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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 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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