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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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