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Re: [GTh] Re: Son of Man

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... Agreed. From within Thomas, I m reminded of L.78.1 ( Why did you come out to the wilderness? ). ... If we re talking about p-rwme , then I think Man ,
    Message 1 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
      Hi Judy, you wrote:

      > I think you need to say that when there is no who-phrase, the p
      > (or t for a feminine noun) *may* function or maybe even *often*
      > or *usually* funcitons as an untranslated capitalizer, depending
      > on the context.

      Agreed. From within Thomas, I'm reminded of L.78.1 ("Why did
      you come out to the wilderness?").

      > I think that the problem here is that both translations appear to be
      > possible and even in regular use in particular places and times, so the
      > reader needs to make decisions about which is the right one in the
      > particular context. Although I have not had time to look at the texts in
      > question, it would seem to me entirely possible that Thomas might
      > sometimes use it as a title and sometimes to indicate "a human being".

      If we're talking about 'p-rwme', then I think 'Man', 'Humanity', 'Human
      beings', even 'the human being' are pretty much interchangeable, but
      not '_a_ human being', which I wouldn't use for that.

      > And, of course, what we decide makes more sense in any given context
      > will depend on our particular understandings of what kind of text Thomas
      > is - gnostic, mystic etc.

      Oh, I don't know about that. I think one can make these decisions based
      on thematic consistency with other sayings whose meaning is pretty clear,
      without having any particular understanding of what kind of text Thomas is.
      At least, that's what I think I'm doing (:-)

      Regards,
      Mike
    • Judy Redman
      Mike, ... I was actually thinking about son of man, but you re right. I don t think p-rwme can be *a* human being. ... Sorry - what I was trying to say (I m
      Message 2 of 26 , Oct 3, 2008
        Mike,
        >
        > > I think that the problem here is that both translations
        > appear to be
        > > possible and even in regular use in particular places and times, so
        > > the reader needs to make decisions about which is the right
        > one in the
        > > particular context. Although I have not had time to look
        > at the texts
        > > in question, it would seem to me entirely possible that
        > Thomas might
        > > sometimes use it as a title and sometimes to indicate "a
        > human being".
        >
        > If we're talking about 'p-rwme', then I think 'Man',
        > 'Humanity', 'Human beings', even 'the human being' are pretty
        > much interchangeable, but not '_a_ human being', which I
        > wouldn't use for that.

        I was actually thinking about son of man, but you're right. I don't think
        p-rwme can be *a* human being.

        >
        > > And, of course, what we decide makes more sense in any
        > given context
        > > will depend on our particular understandings of what kind of text
        > > Thomas is - gnostic, mystic etc.
        >
        > Oh, I don't know about that. I think one can make these
        > decisions based on thematic consistency with other sayings
        > whose meaning is pretty clear, without having any particular
        > understanding of what kind of text Thomas is.
        > At least, that's what I think I'm doing (:-)

        Sorry - what I was trying to say (I'm fighting a head cold and not thinking
        as clearly as I might) is that we bring particular assumptions about a text
        to the text and they influence how we translate it because, I think, they
        can influence what we see as pretty clear meanings. At the most general
        level, as was pointed out in the Thomas and Tatian thread, people who
        assume that Thomas is dependent tend to see as obvious that any verbatim
        bits demonstrate that Thomas follows the synoptics, when all that can really
        be said is that the passages are the same. I'm not accusing you of doing
        this, Mike, just saying that we need to be very careful to examine our
        preconceptions when we need to make choices about translation and, indeed,
        in deciding which passages are actually thematically consistent.

        Judy
      • rj.godijn
        ... verbatim ... really ... Hi Judy, I realize your post wasn t really about synoptic-thomas relationship, but I really must respond to what you are saying
        Message 3 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
          --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Judy Redman" <jredman@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > At the most general
          > level, as was pointed out in the Thomas and Tatian thread, people who
          > assume that Thomas is dependent tend to see as obvious that any
          verbatim
          > bits demonstrate that Thomas follows the synoptics, when all that can
          really
          > be said is that the passages are the same.

          Hi Judy,

          I realize your post wasn't really about synoptic-thomas relationship,
          but I really must respond to what you are saying here.

