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[gthomas] Re: "Jesus Says"

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  • Mark Goodacre
    ... Yes -- that struck me too. I can t help thinking that it draws attention to a major distinction between the canonicals and Thomas, that they all blatantly
    Message 1 of 12 , Jun 16, 1999
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      On 16 Jun 99, at 9:57, odell mcguire wrote:

      > I haven't read Bethge, but on firsst reading of the Oxyrhynchus fragments
      > I was struck by authors use of LEGEI instead of EIPON and wondered if the
      > the Coptic could possibly be ambiguous. I hope the change sticks. After
      > all, these are purported to be the words of >the living one<.

      Yes -- that struck me too. I can't help thinking that it draws attention to a major
      distinction between the canonicals and Thomas, that they all blatantly historicise,
      grounding everything in specific times and locations, whereas Thomas does this
      only marginally, e.g. the Salome dialogue. There are of course no concrete
      geographical locations in Thomas at all.
      >
      > By the way, I am now working with Huck/Greeven's retranslations which you
      > put me onto, but haven't yet located a copy of Alland/Bethge's most recent
      > edition. Could SQE 15 be the same thing?

      Yes; sorry. Bethge is the author of the appendix in the 15th edition of the
      Synopsis Quattuor Evangeliorum (ed. Kurt Aland). For at least a catalogue
      listing, see the URL in my earlier message. I am amazed that it is clearly so
      difficult to track down in the States.

      Mark
      --------------------------------------
      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
      University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
      Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

      http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
      New Testament Web Resources
      Mark Without Q
      Aseneth Home Page

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    • Patterson, Steve
      Dear Thomas Folk: Re: the SQE 15 and the GTH that appears there... Jim Robinson and I consulted with the berlin group late in the process of producing their
      Message 2 of 12 , Jun 16, 1999
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        Dear Thomas Folk:
        Re: the SQE 15 and the GTH that appears there...

        Jim Robinson and I consulted with the berlin group late in the process of
        producing their text and translation, primarily on issues involving the ET.
        On "Jesus says"... Yes, this decision has to do with the designation of the
        collection as coming from "the living Jesus." The historical interest of
        the document seems to be minimal. On the translation in general... The SQE
        15 had some rather gruesome translational problems in the ET (e.g. in GTh
        114 Peter is heard to say of Mary, "I will drag her to make her male"),
        which Jim and I, together finally with Hans-Martin Schenke, tried to clear
        up. The final product will appear in SQE 16. In the meantime, we have,
        together with Bethge, published this ET in a volume entitled The Fifth
        Gospel: The Gospel of Thomas Comes of Age (Trinity, 1998). It is available
        from Amazon.com. This might be easier than accessing a SQE 15, which in any
        event has a deficient ET.

        -----Original Message-----
        From: odell mcguire [mailto:omcguire@...]
        Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 1999 4:58 AM
        To: M.S.Goodacre@...
        Cc: GThomas@egroups.com
        Subject: [gthomas] Re: "Jesus Says"




        Mark Goodacre wrote:

        > While we are on the topic of Bethge's edition of Thomas in the SQE 15th
        > edition, perhaps I may raise a question about one interesting element in
        it. In
        > almost all of the logia, PExE IC is translated not (as usual) "Jesus said"
        but
        > "Jesus says" (and "Jesus spricht" in the German). It gives the Gospel a
        really
        > interesting, less historicising feeling. On the first occasion that the
        translation is
        > used, there is a note:
        > 
        > "the verb can also be expressed in its past tense. When Logia appear
        without a
        > narrative framework, a translation in the present tense is preferable."
        (p. 519, n.
        > 4).
        >
        > Any comments?
        >
        > Mark
        >

        I haven't read Bethge, but on firsst reading of the Oxyrhynchus fragments I
        was struck by
        authors use of LEGEI instead of EIPON and wondered if the the Coptic could
        possibly be
        ambiguous. I hope the change sticks. After all, these are purported to be
        the words of
        >the living one<.

