Friday, October 26, 2007

An SBL Paper: Thomas and Tatian re-evaluated

Some of my readers who are going to be attending SBL may be interested in this session. The paper is part of a 'panel' in the session in memory of Bill Petersen (1 p.m. on 18 Nov) so the title and abstract have not been publicized.

Peter Williams, Warden, Tyndale House, Cambridge

The Relationship between Thomas and Tatian:
An Evaluation of a Recent Theory

It was William L. Petersenís Doktorvater who originated serious discussion of the relationship between the Diatessaron and the Gospel of Thomas. This relationship has been highlighted recently by Nicholas Perrin in his books Thomas and Tatian (2002) and Thomas, the Other Gospel (2007). Perrin proposes that Thomas was originally written in Syriac and that a series of catchwords runs through Thomas when one translates it back into Syriac. A representative sample of these catchwords is investigated and it is found that they provide no basis for the view that Thomas was composed in Syriac. Therefore the likelihood that Thomas used Tatianís Diatessaron is greatly diminished.

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