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Re: [Synoptic-L] GTh 19b and the Synoptics

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  • John Lupia
    ... Hi John: No. The author of GTh is an Epicuran who did not believe in spirits, but rather, borrows the idea in order to poke jest at it. The inuendo of
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 7, 2003
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      --- "John C. Poirier" <poirier@...> wrote:
      > John,
      >
      > There's a lot in your message that I don't
      > understand.
      >
      > First, are you saying that the author of GTh 19b
      > thinks that Jesus'
      > words are energized by daimons/demons?


      Hi John:

      No. The author of GTh is an Epicuran who did not
      believe in spirits, but rather, borrows the idea in
      order to poke jest at it. The inuendo of Jesus being
      possessed by Beelzebub was to play into the hands of
      those who did believe in spirits so that they could
      argue Jesus was possessed by him.


      > Second, what is the exegetical basis for supposing
      > that the verse is
      > about daimons/demons? Is it just because the idea
      > of animated stones is
      > scandalous?


      The basis of the exegesis on GTh is on the Jewish
      assimilation of the concept of diamon into their
      theology, something well attested to and written
      about. See, for example, John L. McKenzie, SJ,
      "Demons, Demonolgy" 3. ff in Dictionary of the Bible
      (NY, London, 1965):193-4.

      > Third, since the Jewish and Christian version of
      > this platonic gesture
      > employed angels (as mediators of prayers and
      > prophecy) rather than the
      > daimons of Plato, wouldn't it make sense to suppose
      > that GThomas would
      > think in these terms as well?

      No, since they were Epicurean Saddukaioi = Tzaddikim =
      �the upright or righteous men� the chief Kohanim in
      the Jerusalem Temple.
      The second oracle of Habakkuk (c. 597 BC) A TZADDIK
      shall live by his faith, (Habakkuk 2:4). Tzaddik [also
      spelled tsaddik or tsaddiq] is both and adjective
      (righteous) and a noun (one who is just).

      They did not believe in spirits and as I have said
      used this a ploy to assert ridicule and instigate
      support from those who did believe in spirits that
      Jesus was possessed.

      Best regards,
      John

      =====
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    • John C. Poirier
      John, There s a lot in your message that I don t understand. First, are you saying that the author of GTh 19b thinks that Jesus words are energized by
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 7, 2003
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        John,

        There's a lot in your message that I don't understand.

        First, are you saying that the author of GTh 19b thinks that Jesus'
        words are energized by daimons/demons?

        Second, what is the exegetical basis for supposing that the verse is
        about daimons/demons? Is it just because the idea of animated stones is
        scandalous?

        Third, since the Jewish and Christian version of this platonic gesture
        employed angels (as mediators of prayers and prophecy) rather than the
        daimons of Plato, wouldn't it make sense to suppose that GThomas would
        think in these terms as well?


        John C. Poirier
        Middletown, Ohio


        John Lupia wrote:

        > On another list a discussion apeared on Gth 19b, which
        > I have not as yet received permission by the list
        > member to post their remarks here so I will take this
        > opportunity to discuss it independently of it in order
        > to demonstrate the complete cacography of Gth in this
        > verse.
        >
        > GTh 19b, "If you become my disciples and listen to My
        > words, these stones will minister to you."
        >
        > This is based on the ancient Greek theory of diamonia.
        > Plato has two pertinent citations: Epinomis, 977ff.,
        > places them as the spirits who live and reign in the
        > third heaven as interpreters and mediators between
        > gods and men. Socrates, apud Symposion, 27d-e,"For the
        > whole demonial race is between Deity and mortals,
        > acting as interpreters or messengers to both. Through
        > this passes all divination, and the whole prophetical
        > art; for Deity mingles not directly with the human
        > race, but through these media is ever carried on the
        > intercourse between Heaven and men, both when awake
        > and when asleep." What the sarcastic verse of GTh 19
        > conveys is the Greek notion that when one speaks the
        > voice goes through the air and to the ear of the
        > listener conveyed by a diamon. These diamonia had the
        > power to effect the interior mind and heart of men.
        > Mental illness and insanity was the result of diamonia
        > possessing an individual making them irrational.
        > Hence, the gist of GTh 19 is that those who listen to
        > Jesus’ words have the diamonia possess them making
        > them insane to think that stones will minister to
        > them. Consequently, the Sadducaic view that Jesus was
        > possessed by Beelzebub cited in Lk 11:15-19; Mt 10:25;
        > 12:24-7; Mk 3:2.


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