Which Scholar's Version?
- PBS has an online version of the Gospel of Thomas, said to
be from the 3rd edition of _The Complete Gospels_ (TCG):
Interestingly, this differs from both of the two that I have in print,
namely the 1994 "revised and expanded" version of TCG, and
the 1993 edition of _The Five Gospels_ (T5G). The other day,
when I spotted 'rich man' in 63.1 of TCG '94, I was taken aback
because I had thought the T5G and TCG versions were identical.
Turns out they aren't. Though the differences are minor (except
for 'rich man'), there are 21 differences in 12 sayings, viz.:
L3, 5, 6, 14, 27, 41, 63, 64, 81, 93, 96, 110
A quick look at the PBS version indicates some instances of
agreement with T5G '93 and some of agreement with TCG '94.
With respect to the major difference between versions, the
PBS version has 'rich man' in 63.1. This must be a mistake,
since it's the only place that 'man' appears in a JSem translation
by Meyer and Patterson. What this means is that the versions
considered the latest and most authoritative actually contain a
significant error not present in the earlier T5G version. If the
3rd edition of TCG attempted to bring TCG into line with T5G,
it failed on a key point.
To me, all this sounds like what one might find if examining several
different ancient manuscripts of the same text. We apparently
haven't succeeded in eliminating scribal variation in this electronic
age.The more things change, the more they remain the same?