          Scholars who argue for Thomas' dependence on one or more of the
          Synoptics for some of the parallels between Thomas and the Synoptics do
          not necessarily do this because of a canonical bias, they do this
          because the redactional work of one or more of the evangelists can be
          found in Thomas. Obviously it is not always that easy to determine what
          is redactional and therefore it is often possible to come up with
          alternative solutions. Even Stephen Patterson (who favors an
          independence view) agrees that Markan, Matthean or Lukan redaction can
          be found in Thomas in about 10 places (a proponent of the Farrer
          hypothesis would add many more to this list). This should not be
          brushed away so easily. The question of course remains what explains
          these instances? Patterson would favor late scribal harmonization or
          perhaps secondary orality.

          Finding Thomas to be influenced by one or more of the Synoptics also
          does not mean that one considers every parallel between them as a sign
          that Thomas is secondary. It can very well be the case that some of the
          sayings in Thomas are prior to their synoptic parallel. Given the
          popularity of the Synoptic Gospels in the second century it would not
          be at all surprising that some of their sayings were then added to the
          Thomas collection.

          Having said all this I must agree that some (evangelical or
          conservative) scholars are biased against Thomas and will favor Thomas'
          dependence on the Synoptics. The positive and uncritical manner in
          which they responded to Nicholas Perrin's work nicely illustrates this.
          However, this is to be expected, and should not lead to the counter-
          reaction of assuming independence without good evidence.

          Regards, Richard Godijn
        • Judy Redman
          Hi Richard, ... I realise this. What I wanted to do was raise awareness of the ways in which the perspective from which people approach a text, the questions
          Message 4 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
            Hi Richard,

            You say:
            >
            > Scholars who argue for Thomas' dependence on one or more of
            > the Synoptics for some of the parallels between Thomas and
            > the Synoptics do not necessarily do this because of a
            > canonical bias, they do this because the redactional work of
            > one or more of the evangelists can be found in Thomas.
            > Obviously it is not always that easy to determine what is
            > redactional and therefore it is often possible to come up
            > with alternative solutions. Even Stephen Patterson (who
            > favors an independence view) agrees that Markan, Matthean or
            > Lukan redaction can be found in Thomas in about 10 places (a
            > proponent of the Farrer hypothesis would add many more to
            > this list). This should not be brushed away so easily. The
            > question of course remains what explains these instances?
            > Patterson would favor late scribal harmonization or perhaps
            > secondary orality.

            I realise this. What I wanted to do was raise awareness of the ways in
            which the perspective from which people approach a text, the questions they
            bring to it, if you like, can influence the way they interpret it. So, if
            you approach Thomas asking "what evidence can I find that Thomas is
            dependent on the synoptic material?" you will potentially reach different
            conclusions to the ones you will reach if you ask "are there any passages in
            Thomas that are similar to and/or the same as those in the synoptics and if
            so, what might that mean?" The answer you give, especially to the first
            question will be further influenced by whether or not you have anything
            invested in the outcome. That is, if you want the answer to be "lots of
            evidence" you are more likely to include tenuous evidence. If you want it
            to be "none at all", then you will discard anything that could reasonably be
            considered tenuous.

            > Finding Thomas to be influenced by one or more of the
            > Synoptics also does not mean that one considers every
            > parallel between them as a sign that Thomas is secondary. It
            > can very well be the case that some of the sayings in Thomas
            > are prior to their synoptic parallel. Given the popularity of
            > the Synoptic Gospels in the second century it would not be at
            > all surprising that some of their sayings were then added to
            > the Thomas collection.

            I think it is possible to go back further than this, though, and say that
            the fact that there are parallels between Thomas and the synoptics does not
            mean that Thomas is necessarily influenced by one or more of the synoptics.
            It may be that the influence went in the other direction, or that they
            shared a common source for that particular passage. Of the material that I
            am studying (ie the parables of the kingdom/reign in Thomas that have
            parallels in the synoptics) only one is close to verbatim - the parable of
            the mustard seed - and it is an anomally. It is the only one in Thomas that
            compares the kingdom/reign to an object rather than to a person.

