Why was Thomas not labelled as Q?

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Why was Thomas not labelled as Q?

Post by mlinssen » Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:00 pm

A question that I've often wondered about, given the fact that roughly half of Q is in Thomas - how much did people expect to find, really, given that Q, and then naturally I mean its recreation, as it's never been found (nor mentioned) and never will be found if you ask me, is filled to the rim with material from Luke and Matthew?

http://users.misericordia.edu/davies/thomas/thq.htm is a legacy from Steven Davies, who by the way seems to be active again in academia.edu and even put up a picture to his profile in the post months

I know that Thomas is not quite the poster child for Churchianity, but hasn't there been anyone in the past six decades who was bold enough to suggest "hey guys, this looks an awful lot like Q - how can we be so sure it ain't Q?"

It would be an embarrassment to the Church, of course, if Thomas would turn out to be The Source, but geez, isn't it awfully coincidental that Thomas really does an awful lot like Q?

Anyway, the only question I really have is: do you have any pointers to anyone ever suggesting that Thomas is Q? Who still lives to tell the tale?

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Re: Why was Thomas not labelled as Q?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:19 pm

mlinssen wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:00 pm
A question that I've often wondered about, given the fact that roughly half of Q is in Thomas - how much did people expect to find, really, given that Q, and then naturally I mean its recreation, as it's never been found (nor mentioned) and never will be found if you ask me, is filled to the rim with material from Luke and Matthew?
You are using a definition of Q which is neither the original one nor the one generally used by Q specialists. Here is what perhaps the most respected Q specialist has to say about what Q is:

John S. Kloppenborg, Q, the Earliest Gospel, page 20: 20 It must be reiterated at this point that scholars have not invented Q out of an interest in multiplying sources, or because they are fascinated with mysterious and lost documents. On the contrary, the positing of Q is purely a function of conclusions about the relationship of Matthew and Luke to Mark. Observations of the patterns of agreements and disagreements in wording and in sequence among the Gospels indicates that Mark occupies a medial position between Matthew and Luke; careful comparison of Mark to Matthew and Mark to Luke suggests that Mark is not only medial, but prior to Matthew and Luke, and served as one of their sources. But if this is the case, then it is necessary to account for the double tradition (or Q) material that Matthew and Luke share, which they did not take from Mark. If Matthew and Luke were not in direct contact with each other for the Markan material, they cannot very well have been in direct contract for the Q material. This leaves only one viable possibility, that the double tradition material comes from another source, parallel to Mark insofar as it was also a source for Matthew and Luke, used independently by each.

Thomas does not account for much/most of content of the double tradition, and it accounts for practically none of the sequencing of the double tradition shared by Matthew and Luke; therefore, by this definition of Q, Thomas is not Q. Nor is the gospel of Marcion; nor is the Didache; nor is any other single text that has been dug up.

If Thomas were Q, there would be embarrassment in some quarters, absolutely. But there would also be an entire cadre of scholars, Kloppenborg for one (in addition to Crossan, Davies, and Köster, among many others), who would rejoice and who would press the case. They are not pressing the case because Thomas does not account for the double tradition in terms of the case which raised the possibility of a lost source in the first place.

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Re: Why was Thomas not labelled as Q?

Post by Ken Olson » Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:49 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:19 pm
You are using a definition of Q which is neither the original one nor the one generally used by Q specialists. Here is what perhaps the most respected Q specialist has to say about what Q is:

John S. Kloppenborg, Q, the Earliest Gospel, page 20: 20 It must be reiterated at this point that scholars have not invented Q out of an interest in multiplying sources, or because they are fascinated with mysterious and lost documents. On the contrary, the positing of Q is purely a function of conclusions about the relationship of Matthew and Luke to Mark. Observations of the patterns of agreements and disagreements in wording and in sequence among the Gospels indicates that Mark occupies a medial position between Matthew and Luke; careful comparison of Mark to Matthew and Mark to Luke suggests that Mark is not only medial, but prior to Matthew and Luke, and served as one of their sources. But if this is the case, then it is necessary to account for the double tradition (or Q) material that Matthew and Luke share, which they did not take from Mark. If Matthew and Luke were not in direct contact with each other for the Markan material, they cannot very well have been in direct contract for the Q material. This leaves only one viable possibility, that the double tradition material comes from another source, parallel to Mark insofar as it was also a source for Matthew and Luke, used independently by each.

