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Points To Ponder Lesson 6

#1 User is offline   drlmorris 

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 10:36 AM

Please enter your answers to the questions given in this lesson here.
Instructor: Master of the Historical Jesus
Founder: The Historical Jesus Project

#2 User is offline   graham 

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 11:28 AM

1. The Gospel of Thomas was discovered, along with fifty other documents, in 1945 at Nag Hammadi in Egypt and it was soon realised that this was a highly significant find although some of the documents in the collection had already been unearthed at Oxyrhynchus in 1897 and 1903. There is still much debate about the dating of the Gospel of Thomas with different schools of thought maintaining that it was written as early as 60AD and others placing its origins around 140 AD.

2. The Q (Quelle) collection of logia or sayings of Jesus is also the subject of a great deal of speculation and debate although efforts to discredit it over many decades have never fully succeeded and many authorities still view it as highly likely that it was prepared as a collection of Jesus' sayings and was of value to the writers of the synoptis gospels. It does contain elements which might indicate a gnostic frame of mind amongst its author(s) as it suggests a dualistic approach to the godhead and also is distinctly apocalyptic in its stance, representing Jesus as intending to return imminently and bring about a return of the kingdom of God. His purpose in striving to give mankind the knowledge to enable them to understand the purpose of God and to embrace his salvation, may reflect the concept of 'gnosis' the knowledge that would enable men to escape from the grip of the demiurge and return to the fold of the Pleroma, the one, true God.

3. The dating of the Q source is an important factor in assessing its value as a collection of the sayings of Jesus and the extent to which these faithfully reflect his words and outlook. If, as is widely suggested, they are incorporated in the gospels, especially Matthew and Luke, that indicates an early dating, possibly around 40-50AD. They are, however, only fragmentary and may or may not have been parts of longer discourses. Along with the canonical gospels, it is unlikely that they reflect the actual words of Jesus even if written soon after the life of Christ and we need also to take into account the tendency of human beings to adapt material to suit a developing cause even in the immediate aftermath of events. We cannot therefore speculate with any degree of certainty as to their greater value as representing the words of the historical Jesus although, were they to be discovered as a separate, unified collection which had not passed through the process of evaluation and been subjected to the test of apostolicity, we should then be able to assess their value more accurately.

#3 User is offline   djuliano67 

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:27 AM

Master of the Historical JesusLesson 6

Thepossibility of the existence of Q has been strengthened by the discovery in1945 of the Gospel of Thomas, which is also collection of sayings withoutreference to the "story" of Jesus' life and works. Where was thisdiscovery made and what is the name of the collection that it was found in?

Its part of the Nag Hammadi library.

Why would someone intimate that the Q community may have hadGnostic leanings?

Youcould infer that Qs leans toward a more spiritual Kingdom of God that isinside us as opposed to a Heavenly one.

On a personal level, do you think that the Q source ismore than likely to be closer to what Jesus said than the canonical gospels?Why or Why not?

Ithink Q would more likely be closer since it seems to predate the Gospels andwe used in their writing.


#4 User is offline   rev c watson 

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 03:44 PM

The Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of thirteen ancient codices containing over fifty texts, was discovered in the town of Nag Hammadi, in upper Egypt in 1945.

Taking your use of intimate as a transitive verb, It could possibly be that they did not want to look foolish by stating fact when fact is impossible to know. Hinting at it publicly is a delicate way offering it up for study.

I have no idea! It fits more in line with what I personally believe, and if it is true what it says in the Gospel of Thomas; "
Jesus said, "If those who lead you say, 'See, the Kingdom isin the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they
say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you.
When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living
Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty, and it is you who are that poverty." it only matters what we believe to be true.

Enjoy your next 24, PEACE!

#5 User is offline   Wync 

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 02:13 AM

1. The Gospel of Thomas was discovered in upper Egypt, in Nag Hammadi. "Nag Hammadi Library" was adopted as a result of the body of work being found there.

2. "Q" is intimated to be Gnostic leaning because there is no record of it. During the establishment of the Orthodox Christianity in the 4th century, once the Bible was established the doctrine of Christendom, all books that was rejected by the Orthodox Catholicism were destroyed. The Gnostic texts were chief among the books that were destroyed. The Gospel of Thomas and other books that were considered "gnostic" in essence were only saved because of those who had the foresight to hide them.

