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Re: [GTh] Micro-analysis of GTh

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  • Grondin
    ... follow ... get ... First, I believe that the Greek version of GTh was also a word-puzzle. I say this for two reasons: first, I think that the separation of
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 5, 2002
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      [Jim Bauer]:
      > Yes, but this is Coptic you're talking about. Would these arguments
      follow
      > for the Greek original? And if they do, how liberal did the translator
      get
      > in redacting the original?

      First, I believe that the Greek version of GTh was also a word-puzzle. I say
      this for two reasons: first, I think that the separation of the three
      questions in 6A from their answers in 14 is a mark of puzzlehood. Second, I
      think it's more probable that the Barbeloites got the idea of their trilogy
      from the already-known puzzle-nature of the Greek GThom, rather than they
      came up with _both_ ideas (puzzle + trilogy) on their own. In other words,
      evolutionary development is more likely than revolutionary.

      The syntactical considerations I've put forward wouldn't be applicable to
      the Greek version of GThom. In the first place, differences of language
      would almost certainly require different puzzle features. Secondly, however,
      the Barbeloites may well have added some material of their own. Logion 114,
      for example, is often cited as a later addition, and I have my doubts as
      well about logion 77 ("I am everything"). If we are able to reconstruct the
      puzzle (and I'll say in a later note how we may be able to do so), one of
      the fall-outs may be to identify what material the Barbeloites added - which
      in turn will tell give us a better idea of what GThom looked like before
      they got their hands on it.

      When you talk about "the translator", I have to add that the word-puzzle
      hypothesis requires a wholly different mindset than we're used to. The
      Coptic GThom is not a translation, nor a redaction of a Greek version - or
      any version in any other language. It was the creation of a Barbeloite
      author, using some version of GThom as a basis, but necessarily altering
      that source in significant (but not too radical) ways.

      Mike Grondin
    • fmmccoy
      ... From: Grondin To: Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2002 1:40 PM Subject: [GTh] Micro-analysis of GTh ...
      Message 2 of 8 , Jan 23, 2005
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
        To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2002 1:40 PM
        Subject: [GTh] Micro-analysis of GTh


        > I've recently had occasion to recheck my transcription of the Coptic GTh
        > against Layton's (contained in his Brill critical edition), with, of
        course,
        > the aid of the facsimiles. While the contents of three lacunae cannot be
        > precisely determined at this time, we can be reasonably certain of the
        > number of letters within those lacunae, leading to some interesting
        results.
        > The number of letters within the text is almost certainly 16848. If we
        > ignore the 48 letters of saying 71 ("I will destroy this house..."), the
        > total is 16800, which has the surprising property of being equal to both
        > 24x700 and 28x600.

        The problem here is that 16,848 is not equal to both 24x700 and 28x600.
        That one can, by fiddling around, come up with a number that does is of no
        apparent significance..
        /
        Again, we divide Thomas into sayings and, to be more specific, into 114
        sayings. But did the Thomas community so divide Thomas by sayings, or did
        they divide it by some other criteria? This gets to the question of whether
        they, like us, recognized what we call saying 71 as being a basic unit of
        Thomas.

        Even assuming (for the sake of argument) that they did recognize what we
        call saying 71 as being a basic unit of Thomas, we still need a control
        mechanism which explains why saying 71 is the one and only thing that the
        scribe expects us to realize that we are to ignore, thereby, thereby
        enabling us to divine that we are think of 16,800 rather than the given
        16,848. Such a control mechanism, however, is not to be found in this
        explanation.

        >The number 28 is significant because it's a "perfect
        > number" (and known to be such in antiquity), due to being the sum of its
        > factors (1+2+4+7+14). The first "perfect number" is 6, and the third is a
        > rather large number, so there aren't that many of them around. But aside
        > from its semantic ("I will destroy this house...") and syntactical (48
        > letters) contents, there's yet a third reason to suppose that the creators
        > of the Coptic GThom intended the removal of saying 71: when two lines are
        > removed from the text, we're left with 666 lines, which (besides being
        > reminiscent of the mention of that number in John's Apocalypse) divides
        into
        > 111 groups of "perfect" size 6.

