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Re: [GTh] 24 Prophets

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  • jmgcormier
    ... (Snip, snip, snip) ... Hmmmm ! ... yes, I now vaguely recall this being part of the equation. That is, it is not the warm bodies which should number 24,
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 7, 2003
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      --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "sarban" <sarban@s...> wrote:

      (Snip, snip, snip)

      > It is possible that the 24 prophets refer to the 24 books of the
      > Hebrew Bible (equal in content to the Protestant OT but counting
      > the 12 minor prophets as one book 1 & 2 Samuel as one book
      > 1 & 2 Kings as one book 1 & 2 Chronicles as one book and
      > Ezra-Nehemiah as one book. )
      >
      > Ahdrew Criddle

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

      Hmmmm ! ... yes, I now vaguely recall this being part of the equation.
      That is, it is not the "warm bodies" which should number 24, but the
      "Books". Soooo, the 24 Books would then seemingly be:

      1. The 5 Books of Moses = 5

      2, The 8 Books of the Prophets = 8

      3. The 9 Books of the Hagiographa = 9

      and ???? Ruth & Lamentations = 2

      ... for a total of 24

      If this is correct, however, it would mean that Thomas is somewhat in
      effor in suggesting that 24 "Prophets" (i.e. "warm bodies" and not
      "Books" I take it) "spoke in You" - logion 52

      Maurice Cormier
    • Mike McLafferty
      ... Somebody else probably will have a real answer, but this is my response: 24 Prophets seems to be an ancient recurring traditional motif, whose exact
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 7, 2003
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        M. Cormier asked:

        > Can anyone identify the 7 other Books which in
        > Jewish tradition generally make up "The Prophets"
        > bringing the total up to 24?

        Somebody else probably will have a real answer, but this is my response: "24
        Prophets" seems to be an ancient recurring traditional motif, whose exact
        membership varies:

        - Some link the 24 Elders (presbyters) in Rev 4:4 (who sit on thrones around
        that of the Holy One) to the 24 Prophets. I've seen this group described as
        "beginning with Enoch and ending with John the Baptist," but I don't know
        the in-betweens

        - It's in church iconography: "In some early Byzantine cathedrals, like
        Kariye Camii in Istanbul, Christ is represented surrounded by twenty-four
        prophets."

        - The Qur'an [which appropriates Judeo-Xian traditions] names 24 prophets:
        Nooh (Noah); Ibrahim (Abraham); Ishaq (Isaac); Yaqoob (Jacob); Daud (David);
        Suleman (Solomon); Ayub (Job); Yousuf (Joseph); Moosa (Moses); Haroon
        (Aaron); Zakaria (Zachariah); Yahya (John the Baptist); Ilyas (Elijah);
        Ismail (Ishmael); Alyasa (Elisha); Younus (Jonah); Loott (Lot); Issa
        (Jesus); Hud; Shoaib; Idrees (Enoch); Zulfikl (Ezekiel); Saleh; Muhammad.

        - 24 prophets are referred to in Dante's works, I think.

        - Some modern Christian Ed booklet series on the Prophets are published as
        24 total in 3 sets of 8:
        Set 1: Moses, Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations
        [sic!--anciently attributed to Jeremiah].
        Set 2: Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah.
        Set 3: Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, John, Jesus.

        - Jehovah's Witnesses keep the motif alive in modern times, too. "There have
        been, as we count, twenty-four prophets that have prophesied of 'things
        pertaining to the kingdom of God.'" (Don't know their list.)

        An archives search of the "[GTh] List" will turn up past postings on
        Grondin's 24 text blocks discerned in Thomas, following the supposed hint in
        Logion 52 that "24 Prophets" is a key to exegesis.

