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Re: [GTh] Mark and Thomas Without Q Hypothesis

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  • fmmccoy
    ... From: sarban To: Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 11:41 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] extended Farrer-Goulder
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 10, 2003
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "sarban" <sarban@...>
      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 11:41 AM
      Subject: Re: [GTh] extended Farrer-Goulder hypothesis


      > Hi Frank
      >
      > My problem with this is that "Kingdom of Heaven" is almost
      > certainly a reverent circumlocution for "Kingdom of God" i.e.
      > The earliest form of the tradition and/or Jesus himself almost
      > certainly said "Kingdom of God"
      > This means that in your analysis we start off with a secondary
      > form in Thomas which is preserved in Matthew and converted
      > back to a more original form in Luke.
      > I don't find this very plausible. (possible but not likely)

      Hi Andrew

      I doubt that this has a bearing on how to date these
      gospels--especially since most scholars would date John (which favors
      "Kingdom of God") older than Matthew (which favors "Kingdom of Heaven(s)").

      Also, I see no reason to doubt that, at least on occasion, the real Jesus
      used a circumlocution for "God" when speaking of the Kingdom..

      (Andrew)
      > This leads on to a more general issue. Your very interesting
      > analyses of the differences between Thomas and the synoptics
      > leave me with a general feeling that the versions in Thomas are
      > not particularly early. This is probably particularly true if we
      > take the version in Mark as an example of the tradition in its
      > early form and the more streamlined versions in Matthew and
      > Luke as later forms of the tradition.
      > To some extent this is a subjective judgment and others
      > may legitimately differ, but your examples leave me feeling
      > that Thomas has too many marks of lateness to be in its
      > present form a source for Matthew and Luke.

      (Frank)
      I think it unlikely that "the version in Mark is an example of the tradition
      in its early form". More likely, I suggest, the version in Mark is an
      example of one out of a number of diferent traditions in its early
      form--with one of the other traditions in existence at the same time as the
      Markan tradition being the Thomas tradition. In this case, Matthew is an
      expanded and highly edited later version of Mark, which incorporates some
      material from some of these other traditions. Ditto for Luke. What the
      Mark and Thomas without Q hypothesis assumes is that one of these other
      traditions drawn on by Matthew and Luke is the Thomas tradition as expressed
      in Thomas.

      One of the perplexing aspects to Thomas is that it is so difficult to
      perceive how early or late it is. Signs of lateness, as you point out, are
      easy to spot. Conversely, though, signs of earliness are also easy to spot.
      This has led some (including myself) to speculate that Thomas might have
      several strata to it. Perhaps, too, the Thomas tradition was radically
      different from the Synoptic traditions even in its earliest stages. In this
      case, rules of thumb for "early" and "late" that are applicable to the
      Synoptic traditions aren't transferable to the Thomas tradition.

      So, ISTM, the question of whether Thomas is later or earlier than Matthew
      and Luke is one that can only be determined by determining which situation
      best fits the known evidence. In this post, we will try to determine which
      situation best fits the known evidence for Thomas 45 and its related
      passages in Matthew and Luke:

      Let us begin looking at Thomas 45 and Matthew 7:16-20:

      Thomas 45 reads, "Jesus said, 'Grapes are not harvested from thorns, nor are
      figs gathered from thistles, for they do not produce fruit. A good man
      brings forth good form his storehouse; an evil man brings forth evil things
      from his evil storehouse, which is in his heart, and says evil things. For
      out of the abundance of the heart he brings forth evil things.'"

      Matthew 7:16-20 reads, "By their fruits you will know them. Grapes are not
      gathered from thorns or figs from thistles. So, every good tree produces
      good fruits, but the rotten tree produces bad fruit. A good tree is not
      able to produce bad fruit, nor a rotten tree to produce good fruit. Every
      tree not producing good fruit is cut off and into fire is thrown.
      Therefore, by their fruits you will know them."

