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Thomas Core (Suggestion)

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: GThomas Cc: GPG In Response To: Rick Hubbard On: Thomas Core From: Bruce Thanks to Rick for providing DeConick s stratification information for Thomas
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2010
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      To: GThomas
      Cc: GPG
      In Response To: Rick Hubbard
      On: Thomas Core
      From: Bruce

      Thanks to Rick for providing DeConick's stratification information for
      Thomas 1-12. I thought it might be fun to consider separately the
      material she puts in the core text, and the material she identifies as
      later additions, just within those narrow limits, thinking that if it
      works (or at least doesn't self-refute) for that sample, then a larger
      sample might be taken up.

      I attach accordingly some untutored impressions of the two DeConick
      layers as displayed in Thos 1-12.

      Thomas, to me, represents Gamma (gnostic) Christianity, but this is a
      very wide label. Gamma seeks salvation as the result of an intense
      personal search, with analogues in (and I think in this case, also
      influence from) other Asian mystical traditions - Indian ones rather
      than, say, Egyptian ones. It reuses Jesus sayings in other than their
      original sense, and is something of an anthology of published Jesus
      sayings that are liable to be reconstrued as mystical in character,
      along with some inventions which may more directly indicate the nature
      and origin of the thought tendency which resulted in the text (or
      texts) we have.

      DATE

      It would have been cute if this first segment of gThos, as stratified
      by DeConick, had had parallels only to Mark (suggesting a date early
      within the Synoptic process), but this is not the case. #8:1-3 has a
      Mt-only parallel, and still worse, since Luke is later, #10 has a
      Lk-only parallel. Depending on where the counterpart comes in the
      stratified structure of Luke, this puts the core as DeConick has
      defined it definitely after the year 70. The 1 Cor parallel noted
      earlier by Rick puts the later portion of the text also post-70, and
      perhaps quite a bit after 70. That is, as they stand (in DeConick's
      analysis, as presently available to me), both the head and the tail of
      the text have similar chronological indicators, pointing to the
      post-70 period.

      It would be interesting if DeConick finds any distinctive gJn
      parallels; does she? I have suggested (in the hopefully attached note)
      that gJn is at least in part anti-Thomasine, but this need not be true
      of the whole of this much mangled text.

      Anyway, thanks again to Rick for generously providing the information
      here relied on, and to anyone else who cares to make a suggestion
      (including a decisive refutation; always a time saver) about the
      enclosed sketch.

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
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