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Re: [GTh] GTh Translations

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  • FMMCCOY
    ... From: Rick Hubbard To: GThomas Group Sent: Monday, July 16, 2001 3:03 AM Subject: [GTh] GTh
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 16, 2001
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Rick Hubbard" <rhubbard@...>
      To: "GThomas Group" <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, July 16, 2001 3:03 AM
      Subject: [GTh] GTh Translations


      > Thanks to Chris for sharing the info about the authenticity of
      > Johnson's rendering of Thomas. That brings to mind 3 more
      > questions:
      >
      > First, is the Pico Iyer version really a legitimate translation
      > or is the phrase "in the spirit of the original Coptic" a signal
      > that the whole thing is a paraphrase? In any case, it is
      > eccentric.
      >
      > Second, who is this particular Pico Iyer?
      >
      > Finally, just how many translations of Thomas are "floating
      > around" in print and on the net? I've never really thought about
      > it myself, I guess. I can think of these:
      >
      > Scholars Version (Patterson Myer)
      > Lambdin (in the Brill edition and NHL in English)
      > Guillaumont, et al.
      > BWG (Bethge, in the Fifth Gospel)
      > Patterson Brown (on the 'Net)
      >
      > What am I missing?
      >
      > Rick


      In my own library, I have three other translations of GTh.

      The first one is by Marvin W. Meyer in The Secret Teachings of Jesus. This
      was published in 1984 by Random House. In his acknowledgement section, he
      says that Elaine H. Pagels, James M. Robinson, and Richard Smith reviewed an
      earlier draft of it. At the time he worked at Ferrum College in Virginia: a
      school I have never heard of before.

      The second is a translation by Ray Summers in The Secret Sayings of the
      Living Jesus. I have briefly described this book in an earlier post.

      The third is an English translation of a French translation by Jean Doresse
      in The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics I have the US edition, which
      was published in 1986 by Traditions International, Ltd. It was translated
      from the French into English in 1958 by the Rev. Leonard Johnston, with
      assistance from Jean Doresse himself. Doresse was a pioneer in working on
      the Nag Hammadi library. In the introduction to the book (p. xiv), he
      speaks of "the incomplete decipherments that I made in 1948, when my task
      was to find out the number, the nature, and the importance of all that was
      comprised in the collection, taking the utmost care of the fragile pages of
      papyrus, many of which were broken and had yet to be put into a condition
      that would make them legible." His colleagues included Togo Mina, the
      director of the Coptic Museum in Cairo, and Professor H.C. Puech.

      Of these three tranlations, I like the one by Doresse the best. His
      translation of 1b is noteworthy, "Whoever penetrates the meaning of these
      words will not taste death!" Perhaps Michael Grondin might want to comment
      on this translation.

      Frank McCoy
      Maplewood, MN USA
    • Rick Hubbard
      ... From: FMMCCOY [mailto:FMMCCOY@email.msn.com] Subject: Re: [GTh] GTh Translations ... From: Rick Hubbard Subject: [GTh] GTh
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 17, 2001
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        -----Original Message-----
        From: FMMCCOY [mailto:FMMCCOY@...]
        Subject: Re: [GTh] GTh Translations

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Rick Hubbard" <rhubbard@...>
        Subject: [GTh] GTh Translations

        [Frank wrote:]
        > Scholars Version (Patterson Myer)
        > Lambdin (in the Brill edition and NHL in English)
        > Guillaumont, et al.
        > BWG (Bethge, in the Fifth Gospel)
        > Patterson Brown (on the 'Net)
        >
        > What am I missing?
        >
        > Rick


        In my own library, I have three other translations of GTh.

        The first one is by Marvin W. Meyer in The Secret Teachings of
        Jesus. This
        was published in 1984 by Random House.

        Is the same as the Sch0lars Version, I wonder?

        The second is a translation by Ray Summers in The Secret Sayings
        of the
        Living Jesus.

        Although you described it before, could I trouble you for the
        publisher and year?

