
            > Apocrypha. My question to you is, does your analysis have anything to do
            > with Wisdom of Solomon?
            >

            Hi Jim:

            My analysis of the relationship between Deut 30:11-14 and the first part of
            GTh 3 does not directly relate to anything in the Wisdom of Solomon.

            I do, though, think that the Wisdom of Solomon can help us to understand
            some of the sayings in GTh.

            For example, take the first sentence in GTh 2, "Let him who seeks continue
            seeking until he finds." This might be related to Solomon 6:12, "Wisdom
            is...found of such as seek her." If so, then what one is to seek in GTh 2
            is Wisdom.

            Jim, I recommend that you get an interlinear Septuagint bible. The
            Septuagint bible includes the Wisdom of Solomon and the rest of the
            Apocrypha. It was the most popular bible among early Christians, including
            Paul, so it is very useful in doing researches on early Christian thought.

            Many years ago, I found and bought an interlinear Septuagint bible at a
            Christian book-shop located in a shopping mall. So, you might be able to
            find one in a local Christian book-shop.

            Regards,

            Frank McCoy
            1809 N. English Apt. 15
            Maplewood, MN USA 55109
          • Achilles37@aol.com
            Hello - Just in terms of parallels between GThomas and the book of Deuteronomy (but not Deuteronomistic Theology ), here are a few besides GTh 3 and Deut.
            Message 5 of 10 , Oct 9, 2003
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              Hello -

              Just in terms of parallels between GThomas and the book of Deuteronomy (but not "Deuteronomistic Theology"), here are a few besides GTh 3 and Deut. 30:11-14:

              GTh Preamble - These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down.
              Deuteronomy 1:1 - "These are the words that Moses spoke to Israel in the Transjordan"

              GTh 2 - Jesus said, "Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds..."
              Deut 4:29 - "But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him..."

              GTh 22 - "...eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot..."
              Deut. 19:21 - "...eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot."

              GTh 23 - Jesus said, "I shall choose you, one out of a thousand, and two out of ten thousand..."
              Deuteronomy 32:20 - "How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight..."

              GTh 25 - Jesus said, "...guard him like the pupil of your eye."
              Deut. 32:10 - "...he guarded him as the apple of his eye."

              Regards,

              - Kevin Johnson
            • Tom Saunders
              Hi All, Kevin presents an interesting set of parallels to Deuteronomy. But can we call them parallels that are intentional rather than coincidental? I don t
              Message 6 of 10 , Oct 10, 2003
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                Hi All,

                Kevin presents an interesting set of parallels to Deuteronomy. But can we call them parallels that are intentional rather than coincidental? I don't see an intentional pattern that would lead me to believe that the GThom is about reinforcing the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Moses. The author of the GThom probably read Deuteronomy, but the GThom seems to be about another kind of "God," or 'light' as it is used in the GThom.

                What do you think is in the "Old T" that really does reflect any thematic intentions of the GThom?

                Tom Saunders
                Platter Flats, OK




                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • sarban
                ... From: Randall Helzerman To: Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 7:15 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] GTh 3/Deut
                Message 7 of 10 , Oct 10, 2003
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                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Randall Helzerman" <rahelzer@...>
                  To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 7:15 PM
                  Subject: Re: [GTh] GTh 3/Deut 30:11-14 Parallels


                  > Thanks to Andrew Criddle and Frank McCoy for their replies.
                  >
                  > Andrew writes:
                  >
                  > > There are several direct quotes from Deuteronomy in the
                  > >canonical Gospels, e.g. Jesus' replies to Satan during the
                  > >temptation in the wilderness all come from Deuteronomy.
                  > >Thomas, on the other hand, tends to avoid direct reference
                  > >to Old Testament scripture.
                  >
                  > Interesting point. However, by "Deuteronomistic Theology"
                  > I don't necessarily mean just quotes from the book of
                  > Deutoronomy; see below:
                  >
                  > > How do you define "deutronomistic theology"? I'd like your answer
                  before
                  > > attempting to address either of the two questions you raise.
                  >
                  > There is a hypothesis that the books Deuteronomy through II Kings
                  > were formed under the influence of a theology which was
                  > prominent at the time of Josiah. There's some good web pages
                  > about it--just do a google query of "Deuteronomistic Theology".
                  >
                  > Another similarity between GTh and the Deuteronomistic Historical
                  > record (Deut through II Kings) is the complete lack of concern for
                  > the Devil.
                  >
                  As I understand "Deutreronomistic Theology" it contains a strong emphasis
                  on "Salvation History", God revealing himself to his people through mighty
                  saving acts.
                  The tendency in the Gospel of Thomas to see Jesus as a revealer of timeless
                  spiritual truths seems to come from a different world of thought.

