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Re: [GTh] Logion 68 (B)

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... Why not? In biblical writings, it wasn t unheard of to say that the place where such-and-such had happened would be erased from the face of the earth. God
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 25, 2003
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      Maurice wrote:
      > First, it is pretty clear that the (A) part of the logion refers to a
      > time fixation ... "when" you are persecuted. Why would the (B) part of
      > the logion lead off with a "place" fixation?

      Why not? In biblical writings, it wasn't unheard of to say that the place
      where such-and-such had happened would be erased from the face of the earth.
      God blotted out Sodom and Gomorrah, e.g. In NT times, and in the Christian
      view, it was Jerusalem. More generally, in #68 and Lk and Mt, it's wherever
      you (the believers) have been persecuted.

      > Second, who might the "they" be as employed in the middle of the (B)
      > sentence? Could it be thet the (A) part of the logion is meant to
      > identify those doing the hating and the persecuting, but their
      > identity was somehow left out of the sentence ..."Blessed are you when
      > you are hated and persecuted by ______ (whomever)". In the case of
      > Matt 5: 11 - 12 and Luke 6: 22 - 23 where the same idea is given, no
      > one is identified as doing the hating and the persecuting, but the
      > idea is introduced in both these cases that the hating and persecuting
      > is being done onto the "listeners", "for Jesus' sake". So again, who
      > are the "they" in the (B) part of the logion.

      Just like in Mt and Lk, no one in particular. I don't see how the addition
      of "for Jesus' sake" in the canonicals makes any difference.

      > Finally, what about the word "place" at the end of the logion. It is
      > clearly nonsensical that one finds "no place" in such circumstances,
      > unless it should read "no place to rest" or the like ("There shall be
      > no rest for the wicked...") in which event the translator or redactor
      > missed a few words in his translation or his redaction.

      I don't think so. As above, it's wasn't considered nonsensical to say that
      one will find "no place" where such-and-such had happened - it was
      hyperbole. (There were some actual cases, though, where an entire village or
      city was destroyed and all its inhabitants driven out. I recall stories of
      the ground of some areas being salted to prevent the growing of crops.)

      > The strange part about all of this is that in the following logion,
      > (# 69) the redactor opts to repeat the words of logion 68 (A) but adds
      > that the persecuting is that which is done internally as seemingly
      > opposed to physically in the case of logion 68. Is logion #68 then but
      > an invention of the author ... or perhaps are logions 68 and 69
      > somehow meant to be read as a single logion ? Note also that logion #
      > 70 which follows also speaks of "perssecution within", but in its (B)
      > sentence goes on to also introduce the idea of (physical ?)
      > "destruction" as seems to also be the case in logion # 68 .... well at
      > least to the extent that persecution and destruction are associated
      > concepts ...

      I'd recommend that you print out page 45 of Codex II from my pdf file. One
      can see there that 68-70 form a block of 13 lines of text, ending at line
      468, and immediately preceding the two-line saying #71 ("I will destroy this
      house..."). Thus, I would see a connection between the three logia 68-70. My
      suggestion as to the overall structure of the Coptic Thomas is that this is
      near to the dividing point between the textual "heavens" (lines 471-668) and
      the textual "earth", and that #71 signals that the textual "earth" is to be
      "destroyed" in some way by the reader.

      Assuming that the author of the Gospel of Philip was familiar with GTh, the
      theory of intended reader interaction provides an interpretation to the
      otherwise-mysterious Philippian statement that "Since Christ came, the dead
      have been carried out and the cities have been made beautiful". At the same
      time, this connects up with your concern about "no place" being found. My
      suggestion would be that the contiguous block of 15 lines at the top of page
      45 (lines 436-450) represent one of "the dead". (The reason for thinking so
      is that line 450 ends with the verb-phrase "they-killed-him" - followed by
      the emphasizer "He who has ears to hear..." on the next line.) At the same
      time, these lines tell a story of what could be taken to be "persecution" of
      the servants and son of the good vineyard-owner, by the tenants of the
      symbolic "place of grapes". Thus, if this block of lines is "carried out"
      (to some uncertain location), there won't be any TOPOS left on page 45 where
      "they persecuted you(pl)". (In this case, the "they" would be the "tenants"
      of the "vineyard"- although in general there needn't be any particular
      "they" involved in such Coptic phrases.)

