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A Summary of Goodacre v. DeConick

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  • Michael Grondin
    I think that much of this summary has been implied by previous notes, but it s always good to put things as clearly as possible. Goodacre s paper has to do
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 2 7:43 AM
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      I think that much of this summary has been implied by
      previous notes, but it's always good to put things as
      clearly as possible.

      Goodacre's paper has to do with Th79a, that is, 79.1-2.
      DeConick's position is that the entirety of Th79 belongs
      to an original Thomas "kernel". Had DeConick split Th79
      into two parts and asserted that 79b (i.e., 79.3) was part
      of the kernel, but that 79a was a later accretion, as she
      does with some other sayings, then she and Mark would
      have been as ships passing in the night, no collision implied.
      Why didn't she do that? After all, her reason for believing
      that Th79 is part of the kernel is based on the contents
      of 79.3. Why then, did she not separate 79a from 79b?
      Short of an answer from her, my guess is that the two
      parts were too tightly tied together through the mention
      of "belly and breasts" in both.

      But now having tied 79a and 79b together, the collision
      between her and Mark is this: Mark asserts that 79a is
      "out of character" with the rest of Thomas, while April
      is essentially forced to the position that it isn't. Either
      that or (very improbably) that Thomas has changed so
      much with accretion that while 79a was originally "in
      character" with the rest of the kernel, it's now "out of
      character" in the Coptic version.

      It'd be good (IMO) to see arguments on both sides
      of this specific issue, but I don't think that's what
      we're going to see. DeConick, it seems, will take
      the road of generality, as she has so far. That isn't
      an illegitimate road, but it leaves Mark's "out of
      character" argument without direct and specific
      response.

      Mike
    • Judy Redman
      I ve only been skimming through this thread because I ve been frantically busy with other things, but now that it s Saturday, I ve had a chance to have a look
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 2 1:11 PM
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        I've only been skimming through this thread because I've been frantically
        busy with other things, but now that it's Saturday, I've had a chance to
        have a look at what April says in her most recent book, "The Original Gospel
        of Thomas in Translation" (T&T Clark: London, New York: 2006). As Mike says,
        she attributes the whole of 79 to Kernel Thomas.

        Her source discussion (pp 242-243) says

        "H. Von Schuermann, W. Schrage, B. Gaertner, R. Grant and D. N. Freedman, E.
        Haenchen and R. McL. Wilson agree that L 79 is a melding of Luke 11.27-28
        and 23.29. Schrage points out that the sense can only be made of the plural
        'you will say' in L 79.3 within the Lukan context. K. Snodgrass picks up
        this opinion in his work, opting for *possible* dependence based on the
        phrases ek tou oxlou, erksontai, hmerai and psulassein which he thinks are
        Lukan traits. [sorry, my Greek transliteration leaves much to be desired
        because I just don't use it much]

        "The only editorial trace that J. Sieber can see is the combination 'hear
        and do the word of my Father' which he says may be Lukan. More probably,
        Sieber thinks, it is due to Luke's special source since Luke did not create
        this saying. Sieber offers an alternative explantion to Schrage's argument
        regarding the presence of 'you will say' in L 79, that *Thomas'* source for
        the saying may have been the same as Luke's or a tradition of another type
        presented in a simlar context. Sieber, however, does conceed in his
        conclusion that this Logion may contain a Lukanism in this case.

        In my opinon, although these agreements are work noting, especially the
        phrase 'you will say', they do not make the case for dependece because here
        we are dealing with special Lukan material. It is just as plausible that
        these phrases were part of Luke's source. If so, then we are seeing here
        variants that developed independently out of pre-Synoptic traditions. This
        latter hypothesis actually fits the evidence better given Guillaumont's
        observation about the Aramaic substratum, YNQ and the Syriac parallels."

        She then lists literature parallels and agreements in Syrian Gospels,
        Western Text and Diatessaron.

