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Re: [GTh] Design Theory

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... I m not. It s just that I consider the 6/14 situation suspicious - not so much that it couldn t have happened in the first instance, but that it wasn t
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 18, 2006
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      [Ron]:
      > I'm not sure Mike, that you can hang you hat on or rely too much on the 6A
      > and 14 question and answer displacement in support of your thesis.

      I'm not. It's just that I consider the 6/14 situation suspicious - not so
      much that it couldn't have happened in the first instance, but that it
      wasn't corrected by the Copts - who STM to have been both very careful
      (witness the secret numbering of lines, e.g.) and yet not averse to moving
      stuff around (e.g. 77B) if need be. But maybe they just moved and/or altered
      what they needed to and left the rest as it was.

      > ... [the] postulated displacement "split" between 6A and 14 probably
      > existed in the Greek text, each logion standing complete and alone.

      Exactly.

      > Secondly, this "displacement", rather than intentional may have been
      > accidental.

      Yes, it may have been. Your scenario is quite plausible up to this point.

      > Later, someone notices that the question posed in 6A hasn't got
      > an answer, and decides to supply one from another known
      > sayings of Jesus.- doesn't quite fit- but, hey, it's a valid saying
      > of Jesus, so it will do.

      This explanation at least has the virtue (to my mind) of accounting for the
      similarity of the material above and below 6A (5.2 and 6.5 - "Nothing hidden
      will fail to appear" - being exactly the same in the Coptic - which is
      unusual). But it seems to require us to believe that the "corrector" was so
      unfamiliar with the rest of the text that he didn't notice that L14 had the
      answers to the four questions, and that all he had to do was to move L14
      after 6A, instead of creating a new "answer". Surely he would either have
      already known about L14, or would have learned of it as he continued on. So
      I guess the scenario requires that (1) the addition of 6B was made by a
      copyist/scribe as he was writing, (2) that he had not read the thing in
      advance (or hadn't remembered L14), and (3) that when he came upon L14 later
      in the course of his writing, he decided that it was too late to do anything
      about it.

      > In any event I fail to see that the 6A-14 "displacement" would be of
      > much use, or would be of much value as evidence in support of your thesis.

      You're right that the displacement in itself is evidence of nothing. It's a
      suspicious circumstance, that's all. The above scenario is certainly
      possible, but because it seems to require that the "corrector" was acting in
      a specific way that strikes me as questionable, and because 5.1 says what it
      does about something hidden being revealed, I don't think it's satisfying
      enough to remove the suspicion.

      Regards,
      Mike
    • Ron McCann
      Hi Mike. ... I seems to me that since the error appears to have been made in the Greek version, the prelimilary question is why didn t the Greeks correct it?
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 20, 2006
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        Hi Mike.
        At 01:34 AM 19/02/06,on the subject of the 6A and 14 displacement you wrote:

        >I'm not. It's just that I consider the 6/14 situation suspicious - not so
        >much that it couldn't have happened in the first instance, but that it
        >wasn't corrected by the Copts - who STM to have been both very careful
        >(witness the secret numbering of lines, e.g.) and yet not averse to moving
        >stuff around (e.g. 77B) if need be. But maybe they just moved and/or altered
        >what they needed to and left the rest as it was.