      Regards,
      Mike Grondin
    • sarban
      ... From: Michael Grondin To: Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2003 2:46 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Logion 68 (B) ...
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 29, 2003
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
        To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2003 2:46 PM
        Subject: Re: [GTh] Logion 68 (B)


        > Maurice wrote:
        > > First, it is pretty clear that the (A) part of the logion refers to a
        > > time fixation ... "when" you are persecuted. Why would the (B) part of
        > > the logion lead off with a "place" fixation?
        >
        > Why not? In biblical writings, it wasn't unheard of to say that the place
        > where such-and-such had happened would be erased from the face of the
        earth.
        > God blotted out Sodom and Gomorrah, e.g. In NT times, and in the Christian
        > view, it was Jerusalem. More generally, in #68 and Lk and Mt, it's
        wherever
        > you (the believers) have been persecuted.
        >
        I have doubts about interpreting the passage as a prophecy of judgment.
        It would be rather alien to Thomas's general thought. One possibility is
        that true persecution is inward and spiritual and hence not in an
        identifiable physical location. (This would link to the reference in
        Thomas 69 to being "persecuted in their heart".) Another possibility is
        that the Coptic is a clumsy translation of something like the saying
        attributed to Jesus in book 4 of the Stromateis of Clement, "Blessed are
        those who are persecuted on my account for they will have a place where
        they will not be persecuted."

        Andrew Criddle
      • fmmccoy
        ... From: sarban To: Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 5:52 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Logion 68 (B) ... (Michael
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 31, 2003
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "sarban" <sarban@...>
          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 5:52 PM
          Subject: Re: [GTh] Logion 68 (B)

          > > Maurice wrote:
          > > > First, it is pretty clear that the (A) part of the logion refers to a
          > > > time fixation ... "when" you are persecuted. Why would the (B) part of
          > > > the logion lead off with a "place" fixation?

          (Michael replied)
          > > Why not? In biblical writings, it wasn't unheard of to say that the
          place
          > > where such-and-such had happened would be erased from the face of the
          > earth.
          > > God blotted out Sodom and Gomorrah, e.g. In NT times, and in the
          Christian
          > > view, it was Jerusalem. More generally, in #68 and Lk and Mt, it's
          > wherever
          > > you (the believers) have been persecuted.

          (Andrew responded)
          > I have doubts about interpreting the passage as a prophecy of judgment.
          > It would be rather alien to Thomas's general thought. One possibility is
          > that true persecution is inward and spiritual and hence not in an
          > identifiable physical location. (This would link to the reference in
          > Thomas 69 to being "persecuted in their heart".) Another possibility is
          > that the Coptic is a clumsy translation of something like the saying
          > attributed to Jesus in book 4 of the Stromateis of Clement, "Blessed are
          > those who are persecuted on my account for they will have a place where
          > they will not be persecuted."


          THE MEANING OF "PLACE" IN THOMAS

          Let us look at 68b. "Wherever you have been persecuted they will find no
          Place."

          Judging by Michael's interlinear text, the Coptic word translated as "Place"
          is related to the Greek word "topos". He indicates that this Coptic word
          is also found in 4, 24, 60, and 64.

          Let us look at the occurrence of this Coptic word in 24, "His disciples said
          to Him, 'Show us the *place* where You are, since it is necessary for us to
          seek it.'"

          This is very peculiar in that the disciples presumably are in the same place
          as Jesus. How else are they able to speak to him? Why, then, do they
          presume that the *place* where he is located is someplace else--in another
          locale which they must seek to find?

          ISTM that, we should understand, even though Jesus is bodily in the same
          place as his disciples, his inner self is in another place altogether. In
          this case, the *place* that the disciples want Jesus to show them is not the
          place where they he and they are bodily located, but another place
          altogether.

          Next, let us turn to the occurrence of this Coptic word in 4, "The man old
          in days will not hesitate to ask a small child seven days old about the
          *place* of life, and he will live."

          Here, the place appears to be a realm of eternal life. If you know about it
          and enter into it, you will live, i.e., have eternal life. Jesus already
          exists there in his inner self (24), so he is the "living Jesus" (Preface),
          i.e., the eternally existing Jesus.

          Next, let us turn to the occurrence of this Coptic word in 64, "Businessmen
          and merchants will not enter the *Places* of My Father."

