James the Just in the gospel of Thomas.

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davidmartin
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Re: James the Just in the gospel of Thomas.

Post by davidmartin »

Well i'll give it a go

The location isn't just the Samaritan carrying a lamb (depending on how far you think he carried it i guess, maybe he was going for a world record!)
It mentions pharisees and scribes so it seems to seems to be in that area somewhere. If it wasn't for the canonical gospels there'd only be this slight hint at the location i'd agree but combined with them the connections seem more believable

It's true he doesn't directly heal anyone in Thomas only commands healing technically yes, but if he didn't do it himself it would be breaking with the other traditions quite a bit and wonder if this command isn't just saying do-what-i-do. Whether the healing is physical or spiritual or some other kind that is way more open to question though as there's no supernatural miracles in Thomas especially. This could be ordinary medicinal healing or just by teaching alone i'm open minded to any of that

I accept what you say about preaching in parables its less open to confusion

The tax thing is sure complicated cause to not pay taxes basically meant defying Roman rule
I don't think he liked paying taxes like anyone does, but in this case meant keeping the peace with the Romans. The way I read his answer is pay the minimum you can get away with, not - be at the front of the queue and pay gladly. To me it's great evidence he was trying to be a peacemaker although the cynical might suggest it kept his own movement sweet with them as well. Well, two birds with one stone in that case. Other religious groups did the same in order to avoid conflict with the Romans. Very sensible in the circumstances, I can sense Ben chafing about this not being very messianic!

Theological similarities - zooming out you see Thomas's Jesus saying 'become me' or 'i will become you', likewise Paul says 'its no longer me but Christ lives in me'. This is the same basic idea. That Paul got from somewhere. I don't have time to try to find any others i'm sure there's some, but agreed you're not going to find the kind of theology i think you mean!
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mlinssen
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Re: James the Just in the gospel of Thomas.

Post by mlinssen »

I hear you. When you take the Jesus that you know and try to find anchor points in Thomas, you can read a lot into things that aren't in it

To me it seems that logion 100, that has the gold coin which the canonicals turn into a denarius so it becomes more plausible, simply equates God to Caesar, discarding both as mere deities - while telling you to reserve your true value for IS...

So we both read in it what we want or need, I guess
John2
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Re: James the Just in the gospel of Thomas.

Post by John2 »

Ben wrote:

What I am wondering is whether James the Just might not be a surrogate or a representative for an entire class of people, as well, in his brief but shining appearance in the gospel of Thomas:
Thomas 12.1-2: 1 The disciples said to Jesus, “We know that you will depart from us. Who will be leader over us?” 2 Jesus said to them, “Wherever you have come from, you shall go to James the Just, for the sake of whom heaven and earth came into being.”

What sense does it make if James is a "surrogate or a representative for an entire class of people" with respect to Jesus' disciples looking for a new leader? Were they supposed to "go" to said class of people rather than only to James?
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: James the Just in the gospel of Thomas.

Post by Ben C. Smith »

John2 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:53 pmWhat sense does it make if James is a "surrogate or a representative for an entire class of people" with respect to Jesus' disciples looking for a new leader? Were they supposed to "go" to said class of people rather than only to James?
Connecting the two ideas in that manner would make no sense at all, by my reckoning.

Rather, the idea I have in mind is that James is an ideal representative of that class of people, the just, for whom heaven and earth was created: so ideal that his nickname, "the Just," expresses that very point.

(Joe the Plumber was also perceived to be an ideal or nearly ideal proxy for working class America because of his profession, the question he asked Obama, and his being in the right place at the right time.)
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John2
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Re: James the Just in the gospel of Thomas.

Post by John2 »

Ben C. Smith wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:58 pm
John2 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:53 pmWhat sense does it make if James is a "surrogate or a representative for an entire class of people" with respect to Jesus' disciples looking for a new leader? Were they supposed to "go" to said class of people rather than only to James?
Connecting the two ideas in that manner would make no sense at all, by my reckoning.

But that is the context, right, that his disciples were looking for a new leader?
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: James the Just in the gospel of Thomas.

Post by Ben C. Smith »

John2 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:43 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:58 pm
John2 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:53 pmWhat sense does it make if James is a "surrogate or a representative for an entire class of people" with respect to Jesus' disciples looking for a new leader? Were they supposed to "go" to said class of people rather than only to James?
Connecting the two ideas in that manner would make no sense at all, by my reckoning.
But that is the context, right, that his disciples were looking for a new leader?
Sure, but the motif of praising a person to high heaven by saying that heaven and earth were created for that person is also in the context: the cultural context. Do you see a way of synthesizing the two, or is the cultural context irrelevant in this case?
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John2
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Re: James the Just in the gospel of Thomas.

Post by John2 »

Ben C. Smith wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:07 pm
John2 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:43 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:58 pm
John2 wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:53 pmWhat sense does it make if James is a "surrogate or a representative for an entire class of people" with respect to Jesus' disciples looking for a new leader? Were they supposed to "go" to said class of people rather than only to James?
Connecting the two ideas in that manner would make no sense at all, by my reckoning.
But that is the context, right, that his disciples were looking for a new leader?
Sure, but the motif of praising a person to high heaven by saying that heaven and earth were created for that person is also in the context: the cultural context. Do you see a way of synthesizing the two, or is the cultural context irrelevant in this case?

I see the trope as being applied to James simply because he was an exemplary "just one" (and thus a suitable leader).
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Secret Alias
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Re: James the Just in the gospel of Thomas.

Post by Secret Alias »

Mishnah 13
It was for this reason that man was first created as one person, to teach you that anyone who destroys a life from Israel is considered by Scripture to have destroyed an entire world; anyone who saves a life from Israel is as if he saved an entire world. And also, to promote peace among the creations, so that no man would say to his friend, ‘my ancestors are greater than yours.’ And also, so that heretics will not say, ‘there are many rulers up in Heaven.’ And also, to express the grandeur of The Holy One [blessed be He]: For a man strikes many coins from the same dye, and all the coins are alike. But the King of Kings, The Holy One [blessed be He] strikes every man from the dye of the First Man, and yet no man is quite like his friend. Therefore, every person must say: ‘the world was created for me.’ כל אחד ואחד חייב לומר בשבילי נברא העולם
I am not sure that this shows that Jacob was a real person. It just shows that he was made in the image of God.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: James the Just in the gospel of Thomas.

Post by Ben C. Smith »

Secret Alias wrote: Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:17 pmI am not sure that this shows that Jacob was a real person. It just shows that he was made in the image of God.
Well, I suspect he was a real person, but not because of anything to do with this particular motif.
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Secret Alias
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Re: James the Just in the gospel of Thomas.

Post by Secret Alias »

But Jacob is being celebrated as the paradigmatic reshaped man - the one with Adam's restored glory. Jacob couldn't have been born with this quality. He was made like Adam after already born.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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