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RE: [GTh] A Summary of Goodacre v. DeConick

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  • 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 1 of 5 , Feb 2, 2007
      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 2 of 5 , Feb 3, 2007
        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 3 of 5 , Feb 5, 2007
          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 4 of 5 , Feb 7, 2007
            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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