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[GTh] Re: Son of Man

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  • 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 1 of 26 , Oct 2, 2008
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      --- 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 2 of 26 , Oct 2, 2008
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        --- 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 3 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
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          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
          >
          >
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        • Jack Kilmon
          ... From: Michael Grondin To: Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 2:42 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: Son of Man
          Message 4 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
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            ----- 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 5 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
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              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 6 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
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                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 7 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
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                  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 8 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
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                    --- 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 9 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
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                      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 10 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
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                        --- 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 11 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
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                          --- 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 12 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
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                            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 13 of 26 , Oct 5, 2008
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                              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 14 of 26 , Oct 5, 2008
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                                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 15 of 26 , Oct 5, 2008
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                                  --- 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
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