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Re: [GTh] But I have said - GTh46.2

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  • Ron McCann
    Hi Mike, Meant to get back to you earlier on this but I ve just got my Ham Radio Licence this week and have been busy to-day setting up, hooking up and tuning
    Message 1 of 11 , Apr 13, 2009
      Hi Mike,

      Meant to get back to you earlier on this but I've just got my Ham Radio
      Licence this week and have been busy to-day setting up, hooking up and
      tuning my Antenna System and Transmitter/Receiver to get on the air

      I'm not suggesting that Luke himself understood the saying in question
      to be a Realized Eschatology saying- in fact, it likely bewildered him
      as much as it did later theologians and Churchmen. There was no such
      animal in his day. For him, as well as for Mark and Matthew and
      especially Q, the coming of the Son of Man, the End of Days, the End of
      this World and the arrival of God's Kingdom on earth, while imminent and
      eagerly anticipated, were in the future. It's probably safe to assume
      that Luke saw it as some kind of an end-time saying and chucked it in
      with the other ones he had on the subject in those several verses on the
      topic.

      Back in the early sixties when I was working on my undergraduate degree
      at Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Quebec, as part of a well rounded
      education,we were required as part of the degree programme to take
      several undergraduate course in "Divinity". These included such things
      as a History of the Early Christian Church, and the issues and debates
      in both the early church and in modern times by current theologians.
      (The college was actually an Anglican (Episcopalian) Church college that
      turned out Anglican priests, among other things- and has since gone
      entirely secular.)

      One issue that was hotly argued then was the problem created by,
      perhaps, up to a dozen sayings of Jesus where he SEEMED to have been
      saying that the Kingdom had already come on Earth- which seemed
      strikingly at odds with other sayings that clearly spoke of a future
      arrival of the Kingdom of God on earth. Succintly- the Kingdom was
      a-coming, and yet it was already here- according to Jesus. This saying
      in Luke, which at that time, was wholly and exclusively unique to his
      Gospel alone- nobody else had it- was considered the primary and central
      saying upon which the whole Realized Eschatology debate centered, and
      around which the other sayings of Jesus claiming the Kingdom was here
      already, orbited.

      Different Christian churches struggled with the notion or how the
      kingdom could both have arrived and yet still be a-coming, and resolved
      it in different ways. The Roman Church resolved the issue by decided the
      the Church itself was the Kingdom, and when Jesus had founded it, the
      Kingdom on Earth had arrived but there would still be future End of
      Days. Some just discounted the Lukan saying as genuine- since it
      appeared no where else in the Gospels, and others came up with some
      ingenious but generally unsatisfactory ways of dealing with it- so it
      still remained an issue and a conundrum with no good answer- at least in
      biblical scholarship. My main point here is that long before it was
      known or known generally that Thomas HAD the saying too, that Lukan
      saying was recognized by nearly everybody as a Realized Eschatology
      saying- a saying that claimed that the Kingdom was already here.

      I previously said, on this list, is that one of the most intriguing
      things about the GTh, is not what it contains, rather it is what it does
      NOT contain- that is- that is if Thomas was part of the Synoptic Stream
      one would fully expect certain themes, prominent in those Gospels to be
      displayed in it. And one in particular seems to be all but absent. And
      I'm talking about the End Time Scenarios and the expected return of
      Jesus as the Son of Man. Mark, Matthew, Luke and Q (at least at the Q 2
      and Q 3) levels, are strongly Apocalyptic- so much so that Albert
      Sweitzer once persuaded almost all scholars that Jesus was an
      Apocalyptic Prophet. End of the Quest for the Historical Jesus!

      I claimed Thomas was "bereft" of these themes. That was likely and
      overstatement- which I sometimes do for emphasis. It's a bad habit of
      mine, and I should be more cautious on an Academic List. Let me just say
      that if, indeed there really are any, they are strikingly few and far
      between, and nowhere near as many as one would expect if the Synoptic
      authors and Thomas were ad idem on the subject. I am familiar with your
      view, Mike, that Thomas DOES contain some Apocalyptic themes and
      material suggestive of them- although I don't personally see many. Those
      which some people cite as such, I have to concede, MIGHT be so
      interpreted- but that's far from clear and I have doubts such
      interpretations are sound. Such takes may possibly be colored by the
      use of that saying or a similar sayings in an End of Day's language and
      context by other Gospel writers.

