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Re: [GTh] Recent Entries in Judy's Blog

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  • Dave Hindley
    Mike, I am detecting the unsettling creep of ideology in Hedrick, Charles W., _Unlocking the Secrets of the Gospel According to Thomas: A Radical Faith for a
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 2, 2012
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      Mike,

      I am detecting the unsettling creep of ideology in Hedrick, Charles W.,
      _Unlocking the Secrets of the Gospel According to Thomas: A Radical Faith
      for a New Age". The very term "new age" is a red flag.

      "The translation he provides of the text uses gender neutral terms where
      possible" - Isn't gender neutrality used to adapt documents for worship
      purposes, rather than study them in depth?

      "[H]e translates the closing sentence of Saying 8 as "Better pay attention
      to this" rather than the more usual variants around "Let the one who has
      ears listen"" - Yet this turn of phrase becomes important for evaluating
      whether Thomas has a relation to the Synoptics (Mt & Mk both use it 3x, and
      Luke twice), not to mention possible relations to passages in Judean
      scriptures.*

      "[He] uses the term “imperial rule” rather than the familiar "kingdom."" -
      "Kingdom" has many shades of meaning. It refers to rulers of kingdoms small
      and large. Yes, the ruler of the Roman Empire is often referred to as the
      king, but is an empire what the author of Thomas implies to his readers?
      Using "imperial rule" reads something into the text.

      "I [Judy] am not so sure about his decision not to include the "Jesus says"
      at the beginning of each saying." - Judy mentions later in the review that
      "Hedrick considers that only a small percentage of the sayings in Thomas
      actually originated with the historical Jesus – most of them represent the
      work of Jesus’ followers at various times and in various places (p 8)." I
      think that right there is why he has omitted "Jesus says."

      Isn't this the kind of translation that folks complained about in the early
      20th century's "New Criiticism?"

      Dave Hindley

      *For instance:

      Deuteronomy 29:4 Yet the Lord God has not given you a heart to know, and
      eyes to see, and ears to hear, until this day. (Brenton)

      Isaiah 30:21 and thine ears shall hear the words of them that went after
      thee to lead thee astray, who say, This is the way, let us walk in it,
      whether to the right or to the left. (Brenton)

      Ezekiel 12:2 Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of the iniquities of
      those, who have eyes to see, and see not; and have ears to hear, and hear
      not: because it is a provoking house. (Brenton)

      Ezekiel 40:4 And the man said to me, Look with thine eyes at him whom thou
      hast seen, son of man, and hear with thine ears, and lay up in thine heart
      all things that I show thee; for thou hast come in hither that I might show
      thee, and thou shalt show all things that thou seest to the house of
      Israel. (Brenton)

      Original Message

      From: Mike Grondin
      Sent: Saturday, June 02, 2012 2:11 AM
      To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [GTh] Recent Entries in Judy's Blog

      Two recent entries in Judy Redman's blog are recommended reading, if y'all
      haven't
      done so already. The titles indicating the contents are in the URL's (the
      '2' in the first
      URL is nothing more than the result of a premature posting later made
      complete):

      (http://judyredman.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/hedricks-commentary-on-thomas-2/
      http://judyredman.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/recent-commentaries-on-the-gospel-of-thomas/

      Mike G.




      Dave Hindley
      Newton Falls, Ohio, USA
    • Judy Redman
      [Judy:] Dave Hindley writes: Mike, I am detecting the unsettling creep of ideology in Hedrick, Charles W., _Unlocking the Secrets of the Gospel According to
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 2, 2012
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        [Judy:] Dave Hindley writes:

        Mike,

        I am detecting the unsettling creep of ideology in Hedrick, Charles W.,
        _Unlocking the Secrets of the Gospel According to Thomas: A Radical Faith
        for a New Age". The very term "new age" is a red flag.

        "The translation he provides of the text uses gender neutral terms where
        possible" - Isn't gender neutrality used to adapt documents for worship
        purposes, rather than study them in depth?

        [Judy:] Dave,

         

        Hedrick does not pretend that he is writing a commentary for the purposes of in depth scholarly study. He is rather aiming at something that will help the educated lay person to get some sense of the content.


        "[H]e translates the closing sentence of Saying 8 as "Better pay attention
        to this" rather than the more usual variants around "Let the one who has
        ears listen"" - Yet this turn of phrase becomes important for evaluating
        whether Thomas has a relation to the Synoptics (Mt & Mk both use it 3x, and
        Luke twice), not to mention possible relations to passages in Judean
        scriptures.*

        [Judy:] Yes – but you wouldn’t normally do this on the basis of English translations of the texts.



        "[He] uses the term “imperial rule” rather than the familiar "kingdom."" -
        "Kingdom" has many shades of meaning. It refers to rulers of kingdoms small
        and large. Yes, the ruler of the Roman Empire is often referred to as the
        king, but is an empire what the author of Thomas implies to his readers?
        Using "imperial rule" reads something into the text.