      Note that Matthew 7:16-20 has a sentence (i.e., Grapes are not gathered from
      thorns or figs from thistles.) that is very close to the first sentence in
      Thomas 45 (i.e., Grapes are not harvested from thorns, nor are figs gathered
      from thistles.). Note, too, that it also has a sentence (i.e., Every tree
      not producing good fruit is cut off and into fire is thrown) that is very
      close to a sentence that Matthew, earlier in his gospel (i.e., in 3:10b),
      attributes to John the Baptist (i.e., Therefore, every tree not producing
      good fruit is cut down and into fire is thrown.).

      What I suggest, then, is that Matthew 7:16-20 is a creation of Matthew. It
      begins with a moral maxim, "By their fruits you will know them." Next,
      Matthew basically borrows from Thomas 45 while writing the sentence, "Grapes
      are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles". This is to illustrate
      how you can know them by their fruits. Then he creates two sentences about
      how good trees produce good fruit and how bad trees produce bad fruit. Then
      he basically borrows from what he wrote earlier in 3:10b, writing the
      sentence, "Therefore, every tree not producing good fruit is cut down and
      into fire is thrown." This is to point out that those who fail to produce
      good fruit are going to hell. Finally, he concludes by repeating the moral
      maxim.

      If this suggestion is correct, then Matthew did know of Thomas 45 and
      borrowed from it while creating Matthew 7:16-20.

      In support of this suggestion, it is noteworthy that, immediately after
      Thomas 45, we find Thomas 46--where the subject is John the Baptist. This
      helps us to understand why, in creating Matthew 7:16-20, Matthew not only
      apparently borrowed from Thomas 45, but also from a speech, earlier in his
      gospel, that he attributes to John the Baptist as well. In this case, after
      reading Thomas 45 and borrowing the one sentence from it, he next read read
      Thomas 46. This made him think about John the Baptist which, in turn, led
      him to reflect on a speech that he had, earlier in his gospel, attributed to
      John. So, while creating 7:16-20, he decided to also throw in a basic
      repeat of 3:10b.

      Next, let us turn to the second Matthean parallel, Matthew 12:33-35, "Either
      make the tree good and the fruit of it (will be) good, or make the tree
      rotten and the fruit of it (will be) rotten. Offspring of vipers, how are
      you able to speak good, being evil?--for out of the abundance of the heart
      the mouth speaks. The good man out of the good treasure brings forth good
      and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil."

      Again, we appear to be dealing with a Matthean creation in which not only
      borrows from Thomas 45, but from a speech that he had, earlier in his
      gospel, attributed to John.

      So, "Offspring of vipers", appears to be basically a borrowing from what
      Matthew earlier attributes to John the Baptist in 3:7a, "Children of
      vipers". Further, in each case, Pharisees are identified as being these
      children of vipers. So, in Matthew 3:7, John is speaking to Pharisees and
      Saducees. Again, 12:33-35 is part of a speech (extending from 12:25 to
      12:37) of Jesus to Pharisees.

      Again, "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good
      man out of the good treasure brings forth good and the evil man out of the
      evil treasure brings forth evil.", appears to be inspired by Thomas 45b, "A
      good man brings forth good from his storehouse; an evil man brings forth
      evil things from his evil storehouse, which is in his heart, and says evil
      things. For out of the abundance of the heart he brings forth evil things."

      In support of this hypothesis that Matthew knew Thomas 45, it is noteworthy
      that Matthew 12:33-35 is immediately preceded (in 12:31-32) by a saying on
      blasphemy against the Spirit, just as Thomas 45 is immediately preceded (in
      44) by a saying on blasphemy against the Spirit. This suggests that, while
      writing 12:33-35, Matthew was reading Thomas and, having just finished
      reading Thomas 44, had moved on to Thomas 45. In line with this is the
      suggestion, made above, that he also read Thomas 46: with its emphasis on
      John the Baptist leading him to think of John's speech in Matthew 3:7-10
      which, in turn, led him to base a part of 7:16-20 and a part of 12:33-35 on
      that speech.

      So, it appears, Matthew 12:33-35 is, like Matthew 7:16-20, an artificial
      creation of Matthew in which he combines some of his own writing with a part
      of Thomas 45 and a part of John's speech in Matthew 3:7-10. We see here,
      then, a consistency in behavior on the part of Matthew which helps lend
      credibility to the hypothesis that he knew of Thomas 45.