      Perhaps a case in point is the very brief "two men on a couch" saying
      found at the beginning of the Salome logion, also found in Luke and
      Matthew. Just because the saying appears in Luke, used by him in an
      Apocalyptic context, doesn't mean it had that meaning when it stood
      alone. And stand alone, it once likely did.
      Matthew and Luke both use it, and they got it from Q- which is quite
      Apocalypse-oriented and may have coloued their take on it and use of
      it.. But Thomas has it too- but not in any Apocalyptic context that can
      be clearly discerned, and is likely using it to make a different point.
      What's intriguing for me if the hoaryness of this saying. Since it
      appear in Q and Thomas- a double attestation in Mark or Q, or Thomas-
      it's a saying I claim was found in the still earlier Matthean Logia
      Collection which I claim was father to there three works.

      Anyway, what I'm suggesting here is that the religious community the
      Gospel of Thomas was intended to serve, NEVER subscribed to the whole
      End of Days, Apocalyptic Scenario and the future arrival of the Kingdom
      of Heaven on Earth. They believed it had already come, and that it could
      be entered right way and no waiting for it's arrival was necessary.
      Their eschatology was "realized"- which sent them off in an entirely
      different theological direction and religious evolution and speculations
      than the early Synoptic-Q, Apocalyptic, Second-Coming stream of the Church.

      I suggest that this Realized Eschatology business is what made the
      Thomas Community and their Gospel so strikingly different from the
      emerging churches and gospels that grew into to-day's Christianity.

      IMHO

      Ron McCann
      Saskatoon, Canada

      Michael Grondin wrote:
      >
      > > [L46.2] seems to echo the same theme which is found in Gth 113
      > > (and its' L-Source Lukan counterpart in Luke 17:20). Read this way,
      > > the saying is a backhanded swipe at John for failing to realize that
      > > the Kingdom had already arrived, and to recognize it. Those who do,
      > > are greater than John.
      > >
      > > Such a belief (in a realized eschatology) may go along way in explaining
      > > why the GTh is so strangely and utterly bereft of Second Coming,
      > > Apocalyptic and End of Day's sayings and themes.
      >
      > But, Ron, if the author of GLk thought of 17:20-1 the way you suggest,
      > why would the immediately following passage (17:22-37) prophesy the
      > very things you think are antithetical to it? Indeed, the fact that 17:34
      > is echoed in Th 61.1 casts doubt also on the "utterly bereft" claim.
      >
      > Mike
    • Paul Lanier
      ... Thanks for this, Mike. The Coptic in L.37 supports your preference for translating kouei (BM#164) as small. Luckily this saying contains three words
      Message 2 of 11 , Apr 15, 2009
        --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
        > we need the Greek word/words in question.

        Thanks for this, Mike. The Coptic in L.37 supports your preference for translating kouei (BM#164) as "small." Luckily this saying contains three words directly relevant to your point:
        - kouei BM#164 "small," "few"
        - Sere.SEm = SEre BM#33 "sons," "daughters," "children"
        - SEm BM#195 "small," "little"

        Also interesting is this saying's comparison of disciples who are "like children," as opposed to disciples "being small" (LL. 22, 46). This saying employs four technical terms apparently shared by GMk9.42-47:
        - GTh22 Small, Eye, Hand, Foot
        - GMk9.42-47 Small, Hand, Foot, Eye

        Since these two sayings are in different languages, I delay discussing the exact Coptic and Greek definitions for now. The immediate point is that both employ a cluster of terms whose meaning appears obscure in GTh and more accessible in GMk. This suggests Thomas, the more difficult variant, may be earlier. If so Mark has reframed it, providing a meaning related to sin which appears to differ radically from the meaning in Thomas (whatever that is!).

