Re: [GTh] Re: Thomas 36 Greek papyri variant reading
----- Original Message -----
From: "Wieland Willker" <willker@...-bremen.de>
Sent: Monday, July 05, 2004 7:37 AM
Subject: [GTh] Re: Thomas 36 Greek papyri variant reading
> --- In email@example.com, "sarban" <sarban@s...> wrote:
> > I was recently reading the new book 'Thomas' by Risto Uro.
> > It refers briefly to a claim by Robinson & Heil in ZNW 89 30 -44
> > and ZNW 92 113-122 about the text of the Greek papyrus parallel
> > to Thomas 36. (Oxyrhynchus 655)
> > ...
> > IMHO this may be a case where Thomas helps us discover the
> > original text of the canonical gospels rather than a more primitive
> > text underlying them.
> And why, please?
> Isn't it a smoothing and conformation to 6:26? The case is
> interesting, but really convincing arguments are missing.
I agree it is not conclusive.
Although one could argue that it is more likely that the original
text in Matthew repeated a threefold pattern in 6:26 and 6:28
than that the copyist in Sinaiticus changed Matthew for stylistic
reasons in 6:28
There are IMO three alternatives
a/ The reading in the Greek version of Thomas and the first hand of
Sinaiticus go back to a common source probably as old as canonical
Matthew and may be equivalent to the original text of Matthew.
b/ The readings in Sinaiticus and Thomas are independent
corruptions of the original text. IMHO this is unlikely.
c/ Sinaiticus and Oxy 655 represent an Alexandrian modification of
the text of Matthew. This is at first sight very plausible, but the text of
Thomas shows rather little influence from narrowly Alexandrian
(there are some exceptions eg 'to see a man' in Thomas 78 and 'they
showed ... a coin' in Thomas 100 but this is broadly true as a
generalization. There are parallels with the Sahidic but this seems to
be at least partly a result of the Western element in that version.)
On a more general point the textual parallels to Thomas come mostly
in one of two groups.
a/ parallels specifically to the Syriac or the Gospel harmonies or both.
b/ parallels to the broad Western textual tradition.
Parallels in group a/ are IMHO probably mostly not the original
readings of the canonical gospels, but secondary modifications.
Parallels in group b/ those found in Thomas and the broad Western
tradition (eg Thomas and Codex Bezae) are IMHO quite likely to be
the original readings of the canonical gospels. .
- Textcritically it is against all experience, that the more smooth,
harmonized to context reading vanishes completely and the unusual,
non-harmonistic reading wins out. I think the unusualness of the
Matthean form is a strong argument for its originality (in the
Gospel). If it is also the starting point of the saying itself in the
tradition is a completely different question. Possibly it was a well
known oral saying, existing in different forms. In that case it would
be even likely that Thomas and 01* arose independently.
A related example of similar sounding words is the case of KAMILON /
KAMHLON in Mt 19:24 and parallels. Here KAMILON makes good sense,
Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany