Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 23:23:37 -0500
To: Stevan Davies 
Subject: Re: orality and anality.

On Tue, 27 Jan 1998, Stevan Davies wrote:


> Drives me crazy. That's why my present letter is so weak. I can't get 
> beyond thinking that the standard argument "Thomas eliminated 95%
> of redactional material, but there remains 5% and therefore Thomas
> copied out of the synoptics" is just dumb. And since I know the 
> people who argue this way aren't dumb, I don't know what to say.


Well, I know what to say. It is simply the matter of an old and
discredited paradigm refusing to fade away.

Happens all the time. It is now 50 years since the Nag Hammadi library and
the Coptic GTh were found. Those very few who bothered to investigate
these matters concluded quite early that Thomas does not depend on the
Synoptics, but represents an original early tradition. But most mainstream
scholars simply preferred to ignore the whole thing. Most of them are
still trying hard to ignore the whole thing. Perhaps they think if they
pretend not to see all the evidence, it will just go away. 

I don't remember who said it. "The wheels of scholarship grind slowly, and
they grind exceedingly small." Fifty years later, our esteemed mainstream
academics are still busy grinding their tired tiny grains of the old crop
while ignoring the whole new field of corn that's out there waiting for

Nobody said it is easy to break away from the pack and to go into new and
unexplored territory. There's always safety in numbers, and a great safety
it is. It takes a special kind of a researcher to go against the
mainstream. The rewards are few. And even if such an intrepid pioneer is
proven in the end to have been in the right, still no reward will be
forthcoming. Because the mainstream will then change their refusal to see
the facts for a refusal to admit that they did not see those facts! Then
they will all claim that they knew it all along. "Nothing surprising
there", they will say.

The paradigm shift just happened quite recently with the Q. Now it is the
mainstream view to accept the Q. One of these years they will all say in
one voice, "GTh is the earliest gospel! We knew it all along!" And
everyone will live happily ever after.


Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto -=O=-             
It is a far, far better thing to have a firm anchor in nonsense than
to put out on the troubled seas of thought -=O=- John K. Galbraith  


[the following post is in reply to Father Don Murphy who is posting 
from Central America where he's working to help the disadvantaged]

Date: Mon, 2 Feb 1998 00:39:02 -0500
To: dmurphy 
Subject: Re: Concerning human mindsets or presuppositions

On Sun, 1 Feb 1998, dmurphy wrote:


My own methodology is plain and simple. I treat biblical texts for the
most part in the same way as I treat any other ancient texts. I don't see
any significant ways in which the OT is different from the Odyssey, or
from the Egyptian religious texts. The truth in all these texts may be
fragmentary, it may be hard to find, or it may be veiled on purpose by
later editors. But none of the above can be seen as diminishing in any way
the great importance of those truths that _are contained there_. Our tasks
as historians is to find them. 

This is our social and religious history that we're talking about. And I'm
definitely in the business of finding out as much as I can about what
really happened in the past. 

Yuri Kuchinsky in Toronto -=O=-                  
[RE: Loose company preferred by Heretics. Ungodliness the effect of their
teaching.] -=O=- It has also been a subject of remark, how extremely     
frequent is the intercourse which heretics hold with magicians, with     
mountebanks, with astrologers, with philosophers; and the reason is, that
they are men who devote themselves to curious questions. "Seek, and ye   
shall find," is everywhere in their minds. Thus, from the very nature of 
their conduct, may be estimated the quality of their faith. In their     
discipline we have an index of their doctrine -=O=- Tertullian -=O=- THE 
PRESCRIPTION AGAINST HERETICS, Ch. 43                                    

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