        By the way, I am now working with Huck/Greeven's retranslations which you
        put me onto, but
        haven't yet located a copy of Alland/Bethge's most recent edition. Could SQE
        15 be the
        same thing?

        Odell, Lexington, VA
        omcguire@...


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      • Andrew Bernhard
        Before reading too much into the Greek present tense, legei, one should consider the following; 1. The Greek fragments do use the past tense eipen in the
        Message 3 of 12 , Jun 16, 1999
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          Before reading too much into the Greek present tense, legei, one should
          consider the following;

          1. The Greek fragments do use the past tense eipen in the prologue -
          "These are the hidden saying that the the living Jesus spoke (eipen)."

          2. It is not only Jesus who speaks (legei) in the present tense in the
          Greek fragments, but also his disciples. In saying 37 (POxy
          655.col.i.17), "His disciples say (legousin) to him..."

          3. The Coptic has the past tense - I'm no expert in Coptic but I can
          appeal to the authority of Fitzmeyer. See his comments on POxy 654.5
          for a discussion of this very issue.

          In short, I'm saying that I think the "legei" is the historical present
          and thus should probably be rendered into English as "Jesus said" to
          avoid leading people to unjustified interpretations. However, it should
          also be noted that the edition of the Greek Fragments of Thomas found in
          Kloppenborg, Meyer, Patterson, and Steinhauser's _Q-Thomas Reader_ has
          elected to translate Ihsous legei with "Jesus says."

          Best wishes,
          Andrew

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        • Andrew Bernhard
          Dear Professor Patterson, I have a question about the translation of the Gospel of Thomas in _The Fifth Gospel_. Why is the Coptic pege ( said ) translated as
          Message 4 of 12 , Jun 16, 1999
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            Dear Professor Patterson,

            I have a question about the translation of the Gospel of Thomas in _The
            Fifth Gospel_. Why is the Coptic pege ("said") translated as the past
            tense "said" twice in saying 37, but translated as the present tense
            "says" elsewhere throughout the text (e.g. saying 38, 39, 40, etc.)?

            Thanks,
            Andrew Bernhard

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          • Mike Grondin
            ... ... wherein #114 reads I will draw her in... (said by Jesus, not Peter). But why not simply I will lead her... ? Nothing gruesome about that. Of course,
            Message 5 of 12 , Jun 16, 1999
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              Steve Patterson writes (or wrote):

              > On the translation in general... The SQE
              >15 had some rather gruesome translational problems in the ET (e.g. in GTh
              >114 Peter is heard to say of Mary, "I will drag her to make her male"),
              >which Jim and I, together finally with Hans-Martin Schenke, tried to clear
              >up. The final product will appear in SQE 16. In the meantime, we have,
              >together with Bethge, published this ET in a volume entitled The Fifth
              >Gospel: The Gospel of Thomas Comes of Age (Trinity, 1998). ...

              ... wherein #114 reads "I will draw her in..." (said by Jesus, not Peter).
              But why not simply "I will lead her..."? Nothing gruesome about that. Of
              course, 'SOK' CAN mean 'draw' or 'pull in', as in #8. But it can also mean
              'lead', as in #3 and #34 (leading a blind man). Why should #114 have been
              so difficult, when there seems to have been no corresponding difficulty
              with the same verb in #3 and #34?

              Mike
              ------------------------------------
              The Coptic GThomas, saying-by-saying
              http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm

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            • odell mcguire
              ... Andrew, I agree with much of what you say and it needed saying. But I still think IH- LEGEI is better translated Jesus says
              Message 6 of 12 , Jun 17, 1999
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                Andrew Bernhard wrote:

                > Before reading too much into the Greek present tense, legei, one should
                > consider the following;
                >
                > 1. The Greek fragments do use the past tense eipen in the prologue -
                > "These are the hidden saying that the the living Jesus spoke (eipen)."
                >
                > 2. It is not only Jesus who speaks (legei) in the present tense in the
                > Greek fragments, but also his disciples. In saying 37 (POxy
                > 655.col.i.17), "His disciples say (legousin) to him..."
                >
                > 3. The Coptic has the past tense - I'm no expert in Coptic but I can
                > appeal to the authority of Fitzmeyer. See his comments on POxy 654.5
                > for a discussion of this very issue.
                >
                > In short, I'm saying that I think the "legei" is the historical present
                > and thus should probably be rendered into English as "Jesus said" to
                > avoid leading people to unjustified interpretations. However, it should
                > also be noted that the edition of the Greek Fragments of Thomas found in
                > Kloppenborg, Meyer, Patterson, and Steinhauser's _Q-Thomas Reader_ has
                > elected to translate Ihsous legei with "Jesus says."
                >
                > Best wishes,
                > Andrew
                >
                > ------------------------------------------------------------------------

                Andrew,

                I agree with much of what you say and it needed saying. But I still think
                IH- LEGEI is better translated >Jesus says< because the historical present
                is frequently used in English with almost exactly the same weight as this
                use in Greek. It rhetorically vivifies the speaker. Why should I or any
                reader attach a different tense meaning to >Jesus says< than >Aristotle
                says< or >Darwin says< or even >Groucho says<? --oops! But literalists
                don't read Thomas anyway, I don't think. In short, I do think a switch to
                the past from the historical present when translating Greek into English is
                a little patronizing. I don't mean to imply that *any* Greek present should
                be left to stand, but the historical present should.

                Best, Odell, Lexington, VA
                omcguire@...


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              • Mike Grondin
                ... without a ... pexe- is the prenominal form of the infinitive, which is to say that it s attached to a noun, as in pexe-IS ( said-Jesus ). While
                Message 7 of 12 , Jun 17, 1999
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                  >"the verb can also be expressed in its past tense. When Logia appear
                  without a
                  >narrative framework, a translation in the present tense is preferable."

                  'pexe-' <peje> is the prenominal form of the infinitive, which is to say
                  that it's attached to a noun, as in 'pexe-IS' ('said-Jesus'). While they
                  can be expressed in the present tense, verb-forms of this type are normally
                  expressed in the past tense. On the other hand, 'pexe-' is unusual within
                  its type, by virtue of the fact that the noun to which it's attached is a
                  subject, rather than an object (as is usual). So, for what it's worth, I
                  personally could accept either 'says' or 'said', though I think Bethge's
                  "preferable" is questionable.

                  Mike

                  The Coptic GThomas, saying-by-saying
                  http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm

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                • Andrew Bernhard
                  Hi Odell, It seems we now both understand each other and just have a simple disagreement about how to translate the historical present. I m not convinced
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jun 17, 1999
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                    Hi Odell,

                    It seems we now both understand each other and just have a simple
                    disagreement about how to translate the historical present. I'm not
                    convinced that we do usually use the historical present in the same
                    manner as the Greeks _in our writing_ (there is no doubt that we do in
                    our speech). The historical present is often corrected in translations
                    of the canonical gospels and I see no reason that it shouldn't be in
                    Thomas. I still think translating the historical present as a present
                    can lead to unjustified interpretations, but competant scholars have
                    seen it both ways. Bethge (althogh inconsistently) has seen fit to
                    correct the Coptic to "Jesus says," while Attridge has corrected the
                    Greek to "Jesus said"!

