The Rule of the Shepherds Some Comments
- Hi Stephen
I'm going to limit my reply the question of Thomas 65 Its
meaning and relation to the Shepherds in Enoch.
There are IMO three stages at whch your argument may
1/ Is Thomas 65 a genuine allegory at all ?
There is less clearly allegorical detail in Thomas 65 than in
any of the synoptic parallels, this is particularly true for Mark
and Matthew but true to a lesser extent for Luke. This absence
of clearly allegorical features makes it at least possible that
Thomas 65 is a genuine parable and not an allegory at all (eg
with a meaning that no matter how clear the message those
whose priority is material things will refuse to accept it).
On the whole I agree that Thomas 65 is probably an allegory of
some sort but IMO this should be argued for rather than assumed.
2/ Is Thomas 65 related to the Shepherds in Enoch ?
The idea of the Shepherds in Enoch is very distinctive and
striking. Angels (the Shepherds) are appointed by Yahweh to
destroy his people, their vigorous performance of their role is
apparently accepted by Yahweh. However he is having a secret
record kept and will in the end punish the Shepherds for having
enjoyed their job too much.
IMO these unusual features seem missing in Thomas 65. The
feature in the Synoptic Vineyard story which does seem similar,
the predicted destruction of the tenants by the owner, is notably
missing in Thomas 65.
3/ Is Thomas 65 concerned about purely heavenly events ?
Even if Thomas 65 is based on the Shepherds in Enoch and
the messengers represent Noah Moses and the Messiah or
Son of God, this does not at first sight indicate that the parable
is speaking of purely heavenly events. Even granting that Noah
Moses and the Messiah are regarded as in some sense heavenly
beings their major role of described activity in Enoch is upon earth.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]