        [Judy:] Actually, in all the cases that I am looking at (the parables of the ‘kingdom’), the tense used is the second present, which places the focus on the action rather than the subject, so to translate it as rule/reign gives a better sense of the Coptic than to use kingdom which implies a place. I can’t speak for the other places where kingdom is used because I haven’t looked at them, but you prompt me to do so.



        "I [Judy] am not so sure about his decision not to include the "Jesus says"
        at the beginning of each saying." - Judy mentions later in the review that
        "Hedrick considers that only a small percentage of the sayings in Thomas
        actually originated with the historical Jesus – most of them represent the
        work of Jesus’ followers at various times and in various places (p 8)." I
        think that right there is why he has omitted "Jesus says."

        Isn't this the kind of translation that folks complained about in the early
        20th century's "New Criiticism?"

        [Judy:] You could be right. it doesn’t sit comfortably with me.

         

        Judy



        __

      • Mike Grondin
        [Judy:] Actually, in all the cases that I am looking at (the parables of the ‘kingdom’), the tense used is the second present, which places the focus on
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 3, 2012
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          [Judy:] Actually, in all the cases that I am looking at (the parables of the ‘kingdom’), the tense
           used is the second present, which places the focus on the action rather than the subject, so
           to translate it as rule/reign gives a better sense of the Coptic than to use kingdom which implies
           a place. I can’t speak for the other places where kingdom is used because I haven’t looked at them,
           but you prompt me to do so.
           
          Sorry, Judy, but I can't follow the reasoning here. The verb in the parables you're talking
          about is 'compares' or 'is like' (ref: http://www.gospel-thomas.net/keywords/kingdom.htm), and yes,
          it's second present, but the verb is surely more of a comparison than an action verb. Since
          the comparand is usually a man or woman doing something, we have either 'the kingdom is
          like a woman who ...' or 'the rule/reign is like a woman who...'. I don't see how one gives
          a better sense than the other. Neither one makes much sense to me, even if we think of
          the kingdom as a group of believers rather than as a place.
           
          Regards,
          Mike
        • Judy Redman
          Mike responds to this: [Judy:] Actually, in all the cases that I am looking at (the parables of the ‘kingdom’), the tense used is the second present, which
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 3, 2012
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            Mike responds to this:

            [Judy:] Actually, in all the cases that I am looking at (the parables of the ‘kingdom’), the tense

             used is the second present, which places the focus on the action rather than the subject, so

             to translate it as rule/reign gives a better sense of the Coptic than to use kingdom which implies

             a place. I can’t speak for the other places where kingdom is used because I haven’t looked at them,

             but you prompt me to do so.

             

            Sorry, Judy, but I can't follow the reasoning here. The verb in the parables you're talking

            about is 'compares' or 'is like' (ref: http://www.gospel-thomas.net/keywords/kingdom.htm), and yes,

            it's second present, but the verb is surely more of a comparison than an action verb. Since

            the comparand is usually a man or woman doing something, we have either 'the kingdom is

            like a woman who ...' or 'the rule/reign is like a woman who...'. I don't see how one gives

            a better sense than the other. Neither one makes much sense to me, even if we think of

            the kingdom as a group of believers rather than as a place.

             

            [Judy:] Mike, the focus in 2 present is on the activity of the object of the verb ie not just ‘the kingdom is like a woman who…’, but ‘the kingdom is like a woman who does X’.

             

            Judy

          • Mike Grondin
            [Judy:] Actually, in all the cases that I am looking at (the parables of the ‘kingdom’), the tense used is the second present, which places the focus on
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 5, 2012
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              [Judy:] Actually, in all the cases that I am looking at (the parables of the ‘kingdom’), the tense 
              used is the second present, which places the focus on the action rather than the subject, so to
              translate it as rule/reign gives a better sense of the Coptic than to use kingdom which implies a place.
               
              [Judy:] Mike, the focus in 2 present is on the activity of the object of the verb ie not just
              ‘the kingdom is like a woman who…’, but ‘the kingdom is like a woman who does X’.
               
              OK, sure, but how is 'the reign [of the Father] is like a woman who does X' any better? Admittedly,
              a reign/rule is a different kind of thing than a kingdom, and so it would be natural in English to say
              certain things about a reign that would not be natural to say about a kingdom. We might say, for
              example, that Elizabeth's reign has been like a roller-coaster ride, but what could we say in the
              present tense that would be comparable to the kingdom sayings? Furthermore, how could we compare
              Elizabeth's reign to a woman doing something without implying that that woman is Elizabeth herself?
              Assuming then, that the men/women in the kingdom sayings aren't the Father, the switch to 'reign'
              would seem to accomplish little. To which I have to add that Lambdin's description of the second
              present in 24.1 of Intro doesn't seem to say what you are suggesting. That the main verb in these
              cases ('to be like') is intransitive and copulative further complicates the picture. Was the 2nd
              present commonly used in copulative structures?
               
