[GTh] Re: GTh2 and GHeb
- I don't know if it matters to this discussion particularly but this
logion also appears in the Syriac tradition in a different, and
arguably earlier form. It is quoted three times in the 4th century
anonymous Syriac work, 'The book of steps' or 'Liber Graduum'. The
Syriac text of the book of steps was published with a Latin
translation in 1926 by M. Kmosko.
The (possibly) interesting things about the Syriac quote are 1) that
it is more compact and 2) different translations and mutations of the
same few Syriac words can explain several features found in the longer
Clement and GT versions, (hence using the usual TC rules, the Syriac
may be the source).
The Book of Steps was translated into English recently by Kitchen and
Parmentier in 2004, ISBN 0-87907-696-8
The three quotes are:
Kmosko Columns.lines - Kitchen and Parmentier page
49.26 - p. 25 'As you shall be found, so you shall be taken'
52.7-8 - p. 25 'As you are found in victory, so you shall be taken,
wearing your wreath'
344.15 - p. 142 'As you are found, so shall you live'
The Syriac ethpa`el verb 'ethdamar' = 'to be amazed' of Clement's
version and the GT is very similar on the page to the ethpa`el verb
'ethdabar' = 'to be led' or 'to be taken'. The difference is only a
very slight jot of the pen to mistake the letter meem for the letter
beth. This may account for the words, 'be amazed' in Clement and the
GT. Again, the underlying Syriac pa`el verb 'dabar' means 'to rule'
which is also found in Clement's version and the GT.
Any thoughts? (I do not have Klijn's book)
--- In email@example.com, "Paul Lanier" <jpaullanier@...> wrote:
> Thank you very much, Kevin, for your post on Klijn's analysis of L 2.
> I have been reflecting on it a great deal. I am responding with what I
> have on it so far.
> > Klijn breaks down all four versions of the saying (the two in
> Clement, P. Oxy 654, and Coptic Thomas logion 2) and shows, in the
> process, how Coptic Thomas deviates from the other versions.
> 49.26 - p. 25 'As you shall be found, so you shall be taken'Hi Stevan,
> 52.7-8 - p. 25 'As you are found in victory, so you shall be taken,
> wearing your wreath'
> 344.15 - p. 142 'As you are found, so shall you live'
Even given your analysis, it appears that there's at most two
words in common between GTh.2 and any of the above lines.
In addition, the above statements concentrate on the agent
being found (presumably by God), while the agent in GTh.2
is doing the active seeking and finding. If one thought came
from the other, it seems that there must have been a significant
development in thinking in between. In any case, there's enough
difference, I think, that it's questionable whether these are true
parallels. (Note that DeConick used Liber Graduum for TOGTT
and found some parallels, but not for GTh.2.)
That's my take, anyway.
- Hi Mike,
Nevertheless just as I describe, there are tantalizing links between the
Syriac saying and the GT saying visible from the Syriac studies and
translation-effects points of view.
Another thought on this issue arises from an even more sceptical
position: The Syriac saying I cite is not found in the canonical
gospels, so this would also call into question whether the saying found
in the Liber Graduum was ever spoken by Christ or written in any gospel.
However, the Syriac form of the teaching in the sense, 'As you are
found, so shall you live' is corroborated by a rather detailed
application of it written by Paul, see 1 Cor7v20-24. Again, reading the
context of the third occurrence of this saying (Kitchen & Parmentier p.
142), it is written there, 'then let us listen to what our Lord said,
'as you were found, so shall you live'.' Hence, if a form of the Syriac
saying cited in the Liber Graduum was indeed spoken by Christ and
originally written in a gospel known to Paul, then it must have been
removed later, after Paul. Variance and misunderstanding in translation
is much more likely where a source text is either unpopular, or
difficult to understand, or both. In these circumstances a translator
will attempt to re-interpret, or estimate the meaning of his source and
this is how this saying in the GT and Clement comes across to me.
If as you say, other commentators have already spotted connections
between some parts of the Liber Graduum and sayings in the GT, then from
a source-critical point of view, this would make it more likely that
other connections exist. Hence, the existence of other connections
between the Liber Graduum and GT only increases the probability that
these two particular sayings are also linked. Then, since the features
of this Syriac saying can explain features in a longer GT saying, a
text-critical deduction would be that the GT saying is probably derived
from the Syriac one.
Looking at the wider (non-GT related) issues here, it is interesting to
note how the eastern Syriac-speaking tradition preserves fragments of
gospel text which were erased very early on, in the western Christian
tradition. This is not the only case of a western erasure being
preserved in the Syriac tradition, and my paper will describe some
important examples of this phenomena.
Michael Grondin wrote:
> > 49.26 - p. 25 'As you shall be found, so you shall be taken'
> > 52.7-8 - p. 25 'As you are found in victory, so you shall be taken,
> > wearing your wreath'
> > 344.15 - p. 142 'As you are found, so shall you live'
> Hi Stevan,
> Even given your analysis, it appears that there's at most two
> words in common between GTh.2 and any of the above lines.
> In addition, the above statements concentrate on the agent
> being found (presumably by God), while the agent in GTh.2
> is doing the active seeking and finding. If one thought came
> from the other, it seems that there must have been a significant
> development in thinking in between. In any case, there's enough
> difference, I think, that it's questionable whether these are true
> parallels. (Note that DeConick used Liber Graduum for TOGTT
> and found some parallels, but not for GTh.2.)
> That's my take, anyway.
> Best regards,
> Mike Grondin
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