Friday, September 21, 2012

Francis Watson's Introduction and Summary on the composition of a fake Gospel-fragment

I am grateful to Prof. Francis Watson for following up his earlier article, The Gospel of Jesus' Wife: How a fake Gospel-Fragment was composed, with a piece providing an introduction and summary, which will be particularly helpful for non-specialists:

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: How a fake Gospel-Fragment was composed
INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY
Francis Watson

8 comments:

Frank McCoy said...

The apparent dependence on Matt. 28:20 is important because Matthew bases the polished Trinitarian formula in 28:19 on the earlier and cruder Triniarian formula in Thom. 44 and bases the "in heaven or on earth" in 28:18 on Thom. 44.3b. So, whoever wrote this fragment not only used Thomas as a source, but was attracted to Matt. 28:20 precisely because, this person knew, it is immediately adjacent to where Matthew likewise used Thomas as a source. Since, to my knowledge, not a single modern scholar believes that Matthew used Thomas as a source, it appears that no modern scholar wrote this fragment and, therefore, it is probably genuine--and likely written not long after Matthew wrote his gospel. Frank McCoy

Frank McCoy said...

Since the author of fragment used Coptic versions of Thomas and Matthew, I retract the likelihood of it being written soon after Matthew--more likely, late 2nd century CE. But I stand by the contention that author knew of Matthew using Thomas as a source because Luke, similarly, knew that Matthew used Thomas as a source. See this 4 line schema that begins with Thom. 32 and ends with Thom 33.1:
1 Thom. 32//Matt. 5:14b
2 Thom. 33.2-3//Matt. 5:15//Luke 11:33//Luke 8:16//Mark 4:21
3 Matt. 10:26b//Luke 12:2//Thom. 5.1b-2a//Luke 8:17//Mark 4:22
4 Matt. 10:27b//Luke 12:3b//Thom. 33.1
This is held together by these links:
1. lines 1 & 2 by Thom. 32//Matt. 5:14b and Thom. 33.2-3//Matt. 5:15
2. lines 2 & 3 by Luke 8:16//Mark 4:21 and Luke 8:17//Mark 4:22
3. lines 3 & 4 by Matt. 10:27a//Luke 12:2 and Matt. 10:27b//Luke 12:3b.

This is a Lukan creation since it is made possible only by the Lukan doublets of 8:16//11:33 and 8:17//12:2. So, he used Mark, Matthew and Thomas as sources and knew that Matthew based Matt. 5:14b-15 on Thom. 32-33.

bulbul said...

Is it just me or does professor Watson cite an incomplete version of line 4? Karen King's paper has (pardon my transcription) PEDE IC NAY TAHIME (which is what I see on the fragment as well) while prof. Watson's only has PEDE IC TAHIME. That use of the N+pronoun struck me as very GThom - I would expect PEDAF instead of PEDE and/or NWOY instead of NAY in canonical gospels.

Frank McCoy said...

According to Bauckham, Gathercole has tentatively connected line 6 with Thom. 45.3. This fits with idea that, the author knew, Matthew used Thomas as a source a/c Matt. 12:34b-35 is based on Thom. 45.2-3.

I suggest this scenario: when writing line 6, author had his/her copy of Thomas opened to 45.3, using it as a source. (S)he knew that Matthew had used Thom. 45.2-3 as a source for 12:34b-35 and, also seeing Thom. 44 adjacent to 45, (s)he was reminded of how Matthew had also used 44 as a source for Matt. 28:18-19. His/her thoughts thusly now on Matt. 28:18-19, (s)he was reminded of Matt. 28:20 and decided to use it as a source for line 7.

Mark Goodacre said...

Thanks for the comment, bulbul. I am seeing NAY in Watson's article, so it may be that the typo was corrected.

Richard Budelberger said...

Where can we find the first unrevised versions of Francis Watson’s papers (Sept. 20, 21, 22, 2012, revised Sept. 26) ? On http://markgoodacre.org/, Watson.pdf and Watson2.pdf are the same file, Watson1.pdf doesn’t exist.

Mark Goodacre said...

Hi Richard. I replaced the unrevised versions with the revised versions. There was never a Watson1.pdf; I labelled the three Watson, Watson2 and Watson3.

Richard Budelberger said...

I would have loved to read all Francis Watson’s versions : Watson1-1.pdf, Watson1-2.pdf, Watson2-1.pdf, etc. !