Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

RE: [GTh] GTh as hermeneiai?

Expand Messages
  • David C. Hindley
    ... could have been used in conjunction with the rolling of dice. “A number would be selected. . . and the pages of the gospel codex would be turned until
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 23, 2003
      Rick Hubbard says:

      >>According to Metzger, the "hermeneiai" were instruments of divination that
      could have been used in conjunction with the rolling of dice. �A number
      would be selected. . . and the pages of the gospel codex would be turned
      until the sentence that corresponded to the number was found.� [p 267]<<

      While I do not want to speak for Mike G., I do remember this coming up in
      the past in connection with Mike's proposed re-numbering plan. I had
      suggested that there could be a relationship with the "Homer Oracle" found
      in PGM VII.1-148 (I read of it in _The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation_,
      volume one, ed. Hans Dieter Betz, pp 112-119). According to a footnote by
      the translator, Hubert Martin Jr:

      "The so-called Homer oracle, a list of 216 isolated and disconnected Homeric
      verses, is in fact a manual designed to provide the reader with an oracular
      response to a personal inquiry. ... the inquirer rolls three dice or
      knucklebones, each of which has its six surfaces numbered from one to six
      and is used to select a number from one of the three vertical number columns
      to the left of the Homeric verses ...; one die thrown three times would
      achieve the same purpose. The three numbers selected by this process
      established a horizontal number column that indicates which verse is to be
      consulted; e.g., a roll of 1, 3, 6 on the dice would guide the inquirer to
      no. 18. As is true with oracles in general, most of the responses provide
      ambiguous answers which leave the exact interpretation up to the reader."

      Actually, each verse is preceded by a combination of three numbers. The "no.
      18" mentioned above refers to consecutive numbers given to each verse by the
      translator to aid the reader in ready reference. Example:
      [ 1] 1-1-1 But on account of their accursed bellies they have miserable woes
      (Od. 15.344)
      [ 2] 1-1-2 neither to cast anchor stones nor to attach stern cables (Od.
      9.137)
      ...
      [18] 1-3-6 I also care about all these things, woman. But very terribly (Il.
      6.441)
      et cetera

      The final sentence in this footnote suggests "For additional discussion on
      this special type of divination, see T. Hopfner, "Astragalomanteia," PRE.S 4
      (1924) 51-56, esp. 54-55; cf. Franz Heinevetter, _Wurfel- und
      Buchstabenorakel in Griechenland und Kleinasien_ (Breslau, 1912).

      It seems the "hermeneiai" were similar in function to the numbered lines
      from Homer in the "Homer oracle" (PGM VII).

      Respectfully,

      Dave Hindley
      Cleveland, Ohio, USA
    • rob perry
      Greetings, and back at you G Thomas Group. The number system that is in use in Thomas and most other religious texts, (Essene, Hebrew, Christian, Chinese,
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 24, 2003
        Greetings, and back at you G Thomas Group.
        The number system that is in use in Thomas and most other religious texts, (Essene, Hebrew, Christian, Chinese, Hindu, Muslim, etc., is the same, and is used the same.)

        Aleph ox 1 creative root
        Beth house 2 self conscious, concentration
        Gimel camel 3 subconscious, memory
        Daleth door 4 creativity
        Heh, window 5 reason
        Vau, nail 6 intuition
        Zain, sword 7 discernment, cutting away
        Cheth, fence 8 "reducing down to one idea"
        Teth, Serpent 9 suggestion
        Yod Hand 10 giving
        Kaph, Grasp 20 receiving
        Lamed goad 30 learning, value
        Mem, water 40 suspended thought
        Nun, fish 50 ideas, creative
        Samech, 60 verification, inner debate
        tentpeg
        Ayn, eye 70 limitation, ignorance, humor
        Peh, mouth 80 awakening, discovery, beyond pile of words
        Tzaddhi
        fishhook 90 meditation, gathering of ideas on self, universe
        Qoph, back 100 time sense of moving on, series, "put behind you"
        of head
        Resh, face 200 Face (was head), appearance of hypothesis
        Shin, tooth 300 Decision, judgment
        Tav, Mark 400 Result, mark, accomplishment, administrative ability,

        Now, take these numbers and apply them to text. Use multiplication, subtraction, adding, and division. For example number 103 has the numbers
        4 x 25 plus 3, written in the text.
        Every single religious text has this pattern of use.

        Rob Perry
      • Tom Saunders
        Hi Rick, Dave and Fellow Knucklebonners, Play knucklebones with me and I promise you will be giving your money to somebody who will not give it back. I like
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 24, 2003
          Hi Rick, Dave and Fellow Knucklebonners,

          Play knucklebones with me and I promise you 'will be giving your money to somebody who will not give it back.' I like this theory. How do you divide the GThom into 6 columns? Perhaps the copy I keep requesting that has 666 lines.

          Tom Saunders
          Platter Flats, OK


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Andrew Smith
          Stevan Davies once wrote a paper suggesting that GThomas was used as an oracle, hence its lack of order and organisation. See
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 25, 2003
            Stevan Davies once wrote a paper suggesting that GThomas was used as
            an oracle, hence its lack of order and organisation.

            See http://www.misericordia.edu/users/davies/THOMAS/ORACLES.HTM

            Best Wishes

            Andrew

            Andrew Smith
            Bardic Press
            http://www.bardic-press.com
          • Tom Saunders
            Stevan Davies once wrote a paper suggesting that GThomas was used as an oracle, hence its lack of order and organisation. I would suggest that the oracle
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 25, 2003
              "Stevan Davies once wrote a paper suggesting that GThomas was used as
              an oracle, hence its lack of order and organisation."

