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[gthomas] Re: "Jesus Says"

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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 1 of 12 , Jun 16 12:55 PM
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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 2 of 12 , Jun 16 1:35 PM
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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 3 of 12 , Jun 16 1:45 PM
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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 4 of 12 , Jun 16 6:09 PM
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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 5 of 12 , Jun 17 4:08 AM
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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 6 of 12 , Jun 17 7:30 AM
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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 7 of 12 , Jun 17 10:26 AM
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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 8 of 12 , Jun 22 3:46 PM
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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 9 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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