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Re: [GTh] Progression of translations of saying 70

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  • sarban
    ... From: Michael Grondin To: Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2005 3:47 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Progression of
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 23, 2005
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
      To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2005 3:47 PM
      Subject: Re: [GTh] Progression of translations of saying 70


      >
      > Sometime back, we had a discussion initiated by Manfred Peters, one of the
      > issues in which was the dating of various English translations of Thomas.
      At
      > the time, I couldn't locate the dates of the Doresse and Blatz
      translations
      > appearing on Peter Kirby's site. Since then (and with Peter's help), I've
      > been able get that information. Here's the list of translations mentioned
      > earlier, with title and first (English) publication date as I now believe
      it
      > to be:
      <SNIP>
      > Notes:
      > Doresse's book was originally published in French in 1958. Although I'm
      not
      > certain of its first English publication date, I believe that it was after
      > Guillamont's translation had appeared in English, so I think that the
      first
      > English translation was Guillamont's. The date of Blatz's translation
      given
      > above also reflects the first English publication date, though it was
      > originally published in German some time (but probably not more than a few
      > years) earlier. Corrections welcome. (Bear in mind that this is not a
      > complete list of English translations. I tried to do that once and never
      > could straighten out even Marvin Meyer's many translations.)
      >
      One of the earliest English translations of Thomas is one apparently
      originally made by William R Schoedel of the University of Chicago
      in May 1959 (From the Coptic apparently with some reference to
      the 1958 German translation of Johannes Leipoldt.

      Schoedel's translation (which follows Leipoldt's idiosyncratic system
      for numbering the sayings of Thomas), was first published in 1960
      as part of 'The Secret Sayings of Jesus' by Robert M Grant and
      David Noel Freedman.

      This renders saying 70 as 'Jesus said: 'When you beget in yourselves
      him whom you have, he will save you. If you do not have him within
      yourselves, he whom you do not have within yourselves will kill you.'

      By using 'he' instead of 'it' this translation seems close to Frank
      McCoy's suggestion earlier in this thread.

      Andrew Criddle
    • Michael Grondin
      ... Unfortunately, the word that Schoedel translates as him in the phrase When you beget in yourselves HIM ... is a demonstrative pronoun - namely, PH
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 23, 2005
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        Andrew writes:
        >
        > [Schoedel's translation] renders saying 70 as 'Jesus said: 'When you beget
        > in yourselves him whom you have, he will save you. If you do not have him
        > within yourselves, he whom you do not have within yourselves will kill
        > you.'
        >
        > By using 'he' instead of 'it' this translation seems close to Frank
        > McCoy's suggestion earlier in this thread.

        Unfortunately, the word that Schoedel translates as 'him' in the phrase
        "When you beget in yourselves HIM ..." is a demonstrative pronoun - namely,
        PH (meaning 'that' or 'that one'). Since all nouns are gendered in Coptic,
        there isn't any true non-gendered 'it', so we don't know (unless the context
        makes it clear - which in this case it doesn't) whether the object to which
        a masculine pronoun refers is a male person or a masculine noun (still less,
        of course, WHICH person or thing the pronoun stands for). In other words, we
        know that the object of PH is masculine (the feminine form being TH), but we
        don't know whether it's a 'him' (to our way of thinking) or what we (but not
        the Copts) would call an 'it'. Because of this, it can't be counted either
        for or against a given interpretation that it assumes 'him' instead of 'it',
        or vice versa.

        (BTW, this problem is rampant throughout Coptic and any other language with
        gendered nouns and pronouns. In my own interlinear, the reason I favored
        'he'/'him' for masculine pronouns in most cases, is because it more
        accurately reflects the thought patterns of the native speakers, even though
        it sometimes gives a misleading impression to our own minds. Interestingly,
        however, I think the interlinear gives some idea of how native Copts might
        speak English if they weren't very fluent in it. A native Copt, like a
        native Italian, say, might be prone to transfer his/her own grammatical
        structures into English, resulting in such utterances as "The city, she is
        beautiful". True, we ourselves sometimes refer to ships and other things
        with gendered pronouns, but it's not a systematic feature of our language.)

        Regards,
        Mike Grondin
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