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5558Re: [GTh] Timelessness

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  • Michael Grondin
    May 13, 2003
      Mark Goodacre:
      > I think it sounds vaguer -- NOUB (gold piece) and WwM (tax, rent) in
      > Thomas over against KHNSOS (tribute money) and DENARION (denarius) in
      > Mark, but it's a close call.

      The tax/tribute distinction doesn't strike me as being a significant
      difference, because it may be accounted for by the vagaries of the languages
      involved, but NOUB/DENARION does - as well as other features of Th100 that
      make it more generic than the canonical versions (no mention of Caesar's
      image on the coin, e.g.), but also evidently with a different point to it
      (as per the additional "and give me what is mine" clause). So, yes, I'd
      agree that it's less historically-specific than the canonical versions.

      > This is a good point as far as the texts are concerned (Nag Hammadi &
      > Oxyrhynchus), though we don't know what the authograph(s) had, do we?
      > We wouldn't judge anything about Matthew's assumed intended audience
      > on the basis of nomina sacra in extant texts of Matthew, would we?

      In both cases, lack of knowledge of the autograph prevents us from drawing
      any conclusion about the autograph's intended audience, but the question I
      put to myself is about the possibility of a *conditional* judgement. That
      is, can we not say in general that IF ms X contains numerous Christian
      nomina sacra, then the intended READER of X would probably have been a
      Christian? The reason I use the word 'reader' rather than 'audience' is that
      it may be that the ms X in question was intended to be read aloud to an
      audience by a Christian reader - to whom the abbreviations would have been
      meaningful ex hypothesi, and who would presumably have "translated" them for
      his audience as he read. Put this way, I think the answer is affirmative -
      the reader of a ms containing nomina sacra would almost certainly have had
      to have been familiar with them. The "audience", however, need not have
      been - unless the reader *was* the audience (i.e., reading to and for
      himself).

      BTW, can you recommend any source on the use of nomina sacra in the extant
      canonical mss? I have the impression it was widespread, perhaps universal,
      but can't recall a definitive source on this (except for one that
      speculatively tied the use of nomina sacra to the development of the codex).
      Even (some of) the Greek reconstructions seem to ignore this syntactical
      device - routinely spelling out the entire word rather than the
      abbreviation.

      > Perhaps the term I am looking for is something like de-historicizing.
      > Does Thomas have a de-historicizing tendency?

      Yeah, I thought that might have been what you were after. And I'd agree that
      the answer is clearly "yes". We at least know from inference (Th13) that
      Peter and Matthew and Thomas were disciples of Jesus, but neither he nor
      they seem to have very much at all in common with "those Judaeans". How
      would you say this compares with Paul's de-historicizing tendencies?

      Regards,
      Mike
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