        Judy

        --
        Rev Judy Redman
        Uniting Church Chaplain
        University of New England
        Armidale 2351 Australia
        ph: +61 2 6773 3739
        fax: +61 2 6773 3749
        web: http://www.une.edu.au/chaplaincy/uniting/
        email: jredman@...



        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
        > [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Grondin
        > Sent: Saturday, 3 February 2007 2:43 AM
        > To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [GTh] A Summary of Goodacre v. DeConick
        >
        > I think that much of this summary has been implied by
        > previous notes, but it's always good to put things as clearly
        > as possible.
        >
        > Goodacre's paper has to do with Th79a, that is, 79.1-2.
        > DeConick's position is that the entirety of Th79 belongs to
        > an original Thomas "kernel". Had DeConick split Th79 into two
        > parts and asserted that 79b (i.e., 79.3) was part of the
        > kernel, but that 79a was a later accretion, as she does with
        > some other sayings, then she and Mark would have been as
        > ships passing in the night, no collision implied.
        > Why didn't she do that? After all, her reason for believing
        > that Th79 is part of the kernel is based on the contents of
        > 79.3. Why then, did she not separate 79a from 79b?
        > Short of an answer from her, my guess is that the two parts
        > were too tightly tied together through the mention of "belly
        > and breasts" in both.
        >
        > But now having tied 79a and 79b together, the collision
        > between her and Mark is this: Mark asserts that 79a is "out
        > of character" with the rest of Thomas, while April is
        > essentially forced to the position that it isn't. Either that
        > or (very improbably) that Thomas has changed so much with
        > accretion that while 79a was originally "in character" with
        > the rest of the kernel, it's now "out of character" in the
        > Coptic version.
        >
        > It'd be good (IMO) to see arguments on both sides of this
        > specific issue, but I don't think that's what we're going to
        > see. DeConick, it seems, will take the road of generality, as
        > she has so far. That isn't an illegitimate road, but it
        > leaves Mark's "out of character" argument without direct and
        > specific response.
        >
        > Mike
        >
        >
        >
        > --------------------------------------------------------------
        > ----------
        > Gospel of Thomas Homepage: http://home.epix.net/~miser17/Thomas.html
        > Interlinear translation:
        > http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/x_transl.htm
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
      • Achilles37@aol.com
        Hi, Mike - ... Thomas is ostensibly a collection of words Jesus *said* as opposed to a collection of things Jesus *did,* a distinction made by Papias in his
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 3 2:15 PM
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          Hi, Mike -

          You wrote:

          > Mark asserts that 79a is "out of character" with the rest of Thomas

          Thomas is ostensibly a collection of words Jesus *said* as opposed to a collection of things Jesus *did,* a distinction made by Papias in his discussion of Mark's Gospel, which Jack Kilmon has recently emphasized. But Thomas also records some words that were said *to* Jesus as well, sometimes by people who are identified (such as Peter, Matthew, or Thomas in log. 13) and sometimes by people who are anonymous or indefinite ("a man" in log. 72, "a woman" in log. 79, the disciples, "they"). Thomas also records the words of other women addressing Jesus in log. 21 (Mary) and log. 61 (Salome). So, if the fact that Thomas records the words of a woman addressing Jesus is not out of character in Thomas, then just what is out of character in log. 79a?

          Mark G. writes that "Thomas refers to gynaecological details only here in 79." Well, that may or may not be (and Mark G. notes a couple possible exceptions in his footnote here of Thomas log. 69 and log. 22), but that type of argument is less meaningful when applied to Thomas, since a relatively brief sayings collection bears less of the author's literary tendencies than a longer, biographical gospel. As Mark G. writes, "Thomas does not lend itself easily to methods honed in synoptic criticism over the last century or so." Consequently, the observation that references to "gynaecological details" are lacking in Thomas other than saying 79, while possibly true, is not particularly meaningful. Thomas is replete with instances where a particular word or phrase appears only once in the text.

