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[gthomas] Re: Matthean influence on 39

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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 1 of 4 , Feb 1, 1999
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      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 2 of 4 , Feb 2, 1999
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        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 3 of 4 , Feb 2, 1999
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          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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