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Thomas 79 again

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  • Stevan Davies
    I find it odd that Mark G, having asked for comment on his essay, and having received same, is mum. Be that as it may, I m following up on a comment made by
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 30 3:39 PM
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      I find it odd that Mark G, having asked for comment on his essay,
      and having received same, is mum.

      Be that as it may, I'm following up on a comment made by
      somebody that GTh 79 has coherent parallel structure. Well,
      by gum, it sure does.

      79) A woman from the crowd said to Him, "Blessed are the womb
      which bore You and the breasts which nourished You."
      He said to her, "Blessed are those who have heard the word
      of the Father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when
      you will say, 'Blessed are the womb which has not conceived and
      the breasts which have not given milk.'"

      The concluding lines, of course, are the antiparallel (?) to the
      opening lines. By Mark's thesis, we will have to assume that
      Thomas found Luke 23:29

      For the time will come when you will say,
      `Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore
      and the breasts that never nursed!'

      and eliminated the pointless redundancy in order to construct
      an antiparallel passage perfectly fitting into saying 79.

      Is it not altogether easier to imagine saying 79 as original
      and Luke then separating the last bit from 11:27-28 because
      it may be read to imply that it would be better if Jesus'
      mother had remained barren?

      It is sometimes argued (must be, by Thomas dependence folks)
      that Thomas constructs parallel structures lacking in
      the synoptics (e.g. as in 31 and 93)... but surely this is
      a tactic born of desperation.

      So, did Luke split up a parallel construction saying or did
      Thomas by happy chance manage to construct a parallel
      structure saying from materials that happened to be in Luke?

      Steve
    • Mark Goodacre
      ... The fact that Thom.79c functions nicely as an anti-parallel (if that is the right term) to Thom.79a does not necessarily point to the original integrity of
      Message 2 of 2 , May 6, 1999
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        On 30 Apr 99 at 17:39, Stevan Davies wrote:

        > The concluding lines, of course, are the antiparallel (?) to the
        > opening lines. By Mark's thesis, we will have to assume that
        > Thomas found Luke 23:29
        >
        > For the time will come when you will say,
        > `Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore
        > and the breasts that never nursed!'
        >
        > and eliminated the pointless redundancy in order to construct
        > an antiparallel passage perfectly fitting into saying 79.
        >
        > Is it not altogether easier to imagine saying 79 as original
        > and Luke then separating the last bit from 11:27-28 because
        > it may be read to imply that it would be better if Jesus'
        > mother had remained barren?
        >
        > It is sometimes argued (must be, by Thomas dependence folks)
        > that Thomas constructs parallel structures lacking in
        > the synoptics (e.g. as in 31 and 93)... but surely this is
        > a tactic born of desperation.
        >
        > So, did Luke split up a parallel construction saying or did
        > Thomas by happy chance manage to construct a parallel
        > structure saying from materials that happened to be in Luke?

        The fact that Thom.79c functions nicely as an anti-parallel (if that is the
        right term) to Thom.79a does not necessarily point to the original integrity of
        Thom. 79. I did not make this an element in the draft article because the case
        is not strong enough for it, but I think that the hints are that Thom.79c is
        dependent on Luke 23.29:

        (a) We are all agreed, are we not, that Thomas brings together diverse material
        into single sayings, whether from independent oral traditions, or from direct
        knowledge of the synoptics, or from combination and variation of those two?
        Catchword connection is frequent, but so are broader links of terminology and
        concept. It is quite plausible to see Thomas drawing together the two sayings
        from Luke / oral tradition here on the standard basis. "Barren women" drops
        out, indeed, because of the desire for neat parallelism. The lack of alleged
        redundancy can always be just as much a matter of a later writer eliminating it
        (e.g. Matthew's and Luke's redaction of Mark on the assumption of Markan P.) as
        it can be something added by a later writer.

        (b) There are signs of the original apocalyptic context "Days are coming . . ."
        finding their way into Thomas here. "Days are coming" are frequent in the
        synoptics and Luke, less so Thomas.

        (c) Another hint is provided by the plural "in which you will say . . ." This
        shows signs of Thomas inadvertently switching to the plural audience of Luke
        23.27 (many people + women) from the singular audience of 11.27 (one woman).

        (d) Luke 23.27-31 has the character of a Lukan redactional expansion of Mark --
        women / weeping / apocalyptic trauma / gynaecology inserted into the Markan
        framework.

        Mark
        --------------------------------------
        Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
        Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
        University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
        Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

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