Thomas does not account for much/most of content of the double tradition, and it accounts for practically none of the sequencing of the double tradition shared by Matthew and Luke; therefore, by this definition of Q, Thomas is not Q. Nor is the gospel of Marcion; nor is the Didache; nor is any other single text that has been dug up.

If Thomas were Q, there would be embarrassment in some quarters, absolutely. But there would also be an entire cadre of scholars, Kloppenborg for one (in addition to Crossan, Davies, and Köster, among many others), who would rejoice and who would press the case. They are not pressing the case because Thomas does not account for the double tradition in terms of the case which raised the possibility of a lost source in the first place.
Heck, if Thomas contained the Double Tradition and the so-called Mark-Q overlaps and occupied a medial position between Matthew and Luke, you could probably add Farrer, Goulder and Goodacre to the list of scholars who would rejoice and press the case. ;)

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Re: Why was Thomas not labelled as Q?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:01 pm

Probably true. :)

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Re: Why was Thomas not labelled as Q?

Post by mlinssen » Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:58 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:49 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:19 pm
You are using a definition of Q which is neither the original one nor the one generally used by Q specialists. Here is what perhaps the most respected Q specialist has to say about what Q is:

John S. Kloppenborg, Q, the Earliest Gospel, page 20: 20 It must be reiterated at this point that scholars have not invented Q out of an interest in multiplying sources, or because they are fascinated with mysterious and lost documents. On the contrary, the positing of Q is purely a function of conclusions about the relationship of Matthew and Luke to Mark. Observations of the patterns of agreements and disagreements in wording and in sequence among the Gospels indicates that Mark occupies a medial position between Matthew and Luke; careful comparison of Mark to Matthew and Mark to Luke suggests that Mark is not only medial, but prior to Matthew and Luke, and served as one of their sources. But if this is the case, then it is necessary to account for the double tradition (or Q) material that Matthew and Luke share, which they did not take from Mark. If Matthew and Luke were not in direct contact with each other for the Markan material, they cannot very well have been in direct contract for the Q material. This leaves only one viable possibility, that the double tradition material comes from another source, parallel to Mark insofar as it was also a source for Matthew and Luke, used independently by each.

Thomas does not account for much/most of content of the double tradition, and it accounts for practically none of the sequencing of the double tradition shared by Matthew and Luke; therefore, by this definition of Q, Thomas is not Q. Nor is the gospel of Marcion; nor is the Didache; nor is any other single text that has been dug up.

If Thomas were Q, there would be embarrassment in some quarters, absolutely. But there would also be an entire cadre of scholars, Kloppenborg for one (in addition to Crossan, Davies, and Köster, among many others), who would rejoice and who would press the case. They are not pressing the case because Thomas does not account for the double tradition in terms of the case which raised the possibility of a lost source in the first place.
Heck, if Thomas contained the Double Tradition and the so-called Mark-Q overlaps and occupied a medial position between Matthew and Luke, you could probably add Farrer, Goulder and Goodacre to the list of scholars who would rejoice and press the case. ;)
Thank you for that, all three of you. I'm not so sure about the rejoicing, as it would end some careers if Q "were to end with Thomas" although they can always keep writing in disagreement of course

@Ken, "not much" is not much to go on, I calculated that 45% of Q is in Thomas - and I do find that "much", very much really

I've read Kloppenborg, and he has read my Absolute Thomasine priority - no comments as of yet, alas!

Yet how realistic is it to expect to find one single document that contains all of the Double Tradition material?

Wouldn't it have been at least feasible to strike the material in Thomas from the hypothetical Q, thus creating a smaller "q"?

Half of the sermons, the John B mini-stry, to name a few: how verbatim is their agreement really, could they not have come from oral memory (in theory). I'm not familiar with them to that detail although I do know those are not in Mark of course

Of course the biggest flaw in the entire Synoptic Problem is the unspoken assumption that Luke and Matthew couldn't have read each other (the biblical kiddos are always so eager to toss around layered tradition when it comes to apocrypha but never when it involves Scripture), but let's leave that for a later point

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Re: Why was Thomas not labelled as Q?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:25 pm

mlinssen wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:58 pm
Wouldn't it have been at least feasible to strike the material in Thomas from the hypothetical Q, thus creating a smaller "q"?
Taking into account both common content or wording and common sequencing or order in the double tradition, how much of Q do you think Thomas can account for? (Serious question, not rhetorical.)
I calculated that 45% of Q is in Thomas - and I do find that "much", very much really.
Crossan (The Birth of Christianity, page 248) has the percentage of Q in Thomas at 37% and the percentage of Thomas in Q at 28%. He is counting whole "units," though, which he numbers at 132 for Thomas and at 101 for Q, so maybe that is a source of the numerical disagreement.
Half of the sermons, the John B mini-stry, to name a few: how verbatim is their agreement really, could they not have come from oral memory (in theory).
Some probably could have, sure. Others?

