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Jesus the gentile ...

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  • jmgcormier
    Greetings all ... I have always been greatly intrigued by logion # 43 of the Gospel of Thomas. (His disciples said to him, Who are You, that You should say
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 28, 2008
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      Greetings all ...

      I have always been greatly intrigued by logion # 43 of the
      Gospel of Thomas.

      (His disciples said to him, "Who are You, that You should
      say these things to us?" Jesus said to them, "You do not realize who
      I am from what I say to you, but you have become like the Jews, for
      they (either) love the tree and hate its fruit or love the fruit and
      hate the tree.")

      In this logion, Jesus is clearly addressing a Jewish
      audience (his disciples) … in fact, he himself is Jewish. Why, then,
      would he answer is such a way as to chastise his audience and his
      very self by saying "You have become like the Jews" (which he and
      they already are) … later on even referring to his audience
      as "they" and not "we" or "you" (plural) which suggests that neither
      his apostles or himself are Jewish ???

      Hmmm ! Is there something lost in the translation here, or
      are others reading this logion in the same manner as I am …


      Maurice Cormier
    • Michael Grondin
      ... Hi Maurice, DeConick s answer is that, The content [of L43] reflects the shifting constituency of the community as it became dominated by Gentile
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 29, 2008
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        > Hmmm ! Is there something lost in the translation here, or
        > are others reading this logion in the same manner as I am .

        Hi Maurice,

        DeConick's answer is that, "The content [of L43] reflects the
        shifting constituency of the community as it became dominated
        by Gentile converts." (TOGTT, p.165)

        Another possible answer is that IOYDAIOS should be read as
        'Judaeans' rather than 'Jews'. There was often hostility between
        Galileans and Judaeans. There was also hostility, of course,
        between Jesus and the religio-political forces that ruled Judaea.
        Later on, there was similar hostility between Paul and those
        same forces, and I think there's the same confusion when he
        writes about "the Jews", as in:

        "For the Jews require a sign ..." (1 Cor 1:22)

        What sense do we make of this? Was Paul referring to Judaeans
        or to other ethnic-Jews whose religion was different from his own?
        I think this is basically the same question as we have about L43.
        What we don't know is whether Jesus thought of himself as having
        religious views so distinct from the Jewish mainstream that he could
        speak as Paul writes - or whether, as DeConick maintains, such talk
        would have been a post-Jesus development.

        Mike Grondin
      • Michael Grondin
        Hi again Maurice, An examination of the Coptic (there s no Greek extant) indicates that there s a justifiable translational solution to the problem you raise.
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 29, 2008
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          Hi again Maurice,

          An examination of the Coptic (there's no Greek extant) indicates
          that there's a justifiable translational solution to the problem you
          raise. Although all the translations I consulted have 'THE Jews',
          the literal Coptic is 'THOSE Jews [or Judaeans]'. That's the first
          clue to an alternate translation. Given that it's 'those Jews', one
          wonders "which ones"? The next word is 'xe', which can mean
          'for', but can also mean 'that'. Other translations, glossing over
          the word 'those', take 'xe' to mean 'for'. But it makes perfect
          sense to say "those Jews that [do something-or-other]". So my
          suggested alternative translation of 43.3 is this:

          "You've become like those Jews (or Judaeans) who love the
          tree, hate its fruit, and love the fruit, hate the tree."

          Mike
        • Michael Grondin
          Hi again Maurice, Upon consulting Lambdin s Intro to Sahidic, I m going to have to back off on my proposed alternative translation of L43.3. Although xe can
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 30, 2008
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            Hi again Maurice,

            Upon consulting Lambdin's Intro to Sahidic, I'm going to have
            to back off on my proposed alternative translation of L43.3.
            Although 'xe' can mean 'that', it does so primarily in constructions
            involving certain verbs of thinking, understanding, saying, etc. -
            as in "she thought that he was an idiot". As of now, I'm unable to
            find a grammatical usage of 'xe' that would fit L43.3 so as to justify
            the proposed translation in my earlier note.

            On an entirely different matter, you asked me a week or so ago
            to specify which of my group messages contained information
            related to my claim to have shown that GTh has some design
            features which are textually, as opposed to orally, based.
            Below are what I think are the most recent major postings:

            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/message/7069
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/message/7300
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/message/7320

            The results in the above messages are combined and expanded
            in a projected paper I've been working on intermittently, currently
            titled "Two Structural Design Features in the Coptic Gospel of
            Thomas". I can send you a copy, if you request offlist. Note, however,
            that neither the paper nor the above messages contain _all_ the textual
            design features I've discovered in Coptic Thomas - and discussed
            on this list. There's also (just to mention one) the matter of the number
            of Greek words used, and the number of letters in those Greek words
            (almost exactly 500 and 1200, respectively.) Basically, I believe that
            Coptic Thomas was the result of careful, detailed design - no doubt based
            on another language version, but certainly no simple, slapdash translation.

