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Re: [GTh] Gospel of Judas

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... Happy are you [Abgar] who believed in me without having seen me. For it is written of me that those who have seen me will not believe in me, and that
    Message 1 of 47 , May 1, 2006
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      [Jack Kilmon]:
      > The reference to Isa 6:9 as have been "written
      > of me" also has precedence in the Yeshuine corpus.

      "Happy are you [Abgar] who believed in me without having seen me. For it is
      written of me that those who have seen me will not believe in me, and that
      those who have not seen will believe and live."
      (Eusebius, History of the Church, 1.13, Williamson translation)

      "And [the Lord] said, 'Go and say to this people:
      Hear and hear, but do not understand,
      see and see, but do not perceive.'"
      (Isa 6.9, RSV)

      Sorry, I don't buy it, Jack. The emphasis, in fact, is on the part that
      _isn't_ in Isa 6:9, i.e., that those who have _not_ seen Jesus will believe
      in him. That echoes much more strongly (to my mind) of Jn 20:29.

      Another couple things:
      1. It seems odd that Thaddeus, who has supposedly been sent in response to
      Abgar's request, doesn't go to Abgar upon his arrival, nor does Abgar
      immediately send for him. Instead, Thaddeus begins to heal people from his
      residence with Tobias. Only after hearing of these healings does Abgar do
      anything; and then he sends for Tobias, not Thaddeus! The story appended to
      the two supposed letters thus strikes me as the primary piece of material,
      altered so as to make it appear that Abgar requested that someone be sent to
      him from Jesus, rather than (as it seems to me) that Thaddeus came into
      Abgar's country unrequested, and was then brought to Abgar's attention. If
      indeed this manuscript was found in the historical archives, as Eusebius
      says, I would suspect a "Priory of Sion" type scenario, wherein a manuscript
      was put into the archives at a later date.

      2. The manuscript has Thaddeus saying that Jesus descended into Hades,
      raised the dead there, and ascended into heaven with a great multitude of
      them. The only other place I've seen this type of thing is in the Gospel of
      Peter, supposedly popular in Rhosus (which is much closer to Antioch than
      Edessa). It goes against the post-resurrection appearance stories in the
      canonicals (since Jesus goes directly from Hades to Heaven), and thus may
      indicate a point in the Jesus-story where docetists and anti-docetists most
      directly collided. Ironically, Eusebius discounts the Gospel of Peter as
      probably containing some docetic elements, while he accepts the Abgar
      manuscript. (He calls it a 'story', though - I wonder if the original word
      behind that indicates some hesitancy on his part?)

      Regards,
      Mike Grondin
    • pmcvflag
      Hey Jack Sorry I left your post hanging there for so long. I know the conversation has kind of moved on, but I thought now that I can I would still jump back
      Message 47 of 47 , May 28, 2006
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        Hey Jack

        Sorry I left your post hanging there for so long. I know the
        conversation has kind of moved on, but I thought now that I can I
        would still jump back there and answer your point.

        >>>I don't agree. Eusebius appears to have had much more common
        sense and he did have the resources of Pamphilus' Library in
        Carsarea. Eusebius was sympathetic to Arius and, post Nicaea I,
        charged Alexander for misrepresenting Arius..which took a lot of
        testicular fortitude, IMO.<<<

        Understood. However, I would point out that the evidence you give
        for believing Eusebius is based essentially on personal impression
        and anecdote. I concede that generally that is all we have to go on
        in most cases like this. My own observations about Eusebius are
        generally based on equally questionable evidence ;)

        For instance, I believe that Eusebius made up the whole Constantine
        conversion story for political gain. I also don't write out the
        possibility that he was directly involved in the Testimonium
        Flavianum hoax.

        Of course, it would be unfair to attack Eusebius in order to
        question the Abgar letters, so I don't mean to do so. Just because
        he may have forged other documents doesn't mean he forged these. I
        have heard the theory that it was Abgar iv who forged them (obvious
        motive), but again that is speculation.

        I would be more interested to hear in more detail your textual
        criticism of this situation. More directly Jesus' response is
        obviously dependant on John, and indirectly against Thomas. The
        theology it presents is obviously late (just as "churchy" as the
        supposed Abgar letter). Since I have never actually seen a serious
        academic critical analysis that placed any part of these letters
        (whether Abgar's or Jesus' side) to a little before Eusebius (if not
        by Eusebius), I am willing to hear a case for earlier dates...
        though I still can't take an argument for an actual origin in Jesus
        himself seriously.

        Karl Nygren
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