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Re: [GTh] The Mustard Seed and Q

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... I have very serious reservations about this line of reasoning. In the first place, I note that MATTHEW doesn t have a double question, so how is it
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 3 10:05 AM
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      Frank McCoy wrote:
      > In the History of the Synoptic Tradition (p. 172), Rudolph Bultmann puts
      >this parable under the category of similitudes and he notes that there is a
      >Q version of it as well. He also notes that "both Mark and Q preface it
      >with a double question,..". This double attestation that Jesus prefaced the
      >parable with a double question suggests that the double question by Jesus is
      >original and that, therefore, the Thomas version is less original in this
      >respect because it lacks the double question by Jesus.

      I have very serious reservations about this line of reasoning. In the first
      place, I note that MATTHEW doesn't have a double question, so how is it
      justified to claim that Q has a double question? I suspect that the answer
      will be that, in general, when Matt and Luke differ with respect to Q
      material, then Luke is more likely to be accurate. But that raises another
      question, namely, is the mustard parable properly Q material? Since it's
      found in Mark, it's an open question at the outset as to whether Luke and
      Matt found it in BOTH Mark and Q, or just in Mark alone. What usually
      decides that question in similar cases, I assume, is that if the language
      of Luke and Matt is significantly more similar to each other than to Mark,
      then the material was likely present in Q as well as Mark. But a close
      examination of the wording in GMt and GLk indicates quite a few differences
      between them - differences which can, it seems to this reader, be equally
      well explained by their taking the parable from Mark as by their taking it
      from Q. So I suggest that the case is not strong that the mustard seed
      belongs in Q. But if this is so, then Luke got the double question thingy
      from Mark, not Q, and it's not doubly-attested. But if not doubly-attested,
      then it can't be established that "the Thomas version is less original" on
      those grounds. One could argue, I think, that the double question is an
      Aramaicism, and hence more likely to be original for THAT reason, but the
      double-attestation argument strikes me as flimsy.

      Regards,
      Mike
    • Rick Hubbard
      If I understand what you are driving at in your most recent post it is that: A. The Kingdom of God is the Spirit-Sophia. B. The version of the mustard seed
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 3 2:32 PM
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        If I understand what you are driving at in your most recent post it is
        that:

        A. The Kingdom of God is the Spirit-Sophia.
        B. The version of the mustard seed parable in Mk is the most original.


        If you are attempting to invoke Bultmann as an ally in these two
        arguments you have gotten a traitor instead. He fails to support you
        on either point.

        [Regarding the meaning of the parable of the mustard seed Frank
        wrote:]

        In Theology of the New Testament (p.8), Rudolph Bultmann notes that
        this
        parable is related to a parable about the hailstone which can cause
        great
        pain--which parable is found in the Shepherd of Hermas (Mandate XI,
        43,
        20-21).

        This is not what Bultmann wrote at all Here is the precise and full
        quotation which differs considerably from what you say):

        "...the related parables in the Shepherd of Hermas (Mand. V 1, 5f;
        [AND] XI 20f.) about the drop of wormwood which makes a whole jug of
        honey bitter AND [my emphasis] about the hailstone which can cause
        great pain, have an entirely different meaning. The former [about the
        wormwood] intends to illustrate how practice in patience is brought to
        nought by an attack of wrath; the latter illustrate the power of the
        Holy Spirit. So it might be that the parable of the mustard seed and
        the leaven originally dealt with the individual and were intended to
        instruct him {sic], either as a warning or as a consolation, how a
        great result may grow out of small beginnings."

        This directly contradicts what you write here:

        That these parables are related makes it likely that they regard
        the same
        topic. Therefore, that the hailstone is explicitly identified as
        being the
        Spirit is evidence supporting the idea that the mustard seed that
        grows up
        into the greatest plant is, indeed, the Spirit-Sophia!

        [regarding the "originality" of Mark's version of the mustard seed
        parable Frank wrote:]

        In the History of the Synoptic Tradition (p. 172), Rudolph Bultmann
        puts
        this parable under the category of similitudes and he notes that there
        is a
        Q version of it as well. He also notes that "both Mark and Q preface
        it
        with a double question,..". This double attestation that Jesus
        prefaced the
        parable with a double question suggests that the double question by
        Jesus is
        original and that, therefore, the Thomas version is less original in
        this
        respect because it lacks the double question by Jesus.

