Frank McCoy writes:
> I was thinking ... along the lines that 14 might have originally consisted
> only of parts 4-5. These two parts might be the original 14 because they
> have Synoptic parallels and because they ... condemn only the observance
> the ordinances of the Law regarding food and drink.
Interesting suggestion. (More on that below.)
> If L. 6a is a later insertion into Thomas, why wasn't it inserted in
> of L 14 instead of L 6b? This is counter-intuitive.
We'll have to see what McConick says about that. Since she posits more than
one redaction, it may be that she thinks that 6a was put in at one stage and
14a (i.e., 14.1-3) at a later stage. The difference between your views,
then, wouldn't be such that the one would be counter-intuitive and the other
> If the particular interpretation of L 6b that I have made is incorrect,
> I grant that it could very well be incorrect, it still might be the case
> that L 6 is, in its entirety, original. For example, in The Gospel of
> Thomas and Jesus (pp. 83-84). Stephen J. Patterson states, "The questions
> 6:1 regarding the practice of piety concern topics familiar from the New
> Testament (cv. Matt 6:16-18; Luke 11:1-4//Matt 6:5-13, Q; Matt 6:2-4); and
> the answer in 6:2-4 need not seem anomolous in early Christian circles.
> intent is to oppose hypocricy, a theme well known in the early church
> see Matt 6:1-8, 16-18)." So, it appears, if one interprets 6b to be
> opposing hypocricy, then it could be that all of L 6 is early.
All of Matt 6:1-18 relates to the question before us, since it opposes
PUBLIC fasting, praying, and alms-giving - on the grounds that such open
exhibitions of piety are inherently hypocritical. The thing is, though, that
neither in 6 nor in 14 does Thomas make it clear that IT is opposing PUBLIC
piety. Only in 14.2 is there a suggestion of that (since one presumably
couldn't be condemned by others for praying unless one did it openly.) But
take L6 by itself, for example. It doesn't imply simply (as Patterson would
have it) that one shouldn't pray openly. Rather, it implies that one
shouldn't pray at all - openly or privately - if praying is something that
one doesn't want to do. This seems to be looking at the issue of hypocrisy
from a different angle than Mt 6:1-16. Matt argued that public piety was
hypocritical - because it was done for the sake of gaining public approval.
Th6 seems to be thinking that it's hypocritical to perform acts of piety if
one doesn't want to do them - even if they're done privately (one may pray
in private without really wanting to do so, for example, because one thinks
that it's a religious obligation) - because this amounts to lying. There are
subtle implicational differences between these two viewpoints, but then in
L14.1-3, Thomas seems to come down against the three practices - giving
reasons that (1) in at least two of the three cases don't imply that the
practice is being performed openly, and (2) don't seem to have anything to
do with whether one wants to perform the practice or not. Is it that the
"spiritually perfect" shouldn't have money to give for alms, e.g.? But
elsewhere, Thomas says that if you have money, you should give it away -
which would seem to be almsgiving. So thematically, L14a is a mystery to me.
> It is true that L 14 is said "to them". However, it's preceded, near
> end of L13, with a "Thomas said to them". So, it might refer to the same
> "them" as the "them" in the end of L 13.
The two don't fit together particularly well. Thomas has presumably come
back to his companions by himself - sans Jesus. Aside from that implication,
it doesn't make sense that they would ask him what Jesus had told him if
Jesus himself was present when they asked the question.
> As for the, "Jesus said" (rather than, "Jesus said to them"), in L. 6b, I
> fail to see any significance to it. Compare L. 17 and L 21 and L 37.
I think you mean L.18, but point well taken. The crucial factor is not the
lack of 'to them' in 6b, but the presence of it in L.14, where no one has
apparently asked a question. This brings to mind L.92, wherein Jesus says
that "Those things you asked me about in those days, I didn't tell you. Now
it pleases me to tell them, but you don't seek after them." This has a
distinctively Johannine flavor to it, and must, I think, be taken to imply
that the author has told, or is about to tell, the reader something either
entirely new or at least not known to be in the early common tradition. But
within GTh, there is the situation that L.14 provides specific answers to
the questions in 6a, so it can be seen that "those things you asked me
about" in 6a, weren't _specifically_ answered "in those days" (i.e., in the
immediate context of 6a). Perhaps, then, L92 is of a piece with 14a, even
though McConick thinks otherwise.
> Aren't there five
> disciples in GTh--Matthew, Peter, Thomas, Mariamne, and Salome? Could the
> Thomas community have thought of three (Thomas, Mariamne, and Salome) vs.
> two (Matthew and Peter)? This would explain why Matthew and Peter are
> displayed in a negative light in GTh, but the other three are displayed in
> positive light.
Interesting suggestion, but I question whether we can say that the two women
are "displayed in a positive light". In L.114, Mariam has to be "led" by
Jesus in order to obtain the status of "living spirit" already enjoyed by
Peter and the male disciples. If we discount that saying as being late,
still we have the other Mariam saying, wherein she asks Jesus what his
disciples are like - as if she weren't one of them.
Mt. Clemens, MI