Matthew 3.7b-10: 7b Broods of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath about to happen? 8 Make fruit, therefore, worthy of repentance. 9 And do not think to say among yourselves: We have Abraham as our father, for I say to you that God is able to raise children for Abraham from these stones. 10 But already the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree, therefore, not making good fruit is cut off and cast into the fire.

Luke 3.7b-9: 7b Broods of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath about to happen? 8 Make fruits, therefore, worthy of repentance. And do not begin to say among yourselves: We have Abraham as our father, for I say to you that God is able to raise children for Abraham from these stones. 9 But already the axe is also laid to the root of the trees. Every tree, therefore, not making good fruit is cut off and cast into the fire.

Not so much. (I have underlined the differences.) There may be oral cultures capable of this level of fidelity in transmission, but I do not think that early Christianity is one of them.
Of course the biggest flaw in the entire Synoptic Problem is the unspoken assumption that Luke and Matthew couldn't have read each other (the biblical kiddos are always so eager to toss around layered tradition when it comes to apocrypha but never when it involves Scripture), but let's leave that for a later point
To the extent that it is a flaw, it is not a flaw in the synoptic problem per se; it is a flaw in one of the most popular solutions to the synoptic problem (which is not at all the same thing). There are theories which hold precisely that the double tradition is to be explained, not by any lost source, but rather by Luke and Matthew not being independent; that is, one of them had access to the other.

Ken, for example (unless he has very recently changed his stripes), adheres to the Farrer theory; no Q, Mark came first, and Luke copied from Matthew.

Furthermore, among Q theorists, that Luke and Matthew did not copy each other is not at all an "unspoken assumption." That is a mischaracterization of the position. That proposition is both spoken about and argued for explicitly. You may not agree with the arguments; that is fine; many do not (including, as I mentioned, Ken). But that is not the same thing as there being an "unspoken assumption" in play.

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Re: Why was Thomas not labelled as Q?

Post by mlinssen » Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:33 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:25 pm
mlinssen wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:58 pm
Wouldn't it have been at least feasible to strike the material in Thomas from the hypothetical Q, thus creating a smaller "q"?
Taking into account both common content or wording and common sequencing or order in the double tradition, how much of Q do you think Thomas can account for? (Serious question, not rhetorical.)
Good question, and I wouldn't know, but let's guesstimate that in that era it would be unfeasible to come up with 5-10 different sources to Luke and Matthew, written. "A few"? If 2 to 3, then Thomas could make up 50% max? It's all very heavy guesswork, sorry
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:25 pm
I calculated that 45% of Q is in Thomas - and I do find that "much", very much really.
Crossan (The Birth of Christianity, page 248) has the percentage of Q in Thomas at 37% and the percentage of Thomas in Q at 28%. He is counting whole "units," though, which he numbers at 132 for Thomas and at 101 for Q, so maybe that is a source of the numerical disagreement.
Half of the sermons, the John B mini-stry, to name a few: how verbatim is their agreement really, could they not have come from oral memory (in theory).
Some probably could have, sure. Others?

Matthew 3.7b-10: 7b Broods of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath about to happen? 8 Make fruit, therefore, worthy of repentance. 9 And do not think to say among yourselves: We have Abraham as our father, for I say to you that God is able to raise children for Abraham from these stones. 10 But already the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree, therefore, not making good fruit is cut off and cast into the fire.

Luke 3.7b-9: 7b Broods of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath about to happen? 8 Make fruits, therefore, worthy of repentance. And do not begin to say among yourselves: We have Abraham as our father, for I say to you that God is able to raise children for Abraham from these stones. 9 But already the axe is also laid to the root of the trees. Every tree, therefore, not making good fruit is cut off and cast into the fire.

