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Re: Titles of Biblical works

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... Original title? When did these things get their titles? Did these titles start out as descriptive phrases in other letters, which came to be attached to
    Message 1 of 19 , Feb 14, 2011
      At 08:47 PM 2/14/2011, M.W. Grondin wrote:
      > It is because in the Ante Nicene Fathers series, in the introduction to
      > the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, it is identified as the Gospel of Thomas
      > mentioned by Church fathers ...

      I didn't know that, Dave, but still the name 'Thomas' must have been in the
      original title, right? Why do you suppose that was?

      Original title? When did these things get their titles?

      Did these "titles" start out as descriptive phrases in other letters, which came to be attached to the originals as titles?

      For example, I can imagine Timothy or someone else referring to "the letter of Paul to the Corinthians" as a purely descriptive phrase,  which then got picked up and used by others as a term of reference, even if there was more than one letter, which then became a title.  But could there be an analogous process for gospels?
      How did that process work?

      Bob Schacht
      Northern Arizona University
    • sarban
      ... From: M.W. Grondin To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 3:47 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: On the Net ... I didn t know that, Dave, but
      Message 2 of 19 , Feb 15, 2011
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 3:47 AM
        Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: On the Net

         

        > It is because in the Ante Nicene Fathers series, in the introduction to
        > the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, it is identified as the Gospel of Thomas
        > mentioned by Church fathers ...

        I didn't know that, Dave, but still the name 'Thomas' must have been in the
        original title, right? Why do you suppose that was?

        Mike

        Hi Mike
         
        It seems likely that the Infancy Gospel was not originally supposed to have been written by Thomas.
        In some manuscripts and versions there is no named author and in one important manuscript the work
        is attributed to James.
         
        This still leaves the puzzle as to why the work was eventually attributed to Thomas.
         
        Andrew Criddle

      • Stephen Carlson
        ... As far as I m aware, the attribution to Thomas (and its line mentioning Thomas the Israelite) are later additions to the text, sometime between the sixth
        Message 3 of 19 , Feb 15, 2011
          On Mon, Feb 14, 2011 at 10:47 PM, M.W. Grondin <mwgrondin@...> wrote:

          > It is because in the Ante Nicene Fathers series, in the introduction to
          > the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, it is identified as the Gospel of Thomas
          > mentioned by Church fathers ...

          I didn't know that, Dave, but still the name 'Thomas' must have been in the
          original title, right? Why do you suppose that was?


          As far as I'm aware, the attribution to Thomas (and its line mentioning Thomas the Israelite) are later additions to the text, sometime between the sixth and ninth centuries.  Earlier versions don't have that.

          Stephen
          --
          Stephen C. Carlson
          Graduate Program in Religion
          Duke University
        • David C Hindley
          James & Mike, Don t know why, but Mike s reply never ended in my in-box. The introduction I speak of was that of the translator, Alexander Walker, on page 352
          Message 4 of 19 , Feb 15, 2011
            James & Mike,

            Don't know why, but Mike's reply never ended in my in-box.

            The introduction I speak of was that of the translator, Alexander Walker, on
            page 352 of ANF volume VIII:

            "The Gospel of Thomas. - Like the Protoevangelium of James, the Gospel of Thomas
            is of undoubted antiquity. It is mentioned by name by Origen(1), quoted by
            Irenaeus(2) and the author of the Philosphumena(3), who says that it was used by
            the Nachashenes, a Gnostic sect of the second century. Cyril of Jerusalem (d.
            386) attributes the authorship not to the apostle, but to a Thomas who was of
            the three disciples of Manes (4). This fact, of course, indicates that Cyril
            knew nothing of the antiquity of the book he was speaking of. This Manichaean
            origin has been adopted by many writers, of whom the best known are in recent
            times R. Simon and Mingarelli.

            [A discussion about the two Greek forms and a Latin translation are omitted
            here]

            It seems pretty clear, from the contents of the book, that its author was a
            Gnostic, a Docetist, and a Marcosian; and it was held in estimation by the
            Nachashenes and the Manichaeans. Its bearing upon Christian art(5), and to some
            extent, Christian dogma, is well know." (Numbered footnotes were added by me)

            (1) Origen, Luc. hom. I, where it is assigned along with Gospel of Matthias
            among the heterodox gospels
            (2) Irenaeus, Adv. haer. 1.20.1, quotes the Infancy Gospel ch 6 where the child
            Jesus converses with his teacher Zacchaeus. He says the Marcosian sect, a
            subsect of the Valentinian school, included it among their sacred scriptures.
            (3) Hippolytus, Ref. V 7.20, mentions it in connection with Naassenes and quotes
            from a text resembling the Coptic GOT.
            (4) Cyril of Jerusalem, Cat. IV 36 & VI 31.
            (5) Giving life to the clay bird
            Footnotes 1,3,4 from Beate Blatz, "The Coptic Gospel of Thomas", in the E.T. of
            Schneemelcher's _NT Apocrypha_, vol. 1, revised ed. Footnote 2 is from _An
            introduction to the New Testament Apocrypha_ By F. Lapham, page 129.