          What *is* relevant here is that the form of 79a - a blessing with "gynaecological details" - is not uncommon in ancient Judaic literature. Bultmann writes the following (History of the Synoptic Tradition, ET, p. 30):

          *************************************************
          Lk 11:27-28: The Blessing of Mary. The blessing in v. 27 is a widespread feature of Judaism. In Syr. Bar. 54:10 the seer who dreams the vision cries out: 'Blessing to my mother among those that gave birth, And praised among women be she who bore me.' And so Rachel is praised, who bore Joseph (Gen R. 98 (62d)): 'Blessed be the breasts which have so given suck and the body which has thus brought forth' (Strack-B. II, 187). Jochanan b. Zakkai stirred by the oration of his pupils R. Eleazar b. Arach and Jehoshua b. Homeniah cries out: 'praise to thee, Abraham our father, that Eleazar b. Arach was brought forth from thy loins. Hail to thee, and hail to thy mother! Hail to mine eyes, which have seen such things!' (Hag. 14b in Strack-B. I, 663f.). When Messiah comes, Israel will say: 'Blessed is the hour when Messiah is created; blessed be the body from which he comes forth; blessed be the generation that sees him, blessed be the eye that is privileged to look on him' (Pesiq. 149a in Strack-B. I, 161).

          *************************************************

          These types of blessings function as high praise for the person who inspires them. When the woman in the crowd is blessing Mary, she is praising Jesus. Logion 79a in Thomas is an ancient Judaic form of high praise. Now we know that Thomas also contains another ancient Judaic expression of high praise in log. 12 - "for whose sake heaven and earth came into being." Consequently, I would have to say that log. 79a is not "out of character" in Thomas.

          - Kevin Johnson


          -----Original Message-----
          From: mwgrondin@...
          To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Fri, 2 Feb 2007 10:43 AM
          Subject: [GTh] A Summary of Goodacre v. DeConick


          I think that much of this summary has been implied by
          previous notes, but it's always good to put things as
          clearly as possible.

          Goodacre's paper has to do with Th79a, that is, 79.1-2.
          DeConick's position is that the entirety of Th79 belongs
          to an original Thomas "kernel". Had DeConick split Th79
          into two parts and asserted that 79b (i.e., 79.3) was part
          of the kernel, but that 79a was a later accretion, as she
          does with some other sayings, then she and Mark would
          have been as ships passing in the night, no collision implied.
          Why didn't she do that? After all, her reason for believing
          that Th79 is part of the kernel is based on the contents
          of 79.3. Why then, did she not separate 79a from 79b?
          Short of an answer from her, my guess is that the two
          parts were too tightly tied together through the mention
          of "belly and breasts" in both.

          But now having tied 79a and 79b together, the collision
          between her and Mark is this: Mark asserts that 79a is
          "out of character" with the rest of Thomas, while April
          is essentially forced to the position that it isn't. Either
          that or (very improbably) that Thomas has changed so
          much with accretion that while 79a was originally "in
          character" with the rest of the kernel, it's now "out of
          character" in the Coptic version.

          It'd be good (IMO) to see arguments on both sides
          of this specific issue, but I don't think that's what
          we're going to see. DeConick, it seems, will take
          the road of generality, as she has so far. That isn't
          an illegitimate road, but it leaves Mark's "out of
          character" argument without direct and specific
          response.

          Mike



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        • Michael Grondin
          ... STM now that my summary is deficient here and in a related issue that it leaves out. Frank McCoy reminds that the word NEEIATx (the x being a pronoun -
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 5 10:17 AM
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            In the original note on this thread, I wrote:

            > [Why didn't DeConick] separate 79a from 79b?
            > Short of an answer from her, my guess is that the two
            > parts were too tightly tied together through the mention
            > of "belly and breasts" in both.

            STM now that my summary is deficient here and in a
            related issue that it leaves out. Frank McCoy reminds
            that the word NEEIATx (the x being a pronoun - 'she',
            'they' in this case) occurs in all three subsayings of 79.
            So the parts of the saying are more tightly conjoined
            syntactically than I had suggested. Which leads to a
            question that should be added to the summary for
            balance: is it legitimate to isolate 79a as Mark G. does
            in his paper?

