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Re: [GTh] An Interaction with Suciu & Lundhaug on GJW6

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  • steve oxbrow
    Poor spelling and grammar are not the preserve of the modern world, so we cannot dismiss any document just for these. Even the Greeks and Romans were as adept
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 27 10:58 PM
      Poor spelling and grammar are not the preserve of the modern world,
      so we cannot dismiss any document just for these. Even the Greeks
      and Romans were as adept at misusing the subjunctive as are we,
      for instance.

      [Steve Oxbrow]

      From: Mike Grondin <mwgrondin@...>
      To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday, 27 September 2012, 21:18
      Subject: [GTh] An Interaction with Suciu & Lundhaug on GJW6


      Pertinent to Andrew's latest note to the list, and mine immediately
      preceding, I had an interesting interaction with the blog of Alin
      Suciu and Hugo Lundhaug yesterday and today. (These names
      are new to me, but they're apparently expert Coptologists whose
      recent blog entries on GJW have been noted not only by James
      McGrath on his blog, but also Hany Takla on Facebook.)
      Anyway, the story goes that I followed a McGrath link yesterday
      to the Suciu/Lundhaug blog-entry of the day, titled "On the
      So-Called Gospel of Jesus' Wife. Some Preliminary Thoughts".
      What struck me particularly was the following:
      > The only line with no apparent parallal to Gos.Thom. was,
      > recently,  line 6. However, Oli Homron [in comment on Mark
      > Goodacre's blog], Andrew Bernhard, and Paivi Vahakangas
      > realized, independent from each other, that this line also goes
      > back to material from the Gos.Thom. Rather than
      refer to people
      > "swelling up" using the term [shafe], which is not attested
      > in the Gospel of Thomas and sounds quite unusual, line 6 can
      > fact also be explained on the basis of this text, namely as a
      > attempt to adapt words and phrases from Gos.Thom.
      > In this case, [shafene] could simply be a spelling mistake for
      > [shafeine], and the one who transcribed the text may have tried
      > to write "Let evil people bring [...]", based on ...
      Gos.Thom. 41.1-3
      > "a wicked man brings forth bad things from his evil storehouse."
      > The result, if we emend the text accordingly, is, however,
      > ungrammatical, and would never appear in a genuine manuscript.
      Picking up on the last sentence above, I put the following comment
      on the Suciu/Lundhaug blog:
      > If ‘shaf.eine’ is what was intended on line 6, would the result actually
      > be ungrammatical? Could the prefix ‘mare’ at the beginning of the line
      > not be read as a negation, as it is in Th31.2 (‘no physician’), 33.2 (‘no one’),
      > 47.3 (‘no man/person’), and 76.3 (‘no moth … no worms’), so that the line
      > could read ‘No man who is wicked brings …’? Sounds OK in English, but
      > perhaps it’s impossible in Coptic?
      I had expected a response, but not that Suciu/Lundhaug would make
      my question the focus of a whole new blog entry. But they did just
      that today (nicely linking to my website):
      Although they still think that the line is ungrammatical (not sure
      why), they're now persuaded that the 'mare' at the beginning of
      GJW6 was intended to be negation (i.e., 'no', not 'let'). This makes
      'shaf-' more probable than the infinitive 'shafe', thus removing what
      had been perhaps the major impediment to parsing GJW in terms
      of Gos.Thom. I'm quite gratified that this suggestion, which only
      occurred to me yesterday, upon thinking through Andrew's linkage
      of the 'mare-' phrase to Th41.17, has been found persuasive by
      competent Coptologists (of which I'm not one, BTW). In fact,
      S&L consider the negative use of 'mare-' as a variant of 'mere-'
      to be a "peculiar" dialectical feature of Gos.Thom. (a fact I hadn't
      been aware of) and that this thus strengthens the connection.
      Mike Grondin

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