        The second sentence above is again a misrepresentation of Bultmann's
        position. Here is what he actually says:

        "Luke substantially reproduces the similtude from Q, while Matthew
        combines Q's text with Mark. Both Mark and Q preface it with a double
        question, the parable then following with hWS (or in Luke hOMIA
        ESTIN)."

        The content of the similtude here is not the entirety of Mk 4:30-32.
        That to which Bultmann refers is the direct discourse of 4:31-32. 4:30
        is editorial material according to Bultmann's principle that, "As a
        rule, the expansion which any saying undergoes at its beginning
        derives from its context" (history, 91). "Context" here is a euphemism
        for what Bultmann calls the "productivity" of the church and which the
        JS calls "The Story Seller's License (T5g, 29).

        But in any case, whether Mark's version represents an earlier
        "version" of the mustard seed parable than that of Q or Lk (or Mt), it
        has not been demonstrated by this particular argument. More
        importantly there is still no defensible argument that the Kingdom
        (here or anywhere else) refers to the Pneuma-Sophia complex.

        Rick Hubbard
        Humble Maine Woodsman
      • FMMCCOY
        ... From: Rick Hubbard To: Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2001 4:32 PM Subject: RE: [GTh] Re: GTh 20: The Parable
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 5 7:56 PM
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Rick Hubbard" <rhubbard@...>
          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2001 4:32 PM
          Subject: RE: [GTh] Re: GTh 20: The Parable of the Mustard Seed and GTh
          21:The Parable of the Children in the Field


          > If I understand what you are driving at in your most recent post it is
          > that:
          >
          > A. The Kingdom of God is the Spirit-Sophia.
          > B. The version of the mustard seed parable in Mk is the most original.
          >
          >
          > If you are attempting to invoke Bultmann as an ally in these two
          > arguments you have gotten a traitor instead. He fails to support you
          > on either point.
          >
          > [Regarding the meaning of the parable of the mustard seed Frank
          > wrote:]
          >
          > In Theology of the New Testament (p.8), Rudolph Bultmann notes that
          > this
          > parable is related to a parable about the hailstone which can cause
          > great
          > pain--which parable is found in the Shepherd of Hermas (Mandate XI,
          > 43,
          > 20-21).
          >
          > This is not what Bultmann wrote at all Here is the precise and full
          > quotation which differs considerably from what you say):
          >
          > "...the related parables in the Shepherd of Hermas (Mand. V 1, 5f;
          > [AND] XI 20f.) about the drop of wormwood which makes a whole jug of
          > honey bitter AND [my emphasis] about the hailstone which can cause
          > great pain, have an entirely different meaning. The former [about the
          > wormwood] intends to illustrate how practice in patience is brought to
          > nought by an attack of wrath; the latter illustrate the power of the
          > Holy Spirit. So it might be that the parable of the mustard seed and
          > the leaven originally dealt with the individual and were intended to
          > instruct him {sic], either as a warning or as a consolation, how a
          > great result may grow out of small beginnings."
          >
          Dear Rick Hubbard:

          As can be seen from the passage you quote, Bultmann does say that that they
          are "related". Hence, in my statement, "In Theology of the New Testament
          (p.8), Rudolph Bultmann notes that this parable is related to a parable
          about the hailstone which can cause great pain", I accurately portray what
          he writes..

          You continue:
          > This directly contradicts what you write here:
          >
          > That these parables are related makes it likely that they regard
          > the same
          > topic. Therefore, that the hailstone is explicitly identified as
          > being the
          > Spirit is evidence supporting the idea that the mustard seed that
          > grows up
          > into the greatest plant is, indeed, the Spirit-Sophia!
          >
          Rick, this is my own line of reasoning. I do *not* attribute it to Rudolph
          Bultmann. It demonstrates that Bultmann's assumption that the Kingdom in
          the parable of the mustard seed cannot be the Spirit-Sophia is likely false.
          Indeed, since I have shown in past posts that the Kingdom appears to be the
          Spirit-Sophia in this parable, and, since you have so far failed to refute
          this interpretion of the parable, I think that the evidence demonstrates
          that the Kingdom probably is the Spirit-Sophia in this parable.

