Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Son of Man

Expand Messages
  • Paul Lanier
    ... is to suggest that Son of Man as used in the New Testament is generally a way of linking up Jesus of Nazareth with the promised Messiah as announced by
    Message 1 of 26 , Oct 2, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "jmgcormier" <cobby@...> wrote:
      >
      > The more traditional interpretation (certainly the Christian one)
      is to suggest that "Son of Man" as used in the New Testament is
      generally a way of linking up Jesus of Nazareth with the promised
      Messiah as announced by the prophets of the Old Testament (especially
      in Ezekiel where the expression is used unsparingly – close to a
      hundred times). The other (less popularized) interpretation of "Son of
      Man" is to suggest that because "Son of Man" literally means "Son of
      Adam" (Ben-Adam), that it is meant to convey the human or material
      nature of Jesus as opposed to his spiritual nature.

      Hi Maurice,

      Thank you for your post. I think the short answer is basically what
      you state, although I believe "son of man" usually means simply
      "person" or "human being" (no contrast with spirit intended). A
      literal rendering would be "descendant of Adam." At least that seems
      to be the clear context in the older Hebrew scriptures. So Job 25:5-6:

      Behold, even the moon has no brightness,
      And the stars are not pure in his sight;
      How much less man ['enowsh], who is a worm!
      The son of man [ben-'adam], who is a worm!

      Let us hope "worm" does not refer to a future messiah! This example,
      and others, are cited in a Wikipedia article that includes many fine
      examples, all interlinear:

      Son of man. (2008, September 25). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
      Retrieved 16:37, October 2, 2008, from
      http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Son_of_man&oldid=240799337

      (One thing this article lacks is a summary of LXX usage. I have not
      made a complete study, but it appears LXX simply carries over "son of
      man" as "uie anthrwpou").

      In my opinion, usage in more recent Hebrew scriptures reflects the
      same basic meaning: human being. In Ezekiel "son of man," although
      used repeatedly, does not seem to be any sort of title. It seems to
      serve as a constant reminder to Ezekiel that he is a mere human being
      who receives instruction from a superior spiritual being. And despite
      differing Christian interpretation, "son of man" in Daniel (c.
      mid-second century BCE) still refers to a human being:

      * As I watched in the night visions, I saw one like a human being
      coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One and
      was presented before him (Dan 7:13, NRSV).

      * But he said to me, `Understand, O mortal [uie "son" (G5207);
      anthrwpou "of man" (G444)], that the vision is for the time of the
      end' (Dan 8:17).

      Arguments that identify Daniel's "son of man," as Jesus, while
      ubiquitous, do not convince. I would argue that widespread reference
      to Dan 7:13, as if usage there somehow differs from that in Dan 8:17,
      demonstrates only that adherents of this argument have no real case.

      The real trajectory that develops "son of man" as some sort of title,
      possibly messianic, begins in 1 Enoch (c.200 BCE - 50 CE). For example:

      (The translation of 1 Enoch here is that of RH Charles, online at:
      http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/ot/pseudo/enoch.htm)

      And there I saw One who had a head of days,
      And His head was white like wool,
      And with Him was another being whose countenance had the appearance of
      a man,
      And his face was full of graciousness, like one of the holy angels.
      And I asked the angel who went with me and showed me all the hidden
      things, concerning that 3 Son of Man, who he was, and whence he was,
      (and) why he went with the Head of Days? And he answered and said unto me:
      This is the son of Man who hath righteousness,
      With whom dwelleth righteousness,
      And who revealeth all the treasures of that which is hidden,
      Because the Lord of Spirits hath chosen him,
      And whose lot hath the pre-eminence before the Lord of Spirits in
      uprightness for ever.
      (1 Enoch 46:1-3)

      Here the author begins an elaboration of Dan 7:13 that looks like the
      source of a later Christian doctrine of final judgment:

      For from the beginning the Son of Man was hidden,
      And the Most High preserved him in the presence of His might,
      And revealed him to the elect.
      And the congregation of the elect and holy shall be sown,
      And all the elect shall stand before him on that day.
      And all the kings and the mighty and the exalted and those who rule
      the earth
      Shall fall down before him on their faces,
      And worship and set their hope upon that Son of Man,
      And petition him and supplicate for mercy at his hands.
      (1 Enoch 62:7-9)

      However this Son of Man is often associated with a "Lord of Spirits"
      in 1 Enoch. Two examples that illustrate how closely 1 Enoth themes
      resemble those of the New Testament:

      And the Lord of Spirits will abide over them,
      And with that Son of Man shall they eat
      And lie down and rise up for ever and ever.
      And the righteous and elect shall have risen from the earth,
      And ceased to be of downcast countenance.
      And they shall have been clothed with garments of glory,
      And these shall be the garments of life from the Lord of Spirits:
      And your garments shall not grow old,
      Nor your glory pass away before the Lord of Spirits.
      (1 Enoch 62:14-16)

      When the congregation of the righteous shall appear,
      And sinners shall be judged for their sins,
      And shall be driven from the face of the earth:
      And when the Righteous One shall appear before the eyes of the righteous,
      Whose elect works hang upon the Lord of Spirits,
      And light shall appear to the righteous and the elect who dwell on the
      earth,
      Where then will be the dwelling of the sinners,
      And where the resting-place of those who have denied the Lord of Spirits?
      It had been good for them if they had not been born.
      When the secrets of the righteous shall be revealed and the sinners
      judged,
      And the godless driven from the presence of the righteous and elect,
      From that time those that possess the earth shall no longer be
      powerful and exalted:
      And they shall not be able to behold the face of the holy,
      For the Lord of Spirits has caused His light to appear
      On the face of the holy, righteous, and elect.
      (1 Enoch 38:1-4)

      These I think clearly demonstrate that usage of "son of man" as a
      messianic title began with 1 Enoch and was carried into the New
      Testament by the gospel authors. Paul never uses this term.

      I agree with your important observations on "son of man" in Thomas.
      L.44 could have employed the term but does not. L.86 observes the
      irony that animals have homes but people do not. L.106 usage is not
      messianic. Apparently the author is unfamiliar with "son of man" as a
      messianic title.

      regards,
      Paul Lanier
    • Steven Ring
      Hi Paul, It is not clear to me that the interesting 1 Enoch translations from middle Aramaic you quoted, start to move the meaning of the Aramaic idiom bar
      Message 2 of 26 , Oct 2, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Paul,

        It is not clear to me that the interesting 1 Enoch translations from
        middle Aramaic you quoted, start to move the meaning of the Aramaic
        idiom 'bar nasha' = 'son of man' away from the semantic range previously
        indicated, i.e. 'one', 'someone' 'anyone' and 'human being'. In
        Christian circles there are other factors at play which we should
        perhaps bear in mind. These make it almost irresistible for Christians
        not to identify 'son of man' in some way or other with the Son, as the
        second person in the trinitarian theological system. Personally I think
        this theological factor has interfered with the way the idiom, 'son of
        man' has come to be understood.

        There, I opened another can of worms. But perhaps it is better to find
        out what scripture really says and struggle with that, than it is to
        seek easy comfort and the company of the many.

        That Paul never uses 'son of man' is (I think) because he wrote his
        letters in Greek, a language where this Aramaic idiom has no meaning.
        The gospels on the other hand are full of Aramaic idioms which have been
        sometimes rendered into Greek literally and sometimes interpreted,
        sometimes differently in different Greek gospels. 'son of man' is one
        such idiom, other examples include;
        Aramaic --------------- English
        'to know visitation' = 'to know' or 'to recognize'
        'the head' = 'the name' This idiom found in Matthew was also embedded in
        Paul's mind as a bilingual and he interpreted it in his Greek letters.
        'the eye' = 'the inner self'' Perhaps Paul got his 'crucify the carnal
        nature' terminology from here.
        'the hand' = 'companion/friend/spouse' How different would the history
        of king Henry VIIIth have been if he had known this one?

