- Although I've expressed the belief that it's significant both that there's

24 blocks in Coptic Thomas, and that saying 42 (line 280) is block 6 - the

first perfect number - more evidence is needed, since blocks occur in every

text and are normally of no importance. This note surveys the sizes of

blocks within the Coptic Thomas, and concludes that the set of those sizes

is significantly statistically improbable, hence that it's plausible to

suppose that the text may have been intentionally designed to be composed of

blocks of just those sizes, and thus that they constitute "seams" deserving

further attention.

Not being a statistician, I can only make some judgements from a

lay-person's viewpoint. Since the largest block of text within CGTh is 86

lines, I've asked myself what is the probability of choosing 24 (or 21 - see

below) random numbers from 1 to 86 and coming up with the patterns to be

discussed below. The block-sizes in CGTh are as follows (in size-order): 86,

82, 81, 78, 66, 38, 36, 29, 26, 22, 21*, 20, 16, 14, 13, 8, 7, 6 (2), 5, 3,

2 (2), and 1 (line 280). The last "block" contains 21 lines, but it doesn't

end at the right-hand margin, so it's unclear whether that should be counted

as a true block. Furthermore, two sets of two blocks have the same size (6

lines and 2 lines). Because these situations might theoretically affect the

statistical picture, I'll give the results both with and without them -

though it will turn out that they don't in fact alter the picture.

OK, suppose one were to randomly choose some 21-24 numbers from 1 to 86. One

would expect first that the numbers chosen would be roughly divided between

odd and even. In the CGTh set, however, there's 8 odd and 16 even (or 7 odd

and 14 even if we throw out the two dupes and the last block). Twice as many

even-sized blocks as odd-sized. Still, although the relationship of 2 evens

to 1 odd is suggestive, the statistical probability of this result isn't low

enough (in my judgement) to demonstrate intentionality. What does

demonstrate that (to my satisfaction) is how those evens and odds are

related to prime numbers.

First, the odd numbers. The odd-sized blocks are 81, 29, 21*, 13, 7, 5, 3,

and 1. Now between 1 and 86 are 23 prime numbers and 20 composite numbers

(if my list is accurate). So a set of odd numbers randomly chosen between 1

and 86 should yield roughly the same number of primes as non-primes, with a

slight edge to primes. Yet of the 8 odd-sized blocks in CGTh, 6 of those

(75%) have prime-number sizes. And if we throw out 21 (the last block), that

makes 6 of 7 primes. The only exception (other than 21) is 81 - which

happens to be 3 to the 4th power (hence not the product of two _different_

primes, as are 16 of the 20 non-prime numbers between 1 and 86.)

The even-sized blocks yield an equally improbable result. Of the 43 even

numbers between 1 and 86, half of them are twice an even number and half are

twice an odd number. So if one were to choose, say, 16 even numbers from

that set, about 8 should be twice an odd number. But that isn't the case

with the even-sized blocks in CGTh. Twelve of those 16 are twice an odd

number; only 4 are twice an even number. (If we toss out the two dupes, it

becomes 10 of 14 - still significantly statistically improbable).

An even more remarkable result obtains with respect to prime numbers. Of the

even numbers between 1 and 86, 14 of them (33%) are the product of 2 times a

prime number. But of the 16 even-sized blocks in CGTh, 11 of 16 of them

(69%) are two times a prime number. If we throw out the two dupe sizes (2

and 6), that leaves 9 of 14 (64%) - still statistically improbable.

What's the significance of this? Well, if the block-sizes were intentionally

designed rather than being the result of randomness, there must have been

some reason for that. The sizes themselves don't seem to me to be

particularly significant, but perhaps blocks were intended to be moved

around - or to be considered as units in combination with other blocks. One

indication of this may be the placement of the name 'IHS'. It occurs three

times, in three different blocks (2, 4, and 14) whose total size is 82+16+22

= 120 lines. What are the chances of _that_ happening randomly?

For the fan of generic GTh, and/or kernalists, the possibility of an

intricately-designed CGTh should, I think, be of no small interest. If one

could identify elements added, deleted, or changed in order to make the

design come out right, we might have a better idea of what the Greek GTh

looked like before the Copts go their hands on it than we now have from the

POxy fragments. But first we have to take the numerical-design hypothesis

seriously. Since that hypothesis is patently implausible, one can only hope

that the cumulative weight of indubitable textual evidence will eventually

show that patent implausibility to be a mistaken result of presuppositions

that don't hold for CGTh.

Mike Grondin

Mt. Clemens, MI > As I said, I'd be happy to test the case on just one of the textual

features

> in question - namely, the relationship between L42 and L11.1. If it suits

do

> you, we can discuss that and you can perhaps cite a case of similar

> independent but interlocking elements from another text, which is known

> to be the result of randomness. I won't repeat the salient syntactical

> features connecting L42 (line 280) and L11.1 (line 70 + most of line 69)

> at this point, but if you want to pursue it, I'd certainly be willing to

> so.

Alright, I'm probably going to regret this, but go ahead and try to convince

me from the relationship between L42 and L11.1 that your design theory is

plausible (and clarify what "L" stands for). I don't have time to go digging

through archives so you'll have to restate your case. Please be succinct and

clear.

Andrew