      Next, let us turn to the Lukan counterpart of Thomas 45:

      Luke 6:43-45, "For there is no good tree producing bad fruit, nor, again, a
      bad tree producing good fruit. For each tree will be known by its own
      fruit. For they do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes
      from a thorn bush. The good man from the good storehouse of the heart
      produces good, and the evil from evil produces evil.--for from (the)
      abundance of (the) heart speaks his mouth."

      What I suggest is that Luke knew both Matthew and Thomas. He recognized, and
      disagreed with, Matthew's methodology of splitting Thomas 45 and using each
      part as a "core" unit for an artificial saying also incoporating a part of
      John's speech in Matthew 3:7-10. Therefore, he decided to keep Thomas 45
      intact as one saying, although he did modify it some. However, he also
      recognized that some of what Matthew writes in 7:16-20 makes a great
      introduction to his version of Thomas 45, so he went ahead and adopted two
      sentences from Matthew 7:16-20 as an introduction to his version of Thomas
      45.

      Thus, I suggest, his first two sentences (i.e., For there is no good tree
      producing bad fruit, nor, again, a bad tree producing good fruit. For each
      tree will be known by its own fruit.) come from Matthew 7:16-20 (By their
      fruits you will know them....A good tree is not able to produce bad fruit,
      nor a rotten tree to produce good fruit.) Note that, in this case, Luke
      reverses the Matthean order of these two sentences.

      Thus, I suggest, the rest of the passage (i.e., For they do not gather figs
      from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a thorn bush. The good man from
      the good storehouse of the heart produces good, and the evil from evil
      produces evil.--for from (the) abundance of (the) heart speaks his mouth.)
      is a modified version of Thomas 45 (i.e., Grapes are not harvested from
      thorns, nor are figs gathered from thistles, for they do not produce fruit.
      A good man brings forth good form his storehouse; an evil man brings forth
      evil things from his evil storehouse, which is in his heart, and says evil
      things. For out of the abundance of the heart he brings forth evil things.)

      Note that, in this case, Luke reverses the "grapes...figs" order of Thomas
      45 to a "figs...grape" order.

      To summarize, it appears that the first part of Luke's passage is based on
      two sentences from Matthew 7:16-20 and that the rest of it is based on
      Thomas 45. In each case, he does one reversal--reversing the order of the
      two sentences from Matthew 7:16-20 and reversing the "grapes...figs" order
      in Thomas 45. Sort of like leaving a calling card? In any event, that the
      hypothesis that Luke knew both Matthew and Thomas leads to him to, in a
      consistent manner, do one reversal in his borrowing from Matthew and one
      reversal in his borrowing form Thomas lends credibility to the hypothesis.

      The bottom line: The relationships between Thomas 45 and its counterparts in
      Matthew and Luke are explicable in terms of the hypothesis that Matthew knew
      Thomas and the hypothesis that Luke knew both Thomas and Matthew. As a
      result, they are also explicable in terms of the more general Mark and
      Thomas without Q hypothesis--according to which Matthew knew Mark and Thomas
      and Luke knew Mark, Thomas, and Matthew.

      However, a counter-argument can also be made that Thomas 45 is later than
      its counterparts in Matthew and Luke.

      .So, in The Secret Sayings of the Living Jesus (pp. 37-38), Ray Summers
      states, "Logion 45 is another example of conflation. It brings together the
      'fruit' passages from the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 7:16; Luke 6:43) and
      the 'corrupt speech' passages of Matthew 12:34-35, and Luke 6:45....When a
      comparison is made of the total contextual settings of all three the
      impression is almost overwhelming that Thomas had both Matthew and Luke and
      that he took from both what he needed. Here are the reasons. Both Matthew
      and Thomas have the 'grapes...figs' order, Thomas chose this over Luke's
      'figs...grapes' order. In both Thomas and Matthew in the second part of the
      saying which relates to the 'treasure of a man's heart' the setting is of
      blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; but not in Luke. Thomas seems to have
      used Matthew all the way except to pick up Luke's closing statement not
      found in Matthew, 'His mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.'
      Thomas applies this to the evil of speaking blasphemy against the Holy
      Spirit. Luke used it only in a general way to show that one's true inner
      nature is evident even in his spoken words."

