## Re: [GTh] GTh LL33 int and 77 int--evidence of reconstruction by a Coptic hand

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• ... Yes, that would be the term. ... Actually, it s quite clear--thanks. I was just struck by the R-L vs L-R directional thing because of hieroglyphic writing,
Message 1 of 20 , Aug 19, 2008
Mike wrote, quoting Don:
>
> > One thing that resonated a lot for me was the business about IS
> > and IHS having different values when read from L-R and R-L.
>
> Hi Don,
>
> I guess I didn't explain this very well, because what you say above
> isn't the case. I was distinguishing between having a numeric value
> and being a (Greek) number. IH was a number; IS and IHS weren't,
> but they all had a numeric value, because the Greek number system
> was based on the letters of the alphabet (as was Hebrew), hence
> any set of Greek letters, whether it was a word or not, had a numeric
> value. This value could be calculated simply by adding up the values
> of the Greek letters involved. The order of the letters didn't matter.
> (This might be called a 'gematria value'; I'm not sure about that.)
>
Yes, that would be the term.

> On the other hand, not every set of Greek letters was a number.
> In a number (usually indicated with an overstroke), the letters were
> written left to right in descending numeric order, with only one letter
> representing each order of tens. The number 218, for example,
> would have been 'SIH', but many different combinations of letters
> (not just 'IHS') would have had a value of 218.
>
> The thing about 'IS' is that if it's read backwards, it's the number
> 'SI' (=210). This isn't generally true of other letter combinations,
> however. If IHS is read backwards, it's SHI, which still isn't a number
> (because the order 200+8+10 violates the rules of number-writing).
> Or take another two-letter case: XS, one of the abbreviations for
> 'Christ', had a value of 800, but it wasn't a number, no matter which
> direction it was read (because its two letters are at the same tens level).
>
> If this isn't confusing enough, I can do better. (:-)
>
> Mike
>
Actually, it's quite clear--thanks. I was just struck by the R-L vs L-R directional thing because of hieroglyphic writing, and the fact that there are enciphered words in some gnostic texts (such as the Books of Jeu, which I mentioned last night).

Referring to your post of last night, you are correct that the two instances of "parage" (L 11.1 and L 42) are at lines 70 and 280, respectively, with an interval of 210. Good for you for doing a continuous lineation--I'm not aware of any edition that provides this. I had to adapt the page-and-line numbers of the Guillaumont, Puech et al edition to check this. I think you deserve credit for hitting upon this interesting feature of GTh. I don't remember anyone else mentioning it.

As to something else you mentioned, citing a Larry Hurtado paper: it's interesting that IH with overstrike was the number 18. The first letter of the Hebrew word "chay," meaning life, does have the numerical value of 18. If you include the yod, though, the full gematria value becomes 38. The number 18 is considered sacred in many cultures, sometimes for different reasons. Civilizations that knew some astronomy revered it, along with its multiples and factors, because of the eclipse cycle, and considered it sacred to the moon goddess. I believe it is still customary in Jewish culture to give monetary gifts in multiples of 18 or 36 (probably because of the association with "chay.") 9x12 [or 18x6] =108, which is a number sacred in both Hinduism and Buddhism.

Anyway, good job. You seem to have noticed something that others have missed. In addition to its "IS" symbolism, it could turn out to be the key to some sort of encryption scheme. Hidden words, indeed.

--Don
• Hi Don, Thanks very much for your kind words. As far as I know, you re right that no one else is taking this approach - probably because no one has thought to
Message 2 of 20 , Aug 20, 2008
Hi Don,

Thanks very much for your kind words. As far as I know, you're right
that no one else is taking this approach - probably because no one
has thought to count anything except sayings and subsayings,
and little attention has been given to the manuscript in itself.
But in the little-noticed area of the analysis of the Psalms, much
progress appears to have been made by paying attention to the
number and placement of occurrences of the name Yahweh. As
Laura Joffe wrote in a 2002 JSOT paper:

"Recent studies on the book of Psalms have rejected the idea that
it is a random collection of prayers and liturgies. Instead, they have
focused on the idea of _deliberate_ structure and order in the final
redaction." (JSOT 27.2, 2002, p.226, emphasis hers)

In fact, Joffe's article (which cites the afore-mentioned Hurtado
article, BTW) concentrates on the number 42 (which is why it
came to my attention). She suggests that the 42 psalms of the
Eloistic Psalter (Pss. 42-83) were commissioned to ward off what
she calls "the curse of the number 42". Arguably, the same function
would have been performed by the 42-lettered name of God (an
alternative to the 72-lettered name). Whether this is something that
might have influenced the creation and placement of Th.42 or not,
I find interesting parallels in her work and other Psalmist analysts
who've discovered structure by counting things (way back to Ernest
T&T Clark in 1845-48!)

> ... there are enciphered words in some gnostic texts (such as the
> Books of Jeu, which I mentioned last night).

Yes, I have the Brill edition of that, and have always been intrigued by
the (unlikely) possiblity that it might have some relationship to CGTh.

> Puech et al edition to check this [continuous lineation?].

Thanks for that. I think it's important that one's work be checked
and our interaction has been very beneficial to me. As you've said,
the task needs a number of folks coming from different directions,
and with a variety of backgrounds. Unfortunately, I haven't been
very successful in interesting others in this approach. It could be
my personality (:-), but more likely the approach and results are so
contrary to the experience of trained NT analysts that they write it
off as just another whacko theory.

> As to something else you mentioned, citing a Larry Hurtado paper:
> it's interesting that IH with overstrike was the number 18. The first
> letter of the Hebrew word "chay," meaning life, does have the numerical
> value of 18. If you include the yod, though, the full gematria value
> becomes 38.

This doesn't seem right. Although Hurtado uses only Hebrew
letters to designate the word, it appears to be yod-heth, which has
a value of 10+8. The heth is 'ch' of course, and the unwritten aleph
isn't counted. Let's compare sources for the value of Hebrew letters.

That's enough for tonight (about 3 AM here). Talk to you tomorrow,
hopefully. I've got some stuff about lines 67-68.

Best,
Mike
• ... numerical ... It doesn t seem right, because it isn t right! I was reading from a table with multiple columns, and the values I picked up were from the
Message 3 of 20 , Aug 20, 2008
Mike wrote, quotong Don:

> > As to something else you mentioned, citing a Larry Hurtado paper:
> > it's interesting that IH with overstrike was the number 18. The first
> > letter of the Hebrew word "chay," meaning life, does have the
numerical
> > value of 18. If you include the yod, though, the full gematria value
> > becomes 38.
>
> This doesn't seem right. Although Hurtado uses only Hebrew
> letters to designate the word, it appears to be yod-heth, which has
> a value of 10+8. The heth is 'ch' of course, and the unwritten aleph
> isn't counted. Let's compare sources for the value of Hebrew letters.

It doesn't seem right, because it isn't right! I was reading from a
table with multiple columns, and the values I picked up were from the
wrong column. Cheth is worth 8, and yod is worth 10. Obviously, I'm