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Re: [GTh] Re: Probability of No Mark Parallels for 29 Sayings in Thomas

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  • Michael Grondin
    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
    Message 1 of 56 , Feb 3, 2009
      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 2
      > lines one way or the other. For seemingly unrelated reasons, like
      > that first block you threw out being 2 off from leaving even
      > hundreds.

      Well, without wanting to get into a discussion of this, I think that one
      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 lines
      > is that? If they spread it out over two lines, there's your even last
      > 100.

      Well, yes, the title takes two lines
      (see http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/x_facs.htm)
      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 lines
      > block, like #71, close to the end.

      It's not just whether it makes the numbers come out nicely that's
      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. (:-)

      Cheers,
      Mike G.
    • ronmccann1@shaw.ca
      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
      Message 56 of 56 , May 7, 2010
        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 McCann
        Sasakatoon, 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?
         
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