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Re: [GTh] A New Tack on Translating RWME

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... Absolutely not. Neither Meyer nor Patterson think it s a gnostic text. Their translation(s) derive from two (unsound) principles: 1. That RWME corresponds
    Message 1 of 11 , May 6, 2008
      John Moon asks:
      > Could the lack of male dominance in the translation be a subtle or not
      > so subtle left over from assuming that Gospel of Thomas must be in
      > fact a gnostic text?

      Absolutely not. Neither Meyer nor Patterson think it's a gnostic text.
      Their translation(s) derive from two (unsound) principles:

      1. That RWME corresponds to ANTHRWPOS, and that
      2. ANTHRWPOS should always be translated as gender-neutral.

      On the other side of the issue, Doresse thought (late 50's) that Thomas
      was gnostic, yet he retained 'man' in his translation (_The Secret Books
      of the Egyptian Gnostics_). Grant and Freedman (_The Secret Sayings
      of Jesus_, 1960) also took Thomas to be gnostic, yet they used the
      Schoedel translation, which retains 'man'.

      Though I'm not sure exactly what you're getting at with your other
      questions, I think we can rule out that any version of Thomas ever had
      a special vocabulary. Of course we can only speculate about an
      Aramaic or Syrian version, but the Coptic RWME and the Greek
      ANTHRWPOS have an ambiguity to them which is also present in
      the English word 'man'. Sometimes it's a generic or species-related
      meaning, as in 'Anthropology is the study of Man' or (from Thomas)
      'Man is like a wise fisherman'. Sometimes it's used to refer to individuals
      who happen to be male. As to how one _should_ translate Coptic Thomas,
      that question would lead to an interminable debate which would, I think,
      come down in the end to one's point of view.

      Mike Grondin
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