            Cheers,
            Mike G.
          • jmgcormier
            ... could speak as Paul writes - or whether, as DeConick maintains, such talk would have been a post-Jesus development. ... Hello, Mike ... All good points.
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 30, 2008
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              --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
              wrote:


              > What we don't know is whether Jesus thought of himself as having
              > religious views so distinct from the Jewish mainstream that he
              could speak as Paul writes - or whether, as DeConick maintains, such
              talk would have been a post-Jesus development.
              >
              > Mike Grondin




              Hello, Mike ...

              All good points. However, I dont think the Gospel of Thomas
              is so much about what "Jesus said" as it is about what Thomas
              records (or understood) that "Jesus said" ... (same difficulty with
              other gospels).

              As for "whether Jesus thought of himself as having religious views
              so distinct from the Jewish mainstream that he could speak as Paul
              writes" ... I suspect we get a good part of our answer in Thomas
              logia 39, 66, 102 among others. After all, some thought him to be so
              anti-mainstream that he was thought worthy of death for his leanings
              and beliefs.

              As for the DeConick's point about "The content [of L43] reflects the
              shifting constituency of the community as it became dominated
              by Gentile converts." (TOGTT, p.165)... it would be fun to research
              the date beyond which this would be difficult to accept. I'm not
              sure that mainstream Judaism would have been seriously threatened by
              the time G of Thomas (or logion 43) might have been written ...

              Maurice
            • jmgcormier
              ... constructions ... justify ... Many thanks, Mike ! ... could xe thus be used in an expanded sentence or an inferred statement such as They are like those
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 30, 2008
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                --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
                wrote:
                >
                > Hi again Maurice,
                >
                > Upon consulting Lambdin's Intro to Sahidic, I'm going to have
                > to back off on my proposed alternative translation of L43.3.
                > Although 'xe' can mean 'that', it does so primarily in
                constructions
                > involving certain verbs of thinking, understanding, saying, etc. -
                > as in "she thought that he was an idiot". As of now, I'm unable to
                > find a grammatical usage of 'xe' that would fit L43.3 so as to
                justify
                > the proposed translation in my earlier note.


                Many thanks, Mike !

                ... could "xe" thus be used in an expanded sentence or an
                inferred statement such as "They are like those Jews (which we all
                know examples of and which we wont name) which either love the fruit
                and etc. ?

                In passing, thanks also for the references to your work on the
                structural design features of the Coptic version of Thomas ... lots
                of good reading in these, no doubt. I probably will take you up on
                your offer for the off-list copy ... sit tight for now.

                MC
              • Michael Grondin
                Hi Maurice, A final (?) note on the translation of L43.3. The form is this: You ve become N-QE N-NI-IOYDAIOS ... (n.b. the NI ) The relevant section of
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 5 1:06 PM
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                  Hi Maurice,

                  A final (?) note on the translation of L43.3. The form is this:

                  "You've become N-QE N-NI-IOYDAIOS ..." (n.b. the 'NI')

                  The relevant section of Lambdin's Intro is 30.8, where he wrote
                  (with dashes inserted in transliteration to conform to above):

                  "The form NI- occurs most frequently in expressions involving
                  comparison with N-QE N- (like) or R-QE N- (to become like);
                  it sometimes corresponds more closely to an English generic
                  noun, e.g., N-QE N-NI-6ROOMPE, like doves, like a dove."(p.140)

                  You might recall L39.3, where doves are mentioned. In that
                  subsaying, however, NI- isn't used, so we'll ignore that here.

                  The word 'sometimes' in the Lambdin quote introduces an element
                  of uncertainty, but what does seem certain is that the following
                  reading can be justified by Lambdin's remarks:

                  "You've become like Judeans, for they ..."

                  What's questionable, I think, is the definite article 'the' in the standard
                  translations. This looks like a case of translators being influenced by
                  canonical passages (esp. Paul) which refer to 'the Jews'.

                  Mike G.
                • jmgcormier
                  ... standard ... influenced by ... Yes, Mike ! ... this now makes a lot of sense. Those Judeans (as opposed to The Jews ) would be normal vernacular for
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 5 6:14 PM
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                    --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
                    wrote:
                    > etc. etc, followed by :
                    >
                    > "You've become like Judeans, for they ..."
                    >
                    > What's questionable, I think, is the definite article 'the' in the
                    standard
                    > translations. This looks like a case of translators being
                    influenced by
                    > canonical passages (esp. Paul) which refer to 'the Jews'.
                    >
                    > Mike G.
                    >


                    Yes, Mike ! ... this now makes a lot of sense. "Those Judeans" (as
                    opposed to "The Jews") would be normal vernacular for anyone not
                    from Judea. Jesus, of course, as a Galilean, could thus use such an
                    expression ... as could Thomas (the GoT's alleged original
                    scrivener) who according to St. Epiphanius, bishop of Cyprus c.320 -
                    403, "came from the Galilean town of Paneas (and thus was not a
                    Judean either), and neither was Paul who hailed from Tarsus (and who
                    also refers to "the Jews" no doubt as Judeans). Soooooo, all of them
                    could comfortably refer to "those Judeans" but none of them could be
                    comfortable in refering to "the Jews" which they all were
                    themselves. I think you've solved it ... does it for me anyways !

                    Maurice Cormier
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