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Gthom + Gjohn = Synoptics?

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  • Jeff
    Usually the gospel of John is considered to be later than Mk, Mt, Lk. But I think it may perhaps be the other way around. Doesn t it make more sense that
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 11, 2009
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      Usually the gospel of John is considered to be later than Mk, Mt, Lk.

      But I think it may perhaps be the other way around.

      Doesn't it make more sense that Gjohn, containing almost no Gthom,
      was written as a complimentary text to Gthom? Gthom containing the
      `secret teachings' for the `few' and GJohn containing a
      narrative for the 'multitude'?


      Later on Mark, Matthew and Luke would then have combined Gthom and Gjohn
      into one sayings-narrative gospel.

      If this were indeed so, we may also put a date on the canonical gospels.
      All the 4 canonical gospels of John, Mark, Matthew, Luke contain the
      almost identical story about the death of Jesus and his burial.

      This story and certainly the last part of it is obviously based on the
      events told in Josephus' writings as we see in his 'Vita':

      75 "… And when I was sent byTitus Caesar with Cerealins, and a
      thousand horsemen, to a certain village called Thecoa, in order to know
      whether it were a place fit for a camp, as I came back, I saw many
      captives crucified, and remembered three of them as my former
      acquaintance. I was very sorry at this in my mind, and went with tears
      in my eyes to Titus, and told him of them; so he immediately commanded
      them to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of them, in
      order to their recovery; yet two of them died under the physician's
      hands, while the third recovered."

      This means that if the whole narrative in the canonicals is of the same
      time as the narrative of the burial of Jesus, then these gospels cannot
      have been created earlier than in 70.


      If the authors knew of this fact of the 'miraculous resurrection' of the
      crucified only through the books of Josephus, then it may mean that the
      canonicals are all second century creations, since Josephus' Vita
      appeared in 99AD.

      [Jeff]
    • Tim Ricchuiti
      ... Wouldn t you expect to see more verbal parallels between the Synoptics and John if this were the case? [Tim]
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 11, 2009
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        [Jeff]:
        > Later on Mark, Matthew and Luke would then have combined Gthom and Gjohn
        > into one sayings-narrative gospel.

        Wouldn't you expect to see more verbal parallels between the Synoptics and
        John if this were the case?

        [Tim]
      • Michael Grondin
        Hi Jeff, It s hard to know how to respond to your note, since your reasoning is hard to follow. There appear to be at least two blunders, however, ... That
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 11, 2009
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          Hi Jeff,
          It's hard to know how to respond to your note, since your reasoning
          is hard to follow. There appear to be at least two blunders, however,
          one of which Tim pointed out. The other is as follows:

          > All the 4 canonical gospels of John, Mark, Matthew, Luke contain the
          > almost identical story about the death of Jesus and his burial.
          > This story and certainly the last part of it is obviously based on the
          > events told in Josephus' writings as we see in his 'Vita' ...

          That isn't obvious at all. In fact, you yourself later present it as a
          conditional:

          > If the authors knew of this fact of the 'miraculous resurrection' of the
          > crucified only through the books of Josephus, then it may mean that
          > the canonicals are all second century creations, since Josephus' Vita
          > appeared in 99AD.

          The move from "obviously" to "if" is confused reasoning, but beyond
          that, the blunder lies in ignoring Paul's letters. Before Josephus,
          indeed before the events that Josephus related, Paul was writing of the
          death and resurrection of Jesus. So no, not only is it unobvious that the
          passion story came from Josephus, it isn't even plausible.

          Mike
        • Jeff
          ... Hi Tim, The lack of more verbal parallels between John and the synoptics may in fact be hinting to John being independent of the synoptics - I think. If
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 14, 2009
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            Tim Ricchuiti wrote:


            > > Later on Mark, Matthew and Luke would then have combined Gthom and Gjohn
            > > into one sayings-narrative gospel.
            >
            > Wouldn't you expect to see more verbal parallels between the Synoptics and
            > John if this were the case?
            >
            > [Tim]


            Hi Tim,

            The lack of more verbal parallels between John and the synoptics may in fact be hinting to John being independent of the synoptics - I think.

