Saturday, April 07, 2007

Gospel of Thomas

On one of the email groups I subscribe to there was a question concerning the direction of dependence between GThomas and the synoptics. Here is a copy of my response:

GThomas has two characteristics which immediately come to my mind:
(1) the sort of content seems to overlap quite a lot with the Mt-Lk 'Q' material,
(2) there is some indication of redactional elements from Mt & Lk present in Thomas.

I guess the combination of these two points is why the final version of Thomas is often believed to also have existed in an earlier (pre Mt Mk LK?) form (hence I suppose the whole directionality debate). There appears to be two camps if I recall:

(1) Thomas is early (say 50s)
(2) Thomas is late (say 150s)

I guess I was influenced by Christopher Tuckett, "Thomas and the Synoptics," NovT XXX, 2 (1988), 132-157, who demonstrated knowledge of Lukan redaction, e.g.:

Th 5 "there is nothing hidden that will not be manifest" which Tuckett argues agrees with Lk's redaction of Mk's version of the saying.
Th 16 "divisions" = Lukan redaction
Th 55 "not worthy of me" = Mathean redaction
Th 20 Markan elements of mustard seed parable in Mk (as against 'Q' version) (i.e. "smaller than all the seeds"; "earth"; "branch"; "shelter")
Th 9 Markan feature of duality (double "on account of not having").

Recently Mark Goodacre has mentioned his arguement that Thomas 79 must be dependent on Lk 11:27-28 given that Lk has composed this passage.

UPDATE: For some reason blogger is displaying an incorrect date. The above post should be dated 10:15 am April 7, 2007.