            Aside from the story of Jesus' alphabet lesson preserved in Irenaeus, and the
            allusion to the clay bird coming alive in Christian art, all the other citations
            probably refer to the GOT revered by the present list. How Walker and his
            comrades could seriously think that the silly collection of stories was
            composed/revered by Naassenes, Marcosian Valentinians and the Manichaeans is
            beyond me.

            However, I do seriously believe the OP references a person who had read the
            "Gospel of Thomas" of the ANF volume, and did not realize the initial question
            he was responding to was about the Coptic GOT, or did not know what the Coptic
            GOT was.

            Respectfully,

            Dave Hindley
            Newton Falls, Ohio USA



            -----Original Message-----
            From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
            Gnostradamus
            Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 8:43 AM
            To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [GTh] Re: On the Net

            Hello Mike,

            Excuse me for jumping in here. The intro might have something to do with it.

            http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/infancythomas-a-mrjames.html

            The stories of Thomas the Israelite, the Philosopher, concerning the works of
            the Childhood of the Lord.

            I. I, Thomas the Israelite, tell unto you, even all the brethren that are of the
            Gentiles, to make known unto you the works of the childhood of our Lord Jesus
            Christ and his mighty deeds, even all that he did when he was born in our land:
            whereof the beginning is thus:

            James

            --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "M.W. Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
            >
            > > It is because in the Ante Nicene Fathers series, in the introduction
            > > to the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, it is identified as the Gospel of
            > > Thomas mentioned by Church fathers ...
            >
            > I didn't know that, Dave, but still the name 'Thomas' must have been
            > in the original title, right? Why do you suppose that was?
            >
            > Mike
            >




            ------------------------------------

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            Coptic-English translation: http://www.gospel-thomas.net/x_transl.htm
            Related Biblioblogs:
            PEJE IESOUS (Chris Skinner) http://pejeiesous.com Judy's Research Blog (Judy
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          • M.W. Grondin
            Hi Bob, I agree with your comments about titles. I didn t mean to imply that the first ms of IGT had a title on it. What I was trying to say was that some mss
            Message 5 of 19 , Feb 16, 2011
              Hi Bob,
               
              I agree with your comments about titles. I didn't mean to imply that the first
              ms of IGT had a title on it. What I was trying to say was that some mss of
              IGT must have had that title.
               
              I'm reminded of the Gospel of Philip. Why was it given that name? True enough,
              Philip is mentioned in it, but only once, and even that in a very minor role. So
              I think that the original authors didn't name their work after him, and if not that,
              then probably nothing at all. But texts have to have names, else how can other
              folks refer to them? So my guess is that an untitled condition couldn't last long.
               
              Mike
            • M.W. Grondin
              Thanks to Stephen and Andrew for responding to the question I posed about IGT. I d be interested to know of sources. One that I found on the net is
              Message 6 of 19 , Feb 17, 2011
                Thanks to Stephen and Andrew for responding to the question I posed
                about IGT. I'd be interested to know of sources. One that I found on the
                net is particularly good, so I'm passing it along. Tony Burke, who runs a
                blog called 'Apocryphicity', wrote his Ph.D. thesis in 2001 on IGT. The
                thesis (400+ pages) and other info about IGT is available at:
                 
                 
                In his thesis, Burke writes (p.4):
                > ... the  true  title  is  ... "The
                Childhood  Deeds  of  the  Lord  Jesus."
                 
                I haven't delved into Burke's thesis deeply enough to see whether he says
                anything about any of the mss being untitled, or not containing a reference
                to Thomas. Perhaps someone else has the time to do that and can quote
                the relevant portion of Burke's thesis, or any other source, for that matter.
                 
                Mike
              • Stephen Carlson
                ... My source is: Tony Chartrand-Burke, “The Greek Manuscript Tradition of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas,” Apocrypha 14 (2004): 129-151, at 144. Stephen --
                Message 7 of 19 , Feb 17, 2011
                  On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 3:00 PM, M.W. Grondin <mwgrondin@...> wrote:

                  Thanks to Stephen and Andrew for responding to the question I posed
                  about IGT. I'd be interested to know of sources.

                  My source is:

                  Tony Chartrand-Burke, “The Greek Manuscript Tradition of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas,” Apocrypha 14 (2004): 129-151, at 144.

                  Stephen
                  --
                  Stephen C. Carlson
                  Graduate Program in Religion
                  Duke University
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