            What I'm suggesting is the possibility of the error
            of selective focus. By focusing on the tail of an
            elephant, we might conclude that it was a very small
            animal indeed. By focusing on 79a alone, Mark
            has avoided a question that might be asked had he
            considered Th79 as a whole, namely "Which is more
            likely: that Luke split Th79 or that the Thomasines
            found and put together separate segments of GLk?"
            I'm not suggesting here that the former is inherently
            more likely, but rather that IF one thinks so, then
            one would be less inclined to be persuaded by the
            arguments in Mark's paper. Because of that, and
            because it raises questions of methodology, it
            might be a good idea to address that in the paper.

            Mike Grondin
          • Mark Goodacre
            Kevin, Thanks for your interesting comments. Some brief responses: ... What is out of character are those things I have drawn attention to in the article. It
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 7 5:09 PM
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              Kevin,

              Thanks for your interesting comments. Some brief responses:

              On 03/02/07, Achilles37@... <Achilles37@...> wrote:

              > Thomas is ostensibly a collection of words Jesus *said* as opposed to a collection of things Jesus *did,* a distinction made by Papias in his discussion of Mark's Gospel, which Jack Kilmon has recently emphasized. But Thomas also records some words that were said *to* Jesus as well, sometimes by people who are identified (such as Peter, Matthew, or Thomas in log. 13) and sometimes by people who are anonymous or indefinite ("a man" in log. 72, "a woman" in log. 79, the disciples, "they"). Thomas also records the words of other women addressing Jesus in log. 21 (Mary) and log. 61 (Salome). So, if the fact that Thomas records the words of a woman addressing Jesus is not out of character in Thomas, then just what is out of character in log. 79a?

              What is out of character are those things I have drawn attention to in
              the article. It is always possible, in an argument like this, to say,
              "Ah yes, but element x is not uncharacteristic", especially if one
              moves the discussion to generalities. It is characteristic of Thomas
              to have Jesus speaking, to introduce his sayings with "says", as here,
              but that fact does not diminish the importance of the uncharacteristic
              features.

              > Mark G. writes that "Thomas refers to gynaecological details only here in 79." Well, that may or may not be (and Mark G. notes a couple possible exceptions in his footnote here of Thomas log. 69 and log. 22), but that type of argument is less meaningful when applied to Thomas, since a relatively brief sayings collection bears less of the author's literary tendencies than a longer, biographical gospel. As Mark G. writes, "Thomas does not lend itself easily to methods honed in synoptic criticism over the last century or so." Consequently, the observation that references to "gynaecological details" are lacking in Thomas other than saying 79, while possibly true, is not particularly meaningful. Thomas is replete with instances where a particular word or phrase appears only once in the text.

              The mention here of "a particular word of phrase" helps focus the
              issue. I am attempting to show that it is not just a question here of
              a word here and a word there but theme, imagery, nuance. In my
              opinion, one of the difficulties with some of the standard discussions
              about dependence is that they are too focused on just the odd word or
              phrase rather than clusters of features.

              > What *is* relevant here is that the form of 79a - a blessing with "gynaecological details" - is not uncommon in ancient Judaic literature. Bultmann writes the following (History of the Synoptic Tradition, ET, p. 30):

              Thanks for the useful quotation from Bultmann. But note that what is
              "not uncommon in ancient Judaic literature" does not necessarily help
              us in this specific case. It is common in early Jewish literature to
              quote the Hebrew Bible, but Thomas practically never does. What we
              need to look at are the specifics of the case.

              All best
              Mark
              --
              Mark Goodacre Goodacre@...
              Associate Professor
              Duke University
              Department of Religion
              118 Gray Building / Box 90964
              Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
              Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530

              http://NTGateway.com/goodacre
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