        GTh37 Blatz-NTA (1991) Small, Children, Son
        37.1 His disciples said: On what day will you be revealed to us, and on what day shall we see you? 37.2 Jesus said: When you unclothe yourselves and are not ashamed, and take your garments and lay them beneath your feet like the little [kouei BM#164 "small," "few"] children [Sere.SEm = SEre BM#33 "sons," "daughters," "children" + SEm BM#195 "small," "little"] (and) trample on them, 37.3 then [you will see] the Son [SEre BM#33 "son"] of the Living One, and you will not be afraid.

        Since GTh37 includes a double emphasis on "small," I am wondering if "newborn" is the intended meaning. L.4 equates "ou.kouie en.SEre.SEm" (MG "a small little boy") with "ef.hen.saSef en.hoou" (MG "he being of seven days"). If so then perhaps L.37 saying refers to the developmental condition of a candidate for initiation who is ready for baptism (rebirth).

        Proceeding on to LL. 46 and 78 with this understanding, these two logia may fit into a somewhat loose grouping that employs similar terminology. This grouping revolves around the common use of terms co-occurring with John the Baptist: great, small, kingdom. The passage from 1Co is included because it shares two terms (offspring, begot) that also occur in this set.

        - GTh78 ~JB , great
        - GTh46 JB, begotten, small, kingdom
        - GMt11.7-11 JB, greater, least, kingdom
        - GLk7.24-28 JB, begotten, greater, least, kingdom
        - 1Co4.14-17 offspring, guides, fathers, begot

        Matthew and Luke use the same Greek terms for "greater" (meizon) and "least" (mikroteros), while Paul and Luke use related terms for "begotten" (gennetois) and "begot" egennesa. So if these represent technical terms their usage is consistent in this small set of passages, and it does not seem that any distinction is made among Matthew, Luke or Paul.

        - GTh78 ~JB [later interpretation], great [megistanos MG "powerful ones"]
        - GTh46 JB, begotten [jpo BM#155 "to beget," "acquire"], small [kouei BM#164 "small," "few"], kingdom [mentero BM#115 "kingdom," "reign"]
        - GMt11.7-11 JB, greater [meizon G3187 "greater," "elder," "stronger"], least [mikroteros G3398 "small," "young"], kingdom
        - GLk7.24-28 JB, begotten [gennetois G1084 "begotten," "born"], greater [meizon G3187 "greater," "elder," "stronger"], least [mikroteros G3398 "smallest," "youngest," "least"], kingdom [basileia G932 "kingdom," "kingship," "rule"]
        - 1Co4.14-17 offspring [tekna G5043 "offspring," "children"], guides [paidagogous G3807 "tutors," "guides," "trustworthy slaves"], fathers [pateras "fathers," "forefathers"], begot [egennesa G1080 "to be begotten"]

        This set also reflects the distinctive usages of "kingdom" in GTh, GMt, and GLk. Mark and Luke use exclusively "kingdom of God," while Matthew employs "kingdom of the heavens." In Coptic Thomas it is simply "kingdom," however in Grk. GTh3 "kingdom of God" occurs. This suggests the original usage in Thomas, "kingdom," may have caused difficulties after the Jewish War, when reference to "kingdom" would likely have offended to Romans. Thus Mark amplified this to "kingdom of God." Mark's usage was retained by Luke and apparently also inserted into a Greek manuscript of GTh. However Matthew opted for "kingdom of the heavens." The simplest explanation here is that Q introduced "kingdom of the heavens" and that Luke opted to follow Mark usage while Matthew followed Q.

        So I think here is more evidence suggesting that both Mark and Q depend on Thomas, and that the extant Coptic version more closely resembles original Thomas than the P.Oxy. fragments do.

        I will be exploring more precisely the usage of "child," in GTh, GMk, GMt, GLk, and Paul in an upcoming post.

        Regards, Paul

        KINGDOM

        GTh: Cop. mentero BM#115 "kingdom," "reign," also Grk. basileai "kingdom" (L.3) or basileia ton t(he)u "kingdom of God" (L.27)
        GMk, GLk: Grk. basileaia ton theou "kingdom of God"
        GMt: Grk. basileia ton ouranon "kingdom of the heavens"

        PASSAGES

        GTh78 Blatz-NTA (1991) ~JB, Great
        Jesus said: 78.1 Why did you come out into the field? To see a reed shaken by the wind? 78.2 And to see a man clothed in soft raiment? [Look, your] kings and your great [megistanos MG "powerful ones"] men, 78.3 these are the ones who wear soft clothing, and they [will] not be able to know the truth.