Not so much. (I have underlined the differences.) There may be oral cultures capable of this level of fidelity in transmission, but I do not think that early Christianity is one of them.
Ha! Thanks, that settles that then. No, no need to look at the Greek even, that's hilariously verbatim, and most certainly not in Thomas. This must be in a written source indeed somewhere, out of the question
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:25 pm
Of course the biggest flaw in the entire Synoptic Problem is the unspoken assumption that Luke and Matthew couldn't have read each other (the biblical kiddos are always so eager to toss around layered tradition when it comes to apocrypha but never when it involves Scripture), but let's leave that for a later point
To the extent that it is a flaw, it is not a flaw in the synoptic problem per se; it is a flaw in one of the most popular solutions to the synoptic problem (which is not at all the same thing). There are theories which hold precisely that the double tradition is to be explained, not by any lost source, but rather by Luke and Matthew not being independent; that is, one of them had access to the other.
I don't entirely (dis)agree. If all would be in jolly agreement that Luke and Matthew were buddies for life, grew up together, sat at the same desk in class and shared the same girlfriend, for instance, then an awful lot of the presumed Synoptic Problem would disappear. They simply were more intimate with Jesus or joined earlier or stuck around longer than Mark, hence their "extra knowledge"
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:25 pm
Ken, for example (unless he has very recently changed his stripes), adheres to the Farrer theory; no Q, and Luke copied from Matthew.

Furthermore, among Q theorists, that Luke and Matthew did not copy each other is not at all an "unspoken assumption." That is a mischaracterization of the position. That proposition is both spoken about and argued for explicitly. You may not agree with the arguments; that is fine; many do not (including, as I mentioned, Ken). But that is not the same thing as there being an "unspoken assumption" in play.
Again, I don't entirely (dis)agree. I haven't seen material from someone nitpicking why and where Luke and Matthew can't be as different as they are. I talk a bit about this with other people, and the question that sticks with them is my comment "if you assume source to be the sole driver then you miss out on the opportunity to see how destination would explain the differences, just as they do when Luke and Matthew disagree with Mark"

It is merely perused, Ben, the issue of Luke and Matthew disagreeing too much to be able to have copied each other. It is not really dissected, and just a simple "layered tradition" (as much as I detest them and think that they're rubbish distractions, those are the usual methods for "scholars" trying to explain textual differences) would all-too-easily explain how they could diverge from one another

But the simplest solution is that they both wrote for different audiences, thus having different arguments in mind and as such ending up with different versions of the same events; something that is readily accepted when people look at Mark versus Luke and Matthew, so I fail to see why so many arguments that are used, and perfectly valid, when explaining the differences between Mark and Luke / Matthew, are missing from the toolset when explaining away the differences between Luke and Matthew

Damn, look at how Matthew mitigates the damage Mark did with his declaring all food clean; simply reducing it all to "washing with unwashed hands" LOL. No one has argued ever, to the best of my knowledge, that those are two different scenes, or that Matthew and Mark couldn't possibly disagree so much with one another there.
For some reason people see Mark as one and Luke / Matthew as one, and that is a flaw in the Synoptic Problem, or, as you say, not per se, but one in their possible solutions

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Re: Why was Thomas not labelled as Q?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:22 pm

mlinssen wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:33 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:25 pm
mlinssen wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:58 pm
Wouldn't it have been at least feasible to strike the material in Thomas from the hypothetical Q, thus creating a smaller "q"?
Taking into account both common content or wording and common sequencing or order in the double tradition, how much of Q do you think Thomas can account for? (Serious question, not rhetorical.)
Good question, and I wouldn't know, but let's guesstimate that in that era it would be unfeasible to come up with 5-10 different sources to Luke and Matthew, written. "A few"? If 2 to 3, then Thomas could make up 50% max? It's all very heavy guesswork, sorry
I must not have been clear, sorry. What I mean is: for how many of the Thomas-Q overlaps can Thomas actually replace Q as a possible source for Matthew and Luke?

For example, here is the first overlap given in that link you provided from Davies:

Qlk 10:21 // 4a The person old in days won't hesitate to ask a
little child seven days old about the place of life, and that
person will live.

I can tell you right now that this unit in Thomas cannot replace Q. In this case it is not so much because of the order as because of the wording: Luke 10.21-22 and Matthew 11.25-27 line up far more closely with each other (the so called Johannine thunderbolt) than either of them does with Thomas.

