The Hudson Book
- View SourceThursday afternoon, I received my copy of Gary Hudson's
book _Secret Things_ from Amazon. Shortly after looking
it over, I sent him an email requesting that it be immediately
withdrawn from distribution. He has agreed to do that.
As to the book itself (which may become a collector's item,
since there's not going to be many copies!), it's a hardcover,
of course, and has a professional look to it - other than my
interlinear (see below). It's basically comprised of one
chapter per saying. In each chapter (most of which are
two pages long), the interlinear is given first, then Lambdin's
translation, then a brief interpretation by Hudson. Most of
the interpretations are about a half-dozen lines or less, so
there wouldn't be much to the book without my and
On the back cover is a small picture of Gary, along with a
blurb identical to what is/was on Amazon. There's no notices
from other authors given, though there is praise for another
of Hudson's books on the inside flaps from Timothy Freke,
Richard Smoley, and Saniel Bonder.
The acknowledgements page consists of the following:
"I would like to thank Mike Grondin for allowing me to
include his Coptic-English interlinear translation. The
Coptic script has a wonderful beauty which splendidly
reflects the sacred knowledge of a mystery school
long dead. Grondin's excellent line-by-line translation
reveals the difficulty in producing an exact rendering
of the true meaning of the Gospel. For further study
please visit Mike's web site (see websites). I would
also like to thank the Gnostic Society from which I
obtained the Thomas O. Lambdin translation as well
as the epigraph quote from _The Book of Thomas
As is obvious from what he says above, and from the
lack of any permission notice on the copyright page,
Hudson did not have permission to use Lambdin's
translation. He evidently just copied it off the internet.
(The Gnostic Society would not have the right to give
such permission, even if they had it themselves.)
I suspect, then, that it might have been more the lack
of permission for the use of Lambdin's work than
mine, that caused Hudson to accede to my request.
As to the presentation of my interlinear, I find it
embarassing, for two reasons: first, if I had wanted
it to be published, I would have made numerous
changes to the English part of it which have occurred
to me since I first composed it. Secondly, the form
of it in the book is _exactly_ as it appears in my pdf
file - and I've mentioned here before that I've so far
been unable to get the alignment right in the pdf file.
So the right margins aren't aligned, and the English
often fails to be centered under the corresponding
Coptic word, as it should. Gary and/or the publisher
should at least have fixed that.
The title of the book ("The Secret Things") has an
interesting story behind it: it comes from _my_
translation of the title of the Apocryphon of John!
In fact, on the cover of the book, the word APOKRYFON
appears immediately under the title. The way this is
tied together is this: the first page of my pdf file
(which is intended as a page-by-page presentation)
shows the entire contents of page 32 of Codex II -
including the last 6 lines and the title of ApJohn.
This has confused some folks, and maybe I should
take that part out, but in any case, Gary used this
(again, an exact replica of the pdf) as an introduction
- in fact, in the TOC, he calls it "John's Introduction"!
Now the thing is, my translation of the title of ApJohn
isn't the standard one. To my mind, the 'N' just before
APOKRYFON makes it plural (which is what an 'N'
before a noun normally does), but others think that
the 'N' is functioning in a different way there. (Not to
drop names, but I had a brief discussion about this
with John Turner at the 2002 SBL. I don't recall his
explanation now, but I do recall being dissatisfied
with it. I suspect that this might be a case where
translators can't accept a certain translation simply
because they think that it can't mean that, even if
the translation is grammatically sound.)
As to Gary's interpretations, I only scanned them
briefly, but long enough to determine that I didn't
agree with them. But then I thought "Should that
really be an important factor? Don't publishers
normally grant permissions pretty much irrespective
of how the material's going to be used, or what
other material might appear with it?" In any case,
the controlling factor for me wasn't so much being
embarassed by association with Gary's interpretations
(I didn't read them that closely) as being embarassed
by deficiencies in form and content of the interlinear.