        I seems to me that since the error appears to have been made in the Greek
        version, the prelimilary question is why didn't the Greeks correct
        it? Correction
        would seem to be ludicriously simple. Move Mohammed to the mountain in
        a fresh copy. If the "Question" in 6A is tucked in to Logion 14 as it's opening
        line(s), nothing much is disturbed. The 6B (2-6) "Answer" has it's own
        "Jesus said", and just converst to a pronouncement saying rather than
        a dialogue,
        14 already has it's "Jesus said" more or less. And is just a
        sayings-collection, after all.
        Nothing should rise or fall on where the full 14 get's placed.
        Yet this correction doesn't appear to have been made in the Greek
        copy- as near as we
        can tell. Why?
        I think it depends on when it was first noticed. And I think that
        displacement could easily
        go unnoticed. The 6A-14 spliting and displacement doesn't exactly
        "leap out at you", once
        the "faux" answer has been supplied- in fact- I think I had read
        through Thomas at least a
        dozen times before I spotted it, and most readers today don't 'twig"
        and go blithefully along
        interpreting 6 by supposing the 6B material is and answer to the 6A
        question. One of the
        reasons for this is that 14 has it's own "introductory" "Jesus said"
        flagging it as a different
        numbered logion in it's own right. There is not a great conceptual
        difference between "Jesus
        said" and Jesus said to them"- the latter being what's used in 14.
        It's only when you focus
        on that "them" and ask "Who are those "thems"?" that it becomes
        evident that some
        introductory part of this logion may be missing.
        A casual reader, even a copy-proof-reader could easily miss it and
        miss the connection to 6A,
        even without the 6B "faux"answer penned in.
        But that sidesteps the question. Surely SOME greek reader would have
        spotted it. Why not
        pen a new copy correcting it then?
        That may depend on just how many original copies were made and went
        out and how practical
        or useful such a correction would be then. If a lot of copies had
        been made or gone out, the only
        practical thing to do was to leave it, and "save" the correction for
        some later or newer
        edition. Eventually, I suppose, the error was forgotten.
        It appears that some historians believe that Alexandria (where the
        P.Oxy copy likely originated, IMO) was a publishing centre in
        antiquity, where not only was it policy that any traveller
        with a written work surrender it for a time so the Library could make
        a copy, but an industry
        in copying books for sale had sprung up and was being pursued. When
        the Roman General's
        ships in the Alexandrian harbour caught fire and set fire to parts of
        the city and the
        "library", evidence seems to indicate that what burned was not the
        library but a huge harbour
        warehouse containing thousands of scrolls bound for sale/export.
        It may simply have been too late to correct it, once the error was discovered.
        So then why didn't the Copts correct it?.
        Once again, did they even "see" it?
        And if they saw it, did they even "dare" change it? This was probably
        considered an ancient
        and sacred text by the Copts at the time they did the Nag Hammadi
        translation, and one supposes they would be reluctant to make
        changes. Consider what would happen to-day if such an
        error was spotted in Luke. People wouldn't exactly clamour that their
        Gospels be changed. Even our modern translators and scholars don't
        stick their necks out and correct the error, in their own works.

        Mike further responded ( to my point that after the accidental
        displacement an answer to
        the question posed by 6A had to be found and penned in.)

        >This explanation at least has the virtue (to my mind) of accounting for the
        >similarity of the material above and below 6A (5.2 and 6.5 - "Nothing hidden
        >will fail to appear" - being exactly the same in the Coptic - which is
        >unusual). But it seems to require us to believe that the "corrector" was so
        >unfamiliar with the rest of the text that he didn't notice that L14 had the
        >answers to the four questions, and that all he had to do was to move L14
        >after 6A, instead of creating a new "answer". Surely he would either have
        >already known about L14, or would have learned of it as he continued on. So
        >I guess the scenario requires that (1) the addition of 6B was made by a
        >copyist/scribe as he was writing, (2) that he had not read the thing in
        >advance (or hadn't remembered L14), and (3) that when he came upon L14 later
        >in the course of his writing, he decided that it was too late to do anything
        >about it.

        material snipped.

        >You're right that the displacement in itself is evidence of nothing. It's a
        >suspicious circumstance, that's all. The above scenario is certainly
        >possible, but because it seems to require that the "corrector" was acting in
        >a specific way that strikes me as questionable, and because 5.1 says what it
        >does about something hidden being revealed, I don't think it's satisfying
        >enough to remove the suspicion.