        In the Jewish tradition, the numbers 7 and 12 were of chief
        significance--perfect numbers, like 6 and 28, were not as highly regarded.
        For example, Philo found far more significance in the number 7 than in the
        number 6.

        16,800, it turns out, is 12x1400 and 1400, in turn, is 7x 200. Can this be
        coincidence or does the scribe want us to think of 12 and 7 rather than of
        28 and 6? What is the decisive criteria for deciding between these two
        options? I ccertainly don't see any and, in the absence of any, I would
        thing that the burden of proof lies with one saying that (contrary to what
        one would expect from a Jewish offshoot like early Christianity) we are to
        think of 28 and 6 rather than of 12 and 7.

        The third reason involves a switcharoo from the number of letters to the
        number of lines. Why? What is the rationale for this?

        > Results like this are precisely what one would expect if the Coptic GThom
        > were a word-puzzle. The fact that GThom contains many grammatical
        mistakes,
        > misspellings, mixtures of Sahidic and Subachmimic usage, etc, leads me to
        > believe not that its authors were sloppy and relatively uneducated, but
        > rather that such "mistakes" must have been necessary for the puzzle, i.e.,
        > that they were intentional.

        The theory that the Coptic text of Thomas is a word puzzle is
        interesting and its validity does not stand or fall on what has been said so
        far in this post.

        >Furthermore, the size of the preceding
        > Apocryphon of John (1100 lines, not including the final "Jesus the Christ,
        > Amen") suggests to my mind that the Barbeloites who wrote AoJ put this
        > particularly-sized version of it (there are two others of different sizes
        > among the codices) beside the Coptic GTh word-puzzle as a companion-piece
        in
        > Codex II. "Do you not know that he who made the inside also made the
        > outside?"

        To make exactly 1100 lines for the Apocryphon of John, the final line must
        be dropped. Why would the scribe expect us to know that we are to do this?
        It raises the question of whether the evidence is being forced to fit
        into a pre-determined schema.

        I would additionally venture (as I have before), again based on
        > number of lines (1234, where 666+1234=2000), that the Gospel of Philip was
        > intended as a third piece of a trilogy in this most revered of the
        codices,
        > representing both the trinity and the heaven-earth-underworld cosmology.

        In a later post, Mike corrects the above numbers, so that 666 + 1,234 =
        1,900, making the total for all three 3000--if one drops the final line in
        the Apocryphon of John.

        3,000 is divisible by 6, but not by 28. It is divisible by 12, but not by
        7. So, the question remains as to whether the scribe deemed 6 and 28 or 7
        and 12 to be the significant pair--or, for that matter, whether either pair
        was of special significance in the eyes of the scribe..

        The hypothesis that Codex II was written by the Barbeloites and that
        Apocryphon of John, Thomas, and Philip form a
        trilogy in the codex is worthy of consideration--but at a later time. After
        all, we already have a theory to consider, i.e., the theory that the Coptic
        text of Thomas is a word puzzle, and, so, shouldn't we tackle it first?

        The further hypothesis that this that this makes the number 3 significant is
        getting much more speculative and should be raised and investigated only
        after the first hypothesis has been validated.

        The even forther hypothesis that the significance of the number 3 is in
        signifying the trinity and the heaven-earth-world cosomology is getting
        even more speculative and should be raised and investigated only after the h
        ypothesis the second hypothesis has been validated.

        So, IMO, the investigation should proceed with first validating the theory
        that the Coptic text of Thomas is a word puzzle and then examining the other
        three hypotheses in sequential order.

