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Origen and Thomas 5: Quoting Thomas 82 Again

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  • Stephen C. Carlson
    In this excerpt, we are looking at where Origen quoted the same place in the Gospel of Thomas a second time. The next excerpt will be on Monday. ... This
    Message 1 of 1 , May 14, 2009
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      In this excerpt, we are looking at where Origen quoted the
      same place in the Gospel of Thomas a second time. The next
      excerpt will be on Monday.

      --- Begin Excerpt ---
      This conclusion, that Origen regarded the saying found in
      Thomas 82 as a genuine saying of Jesus, is confirmed by his
      use of an abbreviated form, albeit paraphrased, of the saying
      without any apparent qualms as to its authenticity. In his
      fourth homily on Joshua, Origen was expounding the provision
      of Jos 4:3, regulating proper behavior to the ark of the covenant:

      >Finally, see what is said: "Let the people be at a distance
      >from the ark of the covenant," it says, "by two thousand cubits."
      >The priests and the Levites, however, are very near, and near
      >enough so that the ark of the Lord and the divine Law are
      >carried on their own shoulders. Blessed are those who deserve
      >to be very close to God. But remember that it is written,
      >"Those who draw near to me, draw near to fire." If you are
      >gold and silver and have drawn near to the fire, you will shine
      >forth more splendid and glowing because of the fire.

      In contrast with his cautious introduction of the saying in his
      homily on Jeremiah, Origen here merely said, "but remember that
      is written" (sed memento quod scriptum est), an introduction
      common to scriptural quotations.
      --- End Excerpt ---


      --
      Stephen C. Carlson
      Ph.D. student, Religion, Duke University
      Author of The Gospel Hoax: Morton Smith's Invention of Secret Mark (Baylor, 2005)
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