          Here, I suggest, the basic idea is that *the* Place (the place of life of 4
          and the place where (the inner) Jesus is located in 24) is where the Father
          of Jesus resides and it is divided into a number of places. Businessmen and
          merchants will not be able to enter these places and, so, are barred from
          eternal life.

          Next, let us turn to the occurrence of this Coptic word in 60, "You too,
          look for a *place* for yourselves within Repose, lest you become a corpse
          and be eaten."

          Here, I suggest, "Repose" is *the* Place and the "place" the disciples are
          to look for is one of the places within *the* Place. One who finds and
          enters into one of these places will be "living", i.e., have eternal life,
          and, so, will not have to fear becoming a "corpse".

          Next, let us turn to the occurrence of this Coptic word in 68, "Wherever you
          have been persecuted they will find no *Place*."

          Here, I suggest, the basic point is that, no matter where you are bodily
          located, those who persecute you will not be able to find either *the*
          Place or any of the places within it.

          To summarize, in GTh, the Coptic word translated as "place" appears to be
          related to the Greek word "topos". There apparently is one *the* Place,
          with it being divided into a number of places. It is a realm of the Father
          and a realm of eternal life. One does not enter it in a bodily sense.
          Rather, one enters it with one's inner self. Even while he was on earth,
          the inner self of Jesus was in *the* Place. Some people are barred from
          entry into *the* Place and its places and these include businessmen,
          traders, and persecutors.

          PHILO

          As respects Gen. 28:11:

          He took one of the stones of the place (topos) and set it under his head,
          and slept in that place (topos).

          Philo states (Som. i, 127-128):

          It is of importance to know that the divine 'place (topos)' and the holy
          land is full or incoporeal 'words (logoi)'; and these words are immortal
          souls. Of these words, he takes one, choosing as the best the topmost one
          (i.e., the Word),occupying the place which the head does in the whole boy,
          and sets it up close to his understanding; for the understanding is, we may
          say, the soul's head. He does so professedly to sleep upon it, but in
          reality to repose on the divine Word and lay his whole life, lightest of
          burdens, thereon.

          Here, "topos" is used--the Greek equivalent of the Coptic word
          in Thomas that is translated as place.

          So, according to Philo, there is a divine place (topos). It is filled with
          the words of God, including *the* Word of God. These are immortal souls.
          One who enters this divine place can find repose by resting on *the* Word of
          God.

          Compare GTh 24a, "His disciples said to Him, 'Show us the *place* where You
          are, since it is necessary for us to seek it.'"

          Possibly, here, Jesus is *the* Word and the place where he (in the sense of
          his inner self--what Philo calls a soul) is to be found is Philo's divine
          place--the place of Gen. 28:11.

          Also compare GTh 90, "Jesus said, 'Come unto me, for My yoke is easy and My
          lordship is mild, and you will find repose for yourselves.'"

          Possibly, here, Jesus identifies himself as being *the* Word and invites us
          to come into this divine place, the place of Gen. 28:11, so that we can find
          repose on him there.

          JOHN 14:2-3
          Regarding the "place (topos)" of Gen. 28:11, Jacob declares in 28:17b (LXX),
          "How fearful is this place (topos)! This is none other than the House
          (Oikos) of God!"

          If, as suggested, *the* Place in Thomas thought is the place of Gen 28:11,
          then, this means, the Thomas idea that *the* Place is divided into a number
          of places can also be expressed as the idea that *the* House of God is
          divided into a number of dwellings.

          Compare John 14:2-3, where Jesus tells his disciples, "In my Father's
          house (oikia) are many residences (pollai). But, if not, would I have told
          you that I go to prepare a place (topos) for you? And if I go and prepare a
          place (topos) for you, I am coming again and will receive you to myself,
          that where I am, you also may be."

          So, possibly John 14:2-3 is closely related to Thomas thought concerning
          *the* Place and its places--with the place (topos) that Jesus will prepare
          for his disciples either being his Father's house or else one of the
          dwellings in it.. This is especially likely if, in John 14:2-3, Jesus
          speaks as *the* Word of God. In this case, the return that Jesus refers to
          is not his Parousia (his second coming at the climax of time) but a
          non-bodily return to his disciples in which he will lead them (in the sense
          of their inner selves) to the place he has prepared, so that they can be
          with him, reposing on him.