        Frank McCoy
        1809 N. English Apt. 15
        Maplewood, MN USA 55109
      • fmmccoy
        ... From: Grondin To: Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2002 5:08 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Micro-analysis of GTh ...
        Message 3 of 8 , Jan 23, 2005
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2002 5:08 PM
          Subject: Re: [GTh] Micro-analysis of GTh


          > [Jim Bauer]:
          > > Yes, but this is Coptic you're talking about. Would these arguments
          > follow
          > > for the Greek original? And if they do, how liberal did the translator
          > get
          > > in redacting the original?

          > First, I believe that the Greek version of GTh was also a word-puzzle. I
          say
          > this for two reasons: first, I think that the separation of the three
          > questions in 6A from their answers in 14 is a mark of puzzlehood.

          This situation is easily explained by hypothesising one or more later
          interpolations that separated the questions from their answers. *Why*
          propose a solution without any known precedent when we already have a
          solution with numberous known precedents?

          >Second, I
          > think it's more probable that the Barbeloites got the idea of their
          trilogy
          > from the already-known puzzle-nature of the Greek GThom, rather than they
          > came up with _both_ ideas (puzzle + trilogy) on their own. In other words,
          > evolutionary development is more likely than revolutionary.

          That the three texts form a trilogy has yet to be demonstrated. That the
          scribe of the codex was a Barbeloite has yet to be demonstrated. That
          Thomas was a word puzzle in a Greek text from which the Coptic text is
          postulated to be translated, hasn't even been raised as a hypothesis prior
          to now, much less any evidence having been produced to support this
          hypothesis. This appears to be speculation piled on speculation.

          Also, it is basically a diversion from an investigation of the theory at
          hand, i.e., the theory that the Coptic text of Thomas is a word puzzle.

          > The syntactical considerations I've put forward wouldn't be applicable to
          > the Greek version of GThom. In the first place, differences of language
          > would almost certainly require different puzzle features. Secondly,
          however,
          > the Barbeloites may well have added some material of their own. Logion
          114,
          > for example, is often cited as a later addition, and I have my doubts as
          > well about logion 77 ("I am everything").

          Now we have even some speculation about how theBarbeloites might have
          tampered with the postulated Greek text. No evidence is produced to support
          this speculation.

          >If we are able to reconstruct the
          > puzzle (and I'll say in a later note how we may be able to do so), one of
          > the fall-outs may be to identify what material the Barbeloites added -
          which
          > in turn will tell give us a better idea of what GThom looked like before
          > they got their hands on it.

          Certainly, one of the fall-outs may be to identify what material the scribe
          added--and this would give us a better idea of what GThom looked like before
          the editing.

          However, isn't it putting the cart before the horse to assert that the
          scribe had been a Barbeloite? If and when the added material is identified,
          then we can determine the theological "slant" of this added material and
          this, in turn, might enable us to identify the group to which the scribe
          belonged. This group might be the Barbeloites--but it could be a quite
          different group as well. At this point in the game, the identity of the
          group is, IMO, pure speculation.

          > When you talk about "the translator", I have to add that the word-puzzle
          > hypothesis requires a wholly different mindset than we're used to. The
          > Coptic GThom is not a translation, nor a redaction of a Greek version - or
          > any version in any other language. It was the creation of a Barbeloite
          > author, using some version of GThom as a basis, but necessarily altering
          > that source in significant (but not too radical) ways.

          This is an interesting and informative expansion on the theory that the
          Coptic text of Thomas is a word puzzle. I recommend, though, dropping the
          "Barbeloite" modifier on the word "author".
          .
          Frank McCoy
          1809 n. English Apt 15
          Maplewood, MN USA 55109
        • sarban
          ... From: fmmccoy To: Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2005 5:16 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Micro-analysis of GTh ...
          Message 4 of 8 , Jan 24, 2005
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "fmmccoy" <FMMCCOY@...>
            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2005 5:16 PM
            Subject: Re: [GTh] Micro-analysis of GTh