        Food for thought anyway.

        All the best,
        Steven.



        Paul Lanier wrote:
        >
        > --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com <mailto:gthomas%40yahoogroups.com>,
        > "jmgcormier" <cobby@...> wrote:
        > >
        > > The more traditional interpretation (certainly the Christian one)
        > is to suggest that "Son of Man" as used in the New Testament is
        > generally a way of linking up Jesus of Nazareth with the promised
        > Messiah as announced by the prophets of the Old Testament (especially
        > in Ezekiel where the expression is used unsparingly – close to a
        > hundred times). The other (less popularized) interpretation of "Son of
        > Man" is to suggest that because "Son of Man" literally means "Son of
        > Adam" (Ben-Adam), that it is meant to convey the human or material
        > nature of Jesus as opposed to his spiritual nature.
        >
        > Hi Maurice,
        >
        > Thank you for your post. I think the short answer is basically what
        > you state, although I believe "son of man" usually means simply
        > "person" or "human being" (no contrast with spirit intended). A
        > literal rendering would be "descendant of Adam." At least that seems
        > to be the clear context in the older Hebrew scriptures. So Job 25:5-6:
        >
        > Behold, even the moon has no brightness,
        > And the stars are not pure in his sight;
        > How much less man ['enowsh], who is a worm!
        > The son of man [ben-'adam], who is a worm!
        >
        > Let us hope "worm" does not refer to a future messiah! This example,
        > and others, are cited in a Wikipedia article that includes many fine
        > examples, all interlinear:
        >
        > Son of man. (2008, September 25). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
        > Retrieved 16:37, October 2, 2008, from
        > http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Son_of_man&oldid=240799337
        > <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Son_of_man&oldid=240799337>
        >
        > (One thing this article lacks is a summary of LXX usage. I have not
        > made a complete study, but it appears LXX simply carries over "son of
        > man" as "uie anthrwpou").
        >
        > In my opinion, usage in more recent Hebrew scriptures reflects the
        > same basic meaning: human being. In Ezekiel "son of man," although
        > used repeatedly, does not seem to be any sort of title. It seems to
        > serve as a constant reminder to Ezekiel that he is a mere human being
        > who receives instruction from a superior spiritual being. And despite
        > differing Christian interpretation, "son of man" in Daniel (c.
        > mid-second century BCE) still refers to a human being:
        >
        > * As I watched in the night visions, I saw one like a human being
        > coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One and
        > was presented before him (Dan 7:13, NRSV).
        >
        > * But he said to me, `Understand, O mortal [uie "son" (G5207);
        > anthrwpou "of man" (G444)], that the vision is for the time of the
        > end' (Dan 8:17).
        >
        > Arguments that identify Daniel's "son of man," as Jesus, while
        > ubiquitous, do not convince. I would argue that widespread reference
        > to Dan 7:13, as if usage there somehow differs from that in Dan 8:17,
        > demonstrates only that adherents of this argument have no real case.
        >
        > The real trajectory that develops "son of man" as some sort of title,
        > possibly messianic, begins in 1 Enoch (c.200 BCE - 50 CE). For example:
        >
        > (The translation of 1 Enoch here is that of RH Charles, online at:
        > http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/ot/pseudo/enoch.htm
        > <http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/noncanon/ot/pseudo/enoch.htm>)
        >
        > And there I saw One who had a head of days,
        > And His head was white like wool,
        > And with Him was another being whose countenance had the appearance of
        > a man,
        > And his face was full of graciousness, like one of the holy angels.
        > And I asked the angel who went with me and showed me all the hidden
        > things, concerning that 3 Son of Man, who he was, and whence he was,
        > (and) why he went with the Head of Days? And he answered and said unto me:
        > This is the son of Man who hath righteousness,
        > With whom dwelleth righteousness,
        > And who revealeth all the treasures of that which is hidden,
        > Because the Lord of Spirits hath chosen him,
        > And whose lot hath the pre-eminence before the Lord of Spirits in
        > uprightness for ever.
        > (1 Enoch 46:1-3)
        >
        > Here the author begins an elaboration of Dan 7:13 that looks like the
        > source of a later Christian doctrine of final judgment:
        >
        > For from the beginning the Son of Man was hidden,
        > And the Most High preserved him in the presence of His might,
        > And revealed him to the elect.
        > And the congregation of the elect and holy shall be sown,
        > And all the elect shall stand before him on that day.
        > And all the kings and the mighty and the exalted and those who rule
        > the earth
        > Shall fall down before him on their faces,
        > And worship and set their hope upon that Son of Man,
        > And petition him and supplicate for mercy at his hands.
        > (1 Enoch 62:7-9)
        >
        > However this Son of Man is often associated with a "Lord of Spirits"
        > in 1 Enoch. Two examples that illustrate how closely 1 Enoth themes
        > resemble those of the New Testament:
        >
        > And the Lord of Spirits will abide over them,
        > And with that Son of Man shall they eat
        > And lie down and rise up for ever and ever.
        > And the righteous and elect shall have risen from the earth,
        > And ceased to be of downcast countenance.
        > And they shall have been clothed with garments of glory,
        > And these shall be the garments of life from the Lord of Spirits:
        > And your garments shall not grow old,
        > Nor your glory pass away before the Lord of Spirits.
        > (1 Enoch 62:14-16)
        >
        > When the congregation of the righteous shall appear,
        > And sinners shall be judged for their sins,
        > And shall be driven from the face of the earth:
        > And when the Righteous One shall appear before the eyes of the righteous,
        > Whose elect works hang upon the Lord of Spirits,
        > And light shall appear to the righteous and the elect who dwell on the
        > earth,
        > Where then will be the dwelling of the sinners,
        > And where the resting-place of those who have denied the Lord of Spirits?
        > It had been good for them if they had not been born.
        > When the secrets of the righteous shall be revealed and the sinners
        > judged,
        > And the godless driven from the presence of the righteous and elect,
        > >From that time those that possess the earth shall no longer be
        > powerful and exalted:
        > And they shall not be able to behold the face of the holy,
        > For the Lord of Spirits has caused His light to appear
        > On the face of the holy, righteous, and elect.
        > (1 Enoch 38:1-4)
        >
        > These I think clearly demonstrate that usage of "son of man" as a
        > messianic title began with 1 Enoch and was carried into the New
        > Testament by the gospel authors. Paul never uses this term.
        >
        > I agree with your important observations on "son of man" in Thomas.
        > L.44 could have employed the term but does not. L.86 observes the
        > irony that animals have homes but people do not. L.106 usage is not
        > messianic. Apparently the author is unfamiliar with "son of man" as a
        > messianic title.
        >
        > regards,
        > Paul Lanier
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >
        >
        > No virus found in this incoming message.
        > Checked by AVG - http://www.avg.com
        > Version: 8.0.173 / Virus Database: 270.7.5/1702 - Release Date: 01/10/2008 09:05
        >
        >
      • Michael Grondin
        ... I would say rather that the author has used sons of Man (capital M ) as a designation for both Jesus and his disciples. In L.86, for example, it surely
        Message 3 of 26 , Oct 2, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Paul writes to Maurice:
          > I agree with your important observations on "son of man" in Thomas.
          > L.44 could have employed the term but does not. L.86 observes the
          > irony that animals have homes but people do not. L.106 usage is not
          > messianic. Apparently the author is unfamiliar with "son of man" as a
          > messianic title.

          I would say rather that the author has used 'sons of Man' (capital 'M') as
          a designation for both Jesus and his disciples. In L.86, for example, it
          surely would have been seen as patently false that people in general
          don't have homes. But itinerants don't, and that seems to have been
          the recognized life-style of Jesus and his early disciples, and one that
          was recommended in GTh. (L.42 can be read as "Become itinerant.")

          In Thomas, the definite article 'the' apparently tells us when the authors
          were thinking of human beings, and when they were thinking of this special
          class of (holy) itinerants. In L.28.3, for example, it's just 'sons of men',
          so that's anybody. But in saying in L.106 that "You will become sons of Man"
          (capitalization indicating presence of definite article), it's doubly
          apparent that what's being talked about is becoming something that one
          is _not_ to begin with. But since everyone is a child of small-m man to
          begin with, being a child of big-m Man must be something else. This is
          reinforced by the theme that when one is born, he/she is "two", but that
          by "making the two one", one becomes a "son of Man". If "the two" be
          identified as materiality versus spirituality, then the GTh advice is
          plainly to choose the spiritual over the material, rather than attempt to
          satisfy both. A natural result of this advice would be to have no fixed
          home, but rather to become an itinerant preacher (the speaking against
          whom, since that person would presumably be a voice of the holy spirit,
          would be unforgiveable, ala L.44.)

          What would be important to know, in terms of this analysis, is whether
          Aramaic or the Syriac family had a definite article, or something that
          functioned as such. Hopefully, Steven or Jack can advise.

          Mike Grondin
          Mt. Clemens, MI
        • Steven Ring
          Hi Michael, Syriac and Aramaic nouns don t really take the article anything like the way they do in English, rather in an English translation, the article
          Message 4 of 26 , Oct 2, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi Michael,

            Syriac and Aramaic nouns don't really take the article anything like the
            way they do in English, rather in an English translation, the article
            (definite or indefinite) can normally be worked out from the Aramaic
            context. The definite article would normally be attached to an Aramaic
            noun in an English translation, unless there are signs in the context
            that this would be inappropriate. Where we would insist on the
            indefinite article in English, there are less direct ways of doing the
            same thing in Aramaic. I have put an example below..

            If GT started from, or was transmitted through the Syriac language, it
            may not be very secure to build an argument on the article appearing in
            a subsequent English translation!

            Best regards,
            Steven.

            Aramaic can express ideas like a single instance of something or a
            particular kind of something which, depending on the context, would
            demand the indefinite article when translated into English. An adjective
            or a number can be associated with a noun to convey the indefinite
            article, for example;
            'naphsha kina' = 'upright man' This would normally attract the
            indefinite article in a translation, 'an upright man' if the context was
            trying to distinguish him from the others using the adjective 'kina' =
            'upright'
            'nasha _h_ad' = 'one man' or 'a man' i.e a particular man in a group of men.
            There are also other, more subtle ways to convey the indefinite article
            idea in Aramaic using the absolute state of a noun.

            Michael Grondin wrote:
            >
            > Paul writes to Maurice:
            > > I agree with your important observations on "son of man" in Thomas.
            > > L.44 could have employed the term but does not. L.86 observes the
            > > irony that animals have homes but people do not. L.106 usage is not
            > > messianic. Apparently the author is unfamiliar with "son of man" as a
            > > messianic title.
            >
            > I would say rather that the author has used 'sons of Man' (capital 'M') as
            > a designation for both Jesus and his disciples. In L.86, for example, it
            > surely would have been seen as patently false that people in general
            > don't have homes. But itinerants don't, and that seems to have been
            > the recognized life-style of Jesus and his early disciples, and one that
            > was recommended in GTh. (L.42 can be read as "Become itinerant.")
            >
            > In Thomas, the definite article 'the' apparently tells us when the authors
            > were thinking of human beings, and when they were thinking of this special
            > class of (holy) itinerants. In L.28.3, for example, it's just 'sons of
            > men',
            > so that's anybody. But in saying in L.106 that "You will become sons
            > of Man"
            > (capitalization indicating presence of definite article), it's doubly
            > apparent that what's being talked about is becoming something that one
            > is _not_ to begin with. But since everyone is a child of small-m man to
            > begin with, being a child of big-m Man must be something else. This is
            > reinforced by the theme that when one is born, he/she is "two", but that
            > by "making the two one", one becomes a "son of Man". If "the two" be
            > identified as materiality versus spirituality, then the GTh advice is
            > plainly to choose the spiritual over the material, rather than attempt to
            > satisfy both. A natural result of this advice would be to have no fixed
            > home, but rather to become an itinerant preacher (the speaking against
            > whom, since that person would presumably be a voice of the holy spirit,
            > would be unforgiveable, ala L.44.)
            >
            > What would be important to know, in terms of this analysis, is whether
            > Aramaic or the Syriac family had a definite article, or something that
            > functioned as such. Hopefully, Steven or Jack can advise.
            >
            > Mike Grondin
            > Mt. Clemens, MI
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
            >
            >
            > No virus found in this incoming message.
            > Checked by AVG - http://www.avg.com
            > Version: 8.0.173 / Virus Database: 270.7.5/1703 - Release Date: 02/10/2008 07:46
            >
            >
          • Michael Grondin
            ... Thanks for the information, Steven. No, I wasn t arguing from an English translation. I never do. In Coptic, the letter p attached to a masculine noun
            Message 5 of 26 , Oct 2, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              > If GT started from, or was transmitted through the Syriac language, it
              > may not be very secure to build an argument on the article appearing
              > in a subsequent English translation!

              Thanks for the information, Steven. No, I wasn't arguing from an English
              translation. I never do. In Coptic, the letter 'p' attached to a masculine
              noun
              like 'rwme' ('man') represents the definite article 'the'. But if the noun
              isn't
              qualified by a who-phrase (as in, e.g., 'the man who came to dinner'),
              then the definite article functions as an untranslated capitalizer. Thus, in
              my
              note, whenever I used 'Man' instead of 'man', the capital 'M' indicated that
              the word in that context was 'p-rwme', and that it was unqualified.

              The difference between Coptic and Greek, which had the definite article,
              and the Syriac languages (also Latin, I think), which didn't, may account
              for some interesting twists of interpretation. It seems fairly clear,
              however,
              that what the GThom authors were trying to say was that anyone could
              become a "son/child of Man", which apparently for them meant an
              itinerant preacher/healer on the model of Jesus.

              Regards,
              Mike
            • Paul Lanier
              ... middle Aramaic you quoted, start to move the meaning of the Aramaic idiom bar nasha = son of man away from the semantic range previously indicated,
              Message 6 of 26 , Oct 2, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, Steven Ring <steven.ring@...> wrote:
                >
                > It is not clear to me that the interesting 1 Enoch translations from
                middle Aramaic you quoted, start to move the meaning of the Aramaic
                idiom 'bar nasha' = 'son of man' away from the semantic range previously
                indicated, i.e. 'one', 'someone' 'anyone' and 'human being'. In
                Christian circles there are other factors at play which we should
                perhaps bear in mind. These make it almost irresistible for Christians
                not to identify 'son of man' in some way or other with the Son, as the
                second person in the trinitarian theological system. Personally I think
                this theological factor has interfered with the way the idiom, 'son of
                man' has come to be understood.

