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New DeConick Commentary

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  • Judy Redman
    I received my copy of April DeConick s The Original Gospel of Thomas in Translation in yesterday s mail. Obviously, I haven t had a chance to read it from
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 5, 2006
      I received my copy of April DeConick's "The Original Gospel of Thomas in
      Translation" in yesterday's mail. Obviously, I haven't had a chance to read
      it from cover to cover, but I am certainly impressed by what I have seen so

      It has a 25 page introduction that gives an overview of the various theories
      about its origin and the process by which it developed to its current state,
      including, of course, her theory about the Kernel and accretions. This is
      followed by a copy of her English translation of the Kernel, divided into
      five speeches (which tells the reader what she considers to be parts a, b
      and c of various sayings that she divides in this way) and then a copy of
      the translation of the whole, with Kernel sections in regular type and
      accretions in italic. This all takes up the first 42 pages of the book.

      The main part of the book is a saying by saying commentary which begins with
      her English translation followed by the P.Oxy Greek where it exists, then
      the NHC Coptic text. The English translation takes into account both the
      Greek and Coptic versions where there is a Greek version, and she translates
      both the Coptic and the Greek into English as well as providing a
      translation that harmonises both.

      This is followed by a note on her attribution of the saying (ie whether it
      is kernel or accretion), then sections on:
      - text and translation issues
      - interpretative comment
      - source discussion (looking at dependence/independence issues)
      - literature parallels (canonical texts, agreements in Syrian Gospels,
      Western Text, Diatessaron, other Nag Hammadi documents, Manichaen documents
      etc, etc)
      - selected bibliography.

      This is followed by an appendix on Verbal similarities between Thomas and
      the Synoptics in which the texts are placed side by side; a comprehensive
      bibliography (even if it is headed "Select Bibliography" - it's 22 pages
      long!) and the usual indices.

      A quick look at the way she has treated the passages that I've done
      significant work on suggests that I am certainly going to find it a hugely
      useful book for my research, although I suspect that if I wasn't working to
      a reasonably tight submission deadline, I might have given serious thought
      to waiting until the paperback version is released, supposedly in 2007,
      given that the unfavourable exchange rate on the Australian dollar means it
      has cost me well over $200.


      "One can easily understand a child who is afraid of the dark. The real
      tragedy of life is when grown men and women are afraid of the light." -

      Rev Judy Redman
      Uniting Church Chaplain
      University of New England
      Armidale 2351
      ph: +61 2 6773 3739
      fax: +61 2 6773 3749
      web: http://www.une.edu.au/campus/chaplaincy/uniting/
      email: jredman@...
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