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[GTh] Re: Greek Numbers and the Names of Jesus

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  • chaptim45
    ... Father. ... Interesting. Perhaps the sound of a sheep or the approximation used in Coptic. In Greek, I believe they used bh (= 28?) but that is far
    Message 1 of 22 , Feb 10, 2012
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      --- "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:

      > > Literally, "the sign of that which is their sound is: this is the
      Father."
      >
      > I don't know what to make of this, but it bears looking into.

      Interesting. Perhaps the sound of a sheep or the approximation used in
      Coptic. In Greek, I believe they used "bh" (= 28?) but that is far from 100.

      --- "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
      > Well, if you pass it along to anyone else, please attribute it to me,
      > since I was the one who discovered it. Hopefully, it'll be included
      > in a paper I've been trying to write for some time now.

      I look forward to your paper when it is published. And yes, I will keep your name attached to your work, as is appropriate.

      Tim Staker
      Chaplain, Indianapolis
    • Mike Grondin
      ... Well, BH isn t the number 28, or any number at all, actually. (A number can t have more than one letter from each tier.) 28 would be KH. As to numeric
      Message 2 of 22 , Feb 10, 2012
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        With respect to Grant's footnote in GosTruth:
        > Literally, "the sign of that which is their sound is: this is the
        Father."
        Tim writes:
        > Interesting. Perhaps the sound of a sheep or the approximation used
        in
        > Coptic. In Greek, I believe they used "bh" (= 28?) but that is far
        from 100.
        Well, BH isn't the number 28, or any number at all, actually. (A number can't
        have more than one letter from each tier.) 28 would be KH. As to numeric value,
        BH would have a value of 10 (2+8), which is suggestive, but so is the numeric
        value of BA (2+1=3). I looked into the Egyptian spirit named 'BA', but that doesn't
        seem to fit, so what I'm doing now is transcribing and translating the portion of
        GosTruth in question. I'll let you know when it's done, but at the moment it appears
        that what the author was trying to say wasn't that the number 100 represents the Father,
        but that the shepherd is the Father, and that the letters of the sheep-sound-word
        (whatever that is) somehow indicate that. (Hunch: if there's mention of a triune
        godhead in GosTruth, the sheep-sound-word is probably BA.)
         
        Thanks,
        Mike
      • Mike Grondin
        Hi Tim, Sorry to say I ve had to give up trying to untangle the GosTruth segment in question. I can see why the translations are different there. The only
        Message 3 of 22 , Feb 11, 2012
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          Hi Tim,
           
          Sorry to say I've had to give up trying to untangle the GosTruth segment
          in question. I can see why the translations are different there. The only
          thing that's clear to me is that GosTruth does have the standard Christian
          triune godhead - father, son, holy spirit. In the paragraph about the lost
          sheep, it seems to be talking about the Son as shepherd. What's confusing
          is that it talks about the sheep first, then it starts talking about counting.
          Just after it says that the count becomes 100, there's the sentence in question
          about the sign of some sound being somehow associated with 'the Father'.
          Is it going back to the sound of the sheep? Or is it talking about the sound
          of the number 100, which would presumably be that of the letter rho (R)?
           
          Knowing when I'm licked, I decided to take another crack at a spreadsheet
          showing the Greco-Coptic number system (there's one on my website,
          but it's complicated by the inclusion of font info). File now loaded to:
           
           
          See if this is helpful, and/or if there's any mistakes in it.
           
          Mike
        • chaptim45
          Mike, Looks like you were up late working on this. Kudos to you. ... starts talking about counting. ... question ... Father . TIM: Makes me wonder if it is
          Message 4 of 22 , Feb 12, 2012
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            Mike,

            Looks like you were up late working on this.  Kudos to you.

            "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:

            > What's confusing is that it talks about the sheep first, then it starts talking about counting.
            > Just after it says that the count becomes 100, there's the sentence in question
            > about the sign of some sound being somehow associated with 'the Father'.


