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

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  • 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 1 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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