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Re: [GTh] Re: GTh as hermeniai

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... STM that in a text like GThom, change of venue isn t something that would have any great significance. Venue changes randomly, with no apparent
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 21, 2003
      Maurice:
      > Since there is no "change of
      > venue" from logion # 13 to # 19, I take it that the STONES mentioned in
      > logion # 19 must be the same stones as the ones in logion # 13. (...
      > these stones will minister to you.)

      STM that in a text like GThom, "change of venue" isn't something that would
      have any great significance. "Venue" changes randomly, with no apparent
      intentional carry-over from one saying to the next.

      > In contrast to your example (logia # 6 & 14) however, all of the "you"s
      > in # 13 & # 19 are plural.

      Actually, not so. In 13, the singular is used when the disciples talk to JS
      and when JS talks to Thomas. My English interlinear might be confusing in
      this regard. 'Usg' is an abbreviation for 'you (sg)' and 'Urs' for 'your
      (sg)'. Also, I sometimes use just 'U' for singular 'you' where I didn't have
      enough space.

      > However, between # 13 and # 19, Jesus points
      > out (logion # 17) that he will "give you what no eye has seen and no ear
      > has heard etc). Does this sound to you as the sort of "hint" insertion
      > that might suggest that the reader(s) should be aware of a special
      > message to them starting at # 17 ???

      Since the 'you' in #17 is plural, I wouldn't suspect that this is on the
      same order as #5. My own standards for "pointing" are pretty high; I think
      one has to be able to demonstrate a very strong and specific relationship
      between pointer and pointee.

      > ... aside from the obvious direct address possibilities
      > to the readers themselves in logion #17 ...

      I think there's a very great difference between sayings which address the
      readerS (plural) themselves and those which address the reader singular.
      When there's no one in sight to whom a 'you' is addressed, plural 'you's are
      the norm; singular 'you's are the exception, and call for explanation.

      > ... the interesting presentation of the "stones" as being
      > ssomething negative for Thomas (fire will come out of the stones and
      > burn you) but being positive for Jesus as he corrects Thomas in # 19 ...
      > i.e. the "stones" will minister to you. (that is, their value to you
      > will be positive).

      I don't think that the stones in #13 were intended to be taken negatively.
      The throwing of them is negative, but I'd say they're neutral in themselves.
      Same thing for #19 - ministering is positive, but the stones themselves are
      neutral.

      > As a possible sub set to the "are like" ensemble, you may wish to also
      > take a look at the juxtaposition of logia # 13 & 14 as to the
      > possibility that the "3 things" mentioned in # 13 are the "3 things"
      > immediately mentioned thereafter in # 14 ... viz " (1) - if you fast you
      > will give risse to sin for yourselves, (2)- if you pray you will be
      > condemed, and (3) - if you give alms you will do harm to your spirits".

      Yes, that's one of the possibilities. And it's a very good one, because each
      of the three might have been seen as blasphemous. If in fact 13 points to
      14, that would presumably make 13 and 14 a pair, and I think that the
      existence of pairs is of the utmost importance. (I've argued recently that
      5-6 and 97-98 are pairs. That the apparent members of some pairs are
      separated, however, I would take as evidence of intentional disarrangement,
      rather than random collection/redaction, as some suppose.)

      > Sounds like a nice little research project !

      I'm afraid that I don't appreciate the plausibility of an "are-like
      ensemble"
      in 13-19. Almost none of the sayings in that group have the requisite phrase
      in them. A more limited project might be to survey the uses of singular
      'you/your' in the text. I haven't done that, but I think it would yield
      valuable results in confirming or denying the uniqueness of the singular
      'you' in logion 5.

      Regards,
      Mike Grondin
    • fmmccoy
      ... From: Maurice Cormier To: Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 7:18 AM Subject: [GTh] Re: GTh as hermeniai ...
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 22, 2003
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Maurice Cormier" <cobby@...>
        To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 7:18 AM
        Subject: [GTh] Re: GTh as hermeniai


        > Mike:
        >
        (snip)
        >
        > As a possible sub set to the "are like" ensemble, you may wish to also
        > take a look at the juxtaposition of logia # 13 & 14 as to the
        > possibility that the "3 things" mentioned in # 13 are the "3 things"
        > immediately mentioned thereafter in # 14 ... viz " (1) - if you fast you
        > will give risse to sin for yourselves, (2)- if you pray you will be
        > condemed, and (3) - if you give alms you will do harm to your spirits".
        >
        > Sounds like a nice little research project !
        >

        Maurice:

        :Let us look at the last part of 13 and the first part of 14, "Thomas
        said to them, 'If I tell you one of the (three) things which he told me, you
        will pick up stones and throw them at me; a fire will come out of the stones
        and burn you up.' Jesus said to them, 'If you fast, you will give rise to
        sin for yourselves; and if you pray, you will be condemned; and if you give
        alms, you will do harm to your spirits.'"