        GTh46 Blatz-NTA (1991) JB, Begotten, Small, Kingdom
        Jesus said, 46.1 From Adam to John the Baptist there is among the children [jpo BM#155 "to beget," "acquire"] of women none higher than John the Baptist, for his eyes were not destroyed (?). 46.2 But I have said: Whoever among you becomes small [kouei BM#164 "small," "few"] will know the kingdom [mentero BM#115 "kingdom," "reign"] and will be higher than John.

        GMt11.7-11 (ESV) JB, Greater, Least, Kingdom
        Mat 11:7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
        Mat 11:8 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
        Mat 11:9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
        Mat 11:10 This is he of whom it is written, "'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.'
        Mat 11:11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least [mikroteros G3398 "small," "young"] in the kingdom [basileia G932 "kingdom," "kingship," "rule"] of heaven is greater [meizon G3187 "greater," "elder," "stronger"] than he.

        GLk7.24-28 (ESV) JB, Begotten, Greater, Least, Kingdom
        Luk 7:24 When John's messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
        Luk 7:25 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are dressed in splendid clothing and live in luxury are in kings' courts.
        Luk 7:26 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
        Luk 7:27 This is he of whom it is written, "'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.'
        Luk 7:28 I tell you, among those born [gennetois G1084 "begotten," "born"] of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least [mikroteros G3398 "smallest," "youngest," "least"] in the kingdom kingdom [basileia G932 "kingdom," "kingship," "rule"] of God is greater than he."

        1Co4.14-17 (ESV) Offspring, Guides, Fathers, Begot, Kingdom
        1Co 4:14 I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children [tekna G5043 "offspring," "children"].
        1Co 4:15 For though you have countless guides [paidagogous G3807 "tutors," "guides," "trustworthy slaves"] in Christ, you do not have many fathers [pateras "fathers," "forefathers"]. For I became your father [egennesa G1080 "to be begotten"] in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
        1Co 4:16 I urge you, then, be imitators [mimitai G3402 "imitators"] of me.
        1Co 4:17 That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child [teknon G5043 "offspring," "child"] in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.
      • Paul Lanier
        ... Hi Ron, Mike: I think there are two other possibilities that explain, in general, why Thomas tends toward some flavor of realized eschatology, but Luke
        Message 3 of 11 , Apr 15, 2009
          --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, Ron McCann <ronmccann1@...> wrote:
          >
          > It's probably safe to assume that Luke saw it as some kind of an end-time saying and chucked it in > with the other ones he had on the subject in those several verses on the topic.

          Hi Ron, Mike:

          I think there are two other possibilities that explain, in general, why Thomas tends toward some flavor of realized eschatology, but Luke emphasizes future:
          1 - Luke follows Mark in reframing "kingdom" as future;
          2 - Luke follows Mark's amplification of "kingdom" as other than Roman kingdom. This seems like a natural way to avoid trouble!

          I think too there is partial dependence of later Thomas on the synoptics, just as there is partial dependence on early gnostic themes. Both introduced more developed themes not originally presented.

          I realize that is a very broad generalization. But I think that sort of development is to be expected among early competing Jesus communities. Early textual instability has long been recognized for Mark, and there seems to be decent support for it in Thomas as well. Of course it depends on analysis of technical terms and thematic parallels, both of which are less obvious than direct parallels.

          Regards, Paul
        • Michael Grondin
          Ron - I agree with you that the GTh logia that seem to refer to end-times are few and far between. In fact, I don t think L61.1 is the strongest example,
          Message 4 of 11 , Apr 17, 2009
            Ron -

            I agree with you that the GTh logia that seem to refer to end-times are
            few and far between. In fact, I don't think L61.1 is the strongest example,
            although DeConick takes it to refer to "the End" (TGOTT, p.200). To my
            mind, though, a stronger example is L57's "day of the harvest". I think
            it's stronger because it's not so easily susceptible to an interpretation
            in terms of individuals, rather than humanity as a whole.