              Mike
            • Bob Schacht
              ... Aren t we revisiting here the Jesus Seminar s debates on this subject? See, for example, The Five Gospels, Dictionary of Terms, p.544, for God s imperial
              Message 6 of 10 , Jun 5, 2012
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                At 10:51 AM 6/5/2012, Mike Grondin wrote:
                

                [Judy:] Actually, in all the cases that I am looking at (the parables of the ‘kingdom’), the tense
                used is the second present, which places the focus on the action rather than the subject, so to
                translate it as rule/reign gives a better sense of the Coptic than to use kingdom which implies a place.
                 
                [Judy:] Mike, the focus in 2 present is on the activity of the object of the verb ie not just
                ‘the kingdom is like a woman who…’, but ‘the kingdom is like a woman who does X’.
                 
                OK, sure, but how is 'the reign [of the Father] is like a woman who does X' any better? Admittedly,
                a reign/rule is a different kind of thing than a kingdom, and so it would be natural in English to say
                certain things about a reign that would not be natural to say about a kingdom. We might say, for
                example, that Elizabeth's reign has been like a roller-coaster ride, but what could we say in the
                present tense
                that would be comparable to the kingdom sayings? Furthermore, how could we compare
                Elizabeth's reign to a woman doing something without implying that that woman is Elizabeth herself?
                Assuming then, that the men/women in the kingdom sayings aren't the Father, the switch to 'reign'
                would seem to accomplish little. To which I have to add that Lambdin's description of the second
                present in 24.1 of Intro doesn't seem to say what you are suggesting. That the main verb in these
                cases ('to be like') is intransitive and copulative further complicates the picture. Was the 2nd
                present commonly used in copulative structures?
                 
                Mike
                Aren't we revisiting here the Jesus Seminar's debates on this subject? See, for example, The Five Gospels, Dictionary of Terms, p.544, for "God's imperial rule":
                "The translators of the Scholar's Version decided that 'Kingdom of God' was more appropriate to the age of King James I (1603-25) than to the twentieth century.  They wanted a term that had twentieth century overtones, with ominous nuances, since God's rule is absolute. 'Empire' seemed to be that term (one thinks of the Japanese empire, the British empire, and the Third Reich). However, some contexts require that a verb be employed, for which empire would not do. The happy solution was to combine 'empire' with 'rule': God's imperial rule was the result. When a place is called for,  the translators employ 'God's domain,' which echoes the term ''dominion,' another candidate to replace kingdom."
                See also discussions in the main text (pp. 40f, 136f.). When the issue arises in GTh, as in 22, 76, & 113, I see no commentaries on the differences between Coptic and Greek, although for Th 76, they do comment that GTh has "edited the parable slightly to accommodate his  disapproval of mercantilism." But no comments on Coptic grammar or syntax.

                The way I read this, the translators did not welcome God's imperial rule, but rather viewed it as ominous. How would Greek (or Coptic) readers/hearers have viewed this term?

                Bob Schacht
                Northern AZ University
              • Mike Grondin
                ... I don t think so, Bob. Judy s reason for preferring reign/rule in the Kingdom parables isn t the same as JSem s. But, BTW, the translators of the JSem
                Message 7 of 10 , Jun 5, 2012
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                  > Aren't we revisiting here the Jesus Seminar's debates on this subject?
                   
                  I don't think so, Bob. Judy's reason for preferring 'reign/rule' in the Kingdom
                  parables isn't the same as JSem's. But, BTW, the translators of the JSem version
                  (AKA the "Scholar's Version") of GThom (Meyer and Patterson) seem to have
                  only grudgingly yielded to their colleagues on this issue. I say that because the
                  translations that appear in their subsequent and non-JSem books use 'kingdom'.
                   
                  > When the issue arises in GTh, as in 22, 76, & 113, I see no
                  commentaries
                  > on the differences between Coptic and Greek, ...
                   
                  I wouldn't expect that in that book. But did you pick on these particular sayings
                  because they had canonical parallels? If so, you missed one where the difference
                  is stark : #96. Matt and Luke have "the kingdom is like leaven which a woman
                  took ...", while Thom has "the kingdom is like a woman. She took some leaven ..."
                  L96 is in fact the first of three consecutive sayings (L97 and 98 don't have parallels)
                  that evidence a unique tendency in GThom to compare the kingdom to a man or
                  woman doing something. For whatever reason it was written that way, it focuses
                  on the person using the leaven, rather than on the leaven itself. This isn't universal
                  throughout GThom (it still has the mustard seed), but it isn't uncommon either -
                  and you don't find it at all in the canonicals, AFAIK.
                   
