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Re: Thoughts on GosThom

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  • Andrew Bernhard
    ... but I find virually NO parallels that indicate verbatim agreement... ... Sigh...I m teaching myself Coptic now...for now, I must take your word for it.
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 1, 1998
      > I would want to add one or two words to qualify what you say, though:
      > (1) The sample of Thomas that Oxyrhynchus gives us is not that large. That we
      > find some verbatim agreement in such a small sample may be striking.

      but I find virually NO parallels that indicate verbatim agreement...

      > (2) There are good cases of very close agreement in Coptic Thomas, one of the
      > best being Thom. 79a // Luke 11.27-28 on which I have recently written an
      > article (not published yet). It is something we thrashed out on Crosstalk a
      > while ago. I listed some of the other close agreements in the post to which I
      > referred, but the list is not exhaustive of course.

      Sigh...I'm teaching myself Coptic now...for now, I must take your word for it.
      Still, my inclination is that parallels in translation indicate nothing except that
      the scribe was familiar with the canonical gospels when he made the translation. I
      remember in my Greek last year, I was translating part of the birth story out of
      Luke. It also happened to be a text I have heard read in church every year at
      Christmas and as I sight translated, my translation sounded suspiciously like the
      RSV, without even the slightly effort or thought on my part.

      > (3) To talk about the log and speck example as "extremely questionable" is
      > too strong. Sribal harmonisation is a possibility, but we do not have enough
      > textual evidence to go on when studying Thomas. Should Thomasine independence
      > benefit from the lack of evidence or should limited Thomasine knowledge of the
      > Synoptics?

      Perhaps it is too strong. Regardless, we can't turn this into a question of: what
      would we think if we had more evidence? We don't know what we would think if we
      had more evidence, if we did, well, we'd have that evidence and would have to
      speculate about other evidence that we didn't have. In short, we can only work
      with what we have.

      > (4) Among the agreements that you do not find so convincing is P Oxy 654, 27-31
      > (Thom. 5) // Luke 8.17 etc. If I may quote from another earlier message
      > (http://www.egroups.com/list/crosstalk/1036.html):
      > Let me put it another way. Luke is re-writing Mark here and simply
      > changing the wording and structure a little. This is at least prima facie
      > Lukan redaction of Mark. Thomas contains the same wording -- eight words
      > verbatim, three of which agree with Luke against Mark. The natural
      > presumption in such cases is Thomasine dependence on Luke.

      The natural presumption ONLY IF we presume that there has to be some kind of
      dependence and to make such an assumption I have to see some kind of indication
      that it is justified and so far, I don't. Luke's redaction may have been only
      natural if Mark's phrase was awkward. If somebody came up to me and said "He ain't
      got a dog," I would naturally repeat the language that I understand, but am not
      accustomed to and say, "He does not have a dog." This is a three word difference,
      but it doesn't mean I had to borrow directly literarily from somebody who said what
      I said. I guess I don't agree with you that this minute change couldn't have
      resulted from oral transmission.

      In summary, I still maintain that the only parallel that is significant enough to
      possibly suggest dependence is POxy 1.1-4...and that doesn't meet my standards of
      establishing a pattern.

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