          Rick, you also say::
          > [regarding the "originality" of Mark's version of the mustard seed
          > parable Frank wrote:]
          >
          > In the History of the Synoptic Tradition (p. 172), Rudolph Bultmann
          > puts
          > this parable under the category of similitudes and he notes that there
          > is a
          > Q version of it as well. He also notes that "both Mark and Q preface
          > it
          > with a double question,..". This double attestation that Jesus
          > prefaced the
          > parable with a double question suggests that the double question by
          > Jesus is
          > original and that, therefore, the Thomas version is less original in
          > this
          > respect because it lacks the double question by Jesus.
          >
          > The second sentence above is again a misrepresentation of Bultmann's
          > position. Here is what he actually says:
          >
          > "Luke substantially reproduces the similtude from Q, while Matthew
          > combines Q's text with Mark. Both Mark and Q preface it with a double
          > question, the parable then following with hWS (or in Luke hOMIA
          > ESTIN)."
          >
          Rick, if you read my quote from Bultmann, you can plainly see that it
          accurately gives what Bultmann actually says, i.e., "Both Mark and Q preface
          it with a double question,..." Also, as I have pointed out earlier in this
          post, I accurately portray Bultmann in the other example as well.
          Therefore, there is no misrepresentation in what I say. It is true that I
          do not give the full story of what he says in each case, but there is only
          so much one can put into a post. That post is overly long
          as it stands and, so, it was impractical for me into long involved
          discussions about Butlmann's full thoughts on the subjects.

          Rick, you continue:
          > The content of the similtude here is not the entirety of Mk 4:30-32.
          > That to which Bultmann refers is the direct discourse of 4:31-32. 4:30
          > is editorial material according to Bultmann's principle that, "As a
          > rule, the expansion which any saying undergoes at its beginning
          > derives from its context" (history, 91). "Context" here is a euphemism
          > for what Bultmann calls the "productivity" of the church and which the
          > JS calls "The Story Seller's License (T5g, 29).
          >
          Rick, the quote I make from Bultmann regards the double question in 4:30.
          Let me repeat it, "Both Mark and Q preface it with a double question,.."
          Further, it is only the double question that I discuss following the quote.
          Let me repeat it, "This
          double attestation that Jesus prefaced the parable with a double question
          suggests that the double question by Jesus is original and that, therefore,
          the Thomas version is less original in this respect because it lacks the
          double question by Jesus." Hence, by making the assertion, "That to which
          Bultmann refers is the direct discourse of 4:31-32.", all you are doing is
          muddying the waters and straying afield. Bringing in the Jesus Seminar is
          even straying further afield. It is noteworthy that, in their section on
          "The storyteller's license" that you cite, every specific example they cite
          of alleged storytelling is from Mark. This is evidence of an anti-Markan
          bias on their part that raises very serious questions about the validity of
          their very negative evaluation of this gospel and the passages in it (e.g.,
          they say that Mark contains only one almost certainly true statement by
          Jesus)..

          Rick, I'd like to add that if (1) the double question by Jesus in the Q and
          Markan tradition probably is phony because it immediately precedes the
          parable of the mustard seed, then (2) the question of the disciples in GTh
          20 probably is phony because it immediately precedes the parable of the
          mustard seed. So, if Bultmann's principle is true and, therefore,
          applicable to
          the Markan and Q and Thomas accounts regarding the parable of the mustard
          seed (a dubious and unproven proposition to say the least), then the
          introductory question by the disciples in GTh 20 is probably phony and,
          hence, there is every reason to believe that Jesus initiated this parable on
          his own without any prompting. If so, then the Jesus Seminar is probably
          incorrect in saying that Jesus never did this sort of thing. So, Bultmann's
          principle is a two edged sword in that if you want to use it to attack the
          genuiness of the Markan and Q accounts of the parable of the mustard seed,
          you need to consider, before unleashing it, that it can also be used to
          attack the genuiness of GTh 20 and to attack the credibility of the Jesus
          Seminar.

          Rick, you also state:
          > But in any case, whether Mark's version represents an earlier
          > "version" of the mustard seed parable than that of Q or Lk (or Mt), it
          > has not been demonstrated by this particular argument. More
          > importantly there is still no defensible argument that the Kingdom
          > (here or anywhere else) refers to the Pneuma-Sophia complex.