        The third is an English translation of a French translation by
        Jean Doresse
        in The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics I have the US
        edition, which
        was published in 1986 by Traditions International, Ltd. It was
        translated
        from the French into English in 1958 by the Rev. Leonard
        Johnston, with
        assistance from Jean Doresse himself.

        Is Doreese the only translator of the original Coptic text
        listed?

        To the growing list we should probably add Mike's interlinear
        (which, by the way really should also be in print).

        Also, lurking on my own bookshelf, is a translation by David R.
        Cartlidge in, Dungan, David L. and David R. Cartlidge.
        _Sourcebook of Texts for the Comparative Study of the Gospels_.
        Third Edition. Sources for Biblical Study 1. Society of Biblical
        Literature. (Missoula, MT: University of Montana, 1971).

        In addition, for those who don't know it, the BWG (Bethge)
        English translation of The Gospel of Thomas is also included in
        the German Bible Society's publication of Kurt Aland's gospel
        synopsis [idem, _Synopsis Quattuor Evangeliorum_. (Stuttgart:
        W├╝rttembergische Bibelanstalt Stuttgart, 1964; 15th ed., 1997)].

        The list is growing.

        Rick
      • smithand44@hotmail.com
        ... I think it s very close but not identical, for copyright reasons. Best Wishes Andrew Smith
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 17, 2001
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          > [Frank wrote:]

          >
          >
          > In my own library, I have three other translations of GTh.
          >
          > The first one is by Marvin W. Meyer in The Secret Teachings of
          > Jesus. This
          > was published in 1984 by Random House.
          >
          > Is the same as the Sch0lars Version, I wonder?

          I think it's very close but not identical, for copyright reasons.

          Best Wishes

          Andrew Smith
        • Rick Hubbard
          ... [Rick wrote:] ... [Andrew wrote:] I think it s very close but not identical, for copyright reasons. Apparently I have confused the issue. My question was
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 17, 2001
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            > [Frank wrote:]

            > In my own library, I have three other translations of GTh.
            >
            > The first one is by Marvin W. Meyer in The Secret Teachings of
            > Jesus. This
            > was published in 1984 by Random House.

            [Rick wrote:]
            > Is the same as the Sch0lars Version, I wonder?

            [Andrew wrote:]
            I think it's very close but not identical, for copyright reasons.

            Apparently I have confused the issue. My question was about how
            many individual translations there are, not how many separate
            editions of the translations have been published (e.g., Lambdin's
            translation appears both in Brill's Coptic Gnostic Library,
            Funk's New Gospel Parallels, and in The Nag Hammadi Library in
            English, unaltered in the original edition). Similarly, Myer's
            translation appears in more than one book. The question of
            whether translations are identical between tow editions is
            interesting, but nevertheless, it seems to me that two versions
            by the same translator count as "one" unless of course the
            translator specifies "subsequent or amended versions."

            Rick
          • smithand44@hotmail.com
            ... Rick, Meyer s & Scholars are separate translations, but see below for an interesting source-criticasl question
            Message 5 of 9 , Jul 17, 2001
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              --- In gthomas@y..., "Rick Hubbard" <rhubbard@m...> wrote:
              > [Rick wrote:]
              > > Is the same as the Sch0lars Version, I wonder?
              >
              > [Andrew wrote:]
              > I think it's very close but not identical, for copyright reasons.
              >
              > Apparently I have confused the issue. My question was about how
              > many individual translations there are, not how many separate
              > editions of the translations have been published (e.g., Lambdin's
              > translation appears both in Brill's Coptic Gnostic Library,
              > Funk's New Gospel Parallels, and in The Nag Hammadi Library in
              > English, unaltered in the original edition). Similarly, Myer's
              > translation appears in more than one book. The question of
              > whether translations are identical between tow editions is
              > interesting, but nevertheless, it seems to me that two versions
              > by the same translator count as "one" unless of course the
              > translator specifies "subsequent or amended versions."
              >
              > Rick

              Rick, Meyer's & Scholars' are separate translations, but see below
              for an interesting source-criticasl question <g>

              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/message/157

              >The next three are all versions of these same thing, it's
              >primarily a job done by Marvn Meyers. Far as I can tell,
              >the Scholars' Translation is Meyer's with some help from
              >Patterson. But Polebridge has the copyright, so presumably
              >the Meyers book translation has to differ somehow or other but
              >not by much. Valentasis is using the Scholars' Translation
              >but fixing it whenever he feels like it. Might one assume that
              >whenever we find "utterly" we have a version of Meyer's?

