Yesterday I posted a draft of my paper Luke 11.27-28 // Thom. 79a: A Case of Thomasine Dependence and April DeConick responds on her blog in Is the Gospel of Thomas Dependent on the Synoptics? The response is a general one, reacting more to arguments about dependence in general (Schrage, Schürmann) than to the specific case I make. Since I make observations here that have not been made before, I am not sure that the general appeal to earlier literature on Thomas, which I mention in the article, really addresses the specific argument made here, which focuses on pervasive and distinctive Lucan features that point to the saying's genesis in Luke's mind. In fact I agree with Prof. DeConick's dissatisfaction with some of the traditional arguments for dependence, which tend to focus on a word here and a word there. As she notes, "The arguments [for dependence] in all cases are based on the presence of words that some scholars regard as traditionally redactional, that is words that are thought to be from the Lukan hand." What I am keen to do in this specific example is to point not just to the odd, isolated word but to the presence of markedly Lucan language, theme, setting and imagery. By attempting to the move the argument away from solely focusing on isolated words, I am hoping to show that the case for Thomas's familiarity with Luke is stronger than it is usually perceived to be.
On this particular pericope, let me attempt to put my argument in a nutshell lest it is thought that I am arguing along the same lines as those like Schrage. I am arguing that this saying, as we have it, comes from Luke's mind and that there is nothing un-Lucan about it. Its presence in Thomas, where it is anomalous, is therefore an indication of Thomas's familiarity with Luke's Gospel.
This, of course, raises some fresh questions, for example: (1) Are there other examples like this? (2) If Thomas is familiar with the Synoptics, how does he hear them and appropriate them? My answer to question (1) is Yes, and perhaps I'll blog those too in due course, if there is sufficient interest. My answer to (2) is that the issues raised by Prof. DeConick briefly in her recent post and at length in her recent books are important ones that need addressing. I think that too much time has been spent in the past on discussing whether Thomas knew the Synoptics and not enough time has been spent in discussing how Thomas used them. More anon on that too.