Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Misrepresenting Scholars

I haven't read Nicholas Perrin's Thomas, The Other Gospel, but I've certainly read (and reviewed) April DeConick's Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas which he criticizes. Judging from April's recent blog-citations (I, II, III, IV, V), it's evident that Perrin distorts her position at times. Have a look-see: it's pretty embarassing.

Though I disagree with April's theory about the way Thomas evolved, I really like her book. (I can't recall the last time reading something I so much wanted to be right but ultimately couldn't go along with.) But whether in agreement or disagreement, we need to be sure we're representing our dialogue partners accurately.

UPDATE: Mark Goodacre has a helpful review of Perrin's book.

UPDATE (II): Over on Mike Bird's Euangelion, Nick Perrin responds to April's objections. Perrin sticks to his guns.

2 Comments:

Blogger Paul said...

"The agglutinative process through which the Gospel of Thomas evolved was a process within the oral registry"

This sounds like it belongs with your previous post :)

5/23/2007  
Blogger Paul said...

FWIW,

I met Nick Perrin a couple of years ago. He did two night presentation on The DaVinci Code, of which I only saw the second part. The portion I saw dealt almost exclusively with Thomas. Perrin has done quite a lot of original research on Thomas and has fully persuaded me that a) Thomas used citations from the Syriac harmony of the gospels (I can't remember the name of that collection right now) and b) this means it could not have been written before 135.

Keeping this in mind it perhaps becomes a little clearer where these two scholars diverge and what the stakes are. Perrin (like me) is from the conservative presbyterian tradition and is interested in showing that some of the claims by recent scholars of very early rival versions of Jesus are not as subversive as they are made out to be.

Perrin, if you didn't know, also worked as a research assistant for Tom Wright for some time. Hope you get a chance to read him before too long.

5/23/2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home