107 The Lost Sheep
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(1) GThom. 107
(2) 1 or 2 Q (?): Luke 15:3-7 = Matt 18:12-14
Stratum: I (30-60 CE)
Common Sayings Tradition: Yes
(1) GThom 107
Jesus said, The (Father's) imperial rule is like a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. 2One of them, the largest, went astray. He left the ninety-nine and looked for the one until he found it. 3After he had toiled, he said to the sheep, "I love you more than the ninety-nine." Complete Gospels
(2) Luke 15:3-7
So he told them this parable: 4 "Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
= Matt 18:12-14
What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
John Dominic Crossan
Crossan Historical Jesus, (350f) observes that the "same theme of clash and choice, challenge and response" is to be found in the following three parables: 071 The Fishnet [1/2], 075 The Harvest Time [1/2], and 107 The Lost Sheep [1/2]. He then comments:
Nothing could illustrate more clearly the problem of deciding original materials even within the first stratum. Jesus could use a more or less proverbial or parabolic image that is radical only in its application, namely, that his vision, his message, or his challenge is as obvious, ordinary, or necessary as this or that action. It is as clear as a fisherman choosing the better fish or a harvester choosing the right moment to begin reaping. But the transmission could just as easily interpret common sense as sapiential mystery hidden from the dawn of creation or eschatological secret to be revealed at the imminent eschaton. Jesus, like all the Cynics, would claim that their life was simply the wisdom of common sense open to all with eyes to see and ears to hear.
The views of the Seminar on this item can be represented as follows:
- Thom 107
- Thom 107
- Luke 15:4-6
- Matt 18:12-13
This voting data reflects the deiberations at both the 1986 sessions: Notre Dame and University of Redlands, CA.
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