            TIM:  Makes me wonder if it is an interpolation by a numerologist.


            > Is it going back to the sound of the sheep? Or is it talking about the sound
            > of the number 100, which would presumably be that of the letter rho (R)?


            TIM: And although "ba" in Greek makes 3, I am pretty sure Greeks thought of the sheep's sound was "bh" (as you indicated is 10). 
            Here's two examples that are often cited:

            o d' hliqios wsper probaton bh bh legwn badizei (The fool goes about like a sheep saying "bh bh") Cratinus Frg 43 (in Dionysalexandros)
            and
             thyein me mellei kai keleyei bh legwn badizein  (He is going to sacrifice me, and he tells me to say "bh")  Aristophanes Frg 642 

            Of course, there are lots of dissertations written to disprove the "bh" sound (which I think tells us more about the author than the actual material), but these are still two separate sources that allude to using the onomatopoeia for sheep.

            Another translation by Attride MacRae reads: "It is the sign of the one who is *in* their sound; it is the Father."  I put emphasis on the "in", because 10 fits in 100.  I don't have access to the Coptic right now, so you will have to check and see if this is a proper rendering.

            Also, maybe the "sound" may not literally be a noise, but represents something else. In the Gospel of Truth the word "sound" also means the spiritual aspect as opposed to a physical body.  In one place GTruth says,

            "When the Word appeared, the one that is within the heart of those who utter it - it is not a sound alone, but it became a body"


            "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
            > Knowing when I'm licked, I decided to take another crack at a spreadsheet
            > showing the Greco-Coptic number system (there's one on my website,
            > but it's complicated by the inclusion of font info). File now loaded to:
            >
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/files/GkNumSys.pdf
            >
            > See if this is helpful, and/or if there's any mistakes in it.
            > (also relevant: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/files/CopAsc1.gif)


            TIM: Looks really good to me!  I am assuming that episemon is the same as digamma. Thanks for all your work on the number system.

            Tim Staker
            Chaplain
            Indianapolis
          • Mike Grondin
            Hi Tim, Many thanks for the latest of your thoughtful responses on this topic. ... I agree with you on this now. In addition to the sources you cite, the vowel
            Message 5 of 22 , Feb 12, 2012
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              Hi Tim,
              Many thanks for the latest of your thoughtful responses on this topic.
               
              > ... although "ba" in Greek makes 3, I am pretty sure Greeks
              thought of
              > the sheep's sound was "bh" (as you indicated [has a value
              of] 10).
               
              I agree with you on this now. In addition to the sources you cite, the vowel in the sheep-
              sound (as I recall it) sounds more like the 'a' in 'bad' than in 'bah', and secondly, I seem
              to recall that Stephen Carlson discussed here some years back that the sound of eta had
              changed over the centuries, and so might have had that sound at that point in time.
               
              > Another translation, by [Attridge & MacRae?] reads: "It is the
              sign of the one who
              > is *in* their sound; it is the Father." I put emphasis on
              the "in", because 10 fits in 100.
               
              OK, but try this on for size:
                  1. The 'sign' of the sound BH is a letter representing 10 (the value of BH).
                  2. The letter representing 10 in Greek was 'I', so
                  3. ... 'I' is "the sign of the sound", but
                  4. ... in Roman numerals, 'I' represents the number one, and
                  5. ... the number one represents the Monad, i.e., 'the Father'.
               
              (Because of their historical situation, there can be little doubt that Coptic writers
              of the time were familiar with Latin as well as Greek.)
               
              > I don't have access to the Coptic right now, so you will have to
              check and see if this
              > [as above] is a proper rendering.
               
