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Re:earliest Thomas reference ?

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  • Andrew Bernhard
    Andrew- The earliest mention of the Gospel of Thomas by name is in Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies. Saying 2 is quoted twice by Clement of Alexandria in
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 4, 2007
      Andrew-

      The earliest mention of the Gospel of Thomas by name is in Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies.

      Saying 2 is quoted twice by Clement of Alexandria in the Stromateis, but it is ascribed to the Gospel of the Hebrews.

      2 Clement 12.2 (I believe) is parallel to Saying 22 (I believe).

      Both these near verbatim parallels can also be dated to the late second century.

      -Andrew (Bernhard)

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • jmgcormier
      Andrew … you write: In the light of Perrin s claim that the Gospel of Thomas is based on the Diatessaron (composed 172 or slightly later). I have been
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 15, 2007
        Andrew … you write:

        "In the light of Perrin's claim that the Gospel of Thomas is based on
        the Diatessaron (composed 172 or slightly later). I have been trying
        to find our earliest references to Thomas. What may be our earliest
        evidence is referred to in Origen's' Contra Celsum' book 8."

        (A very interesting quote follows, as does an added reference from
        Andrew
        Bernhard.)

        Your "ancestral dependency" approach to discovering Thomas is very
        interesting, but I have to wonder how one gets around the possible
        mixed bloodline of a text (such as that of Thomas) or parts of it
        which may have been "begged, borrowed or plagiarized" from a
        secondary source and freely used in it. (This, of course, not being
        different from the 4 evangilists). For example, there are scores of
        Rabbinical Sayings, literary peculiarities and even fantasy verses
        used in the NT and Thomas which are not necessarily of Jesus or of
        the attributed author's own pen.

        Notwithstanding all of the "all those who have ears etc etc", note,
        for example,

        Thomas 17 (and say) 1 Corinthians 2:9 "… what no hand has touched
        and what has never occurred to the human mind."

        Thomas 102 (as also used in Matt 23:13 and Luke 11:52) likely
        originated with the Greek fable writer Aesop (mid 6th century BC) …
        as well as (ditto) Thomas #109 / Luke 4:23 ("Physician heal
        thyself" – taken from Aesop's the Quack Frog), and Matt. 7:15 ("The
        wolf in sheep's clothing") etc.

        In fact, the saying "know thyself" (Thomas #3 / # 67) falls in this
        same category of maxims as it is clearly inspired from the Oracle at
        Delphi ... again long before Jesus was even born.

        So, in using such a research method, where do we draw the line on
        text dependency ???? A better case in point (although not used in
        Thomas) … is the Gospel of John. If pushed to extreme, how do we
        come to conclude that it was written c. 100 C.E. when its opening
        lines (Jn 1, 1- etc) are actually taken from the Vedas, a Hindu text
        usually dated at appx 1500 BCE ???? (Vagvisarga TMB,XX,14,2) … "In
        the beginning was Brahman, with whom was Vak or the word … and the
        word is Brahman …"

        Suspecting that you are perhaps more so interested in the references
        to the Gospel of Thomas mentioned in early text (as opposed to
        actual or near quotes found in such texts) I might contribute (if
        useful) that Clement of Alexandria (150 – 211 C.E.) produced a now
        lost book called Hypotyposis which seemingly contained "secret
        teachings" (wow!) taught by Jesus to some of his apostles following
        his resurrection. The details of the secret teachings referred to by
        him in his Hypotyposes, however, are not currently known to us
        (Andrew Bernhard might clarify the detail of this), but depending on
        how young Clement was when he wrote his Hypotyposis, his quotes
        could in fact pre-date Origen's Contra Celsum as your candidate
        for "earliest sourcer" re Thomas … i.e. pre 172 CE

        By the way, in which of his books does Perrin draw his thesis about
        the Diatessaron ??????

        Cheers !

        Maurice Cormier
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