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10893Two Fragments - Daily Activity

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  • Mike Grondin
    Apr 28, 2014
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      It's been a busy day today on the JWF front. I've spent most of the day
      adding links to www.gospel-thomas.net/x_gjw2.htm, responding to blogs
      and revising stuff. Some random notes:
      1. I may have mischaracterized April DeConick's blog entry of the day.
      At least the comment of Nicola Denzy Lewis (a contributor to the special
      Thomas issue of JSNT) seems to suggest so. True, a major part of
      DeConick's post is a series of questions about the case against the John
      fragment. But I think it's notable that this is the first time she's indicated
      a serious interest in the forgery issue. Furthermore, I think it's a good
      development that those already committed to the forgery position be
      challenged with questions and/or reasonable arguments from skeptics.
      Not that it's the fault of the forgery proponents that they've been talking
      mostly to themselves; it's the fault of other scholars who might disagree
      with them, but who've mostly stayed out of the fray.
      2. I could be wrong, but I get the impression that there's not been very
      much general media coverage since the initial splash of April 10th. That
      may change, as indicated by the piece in the weekly Standard today (linked
      from above page). It's notable for having the first reaction I can recall from
      Roger Bagnall.
      3. With respect to my response to Mark Goodacre, it might be pointed out
      that dittography (unintended repetition of material) is a recognized scribal
      phenomenon. True - and there is some in the Gospel of Philip, e.g., - but
      there are two factors that count against it occurring in the John fragment:
      (a) In general, the occurrence of dittography is relatively rare - which means
      that the probability of it occurring in such a small fragment is remote.
      (b) If the John fragment is authentic, it must be assumed that it was a highly-
      controlled copy of Qau (hence the matching line-breaks). This is not the
      typical environment and type of text in which dittography usually occurs.
      Finally, although I think that "we've never seen anything like this before" isn't
      sufficient reason to reject authenticity (heck, there's features of CGT that
      moderns haven't seen before), there do seem to be other factors which
      would count against any direct link in antiquity between Qau and any other
      (hypothetical) ms. that would have had the character of the John Fragment.
      What those are exactly I need to clarify in my own mind.
      Mike Grondin