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8254RE: [GTh] Re: Son of Man

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  • Judy Redman
    Oct 3, 2008
      > > I think that the problem here is that both translations
      > appear to be
      > > possible and even in regular use in particular places and times, so
      > > the reader needs to make decisions about which is the right
      > one in the
      > > particular context. Although I have not had time to look
      > at the texts
      > > in question, it would seem to me entirely possible that
      > Thomas might
      > > sometimes use it as a title and sometimes to indicate "a
      > human being".
      > If we're talking about 'p-rwme', then I think 'Man',
      > 'Humanity', 'Human beings', even 'the human being' are pretty
      > much interchangeable, but not '_a_ human being', which I
      > wouldn't use for that.

      I was actually thinking about son of man, but you're right. I don't think
      p-rwme can be *a* human being.

      > > And, of course, what we decide makes more sense in any
      > given context
      > > will depend on our particular understandings of what kind of text
      > > Thomas is - gnostic, mystic etc.
      > Oh, I don't know about that. I think one can make these
      > decisions based on thematic consistency with other sayings
      > whose meaning is pretty clear, without having any particular
      > understanding of what kind of text Thomas is.
      > At least, that's what I think I'm doing (:-)

      Sorry - what I was trying to say (I'm fighting a head cold and not thinking
      as clearly as I might) is that we bring particular assumptions about a text
      to the text and they influence how we translate it because, I think, they
      can influence what we see as pretty clear meanings. At the most general
      level, as was pointed out in the Thomas and Tatian thread, people who
      assume that Thomas is dependent tend to see as obvious that any verbatim
      bits demonstrate that Thomas follows the synoptics, when all that can really
      be said is that the passages are the same. I'm not accusing you of doing
      this, Mike, just saying that we need to be very careful to examine our
      preconceptions when we need to make choices about translation and, indeed,
      in deciding which passages are actually thematically consistent.

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