          Rick, one defensible argument is this: I have already shown in recent posts
          that a large number of statements regarding the Kingdom in both the GTh and
          the canonical gospels can be interpreted in terms of the hypothesis that the
          Kingdom is the Spirit-Sophia. Also, along with this post, I am sending
          another post showing that yet two more statements regarding the Kingdom
          (i.e., GTh 97 and 98) can be interpreted in terms of this hypothesis. I
          know of no other hypothesis regarding the nature of the Kingdom that can be
          shown to possibly be applicable to all these statements regarding the
          Kingdom. Therefore, this hypothesis is actually the most likely one to be
          true because it has a wider range of applicability to the Kingdom statements
          than any other one.

          Regards,

          Frank McCoy
        • Jack Kilmon
          ... From: FMMCCOY To: Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 9:56 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: GTh 20: The Parable of
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 5 8:35 PM
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "FMMCCOY" <FMMCCOY@...>
            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2001 9:56 PM
            Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: GTh 20: The Parable of the Mustard Seed and GTh
            21:The Parable of the Children in the Field


            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: "Rick Hubbard" <rhubbard@...>
            > To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
            > Sent: Sunday, June 03, 2001 4:32 PM
            > Subject: RE: [GTh] Re: GTh 20: The Parable of the Mustard Seed and GTh
            > 21:The Parable of the Children in the Field
            > Rick, I'd like to add that if (1) the double question by Jesus in the Q
            and
            > Markan tradition probably is phony because it immediately precedes the
            > parable of the mustard seed, then (2) the question of the disciples in GTh
            > 20 probably is phony because it immediately precedes the parable of the
            > mustard seed. So, if Bultmann's principle is true and, therefore,
            > applicable to
            > the Markan and Q and Thomas accounts regarding the parable of the mustard
            > seed (a dubious and unproven proposition to say the least), then the
            > introductory question by the disciples in GTh 20 is probably phony and,
            > hence, there is every reason to believe that Jesus initiated this parable
            on
            > his own without any prompting. If so, then the Jesus Seminar is probably
            > incorrect in saying that Jesus never did this sort of thing. So,
            Bultmann's
            > principle is a two edged sword in that if you want to use it to attack the
            > genuiness of the Markan and Q accounts of the parable of the mustard seed,
            > you need to consider, before unleashing it, that it can also be used to
            > attack the genuiness of GTh 20 and to attack the credibility of the Jesus
            > Seminar.

            My take on GoT 20 and the Markan parallel is that the Markan parallel is
            more
            "original" and actually redacted down in GoT.

            GOT20 The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us what Heaven's kingdom is like."

            He said to them, It's like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, but
            when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a
            shelter for birds of the sky.

            Markan Parallel showing Aramaic paronomasia:

            Mar 4:30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God?
            or with what comparison shall we compare it?

            Mar 4:31 [It is] like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is
            sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:

            Mar 4:32 But when it is sown / *zera* /, it groweth/ * rabhi*/ up,
            and becometh greater/* rabba* / than all herbs,/ *zeroin*/ and
            shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge
            under the shadow of it.

            The Key sounds in Aramaic are the layrygal and sonant resh that form the
            paronomasia.

            No paranomasia is more certain in the gospels and it is recoverable ONLY
            from the Markan parallel and strongly suggests, to me, ORAL transmission
            from an Aramaic speaker to a WRITTEN form (Mark) and then
            transmitted to the GoT where it is actually *redacted down!!!* This does
            not
            rule out a common Aramaic source for Mark and for an early pre-coptic
            rescension
            of GoT. This Aramaic poetic style is also carried over to GoT Logion 21:

            Mar 4:26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should
            cast seed into the ground;

            This Markan form is a very strong example of the Aramaic paronomasia
            previously mentioned

            w)mr hw): hkn) hy mlkwt) d)lh), )yk )n$ dnrm) zr() b)r()
            w'amar hawa: hakena hi malkutha d'alaha, ayk anash denarma zara b'ara

            Note the punning "seed" zar'a and "ground" 'ar`a

            Mar 4:27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed
            should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

            Mar 4:28 For the earth/ *'ar`a*/ bringeth forth fruit/* par`a*/ of
            herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