              >Scholars' Translation
              >67 Jesus said, "Those who know all, but are lacking in
              >themselves, are utterly lacking."
              >
              >Meyer's
              >One who knows all but is lacking in oneself is utterly lacking.
              >
              >Valentasis
              >Those who know all, (Coptic "the all") but are lacking in
              >themselves, are utterly lacking.
            • FMMCCOY
              ... From: Rick Hubbard To: Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2001 7:42 AM Subject: RE: [GTh] GTh Translations ...
              Message 6 of 9 , Jul 17, 2001
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                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Rick Hubbard" <rhubbard@...>
                To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2001 7:42 AM
                Subject: RE: [GTh] GTh Translations


                > [Frank wrote:]
                > In my own library, I have three other translations of GTh.
                >
                > The first one is by Marvin W. Meyer in The Secret Teachings of
                > Jesus. This
                > was published in 1984 by Random House.
                >
                [Rick responded]
                > Is the same as the Sch0lars Version, I wonder?
                >
                [Frank wrote]
                > The second is a translation by Ray Summers in The Secret Sayings
                > of the
                > Living Jesus.
                >
                [Rick responded]
                > Although you described it before, could I trouble you for the
                > publisher and year?
                >
                [Frank wrote]
                The third is an English translation of a French translation by
                > Jean Doresse
                > in The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics I have the US
                > edition, which
                > was published in 1986 by Traditions International, Ltd. It was
                > translated
                > from the French into English in 1958 by the Rev. Leonard
                > Johnston, with
                > assistance from Jean Doresse himself.
                >
                [Rick responded]
                > Is Doreese the only translator of the original Coptic text
                > listed?

                The translation by Marvin W. Meyer in The Secret Teachings of Jesus is, in
                some significant sense, new. On the back cover, there is this statement,
                "Marvin W. Meyer has produced a
                new English translation of four of the most revealing Gnostic texts...".
                Also, on the back cover Elaine Pagels is thusly quoted, "Dr. Meyer, a
                scholar long familiar with the Nag Hammadi texts, offers here a fresh and
                lively translation that anyone intrigued to learn more about these texts
                will welcome."

                Relevant to the discussion is this excerpt from a post today by Andrew
                Smith:

                >The next three are all versions of these same thing, it's
                >primarily a job done by Marvn Meyers. Far as I can tell,
                >the Scholars' Translation is Meyer's with some help from
                >Patterson. But Polebridge has the copyright, so presumably
                >the Meyers book translation has to differ somehow or other but
                >not by much. Valentasis is using the Scholars' Translation
                >but fixing it whenever he feels like it. Might one assume that
                >whenever we find "utterly" we have a version of Meyer's?

                >Scholars' Translation
                >67 Jesus said, "Those who know all, but are lacking in
                >themselves, are utterly lacking."
                >
                >Meyer's
                >One who knows all but is lacking in oneself is utterly lacking.
                >
                >Valentasis
                >Those who know all, (Coptic "the all") but are lacking in
                >themselves, are utterly lacking.

                The version of GTh 67 by Meyers in the Secret Teachings of Jesus must be
                "new" in a significant sense because it lacks his trademark of "utterly" in
                the above three versions. It reads
                Whover knows everything
                but lacks within
                lacks everything..

                As respects The Secret Sayings of the Living Jesus by Ray Summers, it was
                published by World Books, Waco, Texas in 1968.

                As respects The Secret Book of the Egyptian Gnostics, the English
                translation of GTh in it is preceded by these words, "Originally translated
                into French, with Introduction and Notes by Jean Doresse, and now translated
                into English from the French by the Rev. Leonard Johnson, L.S.S., in
                collaboration with Jean Doresse."