            >
            > Having said all this I must agree that some (evangelical or
            > conservative) scholars are biased against Thomas and will
            > favor Thomas'
            > dependence on the Synoptics. The positive and uncritical
            > manner in which they responded to Nicholas Perrin's work
            > nicely illustrates this.
            > However, this is to be expected, and should not lead to the
            > counter- reaction of assuming independence without good evidence.

            No, indeed. Good evidence is essential, but I think you get good evidence
            by asking the right questions in the first place. That's certainly true
            when you're questioning eyewitnesses.

            Judy
          • Paul Lanier
            ... influence how we translate it because, I think, they can influence what we see as pretty clear meanings. Hi Judy, I agree, and would add that two biases
            Message 5 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
              --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Judy Redman" <jredman@...> wrote:
              >
              > we bring particular assumptions about a text to the text and they
              influence how we translate it because, I think, they can influence
              what we see as pretty clear meanings.

              Hi Judy,

              I agree, and would add that two biases apply to any historical
              reconstruction: the bias of the historian, and the general social
              paradigms of the intended readers. I think most historians would agree
              there is no such thing as a truly objective history. Recognizing the
              bias of the historian and her or his culture is a necessary basis for
              interpretation of the historian's work.

              Of course, by the law of accretion, texts which elaborate on a simpler
              text are probably later. This can lead to a reasonable presumption of
              dependency.

              It is of course possible (although far less likely) that an elaborated
              text is the earlier one. I would suggest that sort of argument is more
              of an apologetic, because it seeks to preserve doctrine by proposing
              how a much less likely event could still have occurred.

              regards,
              Paul Lanier
            • rj.godijn
              ... ways in ... questions they ... So, if ... different ... passages in ... synoptics and if ... first ... anything ... be lots of ... want it ... reasonably
              Message 6 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
                --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Judy Redman" <jredman@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi Richard,
                >
                > You say:
                > >
                > > Scholars who argue for Thomas' dependence on one or more of
                > > the Synoptics for some of the parallels between Thomas and
                > > the Synoptics do not necessarily do this because of a
                > > canonical bias, they do this because the redactional work of
                > > one or more of the evangelists can be found in Thomas.
                > > Obviously it is not always that easy to determine what is
                > > redactional and therefore it is often possible to come up
                > > with alternative solutions. Even Stephen Patterson (who
                > > favors an independence view) agrees that Markan, Matthean or
                > > Lukan redaction can be found in Thomas in about 10 places (a
                > > proponent of the Farrer hypothesis would add many more to
                > > this list). This should not be brushed away so easily. The
                > > question of course remains what explains these instances?
                > > Patterson would favor late scribal harmonization or perhaps
                > > secondary orality.
                >
                > I realise this. What I wanted to do was raise awareness of the
                ways in
                > which the perspective from which people approach a text, the
                questions they
                > bring to it, if you like, can influence the way they interpret it.
                So, if
                > you approach Thomas asking "what evidence can I find that Thomas is
                > dependent on the synoptic material?" you will potentially reach
                different
                > conclusions to the ones you will reach if you ask "are there any
                passages in
                > Thomas that are similar to and/or the same as those in the
                synoptics and if
                > so, what might that mean?" The answer you give, especially to the
                first
                > question will be further influenced by whether or not you have
                anything
                > invested in the outcome. That is, if you want the answer to
                be "lots of
                > evidence" you are more likely to include tenuous evidence. If you
                want it
                > to be "none at all", then you will discard anything that could
                reasonably be
                > considered tenuous.