                Hi Steven,

                I completely agree theology has distorted 'son of man' by using the
                phrase as a title rather than an idiom for 'human being.' In the NT
                this peculiar usage begin with Mark, but I think it has strong roots
                in 1 Enoch. That is the way I read the context in 1 Enoch, but I agree
                it is not always clear. For example:

                * When they see that Son of Man Sitting on the throne of his glory (62:5)

                * And he sat on the throne of his glory, And the sum of judgement was
                given unto the Son of Man (69:27)

                * And he (i.e. the angel) came to me and greeted me with His voice,
                and said unto me ' This is the Son of Man who is born unto
                righteousness, And righteousness abides over him (71:14)

                In these 'son of man' carries attributes later applied to Jesus.
                Interestingly, it is not clear that 'messiah' is one of those attributes.

                I do think it is interesting that some very early
                church fathers apparently approved of 1 Enoch. I would suggest their
                doctrines of hell are difficult to derive from the NT, but obvious in
                1 Enoch. And of course Jude 14-15 parallels 1 Enoch 1:9. All of this
                indicates 1 Enoch was authoritative for some early church leaders.

                This leads me to wonder how doctrines of 1 Enoch became authoritative
                for some communities. Was 1 Enoch authoritative for some Jewish
                Christian communities, but not for Thomas? And why would that be? Did
                early Jewish Christians who held 1 Enoch authoritative, but who never
                met Jesus, adapt Enochian theology? Even Paul uses several Enochian
                themes. But not apparently 'son of man.' I would suggest Paul was
                unfamiliar with that designation (although his opponents may have used
                it, if the Enochian 'son of man' title derives from a Qumran community
                of righteousness). LXX repeatedly renders 'son of man' as 'uie
                anthrwpou,' so Paul must have been familiar it. Paul's title for
                Jesus, of course, is 'Christos.'

                regards,
                Paul Lanier
              • Paul Lanier
                ... M ) as a designation for both Jesus and his disciples. In L.86, for example, it surely would have been seen as patently false that people in general don t
                Message 7 of 26 , Oct 2, 2008
                • 0 Attachment
                  --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I would say rather that the author has used 'sons of Man' (capital
                  'M') as a designation for both Jesus and his disciples. In L.86, for
                  example, it surely would have been seen as patently false that people
                  in general don't have homes. But itinerants don't, and that seems to
                  have been the recognized life-style of Jesus and his early disciples,
                  and one that was recommended in GTh. (L.42 can be read as "Become
                  itinerant.")

                  Thanks, Mike, for this, and also for your convincing observation on
                  p-rwme (post 8247). Back to the drawing board!

                  regards,
                  Paul Lanier
                • Steven Ring
                  Hi Paul, In the vast literature surrounding the DSS, I remember reading somewhere that the book of Enoch (amongst other DSS messianic works) plays upon the
                  Message 8 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Hi Paul,

                    In the vast literature surrounding the DSS, I remember reading somewhere
                    that the book of Enoch (amongst other DSS messianic works) plays upon
                    the imagery and terminology of the OT book of Daniel. Anyway, in my
                    view, this could explain the interpretive elements around 'son of man'
                    in the further quotations you cite. In other words, in the post-Daniel
                    but still pre-Christian period, the author of 1 Enoch explores who this
                    person described by Daniel might be. The gospels also employ the imagery
                    of Daniel and Isho` directly quotes Daniel in his teaching, e.g. in
                    Mt24, so 1 Enoch and the gospels come from a similar Aramaic cultural
                    context.

                    So, coming to the quotations you mentioned. These appear to me to be
                    closely linked to ideas in Daniel and not any attempt in Aramaic to turn
                    'son of man' into a proper noun associated with a specific person.

                    The subject of the use of 1 Enoch in early Christianity is a very
                    interesting one and I agree, it appears to have been an influential
                    text. In slow-time I will have a look around to see if there is any
                    evidence of 1 Enoch leaking into the Syriac tradition. It would not
                    surprise me if such evidence does exist, but I have never seen anything
                    published on that subject. The clincher in this case would be to find
                    precise quotations from surviving DSS Aramaic book of 1 Enoch embedded
                    in a Syriac patristic text. This would be further evidence, (and I have
                    already found plenty anyway) that the Syriac tradition preserves
                    primitive Semitic Christian texts from the pre-AD 70 period.

                    Best regards,
                    Steven.

                    Paul Lanier wrote:
                    >
                    > --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com <mailto:gthomas%40yahoogroups.com>,
                    > Steven Ring <steven.ring@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > It is not clear to me that the interesting 1 Enoch translations from
                    > middle Aramaic you quoted, start to move the meaning of the Aramaic
                    > idiom 'bar nasha' = 'son of man' away from the semantic range previously
                    > indicated, i.e. 'one', 'someone' 'anyone' and 'human being'. In
                    > Christian circles there are other factors at play which we should
                    > perhaps bear in mind. These make it almost irresistible for Christians
                    > not to identify 'son of man' in some way or other with the Son, as the
                    > second person in the trinitarian theological system. Personally I think
                    > this theological factor has interfered with the way the idiom, 'son of
                    > man' has come to be understood.
                    >
                    > Hi Steven,
                    >
                    > I completely agree theology has distorted 'son of man' by using the
                    > phrase as a title rather than an idiom for 'human being.' In the NT
                    > this peculiar usage begin with Mark, but I think it has strong roots
                    > in 1 Enoch. That is the way I read the context in 1 Enoch, but I agree
                    > it is not always clear. For example:
                    >
                    > * When they see that Son of Man Sitting on the throne of his glory (62:5)
                    >
                    > * And he sat on the throne of his glory, And the sum of judgement was
                    > given unto the Son of Man (69:27)
                    >
                    > * And he (i.e. the angel) came to me and greeted me with His voice,
                    > and said unto me ' This is the Son of Man who is born unto
                    > righteousness, And righteousness abides over him (71:14)
                    >
                    > In these 'son of man' carries attributes later applied to Jesus.
                    > Interestingly, it is not clear that 'messiah' is one of those attributes.
                    >
                    > I do think it is interesting that some very early
                    > church fathers apparently approved of 1 Enoch. I would suggest their
                    > doctrines of hell are difficult to derive from the NT, but obvious in
                    > 1 Enoch. And of course Jude 14-15 parallels 1 Enoch 1:9. All of this
                    > indicates 1 Enoch was authoritative for some early church leaders.
                    >
                    > This leads me to wonder how doctrines of 1 Enoch became authoritative
                    > for some communities. Was 1 Enoch authoritative for some Jewish
                    > Christian communities, but not for Thomas? And why would that be? Did
                    > early Jewish Christians who held 1 Enoch authoritative, but who never
                    > met Jesus, adapt Enochian theology? Even Paul uses several Enochian
                    > themes. But not apparently 'son of man.' I would suggest Paul was
                    > unfamiliar with that designation (although his opponents may have used
                    > it, if the Enochian 'son of man' title derives from a Qumran community
                    > of righteousness). LXX repeatedly renders 'son of man' as 'uie
                    > anthrwpou,' so Paul must have been familiar it. Paul's title for
                    > Jesus, of course, is 'Christos.'
                    >
                    > regards,
                    > Paul Lanier
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    >
                    >
                    > No virus found in this incoming message.
                    > Checked by AVG - http://www.avg.com
                    > Version: 8.0.173 / Virus Database: 270.7.5/1703 - Release Date: 02/10/2008 07:46
                    >
                    >
                  • Jack Kilmon
                    ... From: Michael Grondin To: Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 2:42 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: Son of Man
                    Message 9 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
                    • 0 Attachment
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
                      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 2:42 PM
                      Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: Son of Man