                  > How would Greek (or Coptic) readers/hearers have viewed this
                  term?
                   
                  Probably depends on what kingdoms were brought to mind. Readers sympathetic
                  with Jewish history, e.g., would recall David and Solomon and probably think that
                  a divinely-ordained king of their own people (unlike King Herod) who ruled in the
                  right way would be a good thing. In any case, a "Kingdom of God" or "Kingdom
                  of the Father" would be something else entirely.
                   
                  Mike
                • Jack Kilmon
                  Hi Mike: Whether it’s the Gospel of Thomas or the Canonical Gospels, the sayings of Jesus have one linguistic root, Aramaic. There are two synonymous
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jun 6, 2012
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                    Hi Mike:
                        Whether it’s the Gospel of Thomas or the Canonical Gospels, the sayings of Jesus have one linguistic root, Aramaic.  There are two synonymous phrases used,  מלכותא דאלהא  and מלכותא דשׁמיא   . “Kingdom of God” and Kingdom of the Heavens.”  It implies that all of the heavens and the earth is God’s kingdom. The Tanakh mentions God as king on a number of occasions such as 1 Samuel 12:14 עָלֵינוּ וַיהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם מַלְכְּכֶֽם׃ , “..although YHWH your God was your King.”
                    The thought is preserved in the Lord’s prayer where in the Kingdom to come, the will of God would be done  איכנא דבשׁמיא אף בארעא  “as in the heavens, so  on earth.”  Heaven does not RULE!  It is ruled by the KING of the heavens and earth, God.  “Kingdom” is correct.
                     
                    Jack Kilmon
                    Houston, TX
                     
                     
                    Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2012 11:29 PM
                    Subject: Re: Kingdom vs. rule/reign Re: [GTh] Recent Entries in Judy's Blog
                     


                    > Aren't we revisiting here the Jesus Seminar's debates on this subject?
                     
                    I don't think so, Bob. Judy's reason for preferring 'reign/rule' in the Kingdom
                    parables isn't the same as JSem's. But, BTW, the translators of the JSem version
                    (AKA the "Scholar's Version") of GThom (Meyer and Patterson) seem to have
                    only grudgingly yielded to their colleagues on this issue. I say that because the
                    translations that appear in their subsequent and non-JSem books use 'kingdom'.
                     
                    > When the issue arises in GTh, as in 22, 76, & 113, I see no
                    commentaries
                    > on the differences between Coptic and Greek, ...
                     
                    I wouldn't expect that in that book. But did you pick on these particular sayings
                    because they had canonical parallels? If so, you missed one where the difference
                    is stark : #96. Matt and Luke have "the kingdom is like leaven which a woman
                    took ...", while Thom has "the kingdom is like a woman. She took some leaven ..."
                    L96 is in fact the first of three consecutive sayings (L97 and 98 don't have parallels)
                    that evidence a unique tendency in GThom to compare the kingdom to a man or
                    woman doing something. For whatever reason it was written that way, it focuses
                    on the person using the leaven, rather than on the leaven itself. This isn't universal
                    throughout GThom (it still has the mustard seed), but it isn't uncommon either -
                    and you don't find it at all in the canonicals, AFAIK.
                     
                    > How would Greek (or Coptic) readers/hearers have viewed this
                    term?
                     
                    Probably depends on what kingdoms were brought to mind. Readers sympathetic
                    with Jewish history, e.g., would recall David and Solomon and probably think that
                    a divinely-ordained king of their own people (unlike King Herod) who ruled in the
                    right way would be a good thing. In any case, a "Kingdom of God" or "Kingdom
                    of the Father" would be something else entirely.
                     
                    Mike
                  • chaptim45
                    Just got a new Kindle Touch and among the first books I downloaded was The Gospel of Thomas by Dr. Ann Nyland of New England, Australia. She chooses the word
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jun 21, 2012
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                      Just got a new Kindle Touch and among the first books I downloaded was "The Gospel of Thomas" by Dr. Ann Nyland of New England, Australia. 

                      She chooses the word "Realm" for mNtero/basileia.  Her comments about this are:

                      "The phrase often translated `Kingdom of God' is correctly the Realm where God's way of doing things happens, where God's will is exercised as God wishes"  --Dr. A. Nyland, "The Gospel of Thomas" 2011, loc 253.

                      Whether "correctly" translated or not, this is her opinion on the matter.

                      By the way, she also includes canonical parallels to the Gospel of Thomas from "The Source" which is her translation of the Bible. 

                      All of her comments and end-notes in "The Gospel of Thomas" are explanations of the text itself, as she considers herself more of a lexicographer than an theological expositor. 

                      Tim Staker

                      Indianapolis

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