Re: [GTh] Re: Probability of No Mark Parallels for 29 Sayings in Thomas
- Hi Rick,
Thanks for your offer. Send me a first draft offlist and we'll see if we
can come up with something that shows the structure at a glance.
As for helping others "approach truth about the Gospel of Thomas",
bear in mind first that my results are restricted to the Coptic version,
and second that almost no one seems to know what to make of them.
As you observed, these results may or may not tell us something about
other versions of Thomas, but we won't know that until we get a better
idea of the textual features of the Coptic version, then look for signs of
them in the Greek version(s). (We know one thing already - the Greek
version of the Prologue apparently didn't have a chiastic structure.)
> As one goes through the number of lines, it's repeatedly off by 2Well, without wanting to get into a discussion of this, I think that one
> lines one way or the other. For seemingly unrelated reasons, like
> that first block you threw out being 2 off from leaving even
of the connotations of the name 'Thomas' was the number two, so
that may be part of the explanation. But also, it strikes me that the
logical structure of Coptic Thomas (like its other special textual
features) was intended to be hidden from the casual reader, yet
discernible by those students/disciples who studied it under the
proper tutelage. Furthermore, I think it's likely that whatever hidden
textual features are in it are all reflections of specific sayings - as
the overall block structure reflects what's said in lines 67-68
(viz., "I'm watching over the world").
> ... isn't there "The Gospel of Thomas" at the end? How many linesWell, yes, the title takes two lines
> is that? If they spread it out over two lines, there's your even last
but I don't think that's the answer. If they had intended to make it
perfect, then I think line 668 would have extended to the right margin,
which it doesn't. My own guess is that they didn't want the world to
be textually represented as being perfect, since they didn't believe
that the real world was. As I indicated above, I think it's a pretty safe
assumption that every intentional feature of this text reflects some
part of its meaning.
> But yeah, barring that, you want to move a single saying/two linesIt's not just whether it makes the numbers come out nicely that's
> block, like #71, close to the end.
the decisive factor. The content and placement-symbolism of the
sayings have to be considered also. Basically, I believe that if anything
was intended to be moved, it will almost suggest that of itself. So I think
that the question is this: what's the relationship between the meaning and
the placement of L.71? Starting with meaning, it has IS-66 saying that
he's going to destroy "this house". Now we don't know what "this house"
is, but apparently it's something that in the eyes of the framers wasn't a
good thing. Given its current placement (immediately after what I think
is a representation of the earth), it could mean that the earth will be
destroyed. On this assumption (that "this house" is what precedes L71),
if we move it to the end, then it could mean that both the earth and the
heavens will be destroyed. On the other hand, it might be taken as
referrring just to itself - in which case it doesn't matter where we put
it. Or does it? Maybe its current position symbolizes some kind of barrier
between earth and heavens - as in the theological idea that Jesus opened
the gates of heaven by destroying himself?
Well, this is all making my head spin. Better to end this note abruptly
than to get into further trouble by forcing myself to go on. (:-)
- Hi Jack,Sorry you are feeling poorly. Hope you feel better soon.Whatever the outcome of these discussions, I just wanted to say that I much admire the fact that, as a historian, you picked up two historical references to two very, very early Chritian documents in Papias (The Matthean Logia and Mark's Notes) and have proposed that one was our Book of Q and the other the Gospel of Thomas.Quite an original idea, and well worth exploring.It's been been both interesting and stimulating trying to test out your intriguing proposal.Thanks.When you get back to this, I have a question.- Since the Matthean Logia is said to have been written down in Aramaic (actually, Papais calls it "Hebrew".) wouldn't back translating the Q parallel sayings in Thomas not also yield the sort of results you've found in the Markan sayings?Best Regards,Ron McCannSasakatoon, Canada PS Couldn't find a listing for a Kilmon in the phone book. Does yourr son go by a different name or like many of the younger set, does he use only a cellphone?