      However, as we have seen, it could be that it was Luke who reversed the
      "grapes...figs" order in Matthew and Thomas. Indeed, if he knew Matthew,
      this leads to him having a consistency in character for, in this case, as we
      have seen, he also reverses two of the sentences in Matthew 7:16-20.

      Further, that both Matthew 12:33-35 and Thomas 45 immediately follow the
      saying on blasphemy against the Spirit is part of a chain of evidence
      suggesting that Matthew had read Thomas 44, 45, and 46.

      Finally, it does not seem to be so much the case that Thomas borrowed from
      Luke's closing statement (rendered as "His mouth speaks from that which
      fills his heart" by Summers) as that Luke, in 6:44b (For they do not gather
      figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a thorn bush,. The good man
      from the good storehouse of the heart produces good, and the
      evil from evil produces evil.--for from (the) abundance of (the) heart
      speaks his mouth.) borrowed from Thomas 45 (Grapes are not harvested from
      thorns, nor are figs gathered from thistles, for they do not produce fruit.
      A good man brings forth good from his storehouse; an evil man brings forth
      evil things from his evil storehouse, which is in his heart, and says evil
      things. For out of the abundance of the heart he brings forth evil things.)

      So, ISTM, as respects Thomas 45 and its Matthean and Lukan counterparts, the
      over-all evidence is less supportive of the hypothesis that Thomas borrowed
      from both Matthew and Luke than it is of the hypothesis that both Matthew
      and Luke borrowed from Thomas.

      Another argument that Thomas knew both Matthew and Luke is made
      in The Secret Sayings of Jesus (p. 157), by Robert Grant and David Noel
      Freedman, who state, "From the fruits mentioned in Saying 44, Thomas goes on
      to give other sayings on the same subject, beginning with Matthew 7:16, then
      continuing with its parallel, Luke 6:44-45. Luke 6:45 is parallel to
      Matthew 12:35. which also puts the saying about 'treasure' in the context of
      'saying things'; but the saying in Thomas can be explained as based simply
      on a combination of Matthew 7:16-19 with Luke 6:44-45. The Gnostic is
      presumably the one who brings forth good things."

      Note that they begin their argument by referring to Thomas 44 (i.e., 43),
      which speaks about a tree and its fruit.

      This is interesting because the two Matthean counterparts to Thomas 45 have
      a stess on trees and their fruit that is absent from Thomas 45. Could this
      be because Matthew was reading Thomas and was influenced by what he read in
      Thomas 43 when writing his two counterparts to Thomas 45? If so, then this
      is line with other evidence that, when writing those two passages, he was
      aware of Thomas 44, 45, and 46.---with him, then, in this case, being aware
      of Thomas 43, 44, 45, and 46 when writing these two passages. If so, then
      Matthew knew Thomas rather than Thomas knowing Matthew.

      Also, while the saying in Thomas 45 can be explained as based simply on a
      combination of Matthew 7:16-19 with Luke 6:44-45, it is also the case (as we
      have seen) that Luke 6:44b-45 can be explained as based simply on a
      combination of Matthew 7:16-20 with Thomas 45.

      Finally. this argument fails to explain why Luke 6:44-45 is related to two
      separate Matthean passages. This is a difficulty to the Q hypothesis,
      leading some scholars to postulate that Matthew has split up the Q passage.

      So, in Q Parallels (p. 44), John S. Kloppenborg states, "Here it appears
      that Matthew has split up material in Q, using the first part (Q 6:43) in
      conjunction with his warning against false prophets (Matt 7:15-20) and a
      second apart as a concluding warning to the Beelzebul accusation (12:22-37).
      He has also repeated and reformulated Q 3:7, 9, using them in 7:19 and again
      in 12:34. Matthew betrays knowledge of the original connection of Q 6::43
      with Q 6:44 in his use of the phrase 'by their fruits you shall know them'
      which he uses twice in Matt 7 (7:16, 20; cf. Q 6:44). He presumably delayed
      Q 6:44-45 because it has to do with *evil speech* and this cohered will with
      the emphases in the Beelzebul accusation in which Matthew uses Q and Markan
      sayings on blasphemy (--> S38) and which concludes with a warning about idle
      words (12:36-37)."