        Michael McLafferty
        Portland, Oregon, USA
      • Michael Grondin
        ... I think you re right that the makeup seems usually to have been invented to agree with the magic number 24. ... I haven t seen that, but both the NIV Study
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 7, 2003
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          [Michael McLafferty]:
          > Somebody else probably will have a real answer, but this is my response:
          > "24 Prophets" seems to be an ancient recurring traditional motif, whose
          > exact membership varies:

          I think you're right that the makeup seems usually to have been invented to
          agree with the magic number 24.

          > - Some link the 24 Elders (presbyters) in Rev 4:4 (who sit on thrones
          > around that of the Holy One) to the 24 Prophets. I've seen this group
          > described as "beginning with Enoch and ending with John the Baptist,"
          > but I don't know the in-betweens

          I haven't seen that, but both the NIV Study Bible and the Oxford Annotated
          RSV interpret the 24 elders as a combination of the 12 Patriarchs (Jacob's
          sons) and the 12 Apostles.

          > An archives search of the "[GTh] List" will turn up past postings on
          > Grondin's 24 text blocks discerned in Thomas, following the supposed hint
          > in Logion 52 that "24 Prophets" is a key to exegesis.

          With your comment here as impetus, I looked at the sizes of the 24 blocks. I
          had expected to find that half would be even (i.e., contain an even number
          of lines) and half odd, and was prepared to comment that, although that
          might be considered suggestive (12 even "females" and 12 odd "males), it's
          also precisely what would be expected from a random distribution. As it
          turns out, however, 8 are odd and 16 even. Further - in another of those
          many odd coincidences that keep my hope alive - the total number of lines in
          the 8 odd blocks is 160 (1+3+5+7+13+21+29+81). Obviously, the probability of
          random distribution resulting in the total number of lines in such a set of
          blocks being evenly divisible by both 10 and the number of blocks itself is
          pretty low. (I'm tempted to go on to point out also that the six shorter
          blocks - six being both a "perfect number" and the size of the
          original group (JS + 5 disciples) - contain the magic number of 50
          lines, but that would be to stray too far from the topic at hand.)

          Regards,
          Mike Grondin
        • Jacob Knee
          Don t know hwether this is helpful but I don t think that Kariye Camii (Church of St. Saviour in Chora, in Istanbul) is either a cathedral (i.e. the seat of a
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 8, 2003
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            Don't know hwether this is helpful but I don't think that Kariye Camii
            (Church of St. Saviour in Chora, in Istanbul) is either a cathedral (i.e.
            the seat of a bishop) or 'early Byzantine' - the current building and its
            famous mosaics and frescoes dating to between the eleventh and fourteenth
            centuries.

            Best wishes,
            Jacob Knee
            (Cam, Glos.)

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Mike McLafferty [mailto:mikemclafferty@...]
            Sent: 08 November 2003 00:57
            To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [GTh] 24 Prophets

            [snip]

            - It's in church iconography: "In some early Byzantine cathedrals, like
            Kariye Camii in Istanbul, Christ is represented surrounded by
            twenty-four prophets."

            [snip]
          • fmmccoy
            ... From: sarban To: Sent: Friday, November 07, 2003 6:26 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] 24 Prophets ... Yes, there
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 9, 2003
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "sarban" <sarban@...>
              To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Friday, November 07, 2003 6:26 AM
              Subject: Re: [GTh] 24 Prophets


              >
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: "Maurice Cormier" <cobby@...>
              > To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
              > Sent: Friday, November 07, 2003 10:17 AM
              > Subject: [GTh] 24 Prophets
              >
              >
              > > Greetings all ...
              > >
              > > Could someone give me a bit of a hand with Logion # 52. (My memory seems
              > > to be slipping on this one.)
              > >
              > > Logion # 52 refers to the "24" prophets. Today, we tend to divide the
              > > Old Testament prophets into the so-called "minor prophets" and the
              > > "major prophets". They are:
              > >
              > > A) Minor Prophets: Hosea,Joel,Amos,Obadiah,Jonah,Micah,Nahum,Habakkuk,
              > > Zephaniah,Haggai,Zechariah,and Malachi.
              > >
              > > B) Major Prophets: Isaiah,Jeremiah,Lamentations,Ezekiel,and Daniel
              > >
              > > These total 17 in all. However, as I recall, several other books of the
              > > Old Testament are also considered to be "Books of the Prophets" in
              > > Jewish tradition ... the total of which (again as I but vaguely recall
              > > now) added to the 17 mentioned above (minor and major) gives us a total
              > > of 24.
              > >
              > > Can anyone identify the 7 other Books which in Jewish tradition
              > > generally make up "The Prophets" bringing the total up to 24?
              > >
              > >


