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10734Re: [GTh] GTh 21b

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  • George Duffy
    Nov 23, 2013
      Thanks Mike, that was helpful.  Just to be clear, I think that 21b is a separate saying from 21a.  They both have the word "owner" or "owners," and I suspect that an early editor believed, incorrectly in my opinion, that the second saying was an explanation for the first.

      As for the question at hand, I'm inclined to see the final line of 21b as something like:

       "... for the insufficiency which you anticipate, they will find." 

      Before I even considered the translation of XREIA, it seemed to me that the usual reading of this line made it somewhat redundant.  How many times do you need to hear about the threat?  Rather, I think that the word, "need" or "insufficiency," refers to a sense of loss in the mind of the "owner."  It makes the point that the "thief" is not an external threat, but an internal threat, analogous to the lion in GTh 7.

      To restate the saying:  The threat is real, "from the beginning of the world," so gird your loins, prepare yourself, for unless you do, you will be cleaned out.  But also know this, you cannot really be deficient.  You can only think you are deficient.  That thought of vulnerability therefore becomes the real problem, the real threat.  I suspect that something like that is going on here.  The irony of all this forces the reader/hearer to reconsider his own responsibility for experiencing loss.

      In support of that idea is GTh 67:  "Jesus said, 'If one who knows the all still feels a personal deficiency, he is completely deficient.'"

      Also in GTh 3b:  "... if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."

      My two cents anyway.

      George Duffy   

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