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Re: [GTh] Re: "Kingdom of heaven" in Thomas

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  • M.W. Grondin
    Hi Mark, Andrew, et al: I ve enjoyed reading this discussion. The only thing I would have to add is that to my mind the reference to Matthew in Th13 appears to
    Message 1 of 19 , May 24, 2011
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      Hi Mark, Andrew, et al:
      I've enjoyed reading this discussion. The only thing I would have to add is that to
      my mind the reference to Matthew in Th13 appears to indicate that at some point in
      its development, GTh became aware of GMt at some point in its development. Others
      may wish to push the point further, but beyond that the evidence seems inconclusive.
       
      A couple of points in Andrew's notes:
      > ... the divergence between P.Oxy. 1 and Coptic Thomas 27 underlines
      that, whether
      > "kingdom of Heaven" or "kingdom of the Father" was more original
      to Thomas 27...
       
      I think you meant L20 (as immediately preceding remarks indicate). L27 has neither of
      the phrases in question.
       
      > A "kingdom of Heaven" version of the parable of the mustard seed
      seems more memorable
      > to me because of the birds of Heaven in the branches of the
      mustard tree, even if "Heaven"
      > is plural in the former and singular in the latter in both Greek
      and Coptic.
       
      Not sure what 'former' and 'latter' are in this context, but the Coptic text uses the plural
      'kingdom of the heavens' in all three occurrences. I seem to recall someone saying that
      GMt uses the plural also, but I can't locate that at the moment.
       
      Also: CGTh doesn't avoid 'god' completely. See http://www.gospel-thomas.net/htmfiles/god.htm
      Best,
      Mike G.
    • smithandp
      ... No, it was the right reference, pointed out originally by Mark, but I glanced at Valantasis translation which glosses it as the
      Message 2 of 19 , May 24, 2011
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        --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "M.W. Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:

        >
        > A couple of points in Andrew's notes:
        > > ... the divergence between P.Oxy. 1 and Coptic Thomas 27 underlines that, whether
        > > "kingdom of Heaven" or "kingdom of the Father" was more original to Thomas 27...
        >
        > I think you meant L20 (as immediately preceding remarks indicate). L27 has neither of
        > the phrases in question.

        No, it was the right reference, pointed out originally by Mark, but I glanced at Valantasis' translation which glosses it as "the <father's domain", and assumed that "<father>" was a lacuna, but as you point out isn't in Coptic Thomas 27. The pOxy 1 version has "kingdom of God".

        >
        > > A "kingdom of Heaven" version of the parable of the mustard seed seems more memorable
        > > to me because of the birds of Heaven in the branches of the mustard tree, even if "Heaven"
        > > is plural in the former and singular in the latter in both Greek and Coptic.
        >
        > Not sure what 'former' and 'latter' are in this context, but the Coptic text uses the plural
        > 'kingdom of the heavens' in all three occurrences. I seem to recall someone saying that
        > GMt uses the plural also, but I can't locate that at the moment.
        > Ref: http://www.gospel-thomas.net/htmfiles/kingdom.htm
        >

        By latter I meant "heaven/sky" in "the birds of the sky/heaven". I was suggesting that the reference to Heaven in "birds of heaven/sky" might have prompted the "kingdom of Heaven" usage at the beginning.
        > Also: CGTh doesn't avoid 'god' completely. See http://www.gospel-thomas.net/htmfiles/god.htm

        Good point, particularly in Thom 100. These fellas are never consistent! I love the way that in the parable of the two sons, Matt 21:28–32, which is special Matthew, Matthew uses "kingdom of God" not "kingdom of Heaven".

        Best Wishes,

        Andrew

        > Best,
        > Mike G.
        >
      • Mark Goodacre
        ... Thanks, Andrew. On Logion 27, the choice we have is Kingdom vs. Kingdom of God, but I take the general point about being aware of issue of textual
        Message 3 of 19 , May 24, 2011
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          On 24 May 2011 05:56, smithandp <andrew@...> wrote:

          > That's an excellent point about the Coptic priority fallacy. However the divergence between P.Oxy. 1 and Coptic Thomas 27 underlines that, whether "kingdom of Heaven" or "kingdom of the Father" was more original to Thomas 27, there's textual corruption in Thomas and hence we have the complication of knowledge of the synoptics, or other factors, influencing a scribe at the stage of translation or elsewhere in transmission. A "kingdom of Heaven" version of the parable of the mustard seed seems more memorable to me because of the birds of Heaven in the branches of the mustard tree, even if "Heaven" is plural in the former and singular in the latter in both Greek and Coptic.