        Well, I think I given you a partial answer to some of this which
        explains why the
        displacement was not noticed or if noticed, not corrected by the Greeks and
        probably left intact by the Copts. but in invoking the similarities
        between L 5(B)(2-3)
        and L 6 (B) (5-6) you open a brand-new can of worms, and I guess I
        should (reluctantly)
        address it.
        Logion 6 is truly a dog's breakfast of screw-ups IMO. It is not only
        that material was
        accidentally displaced "out", but material seems to have been
        accidentally "displaced" from it's proper place in Logion 5. and
        inserted "in" logion 6. This appears to be a Coptic error, not
        one by the greeks and it's all about those "concealed-revealed " lines.
        "Everybody knows" by now that Logion 5 in the Coptic Gospel of
        Thomas, although it has
        the line "For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed,
        (just as Logion 5 in the
        P.Oxy) lacks the following line- "And there is nothing buried that
        will not be raised."- that is found in
        the P.Oxy. version. It's "missing" in the Coptic. The Jesus Seminar,
        and others postulate
        this as a deliberate deletion by the Copts as it's wording, the words
        used, seems to incorporate Pauline Resurrection Theology which is
        conspicious by it's absence in Thomas. This was
        distateful, so they took it out. So the JS pops it back in to their
        translation (albeit in square
        brackets.).
        But is it actually GONE or have we got another accidental
        displacement on our hands?
        The latter, I suggest.
        If we look at Andrew Bernhart's P.Oxy L6B and compare it to the
        Coptic L6B, they are not
        quite identical. In the POxy version the logion ends with the line
        "For there is nothing hidden
        that will not be made clear." In the Coptic versions, it duplicates
        the P.Oxy last line,
        but then adds "and there is nothing covered up that will remain
        undisclosed." In other words,
        in Coptic L6B a further line has been added which is not in the P.Oxy version.
        And what a line!
        It's a "softened", but still recognizable version of the missing line
        in L5- "And nothing
        buried that will not be raised."
        Put that back in Coptic L5 B, where that line is missing, and Coptic
        L5 becomes a virual
        duplicate of P.Oxy L5. This simple shift also results in Coptic L6B
        becoming truly identical to
        P.Oxy L6B.
        My best guess is that the offensive line, which immediately follows
        the line- "there is nothing hidden
        that will not be revealed- was initially taken out, to be "softened"
        to eliminate the wording
        which seemed to invoke the unwanted Pauline Resurrection Theology,
        and once softened
        was replaced, NOT where it should be, but accidentally at the end of
        the identical line
        then found at the end of Coptic L6B- an easy mistake to make since
        the two lines are
        identical.
        So again, we have what appears to be "accidental" rather than
        "intentional" line displacement.
        What then, is left "suspicious" about L5 and L6?
        For these reasons, I don't see that you can make any mileage out of
        this L5 and L6 stuff for your Design Thesis.
        My apologies to this list for the length of this post.

        Ron McCann
        Saskatoon, Canada.
      • Michael Grondin
        Hi Ron, Thanks for your thoughtful analysis. I ll just respond to part of it here. ... Yes, I m quite sure they noticed it. The reason I m rather certain about
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 20, 2006
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          Hi Ron,

          Thanks for your thoughtful analysis. I'll just respond to part of it here.

          > ... why didn't the Copts correct it? ... did they even "see" it?

          Yes, I'm quite sure they noticed it. The reason I'm
          rather certain about this is that in addition to what I've pointed out
          about the careful relationship they constructed between L42 and L11.1 (and
          between lines 70 and 480), there's evidence that they went through the
          whole thing with a fine-toothed comb. As you know, the Coptic of the time
          employed a number of Greek loan-words. It occurred to me to count those
          words, and so I did. There's 501 occurrences of Greek words and names in the
          text - which could mean nothing, except they're composed of 2401 letters!
          One of those words is the single-letter word 'W' (in "Oh, man, who made me a
          divider?" in saying 72). Coincidentally (?), saying 72 occurs at a dividing
          line - the first saying of the second group of 12 blocks of the text. I
          could say a lot more about that situation (being as how omega is an "end"),
          but I'll let you mull over the simple facts first.

          > And if they saw it, did they even "dare" change it? This was probably
          > considered an ancient and sacred text by the Copts at the time they
          > did the Nag Hammadi translation, and one supposes they would be
          > reluctant to make changes.

          Reluctant, perhaps, and yet they DID make some changes. Among other things,
          they evidently moved what is now 77B from saying 30, and my surmise is that
          its positioning partially on line 496 was no accident, due to the
          significance of the number 496 as the 3rd perfect number. (BTW, I don't
          recall noticing this until the other day when I was writing that note;
          previously, I didn't have a clue why they might have moved 77B. One thing
          that's kept me going down this road is that such results keep popping up
          unexpectedly. Not enough to prove the theory, but enough to indicate that it
          isn't a blind alley.)

          That's all I have time for right now. Hopefully, food for thought.

          Regards,
          Mike
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