                Frank McCoy
                Maplewood, MN
              • Rick Hubbard
                [Frank wrote:] The translation by Marvin W. Meyer in The Secret Teachings of Jesus is, in some significant sense, new. On the back cover, there is this
                Message 7 of 9 , Jul 18, 2001
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                  [Frank wrote:]
                  The translation by Marvin W. Meyer in The Secret Teachings of
                  Jesus is, in
                  some significant sense, new. On the back cover, there is this
                  statement,
                  "Marvin W. Meyer has produced a
                  new English translation of four of the most revealing Gnostic
                  texts...".
                  Also, on the back cover Elaine Pagels is thusly quoted, "Dr.
                  Meyer, a
                  scholar long familiar with the Nag Hammadi texts, offers here a
                  fresh and
                  lively translation that anyone intrigued to learn more about
                  these texts
                  will welcome."

                  Sounds to me like a certain publisher and a certain scholar have
                  entered into an alliance to sell more books. There's certainly
                  nothing earth-shattering in this "fresh and lively translation"
                  that I can see. This, and other sorts of Academic posturing, is
                  precisely why I opted out of pursuing a career as a professional
                  scholar in the middle of my grad program.

                  Rick Hubbard
                  Humble (and Cynical) Maine Woodsman
                • Michael Grondin
                  ... The problem seems to me not unlike that of classifying various NT manuscripts. First, you have broad families, and then within each family, you have
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jul 18, 2001
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                    Rick wrote:
                    >Apparently I have confused the issue. My question was about how
                    >many individual translations there are, not how many separate
                    >editions of the translations have been published (e.g., Lambdin's
                    >translation appears both in Brill's Coptic Gnostic Library,
                    >Funk's New Gospel Parallels, and in The Nag Hammadi Library in
                    >English, unaltered in the original edition). Similarly, Myer's
                    >translation appears in more than one book. The question of
                    >whether translations are identical between tow editions is
                    >interesting, but nevertheless, it seems to me that two versions
                    >by the same translator count as "one" unless of course the
                    >translator specifies "subsequent or amended versions."

                    The problem seems to me not unlike that of classifying various NT
                    manuscripts. First, you have broad families, and then within each family,
                    you have manuscripts with minor differences. Here, we have a "family" of
                    Meyer translations, within which are various deviations appearing in
                    different publications. That's to be distinguished, of course, from the
                    situation with, say, Lambdin's translation, which was reproduced
                    word-for-word in Layton's critical Brill edition of Codex II. The "Bethge
                    translation" is an example of yet a third situation: in "The Fifth Gospel",
                    Patterson and Robinson worked with Bethge to come up with a translation
                    somewhat different from that which appeared in the 15th edition of the SQE,
                    which was a product of the Berlin Working Group. So in that case, the
                    authors are different, and it becomes questionable whether both should be
                    called "the Bethge translation". All in all, it seems that an adequate list
                    of translations would have to include reference to specific publications
                    and editions of those publications, even if noted in some cases (such as
                    Lambdin) that the exemplars are identical. The entry for Meyer, for
                    example, might say:

                    Meyer, Marvin W.
                    -- in "The Secret Teachings of Jesus" (1984)
                    -- in "Q-Thomas Reader" (1990)
                    -- in "The Gospel of Thomas" (1992)
                    -- The Scholar's Version, with Patterson (various editions)
                    in "The Complete Gospels" (1992, 1994)
                    in "The Five Gospels" (1993)

                    This seems to be more than Rick had in mind. Indeed, cataloging Meyer's
                    translations alone is a hefty project. But will anything less do?

                    Mike

                    The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
                    http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
                  • Rick Hubbard
                    Shheeesh! I feel like I asked about what time it was and the answer was instructions on how to build a clock! Thanks everyone, and now I know what my question
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jul 18, 2001
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                      Shheeesh!

                      I feel like I asked about what time it was and the answer was
                      instructions on how to build a clock!

                      Thanks everyone, and now I know what my question really was: "How
                      many individuals, or concerts of individuals, have published
                      translations of Thomas?"

                      With all the help, I guess I should be able to figure it out.

                      Rick
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