textual criticism of thomas
- I've recently read Marcovich's essay "The Text of
the Gospel of Thomas". (Journal of Theological
Studies 20; 1969, pps 53-74; reprinted in Studies
in Graeco-Roman Religion and Gnosticism).
This analyses the textual differences between the
Coptic text of Thomas, the Greek fragments of
Thomas and the version used by the Naassenes.
One particularly interesting part is the comparison
of Thomas 3 in Greek and Coptic. Marcovich argues
that the reading in Coptic "in the Sea" and the Greek
reading "under the Earth" go back to an original
Semitic, (Hebrew or Aramaic/Syriac), TEHOM, which
can mean either Sea or Abyss (i.e. "under the Earth").
Marcovich accepts that Coptic Thomas is translated
from Greek but suggests that the Greek underlying
Coptic Thomas, and the Greek of the existing
fragments may be independent translations from a
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