Home > E. Religion: palimpsest & reconstruction > Gospel of Thomas 3, a Reconstruction

Gospel of Thomas 3, a Reconstruction


For RT, the reconstruction of texts (which mostly involves textual criticism) is the discovery of inconsistencies and seams in a work. Sometimes a change in the text’s author can be determined through something hard to miss: for instance, a character is introduced in the story and never heard from again. But at its foundations, the art of reconstruction is about listening for an author’s voice and logic, subtle characteristics of a person’s writing that even the author may not be aware of. Close reading is a prerequisite, but pleasure in the author’s work is also important. Sometimes reconstruction takes a long time as the reader becomes familiar with the work; sometimes, as here, the reconstruction arrives all at once. In any case, here is RT’s reconstruction of one of Jesus’s sayings. And readers, please note: original text is in roman face, additions are in italic.

Saying 3. Jesus said, “Do not listen to those you have trusted. If they tell you, ‘Look, the Kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds will get there before you do. If they say, “Hey, the Kingdom is in the ocean,’ then the fish will swim into it first. And if they say, ‘The Kingdom is in the earth,’ the dead will get there before you. But I tell you that the Kingdom is the fire in your hearts, so that you may precede all others.

© Copyright, 2013, The Rag Tree


IllustrationThe Incredulity of St. Thomas; Malatia Gospel, 1267-1268. Author: Toros Roslin. WikiCmns; Public Domain.


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