              I would suggest that the oracle idea is a bust. I think saying 3, of Thomas and the corresponding saying in the GMary rule out the use of oracles, "34) Beware that no one lead you astray saying Lo here or lo there! For the Son of Man is within you."

              The use of oracles probably suggests an outside or external being or force that can dictate or predict future events. What we see in Thomas is not that kind of internal and external relationship. We see a methodology or suggestion of self power in the universe, and a suggestion that you do not go looking for the kingdom but you wait to see it.

              I think the Thomas list is more a list of 'precepts' rather than an oracle.

              Tom Saunders
              Platter Flats, OK



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Michael Grondin
              ... I ve been negligent in not responding to this sooner, but a certain tangent to the recent discussion of #98 has furnished me with an example of the kind of
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 20, 2003
                Back on Sep. 23, Rick Hubbard wrote:
                > The question becomes whether Mike has tumbled across evidence
                > that GTh is one gigantic “hermeneiai!”

                I've been negligent in not responding to this sooner, but a certain tangent
                to the recent discussion of #98 has furnished me with an example of the kind
                of thing that I see in GThom, and that is illustrative of the difference
                between my working hypothesis and the hypothesis of GTh as oracle-text.

                The first thing that I want to say is that in looking over GThom, I do
                indeed find many sayings that seem to be oracular in nature, which is to say
                that they're ambiguous enough to serve in a process of divination. But I
                also find many sayings that do not appear to have this quality. (What I have
                in mind is a sort of "horoscope quality", i.e., general and ambiguous enough
                that they could be interpreted to fit many different real-life situations.)

                More to the point, however, is that my working hypothesis is not that the
                sayings were intended to be numbered differently (though that may be true),
                nor that some of them were intended to be picked out as oracles as the text
                now stands, but that the text was intended to be rearranged - indeed, that
                some stuff may have been intended to be discarded entirely. When this has
                been done, it may be that the resultant text - or a contiguous subset of
                it - is oracular in nature, but that is not my focus, nor do I have any
                strong intuitions about it one way or another at this point. What I think is
                that the reader was intended to make the text "perfect" in some sense. What
                the shape of that "perfection" is is not yet clear to me.

                "The text was intended to be rearranged." That is the radical possibility
                which I propose, and which simply hasn't occurred to anyone, because we have
                no known examples of it. And yet it stares us in the face in sayings 6 and
                14. Logion 6 consists of a series of questions which are answered in logion
                14. There's no plausible way around that fact. That 14 was intended to
                answer 6 is clearly indicated not only by its contents, by also by its
                opening words, which are that "JS said TO THEM" - with no "them" in sight.
                The "them" in question (the disciples) aren't there, because they're off in
                saying 6 asking the questions that 14 answers. Was the separation of 6 and
                14 originally a scribal error? IMO, it was not, for if it was, it would have
                had to have been uncorrected in at least two texts that followed the
                original error, since the POxy fragments have the same "mistake" as the
                Coptic.

                This much I've said before, but now our recent discussion of #98 has led to
                a new insight on this matter. One of the discussants mentioned #35 ("It
                isn't possible for anyone to go into the house of the strong and take it/him
                by force, unless he bind his hands. Then he will move out of his house.") I
                would now like to suggest that 6A (the questions) has been "bound" in
                precisely this way, and that as a result, it has been removed from its
                "house" (i.e., 14). (Parenthetically, this answers a question I've puzzled
                over for some time, viz., was 6A intended to be moved over to 14, or 14 over
                to 6A? I now think the former must be the case.)

                The "bindings" that I have in mind for 6A are the identical statements (in
                Coptic, if not in translation) "Nothing hidden will fail to appear", which
                occurs at the end of #5 and near the end of #6. Logion 5 must, I think, be
                taken as a lead-in to what follows in logion 6. Note particularly the use of
                the _singular_ 'you' in logion 5. There is no disciple in view to whom these
                words are addressed. Rather, they're addressed, I think, to the reader:

                "Know what's in front of YOUR face, and that which is hidden from YOU will
                be revealed to YOU."

                This is not obvious to us when we read it in English, but in Coptic there's
                a difference between the singular 'you' and the plural 'you'. That
                difference would have been obvious to the native reader. When Jesus is made
                to utter pronouncements containing the word 'you/your' with no disciples in
                sight, it's invariably the plural 'you'. But here in logion 5, it's singular
                in all three occurrences. Why? What is it that's in front of the reader's
                face at that point? Apparently, that the response given to the questions in
                6A (i.e., "Do not lie.") is not the answer to those questions. What's
                "hidden" at that point is the real answers; they're "hidden" because they're
                off in #14. Evidently, #14 is the "house" of 6A, and the "strong" (6A) has
                been removed from its "house" by having its "hands" (i.e., both ends of it)
                "bound" by the identical phrase "Nothing hidden will fail to appear". But
                now "Jesus" appears in #5 to "free the captive" - or rather, to tell the
                reader that he/she should "free the captive". The reader is thus not left
                clueless as to how to rearrange the text - "Jesus" helps him. (Which
                would have been the pious way of understanding the fact that some
                of J's purported sayings refer to others. This is not to deny the existence
                of the normal level of meaning, but to add another.)

                If this suggested combination of Christian ideology with authorial genius
                was at first glance opaque to the ancient mind, how much more so to the
                modern, where what might be subtle syntactical clues are typically assigned
                to scribal sloppiness? If my intuitions are correct, however, GThom lives up
                to its promise to give the world "that which has never occurred to the mind
                of man" - in spades.

                Mike Grondin
                The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
                http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.