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

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  • 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 1 of 22 , Feb 12, 2012
      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 2 of 22 , Feb 12, 2012
        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 3 of 22 , Feb 12, 2012
          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 4 of 22 , Feb 12, 2012
            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 5 of 22 , Feb 12, 2012
              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 6 of 22 , Feb 14, 2012

                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 7 of 22 , Feb 14, 2012
                  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 8 of 22 , Feb 14, 2012
                    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 9 of 22 , Feb 17, 2012
                      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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