Re: Gospel according to Hebrews and Thomas
- --- In email@example.com, "sarban" <sarban@s...> wrote:
> Thomas Logion 2, (Jesus said Let him who seeks notHello Andrew:
> cease seeking until he finds. And when he finds he will
> be troubled and when he is troubled he will be astonished
> and he will rule over the All.), is quoted by Clement of
> Alexandria but attributed by him to the Gospel according
> to the Hebrews. There are variants of this saying in The
> Book of Thomas the Contender and The Acts of Thomas,
> so the saying seems strongly associated with the Thomas
> Did the Thomas tradition borrow from an early version of the
> Gospel according to the Hebrews ?
> Did the Gospel according to the Hebrews borrow from the
> Thomas tradition ?
> Did Clement make a mistake in attribution ? (This is the
> only passage attributed by Clement to the Gospel according
> to the Hebrews)
> Most commentators seem to prefer the first option, I have
> a wild idea that the truth may be a variant of the third.
> If Logion 42, (Jesus said Be passers-by), goes back to a
> Semitic language saying 'Be Hebrews', (see Essay by Baarda
> and previous discussion on this Group) and if Clement was
> aware of this he might have deliberately referred to our
> Thomas as the Gospel of the Hebrews.
> Andrew Criddle
Interesting approach to the issue ... however, with respect to
the first part of your post, I am not sure how or why it is important
to speculate on where the substance of logion #2 originated from,
since Plato (Timaeus 90)recorded it long before the Gospel according
to the Hebrews was seemingly written. (In Plato's words ... "He that
seeks will not rest until he finds; and he that has found shall
marvel; and he that has marveled shall reign; and he that has reigned
So even if Clement was quoting the Gospel of the Hebrews, this
Gospel was itself but plagerizing (or paraphrasing) Plato ... Plato,
of course, would predate the Gospel of the Hebrews by a few hundred
years no doubt ...
What I find moreso interesting about your note is the
interpretation which the Baarda essay seems to give to logion 42
(Become Hebrews). This sounds very "unJesus like" to me in the Thomas
context since logion 42 is prefaced therein by "Jesus said". Thus, how
could Baarda's interpretation make sense to the "Thomas community" ?
While Jesus indeed tells his flock to "go to James the Just" in
Thomas' gospel (James being associated with the Jerusalem/Hebrew
community), it also gives great (actually "greater") importance to
John the Baptist (an Essene) in logion 46, and as an Essene, John has
to be seen as a bit of an outcast or a rebel from the typical Hebrew
milieu. Does this not moreso suggest to us that logion 42 really means
"Be passer-bys of material/carnal values" than it does "Be Hebrews"
... unless, of course, if "being a Hebrew" means "abstain from
material/carnal values" ...