Re: [GTh] Skinner's Interview with Davies
----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Grondin
Sent: Friday, November 13, 2009 5:27 AM
Subject: Re: [GTh] Skinner's Interview with Davies
> I should have checked this sooner, but looking at what has
> survived of Athanasius' 39th festal letter, he does not condemn
> any apocryphal text by name, much less the Gospel of Thomas.
Sorry. My fault, Stephen. I should have checked my recollection
I think you may have meant Cyril of Jerusalem's condemnation in his Catechetical Lectures.
<QUOTE>Of the New Testament there are (only) four gospels: the others are pseudepigraphical and harmful
(the Manichaeans indeed have written a Gospel according to Thomas, which by the fragrance of its evangelical title
corrupts the souls of the more simple sort).</QUOTE>
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- At 10:47 PM 11/12/2009, Michael Grondin wrote:
> > [if GTh has] a "contrary ideology", as you suggest, that would imply
> > that it was compiled in response to something, which would make it
> > later in date ...
>Nice try, Bob, but no cigar. Though there may be a hint of chronological
>order in some of the ways we normally use the word 'contrary', the
>meaning of the word doesn't include that. It simply means 'opposing',
>or something like that, and it doesn't matter which of the opposing
>objects came first. Ex: if a result is contrary to our expectations, it's
>also true that our expectations were contrary to the result.
I can't let you get away with this. First, though, I have to restore
the context. What I wrote was this:
>...Steve was right in another message when he wrote, IIRC, that its notIf it is contrary, or opposing, as you prefer, then it has to be
>that GThomas has no POV, it just has too many of them, and none
>coherent with the others.
>And if it is a "contrary ideology", as you suggest, that would imply
>that it was compiled in response to something, which would make it
>later in date, i.e., after the following three ideologies had become
>important enough to dispute that:
>* The death of Jesus was part of a divine plan to atone for something
>* there was resurrection in the flesh
>* belief is sufficient for salvation
>In fact, if that is where you want to rest your case, then a (late)
>date for GThomas ought to be easy to calculate.
contrary or opposed to *something which existed at that time,* which
forces a chronological datum. You wrote,
>it doesn't matter which of the opposing objects came first.No, it doesn't, but *all three* would have to be in circulation
before Thomas. You can't say Thomas is opposed to something that was
not yet an issue.
Besides, as Steve pointed out, what you call "opposing" is not so
much opposing as indifferent to. As he wrote in the message that you
forwarded on Thu, 12 Nov 2009 12:06:56 -0500,
>No... Thomas is [not] AGAINST the resurrection in the flesh, it justBob Schacht
>has nothing to do with it. It's not against repeating the Nembutsu
>or sacrificing goats to Legba either, it just doesn't mention them.
>Salvation lies in figuring out what the list of sayings is communicating,
>we hear at the outset of Thomas, but as I wrote in my skinner interview
><http://pejeiesous.com/>http://pejeiesous.com/ I don't think that
>the Thomas people themselves
>thought they understood the text.
Northern Arizona University
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- Hi Bob,
Thanks for giving me something to think about late at night (here).
> You can't say Thomas is [contrary] to something that wasI can and do. I take it you haven't looked up the word 'contrary', or
> not yet an issue.
if you have, were unable to find a definition to support your position.
My creaky old 1980 OAD, e.g., has the following:
"1. Opposite in nature, opposed; 2. Opposite in direction ..."
No mention of chronological priority there, but let's look at it this way:
Suppose I claim that text A contains ideas contrary to those in text B.
According to you, I can't also claim that text B contains ideas contrary
to those in text A, since one of them had to come first, hence one of
my two claims has to be false. But of course that's not so. If A is
contrary to B, then B is also contrary to A, and vice versa. That's just
the way we use the word in both Logic and ordinary language.
Other examples may suffice: I think you may agree that Paul's accounts
of his travels are somewhat contrary to what was written in Acts. Or that
Mark's report of the final words on the cross is contrary to any of the
other gospels. But how can that be, according to your argument, since
the latter texts didn't yet exist? QED, I believe.
> Besides, as Steve pointed out, what you call "opposing" is not soWitty, of course, but somewhat irrelevant, since the text DOES mention
> much opposing as indifferent to. As he wrote in the message that you
> forwarded on Thu, 12 Nov 2009 12:06:56 -0500,
>>No... Thomas is [not] AGAINST the resurrection in the flesh, it just
>>has nothing to do with it. It's not against repeating the Nembutsu
>>or sacrificing goats to Legba either, it just doesn't mention them.
human flesh, and it doesn't much like it. The problem I have with
responding to Steve on this point is that there seems to be no response
that he would deem adequate. If I quote some logia, he might accuse me
of falling victim to what he pointed to as a common tendency to draw a
general ideology out of a few logia. An end-around might work if he would
allow consideration of other Thomasine writings (Book and Acts) which
more clearly denigrate the flesh, hence suggesting that to Thomasines
a resurrection in the flesh would be an abomination, but I'm afraid he
wouldn't do that. That pretty much makes his position impregnable.
Dare I say that Paul's position on resurrection in the flesh was likewise
contrary to the canonical gospels (leaving aside GosMark, and the
endless variations of scholastic reasoning employed to show otherwise)?