            On the other hand, I recognize that some sayings indicate the opposite
            at least as strongly, perhaps even more so. A good example is L.51,
            wherein it's stated that the "new world" has already come. How can that
            be reconciled with the above? One possibility I'm attracted to is the
            DeConick model, which allows for eschatological emphasis to have been
            altered over time, such that what we find in CGTh is possibly the fading
            remnants of traditional end-time thinking, coupled with an emerging
            contrary view which had become ascendant. In particular, notice that
            L.51 is a disciples' question, which to DeConick indicates a later
            development, while L61.1 and L57 are simple Jesus-statements.

            Interestingly, one of the Q-and-A sayings has seemed to serve as one
            basis for the theory that (later?) GTh envisioned a different kind of
            end-times, viz., one in which "where the beginning is, there the end will
            be", i.e., a kind of rolling-back of history caused by (presumably) the
            adoption of an ascetic life-style by the masses, resulting in progressively
            fewer children until the world's population shrinks back to "the Garden".
            As I recall, this was a view expressed by Steve Davies, and I think it
            gets its plausibility actually more from other Thomasine writings (T. the
            Contender, and the Acts of T.) than from GTh, though again there's
            some stuff in GTh for that view. (A little something for everyone?)

            Now on this "realized eschatology" thingy, my sense is that lumping
            different things together and trying to reach a judgement on all of
            them at once is counter-productive. In particular, I don't see that
            much of a difference between the third century Thomas and the way
            the canonicals were developing on the question of when the kingdom
            would come, but I do see a big difference on the question of whether
            there would be a parousia. The Synoptics at least were stuck with the
            notion that Jesus was the messiah. Since he hadn't accomplished
            what a messiah was supposed to do, it was necessary that he come
            back "in power" to finish the job. The Thomasines don't seem to have
            ever had this problem, but even if they did, they had the advantage
            over the church in that their Jesus-gospel apparently continued to
            develop after the canonical gospels had been pretty much locked-in.

            Mike Grondin
            Mt. Clemens, MI
          • Michael Grondin
            ... Thanks for noting that important point about Greek Thomas, Paul, but Coptic Thomas occasionally has kingdom of the heavens also. ... Other than that, the
            Message 5 of 11 , Apr 17, 2009
              > Mark and Luke use exclusively "kingdom of God," while Matthew
              > employs "kingdom of the heavens." In Coptic Thomas it is simply
              > "kingdom," however in Grk. GTh3 "kingdom of God" occurs.

              Thanks for noting that important point about Greek Thomas, Paul,
              but Coptic Thomas occasionally has "kingdom of the heavens" also.
              (See 114, e.g.) That contravenes your suggestion:

              > This suggests the original usage in Thomas, "kingdom," may have
              > caused difficulties after the Jewish War ...

              Other than that, the deluge of data kinda obscured the theses for me.

              Cheers,
              Mike
            • Paul Lanier
              ... Woops! You re right. L.114 is very late but there are other instances of kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God. I will need to rearrange my position!
              Message 6 of 11 , Apr 17, 2009
                --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
                > Coptic Thomas occasionally has "kingdom of the heavens" also.

                Woops! You're right. L.114 is very late but there are other instances of "kingdom of heaven" and "kingdom of God." I will need to rearrange my position!

                > Other than that, the deluge of data kinda obscured the theses for me.

                Me too. I am exploring the thesis that GMk and Q both depend on original GTh. I am looking for distinctive usages of technical terms (kingdom, child, small, and some others). This is, I think, made more complex by what appears to me to be insertion of later corrections into GTh to harmonize with the synoptics. Of course it may be that original GTh included all three usages of "kingdom." But the very distinctive usages by Mark and Luke ("kingdom of God") as opposed to Matthew ("Kingdom of the heavens") suggests polarization between the Mark-Luke trajectory and Matthew. That in turn would suggest an earlier shared usage, such as "kingdom" in original GTh. But I agree, in the case of "kingdom," the usage in Thomas is mixed.

