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Re: [GTh] Line Numbers

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... We should probably keep that size of 1300 lines in mind, as something perhaps useful later on, but I really don t think that the Coptic version could have
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 2, 2005
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      Frank McCoy writes:
      > If GTh did have standardized lines, with the Coptic version having exactly
      > half the number of lines of the other version, then this is compatible
      > with
      > the idea that GTh is a word puzzle, with it originally being a (Greek?)
      > word
      > puzzle of 1,336 lines, but with a Coptic version of the word puzzle,
      > perhaps
      > markedly different in some respects from the other version, later
      > developed
      > with exactly half as many lines.

      We should probably keep that size of 1300 lines in mind, as something
      perhaps useful later on, but I really don't think that the Coptic version
      could have been half the size of a Greek version - at least insofar as the
      POxy fragments are representative of the Greek version. The fragments
      contain SOME material not in the Coptic (in the form of additional words in
      a couple of sayings), but not a whole lot.

      And to John - control yourself, man! Stay down to earth. Learn from Frank's
      conservative approach. Stick with what we KNOW (or at least have good reason
      to believe) is involved here.

      Mike
    • BitsyCat1@aol.com
      Indeed Then let me raise Simply the question, I merely raise the question, If there is a direct 2 to 1 ratio, Is it intentional, and if so, What does that
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 2, 2005
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        Indeed Then let me raise Simply the question,

        I merely raise the question, If there is a direct 2 to 1 ratio, Is it
        intentional, and if so,
        What does that mean?

        Frank seems to suggest that its intentional.

        I merely formed the question which seems to be the direction he is going.

        The open question would be WHY.
        1) is it intentional?
        2) why is it intentional?
        3) a) what does that mean?
        b) what did it mean to the Coptic scribe.
        c) what might that mean to the reader

        If the answer to question One is, Its not intentional, but rather
        coincidental.

        Then the question is answered.
        If it is not coincidental?

        Then it raises many questions, which IM sure you can better
        formulate.

        Regards,
        John Moon
        Springfield<Tenn 37172


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Michael Grondin
        Some further thoughts on the 1300-line figure, Frank. 1. After writing my earlier note, it occurred to me that maybe the line-size of the Greek text was about
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 2, 2005
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          Some further thoughts on the 1300-line figure, Frank.

          1. After writing my earlier note, it occurred to me that maybe the line-size
          of the Greek text was about half that of the Coptic. I discovered that
          there's interesting but confusing differences between the three sets of
          fragments designated POxy 1, 654, and 655. According to Layton's critical
          edition, scholars have determined that POxy 1 came from a codex, but that
          654 and 655 came from rolls. The typical line-length in POxy 654 seems to be
          about the same as the Coptic - maybe a little more - but since the Thomas
          material was apparently copied onto the back of something else (some kind of
          land survey), it may be discounted for that reason. The typical line-lengths
          of POxy 1 and POxy 655, on the other hand, appear to be substantially
          smaller than the Coptic - not half, I would say, but maybe about 3/4 (say
          about 18 letters per line versus 24 in the Coptic). But remember, this is a
          different language. When I made my interlinear, for example, it soon became
          evident that it generally took significantly more letters to express the
          same thought in English than in Coptic. So maybe the Greek text did have
          1300 lines of generally smaller size than the Coptic.

          2. The 1300-line figure is supported by certain indications of what the text
          might look like AFTER it's been restructured or rebuilt. One plausible
          possibility at this point is that the FINAL structure may represent the
          twelve apostles + Jesus, and that each of these 13 segments has the same
          nice, round number of lines. If so, then the typical line size of the Coptic
          text as it now stands (which is BEFORE the thing is torn apart and rebuilt)
          may be about half of what it'll be at the end. The average line-length in
          the Coptic text is 25.25 letters (16848/667 - lines 9 and 668 counted as
          one), but if - for the sake of argument - the final structure has, say,
          exactly 13 letters per line, then the number of lines would approximately
          double. (And if it turns out that there's the equivalent of 18 lines to be
          set aside for some reason or other - perhaps because they're "weeds" - the
          approximate becomes exactitude.) That's a hell of a lot of IF's, and we'll
          only know for sure at the end, but 1300 isn't inherently implausible, IMO.
          (BTW, this may be of no importance, but line 280 contains 13 syllables, and
          "bad" numbers like 11 and 17 seem to figure prominently. I think it has to
          do with GPh's talk about how "good" and "bad" are really brothers of each
          other.)

          Mike Grondin
        • David Renfro
          Is it possible the order and numerical values reflect the pentameter and stanzas of an oral tradition, a poem, maybe even a song? Dave Renfro
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 3, 2005
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            Is it possible the order and numerical values
            reflect the pentameter and stanzas of an oral
            tradition, a poem, maybe even a song?
            Dave Renfro

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          • Michael Grondin
            ... Basically, no - in my opinion. In the first place, I believe that the Gospel of Thomas was always intended to be a secret document shared only among
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 3, 2005
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              Dave Renfro writes:
              > Is it possible the order and numerical values
              > reflect the pentameter and stanzas of an oral
              > tradition, a poem, maybe even a song?

              Basically, no - in my opinion. In the first place, I believe that the Gospel
              of Thomas was always intended to be a secret document shared only among
              initiates. It probably used elements from oral tradition, and they may have
              counted (Coptic) syllables to create some kind of "rhythm", but IMO any such
              "rhythm" was based on the numbers they wanted to use, rather than the other
              way round.

              Mike
            • Mike McLafferty
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              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 4, 2005
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                Frank McCoy wrote:




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