3. If the assumptions made about "Q" are legitimately authentic, then yes, it is mostly likely the closest to what Jesus said than any book know to us at present. "Q" would have been written at a time closer to the existence of Jesus during his life on Earth

#6 User is offline   jdania 

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Posted 27 October 2015 - 07:51 PM

Points to Ponder
Historical Jesus Lesson 6 – Dr. L Morris

The possibility of the existence of Q has been strengthened by the discovery in 1945 of the Gospel of Thomas, which is also collection of sayings without reference to the "story" of Jesus' life and works. Where was this discovery made and what is the name of the collection that it was found in?

There are two versions of the Gospel of Thomas. Fragments of the Gospel, written in Greek, were discovered first in the 1800’s among the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, which were dated to about the c. 200. The 1945 version is a complete version, in Coptic, from the Codex II of the Nag Hammadi finds in the Egyptian desert, at Oxyrhynchus. Nag Hammadi, which gives the papers its name, is a nearby village. These were dated to be between 39 and 250 CE.

Why would someone intimate that the Q community may have had Gnostic leanings?

Craig Schenk wrote a commentary (6/17/92) on the translations of THE GOSPEL OF THOMAS, written by:
Thomas O. Lambdin (Coptic version)
B.P Grenfell & A.S. Hunt (Greek Fragments)
Bentley Layton (Greek Fragments)
Schenk relates that “although it is not possible to attribute the Gospel of Thomas to any particular sect, it is clearly Gnostic in nature. As the preamble indicates, these are "secret sayings", and are intended to be esoteric in nature. The Sayings are not intended to be interpreted literally, as their New Testament parallels often are, but to be interpreted symbolically, as attested by Saying #1. While a literal interpretation may make sense, only by understanding the deeper meanings of the Sayings can one truly understand them. Thus in Saying #114, it is to be understood that "male" symbolizes the pneumatic (spiritual, or Gnostic) Christians, and "female" symbolizes the psychic (unenlightened, or orthodox) Christians, rather than actually referring to males and females. Keep in mind that true understanding of this text was meant to come from PERSONAL contact with the Divine, inspiration from within.
He argues that if we examine the 114 sayings in this writing, then we find some that are similar to existing sayings, some that are slightly different, but the majority cannot be found anywhere in the entirety of Scripture itself. Scripture must always confirm itself, and the majority of sayings in the gospel of Thomas cannot be confirmed anywhere else in Scripture.
Others present similar arguments and relate that most probably what kept the gospel of Thomas from being included in the Bible could be the overt "secretness" attributed to these 114 sayings by the work itself. We do not find in the Scripture that the word of God was given or to be kept in secret but on the contrary it was to be preached to all in a way as to be clearly understood. The gospel of Thomas very clearly tries to maintain an air of secrecy in its words. This is in accordance with the gnostic way.

In the website, reluctant messenger.com, we find the following: That the Apostle Thomas was also called Didymus which in the Greek means Twin or Double. Reference is made in John 11:16, 20:24, 21:2 in the King James Version of the Bible. The Gnostics called Thomas the Twin Brother of Jesus. It turns out that this is also a metaphor for the soul and spirit. The secret information that is hidden in the Gospel in coded form is how the soul and spirit must become one in a special divine marriage to prevent the second death from occurring. The similies of marriage, female into male, and two into one, are coded messages about the secret to eternal life.

On a personal level, do you think that the Q source is more than likely to be closer to what Jesus said than the canonical gospels? Why or Why not?

It is likely that the Q source was written before Mathew and Luke, therefore making it closer to the life of Jesus. If the Q source wrote closer to the time of the life of Jesus than the writings of Mathew and Luke, than the sayings would not have changed a lot or have been modified by the transmission of the sayings through the oral tradition. This would make it closer to what Jesus said. The farther away in time from the original sayings of Jesus the more transformation it would incur.
There is a high degree of verbal agreement between Luke and Matthew, which would lead people to believe that they did not write it independently from the oral sayings of their times. The similarities in writing, the context and the similar sequence makes it very unlikely that the two would write such similar information having had different sources. If they were not using different sources and wrote from the Q source, it is logical to deduct that the Q source preceded the writings of Mathew and Luke, thus being closer to the times of Jesus, suffering less transformation from what was actually said.


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