                Thank you for attempting to hold me to the same very high standards of this board!

                regards, Paul
              • Ron McCann
                Hi Mike, Thanks for the thoughtful response, Mike. I agree [L.57] is a stronger example, and when first I encountered it, I designated it as a clear
                Message 7 of 11 , Apr 17, 2009
                  Hi Mike,

                  Thanks for the thoughtful response, Mike.

                  I agree [L.57] is a stronger example, and when first I encountered it, I
                  designated it as a clear Apocalyptic Saying. It has a single attestation
                  in Matthew's Gospel ( From Special Matthew) where it is unquestionably
                  presented as such, and the only significant variation is that in Thomas
                  no mention of the wheat being gathered into the barn, is made. I think
                  the original parable was simply about why God allows evil men and good
                  men to co-exist and why he does nothing about it right now- it would
                  uproot the intended and desired growth and development of the good men.
                  So wait until the desired crop is fully matured- harvest day. Matthew
                  may have changed it to an end-time separation of the sheep from the
                  goats, or the good fish from the bad on Judgment Day. That does not mean
                  we should be reading it that way in Thomas or that it was intended to be
                  read that way. I guess the question is what "the day of the harvest"
                  meant to the Thomasines.

                  I think the Thomas crowd also believed that a selection process for
                  entry to the Kingdom was involved. But since the Kingdom was here, the
                  sorting and selection for admission or entry to it was now going on. And
                  just like in the Matthew examples some would be found acceptable, and
                  some not. The spiritually mature or spiritually ready presumably get
                  admitted. The Wise Fisherman who nets the fish, selects the Fine Big
                  Fish ( mature, developed) and throws the smaller back. The Wise man of
                  understanding comes quickly when the crop is ripe (mature) and plies the
                  sickle. The Man who sowed good seed discards the weeds and gathers his
                  wheat. For the Thomasines, the Day of the Harvest might have meant that
                  day in which the individual is actually selected and taken into the
                  Kingdom. It's hard to say. But your point is taken.

                  I think Deconick's approach makes a lot of sense too. As expectations of
                  Judgment Day and the Parousia faded, as well they might have by the end
                  of the First Century and the beginning of the Second, thinking
                  Christian's may have gravitated to the "Kingdom is already here" sayings
                  of Jesus and focused their speculations on how to enter that kingdom in
                  the here and now, whereas the groups of Christians adhering to the old
                  Messianic/Parousia/Judgment Day scenario re-entrenched, stayed the
                  course, eventually becoming the modern Church. My point is that late or
                  early, there was a bifurcation with the Thomas crowd apparently on the
                  leading edge of "Realized Eschatology" exploration, speculation and
                  innovation, and going their own way.

                  Davie's idea is indeed interesting, but my own view on this logion and
                  others like it is that the Thomasines envisioned the process of entry to
                  the Kingdom as a return to the Pre-Fall state of Adam and Eve and a
                  consequent re-entry to Eden, and further, that they believed this was
                  accomplished one by one, individually.
                  In Thomas, individual, rather than collective "salvation" seems the
                  focus, and it's up to the individual, him or herself, to win entry to
                  the Kingdom.

                  I take your point about lumping too many things together- and perhaps I
                  have here- using Realized Eschatology to describe the Gospel of Thomas
                  position on the Kingdom. You are right. It might be more useful to
                  divide those elements up and look at each of them individually. My
                  problem with Thomas, is that we can get so easily get lost in the
                  minutia and the non-homogeneous and sometimes conflicting material that
                  we miss spotting the common overarching themes. So from time to time, I
                  try to stand back and try to view the sweep and thrust of Thomas and a
                  whole to see if I can discover what, in at least broad and general
                  terms, we can say about the beliefs the people this gospel served had in
                  common, and how these might have differed from the emerging Church's- no
                  easy task given the complexity of the material. So although my
                  conclusion is a generality, and only operates in overview, the
                  conclusion seems well grounded and useful- although, like any other
                  proposal about Thomas, some specific sayings can be found that argue
                  against it..

                  Thanks Mike. You always get me thinking.

                  Ron McCann
                  Saskatoon, Canada
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