              Unfortunately, I'm not expert enough to unravel the sentence in question, but I can share
              the Coptic I looked at. Although I do happen to have the Facsimile Edition of Codex I,
              some of the letters are rather illegible, so it seemed best to go from what's shown in  
              Attridge's critical edition of Codex I. I don't have that book myself, but it's on Google
              Books, so I found the appropriate page and made an image of it. Now uploaded at:
               
              Here's the Google Books URL I used, which may or may not work for anyone else:
               
              [Mike]:
              >
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/files/GkNumSys.pdf
              > See if
              this is helpful, and/or if there's any mistakes in it.
              > (also relevant:
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/files/CopAsc1.gif)

              TIM:
              > Looks really good to me!  I am assuming that episemon is the
              same as digamma.
               
              Yep, and as I now learn, also 'wau' and 'stigma':
               
              Whereas it was originally called wau, its most common appellation in classical Greek is digamma,
              while in its numeral function it was called episēmon during the Byzantine era. Today the numeral
              sign is often called stigma, after the value of a Byzantine Greek ligature ... which shares the same
              shape and was used as a textual ligature in Greek print until the 19th century.
               
              > Thanks for all your work on the number system.
               
              Well, I won't say that it hasn't been tedious at times, making charts and all,
              but it's satisfying in the end, because it feels like something that needs doing.
               
              Regards,
              Mike
            • Stephen Carlson
              ... Yes, according to W. Sidney Allen s study of Greek pronunciation, the sound of eta evolved over the centuries, from the vowel in English bad (pre-6th
              Message 6 of 22 , Feb 12, 2012
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                On Sun, Feb 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM, Mike Grondin <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
                > ... although "ba" in Greek makes 3, I am pretty sure Greeks thought of
                > the sheep's sound was "bh" (as you indicated [has a value of] 10).
                 
                I agree with you on this now. In addition to the sources you cite, the vowel in the sheep-
                sound (as I recall it) sounds more like the 'a' in 'bad' than in 'bah', and secondly, I seem
                to recall that Stephen Carlson discussed here some years back that the sound of eta had
                changed over the centuries, and so might have had that sound at that point in time.

                Yes, according to W. Sidney Allen's study of Greek pronunciation, the sound of eta evolved over the centuries, from the vowel in English "bad" (pre-6th cen. BCE), to "bed" (5th cen. BCE) to "bade" (2nd ce, BCE) to "bead" (2nd cen. CE), its modern value.  Other researchers tend to push these changes earlier.
                 
                Stephen
                --
                Stephen C. Carlson
                Graduate Program in Religion
                Duke University
              • Bob Schacht
                ... Who among us has been around sheep (and lambs) very much? I used to be in proximity to them for much of my fieldwork, but that was decades ago. However, as
                Message 7 of 22 , Feb 12, 2012
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                  At 05:47 PM 2/12/2012, Stephen Carlson wrote:


                  On Sun, Feb 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM, Mike Grondin <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
                  > ... although "ba" in Greek makes 3, I am pretty sure Greeks thought of
                  > the sheep's sound was "bh" (as you indicated [has a value of] 10).
                   
                  I agree with you on this now. In addition to the sources you cite, the vowel in the sheep-
                  sound (as I recall it) sounds more like the 'a' in 'bad' than in 'bah', and secondly, I seem
                  to recall that Stephen Carlson discussed here some years back that the sound of eta had
                  changed over the centuries, and so might have had that sound at that point in time.


                  Yes, according to W. Sidney Allen's study of Greek pronunciation, the sound of eta evolved over the centuries, from the vowel in English "bad" (pre-6th cen. BCE), to "bed" (5th cen. BCE) to "bade" (2nd ce, BCE) to "bead" (2nd cen. CE), its modern value. ...

                  Who among us has been around sheep (and lambs) very much? I used to be in proximity to them for much of my fieldwork, but that was decades ago. However, as I recall the sound, one should not attempt to confine the bleating of sheep to just one vowel sound. I am pretty sure that I heard the 'a' as both bad and bah. The difference may have been in age, with lambs tending towards the 'a' in bad, but older sheep towards the 'a' in bah (would that be a "schwa", BTW?) The point being that it is OK for the metaphor if there is some ambiguity in the vowel quality. However, I should never be confused with an expert in sheep phonology.

