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RE: [GTh] Re: Son of Man

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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