                      > Paul writes to Maurice:
                      >> I agree with your important observations on "son of man" in Thomas.
                      >> L.44 could have employed the term but does not. L.86 observes the
                      >> irony that animals have homes but people do not. L.106 usage is not
                      >> messianic. Apparently the author is unfamiliar with "son of man" as a
                      >> messianic title.
                      >
                      > I would say rather that the author has used 'sons of Man' (capital 'M') as
                      > a designation for both Jesus and his disciples. In L.86, for example, it
                      > surely would have been seen as patently false that people in general
                      > don't have homes. But itinerants don't, and that seems to have been
                      > the recognized life-style of Jesus and his early disciples, and one that
                      > was recommended in GTh. (L.42 can be read as "Become itinerant.")
                      >
                      > In Thomas, the definite article 'the' apparently tells us when the authors
                      > were thinking of human beings, and when they were thinking of this special
                      > class of (holy) itinerants. In L.28.3, for example, it's just 'sons of
                      > men',
                      > so that's anybody. But in saying in L.106 that "You will become sons of
                      > Man"
                      > (capitalization indicating presence of definite article), it's doubly
                      > apparent that what's being talked about is becoming something that one
                      > is _not_ to begin with. But since everyone is a child of small-m man to
                      > begin with, being a child of big-m Man must be something else. This is
                      > reinforced by the theme that when one is born, he/she is "two", but that
                      > by "making the two one", one becomes a "son of Man". If "the two" be
                      > identified as materiality versus spirituality, then the GTh advice is
                      > plainly to choose the spiritual over the material, rather than attempt to
                      > satisfy both. A natural result of this advice would be to have no fixed
                      > home, but rather to become an itinerant preacher (the speaking against
                      > whom, since that person would presumably be a voice of the holy spirit,
                      > would be unforgiveable, ala L.44.)
                      >
                      > What would be important to know, in terms of this analysis, is whether
                      > Aramaic or the Syriac family had a definite article, or something that
                      > functioned as such. Hopefully, Steven or Jack can advise.
                      >
                      > Mike Grondin
                      > Mt. Clemens, MI

                      Hi Mike:

                      In Biblical and Judean Aramaic, in addition to the absolute and construct
                      state there is a determined state. The emphatic -a is postfixed rather than
                      prefixed as in the hebrew "ha-" as an aleph or a heh to act as the definite
                      article. In later dialects...to a lesser degree in Judean..and Steven can
                      talk about Syriac...the post-fixed determinative lost its "definite
                      articleness" in some cases to become the normal state of the noun. Son of
                      Man = Bar Nash; THE Son of Man = Bar Nasha.

                      Jack Kilmon
                    • Judy Redman
                      Mike you say ... Isn t this a bit too definitive? I think you need to say that when there is no who-phrase, the p (or t for a feminine noun) *may* function or
                      Message 10 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Mike you say
                        >
                        > Thanks for the information, Steven. No, I wasn't arguing from
                        > an English translation. I never do. In Coptic, the letter 'p'
                        > attached to a masculine noun like 'rwme' ('man') represents
                        > the definite article 'the'. But if the noun isn't qualified
                        > by a who-phrase (as in, e.g., 'the man who came to dinner'),
                        > then the definite article functions as an untranslated
                        > capitalizer. Thus, in my note, whenever I used 'Man' instead
                        > of 'man', the capital 'M' indicated that the word in that
                        > context was 'p-rwme', and that it was unqualified.

                        Isn't this a bit too definitive? I think you need to say that when there is
                        no who-phrase, the p (or t for a feminine noun) *may* function or maybe even
                        *often* or *usually* funcitons as an untranslated capitalizer, depending on
                        the context. It is certainly possible to use prwme and tpolis in a sentence
                        that would be translated "the man visited his brother in the city". To
                        translate this as "Man visited his brother in City" would clearly not be
                        sensible.

                        I think that the problem here is that both translations appear to be
                        possible and even in regular use in particular places and times, so the
                        reader needs to make decisions about which is the right one in the
                        particular context. Although I have not had time to look at the texts in
                        question, it would seem to me entirely possible that Thomas might sometimes
                        use it as a title and sometimes to indicate "a human being". And, of
                        course, what we decide makes more sense in any given context will depend on
                        our particular understandings of what kind of text Thomas is - gnostic,
                        mystic etc.

                        Judy

                        --
                        "Politics is the work we do to keep the world safe for our spirituality" -
                        Judith Plaskow, Phoenix Rising, 2000

                        Rev Judy Redman
                        Uniting Church Chaplain
                        University of New England Armidale 2351
                        ph: +61 2 6773 3739
                        fax: +61 2 6773 3749
                        web: http://www-personal.une.edu.au/~jredman2 and
                        http://judyredman.wordpress.com/
                        email: jredman2@...
                      • Michael Grondin
                        ... Agreed. From within Thomas, I m reminded of L.78.1 ( Why did you come out to the wilderness? ). ... If we re talking about p-rwme , then I think Man ,
                        Message 11 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Hi Judy, you wrote:

                          > I think you need to say that when there is no who-phrase, the p
                          > (or t for a feminine noun) *may* function or maybe even *often*
                          > or *usually* funcitons as an untranslated capitalizer, depending
                          > on the context.

                          Agreed. From within Thomas, I'm reminded of L.78.1 ("Why did
                          you come out to the wilderness?").

                          > I think that the problem here is that both translations appear to be
                          > possible and even in regular use in particular places and times, so the
                          > reader needs to make decisions about which is the right one in the
                          > particular context. Although I have not had time to look at the texts in
                          > question, it would seem to me entirely possible that Thomas might
                          > sometimes use it as a title and sometimes to indicate "a human being".

                          If we're talking about 'p-rwme', then I think 'Man', 'Humanity', 'Human
                          beings', even 'the human being' are pretty much interchangeable, but
                          not '_a_ human being', which I wouldn't use for that.

                          > And, of course, what we decide makes more sense in any given context
                          > will depend on our particular understandings of what kind of text Thomas
                          > is - gnostic, mystic etc.

                          Oh, I don't know about that. I think one can make these decisions based
                          on thematic consistency with other sayings whose meaning is pretty clear,
                          without having any particular understanding of what kind of text Thomas is.
                          At least, that's what I think I'm doing (:-)

                          Regards,
                          Mike
                        • Judy Redman
                          Mike, ... I was actually thinking about son of man, but you re right. I don t think p-rwme can be *a* human being. ... Sorry - what I was trying to say (I m
                          Message 12 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Mike,
                            >
                            > > I think that the problem here is that both translations
                            > appear to be
                            > > possible and even in regular use in particular places and times, so
                            > > the reader needs to make decisions about which is the right
                            > one in the
                            > > particular context. Although I have not had time to look
                            > at the texts
                            > > in question, it would seem to me entirely possible that
                            > Thomas might
                            > > sometimes use it as a title and sometimes to indicate "a
                            > human being".
                            >
                            > If we're talking about 'p-rwme', then I think 'Man',
                            > 'Humanity', 'Human beings', even 'the human being' are pretty
                            > much interchangeable, but not '_a_ human being', which I
                            > wouldn't use for that.

                            I was actually thinking about son of man, but you're right. I don't think
                            p-rwme can be *a* human being.