                  Bob Schacht
                • Mike Grondin
                  Based on what Stephen and Bob wrote, BA is back in the picture. One thing we ve left out of account, though, is how the Copts would have pronounced the
                  Message 8 of 22 , Feb 12, 2012
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                    Based on what Stephen and Bob wrote, 'BA' is back in the picture. One thing
                    we've left out of account, though, is how the Copts would have pronounced
                    the letter-groups under consideration. According to both Layton's and Lambdin's
                    grammars (the latter with some hesitation), 'BH' would have been pronounced
                    <bay> in Coptic. They differ on how 'BA' would have been pronounced, but
                    both are within the range of a sheep-sound: according to Lambdin, it would
                    have sounded like <bah>, as in Greek, while for Layton the Coptic 'A' sound
                    was like the 'a' of 'bad'.
                     
                    Is it plausible that the author of GosTruth would have regarded 'the Father'
                    as triune? Seems so. On p.24 of Codex I, we find this (Attridge/MacRae tr.):
                     
                    "The Father reveals his bosom - Now his bosom is the Holy Spirit. -
                    He reveals what is hidden of him - what is hidden of him is his Son ..."
                     
                    Mike G.
                  • chaptim45
                    We ve been talking about Greek, but I ve also been trying to find the onomatapaeia for the sound of sheep in Coptic, which may be different than Greek. I
                    Message 9 of 22 , Feb 14, 2012
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                      We've been talking about Greek, but I've also been trying to find the onomatapaeia  for the sound of sheep in Coptic, which may be different than Greek.  I have not been successful. The closest I've come is the sound for a donkey. In a book on Apuleius' Golden Ass, I found a footnote that states that

                      `ia' or `io'  is Coptic onomatopoeia for hee haw. And `hwhw' was demotic for "bray".  (Source:  Auctor and Actor, by John J. Winkler, p315 footnote).

                      I just thought some folks would like to know.

                      As for the Gospel of Truth, I have to agree with Mike that the passage sure sounds trinitarian. 

                      I like the Gospel of Truth's version of the lost sheep because it includes the notion that the sheep fell into a pit, something that is not found in the parallel stories in the canonical gospels-- or in Thomas L107, where it would have fit very well with the idea of the shepherd having to "toil" to retrieve the wayward sheep.

                      Tim Staker

                      Chaplain, Indianapolis

                    • Bob Schacht
                      ... Have you ever heard a donkey bray? Sounds like a rusty and very loud water pump. I would render it somewhat like HAW--EE-HAW--EE--HAW...etc. The EE
                      Message 10 of 22 , Feb 14, 2012
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                        At 08:09 AM 2/14/2012, chaptim45 wrote:


                        We've been talking about Greek, but I've also been trying to find the onomatapaeia  for the sound of sheep in Coptic, which may be different than Greek.  I have not been successful. The closest I've come is the sound for a donkey. In a book on Apuleius' Golden Ass, I found a footnote that states that

                        `ia' or `io'  is Coptic onomatopoeia for hee haw. And `hwhw' was demotic for "bray".  (Source:  Auctor and Actor, by John J. Winkler, p315 footnote).
                        Have you ever heard a donkey bray? Sounds like a rusty and very loud water pump. I would render it somewhat like

                        HAW--EE-HAW--EE--HAW...etc. The "EE" sounded like it might have been on inhaling, while the HAW was on the exhale. On my first trip overseas, on my first archaeology dig, in the first week on site, I was awakened early one morning by that racket, but could not see the donkey in question. A caller on Click and Clack claimed it was the sound of an "amorous" donkey, but I never saw a donkey bray while engaged in amorous activity.

                        I seem to be becoming this list's expert on barnyard sounds. Surely some of you have equal or different or better experience!

                        Bob Schacht
                        Northern Arizona University


                        I just thought some folks would like to know.

                        As for the Gospel of Truth, I have to agree with Mike that the passage sure sounds trinitarian. 

