Andrew Bernhard has posted an interview that he and Mike Grondin conducted with Christopher Skinner about his new book John and Thomas: Gospels in Conflict? (Wipf & Stock, 2009) on his gospels.net site. I’ve read the interview, but not the book – one of the downsides of doing graduate study part time is that you have to choose what you read and none of the texts that I’m looking at for my research appear in John. The interview, not surprisingly, concentrates on the relationship between the two gospels, something on which I have no considered opinion. Skinner’s response to the first question in the interview, however, makes a great deal of sense. The question is:
You point out in your book that questions about the Gospel of Thomas’s date of origin, relationship to the canonical gospels, and theology seem to have been inextricably linked in modern scholarship (either the text is treated as early, literarily independent, and non-gnostic OR late, literarily dependent, and gnostic). However, you clearly indicate your dissatisfaction with this situation by writing, “an awareness of this trend in previous scholarship points to the present need for careful examination of each question on its own terms.” Why do you feel it’s so important to treat each of these questions individually? And do you think that’s realistic?
The answer you can read on Andrew’s site.
In the interview that Skinner interacts reasonably significantly with the work of April DeConick, Elaine Pagels and Gregory Riley. April has posted a clarification of her position on her Forbidden Gospels site.
Two further notes about this book:
- Discussion about the book with Dr. Skinner is ongoing on the Gospel of Thomas e-list, and all are invited to participate. You will need to join the list in order to do so and you will be requested to give a reason for wanting to join. An interest in the discussion would be deemed an appropriate reason. 🙂
- Wipf & Stock have agreed to give a 40% discount to on-line purchasers who have visited Andrew’s site, so if this is an area of interest to you and you’re in the market for a copy of the book, head right over and find out what you need to do.