          Thanks, Andrew. On Logion 27, the choice we have is Kingdom vs.
          Kingdom of God, but I take the general point about being aware of
          issue of textual corruption. Of course textual corruption could occur
          in both away from as well as towards the Synoptic texts, though, so it
          does not help us a great deal in speculating about what may have been
          present in the now non-extant witnesses. You make a good point about
          the Kingdom of the heavens / birds of the sky, a link also present in
          Matthew.

          > I've always felt that Thomas is at a disadvantage as a Johnny-come-lately to the game. There's an awful lot of scholarship about synoptic relationships and dating, forming a relative consensus, but relatively little about Thomas, and no consensus. So Thomas scholarship has to fit itself around the synoptics. For instance, in commenting that "kingdom of Heaven" is "is in Matthew alone in the early Christian tradition" you've already ruled out the possibility of Thomas's use of it preceding Matthew's or even being more or less contemporaneous and independent.

          The point you make is an extension of the general point about
          canonical bias and it is well taken. However, I think it's easy to
          underestimate just how pervasive a concept kingdom of heaven is in
          Matthew -- it's driven all the way through Matthew and seems to be a
          key element in the evangelist's thought. Given the absence of the
          term in other early Christian texts, it seems more likely, on balance,
          that the flow is from Matthew to Thomas and not vice versa.

          > "Kingdom of Heaven" occurs in the Mishnah, and is attributed to Gamaliel, a first century figure. Unless you want to propose that later rabbinical use of "kingdom of Heaven" derives from Christian usage, and hence from the Gospel of Matthew (which is obviously a possibility) or that later rabbis came up with it independently (which they may have) you have to allow that the phrase may have been circulating in pharisaic/rabbinical circles in the first century, from whence Matthew may have appropriated it, and Thomas too.

          Good points. Few creations are truly ex nihilo, though, and even if
          the Mishnah witnesses to precedents for the usage of the term, we
          still have to reckon with the theme as a pervasive Matthean
          redactional interest.

          All best
          Mark
          --
          Mark Goodacre
          Duke University
          Department of Religion
          Gray Building / Box 90964
          Durham, NC 27708-0964    USA
          Phone: 919-660-3503        Fax: 919-660-3530

          http://www.markgoodacre.org
        • Mark Goodacre
          Thanks, Mike. Yes, Matthew s usage is always plural -- kingdom of the heavens. The fact that he does often have God in his gospel urges caution about the
          Message 4 of 19 , May 24, 2011
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            Thanks, Mike.  Yes, Matthew's usage is always plural -- kingdom of the heavens.  The fact that he does often have "God" in his gospel urges caution about the traditional argument that Matthew uses "kingdom of the heavens" as a reverential circumlocution for "kingdom of God".  There's an excellent study of the issue in Matthew by Jonathan Pennington, _Heaven and Earth_, which I found informative.  All best, Mark
            --
            Mark Goodacre           
            Duke University
            Department of Religion
            Gray Building / Box 90964
            Durham, NC 27708-0964    USA
            Phone: 919-660-3503        Fax: 919-660-3530

            http://www.markgoodacre.org


          • M.W. Grondin
            ... I see that Valantasis used the so-called Scholar s Version , which of course was the creation of Meyer and Patterson within the Jesus Seminar. Valantasis
            Message 5 of 19 , May 24, 2011
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              [Andrew S.]:
              > ... I glanced at Valantasis' translation which glosses it as "the
              <father's> domain",
              > and assumed that "<father>" was a lacuna, but as you point
              out [it] isn't in Coptic
              > Thomas 27. The pOxy 1 version has "kingdom of God".
               