      Certainly, as Kloppenborg states, it is possible that Matthew has split up
      a Q passage. However, as we have seen, the evidence is also consistent with
      the alternate postulate that Matthew split up Thomas 45, using one part of
      it (i.e., Grapes are not harvested from thorns, nor are figs gathered from
      thistles, for they do not produce fruit) as the inspiration for a part of
      Matthew 7:16-20 and the other part (i.e., A good man brings forth good form
      his storehouse; an evil man brings forth evil things from his evil
      storehouse, which is in his heart, and says evil things. For out of the
      abundance of the heart he brings forth evil things.) as the inspiration for
      a part of Matthew 12:33-35. This is the preferable postulate because it
      does not necessitate the hypothesis of an additional document for which we
      have no concrete evidence, i.e., Q.

      Also, it is noteworthy that, while, he notes, Matthew repeats and
      reformulates Q 3:7, 9 (which, in Matthew's gospel, are found in 3:7, 10) in
      7:19 and 12:34, he gives no reason for Matthew to do this. Conversely,
      under the hypothesis that Matthew knew Thomas, there is a reason for Matthew
      to do this. That is, while utilizing Thomas 45 in constructing 7:16-20 and
      12:33-35, Matthew also read the immediately following Thomas 46, which
      speaks of John the Baptist, and this led him to remember what he attributed
      to John in 3:7-10 and this, in turn, led him to the thoughts of repeating
      and reformulating 3:7 in 7:19 and 3:10 in 12:34.

      Too, he claims that "Matthew betrays knowledge of the original connection of
      Q 6::43 with Q 6:44 in his use of the phrase 'by their fruits you shall know
      them' which he uses twice in Matt 7 (7:16, 20; cf. Q 6:44)."

      However, this claim works only as long as one ignores how Matt 7:16, 18 is
      reversed in Luke 6:43-44a. If we reverse Luke, so that it follows the same
      order as Matt (so that the phrase "For each tree is known by its own fruit"
      is switched from 44a to 43), then Matthew 7:16, 20 relates to Q 6:43 rather
      than to Q 6:44 as Kloppenborg's claim requires.

      Finally, he states that Matthew "presumably delayed Q 6:44-45 because it has
      to do with *evil speech* and this cohered will with the emphases in the
      Beelzebul accusation in which Matthew uses Q and Markan sayings on
      blasphemy (--> S38) and which concludes with a warning about idle words
      (12:36-37)."

      This same basic argument can be used for explaining why Matthew delayed the
      last part of Thomas 45 until 12:33-35. Further, the postulate that Matthew
      split Thomas 45 is preferable to the postulate that Matthew split a Q
      passage because it does not necessitate the hypothesis of a document for
      which we have no hard evidence, i.e., Q.

      Too, as respects Kloppenborg's claim that Matthew uses Q and Markan sayings
      on blasphemy in 12:31-32, there is another, radically different, way of
      looking at it. As I point out in a post of 20 Nov, "So, to conclude, it
      appears that Matthew used Mark 3:28-29 as his source for the first part of
      Matthew 12:31-32 and used Thomas 44 as his source for the second part of
      Matthew 12:31-32. Luke had a copy of each of these three passages. He
      rejected the Markan version and the Matthean counterpart of it. He accepted
      lines 2 and 3 of the Thomas version and its Matthean counterpart, preferring
      Matthew for line 2 and Thomas for line 3."

      In any event, the bottom line is that, while a good case can be made that
      Thomas 45 is later than Matthew 7:16-20, Matthew 12:33-35, and Luke 6:43-45,
      it appears that an even better case can be made that it is earlier than
      these other three passages: with Matthew having known Thomas and with Luke
      having known both Thomas and Matthew--a situation consistent with the Mark
      and Thomas without Q hypothesis.

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