                            >
                            > > And, of course, what we decide makes more sense in any
                            > given context
                            > > will depend on our particular understandings of what kind of text
                            > > Thomas is - gnostic, mystic etc.
                            >
                            > Oh, I don't know about that. I think one can make these
                            > decisions based on thematic consistency with other sayings
                            > whose meaning is pretty clear, without having any particular
                            > understanding of what kind of text Thomas is.
                            > At least, that's what I think I'm doing (:-)

                            Sorry - what I was trying to say (I'm fighting a head cold and not thinking
                            as clearly as I might) is that we bring particular assumptions about a text
                            to the text and they influence how we translate it because, I think, they
                            can influence what we see as pretty clear meanings. At the most general
                            level, as was pointed out in the Thomas and Tatian thread, people who
                            assume that Thomas is dependent tend to see as obvious that any verbatim
                            bits demonstrate that Thomas follows the synoptics, when all that can really
                            be said is that the passages are the same. I'm not accusing you of doing
                            this, Mike, just saying that we need to be very careful to examine our
                            preconceptions when we need to make choices about translation and, indeed,
                            in deciding which passages are actually thematically consistent.

                            Judy
                          • rj.godijn
                            ... verbatim ... really ... Hi Judy, I realize your post wasn t really about synoptic-thomas relationship, but I really must respond to what you are saying
                            Message 13 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
                            • 0 Attachment
                              --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Judy Redman" <jredman@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > At the most general
                              > level, as was pointed out in the Thomas and Tatian thread, people who
                              > assume that Thomas is dependent tend to see as obvious that any
                              verbatim
                              > bits demonstrate that Thomas follows the synoptics, when all that can
                              really
                              > be said is that the passages are the same.

                              Hi Judy,

                              I realize your post wasn't really about synoptic-thomas relationship,
                              but I really must respond to what you are saying here.

                              Scholars who argue for Thomas' dependence on one or more of the
                              Synoptics for some of the parallels between Thomas and the Synoptics do
                              not necessarily do this because of a canonical bias, they do this
                              because the redactional work of one or more of the evangelists can be
                              found in Thomas. Obviously it is not always that easy to determine what
                              is redactional and therefore it is often possible to come up with
                              alternative solutions. Even Stephen Patterson (who favors an
                              independence view) agrees that Markan, Matthean or Lukan redaction can
                              be found in Thomas in about 10 places (a proponent of the Farrer
                              hypothesis would add many more to this list). This should not be
                              brushed away so easily. The question of course remains what explains
                              these instances? Patterson would favor late scribal harmonization or
                              perhaps secondary orality.

                              Finding Thomas to be influenced by one or more of the Synoptics also
                              does not mean that one considers every parallel between them as a sign
                              that Thomas is secondary. It can very well be the case that some of the
                              sayings in Thomas are prior to their synoptic parallel. Given the
                              popularity of the Synoptic Gospels in the second century it would not
                              be at all surprising that some of their sayings were then added to the
                              Thomas collection.

                              Having said all this I must agree that some (evangelical or
                              conservative) scholars are biased against Thomas and will favor Thomas'
                              dependence on the Synoptics. The positive and uncritical manner in
                              which they responded to Nicholas Perrin's work nicely illustrates this.
                              However, this is to be expected, and should not lead to the counter-
                              reaction of assuming independence without good evidence.

                              Regards, Richard Godijn
                            • Judy Redman
                              Hi Richard, ... I realise this. What I wanted to do was raise awareness of the ways in which the perspective from which people approach a text, the questions
                              Message 14 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Hi Richard,

                                You say:
                                >
                                > Scholars who argue for Thomas' dependence on one or more of
                                > the Synoptics for some of the parallels between Thomas and
                                > the Synoptics do not necessarily do this because of a
                                > canonical bias, they do this because the redactional work of
                                > one or more of the evangelists can be found in Thomas.
                                > Obviously it is not always that easy to determine what is
                                > redactional and therefore it is often possible to come up
                                > with alternative solutions. Even Stephen Patterson (who
                                > favors an independence view) agrees that Markan, Matthean or
                                > Lukan redaction can be found in Thomas in about 10 places (a
                                > proponent of the Farrer hypothesis would add many more to
                                > this list). This should not be brushed away so easily. The
                                > question of course remains what explains these instances?
                                > Patterson would favor late scribal harmonization or perhaps
                                > secondary orality.

                                I realise this. What I wanted to do was raise awareness of the ways in
                                which the perspective from which people approach a text, the questions they
                                bring to it, if you like, can influence the way they interpret it. So, if
                                you approach Thomas asking "what evidence can I find that Thomas is
                                dependent on the synoptic material?" you will potentially reach different
                                conclusions to the ones you will reach if you ask "are there any passages in
                                Thomas that are similar to and/or the same as those in the synoptics and if
                                so, what might that mean?" The answer you give, especially to the first
                                question will be further influenced by whether or not you have anything
                                invested in the outcome. That is, if you want the answer to be "lots of
                                evidence" you are more likely to include tenuous evidence. If you want it
                                to be "none at all", then you will discard anything that could reasonably be
                                considered tenuous.

                                > Finding Thomas to be influenced by one or more of the
                                > Synoptics also does not mean that one considers every
                                > parallel between them as a sign that Thomas is secondary. It
                                > can very well be the case that some of the sayings in Thomas
                                > are prior to their synoptic parallel. Given the popularity of
                                > the Synoptic Gospels in the second century it would not be at
                                > all surprising that some of their sayings were then added to
                                > the Thomas collection.

                                I think it is possible to go back further than this, though, and say that
                                the fact that there are parallels between Thomas and the synoptics does not
                                mean that Thomas is necessarily influenced by one or more of the synoptics.
                                It may be that the influence went in the other direction, or that they
                                shared a common source for that particular passage. Of the material that I
                                am studying (ie the parables of the kingdom/reign in Thomas that have
                                parallels in the synoptics) only one is close to verbatim - the parable of
                                the mustard seed - and it is an anomally. It is the only one in Thomas that
                                compares the kingdom/reign to an object rather than to a person.

                                >
                                > Having said all this I must agree that some (evangelical or
                                > conservative) scholars are biased against Thomas and will
                                > favor Thomas'
                                > dependence on the Synoptics. The positive and uncritical
                                > manner in which they responded to Nicholas Perrin's work
                                > nicely illustrates this.
                                > However, this is to be expected, and should not lead to the
                                > counter- reaction of assuming independence without good evidence.

                                No, indeed. Good evidence is essential, but I think you get good evidence
                                by asking the right questions in the first place. That's certainly true
                                when you're questioning eyewitnesses.

                                Judy
                              • Paul Lanier
                                ... influence how we translate it because, I think, they can influence what we see as pretty clear meanings. Hi Judy, I agree, and would add that two biases
                                Message 15 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Judy Redman" <jredman@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > we bring particular assumptions about a text to the text and they
                                  influence how we translate it because, I think, they can influence
                                  what we see as pretty clear meanings.

                                  Hi Judy,

                                  I agree, and would add that two biases apply to any historical
                                  reconstruction: the bias of the historian, and the general social
                                  paradigms of the intended readers. I think most historians would agree
                                  there is no such thing as a truly objective history. Recognizing the
                                  bias of the historian and her or his culture is a necessary basis for
                                  interpretation of the historian's work.

                                  Of course, by the law of accretion, texts which elaborate on a simpler
                                  text are probably later. This can lead to a reasonable presumption of
                                  dependency.

                                  It is of course possible (although far less likely) that an elaborated
                                  text is the earlier one. I would suggest that sort of argument is more
                                  of an apologetic, because it seeks to preserve doctrine by proposing
                                  how a much less likely event could still have occurred.