              > It is possible that the 24 prophets refer to the 24 books of the
              > Hebrew Bible (equal in content to the Protestant OT but counting
              > the 12 minor prophets as one book 1 & 2 Samuel as one book
              > 1 & 2 Kings as one book 1 & 2 Chronicles as one book and
              > Ezra-Nehemiah as one book. )


              Yes, there apparently were many late first century CE Jews who
              believed that all the scriptures had been written under prophetic
              inspiration, i.e., by prophet--with at least some of them believing that the
              scriptures total 24 books.

              In "Canon of the OT" ( Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 1,
              p.509),
              R.H. Pfeiffer states, "It was, however, generally believed that prophecy
              came to an end soon after the death of Ezra when the men of the Great
              Synagogue collected the scriptures; no book known to have been written later
              than Exra or Alexander the Great (in Jewish chronology this is paractiacally
              equivalent; cf. Seder Olam Rabba 30) could be deemed inspired. The earliest
              statements of this doctrine date from ca. A.D. 90, and are found in II (IV)
              Esd. 14 (*the twenty-four books of the OT* (my emphasis) were dictated,
              together with seventy esoteric apocalypses, to five scribes by Ezra in forty
              days)..."

              However, I am not convinced that this is the solution as to why there are
              said to be 24 prophets in GTh 52,

              For one thing, even if one assumes that there are 24 books in the Jewish
              sacred scriptures, first century CE Jews would not have believed that there
              were 24 authors, a separate one for each book (e.g., the one book containing
              the twelve minor prophets would have been taken to have been written by
              twelve authors, i.e., the twelve minor prophets, while the first five books
              (the Torah or Pentateuch) would have been taken to have had only one author,
              i.e., Moses). So, this fails to explain why there are said to be 24
              prophets in GTh 52.

              For another thing, in a recent post, Mike points out that there are 24
              blocks in GTh and that 8 of them have an odd number of lines and 16 have an
              even number of lines.

              This is reminiscent of the priestly courses--of which there were 24, 8 from
              descendents of Ithimar and 16 from descendents of Eleazar (I Chronicles
              24:1-19).

              Perhaps, then, there are said to have been 24 prophets in GTh 52 to indicate
              that there had been one prophet for each priestly course. In this case, the
              intent might be to imply that the prophets constitute the true priesthood.
              This would be in line with some other elements of GTh thought, e.g., the
              belief that circumcision of the spirit is the true circumcision.

              In any event, besides the usage of the number 24, there is another aspect to
              GTh 52 that I also find rather mysterious and difficult of understanding.
              This is the declaration of the disciples, to Jesus, that "all of them (i.e.,
              the prophets) spoke in You."

              I suspect that, this means, when a prophet spoke, it was really Jesus
              speaking.

              If so, then the disciples are identifying Jesus as being the Logos.

              For example, in Heres (259), Philo states, "Now with every good man it is
              the holy Logos which assures him his gift of prophecy. For a prophet (being
              a spokesman) has no utterance of his own, but all his utterance came from
              some somewhere else, the echoes of another's voice."

              What is your understanding of this cryptic phrase, "all of them spoke in
              You."? Do you agree that, it means, when a prophet spoke, it was really
              Jesus speaking? If not, what do you think it does mean?

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


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