            Mar 4:29 But when the fruit is brought forth,

            Kadh yehibha 'ibbah

            immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

            Shallah magla dah'sadha 'abbibh

            The Aramaic poetic style is restored in retroversion of the Markan form of
            this parable. Some scholars tend to make light of the offtimes illuminating
            nature of
            Aramaic retroversion for Yeshuine sayings yet in this case of Mk 4:26-29 the
            Assonance, alliteration and paronomasia are so strong as to make this a
            Certain Greek translation of an Aramaic parable. This was an indispensable
            characteristic of Semitic literary style. The pun is absent from modern
            literary form, even negatively regarded but in Aramaic and Hebrew, in the OT
            and Targumim..even Modern Hebrew, it is essential. That the Markan form is
            not a literary "development" of the GOT form is very clear to my Aramaic
            sensibilities. The source for Mark? The spoken Aramaic of Jesus as related
            by..(Peter?).
            The source for the GoT?

            Jack
          • George Brooks
            Jack, This is not the first time I ve been mesmerized by your transliteration of Aramaic! You write: The pun is absent from modern literary form, even
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 6 7:19 AM
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              Jack,

              This is not the first time I've been mesmerized by
              your transliteration of Aramaic!

              You write:

              "The pun is absent from modern literary form, even negatively
              regarded but in Aramaic and Hebrew, in the OT and Targumim..even
              Modern Hebrew, it is essential. That the Markan form is not a
              literary "development" of the GOT form is very clear to my
              Aramaic sensibilities."

              When I read treatments like yours, it makes me kick myself
              for taking a few years of Latin. I should have taken
              ARAMAIC!!!! (Either that... or some Spanish LoL).

              Nice analysis, Jack. Which book would you recommend to
              read more "retro" work like this?

              George
            • mgrondin@tir.com
              ... You mean laryngeal (as in of the larynx )? Aside from that, how about putting these things in a way us non-linguists can understand? Mike
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 6 1:32 PM
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                --- Jack Kilmon wrote:
                > The Key sounds in Aramaic are the layrygal and sonant resh that
                > form the paronomasia.

                You mean 'laryngeal' (as in 'of the larynx')? Aside from that, how
                about putting these things in a way us non-linguists can understand?

                Mike
              • Rick Hubbard
                If there was a way that I could configure this computer to prevent me from typing certain words unless I confirmed about six times that I really wanted to use
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 7 7:16 AM
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                  If there was a way that I could configure this computer to prevent me
                  from typing certain words unless I confirmed about six times that I
                  really wanted to use them, then two of those words would be "original"
                  and "originality." Inevitably, when I use those words in the context
                  of literary comparisons, I get into trouble. The following response
                  from Jack Kilmon regarding my remarks to Frank McCoy about Gth 20 and
                  "parallels" in Mk is a perfect example.

                  [Jack wrote:]
                  My take on GoT 20 and the Markan parallel is that the Markan parallel
                  is
                  more "original" and actually redacted down in GoT.

                  I did not mean to imply that both Mark and the Gth compiler shared a
                  common written source and that the version of either Thomas or Mark is
                  closest to that "original." Instead, I meant to argue that Thomas and
                  Mark each had access to what were probably oral traditions about Jesus
                  and that the construction of the similtude in Gth more closely
                  approximates the oral form than does the version in Mk. It is a widely
                  accepted principle that narratives and sayings associated with Jesus
                  that circulated in the oral tradition tended toward being shorter
                  rather than longer, and so, when one sees two written versions of what
                  appears to be the same saying, the one that is shortest probably is
                  closer to the oral version (assuming of course, that there was only
                  one oral version. It is possible that there may have been more than
                  one).

                  Your persistent argument that there is evidence of Aramaic linguistic
                  artifacts behind the written versions of the Jesus logia, is, as you
                  well know, not universally accepted. Since I do not know Aramaic, I
                  certainly have no business debating the merits of your hypotheses. I
                  will observe, however, that it is not necessary to identify any
                  "Aramaic Original" behind the sayings of Jesus in order to recover
                  what is closest to Jesus' actual utterances.

