RE: [GTh] NBX, WBX, ETC
- Hi Mike (Grondin)
FWIW, I concur with your suggestion about the insider/outsider dichotomy.
I'm not sure if you have ever had a chance to read it or not, but the
introduction to Malina and Rorhbaugh's _Social Science Commentary on the
Gospel of John_ (Fortress, 1998) has an excellent, but basic, discussion on
not only insider/outsider societies, but also on the ways that language is
used by insiders to, if not "hide" from outsiders, at least differentiate
Given the absence of narrative context in GTh, and the possibility that what
we see now reflects a multitude of traditions, it is quite obviously
difficult to extract a whole lot of information about the social setting of
the collection HOWEVER, an intensive examination of the structure and
language of **C**Gth may tell us something about the context in which it
reached its current form.
||From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On
||Behalf Of Michael Grondin
||Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 3:54 PM
||Subject: Re: [GTh] NBX, WBX, ETC
||You seem to be getting off track. That's natural, given the wide and
||intense interest in the _original_ GTh, but the design features we're
||talking about occur only in the _Coptic_ GTh, as far as can be determined.
||Nor do they seem to be geared toward orality, since someone hearing
||the words spoken wouldn't have been aware of any numerical design
||based on number of letters, etc. But this doesn't reflect back on the
||_original_ GTh. The question is rather "What were the Copts up to?"
||They were evidently doing something with their source text. But why?
||One possibility is that they were designing features which they thought
||would be "pleasing to God", with no intention that anyone other than
||themselves should detect them. Or perhaps they intended that these
||special features would be hidden from outsiders, but would be made
||known to insiders. The latter explanation is appealing for several
||not least that GTh refers several times to "hidden things" becoming
||known by, or revealed to, the true Thomas disciple. And as we know,
||one of the appeals of secret groups is that they claim to have secret
||esoteric knowledge unavailable to outsiders.