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Re: [GTh] Re: Son of Man

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  • 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 1 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
      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 2 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
        ----- 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 3 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
          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 4 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
            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 5 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
              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 6 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
                --- 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 7 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
                  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 8 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
                    --- 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 9 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
                      --- 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 10 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
                        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 11 of 26 , Oct 5, 2008
                          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 12 of 26 , Oct 5, 2008
                            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 13 of 26 , Oct 5, 2008
                              --- 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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