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3 years ago  ::  Mar 07, 2011 - 4:09PM #1
teilhard
Posts: 50,109
ALL Documents of EVERY Place and Time are TERRIBLY interesting Phenomena ...

Once written, revised, edited, and published, they inevitably take on a Cultural Virtual Life of their own and are generally IMPOSSIBLE to recall ...

Even if and when there are subsequent Rebuttals, Revisions, Rejoinders, and/or even outright Retractions, it remains that what The Author has Written ... The Author has Written ...

So ANY Document (of Significance) always invites careful Scrutiny, not only of The CONTENTS, but of The AUTHOR ...

WHO was/is (s)he ... WHY did (s)he write such-and-such-a-Thing, for what Purpose, with what obvious or secret Intent or Hope ... ???  WHEN was It Written ... ???  For WHOM was this particular Document created ... ???

These Questions become all the more DIFFICULT of course when the Document in Question is genuinely Ancient ... or even putatively so ... ANCIENT Authors didn't always ***sign*** and/or ***date*** their Writings ...

We have MANY Documents from Antiquity ... But not as many as we would LIKE ...
In our post-Modern world, we go out of our Way to ***delete*** Documents we don't WANT to be widely published or preserved for Posterity ... So the Paucity of clear "Document-ation" for a SINGULAR Figure like The Lord Jesus (The Christ) of Nazareth leaves some Inquirers frustrated or puzzled or dismissive ...

But The Documents we HAVE are The Documents we DO have ...

Now and then, we get "lucky," and something FABULOUS like "The Gnostic 'Gospel of Thomas'" shows up thanks to Archaeology and Studies of Non-Canonical and even Non-Faith-Based Documents shed SOME Light ... 

But the BOTTOM Line ... is that the Documents are PRECIOUS, especially when they're FEW, and any serious Student's DUTY to to be CAREFUL with Them ...
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