                RG: Absolutely! I think we can all agree on this. We should simply be
                looking for the model that best accounts for the data (with the
                strongest constraints - something typically neglected in New
                Testament Studies). Why should we 'want' any kind of answer? That is
                of course completely unscientific. Coming from experimental
                psychology I must say that the common desire to find certain answers
                in this field has been quite shocking for me. While many seem to want
                Thomas to be late and secondary others seem to want Thomas to be
                early and independent of the canonical Gospels. Both groups appear to
                be neglecting (perhaps downplaying is a better word) part of the
                evidence (which gives away my position - if that was not already
                clear - that part of it is early, pre-synoptic, and part of it is
                late, post-synoptic)


                >
                > > Finding Thomas to be influenced by one or more of the
                > > Synoptics also does not mean that one considers every
                > > parallel between them as a sign that Thomas is secondary. It
                > > can very well be the case that some of the sayings in Thomas
                > > are prior to their synoptic parallel. Given the popularity of
                > > the Synoptic Gospels in the second century it would not be at
                > > all surprising that some of their sayings were then added to
                > > the Thomas collection.
                >
                > I think it is possible to go back further than this, though, and
                say that
                > the fact that there are parallels between Thomas and the synoptics
                does not
                > mean that Thomas is necessarily influenced by one or more of the
                synoptics.
                > It may be that the influence went in the other direction, or that
                they
                > shared a common source for that particular passage. Of the
                material that I
                > am studying (ie the parables of the kingdom/reign in Thomas that
                have
                > parallels in the synoptics) only one is close to verbatim - the
                parable of
                > the mustard seed - and it is an anomally. It is the only one in
                Thomas that
                > compares the kingdom/reign to an object rather than to a person.

                RG: It is not just verbatim agreement that suggests influence, it is
                finding an evangelists redaction in Thomas. Thus, if there is
                evidence that in a certain pericope one of the evangelists has
                redacted one of his sources and that piece of redaction is also found
                in Thomas then the data can best be accounted by the hypothesis that
                Thomas has somehow been influenced by that evangelists Gospel. This
                cannot be explained by a common source.

                One further point: you can have influence without having any verbatim
                agreement. It just becomes harder (if not sometimes virtually
                impossible) to detect. That is why we start with the strongest cases
                and look at those instances where there is verbatim agreement and
                (this is very important) when one author's redaction can be found in
                the other Gospel.

                Examples would obviously help here (although the literature is filled
                with good examples), but I will save these for a later time when my
                work load is reduced (I am teaching two new courses for a cognitive
                neuropsychology masters) and I have more time to go into specifics.


                >
                > >
                > > Having said all this I must agree that some (evangelical or
                > > conservative) scholars are biased against Thomas and will
                > > favor Thomas'
                > > dependence on the Synoptics. The positive and uncritical
                > > manner in which they responded to Nicholas Perrin's work
                > > nicely illustrates this.
                > > However, this is to be expected, and should not lead to the
                > > counter- reaction of assuming independence without good evidence.
                >
                > No, indeed. Good evidence is essential, but I think you get good
                evidence
                > by asking the right questions in the first place.

                RG: Agreed, but I'm curious as to what you mean by 'asking the right
                questions'? What kind of questions do you have in mind?

                Richard
              • Judy Redman
                Richard, ... JR: Indeed. But if you come from within a theological framework that has been built on a particular set of texts and that is likely to be called
                Message 7 of 26 , Oct 4, 2008
                  Richard,

                  > RG: Absolutely! I think we can all agree on this. We should
                  > simply be looking for the model that best accounts for the
                  > data (with the strongest constraints - something typically
                  > neglected in New Testament Studies). Why should we 'want' any
                  > kind of answer? That is of course completely unscientific.

                  JR: Indeed. But if you come from within a theological framework that has
                  been built on a particular set of texts and that is likely to be called into
                  question if a particular non-canonical text is found to be "more authentic"
                  (whatever that means), then you have quite a lot invested in finding that
                  the problematic text is "less authentic", whereas if you are researching to
                  discredit the prevailing theological framework, you are invested in finding
                  the problematic text "more authentic".