          Frank McCoy
          1809 N. English Apt. 15
          Maplewood, MN USA 55109
        • Michael Grondin
          ... Not _related_; it IS the Greek word topos . There is in fact a Coptic word ( MA ) which is also translated place and occurs 19 times. In general, TOPOS
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 1, 2003
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            Frank McCoy wrote:
            > To summarize, in GTh, the Coptic word translated as "place" appears to be
            > related to the Greek word "topos".

            Not _related_; it IS the Greek word 'topos'. There is in fact a Coptic word
            ('MA') which is also translated 'place' and occurs 19 times. In general,
            TOPOS and MA are synonyms, but in 68B the two are used together in an odd
            sort of way:

            "TOPOS won't be found in the MA where you were persecuted."

            (Or: "They won't find TOPOS in the MA where they persecuted you.")

            Note that here, TOPOS occurs without a singularizing particle. In 4, it's
            "THE place of Life". In 24, it's "THE place where you (JS) are". In 60, it's
            "A place for yourselves". In 64, it's "THE places of my Father". But in 68,
            it's simply TOPOS; no 'a', 'the', or even 'any'. Furthermore, within the
            range of English synonyms for TOPOS that I'm familiar with, there's no word
            that seems to capture both the unsingularized usage in 68B and the
            singularized usage in the other four occurrences. 'Area' or 'space' don't
            seem to quite do it, so it remains a minor translational problem.

            In general, one should be alert to the fact that Coptic uses many Greek
            "loan-words". Sometimes also (as in this case), the Thomas text employs both
            a Greek word and its Coptic equivalent.

            Mike Grondin
          • sarban
            ... From: Michael Grondin To: Sent: Saturday, November 01, 2003 3:34 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Logion 68 (B)
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 1, 2003
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
              To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Saturday, November 01, 2003 3:34 PM
              Subject: Re: [GTh] Logion 68 (B)


              >
              <SNIP>

              > In general, one should be alert to the fact that Coptic uses many Greek
              > "loan-words". Sometimes also (as in this case), the Thomas text employs
              both
              > a Greek word and its Coptic equivalent.
              >
              > Mike Grondin
              >
              The 1959 Coptic text and English translation of Thomas,
              (published E J Brill, editors A Guillaumont, H-CH Puech,
              G Quispel, W Till & Yassah Abd Al Masih), explicitly
              marks Greek loan-words.
              This was the original English translation of Thomas
              as far as I know it is not on-line.

              Andrerw Criddle
            • Michael Grondin
              ... been originally written in Greek? No. Nor does it indicate that the Coptic GTh was translated from Greek. The use of Greek loan-words was simply a feature
              Message 6 of 9 , Nov 2, 2003
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                > Does the existence of Greek loan words indicate that Thomas might have
                been originally written in Greek?

                No. Nor does it indicate that the Coptic GTh was translated from Greek. The
                use of Greek loan-words was simply a feature of the Coptic language at the
                time - due no doubt to the enormous influence of Greek throughout the
                region. By way of comparison, English borrows words from all over the
                place - thereby adding 'burro' (Spanish) and 'bureau' (French) to what I
                believe is our native 'burrow'. We don't normally think much of it, but it's
                not clear to me that the average literate Copt of the time would have been
                so blind as we are to the existence of foreign words that creep into the
                native language. The situation may be more like the French - who seem to be
                quite cognizant of English words that enter into their vocabulary. But this
                is just my impression; perhaps Maurice or another French-speaker can correct
                me there.

                Mike Grondin
                Mt. Clemens, MI
              • Tom Saunders
                Does the existence of Greek loan words indicate that Thomas might have been originally written in Greek? Tom Saunders Platter, OK [Non-text portions of this
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 2, 2003
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                  Does the existence of Greek loan words indicate that Thomas might have been originally written in Greek?

                  Tom Saunders
                  Platter, OK



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • jmgcormier
                  ... have been originally written in Greek? ... Greek. The use of Greek loan-words was simply a feature of the Coptic language at the time - due no doubt to the
                  Message 8 of 9 , Nov 2, 2003
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                    --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@c...>
                    wrote:
                    > > Does the existence of Greek loan words indicate that Thomas might
                    have been originally written in Greek?
                    >
                    > No. Nor does it indicate that the Coptic GTh was translated from
                    Greek. The use of Greek loan-words was simply a feature of the Coptic
                    language at the time - due no doubt to the enormous influence of Greek
                    throughout the region. By way of comparison, English borrows words
                    from all over the place - thereby adding 'burro' (Spanish) and
                    'bureau' (French) to what I believe is our native 'burrow'. We don't
                    normally think much of it, but it's not clear to me that the average
                    literate Copt of the time would have been so blind as we are to the
                    existence of foreign words that creep into the native language. The
                    situation may be more like the French - who seem to be quite cognizant
                    of English words that enter into their vocabulary.