                    Andrew

                    odell mcguire wrote:
                    >
                    > Andrew Bernhard wrote:
                    >
                    > > Before reading too much into the Greek present tense, legei, one should
                    > > consider the following;
                    > >
                    > > 1. The Greek fragments do use the past tense eipen in the prologue -
                    > > "These are the hidden saying that the the living Jesus spoke (eipen)."
                    > >
                    > > 2. It is not only Jesus who speaks (legei) in the present tense in the
                    > > Greek fragments, but also his disciples. In saying 37 (POxy
                    > > 655.col.i.17), "His disciples say (legousin) to him..."
                    > >
                    > > 3. The Coptic has the past tense - I'm no expert in Coptic but I can
                    > > appeal to the authority of Fitzmeyer. See his comments on POxy 654.5
                    > > for a discussion of this very issue.
                    > >
                    > > In short, I'm saying that I think the "legei" is the historical present
                    > > and thus should probably be rendered into English as "Jesus said" to
                    > > avoid leading people to unjustified interpretations. However, it should
                    > > also be noted that the edition of the Greek Fragments of Thomas found in
                    > > Kloppenborg, Meyer, Patterson, and Steinhauser's _Q-Thomas Reader_ has
                    > > elected to translate Ihsous legei with "Jesus says."
                    > >
                    > > Best wishes,
                    > > Andrew
                    > >
                    > > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    >
                    > Andrew,
                    >
                    > I agree with much of what you say and it needed saying. But I still think
                    > IH- LEGEI is better translated >Jesus says< because the historical present
                    > is frequently used in English with almost exactly the same weight as this
                    > use in Greek. It rhetorically vivifies the speaker. Why should I or any
                    > reader attach a different tense meaning to >Jesus says< than >Aristotle
                    > says< or >Darwin says< or even >Groucho says<? --oops! But literalists
                    > don't read Thomas anyway, I don't think. In short, I do think a switch to
                    > the past from the historical present when translating Greek into English is
                    > a little patronizing. I don't mean to imply that *any* Greek present should
                    > be left to stand, but the historical present should.
                    >
                    > Best, Odell, Lexington, VA
                    > omcguire@...
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    >
                    > eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/gthomas
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                  • Patterson, Steve by way of Mike Grondin
                    Dear Thom-Folk: The Berlin group thought that the verb connoted drawing or pulling. I make it policy never to argue with their knowledge of the Coptic
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jun 22, 1999
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                      Dear Thom-Folk:
                      The Berlin group thought that the verb connoted "drawing" or "pulling." I
                      make it policy never to argue with their knowledge of the Coptic language.
                      In this case, their problem was with the English language. I suggested
                      "draw her in" as the appropriate way to capture their sense of the word in
                      English.
                      Yours,
                      Steve P.

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Mike Grondin [mailto:mgrondin@...]
                      Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 1999 8:09 PM
                      To: GThomas@egroups.com
                      Subject: [gthomas] Re: Dragging Mariam


                      Steve Patterson writes (or wrote):

                      > On the translation in general... The SQE
                      >15 had some rather gruesome translational problems in the ET (e.g. in GTh
                      >114 Peter is heard to say of Mary, "I will drag her to make her male"),
                      >which Jim and I, together finally with Hans-Martin Schenke, tried to clear
                      >up. The final product will appear in SQE 16. In the meantime, we have,
                      >together with Bethge, published this ET in a volume entitled The Fifth
                      >Gospel: The Gospel of Thomas Comes of Age (Trinity, 1998). ...

                      ... wherein #114 reads "I will draw her in..." (said by Jesus, not Peter).
                      But why not simply "I will lead her..."? Nothing gruesome about that. Of
                      course, 'SOK' CAN mean 'draw' or 'pull in', as in #8. But it can also mean
                      'lead', as in #3 and #34 (leading a blind man). Why should #114 have been
                      so difficult, when there seems to have been no corresponding difficulty
                      with the same verb in #3 and #34?

                      Mike-
                      The Coptic GThomas, saying-by-saying
                      http://www.geocities.com/athens/9068/sayings.htm




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                    • Jim Gambrill
                      ... What was the German translation of the Coptic? Jim ... eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/gthomas http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jul 1, 1999
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                        "Patterson, Steve (by way of Mike Grondin )" wrote:
                        >
                        > Dear Thom-Folk:
                        > The Berlin group thought that the verb connoted "drawing" or "pulling." I
                        > make it policy never to argue with their knowledge of the Coptic language.
                        > In this case, their problem was with the English language. I suggested
                        > "draw her in" as the appropriate way to capture their sense of the word in
                        > English.

                        What was the German translation of the
                        Coptic?

                        Jim

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