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Re: [GTh] Re: The gospel of Thomas and Christian Wisdom

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  • sarban
    ... From: Andrew Smith To: Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 6:15 AM Subject: [GTh] Re: The gospel of Thomas
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 11, 2005
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Andrew Smith" <smithand44@...>
      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 6:15 AM
      Subject: [GTh] Re: The gospel of Thomas and Christian Wisdom


      <SNIP>
      >
      > Although Steve doesn't mention it in this essay, I seem to recall that
      > Metzger mentioned that some early Christian MSs showed signs of being
      > used for divination. Does anyone recall this?
      >
      > Andrew Smith
      >
      From Metzger's article on 'Sortes Biblicae' in the Oxford
      Companion to the Bible

      "In the lower margins of successive manuscript pages there
      occasionally appear brief comments before each of which the
      Greek word HERMHNEIA ... is written ....... Such 'interpretations'
      are found for example on eight Greek manuscript copies of John's
      gospel from the third or fourth to the eighth century. Similarly the
      fifth-century Codex Bezae bears such comments written in the lower
      margins of the gospel of Mark. Dating perhaps from the ninth or
      tenth century ........ An Old Latin codex of the gospel of the eighth
      century is also inscribed along the margins of the gospel of John with
      a similar collection of sayings."

      Andrew Criddle
    • Michael Grondin
      [Andrew Criddle] ... Thanks, Andrew. A few comments: Judging from the article, the heretical practice of sortilege or sacred lots seems to have been
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 11, 2005
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        [Andrew Criddle]

        > From Metzger's article on 'Sortes Biblicae' in the Oxford
        > Companion to the Bible ...

        Thanks, Andrew. A few comments:

        Judging from the article, the heretical practice of "sortilege" or "sacred
        lots" seems to have been practiced both formally and informally. As informal
        practice, one would open the bible (or Homer or Virgil) at a random page and
        read the first passage that hit one's eye, trying to glean from it something
        related to one's future - or some piece of advice. Taking this a step
        further, some folks evidently thought to write a brief "fortune cookie" type
        statement ("You will be saved from danger", "Expect a great miracle", etc.)
        on each page of, say, Mark. Metzger doesn't say whether these
        "interpretations" were related to the particular contents of the page on
        which they were written (though one can imagine that to be so), nor is there
        any indication that the numbers involved (one each on 69 pages of Mark,
        e.g.) correspond to the numerical possibilities of throwing dice.

        As to Steve's hypothesis, it doesn't seem very likely to me. Even if the
        number of sayings could be reduced to 108 (which is certainly possible),
        there's the matter of content. One would think, for example, that the
        compiler of such a collection would have included only relatively short
        sayings, eschewing lengthy logia like the banquet parable. On the other
        hand, if he himself had been using "sortilege" to select his contents, it
        would be unlikely that he would have ended up with the canonical sequence
        64-66. Also, many logia don't easily lend themselves to "fortune" or
        "advice" type interpretations - which would presumably have been the
        selection criterion for the compiler - if that had been what he was up to.
        Which is not to say that I don't think that the compiler had SOME selection
        criteria. It's just that I don't think that it was this.

        Mike Grondin
        Mt. Clemens, MI
      • Tom Saunders
        Don t these represent a willful misreading of what seems to be a simple reference to the possibility that an individual GTh saying may have been randomly
        Message 3 of 9 , Jan 11, 2005
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          "Don't these represent a willful misreading of what seems to be a simple
          reference to the possibility that an individual GTh saying may have been
          randomly chosen, by some users at some times, to shed light on a given
          question or problem? I see no implication that Davies "links" GTh to the
          structure or tradition of the Yi Jing, or that anyone has."

          Let me address the second part of the statement above first. I await reading what Davies says. I have what Elaine Pagels writes about the impression of a Buddhist Priest concerning the GThom, and can see myself an almost undeniable relationship to Oriental thought concerning something like the I-Ching fundamentals, and the GThom. It has to do with form and action.

          It is like doing martial kata, (moving forms), reading Chinese 'wisdom poetry,' and applying the wisdom or movement to real life, or the Tao, meaning Logos. As an instrument it is clear the GThom is meant to serve much of that same purpose. Like the Oriental workings of the I-Ching, and the other ways forms are presented, the actual form takes place in the structure of the act of performing the units within the form. In other words there is no discernible form to the way the GThom is written, because its form occurs in the action of its doing or understanding. Martial forms work the same way.

          By the time the Mandaeans would have had an influence on Jesus teachings the workings of the I-Ching and the Oriental method of study of forms would have been well known. Martial forms, or kata, 'quien' in Chinese had been installed in the time of Confucious, but in the 1st Century famous martial artists are known to have campaigned to share knowledge in foreign lands, and are known to have traveled the Silk Routes. It is not out of the question the concepts of learning forms in an Oriental manner, was understood in ancient Judea. The Theraputae movement would have been a natural link to the Orientals of the 1st c. who also sought to share knowledge.

          If the form of the GThom has any of the influence from this form of teaching, they modified it, as they did with the faults of humanity. Confucious saw similar faults in man but he tended to use a dualistic model to compare them. The Gnostics see the faults of man differently, separate from what can be the perfect man.

          Now, consider the idea of the 'robbers' in the GThom. Prophecy would be to predict them coming, when and where, etc. The GThom says they can be defeated, or avoided when you read into the sayings about robbers, Th-21, and 35. Prophecy would be to predict, but the GThom is advocating changing the outcome of the encounter, or changing the situation of the encounter.

          This is different from the I-Ching which would fix the question, when will the robbers come?

          The twist of the GThom which would excite the Oriental is the GThom is overcoming the ideas of fixed fate, and advocates at least in form a free will not bound by pre-destiny.

          Tom Saunders
          Platter Flats, OK











          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • sarban
          ... From: Michael Grondin To: Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 3:55 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: The gospel of
          Message 4 of 9 , Jan 11, 2005
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 3:55 PM
            Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: The gospel of Thomas and Christian Wisdom


            <SNIP>

            On the other
            > hand, if he himself had been using "sortilege" to select his contents, it
            > would be unlikely that he would have ended up with the canonical sequence
            > 64-66.

            With respect to the sequence here it may possibly be worth noting
            that in Matthew 64 comes immediately after (65-66) and although
            Luke has 63, 64 and (65-66) in the same order as Thomas they are
            very widely separated

            (63 = Luke 12 16-21
            64 = Luke 14 15-24
            65-66 = Luke 20 9-17)

            However in the Diatessaron they are all relatively close together
            in the right order

            (63 is in Diatessaron chapter 28
            64 is in Diatessaron chapter 30
            65-66 is in Diatessaron chapter 33)

            Andrew Criddle
          • Michael Grondin
            ... As with so much of what Tom writes, the reasoning here is badly muddled. On the one hand, he can t stop himself from thinking of everything in terms of
            Message 5 of 9 , Jan 12, 2005
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              Tom Saunders writes:

              > It is like doing martial kata, (moving forms), reading Chinese 'wisdom
              > poetry,' and applying the wisdom or movement to real life, or the Tao,
              > meaning Logos. As an instrument it is clear the GThom is meant to serve
              > much of that same purpose. Like the Oriental workings of the I-Ching, and
              > the other ways forms are presented, the actual form takes place in the
              > structure of the act of performing the units within the form. In other
              > words there is no discernible form to the way the GThom is written,
              > because its form occurs in the action of its doing or understanding.
              > Martial forms work the same way.

              As with so much of what Tom writes, the reasoning here is badly muddled. On
              the one hand, he can't stop himself from thinking of everything in terms of
              martial arts, and so he has to draw some obscure comparisons between bodily
              movements and "acts of understanding", which are apples and oranges. On the
              other hand, he plays on the ambiguity of the word 'form', sometimes using it
              one way, sometimes another; sometimes applying it to one thing, sometimes to
              another. If one ends up being very confused, it is not the fault of your
              receiver.

              In a key sentence, Tom claims that "there is no discernible form to the way
              the GThom is written". In the primary sense of the word 'form' ("the shape
              of something, its outward or visible appearance" - OAD) this is patently
              false. But at this point, Tom is using another sense of the word 'form'
              (where it means 'structure'). What he's saying, then, is that GTh has no
              discernible structure (or order) to it - which mostly everyone would admit,
              without all the mumbo-jumbo intended to connect that rather obvious claim to
              martial arts "forms".

              As opposed to most commentators, however, I would claim that GTh DOES have a
              structure to it - or at least the Coptic version does. (We can't tell about
              the Greek version.) It's just that we've been looking at it wrongly. The
              structure isn't evident unless we look at the manuscript itself, because the
              structure seems to be basically syntactical. There is an apparent tie-in to
              the sematic aspect, but one can't tell from reading a translation, for
              example, that the first part of saying #10 ("I have cast fire on the world,
              and look - I am watching over it") occurs on lines 67-68 of the manuscript,
              that what precedes it is a single textual "block" of 66 lines, and that what
              follows it is exactly 600 lines of text (divided into 400 + 200) - some or
              all of which may or may not be "the world", but is surely of a size
              mysteriously-convenient to *represent* "the world".

              Now I know that one "coincidence" doesn't mean anything, but such
              syntactical coincidences multiply far beyond the ability of randomness to
              account for them, IMO. And they aren't confined to GTh, as I've pointed out
              before. The first and preceding text in Codex II (The Apocryphon of John)
              contains exactly 1100 lines plus the end line "Jesus Christ, Amen". The
              subsequent text (The Gospel of Philip) contains exactly 1232 lines - which
              doesn't seem to be significant in itself, but when added to GTh's 668, the
              result is an even 1900 lines, and when that is added to AoJ's 1100 lines,
              the cumulative size of the three texts is exactly 3000 lines. To my way of
              thinking, this suggests that the scribal author of Codex II consciously
              transcribed the three texts in a way that made the line-counts come out to
              some predetermined figure (I do not see any such pattern in the remaining
              four texts of Codex II). The same kind of detailed examination of the
              manuscript indicates (as I've argued at greater length elsewhere) that
              attention was also given to the syntactical structure _within Thomas_. Since
              commentators don't pay attention to such things, however, it will inevitably
              appear to them that the Coptic Thomas has no structure.

              Postscript: Anyone wishing to confirm my factual claims about the Coptic
              Thomas, or to pursue this line of inquiry, are welcome to download and/or
              print my page-by-page pdf-file presentation
              (http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/gtbypage_112702.pdf).

              Mike Grondin
              Mt. Clemens, MI
            • Andrew Smith
              ... sacred ... informal ... page and ... something ... cookie type ... miracle , etc.) ... page on ... is there ... the ... possible), ... contents, it ...
              Message 6 of 9 , Jan 16, 2005
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                --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@c...> wrote:
                >
                > Judging from the article, the heretical practice of "sortilege" or
                "sacred
                > lots" seems to have been practiced both formally and informally. As
                informal
                > practice, one would open the bible (or Homer or Virgil) at a random
                page and
                > read the first passage that hit one's eye, trying to glean from it
                something
                > related to one's future - or some piece of advice. Taking this a step
                > further, some folks evidently thought to write a brief "fortune
                cookie" type
                > statement ("You will be saved from danger", "Expect a great
                miracle", etc.)
                > on each page of, say, Mark. Metzger doesn't say whether these
                > "interpretations" were related to the particular contents of the
                page on
                > which they were written (though one can imagine that to be so), nor
                is there
                > any indication that the numbers involved (one each on 69 pages of Mark,
                > e.g.) correspond to the numerical possibilities of throwing dice.
                >
                > As to Steve's hypothesis, it doesn't seem very likely to me. Even if
                the
                > number of sayings could be reduced to 108 (which is certainly
                possible),
                > there's the matter of content. One would think, for example, that the
                > compiler of such a collection would have included only relatively short
                > sayings, eschewing lengthy logia like the banquet parable. On the other
                > hand, if he himself had been using "sortilege" to select his
                contents, it
                > would be unlikely that he would have ended up with the canonical
                sequence
                > 64-66. Also, many logia don't easily lend themselves to "fortune" or
                > "advice" type interpretations - which would presumably have been the
                > selection criterion for the compiler - if that had been what he was
                up to.
                > Which is not to say that I don't think that the compiler had SOME
                selection
                > criteria. It's just that I don't think that it was this.
                >

                It's interesting that a proposal that GThomas was compiled by putting
                together excerpts found by sortilege is a version of the dependency
                argument, which is anathema to Steve Davies.
                I don't have GTCW to hand, so I can't check, but I don't think that
                Steve was proposing that Thomas was composed as an oracles text, but
                that it perhaps owed its survival to its use as an oracles text. I'd
                better check that.

                Andrew
              • Michael Grondin
                ... Hi Andrew- This note is partially to respond to what you say above, partially to raise another issue with respect to the second edition of GTCW that you ve
                Message 7 of 9 , Jan 16, 2005
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                  Andrew Smith wrote:

                  > It's interesting that a proposal that GThomas was compiled by putting
                  > together excerpts found by sortilege is a version of the dependency
                  > argument, which is anathema to Steve Davies.
                  > I don't have GTCW to hand, so I can't check, but I don't think that
                  > Steve was proposing that Thomas was composed as an oracles text, but
                  > that it perhaps owed its survival to its use as an oracles text. I'd
                  > better check that.

                  Hi Andrew-

                  This note is partially to respond to what you say above, partially to raise
                  another issue with respect to the second edition of GTCW that you've
                  recently published. With respect to the above, I quite agree with you.
                  I considered the possibility of creation-by-sortilege simply as one of
                  several scenarios wherein sortilege *might* have been involved. In the end,
                  I rejected all of them.

                  The question I want to raise about the second edition of GTCW is whether it
                  includes Appendix I ("The Structure of Thomas") from the original edition.
                  It was this section particularly (and more specifically, its last sentence)
                  which inspired my own attempt to solve the problem that Steve set forth
                  there:

                  "I look forward to the time when someone unambiguously uncovers the secret
                  to Thomas' order or, indeed, to the time when we can conclude that the
                  sayings are essentially random, for that seemingly discouraging result would
                  in fact be a negative conclusion of considerable interest and significance."
                  (GTCW, 1983, p.155)

                  What I have uncovered so far in some 15 years of on-again off-again
                  effort indicates to my satisfaction (and I'm not easily satisfied, believe
                  me) that the *Coptic* Gospel of Thomas was a sort of "puzzle" which
                  represented the world (and its chaos), and that it was intended that
                  the "disciple" rearrange that "world" in order to form some kind of
                  textually-perfect "new world" (which would include, for example, the joining
                  of the set of questions in #6A with the set of answers in #14). This task,
                  which was probably part of the training to become "a perfect one", required
                  an intimate knowledge of the sayings - but also the development of a
                  peculiar way of interpreting them, according to which they were
                  referring to themselves (as well as to the outside world).

                  As astonishing as it seems (and we have never seen the like), numbers of
                  lines, occurrences of the names 'IS' and 'IHS', and even letters, evidently
                  served as guides for the re-structuring of the text. As Jesus (represented
                  by the first of three occurrences of 'IHS' in the text) is made to say to
                  Thomas in #13, "You've gotten drunk from the bubbling spring _which I have
                  measured_". It seems that this last phrase was intended to be taken
                  literally - not that the author of the text was Jesus, but that the text was
                  "measured" in some way to allow it to be restructured (as in 111A's "The
                  heavens and the earth will be rolled up _in your presence_").

                  My task here is not to argue for this view, because arguments are to no
                  avail. The claim is extraordinary, and so, too, must be the evidence. I will
                  only mention here one piece of textual evidence that I came across in the
                  last several days. It's related to saying 107, that has to do with a
                  shepherd searching for a 100th sheep that's gone astray. When he finds it,
                  he says that he loves it (or wants it) more than the 99. Now as it happens,
                  the 100th occurrence of the name 'IS' is at the tail end of saying 111, in
                  what I've always feared (and commentators agree) might be a scribal addition
                  ("Because JS speaks thus: whoever-falls upon-it himself, the world isn't
                  worthy of him"). The reason I say that I "feared" it might be a scribal
                  addition, is that it would pretty much ruin either my theory or the
                  possibility of proving it if it was. Now I'm convinced that it isn't - and
                  I'll tell you why. The number of letters in sayings 111 and 112 is 180, with
                  120 in saying 111 and 60 in saying 112. (I need hardly remind you of the "60
                  per measure and 120 per meaure" thingy). But more than that - saying 111 is
                  itself divided into two parts. The first part (which contains the 99th
                  occurrence of 'IS') is composed of 70 letters. The second part - the
                  apparent "scribal addition" which contains the 100th occurrence of 'IS' - is
                  composed of exactly 50 letters. As a result, we have 111A+111B+112 =
                  70+50+60 = 180 letters. In my opinion, this well-ordered three-part
                  structure cannot be accounted for by randomness, nor (thankfully) is 111B a
                  scribal addition. It's an integral part of the structure. (It is, perhaps,
                  an instance of what the Gospel of Philip refers to as hiding something of
                  great value in a container of little value.)

                  For a long time, I've referred to my theory as a "working hypothesis". With
                  the clearing away of this piece of possible contrary evidence, I now feel
                  confident of calling it a 'theory', since it now STM to be both probable and
                  provable. I'm confident that the text hasn't been scribally altered in such
                  a way that would eliminate any possibility of _our_ solving the puzzle. What
                  remains to do (and of course this is no easy task) is the actual putting
                  together of the puzzle, as the original "disciples of the perfect" would
                  have done it. Nothing less could possibly convince anyone else of this
                  astonishing theory - which owes its impetus (though not its substance) to
                  Appendix I of Steve's GTCW.

                  Regards,
                  Mike Grondin
                  The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
                  http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
                  The Coptic Gospel of Thomas in Context
                  http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/index.htm
                • Andrew Smith
                  Mike, Yes, Appendix 1 is included in the new GTCW. In the new intro, Steve briefly assesses the contribution of GTCW to Thomas studies and comments Is thomas
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jan 17, 2005
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                    Mike,

                    Yes, Appendix 1 is included in the new GTCW. In the new intro, Steve
                    briefly assesses the contribution of GTCW to Thomas studies and
                    comments "Is thomas in its origin or its structure divisible into four
                    sections, as suggested in the first appendix? Frankly that is an idea
                    that nobody supports.

                    I remember that you handed out a summary of your hypothesis at the SBL
                    a while ago. did you receive any response to it? The 120+60 is
                    certainly interesting.

                    Best Wishes

                    andrew
                    --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@c...> wrote:
                    > Andrew Smith wrote:
                    >
                    > > It's interesting that a proposal that GThomas was compiled by putting
                    > > together excerpts found by sortilege is a version of the dependency
                    > > argument, which is anathema to Steve Davies.
                    > > I don't have GTCW to hand, so I can't check, but I don't think that
                    > > Steve was proposing that Thomas was composed as an oracles text, but
                    > > that it perhaps owed its survival to its use as an oracles text. I'd
                    > > better check that.
                    >
                    > Hi Andrew-
                    >
                    > This note is partially to respond to what you say above, partially
                    to raise
                    > another issue with respect to the second edition of GTCW that you've
                    > recently published. With respect to the above, I quite agree with you.
                    > I considered the possibility of creation-by-sortilege simply as one of
                    > several scenarios wherein sortilege *might* have been involved. In
                    the end,
                    > I rejected all of them.
                    >
                    > The question I want to raise about the second edition of GTCW is
                    whether it
                    > includes Appendix I ("The Structure of Thomas") from the original
                    edition.
                    > It was this section particularly (and more specifically, its last
                    sentence)
                    > which inspired my own attempt to solve the problem that Steve set forth
                    > there:
                    >
                    > "I look forward to the time when someone unambiguously uncovers the
                    secret
                    > to Thomas' order or, indeed, to the time when we can conclude that the
                    > sayings are essentially random, for that seemingly discouraging
                    result would
                    > in fact be a negative conclusion of considerable interest and
                    significance."
                    > (GTCW, 1983, p.155)
                    >
                    > What I have uncovered so far in some 15 years of on-again off-again
                    > effort indicates to my satisfaction (and I'm not easily satisfied,
                    believe
                    > me) that the *Coptic* Gospel of Thomas was a sort of "puzzle" which
                    > represented the world (and its chaos), and that it was intended that
                    > the "disciple" rearrange that "world" in order to form some kind of
                    > textually-perfect "new world" (which would include, for example, the
                    joining
                    > of the set of questions in #6A with the set of answers in #14). This
                    task,
                    > which was probably part of the training to become "a perfect one",
                    required
                    > an intimate knowledge of the sayings - but also the development of a
                    > peculiar way of interpreting them, according to which they were
                    > referring to themselves (as well as to the outside world).
                    >
                    > As astonishing as it seems (and we have never seen the like), numbers of
                    > lines, occurrences of the names 'IS' and 'IHS', and even letters,
                    evidently
                    > served as guides for the re-structuring of the text. As Jesus
                    (represented
                    > by the first of three occurrences of 'IHS' in the text) is made to
                    say to
                    > Thomas in #13, "You've gotten drunk from the bubbling spring _which
                    I have
                    > measured_". It seems that this last phrase was intended to be taken
                    > literally - not that the author of the text was Jesus, but that the
                    text was
                    > "measured" in some way to allow it to be restructured (as in 111A's "The
                    > heavens and the earth will be rolled up _in your presence_").
                    >
                    > My task here is not to argue for this view, because arguments are to no
                    > avail. The claim is extraordinary, and so, too, must be the
                    evidence. I will
                    > only mention here one piece of textual evidence that I came across
                    in the
                    > last several days. It's related to saying 107, that has to do with a
                    > shepherd searching for a 100th sheep that's gone astray. When he
                    finds it,
                    > he says that he loves it (or wants it) more than the 99. Now as it
                    happens,
                    > the 100th occurrence of the name 'IS' is at the tail end of saying
                    111, in
                    > what I've always feared (and commentators agree) might be a scribal
                    addition
                    > ("Because JS speaks thus: whoever-falls upon-it himself, the world isn't
                    > worthy of him"). The reason I say that I "feared" it might be a scribal
                    > addition, is that it would pretty much ruin either my theory or the
                    > possibility of proving it if it was. Now I'm convinced that it isn't
                    - and
                    > I'll tell you why. The number of letters in sayings 111 and 112 is
                    180, with
                    > 120 in saying 111 and 60 in saying 112. (I need hardly remind you of
                    the "60
                    > per measure and 120 per meaure" thingy). But more than that - saying
                    111 is
                    > itself divided into two parts. The first part (which contains the 99th
                    > occurrence of 'IS') is composed of 70 letters. The second part - the
                    > apparent "scribal addition" which contains the 100th occurrence of
                    'IS' - is
                    > composed of exactly 50 letters. As a result, we have 111A+111B+112 =
                    > 70+50+60 = 180 letters. In my opinion, this well-ordered three-part
                    > structure cannot be accounted for by randomness, nor (thankfully) is
                    111B a
                    > scribal addition. It's an integral part of the structure. (It is,
                    perhaps,
                    > an instance of what the Gospel of Philip refers to as hiding
                    something of
                    > great value in a container of little value.)
                    >
                    > For a long time, I've referred to my theory as a "working
                    hypothesis". With
                    > the clearing away of this piece of possible contrary evidence, I now
                    feel
                    > confident of calling it a 'theory', since it now STM to be both
                    probable and
                    > provable. I'm confident that the text hasn't been scribally altered
                    in such
                    > a way that would eliminate any possibility of _our_ solving the
                    puzzle. What
                    > remains to do (and of course this is no easy task) is the actual putting
                    > together of the puzzle, as the original "disciples of the perfect" would
                    > have done it. Nothing less could possibly convince anyone else of this
                    > astonishing theory - which owes its impetus (though not its
                    substance) to
                    > Appendix I of Steve's GTCW.
                    >
                    > Regards,
                    > Mike Grondin
                    > The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
                    > http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
                    > The Coptic Gospel of Thomas in Context
                    > http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/index.htm
                  • Michael Grondin
                    ... Nor do i. All previous attempts to find order or structure in Thomas (including Steve s) have looked at it the way it is now, and they ve looked at it in a
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jan 17, 2005
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                      [Andrew Smith]:
                      > Yes, Appendix 1 is included in the new GTCW. In the new intro, Steve
                      > briefly assesses the contribution of GTCW to Thomas studies and
                      > comments "Is thomas in its origin or its structure divisible into four
                      > sections, as suggested in the first appendix? Frankly that is an idea
                      > that nobody supports.

                      Nor do i. All previous attempts to find order or structure in Thomas
                      (including Steve's) have looked at it the way it is now, and they've looked
                      at it in a superficial, English-translation kind of way. On the one hand,
                      they haven't gone deep enough to look at syntactical details like line and
                      letter counts, and on the other hand, they haven't considered the
                      possibility of moving stuff around. It's like Th113 says: "The Kingdom of
                      the Father is spread out upon the [textual] earth, but men don't see her."

                      > I remember that you handed out a summary of your hypothesis at the SBL
                      > a while ago. did you receive any response to it?

                      Ah, yes. That was back in November of 2002 in Toronto. It was my first SBL
                      meeting. In the weeks preceding that trip, I had written a series of notes
                      to our group, spelling out some of the textual details I had uncovered
                      (including how to account for the half-blank line 9, which was another
                      stumbling-block for my theory). For the meeting, I reprinted those notes and
                      put together a page-by-page interlinear (which is now a pdf on my site). I
                      made a half-dozen copies of these two items, and handed them out to a few
                      individuals. (I think I gave one to April DeConick, one to Ismo Dunderberg
                      for Risto Uro, a third to an unknown guy from a French-Canadian University
                      that was hosting a Thomas conference, one to John Turner, and one to a guy I
                      was having conversations with at the time about publishing an interlinear by
                      Andrew Bernhard and myself.) Unfortunately, this was shortly after the
                      anthrax scare associated with 9/11, so the recipients were probably
                      suspicious of materials given to them by a guy they didn't know. Although my
                      email address was on the documents, I never heard from anyone about it.

                      Among the many incidents at that SBL meeting that still stick in my mind are
                      two tangentially related to the Thomas puzzle. The one is the seminar where
                      April DeConick spoke. It wasn't so much meeting her and her husband (an
                      occasional contributer here) as the talk of another speaker, who happened to
                      mention a 68-day initiation period for one of the ancient mystery cults. 68
                      days? It naturally leapt into my mind that Thomas has 668 lines, with "the
                      world" represented by the last 600 (minus lines 469-470). Does the first
                      block of 66 lines, plus 469-470, represent the reader himself, a "house" to
                      be "destroyed" before he can be "perfected"?

                      The second incident was at a seminar on the Apocryphon of John. As you know,
                      this was undoubtedly the most important text in the Nag Hammadi collection,
                      so far as the originators were concerned. (Steve is currently doing a book
                      on it, BTW.) Not only does it precede the Gospel of Thomas in Codex II -
                      which is clearly the "Queen of the codices" - but it appears as the first
                      item in two other books as well. The three versions differ significantly
                      from each other, however. Codex II contains what's called the "long
                      recension" - most notable for its 100 lines of strange names associated with
                      body-parts of the Adam-figure that the "rulers" are creating. Anyway, long
                      story short, I asked the speaker about the rather strange title of the
                      Apocryphon of John in Codex II (whereas the other two versions have the
                      standard order of "The Apocryphon According to John", the title in Codex II
                      is "According to John, the Apocyphons". There's a difference of order, and
                      apparently of number as well.) The speaker (a French guy) didn't seem to
                      know what I was asking about. For a long, agonizing moment, there was total
                      silence in the room - something that NEVER happens at these seminars. I was
                      embarassed. Eventually he (and later, John Turner, in private conversation)
                      came up with an explanation, but which I found unconvincing. Because the
                      line-counts of the first three texts in Codex II tie so neatly together
                      (1100+668+1232 = 3000), I believe that the title of AoJ (which occurs at the
                      end of AoJ, just before GTh) was altered to reflect a relationship between
                      these texts - as the size of AoJ in Codex II was tailored to match the
                      cumulative sizes of the other two texts. (I know - this sounds like a
                      conspiracy theory. I try not to go too far beyond the facts, but the facts
                      are themselves astonishing. They suggest something sui generis in the known
                      world of ancient manuscripts.)

                      > The 120+60 is certainly interesting.

                      If you like that, here's another one: the sacrum nominum name 'IHS' occurs
                      three times in GTh, in three separate blocks of text ("where there are three
                      gods, they are in God"?). The sizes of these blocks are 82 lines (block 2),
                      16 lines (block 4), and 22 lines (block 14) - a total of 120 lines. Five
                      such groups would, of course, total 600 lines (which I believe represents
                      the cosmos, which in turn equals an "earth" of 400 lines, plus two heavens
                      of 100 lines each). Interestingly, it's at the very end of block 1 (with a
                      size of 66 lines) that the 60 and 120 are mentioned, and those yields are
                      said to come from seeds falling on "the good earth (KA2)" - which I think
                      begins just below block 1. (In the re-structuring of a "new world", the
                      earth (KA2) and the heavens will be "rolled up".)

                      Regards,
                      Mike Grondin
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