                  > > > Finding Thomas to be influenced by one or more of the
                  > Synoptics also
                  > > > does not mean that one considers every parallel between them as a
                  > > > sign that Thomas is secondary. It can very well be the case that
                  > > > some of the sayings in Thomas are prior to their synoptic
                  > parallel.
                  > > > Given the popularity of the Synoptic Gospels in the
                  > second century
                  > > > it would not be at all surprising that some of their sayings were
                  > > > then added to the Thomas collection.
                  > >
                  > > I think it is possible to go back further than this, though, and
                  > say that
                  > > the fact that there are parallels between Thomas and the synoptics
                  > does not
                  > > mean that Thomas is necessarily influenced by one or more of the
                  > synoptics.
                  > > It may be that the influence went in the other direction, or that
                  > they
                  > > shared a common source for that particular passage. Of the
                  > material that I
                  > > am studying (ie the parables of the kingdom/reign in Thomas that
                  > have
                  > > parallels in the synoptics) only one is close to verbatim - the
                  > parable of
                  > > the mustard seed - and it is an anomally. It is the only one in
                  > Thomas that
                  > > compares the kingdom/reign to an object rather than to a person.
                  >
                  > RG: It is not just verbatim agreement that suggests
                  > influence, it is finding an evangelists redaction in Thomas.
                  > Thus, if there is evidence that in a certain pericope one of
                  > the evangelists has redacted one of his sources and that
                  > piece of redaction is also found in Thomas then the data can
                  > best be accounted by the hypothesis that Thomas has somehow
                  > been influenced by that evangelists Gospel. This cannot be
                  > explained by a common source.

                  JR: Having spent quite a lot of time recently reading psychological
                  eyewitness literature, I am no longer convinced that all the differences
                  that have been attributed to redaction actually are due to redaction ie a
                  deliberate decision by an editor to make additions, subtractions etc..
                  Quite a number could as easily be attributed to the sorts of changes that
                  can be expected when eyewitnesses retell their stories over time. Then, I
                  think, a common source is still a tenable explanation.

                  > One further point: you can have influence without having any
                  > verbatim agreement. It just becomes harder (if not sometimes virtually
                  > impossible) to detect. That is why we start with the
                  > strongest cases and look at those instances where there is
                  > verbatim agreement and (this is very important) when one
                  > author's redaction can be found in the other Gospel.
                  >
                  > Examples would obviously help here (although the literature
                  > is filled with good examples), but I will save these for a
                  > later time when my work load is reduced (I am teaching two
                  > new courses for a cognitive neuropsychology masters) and I
                  > have more time to go into specifics.

                  JR: I am in a similar situation - too busy to produce specific examples.

                  > > >
                  > > > Having said all this I must agree that some (evangelical or
                  > > > conservative) scholars are biased against Thomas and will favor
                  > > > Thomas'
                  > > > dependence on the Synoptics. The positive and uncritical
                  > manner in
                  > > > which they responded to Nicholas Perrin's work nicely illustrates
                  > > > this.
                  > > > However, this is to be expected, and should not lead to the
                  > > > counter- reaction of assuming independence without good evidence.
                  > >
                  > > No, indeed. Good evidence is essential, but I think you get good
                  > evidence
                  > > by asking the right questions in the first place.
                  >
                  > RG: Agreed, but I'm curious as to what you mean by 'asking
                  > the right questions'? What kind of questions do you have in mind?

                  JR: Simply the kinds of things you've mentioned - instead of asking "What
                  evidence do we have for dependence/independence?" we should ask "What
                  differences and similarities do we see in these texts and what is the best
                  explanation for the available data?"

                  Judy

                  --
                  Rev Judy Redman
                  Uniting Church Chaplain
                  University of New England
                  Armidale 2351 Australia
                  ph: +61 2 6773 3739
                  fax: +61 2 6773 3749
                  web: http://www.une.edu.au/chaplaincy/uniting/ and
                  http://blog.une.edu.au/unitingchaplaincy/
                  email: jredman@...
                • jmgcormier
                  Hello Richard .... In your post # 8255 on Thomas vs the Synoptics, you point out Even Stephen Patterson (who favors an independence view) agrees that Markan,
                  Message 8 of 26 , Oct 5, 2008
                    Hello Richard ....

                    In your post # 8255 on Thomas vs the Synoptics, you point out "Even
                    Stephen Patterson (who favors an independence view) agrees that
                    Markan, Matthean or Lukan redaction can be found in Thomas in about 10
                    places (a proponent of the Farrer hypothesis would add many more to
                    this list)"

                    Might it be possible for you (in just a few words) to capsulize for
                    those of us who are unfamiliar with Farrer the essential jist of his
                    hypothesis ????

