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

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  • 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 1 of 7 , Apr 30 10:09 AM
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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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