What About Saying 71?
- Had an interesting interchange this morning on April's latest blog entry:
It's about the lacuna at the end of saying 71. The first English translation
of CGTh ("The Gospel According to Thomas", Guillaumont et al, 1959),
indicates that it should be filled in '[AN NKESO]P' ('not another time',
"this house" can't be rebuilt). The final P isn't enclosed in brackets;
rather, it has a dot under it in Guillamont's text. This indicates that he
thought he saw enough of the letter to make it reasonably certain. I agree
with DeConick, however, that there doesn't seem to be even a smidgen
of that letter in the manuscript (at least from the facsimile). That doesn't
mean that Guillaumont's reconstruction is wrong, but rather that he
probably should have put the P within his brackets.
Now come to Bentley Layton's take in "Nag Hammadi Codex II, 2-7".
Layton generally lists reconstructions of lacunae suggested by other
scholars, but he doesn't show Guillaumont's (or any other for the lacuna
in logion 71, for that matter). Why not? I think it's because he believes
(as he implies) that the first letter in the lacuna can't be an 'A'. More
specifically, he thinks it has to be a G, H, I, K, M, N, or P. Now he has
looked at the original manuscript carefully, and I haven't, but I must say
that it appears from the facsimile that the left-edge of first letter in the
lacuna (which is all we can see) is slanted, rather than straight vertical.
That would open the possibility that it's an 'A' and that therefore
Guillaumont's reconstruction should be seriously considered. On the
other hand, if Layton is right (which I have to admit is prima facie much
more likely than me being right), then we'll have to come up with some
other reconstruction. Curious, though, that Layton doesn't show ANY
possible reconstructions? (p.80, NHC)