                    Maurice Cormier
                  • Judy Redman
                    Hi Maurice, Wikipedia (which in this case is quite reliable) says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farrer_hypothesis): The Farrer theory (also called the
                    Message 9 of 26 , Oct 5, 2008
                      Hi Maurice,

                      Wikipedia (which in this case is quite reliable) says
                      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farrer_hypothesis):

                      "The Farrer theory (also called the Farrer-Goulder hypothesis) is a possible
                      solution to the synoptic problem. The theory is that the Gospel of Mark was
                      written first, followed by the Gospel of Matthew and then by the Gospel of
                      Luke.

                      "It has mainly been advocated by English biblical scholars. It is named for
                      Austin Farrer, who wrote _On Dispensing With Q_ in 1955, but it has been
                      picked up by other scholars including Michael Goulder and Mark Goodacre.

                      "The Farrer theory has the advantage of simplicity, as there is no need for
                      hypothetical sources to be created by academics. Instead, advocates of the
                      Farrer theory argue, the Gospel of Mark was used as source material by the
                      author of Matthew. Lastly, Luke used both of the previous gospels as sources
                      for his Gospel."

                      And if you are interested in a summary of the multiplicity of theories about
                      the sources of the gospels, you can visit Stephen Carlson's blog which has
                      colour-coded summaries, complete with diagrams.

                      http://www.hypotyposeis.org/synoptic-problem/2004/09/overview-of-proposed-so
                      lutions.html

                      Incidentally, whilst searching for something succinct on google, I came
                      across a site that offers the following:

                      "For over seven years, our Farrer Hypothesis term paper experts have helped
                      university students worldwide by providing the most extensive, lowest-priced
                      service for Farrer Hypothesis thesis papers and research paper writing.
                      Regardless of your deadline, budget, specifications, or academic level, we
                      can provide immediate help for your Farrer Hypothesis essay, term paper,
                      book report, research paper, dissertation, thesis, or university
                      coursework."
                      (http://www.essaytown.com/topics/farrer_hypothesis_essays_papers.html)

                      Judy

                      --
                      Rev Judy Redman
                      Uniting Church Chaplain
                      University of New England
                      Armidale 2351 Australia
                      ph: +61 2 6773 3739
                      fax: +61 2 6773 3749
                      web: http://www.une.edu.au/chaplaincy/uniting/ and
                      http://blog.une.edu.au/unitingchaplaincy/
                      email: jredman@...


                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                      > [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jmgcormier
                      > Sent: Monday, 6 October 2008 8:29 AM
                      > To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: [GTh] Re: Thomas vs Synoptics
                      >
                      >
                      > Hello Richard ....
                      >
                      > In your post # 8255 on Thomas vs the Synoptics, you point out
                      > "Even Stephen Patterson (who favors an independence view)
                      > agrees that Markan, Matthean or Lukan redaction can be found
                      > in Thomas in about 10 places (a proponent of the Farrer
                      > hypothesis would add many more to this list)"
                      >
                      > Might it be possible for you (in just a few words) to
                      > capsulize for those of us who are unfamiliar with Farrer the
                      > essential jist of his hypothesis ????
                      >
                      > Maurice Cormier
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ------------------------------------
                      >
                      > Gospel of Thomas Homepage: http://home.epix.net/~miser17/Thomas.html
                      > Interlinear translation:
                      > http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/x_transl.htm
                      >
                      > ------------------------------------
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • rj.godijn
                      ... Hi Maurice, I agree with Judy that wikipedia gives a good description here. Mark Goodacre s website http://www.ntgateway.com/Q/ is an excellent place to
                      Message 10 of 26 , Oct 5, 2008
                        --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "jmgcormier" <cobby@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > Might it be possible for you (in just a few words) to capsulize for
                        > those of us who are unfamiliar with Farrer the essential jist of his
                        > hypothesis ????
                        >
                        > Maurice Cormier
                        >

                        Hi Maurice,

                        I agree with Judy that wikipedia gives a good description here. Mark
                        Goodacre's website http://www.ntgateway.com/Q/ is an excellent place to
                        learn more about this source hypothesis.

                        Richard
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