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

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  • 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 1 of 11 , Apr 17, 2009
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      > 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 2 of 11 , Apr 17, 2009
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        --- 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 3 of 11 , Apr 17, 2009
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          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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