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Re: [GTh] Layton's Translation of CWK

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  • Mike Grondin
    ... Obviously, the Greek fragment has a Greek word, not the English word attract . The latter is simply the meaning that Layton attaches to the Greek word.
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 10, 2012
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      In an earlier note on this thread, I wrote:
      > Layton translates L3.1 in parte as "If those who lead
      you
      > say to you..." but he has the following footnote: "The
      Greek
      > fragment (P.Oxy. 654) instead has 'attract'."
       
      Obviously, the Greek fragment has a Greek word, not the English
      word 'attract'. The latter is simply the meaning that Layton attaches
      to the Greek word. We've discussed the fact that this isn't the
      primary meaning of the word, and anyway that Layton uses it
      inconsistently, but now Tim Staker has drawn my attention to a 
      self-proclaimed mongrel translation that shows the consequences
      of Layton's mistaken footnote:
       
      There are actually two translations of L3 on this webpage. The first
      is simply Lambdin's NHL translation, so we'll ignore that one. The
      second (of the Greek fragments) is said to be "... a combination of
      thranslations [sic] by B.P. Grenfell and A.S. Hunt and Bentley Layton."
      Interestingly, however, the word used in 3.1 is 'attract', which isn't used
      by either Grenfell/Hunt or Layton! It appears in Layton's footnote,
      but not in his translation (see above). As for Grenfell/Hunt, they use
      the word 'draw'. (See below, p.15):
      (Thanks to Mark Goodacre for this link.)
       
      Indeed, the Grenfell/Hunt translation is so different from what's on the
      sacred.texts site, that it's fairly obvious that Craig Schenk (whoever he is)
      must have taken the bulk of his translation from Layton, with little if
      anything from Grenfell/Hunt.
       
      Cheers,
      Mike Grondin
    • Bob Schacht
      ... I m interested in the semantic range of the words involved, and what the author is trying to express. I think that perhaps attract is on target, but too
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 10, 2012
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        At 09:50 PM 8/3/2012, Mike Grondin wrote:


        ... Among the sayings he (Martin) quoted was L114. What caught my attention was
        the word 'attract' in "I am going to attract her to make her male."
        Curious about that, I went to see how Layton had translated the two
        other occurrences of the Coptic word swk
        (in L3 and L34).
        (see http://www.gospel-thomas.net/keywords/lead.htm)
         
        Layton translates L3.1 in parte as "If those who lead you say to you..."
        but he has the following footnote: "The Greek fragment (P.Oxy. 654)
        instead has 'attract'." Well, OK, but what does he do with that info?
        Nothing in L3.1, but he uses 'attract' in L114.2 when there isn't any
        POxy data to compare! In other words, where there's a POxy word
        that he thinks means 'attract' (L3.1), he doesn't translate it that way,
        but when there's no POxy evidence (L114.2), he does! There is again
        no POxy evidence for L34, but there he uses the word 'lead' ("If a blind
        person leads a blind person ..."), instead of 'attract'. It would seem, then,
        that consistency would demand that L114.2 be translated as 'lead' as well,
        especially as 'attract' has connotations that might easily be confusing.
         
        Does the Greek word in question actually mean 'attract'? Well, of course
        any word has a range of meanings, but in Andrew Bernhard's interlinear
        of the Greek fragments, the word in question (hELKONTES) is translated
        as 'pulling'. My linguistic sensitivities don't detect much difference
        between 'pull' and 'lead' -- or say 'draw', which is also sometimes used.
        But I do sense that the word 'attract' suggests a somewhat different dynamic
        between the two people involved than these other words do - perhaps a more
        active role for the one person and less active for the other? At any rate, such
        are the considerations that make me less than keen on 'attract' in L114.2
        (If anyone has some thoughts on the Greek word involved, come on in!)
         
        I'm interested in the semantic range of the words involved, and what the author is trying to express. I think that perhaps "attract" is on target, but too weak for what the author intends, which may be that the "attraction" is more compelling, persuasive, or seductive? Or is there another Greek word for those things? The sense of your quote sounds to me like an attempt to persuade or seduce, and "to make her male" does not sound like a voluntary association.

        Part of the issue here is agency. For example, "pull" implies that the object of attraction is not inert, but exerting some force on the follower. "Lead" is somewhat balanced in this regard, involving interaction by leader and follower. I might find an advertisement "attractive," but that doesn't mean that I'm going to buy what they're selling.

        Another example: Decades ago, my parents were considering joining a Baptist church with a preacher who some family members knew. But during the service, there was an altar call. The preacher was obviously trying to "lead," and some members found the call "attractive," because they answered it. However, my parents didn't like it, and never went back to that church.

        Bob Schacht
        Northern Arizona University
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