                                  regards,
                                  Paul Lanier
                                • rj.godijn
                                  ... ways in ... questions they ... So, if ... different ... passages in ... synoptics and if ... first ... anything ... be lots of ... want it ... reasonably
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Judy Redman" <jredman@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Hi Richard,
                                    >
                                    > You say:
                                    > >
                                    > > Scholars who argue for Thomas' dependence on one or more of
                                    > > the Synoptics for some of the parallels between Thomas and
                                    > > the Synoptics do not necessarily do this because of a
                                    > > canonical bias, they do this because the redactional work of
                                    > > one or more of the evangelists can be found in Thomas.
                                    > > Obviously it is not always that easy to determine what is
                                    > > redactional and therefore it is often possible to come up
                                    > > with alternative solutions. Even Stephen Patterson (who
                                    > > favors an independence view) agrees that Markan, Matthean or
                                    > > Lukan redaction can be found in Thomas in about 10 places (a
                                    > > proponent of the Farrer hypothesis would add many more to
                                    > > this list). This should not be brushed away so easily. The
                                    > > question of course remains what explains these instances?
                                    > > Patterson would favor late scribal harmonization or perhaps
                                    > > secondary orality.
                                    >
                                    > I realise this. What I wanted to do was raise awareness of the
                                    ways in
                                    > which the perspective from which people approach a text, the
                                    questions they
                                    > bring to it, if you like, can influence the way they interpret it.
                                    So, if
                                    > you approach Thomas asking "what evidence can I find that Thomas is
                                    > dependent on the synoptic material?" you will potentially reach
                                    different
                                    > conclusions to the ones you will reach if you ask "are there any
                                    passages in
                                    > Thomas that are similar to and/or the same as those in the
                                    synoptics and if
                                    > so, what might that mean?" The answer you give, especially to the
                                    first
                                    > question will be further influenced by whether or not you have
                                    anything
                                    > invested in the outcome. That is, if you want the answer to
                                    be "lots of
                                    > evidence" you are more likely to include tenuous evidence. If you
                                    want it
                                    > to be "none at all", then you will discard anything that could
                                    reasonably be
                                    > considered tenuous.

                                    RG: Absolutely! I think we can all agree on this. We should simply be
                                    looking for the model that best accounts for the data (with the
                                    strongest constraints - something typically neglected in New
                                    Testament Studies). Why should we 'want' any kind of answer? That is
                                    of course completely unscientific. Coming from experimental
                                    psychology I must say that the common desire to find certain answers
                                    in this field has been quite shocking for me. While many seem to want
                                    Thomas to be late and secondary others seem to want Thomas to be
                                    early and independent of the canonical Gospels. Both groups appear to
                                    be neglecting (perhaps downplaying is a better word) part of the
                                    evidence (which gives away my position - if that was not already
                                    clear - that part of it is early, pre-synoptic, and part of it is
                                    late, post-synoptic)


                                    >
                                    > > Finding Thomas to be influenced by one or more of the
                                    > > Synoptics also does not mean that one considers every
                                    > > parallel between them as a sign that Thomas is secondary. It
                                    > > can very well be the case that some of the sayings in Thomas
                                    > > are prior to their synoptic parallel. Given the popularity of
                                    > > the Synoptic Gospels in the second century it would not be at
                                    > > all surprising that some of their sayings were then added to
                                    > > the Thomas collection.
                                    >
                                    > I think it is possible to go back further than this, though, and
                                    say that
                                    > the fact that there are parallels between Thomas and the synoptics
                                    does not
                                    > mean that Thomas is necessarily influenced by one or more of the
                                    synoptics.
                                    > It may be that the influence went in the other direction, or that
                                    they
                                    > shared a common source for that particular passage. Of the
                                    material that I
                                    > am studying (ie the parables of the kingdom/reign in Thomas that
                                    have
                                    > parallels in the synoptics) only one is close to verbatim - the
                                    parable of
                                    > the mustard seed - and it is an anomally. It is the only one in
                                    Thomas that
                                    > compares the kingdom/reign to an object rather than to a person.

                                    RG: It is not just verbatim agreement that suggests influence, it is
                                    finding an evangelists redaction in Thomas. Thus, if there is
                                    evidence that in a certain pericope one of the evangelists has
                                    redacted one of his sources and that piece of redaction is also found
                                    in Thomas then the data can best be accounted by the hypothesis that
                                    Thomas has somehow been influenced by that evangelists Gospel. This
                                    cannot be explained by a common source.

                                    One further point: you can have influence without having any verbatim
                                    agreement. It just becomes harder (if not sometimes virtually
                                    impossible) to detect. That is why we start with the strongest cases
                                    and look at those instances where there is verbatim agreement and
                                    (this is very important) when one author's redaction can be found in
                                    the other Gospel.

                                    Examples would obviously help here (although the literature is filled
                                    with good examples), but I will save these for a later time when my
                                    work load is reduced (I am teaching two new courses for a cognitive
                                    neuropsychology masters) and I have more time to go into specifics.


                                    >
                                    > >
                                    > > Having said all this I must agree that some (evangelical or
                                    > > conservative) scholars are biased against Thomas and will
                                    > > favor Thomas'
                                    > > dependence on the Synoptics. The positive and uncritical
                                    > > manner in which they responded to Nicholas Perrin's work
                                    > > nicely illustrates this.
                                    > > However, this is to be expected, and should not lead to the
                                    > > counter- reaction of assuming independence without good evidence.
                                    >
                                    > No, indeed. Good evidence is essential, but I think you get good
                                    evidence
                                    > by asking the right questions in the first place.

                                    RG: Agreed, but I'm curious as to what you mean by 'asking the right
                                    questions'? What kind of questions do you have in mind?

                                    Richard
                                  • Judy Redman
                                    Richard, ... JR: Indeed. But if you come from within a theological framework that has been built on a particular set of texts and that is likely to be called
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Richard,

                                      > RG: Absolutely! I think we can all agree on this. We should
                                      > simply be looking for the model that best accounts for the
                                      > data (with the strongest constraints - something typically
                                      > neglected in New Testament Studies). Why should we 'want' any
                                      > kind of answer? That is of course completely unscientific.

                                      JR: Indeed. But if you come from within a theological framework that has
                                      been built on a particular set of texts and that is likely to be called into
                                      question if a particular non-canonical text is found to be "more authentic"
                                      (whatever that means), then you have quite a lot invested in finding that
                                      the problematic text is "less authentic", whereas if you are researching to
                                      discredit the prevailing theological framework, you are invested in finding
                                      the problematic text "more authentic".

                                      > > > Finding Thomas to be influenced by one or more of the
                                      > Synoptics also
                                      > > > does not mean that one considers every parallel between them as a
                                      > > > sign that Thomas is secondary. It can very well be the case that
                                      > > > some of the sayings in Thomas are prior to their synoptic
                                      > parallel.
                                      > > > Given the popularity of the Synoptic Gospels in the
                                      > second century
                                      > > > it would not be at all surprising that some of their sayings were
                                      > > > then added to the Thomas collection.
                                      > >
                                      > > I think it is possible to go back further than this, though, and
                                      > say that
                                      > > the fact that there are parallels between Thomas and the synoptics
                                      > does not
                                      > > mean that Thomas is necessarily influenced by one or more of the
                                      > synoptics.
                                      > > It may be that the influence went in the other direction, or that
                                      > they
                                      > > shared a common source for that particular passage. Of the
                                      > material that I
                                      > > am studying (ie the parables of the kingdom/reign in Thomas that
                                      > have
                                      > > parallels in the synoptics) only one is close to verbatim - the
                                      > parable of
                                      > > the mustard seed - and it is an anomally. It is the only one in
                                      > Thomas that
                                      > > compares the kingdom/reign to an object rather than to a person.
                                      >
                                      > RG: It is not just verbatim agreement that suggests
                                      > influence, it is finding an evangelists redaction in Thomas.
                                      > Thus, if there is evidence that in a certain pericope one of
                                      > the evangelists has redacted one of his sources and that
                                      > piece of redaction is also found in Thomas then the data can
                                      > best be accounted by the hypothesis that Thomas has somehow
                                      > been influenced by that evangelists Gospel. This cannot be
                                      > explained by a common source.

