The semester is moving along briskly already. I have been spending quite a bit of time prepping for the sole class I’m teaching, probably too much, as I should be working more on my dissertation prospectus and getting the prose rhythm article out. But that balance, as with any semester in the past, takes time to negotitate. I’m moving soon, too, which complicates things, even though I’m looking forward to the new venue.
I have been reading Helmut Koester’s Ancient Christian Gospels lately and I’ve had a difficult time with it. When my students were engaged this morning in a scavenger hunt for sources I’d prelocated over the weekend in the UofM library, I tried to keep reading, but it’s too Q-ish for me. Q, Q, Q, this driven hunt for primary sources is tiring. His unrelenting focus on how Thomas “preserves” the “original” versions of this or that pericope is so Q-laden that I was flipping my left hand about in protest while reading, and emitting various animal-like bleats, as involuntary responses. Just because Markian Priority is well-established doesn’t mean that the shortest version of every parable in Thomas represents the oldest and most primitive one; it is just as likely that the synoptic parallels in Thomas are a straight summarization of some synoptic material, stripped to the essentials via the tribulations of recollection. I’ll keep reading, but the pauses for complaining are getting more frequent.