Here is the second:

QLk 12:2 // 6b. For nothing is hidden that shall not be revealed
and nothing is covered that shall that shall remain without being
revealed. [Also in Mark].

Again, Thomas cannot replace Q. In this case it is partly because of the wording but mainly because of the order or context: Luke 12.2-10 and Matthew 10.26-33 comprise a whole block of parallel material:

Matthew 10.26-33: 26 Fear them not, therefore. For nothing is veiled that shall not be revealed, and hidden that shall not be made known. 27 What I say to you in the darkness, you say in the light. And what you hear in the ear, preach it upon the housetops. 28 And fear not those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. But rather fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for an assarion? And not one of them falls upon the ground apart from your father. 30 But even all the hairs of your head are numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore. You yourselves are more valuable than many sparrows. 32 Everyone then who confesses me before men, I will also confess him before my father who is in the heavens. 33 But, whoever denies me before men, I will also deny him before my father who is in the heavens.

Luke 12.2-10: 2 But nothing is veiled over that shall not be revealed, and hidden that shall not be made known. 3 Accordingly, as many things as you say in the darkness, they will be heard in the light. And what you speak into the ear in the chambers, it will be preached upon the housetops. 4 But I say to you, my friends, fear not those who kill the body and after these things have nothing left to do. 5 But I will show you whom to fear. Fear the one who, after killing, has authority to cast one into Gehenna. Yes, I say to you, fear this one. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two assaria? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Rather, even all the hairs of your head have been numbered. Fear not. You are more valuable than many sparrows. 8 But I say to you, everyone who should confess me before men, the son of man will also confess him before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

The wording here is certainly not as close as in Matthew 3.7b-10 = Luke 3.7b-9, but the parallels are all in the same order throughout the entire block. So, even if both Matthew and Luke copied from Thomas for that single first verse (Matthew 10.26 = Luke 12.2), they had to consult either each other or some other source (Q) for the entire rest of the block. Furthermore, look at the agreement in the parts parallel to Thomas:

M: οὐδὲν γάρ ἐστιν κεκαλυμμένον ὃ οὐκ ἀποκαλυφθήσεται, καὶ κρυπτὸν ὃ οὐ γνωσθήσεται.
L: οὐδὲν δὲ συγκεκαλυμμένον ἐστὶν ὃ οὐκ ἀποκαλυφθήσεται, καὶ κρυπτὸν ὃ οὐ γνωσθήσεται.

I have underlined the differences. There is also one difference in order (ἐστιν κεκαλυμμένον versus κεκαλυμμένον ἐστίν). Thomas is superfluous here (there is a clause missing in the Greek, but the wording of the clause present is not nearly as close either to Matthew or to Luke as those two are to each other):

T: [οὐδὲν γάρ ἐστι]ν ἀ[π]οκεκρ̣[υμμένον ὃ οὐ φανερὸν] ἔσται.

There is no guesswork here. Objectively, Thomas cannot replace Q for either of these first two cases. So the question is: objectively, for how many of the cases from the list can Thomas replace Q? (It is okay not to know the answer. I do not know it, either, though I have a guess. I simply want to make sure that the question is clear. Guesswork does not have to come into play.)

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Re: Why was Thomas not labelled as Q?

Post by mlinssen » Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:29 pm

The question of "how much of Thomas could there be in Q" is an easy one and a difficult one. Difficult, because of the underlying assumption of dependence of either.
Observe, for instance, QS 8. On Those who are Fortunate (Mack, The Lost Gospel):

QS 8. On Those who are Fortunate
(6:20) He looked up at his disciples and said:Blessed are you who are poor, because yours is God's reign.
(21) Blessed are you who are hungry, because you'll be full. Blessed are you who mourn, because you'll be comforted.
(22) "Blessed are you when they criticize you, persecute you, and spread lies about you because of the Son of Humanity.
(23) Rejoice and be glad, because your heavenly reward is great; for that's how they persecuted the prophets before you.


Thomas, Lambdin:
(54) Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven."
(69) Jesus said, "Blessed are they who have been persecuted within themselves. It is they who have truly come to know the father. Blessed are the hungry, for the belly of him who desires will be filled."
(68) Jesus said, "Blessed are you when you are hated and persecuted. Wherever you have been persecuted they will find no place."