                  While it is very likely that Jesus spoke Aramaic, there remains the
                  very real possibility that he also spoke Greek. One must not ignore
                  the tremendous Hellenistic cultural influence that had existed for
                  generations in the western Mediterranean basin (e.g., Palestine).
                  Jesus lived in that cultural environment, and if we are to accept the
                  accounts of the canonical gospels he seemed to travel through portions
                  of it regularly and to discourse with its residents. If so, it seems
                  likely that he would have had to have some competency in Greek. This
                  does nothing to prove that he knew Greek, but the observation is
                  sufficient to leave open that possibility.

                  One of the arguments made by those who postulate an "Aramaic Jesus,"
                  is that the region where he lived was a cultural and linguistic
                  archipelago. In this enclave, Aramaic remained as the dominant
                  language and the traditions of the Judean religion were paramount. If
                  I understand correctly, this means that the enclave must have
                  successfully resisted the Hellenistic cultural influences that
                  engulfed virtually all of the remainder of the western Mediterranean
                  and that the linguistic and religious heritage of the enclave remained
                  largely unaffected.

                  Again, the merits of that hypothesis is not something I can comment on
                  directly, but I can relate something from my own experience that may
                  be analogous to the "enclave phenomenon" that seems to be a
                  foundational part of the "Aramaic Jesus" argument. I grew up on the
                  Flathead Indian Reservation in Western Montana. It seems to me that
                  there are a few intriguing parallels between the acculturation process
                  that occurred in Palestine and in the Mission Valley, where the
                  reservation was located. In both cases, the indigenous populations
                  were inundated by new languages. In Palestine, it was Greek. In
                  Montana, it was English. American culture was introduced into this
                  area by the Jesuits and by commercial representatives of the Hudson
                  Bay Company beginning around the middle of the 19th century. By the
                  time I was born, roughly one hundred years later, virtually all
                  Indians spoke English, but a large number of continued to speak Salish
                  as well. The native language was spoken primarily in homes, at
                  cultural gatherings, in the tribal government and in the context of
                  religious practices. However, in the course of day to day activities,
                  English was the routine language.

                  The analogy between the two is this: In both cases (Palestine and
                  Montana), we can observe that the cultural traditions of the two
                  indigenous populations were subjected to overwhelming outside
                  influences. In the latter case, it is known for certain that, while
                  the language of the native population continued to be used and the
                  traditional religious practices were still followed (in spite of the
                  most vigorous efforts of missionaries), the Native Americans regularly
                  used the language of the culture that had surrounded them. It seems to
                  me therefore very likely that the situation in Palestine was similar.
                  Certain enclaves in the region, perhaps including where Jesus lived,
                  also managed to retain and keep alive their language and religious
                  traditions, but as a matter of survival, they also used the Greek
                  language. If that is true, then Jesus may have been as fluent in Greek
                  as he was in Aramaic.

                  This of course does virtually nothing to deny the argument that an
                  Aramaic original lies behind the Jesus logia. But it does, to a
                  degree, reaffirm the possibility that Jesus *did* speak Greek and that
                  therefore it is not essential that reconstruction of an Aramaic
                  Original to his sayings is the only certain means by which his
                  "authentic words" can be recovered.


                  Rick Hubbard
                  Humble Maine Woodsman
                • David C. Hindley
                  ... me from typing certain words unless I confirmed about six times that I really wanted to use them, then two of those words would be original and
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 7 8:00 AM
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                    Rick Hubbard laments:

                    >>If there was a way that I could configure this computer to prevent
                    me from typing certain words unless I confirmed about six times that I
                    really wanted to use them, then two of those words would be "original"
                    and "originality." <<

                    Yes you can.

                    Presuming that your e-mail software's built-in editor (or the WP you
                    use as an e-mail editor) performs a spell check before sending the
                    message, just find the way into your spell checking dictionary and
                    erase the entries for "original" and "originality." Then it will
                    always prompt you with a dialogue box seeking confirmation when it
                    encounters these words, offering you alternative words, etc. If you
                    say "yes accept this word" it will probably ask you again in a
                    different way just to be sure.

                    I may well do that sort of thing myself with words like "merely,"
                    "simply," "obviously," and other words often used in a dismissive
                    sense, just to prevent me from falling into the trap of dismissing
                    evidence contrary to my pet hypotheses for the sake of convenience.

                    Respectfully,

                    Dave Hindley
                    Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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