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Re: [GTh] Two Blog Postings

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  • Bob Schacht
    Mike, Thanks for taking the time to write these capsule comments. Bob Schacht Northern Arizona University
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 2, 2012
      Mike,
      Thanks for taking the time to write these capsule comments.
      Bob Schacht
      Northern Arizona University

      At 10:16 AM 4/2/2012, Mike Grondin wrote:


      There may be other ways to keep abreast of biblioblogs in which one
      is interested, but the method I like best is to subscribe to them. This
      allows the receipt of complete postings through email, so that (1) I don't
      have to go anywhere or do anything to check on them, and (2) I get the
      whole posting, not just a snippet. As it turns out, three of my faves (Chris
      Skinner, Judy Redman, and Larry Hurtado) are all on Wordpress, which
      seems to make subscribing easier than other blog software. (You'll find
      a subscribe or "follow" button on each of these blogs).
      http://judyredman.wordpress.com
      http://pejeiesous.com (Chris Skinner)
      http://larryhurtado.wordpress.com
       
      Anyway, two of the above three have postings today, and I find both of
      them interesting. Judy is reviewing Simon Gathercole's new book, and
      today's installment is on SG's argument for Greek origin of Gos.Thom,
      with Judy presenting some good counter-arguments. The only thought
      that I have on the matter is that the prologue of Coptic Thomas uses the
      Syriac form of the name of Thomas, i.e., 'Didymos Judas Thomas',
      versus the Greek form 'Judas Thomas' in the P.Oxy. fragments. This fact,
      however, doesn't necessarily lead to any conclusion except the limited one
      that the Coptic designers were familiar with the Syriac form of the name.
      It doesn't mean, for example, that there was a Syriac version of Thomas.
       
      The other blog posting that I got thru email this morning was one by Larry
      Hurtado (who apparently is doing or has done a back-cover promo for Mark
      Goodacre's Thomas book, BTW). He examines what could be the earliest
      Christian graffito (no, I didn't know either that 'graffito' is the singular of
      'graffiti'). Interestingly (to me and Hurtado, anyway), it's clearly an example
      of gematria (or 'isopsephy'). It's a three-line inscription, as follows:
       
          ISOpsHphA ('of equal value/number')
          KURIOS  W  ('lord', '800')
          PISTIS     W  ('faith', '800')(cf: 'PISTIS SOPHIA' in NH library)
      http://larryhurtado.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/the-earliest-christian-graffito
       
      Two excerpts:
      The distinguishing centrality of these two Greek words in early Christian vocabulary
      (as well as the interest in 8 and multiples of 8) combine to prompt Bagnall�s judgment
      that the graffito �can only indicate a Christian character�
       
      (I wasn't aware of a scholarly work asserting a particular Christian interest in the
      number 8, but it makes sense, given that the resurrection supposedly occurred
      on the 8th day, and that the value of IHSOUS is 888. I've also noted previously
      that Luke changed the length of time before the Transfiguration scene from six
      to eight days.)
       
      Isopsephy was taken up by ancient Jews, and the Jewish practice is called �gematria�
      (from the Greek word �geometria�), and it is interesting that among our earliest literary
      examples are instances in NT writings that likely stem from Jewish-Christian authors: 
      the best-known one Revelation 13:18 and also (more subtly) Matthew 1:17 (alluding to
      the numerical value of �David� in Hebrew characters).  Roughly contemporary are instances
      in 3 Baruch and Sibylline Oracles 5, lines 12-51.  The second-century Christian text, Epistle
      of Barnabas
      , uses the technique in expounding the meaning of the 318 servants of Abraham



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    • cometkazie1@cox.net
      On Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 1:16 PM, Mike Grondin wrote: There may be other ways to keep abreast of biblioblogs in which one is interested, but the method I like
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 2, 2012
         


        On Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 1:16 PM, Mike Grondin wrote:

         

        There may be other ways to keep abreast of biblioblogs in which one
        is interested, but the method I like best is to subscribe to them.  This
        allows the receipt of complete postings through email, so that (1) I don't
        have to go anywhere or do anything to check on them, and (2) I get  the
        whole posting, not just a snippet. As it turns out, three of my faves  (Chris
        Skinner, Judy Redman, and Larry Hurtado) are all on Wordpress, which
        seems to make subscribing easier than other blog software. (You'll  find
        a subscribe or "follow" button on each of these blogs).

        I subscribe to a number of blogs using Google Reader.

        Via email may be better as you may save their copies.

        Tom Hickcox
      • Judy Redman
        Mike says: There may be other ways to keep abreast of biblioblogs in which one is interested, but the method I like best is to subscribe to them. This allows
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 2, 2012

          Mike says:

           

          There may be other ways to keep abreast of biblioblogs in which one

          is interested, but the method I like best is to subscribe to them. This

          allows the receipt of complete postings through email, so that (1) I don't

          have to go anywhere or do anything to check on them, and (2) I get the

          whole posting, not just a snippet.

          [Judy:] I like this method, too. It’s a pity that not all blogging software seems to allow it.

           

          Anyway, two of the above three have postings today, and I find both of

          them interesting. Judy is reviewing Simon Gathercole's new book, and

          today's installment is on SG's argument for Greek origin of Gos.Thom,

          with Judy presenting some good counter-arguments. The only thought

          that I have on the matter is that the prologue of Coptic Thomas uses the

          Syriac form of the name of Thomas, i.e., 'Didymos Judas Thomas',

          versus the Greek form 'Judas Thomas' in the P.Oxy. fragments. This fact,

          however, doesn't necessarily lead to any conclusion except the limited one

          that the Coptic designers were familiar with the Syriac form of the name.

          It doesn't mean, for example, that there was a Syriac version of Thomas.

           

          [Judy:] I haven’t read the arguments that the proponents for a Syriac or Aramaic version make recently, so they are not at the front of my mind. I plan to look at them once I’ve finished reading the book. I suspect that Simon doesn’t work his way through them all systematically, just those he wants to counter. The use of Didymos certainly says something about the milieu in which Coptic Thomas was composed.

           

          A general comment about the book for those contemplating buying it: Gathercole assumes that his readers will have a reasonable working knowledge not just of Greek and  Coptic but also of French and German. You can usually work out the gist of the material that he reproduces from his comments about it, but there are quite a number of passages of French and German that extend to several sentences which he doesn’t translate. There are several of these in each chapter and also (so far) one section in Italian. It is clearly aimed at the serious biblical scholar rather than the more generally well read, interested ‘lay’ person – the cost suggests this as well, of course. If you don’t read French and German, you would need to decide how well you tolerate this.

           

          Judy

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