                                      JR: Having spent quite a lot of time recently reading psychological
                                      eyewitness literature, I am no longer convinced that all the differences
                                      that have been attributed to redaction actually are due to redaction ie a
                                      deliberate decision by an editor to make additions, subtractions etc..
                                      Quite a number could as easily be attributed to the sorts of changes that
                                      can be expected when eyewitnesses retell their stories over time. Then, I
                                      think, a common source is still a tenable explanation.

                                      > One further point: you can have influence without having any
                                      > verbatim agreement. It just becomes harder (if not sometimes virtually
                                      > impossible) to detect. That is why we start with the
                                      > strongest cases and look at those instances where there is
                                      > verbatim agreement and (this is very important) when one
                                      > author's redaction can be found in the other Gospel.
                                      >
                                      > Examples would obviously help here (although the literature
                                      > is filled with good examples), but I will save these for a
                                      > later time when my work load is reduced (I am teaching two
                                      > new courses for a cognitive neuropsychology masters) and I
                                      > have more time to go into specifics.

                                      JR: I am in a similar situation - too busy to produce specific examples.

                                      > > >
                                      > > > Having said all this I must agree that some (evangelical or
                                      > > > conservative) scholars are biased against Thomas and will favor
                                      > > > Thomas'
                                      > > > dependence on the Synoptics. The positive and uncritical
                                      > manner in
                                      > > > which they responded to Nicholas Perrin's work nicely illustrates
                                      > > > this.
                                      > > > However, this is to be expected, and should not lead to the
                                      > > > counter- reaction of assuming independence without good evidence.
                                      > >
                                      > > No, indeed. Good evidence is essential, but I think you get good
                                      > evidence
                                      > > by asking the right questions in the first place.
                                      >
                                      > RG: Agreed, but I'm curious as to what you mean by 'asking
                                      > the right questions'? What kind of questions do you have in mind?

                                      JR: Simply the kinds of things you've mentioned - instead of asking "What
                                      evidence do we have for dependence/independence?" we should ask "What
                                      differences and similarities do we see in these texts and what is the best
                                      explanation for the available data?"

                                      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/ and
                                      http://blog.une.edu.au/unitingchaplaincy/
                                      email: jredman@...
                                    • jmgcormier
                                      Hello Richard .... In your post # 8255 on Thomas vs the Synoptics, you point out Even Stephen Patterson (who favors an independence view) agrees that Markan,
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Oct 5, 2008
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Hello Richard ....

                                        In your post # 8255 on Thomas vs the Synoptics, you point out "Even
                                        Stephen Patterson (who favors an independence view) agrees that
                                        Markan, Matthean or Lukan redaction can be found in Thomas in about 10
                                        places (a proponent of the Farrer hypothesis would add many more to
                                        this list)"

                                        Might it be possible for you (in just a few words) to capsulize for
                                        those of us who are unfamiliar with Farrer the essential jist of his
                                        hypothesis ????

                                        Maurice Cormier
                                      • Judy Redman
                                        Hi Maurice, Wikipedia (which in this case is quite reliable) says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farrer_hypothesis): The Farrer theory (also called the
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Oct 5, 2008
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Hi Maurice,

                                          Wikipedia (which in this case is quite reliable) says
                                          (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farrer_hypothesis):

                                          "The Farrer theory (also called the Farrer-Goulder hypothesis) is a possible
                                          solution to the synoptic problem. The theory is that the Gospel of Mark was
                                          written first, followed by the Gospel of Matthew and then by the Gospel of
                                          Luke.

                                          "It has mainly been advocated by English biblical scholars. It is named for
                                          Austin Farrer, who wrote _On Dispensing With Q_ in 1955, but it has been
                                          picked up by other scholars including Michael Goulder and Mark Goodacre.

                                          "The Farrer theory has the advantage of simplicity, as there is no need for
                                          hypothetical sources to be created by academics. Instead, advocates of the
                                          Farrer theory argue, the Gospel of Mark was used as source material by the
                                          author of Matthew. Lastly, Luke used both of the previous gospels as sources
                                          for his Gospel."

                                          And if you are interested in a summary of the multiplicity of theories about
                                          the sources of the gospels, you can visit Stephen Carlson's blog which has
                                          colour-coded summaries, complete with diagrams.

                                          http://www.hypotyposeis.org/synoptic-problem/2004/09/overview-of-proposed-so
                                          lutions.html

                                          Incidentally, whilst searching for something succinct on google, I came
                                          across a site that offers the following:

                                          "For over seven years, our Farrer Hypothesis term paper experts have helped
                                          university students worldwide by providing the most extensive, lowest-priced
                                          service for Farrer Hypothesis thesis papers and research paper writing.
                                          Regardless of your deadline, budget, specifications, or academic level, we
                                          can provide immediate help for your Farrer Hypothesis essay, term paper,
                                          book report, research paper, dissertation, thesis, or university
                                          coursework."
                                          (http://www.essaytown.com/topics/farrer_hypothesis_essays_papers.html)

                                          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/ and
                                          http://blog.une.edu.au/unitingchaplaincy/
                                          email: jredman@...


                                          > -----Original Message-----
                                          > From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                                          > [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jmgcormier
                                          > Sent: Monday, 6 October 2008 8:29 AM
                                          > To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                                          > Subject: [GTh] Re: Thomas vs Synoptics
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Hello Richard ....
                                          >
                                          > In your post # 8255 on Thomas vs the Synoptics, you point out
                                          > "Even Stephen Patterson (who favors an independence view)
                                          > agrees that Markan, Matthean or Lukan redaction can be found
                                          > in Thomas in about 10 places (a proponent of the Farrer
                                          > hypothesis would add many more to this list)"
                                          >
                                          > Might it be possible for you (in just a few words) to
                                          > capsulize for those of us who are unfamiliar with Farrer the
                                          > essential jist of his hypothesis ????
                                          >
                                          > Maurice Cormier
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > ------------------------------------
                                          >
                                          > Gospel of Thomas Homepage: http://home.epix.net/~miser17/Thomas.html
                                          > Interlinear translation:
                                          > http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/x_transl.htm
                                          >
                                          > ------------------------------------
                                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                        • rj.godijn
                                          ... Hi Maurice, I agree with Judy that wikipedia gives a good description here. Mark Goodacre s website http://www.ntgateway.com/Q/ is an excellent place to
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Oct 5, 2008
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "jmgcormier" <cobby@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > Might it be possible for you (in just a few words) to capsulize for
                                            > those of us who are unfamiliar with Farrer the essential jist of his
                                            > hypothesis ????
                                            >
                                            > Maurice Cormier
                                            >

                                            Hi Maurice,

                                            I agree with Judy that wikipedia gives a good description here. Mark
                                            Goodacre's website http://www.ntgateway.com/Q/ is an excellent place to
                                            learn more about this source hypothesis.

                                            Richard
                                          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.