On May 18, 2009 6:07 PM, jmgcormier <cobby@...
>Interesting that the "original editors" (???) of Coptic Thomas
>would seemingly find $WNE to be a probable corruption. Do we have
>irrefutable proof that the Nag Hammadi version of Thomas was not
>scribed by someone who may have known both Coptic and (say) Hebrew,
>Aramaic or perhaps even Greek ... and accordingly have meant
>"illness" ??? ... and perhaps more importantly that perhaps the
>"illness" and "pool" connection in Thomas is not somehow inspired
>from (say) the John 5.2 reference to the "illness" and "pool"
>connection in the healing of the paralytic ???? (Well, at least
>for us late daters who would embrace the idea that John preceeded Thomas ... )
By "original editors" I mean the scholars who first published the
Coptic text in the late 1950s.
The reason why scholars think the text is corrupt is that it does
not make sense as written -- a circumstance, by the way, that is
not uncommon among ancient manuscripts in general.
If you're interested in "irrefutable proof," then you probably
shouldn't be doing ancient history. We are often forced to make
judgments on evidence and arguments far short of "irrefutable proof."
I don't see how supposing a scribe's knowledge of Hebrew, Aramaic, or
Greek helps us with the problem that the "illness" reading does not
In John 5, the paralytic was in the pool, not in the illness. Aside
from the concepts of pool and illness, I don't see any connection between
Thomas 74 and John 5. Thus, the relative priority of John and Thomas
would not be helpful, here.
Stephen C. Carlson
Ph.D. student, Religion, Duke University
Author of The Gospel Hoax: Morton Smith's Invention of Secret Mark (Baylor, 2005)