                        I like the Gospel of Truth's version of the lost sheep because it includes the notion that the sheep fell into a pit, something that is not found in the parallel stories in the canonical gospels-- or in Thomas L107, where it would have fit very well with the idea of the shepherd having to "toil" to retrieve the wayward sheep.

                        Tim Staker

                        Chaplain, Indianapolis


                      • Mike Grondin
                        Hi Tim et al, How could we all have forgotten ABBA, the Aramaic word for father ? It appears three times* in the NT: Gal 4.6: ... because you are sons, God
                        Message 11 of 22 , Feb 14, 2012
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                          Hi Tim et al,
                           
                          How could we all have forgotten ABBA, the Aramaic word for 'father'?
                          It appears three times* in the NT:
                           
                          Gal 4.6:  "... because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his
                          Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!'"
                           
                          Rom 8.15: "... you have received a spirit of adoption as sons, by
                          which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!'"
                           
                          Mk 14.36: "And he was saying, 'Abba! Father! All things are possible for
                          you; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what you will.'"
                           
                          Seems to me not at all unlikely that this early Christian 'cry' was one of the
                          reasons for GosTruth connecting the sheep sound 'BA' to 'the Father' -
                          perhaps the major one. The numeric value of BA (3) would then have
                          served as reinforcing the validity of that connection in light of the Trinity.
                           
                          Mike Grondin
                          *translations my loose NASB; in each case, 'father' = PATHR (Coptic 'eiwt')
                        • Mike Grondin
                          Judging from lack of response, my last note on this thread appears to have satisfactorily concluded our inquiry into GosTruth. It really was quite
                          Message 12 of 22 , Feb 17, 2012
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                            Judging from lack of response, my last note on this thread appears to have
                            satisfactorily concluded our inquiry into GosTruth. It really was quite
                            extraordinary that we were able to delve beneath the text to get into the very
                            mind of the author! It was surely more difficult for us than it would have been
                            for the original readers, since they wouldn't have had the trouble we had
                            figuring out what the sheep sound was in their language. Would the word
                            'ABBA' also have readily occurred to them (as it didn't to us)? That's a
                            question that'll probably always remain a mystery.
                             
                            By stumbling on the correct interpretation of the sentence in question, we were also
                            able to do something we couldn't do from the Coptic alone, namely to determine
                            that the translation "This number [100] signifies the Father" is wrong. It was the
                            sheep-sound (BA), not the number 100, that "signifies the Father" (i.e., ABBA).
                             
                            As to the number 100, however, I've got a couple final notes. First, I've
                            to respond to some suggestions and add something I left out.
                             
                            Second, I've revised an image of L.100 originally posted back in July of
                            '09 in connection with the message below, but this time explicitly showing
                            how it can be transformed into a chiastic structure containing 100 letters:
                             
                            This latter may require some explanation. I've believed for some time that
                            the designers of Coptic Thomas arranged it so that (1) L.107 (the lost sheep)
                            would point to L.100, and (2) L.100 would have a structure appropriate to its
                            representing the beloved lost sheep. Back on 7/22/09, I posted this:
                             
                            This was followed by an interchange with Rick Hubbard:
                             
                            To what I wrote back then, I would now add another couple things:
                            (1) One of the reasons for believing that L.107 points to L.100 is that it would
                            have taken the reader (like the shepherd) some trouble to find L.100. The sayings
                            weren't numbered, so the reader would have had to do that.
                            (2) One thing I didn't notice until I put together the image of the transformed L.100
                            is that when the N is moved from the end of line 599 to the beginning of line 600,
                            line 600 then begins with NN which is a representation of the number 100 (50+50).
                             
                            Cheers to all,
                            Mike
                            *apropos another thread about Chris Skinner's new book, I notice that at the end
                            of msg 8872, I welcomed him to the list. He was just moving to Mount Olive, his
                            John-Thomas book (on which discussion ensued) then newly out.
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