            If John had been composed later than the synoptics, would he then not have used the same wording as the three other already existing gospels?

            regards,
            Jeff
          • stevandavies
            ... in fact be hinting to John being independent of the synoptics - I think. ... have used the same wording as the three other already existing gospels? ...
            Message 5 of 10 , Nov 16, 2009
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              > The lack of more verbal parallels between John and the synoptics may
              in fact be hinting to John being independent of the synoptics - I think.
              >
              > If John had been composed later than the synoptics, would he then not
              have used the same wording as the three other already existing gospels?
              >
              > regards,
              > Jeff
              >


              Hello

              I try to keep in mind the fact that most folks back then *heard* books
              rather than *read* them. And that there weren't very many books in the
              first place what with scribal copying being an expensive process. I am
              quite certain that Luke heard Matthew although Luke owned Mark and Q.
              Luke, having heard Matthew, realized what Matthew had done and decided
              to do the same thing, only better. So there is actual copying from Mark
              to Luke, but only a basic idea from Matthew to Luke. Similarly, it might
              be reasonable to think that John heard Mark and, having gotten the idea
              of a certain sort of narrative biography from Mark, John went off and
              wrote his own book from his own sources.

              Stteve
            • Tim Ricchuiti
              ... But if John were written before the Synoptics, and then was used along with Thomas as sources to Mark, why would there be verbal parallels in the case of
              Message 6 of 10 , Nov 16, 2009
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                [Jeff]:
                > Later on Mark, Matthew and Luke would then have combined
                > Gthom and Gjohn into one sayings-narrative gospel.

                [Tim]:
                > Wouldn't you expect to see more verbal parallels between the
                > Synoptics and John if this were the case?

                [Jeff]:
                > The lack of more verbal parallels between John and the synoptics may in
                > fact be hinting to John being independent of the synoptics - I think.
                >
                > If John had been composed later than the synoptics, would he then not have
                > used the same wording as the three other already existing gospels?


                But if John were written before the Synoptics, and then was used along with
                Thomas as sources to Mark, why would there be verbal parallels in the case
                of Thomas but not in the case of John?

                [Tim]
              • Jeff
                ... Hi Tim, Maybe for a very simple reason? The text in Thomas are the sayings of Jesus, so you would not like to mess with them too much (I think) if you
                Message 7 of 10 , Nov 17, 2009
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                  Tim Ricchuiti wrote:
                  >
                  > [Jeff]:
                  > > Later on Mark, Matthew and Luke would then have combined
                  > > Gthom and Gjohn into one sayings-narrative gospel.
                  >
                  > [Tim]:
                  > > Wouldn't you expect to see more verbal parallels between the
                  > > Synoptics and John if this were the case?
                  >
                  > [Jeff]:
                  > > The lack of more verbal parallels between John and the synoptics may in
                  > > fact be hinting to John being independent of the synoptics - I think.
                  > >
                  > > If John had been composed later than the synoptics, would he then not have
                  > > used the same wording as the three other already existing gospels?
                  >
                  >
                  > But if John were written before the Synoptics, and then was used along with
                  > Thomas as sources to Mark, why would there be verbal parallels in the case
                  > of Thomas but not in the case of John?
                  >
                  > [Tim]
                  >

                  Hi Tim,

                  Maybe for a very simple reason?

                  The text in Thomas are the "sayings" of Jesus, so you would not like to mess with them too much (I think) if you were a scribe and you had a great admiration for these sayings.

                  The story of the crucifixion and the burial (and the baptist and the cleansing of the temple) on the other hand,
                  well ... they're just stories.
                  And as a writer you can do whatever you like with a story, as long as the content matches the 'original'/'reality'.

                  regards,
                  Jeff
                • Tim Ricchuiti
                  But there are stories in Thomas as well. That s why we find parallels among some of the parables and pericopes of the Synoptics and Thomas. Additionally, why
                  Message 8 of 10 , Nov 17, 2009
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                    But there are "stories" in Thomas as well. That's why we find parallels
                    among some of the parables and pericopes of the Synoptics and Thomas.
                    Additionally, why would there be verbal parallel among the "stories" of the
                    Synoptic gospels if they were comfortable with adjusting them so much in the
                    case of John's gospel?
                    -------------------------------------------------
                    > > But if John were written before the Synoptics, and then was used
                    > > along with Thomas as sources to Mark, why would there be verbal
                    > > parallels in the case of Thomas but not in the case of John?
                    > > [Tim]
                    >
                    > Hi Tim,
                    > Maybe for a very simple reason?
                    > The text in Thomas are the "sayings" of Jesus, so you would not like to
                    > mess with them too much (I think) if you were a scribe and you had a great
                    > admiration for these sayings.
                    >
                    > The story of the crucifixion and the burial (and the baptist and the
                    > cleansing of the temple) on the other hand, well ... they're just stories.
                    > And as a writer you can do whatever you like with a story, as long as the
                    > content matches the 'original'/'reality'.
                    >
                    > regards,
                    > Jeff
                  • Jeff
                    ... Hi Steve, About this writing in the old ages being an expensive hobby, I found in The collected biblical writings of T.C. Skeat ch. 8 Was papyrus
                    Message 9 of 10 , Nov 17, 2009
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                      "stevandavies" wrote:

                      >
                      > I try to keep in mind the fact that most folks back then *heard* books
                      > rather than *read* them. And that there weren't very many books in the
                      > first place what with scribal copying being an expensive process. I am
                      > quite certain that Luke heard Matthew although Luke owned Mark and Q.
                      > Luke, having heard Matthew, realized what Matthew had done and decided
                      > to do the same thing, only better. So there is actual copying from Mark
                      > to Luke, but only a basic idea from Matthew to Luke. Similarly, it might
                      > be reasonable to think that John heard Mark and, having gotten the idea
                      > of a certain sort of narrative biography from Mark, John went off and
                      > wrote his own book from his own sources.
                      >
                      > Stteve
                      >

                      Hi Steve,

                      About this writing in the old ages being an "expensive" hobby,

                      I found in
                      "The collected biblical writings of T.C. Skeat"
                      ch. 8 "Was papyrus regarded "cheap" or "expensive" in the ancient world," on pg. 101,
                      that mid 1st century a roll papyrus of about 20 sheets or 3,4 meter long (upon which if you were a scribe yourself you could copy 1 complete gospel on) costed on average 2 drachme, which was about two days pay for a worker, say 150 dollars in our money of today - which is about the same as a copy of Deconick's 'The Original Gospel Of Thomas In Translation' costs ;-)

                      So yes, if you were a poor scribe and you had not many customers to make copies for, it would hurt a little. But in less then a week you would have made enough denarii or drachmae to buy 3 scrolls for 3 gospels.
                      So I cannot imagine that an ambitious scribe would not have made sure he owned every note or gospel he could lay his hands on. (Knowing he did not have to pay for scribing as he could do the copying of a gospel himself in a day or so).

                      regards,
                      Jeff
                    • Bob Schacht
                      ... I don t recall that papyrus was sold by the roll. IIRC all Christian papyrus documents were either in Codex form, or were single pages or fragments. Yes,
                      Message 10 of 10 , Nov 17, 2009
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                        At 01:58 PM 11/17/2009, Jeff wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >"stevandavies" wrote:
                        >
                        > >
                        > > I try to keep in mind the fact that most folks back then *heard* books
                        > > rather than *read* them. And that there weren't very many books in the
                        > > first place what with scribal copying being an expensive process. I am
                        > > quite certain that Luke heard Matthew although Luke owned Mark and Q.
                        > > Luke, having heard Matthew, realized what Matthew had done and decided
                        > > to do the same thing, only better. So there is actual copying from Mark
                        > > to Luke, but only a basic idea from Matthew to Luke. Similarly, it might
                        > > be reasonable to think that John heard Mark and, having gotten the idea
                        > > of a certain sort of narrative biography from Mark, John went off and
                        > > wrote his own book from his own sources.
                        > >
                        > > Stteve
                        > >
                        >
                        >Hi Steve,
                        >
                        >About this writing in the old ages being an "expensive" hobby,
                        >
                        >I found in
                        >"The collected biblical writings of T.C. Skeat"
                        >ch. 8 "Was papyrus regarded "cheap" or "expensive" in the ancient
                        >world," on pg. 101,
                        >that mid 1st century a roll papyrus of about 20 sheets or 3,4 meter
                        >long (upon which if you were a scribe yourself you could copy 1
                        >complete gospel on)

                        I don't recall that papyrus was sold by the roll. IIRC all Christian
                        papyrus documents were either in Codex form, or were single pages or
                        fragments.

                        Yes, Crossan argues that early Christian literature was written on
                        papyrus rather than on vellum because it was cheaper. But in any case
                        it is not the price of the medium that was limiting, but the cost of
                        the *scribe*.

                        Bob Schacht
                        Northern Arizona University

                        > costed on average 2 drachme, which was about two days pay for a
                        > worker, say 150 dollars in our money of today - which is about the
                        > same as a copy of Deconick's 'The Original Gospel Of Thomas In
                        > Translation' costs ;-)


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