                    But this is just my impression; perhaps Maurice or another
                    French-speaker can correct me there.
                    >
                    > Mike Grondin
                    > Mt. Clemens, MI

                    -----------------------------

                    I would say that this is a pretty fair appraisal, Mike. As you
                    know, in the English speaking world, the dictionary publishers seem to
                    be the true guardians of the language ... enforcing this "role" by way
                    of what they thus allow to creep into "accepted use". It seems that
                    "usage" is the principal criterion for inclusion ("arm candy" for
                    example to describe a young "lady" hanging onto the arm of a "sugar
                    daddy" ... I just love that one ...).

                    In the French language, however, life is not so simple. It is not the
                    dictionary publishers who decide which words will creep into the
                    language and which ones will not, but rather it is the "Academie
                    Francaise" which historically has does the official deciding. This
                    body of learned linguists allows and rejects words based on a bit more
                    than mere usage, and often carry out painstaking work and study before
                    accepting or rejecting words be they French or "creeper in" words
                    from other languages. For example, the closest one can come to the
                    word "marketing" in French is the word "commercialization". Soooo ...
                    because "marketing" (in English) is more than mere
                    "commercialization", the Academie allows for "marketing" to be of
                    correct usage in French. In contrast, the French word "entreprenneur"
                    has no equivalency in English (except prehaps for the word "promotor")
                    so "entreprenneur" simply becomes an o.k. word for the Dictionary
                    publishers and thus becomes "accepted" for usage.

                    My own bias is that usage will ultimately decide which words we use,
                    but in fairness to the French system, if nobody (or no "body") is
                    watching for word creepage into a language, pretty soon (not sure at
                    which point) the language in question loses much of its authenticity.

                    As for Copt and Greek, I am not sure how hostile the Copts might have
                    been to "word creepage". As you know, Greek became very widespread
                    after Alexander's conquests and as a minimum, I expect neighbouring
                    languages made use of it "as required" ... especially in the case of
                    technical words where their might not have been equivalencies. In
                    fact, western languages still do this now (e.g. "Pyromaniac" is
                    widespread in both English and French usage, although the "pyro" part
                    comes to us from Alexandrian/Greek origins. However, as a follow-up,
                    the English more readily uses "fire bug" to describe a "pyromaniac"
                    because (I think) it better describes the idea (an arson
                    "enthusiast") and is mor colorful. Don't hold out on the Academie
                    following suit with some "fire bug" equivalent word, however ... well,
                    at least not in the near future I suspect.


                    Maurice Cormier
                  • David C. Hindley
                    ... use, but in fairness to the French system, if nobody (or no body ) is watching for word creepage into a language, pretty soon (not sure at which point)
                    Message 9 of 9 , Nov 5, 2003
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                      --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "jmgcormier" <cobby@n...> wrote:

                      >>My own bias is that usage will ultimately decide which words we
                      use, but in fairness to the French system, if nobody (or no "body")
                      is watching for word creepage into a language, pretty soon (not sure
                      at which point) the language in question loses much of its
                      authenticity.<<

                      "Language is what language does," as the movie character Forrest Gump
                      might say. The koine of the 1st century CE was quite different than
                      the Attic of classical Greek times (slightly simpler grammer, full of
                      new words created from a variety of sources - not all of which were
                      of "pure" Greek origin).

                      The upper classes were quite aware of this, as they were tutored in
                      Attic literature and spoke that form of the language among
                      themselves. I cannot recall the source off hand (I am on vacation in
                      Texas) but one critic quotes (in English translation) a writer from
                      around the 1st century who was very critical of other elites who
                      stooped to speak or make use of elements of the Greek koine dialect.

                      Of course, that kind of attitude among the elite classes does not
                      stop his baker or lower level retainer or slave from using the
                      somewhat simpler and more "colorful" koine for everyday business.

                      Dave Hindley
                      Cleveland, Ohio USA
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