In QS 8 there is a clear pattern: copy and add. First, a verbatim copy, no adding (20). Then a copy with an addition (21), and another one (22). And the grand finale comes when an entire verse is added: 23. What is added is what I have stricken, and where it comes from is made bold.
Let's not discuss whether this comes from Thomas, but let's discsuss the pattern here: this is perfectly normal, and what we all would do: you get inspired by some material, you quote some, and add your inspiration. And at the end, or in the end really, you are inspired, so you add some of your own

Now, how much of Q is in Thomas here, if we assume that such is the direction of the dependence? 50%, 100%? Even if Luke were alive today and we could interrogate him, and if he were to admit that he made it all up based on Thomas - could we say that in this very example, 100% is from Thomas? Because that's not what bean counting letters and words gives us, and I don't know any other way really.
This is what we have:

Verbatim copies: 32 words, 42%
and said:Blessed are you who are poor, because yours is God's reign
Blessed are you who are hungry, because you'll be full
Blessed are you when they criticize you, persecute you

Not in Thomas: 45 words, 58%
He looked up at his disciples
Blessed are you who mourn, because you'll be comforted
and spread lies about you because of the Son of Humanity
Rejoice and be glad, because your heavenly reward is great; for that's how they persecuted the prophets before you

Would we expect the non-matching material to be encountered in another source, or would we ascribe that to "real Jesus events" disregarding what we think of the credibility of the latter?
In the first case, would it affect the score of Q matching Thomas, and if so, then how? And in the second?

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Re: Why was Thomas not labelled as Q?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:48 pm

mlinssen wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:29 pm
The question of "how much of Thomas could there be in Q" is an easy one and a difficult one. Difficult, because of the underlying assumption of dependence of either.
Observe, for instance, QS 8. On Those who are Fortunate (Mack, The Lost Gospel):

QS 8. On Those who are Fortunate
(6:20) He looked up at his disciples and said:Blessed are you who are poor, because yours is God's reign.
(21) Blessed are you who are hungry, because you'll be full. Blessed are you who mourn, because you'll be comforted.
(22) "Blessed are you when they criticize you, persecute you, and spread lies about you because of the Son of Humanity.
(23) Rejoice and be glad, because your heavenly reward is great; for that's how they persecuted the prophets before you.


Thomas, Lambdin:
(54) Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven."
(69) Jesus said, "Blessed are they who have been persecuted within themselves. It is they who have truly come to know the father. Blessed are the hungry, for the belly of him who desires will be filled."
(68) Jesus said, "Blessed are you when you are hated and persecuted. Wherever you have been persecuted they will find no place."

In QS 8 there is a clear pattern: copy and add. First, a verbatim copy, no adding (20). Then a copy with an addition (21), and another one (22). And the grand finale comes when an entire verse is added: 23. What is added is what I have stricken, and where it comes from is made bold.
Let's not discuss whether this comes from Thomas, but let's discsuss the pattern here: this is perfectly normal, and what we all would do: you get inspired by some material, you quote some, and add your inspiration. And at the end, or in the end really, you are inspired, so you add some of your own

Now, how much of Q is in Thomas here, if we assume that such is the direction of the dependence? 50%, 100%? Even if Luke were alive today and we could interrogate him, and if he were to admit that he made it all up based on Thomas - could we say that in this very example, 100% is from Thomas? Because that's not what bean counting letters and words gives us, and I don't know any other way really.
This is what we have:

Verbatim copies: 32 words, 42%
and said:Blessed are you who are poor, because yours is God's reign
Blessed are you who are hungry, because you'll be full
Blessed are you when they criticize you, persecute you

Not in Thomas: 45 words, 58%
He looked up at his disciples
Blessed are you who mourn, because you'll be comforted
and spread lies about you because of the Son of Humanity
Rejoice and be glad, because your heavenly reward is great; for that's how they persecuted the prophets before you

Would we expect the non-matching material to be encountered in another source, or would we ascribe that to "real Jesus events" disregarding what we think of the credibility of the latter?
In the first case, would it affect the score of Q matching Thomas, and if so, then how? And in the second?
Okay, but none of this matters for whether Thomas can replace Q, because you have not factored Matthew into the mix. The very fact that Matthew and Luke both have a set of beatitudes, with Matthew's list swallowing Luke's whole, all together at the beginning of an inaugural speech means something. The parallels in Thomas are scattered and not in order; they cannot replace Q for the Beatitudes shared by Matthew and Luke.

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