                  Andrew Criddle
                • Randall Helzerman
                  Replies to Kevin Johnson, Tom Saunders, and Andrew Criddle: Thanks much to Kevin Johnson for the list of parallels with Deuteronomy! Very interesting. ...
                  Message 8 of 10 , Oct 10, 2003
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                    Replies to Kevin Johnson, Tom Saunders, and Andrew Criddle:

                    Thanks much to Kevin Johnson for the list of
                    parallels with Deuteronomy! Very interesting.

                    Tom Saunders asks a good question:

                    > What do you think is in the "Old T"
                    > that really does reflect any thematic
                    > intentions of the GThom?

                    Well, lets try to list some thematic parallels:

                    #1.
                    Deuteronomy is a list of sayings given by Moses before he died.
                    GTh is a list of sayings given by Jesus before he died.

                    #2.
                    Moses looks forward to the entry into the promised land.
                    Jesus looks forward to the entry into the Kindom of Heaven.

                    #3.
                    Moses will die before the children of Israel enter the promised land.
                    Jesus will die before his followers enter the kindgom of heaven.

                    #3.
                    Deuteronomy is not concerned with Satan or the Devil at all.
                    GTh is not concerned with Satan or the Devil at all.

                    #4.
                    Deuteronomy lists laws prescribing how to live in the promised land.
                    GTh lists laws presecribing how to live in the kindgom of heaven.


                    Andrew Criddle writes:

                    > The tendency in the Gospel of Thomas to see
                    > Jesus as a revealer of timeless spiritual truths
                    > seems to come from a different world of thought.

                    Agreed, its a different world of thought, but perhaps
                    GTh uses adopts some themes from Deuteronomistic Theology?

                    Could the GTh be patterened on the book of Deuteronomy?


                    Just wondering aloud,
                    -Randy Helzerman
                  • swallison
                    ... Deuteronomy (but not Deuteronomistic Theology ), here are a few ... spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down. ... the Transjordan ... finds...
                    Message 9 of 10 , Oct 12, 2003
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                      --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, Achilles37@a... wrote:
                      > Hello -
                      >
                      > Just in terms of parallels between GThomas and the book of
                      Deuteronomy (but not "Deuteronomistic Theology"), here are a few
                      besides GTh 3 and Deut. 30:11-14:
                      >
                      > GTh Preamble - These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus
                      spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down.
                      > Deuteronomy 1:1 - "These are the words that Moses spoke to Israel in
                      the Transjordan"
                      >
                      > GTh 2 - Jesus said, "Let him who seeks continue seeking until he
                      finds..."
                      > Deut 4:29 - "But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will
                      find him..."
                      >
                      > GTh 22 - "...eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a
                      hand, and a foot in place of a foot..."
                      > Deut. 19:21 - "...eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot
                      for foot."
                      >
                      > GTh 23 - Jesus said, "I shall choose you, one out of a thousand, and
                      two out of ten thousand..."
                      > Deuteronomy 32:20 - "How could one man chase a thousand, or two put
                      ten thousand to flight..."
                      >
                      > GTh 25 - Jesus said, "...guard him like the pupil of your eye."
                      > Deut. 32:10 - "...he guarded him as the apple of his eye."
                      >
                      > Regards,
                      >
                      > - Kevin Johnson

                      I recall a discussion on this forum some time ago where some one was
                      making the case that GThom had absolutely no interest in the Old
                      Testament and no real references to the OT. The above is too
                      extensive to be a coincidence and would seem to contradict that
                      hypothesis.

                      Thanks

                      Steve Allison
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