10768RE: [GTh] Latest from Peter Kirby
- Jan 12, 2014
Mike says about the naming of the books in the Nag Hammadi codices in conjunction with Peter Kirby’s Early Christian Writings website:
Most of the differences are due to Meyer's eschewing Greek words:
(1) 'Apocryphon' becomes 'Secret Book'
(2) 'Apocalypse' becomes 'Revelation'
(3) 'Sophia' becomes 'Wisdom' (something I've long favored), etc.
Overall, Meyer's names strike me as an improvement, but they do present
a problem. Not only do some of the long names differ from Robinson's,
but also the short names. ('Ap. John' becomes 'Scrt. Bk. John', e.g.). So
which name(s) does one use when one wants to refer to one of these 16
texts in scholarly work? Should we ignore either Robinson or Meyer, or
use both? Or doesn't it matter?
In one sense, I don’t think it matters as long as you are consistent about which you use and you state clearly at the outset of any writing which you are using. I agree with you that ‘wisdom’ makes more sense than ‘sophia’ here. I haven’t read most of the texts, so I am not sure which is the more accurate term for the content, but ‘apocalypse’ is a much more specific term than ‘revelation’. I know that the Christian biblical book of Revelation is a book about the end times and therefore technically an apocalypse, but a revelation does not have to concern the complete and final destruction of the world. I lean towards Thomas the Contender, simply because there are so many books attributed to Thomas that the addition of ‘contender’ makes it immediately obvious which one you are talking about. Possibly this would be a worthwhile question to ask in the Concordia Nag Hammadi seminar Facebook group to see whether Meyer’s names have gained much traction amongst the people who are working with the texts all the time.
Humanities and Social Sciences
University of New England
ARMIDALE NSW 2351
Mt. Clemens, MI
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