        The scene is that of first Thomas and then Jesus addressing a group (the
        "them").

        The denunciation of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving is counter to what we
        find in GMark--where it is said that the day is coming when the disciples
        will fast (2:20), where Jesus prays (1:35), and where Jesus instructs the
        rich man to give his money to the poor (10:21). Indeed, I am not aware of
        any other early Christian group who condemned praying and almsgiving. Some
        early Christian groups didn't fast, but I think that most of them didn't
        fast because they thought fasting something they didn't have to do rather
        than because they thought it evil. Therefore, I suggest, almost all early
        Christians would have thought the denunciation of prayer and the
        denunciation of almsgiving to be heretical and/or blasphemous and many of
        them would have also thought the denunciation of fasting to be heretical
        and/or blasphemous.

        So, yes, Maurice, I agree that these three things in 14a that Jesus told
        "them" could very well be the three things that Jesus had told Thomas in 13
        and that, if Thomas had told them to "them", they would have tried to kill
        him.

        What, then, about the last two sentences in 14? They read, "When you go
        into any land and walk about in the districts, if they receive you, eat what
        they will set before you, and heal the sick among them. For what goes into
        your mouth will not defile you, but that which issues from your mouth--it is
        that which will defile you."

        IMO, they most likely are an addition to 14 made by a later editor.

        The first sentence is reminiscent of Luke 10:8-9a, "But whenever you enter a
        town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in
        it,..". The second sentence is reminiscent of Matthew 15:11, "Not what goes
        into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles
        a man."

        This supports the idea that the last part of 14 is a late addition to 14,
        being constructed by a late editor of GTh out of what had originally been
        two independent sayings attributed to Jesus.

        Also indicating that the last part of 14 is a late addition to 14 is that it
        is structurally different.

        The first part of 14 consists of three instances of the general formula, "If
        you A, you will B." This general formula is rather reminiscent of the last
        part of 13, where we have the formula, "If I say A, you will B." However,
        in the last part of 14, not only is the general formula absent, but there is
        nothing even anything reminiscent of it.

        Why this radical structural shift between the first and last parts of
        14--especially since there is only a mild structural shift between the last
        part of 13 and the first part of 14? The most likely answer, I suggest, is
        that the last part of 14 was added by a later editor.

        Even more indicative that the last part of 14 is a late addition to 14 is
        that it appears to have a different attitude towards Mosaic Law than does
        the first part.

        According to the first part of 14, fasting leads to sin, praying leads to
        condemnation, and almsgiving leads to the harming of one's spirit. The
        underlying premise to this litany appears to be that observing Mosaic Law is
        sinful and evil.

        According to the last part of 14, you should eat whatever is set before you,
        for nothing you eat will defile you. There is no indication here that
        observing the dietary ordinances of Mosaic Law is sinful and evil. Rather,
        these ordinances are portrayed as being morally neutral, but unnecesary to
        observe because they are not valid.

        Why does the attitude towards Mosaic Law in the last part of 14 apparently
        differ from the attitude towards Mosaic Law in the first part of 14? The
        most likely reason, I suggest, is that the last part of 14 was added by a
        later editor.

        Why, though, would a later editor have added the last two sentences about
        diet to 14? What would have been the motivation?

        The answer, I suggest, is found in 6, "His disciples questioned Him and
        said to Him, 'Do you want us to fast? How shall we pray? Shall we give
        alms? What diet shall we observe?' Jesus said, 'Do not tell lies, and do
        not what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of Heaven. For
        there is nothing hidden, which shall not be manifest.'"

        The first thing to note is that the reply of Jesus fails to directly respond
        to the four questions of the disciples. This, I suggest, was unsettling to
        the postulated later editor--who, it is postulated, thought that the reader
        deserves to know the answer to each of the four questions.

        The second thing to note is that the first question relates to fasting, the
        second to prayer, the third to alms, and the fourth to diet.

        In this regard, the postulated original 14 had three pronouncements--the
        first related to fasting, the second to prayer, and the third to alms.

        What I suggest is that, the postulated later editor realized, this means
        that the postulated original 14 gives the reader the answers to three of the
        four questions raised in 6. So, this person, to enable the reader to know
        the answer to all four questions raised in 6, then proceeded to add the two
        originally independent pronouncements attributed to Jesus regarding diet to
        the postulated original 14.

        To conclude, Maurice, I think your hypothesis (i.e., that the three things
        told to *them* by Jesus in the first part of 14 are the three things told by
        Jesus to Thomas in 13) is likely to be correct--with the last part of 14
        being added by a later editor.

        So, yes, your hypothesis certainly does appear to be worthy of further
        research!

        Regards,

        Frank McCoy
        1809 N. English Apt. 15
        Maplewood, MN USA 55109
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