              I see that Valantasis used the so-called "Scholar's Version", which of course
              was the creation of Meyer and Patterson within the Jesus Seminar. Valantasis
              explains the pointed brackets as indicating "a word implied in the original language
              and supplied by the translators of the Scholars Version".
               
              Of course, if the JSem had used the word 'kingdom', there would have been no need
              for adding "<Father's>". But since they used the unfamilar language of 'domain' (or
              'imperial rule') instead of 'kingdom', they then had to add something to the unfamiliar
              locutions to make sense of them when they appear in the subject texts without a qualifier. 
              So in all 12 cases where the Coptic text has simply 'kingdom', the SV (and hence Valantasis)
              has either '<Father's> domain' or '<Father's> imperial rule'. Pretty ugly, IMO - and in
              this case (where we're interested in the exact wording), downright misleading.
               
              Best wishes,
              Mike G.
            • sarban
              ... From: M.W. Grondin To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 8:46 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: Kingdom of heaven in Thomas Hi Mark, Andrew, et
              Message 6 of 19 , May 25, 2011
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                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 8:46 PM
                Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: "Kingdom of heaven" in Thomas

                 

                Hi Mark, Andrew, et al:
                I've enjoyed reading this discussion.
                 
                <SNIP>
                 
                 
                Also: CGTh doesn't avoid 'god' completely. See http://www.gospel-thomas.net/htmfiles/god.htm
                Best,
                Mike G.

                 

                Hi Mike

                The references in CGTh are rather ambiguous.

                It is not clear (at least to me) whether God in CGTh refers to the Heavenly Father of Jesus or to some other being eg the demiurge.

                 

                Andrew Criddle 

              • Mike Grondin
                ... Yes, I agree that this is an open question. In L30.1, the definite article isn t used, and for that and other reasons, I don t know what to make of it. On
                Message 7 of 19 , May 25, 2011
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                  [Andrew C.]:
                  > The references in CGTh are rather ambiguous. It is not clear (at least to me) whether God
                  > in CGTh refers to the Heavenly Father of Jesus or to some other being eg the demiurge.
                   
                  Yes, I agree that this is an open question. In L30.1, the definite article isn't used, and for
                  that and other reasons, I don't know what to make of it. On the interpretation you suggest,
                  though, it would appear to be good to be "one or two" but not good to be "three", which
                  seems a mite odd, but perhaps that could be worked out. As to L100.3, the definite
                  article is used there (thus big-G 'God'), and the suggested interpretation would make sense
                  of the addition of the non-canonical "give me what's mine" clause (100.4), which is in its
                  favor, but I'm rather intrigued with the fact that if the clause is removed, it leaves a
                  symmetrical structure of 4 lines totalling 100 letters. Of course, it could be just a coincidence
                  that L100 would be reducible to a 100-letter structure with the removal of the non-canonical
                  portion, but given the design of the prologue and other features, I have to wonder if it was.
                   
                  Be that as it may, I should point out for our readers, that you aren't the Andrew who has so far
                  contributed to this thread. We have in fact three prominent Andrews on our list: yourself and
                  Andrew Bernhard are moderators and bloggers (in your case, a contributor to Stephen Carlson's
                  blog), while Andrew Phillip Smith (the "Andrew" who has participated up to this point) is also
                  well-known here as a publisher and blogger widely-versed in gnosticism.
                   
                  I should also mention that I've changed a folder name at my site. The sublogia-display  for
                  the word 'god', e.g., is now http://www.gospel-thomas.net/keywords/god.htm
                  (It was previously 'htmfiles' instead of 'keywords'). The main directory (which is slowly
                  nearing completion) is still http://www.gospel-thomas.net/keywords.htm
                   
                  Best wishes,
                  Mike Grondin
                • steve
                  I had always interpreted this extra bit [in L100] over and above the other versions as a request for the reader s support in his opposition to the romans and
                  Message 8 of 19 , May 26, 2011
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                    I had always interpreted this "extra" bit [in L100] over and above the other versions as a request for the reader's support in his opposition to the romans and the Sanhedrin. Remember, Jesus was regarded as a heretic of the Jewish faith.

                    [Steve Oxbrow]
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