            >
            <Big Snip>
            >
            >
            > In the Jewish tradition, the numbers 7 and 12 were of chief
            > significance--perfect numbers, like 6 and 28, were not as highly regarded.
            > For example, Philo found far more significance in the number 7 than in the
            > number 6.
            >
            > 16,800, it turns out, is 12x1400 and 1400, in turn, is 7x 200. Can this
            be
            > coincidence or does the scribe want us to think of 12 and 7 rather than of
            > 28 and 6? What is the decisive criteria for deciding between these two
            > options? I ccertainly don't see any and, in the absence of any, I would
            > thing that the burden of proof lies with one saying that (contrary to what
            > one would expect from a Jewish offshoot like early Christianity) we are to
            > think of 28 and 6 rather than of 12 and 7.
            >
            IMO a better parallel than Philo (at least for the Coptic version
            of Thomas) is the numerology of Clement of Alexandria as found
            particularly in Stromateis Book 6 chapters 11 and 16.

            This has obvious parallels with Philo but draws independently on
            Greek number lore and for example emphasises the number 6
            more than Philo does.

            Andrerw Criddle
          • sarban
            ... From: fmmccoy To: Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2005 5:16 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Micro-analysis of GTh ...
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 2, 2005
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "fmmccoy" <FMMCCOY@...>
              To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2005 5:16 PM
              Subject: Re: [GTh] Micro-analysis of GTh


              >
              >
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: "Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
              > To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
              > Sent: Tuesday, November 05, 2002 1:40 PM
              > Subject: [GTh] Micro-analysis of GTh
              >
              >
              > > I've recently had occasion to recheck my transcription of the Coptic GTh
              > > against Layton's (contained in his Brill critical edition), with, of
              > course,
              > > the aid of the facsimiles. While the contents of three lacunae cannot be
              > > precisely determined at this time, we can be reasonably certain of the
              > > number of letters within those lacunae, leading to some interesting
              > results.
              > > The number of letters within the text is almost certainly 16848. If we
              > > ignore the 48 letters of saying 71 ("I will destroy this house..."), the
              > > total is 16800, which has the surprising property of being equal to both
              > > 24x700 and 28x600.
              >
              > The problem here is that 16,848 is not equal to both 24x700 and 28x600.
              > That one can, by fiddling around, come up with a number that does is of no
              > apparent significance..
              >

              FWIW there may be a numerical relation between 16, 800 and
              16, 848.

              In Greek numerology the numbers 210 (6x(5x7)) and 216 (6x6x6)
              are both significant and related to seven month births (See 'The
              Theology of Arithmetic' attributed (wrongly) to Iamblichus).

              now 16,800 is 2x40x210
              while 16,848 is 2x39x216

              Andrew Criddle
            • sarban
              ... From: sarban To: Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 9:32 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Micro-analysis of GTh ...
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 2, 2005
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                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "sarban" <sarban@...>
                To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2005 9:32 PM
                Subject: Re: [GTh] Micro-analysis of GTh


                >
                >
                > FWIW there may be a numerical relation between 16, 800 and
                > 16, 848.
                >
                > In Greek numerology the numbers 210 (6x(5x7)) and 216 (6x6x6)
                > are both significant and related to seven month births (See 'The
                > Theology of Arithmetic' attributed (wrongly) to Iamblichus).
                >
                > now 16,800 is 2x40x210
                > while 16,848 is 2x39x216
                >
                To clarify 40 and 39 are parallel in the same way as 210 and 216

                seven month birth can be treated as equivalent either to 210 or
                216 days. Whereas 39 can be treated as equivalent to 40.

                (The Biblical injunction of 40 lashes is satisfied by 40 less one
                ie 39 lashes)

                We have one parameter with a high value of 216 and a low value
                of 210. Another parameter with a high value of 40 and a low value
                of 39. 16,800 and 16,848 are both twice the high value of one
                parameter times the low value of the other parameter.

                Andrew Criddle
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