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Re: [GTh] The Counts of Greek in Coptic Thomas

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  • Mike Grondin
    ... If you re talking about the numbers 5, 24, and 100, nothing other than what I ve said in the previous note. In a little book I have (Westcott, The Occult
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 28, 2012
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      [Tim]:
      > Will your publication be presenting theories for meaning of the
      numbers and
      > how that meaning connects to the theology/theologies in Thomas'
      Gospel?
       
      If you're talking about the numbers 5, 24, and 100, nothing other than what I've
      said in the previous note. In a little book I have (Westcott, The Occult Power
      of Numbers), it's claimed that the number 5 was called 'Didymus' "... because
      it divided the Decad into two equal parts," but Westcott's book isn't sufficiently
      scholarly to be cited. Certainly, the number 5 would have been associated with
      the number of fingers and toes (hence, metaphorically, with 'the hand of God'),
      but other than that, the only meaning that can be cited with any confidence about
      these numbers is how they are used in Coptic Thomas itself, or (in the case of 24),
      how they relate to the names of Jesus and Thomas (the latter being five times
      the value of the nominum sacrum IS, as you may recall.)

      > Also, have you found how the numerology in Thomas compares
      to
      > numerology in other traditions such as Gnostic, Hermetic and
      Pythagorean?
      No, because I can't find reputable information (the problem with Pythagoras
      being lack of source texts). However, if you or anyone else can point me to
      a good source for any of these traditions, I'd be most grateful.
       
      Regards,
      Mike G.
    • sarban
      ... From: Mike Grondin To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2012 7:58 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] The Counts of Greek in Coptic Thomas ... If you re
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 29, 2012
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        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2012 7:58 PM
        Subject: Re: [GTh] The Counts of Greek in Coptic Thomas

         

        [Tim]:
        > Will your publication be presenting theories for meaning of the numbers and
        > how that meaning connects to the theology/theologies in Thomas' Gospel?
         
        If you're talking about the numbers 5, 24, and 100, nothing other than what I've
        said in the previous note. In a little book I have (Westcott, The Occult Power
        of Numbers), it's claimed that the number 5 was called 'Didymus' "... because
        it divided the Decad into two equal parts," but Westcott's book isn't sufficiently
        scholarly to be cited. Certainly, the number 5 would have been associated with
        the number of fingers and toes (hence, metaphorically, with 'the hand of God'),
        but other than that, the only meaning that can be cited with any confidence about
        these numbers is how they are used in Coptic Thomas itself, or (in the case of 24),
        how they relate to the names of Jesus and Thomas (the latter being five times
        the value of the nominum sacrum IS, as you may recall.)

        Hi Mike
         
        From the Theology of Arithmetic attributed to Iamblichus translated by Robin Waterfield.
        page 74
         
        "And it [5] is called 'twin' because it divides in two the decad, which is otherwise indivisible"
         
        Andrew Criddle 
      • Mike Grondin
        ... Thanks for this, Andrew. Related to this thread also is the efffect that the limits of 500 Greek words and 2400 letters in those words would have had on
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 30, 2012
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          > From the Theology of Arithmetic attributed to Iamblichus translated by Robin Waterfield.
          "And it [5] is called 'twin' because it divides in two the decad, which is otherwise indivisible"
           
          Thanks for this, Andrew. Related to this thread also is the efffect that the limits of 500 Greek
          words and 2400 letters in those words would have had on the manuscript. I've previously
          noted that the fact that the introductory formula 'Jesus said' is missing from the Coptic of
          L27, but not from the Greek, may be explained by the necessity to restrict the instances
          of the holy name to 105. While that's true, an additional instance of 'IS' would also have
          thrown off the 500/2400 limits.
           
          Just yesterday, though, a new thought came to mind along those lines. As you may recall,
          there's also a missing introductory formula in L61 - the conversation between Salome
          and Jesus. At 61.4, after Jesus has said something, there's an interjection - "I am your
          disciple." The person who says it is apparently Salome, but there's no indication of that.
          Unfortunately, we don't have a Greek version of L61 to compare, but I think it's probable
          that the reason why Salome could not have been mentioned again in the Coptic version
          is that a second mention of her name would have thrown off the 500/2400 limits.
           
          But, it may be objected, why not just replace the Greek names (IS in L27, Salome in L61.4)
          in the introductory formulas with Coptic pronouns ('he said', 'she said')? That's an interesting
          question to which, unfortunately, I have no good answer. One possibility is that the number
          of total letters in the manuscript was also limited, and that it was felt to be preferable on
          the whole to eliminate the entire introductory phrases - perhaps because the letter-limits
          were imposed in the last phase of the preparation of the manuscript, and that the desire
          at that point was to minimize the number of places where changes had to be made. I do
          think that the number of total letters in the ms was basically limited to7x2400 (16800), but
          until it can be satisfactorily shown that the extra 50 or so letters in the manuscript were
          intended to be tossed aside, this remains just an intriguing possibility.
           
          Mike Grondin
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