Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
July 25th, 2014 by Joel Watts

One of my “book notes” for Religious Studies Review is not published at Wiley Online Library

You can find it here:

A Common Written Greek Source for Mark AND Thomas. By John Horman. Studies in Christianity and Judaism 20. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011. Pp. viii + 256. Cloth, $85.00. – Watts – 2014 – Religious Studies Review – Wiley Online Library.

I can’t reproduce it yet, but… I found the concept fascinating but deeply flawed. Horman (an independent researcher, which is awesome) has a great theory, but in the end, it is a theory biased on the need to make Thomas more canonical than the other Gospels. I just don’t see it. One thing Horman does (and Francis Watson does) is to de-gnostic-fy Thomas, which is a welcomed feature.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).


3 Responses to “One of my “book notes” for Religious Studies Review is not published at Wiley Online Library”
  1. In my Nag Hammadi book, Marvin Meyer says “Further, although the Gospel of Thomas has some features in common with Gnostic texts, it is not easily classified as a Gnostic work without considerable qualification.”

    I will be interested in your review when/if it is available. I find an interesting set of (problematic, from my standpoint) verses, that seem to only make sense in Thomas. That is, earthly mother brings you into the world to die, heavenly mother (perhaps female Holy Spirit, Ruah) gives life.
    So, Mark first? Thomas first? Oral Q first? Or Luke and Thomas modified by Marcion?

    Mark 8:34 If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

    Luke 14:26-27 If any man cometh unto me, and hateth not his own father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27Whosoever doth not bear his own cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

    Gospel of Thomas 55 Jesus said, “Whoever does not hate father and mother cannot be my disciple, and whoever does not hate brothers and sisters, and carry the cross as I do, will not be worthy of me.”

    Gospel of Thomas 101 (alt translation) “Whoever does not hate [father] and mother as I do cannot be my [disciple], and whoever does [not] love [father and] mother as I do cannot be my [disciple]. For my (earthly) mother (gave me death), but my true [mother] gave me life.”

    • Have you read Goodacre’s work on Thomas? It is insightful.

      I think Thomas is among the heterodox (no such thing, really, as orthodox in those days…the good ole days…)

  2. ” (no such thing, really, as orthodox in those days…” Yeah, I think Ehrman calls it proto-orthodox. I haven’t read Goodacre. I’m too liberal. Into Ehrman, Pagel, and King. And Friedman for OT. I don’t want to be corrupted by the proto-orthodox/orthodox crowd. 🙂
    What happens growing up, and college in the 60’s. Anti-establishment, and anti-orthodox. Question authority.

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