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[gthomas] Matthean influence on 39

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  • Paul Miller
    39 Jesus said, The Pharisees and the scribes have taken the keys of Knowledge and hidden them. They themselves have not entered, nor have they allowed to
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 31, 1999
      39
      Jesus said, "The Pharisees and the scribes have taken the keys of Knowledge
      and hidden them. They themselves have not entered, nor have they allowed to
      enter those who wish to. You, however, be as wise as serpents and as
      innocent as doves."

      POxy 655, 39-51: (39) [Jesus says, "The Pharisees and the scribes have]
      re[ceived the keys] of [knowledge and have] hid[den them; neither have they]
      enter[ed nor permit]ted those who would] en[ter.] But [you] bec[ome wi]se
      a[s the serpents and] guil[eless as the do]v[es.]"

      Here we have Matthew's favorite opponents, the Scribes and Pharisees,
      appearing in Coptic GTh 39 and in the re-construction of Poxy 655.
      Admittedly the re-construction doesn't tell us much because it is most
      likely dependent on Coptic 39.
      Is this Matthean influence a late interpolation or was it actually present
      in Poxy 655? If this is part of the early text and not later redaction, can
      it be maintained that the GOT is completely independent of the synoptics?
      The text of GThomas doesn't have these two typical Matthean opponents
      together again, although 102 does have Pharisees.
      Matt. 23:13 has this saying in the midst of a long harangue by Jesus with
      plenty of woes sprinkled in. In GThomas this saying is used to counterpoise
      the corrupt handling of gnosis by the Pharisees and Scribes with the
      admonition to shrewdness and innocence that he expects from his followers.
      Matthew has the serpents and doves in 10:16 not 23:13, placing it in the
      sending out or Mission instructions of Jesus. Here serpents and doves is
      prefaced by sheep in the midst of wolves. This could be innocence
      counterpoised with the evil of the Pharisees and Scribes, or I could be
      taking it to far here.
      The uses of this saying by Matthew and GThomas are dissimilar, but it is
      difficult not to see "Pharisees and Scribes" as Matthean redaction whether
      early or late in the strata of the text.

      Paul Miller





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    • Sytze van der Laan
      ... More correctly, this reconstruction IS dependent on the Coptic text, since Fitzmyer based his Greek reconstruction on the one extant Coptic text. It isn t
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 1, 1999
        Paul Miller wrote about the re-construction of Poxy 655:
        > Admittedly the re-construction doesn't tell us much because it is most
        > likely dependent on Coptic 39.

        More correctly, this reconstruction IS dependent on the Coptic text,
        since Fitzmyer based his Greek reconstruction on the one extant Coptic
        text. It isn't proven yet how the fragmentary text of POxy 655 relates
        to the complete Coptic GTh 39 (the Greek text of this saying +
        Fitzmyer's reconstruction can be found at
        http://huizen.dds.nl/~skirl/poxy_655.htm)

        Just as a recommendation and some more food for thought on the
        transmission of GTh sayings and their canonical counterparts, last year
        the following article was published:
        Robinson, James M. and Heil, Christoph, Zeugnisse eines schriftlichen,
        griechischen vorkanonischen Textes: Mt 6,28 [Alef*], P.Oxy. 655 I,1-17
        (EvTh 36) und Q 12,27, Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche
        Wissenschaft und die Kunde der Alteren Kirche 89, 1998, 30-44.

        The opening paragraph states that the authors want to show that, with
        the help of a textual critical variant in Mt 6,28 and the Greek version
        of GTh 36 in POxy 655, it can be proven that the "Vorlage" of the saying
        on Mt 6:28//Lk 12:27 originally consisted of the reading "OU CAINEI".
        This was later corrupted and became "AUCAN...", on which the canonical
        readings "AUCANOUSIN" (Mt) and "AUCANEI" (Lk)) are depending. Very
        interesting stuff.

        - Sytze

        Gospel of Thomas Bibliography @ http://huizen.dds.nl/~skirl/
        ECTHN EN MECW TOY KOCMOY

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      • Mark Goodacre
        ... Agreed -- most interesting. I read the article recently, having heard James Robinson give a version of it at the Q section of the SBL meeting in November
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 2, 1999
          On 1 Feb 99 at 19:20, Sytze van der Laan wrote:

          > Just as a recommendation and some more food for thought on the
          > transmission of GTh sayings and their canonical counterparts, last year
          > the following article was published:
          > Robinson, James M. and Heil, Christoph, Zeugnisse eines schriftlichen,
          > griechischen vorkanonischen Textes: Mt 6,28 [Alef*], P.Oxy. 655 I,1-17
          > (EvTh 36) und Q 12,27, Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche
          > Wissenschaft und die Kunde der Alteren Kirche 89, 1998, 30-44.
          >
          > The opening paragraph states that the authors want to show that, with
          > the help of a textual critical variant in Mt 6,28 and the Greek version
          > of GTh 36 in POxy 655, it can be proven that the "Vorlage" of the saying
          > on Mt 6:28//Lk 12:27 originally consisted of the reading "OU CAINEI".
          > This was later corrupted and became "AUCAN...", on which the canonical
          > readings "AUCANOUSIN" (Mt) and "AUCANEI" (Lk)) are depending. Very
          > interesting stuff.

          Agreed -- most interesting. I read the article recently, having heard James
          Robinson give a version of it at the Q section of the SBL meeting in November
          under the title "A Scribal Error in Q?". It is a shame that Q has got bound up
          with an interesting observation concerning Thomas // Matthew // Luke because it
          obscures the really interesting questions of how the reading got into
          Sinaiticus in Matthew. Could it be that OU CAINEI was the original wording in
          Matt. 6.28 and that Thomas (P Oxy 655) witnesses to the same tradition? In
          which case perhaps a scribe of Matthew made the "error" (or change) to
          AUCANOUSIN that found its way into the tradition thereafter? Or was Luke the
          first to make the change? Or could it be that early versions Matthew were
          altered in the light of the saying in Thomas?

          I would be interested to hear more from Sytze about how certain he feels it
          is that we should read OU CAINEI in P. Oxy 655 and not AUCANEI? Looking
          at Sytze's page on this, one can see .UCA.NEI. Fitzmyer reconstructs AUCANEI
          and attributes the suggestion about the other possibility to R. A. Kraft (HTR
          52). He says that Kraft's suggestion is "attractive" but "based on dubious
          evidence (variants in the New Testament text tradition).

          Mark
          --------------------------------------
          Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
          Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
          University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
          Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

          Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre

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        • Sytze van der Laan
          ... The photograph of POxy 655 in the 1904 edition is extremely hard to read, but it is seems pretty certain to me that all that remains of lines 9-10 is: NWN
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 2, 1999
            Mark Goodacre wrote:
            >I would be interested to hear more from Sytze about how certain he feels it
            >is that we should read OU CAINEI in P. Oxy 655 and not AUCANEI?

            The photograph of POxy 655 in the 1904 edition is extremely hard to read,
            but it is seems pretty certain to me that all that remains of lines 9-10 is:

            NWN ATI[---]UCA[
            NEI OUDE N[---]EI.[

            I render this on purpose with [---] instead of [...], because it is
            difficult to tell how many letters are missing due to the big gap that
            seperates the fragments (a) and (b) of POxy 655. Fitzmyer thus is able to
            reconstruct "ATI[NA A]UCANEI" from the verb "AUCANEIN", whereas Kraft uses
            "CAINEIN" and is able to fit "ATI[NA O]UCANEI". This was already proposed by
            Bartlet (1905), Taylor (1906) and Michelsen (1909).

            Wee intermezzo: Michelsen stated already in 1909(!) that "one cannot escape
            the impression that the author of the Greek fragments wanted to inform his
            readers about the origin of his 'Logia Iesou', and in the knowledge of an
            'evangelium secundum Thomam' circulating among early Christian communities,
            it is hardly to be doubted that the author is referring to this gospel as
            the source he took his sayings from" (paraphrase mine). Garitte also pointed
            out that most scholars have overlooked Michelsen's thesis, since it was
            published in the Dutch language, cf. G. Garitte, Les "logoi" d'Oxyrhynque et
            l'apocryphe copte dit "évangile de Thomas", Le Muséon 73, 1960, 152. The
            French language of Garitte's publication may have had a similar effect on
            contemporary scholars, since Garitte's remarks on Michelsen's thesis also
            still seem to go unnoticed ;-)

            Apart from the fragmentary textual evidence of POxy 655, there are other
            good reasons to reconstruct "ATI[NA O]UCANEI". Milne and Skeat found in
            1938, using ultra-violet rays, that the letters in Mt 6:28 "OU CENOUSIN"
            (=CAINOUSIN) were erased and corrected as "AUCANOUSIN" in the Codex
            Sinaiticus. The rare verb "CAINEIN" is a 'harder reading', which should
            weigh extra for our decision of POxy 655's reconstruction. As terminus
            technicus for wool preparation it is even more interesting to opt for this
            reading. On top of that, the translation, for example in Fitzmyer, doesn't
            make sense: "[You] are [far] better than [the lil]ies whi[ch gr]ow but do
            not s[pi]n, a[nd] have n[o] clo[th]ing." Unitelligible Greek as well as
            English..

            I think Robinson & Heil have a point when they state that the correction
            from "CAINEIN" to "AUCANEIN" in Sinaiticus must have happened at the written
            stage of transmission, and in Greek. There's a good chance it was
            editorially 'corrupted', something that apparently didn't happen to POxy
            655. We actually don't know what happened to the fragments of POxy 655. Were
            they dumped near the cemetery, like POxy 1? Were they scribal exercises or,
            more likely, did they come from an codex (multiple columns)? All I can think
            of is that this could be exciting textual evidence that POxy 655 and the
            original Sinaiticus were in touch with some parallel tradition. Until they
            find a scrap of Q, I'm happy to settle just with the idea that POxy 655 may
            be less peripheral and more part of mainstream transmission of Jesus sayings
            than often is assumed..

            - Sytze

            Gospel of Thomas Bibliography @ http://huizen.dds.nl/~skirl/
            ECTHN EN MECW TOY KOCMOY



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