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Logion # 68 - more

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  • jmgcormier
    Hello Mike, and thank you for your thoughts and insight into the two points I raised yesterday on logion #68 ... i.e. your post # 8907. On the first point (How
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 12, 2009
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      Hello Mike, and thank you for your thoughts and insight into the two points I raised yesterday on logion #68 ... i.e. your post # 8907.

      On the first point (How does Plisch arrive at the conclusion that Logion 68 is "post Bar- Kochba"), my mind just can't make the leap from a statement being made by Jesus in pre.33 C.E. with reference to the suffering of persecutions which his audience would only know of or suffer (the persecutions of the Bar-Kochba revolt) in a war with the Romans many decades later when these persecutions would actually come to occur! (that is, Jesus spoke pre 33 C.E. while the Bar-Kochba war only occurred c.132 – 136 C.E.) Thus, in the case of L.68, Jesus' audience could not possibly have a clue of what he was talking about if the "persecutions" in question would not yet occur for another 100 or so years ... This is the real concern I have with the Plisch / DeConick "et alia" view of L68, and why I would love to examine the proof of Plisch's belief if anyone has read his book …

      On the second point (about the seemingly corrupt verb tenses etc. in this logion), I can certainly appreciate your thoughts from a strict COPTIC VERSION point of view of logion 68, but what of other possible source material for this saying … especially the source which might have inspired Clement of Alexandria in his Stromateis (Book 4) to suggest that Jesus' true words in this case were really "Blessed are those who are persecuted on my account for they will have a place where they will not be persecuted." … Is the GoT thus perhaps but the victim of an inept translator who translated it from (a now lost original) to the Coptic version which was discovered at Nag Hammadi in the 1940s ????

      Once again, I would appreciate any further expanded thoughts which members may have on these two (or other) points.

      Maurice
    • Michael Grondin
      Hi Maurice, ... I m curious why you re reluctant to part with the assumption that L.68.2 was a statement ... made by Jesus , especially given that you re a
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 12, 2009
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        Hi Maurice,
        You wrote:
        > On the first point (How does Plisch arrive at the conclusion that
        > Logion 68 is "post Bar- Kochba"), my mind just can't make the
        > leap from a statement being made by Jesus in pre.33 C.E. with
        > reference to the suffering of persecutions which his audience
        > would only know of or suffer (the persecutions of the Bar-Kochba
        > revolt) in a war with the Romans many decades later when these
        > persecutions would actually come to occur!

        I'm curious why you're reluctant to part with the assumption that L.68.2
        was "a statement ... made by Jesus", especially given that you're a
        late-dater. Isn't this something likely to have been added by collectors
        of these sayings?

        > This is the real concern I have with the Plisch / DeConick "et alia"
        > view of L68, and why I would love to examine the proof of Plisch's
        > belief if anyone has read his book.

        I'd be willing to bet that Plisch doesn't share your assumption.

        > ... what of other possible source material for this saying, especially
        > the source which might have inspired Clement of Alexandria in his
        > Stromateis (Book 4) to suggest that Jesus' true words in this case
        > were really "Blessed are those who are persecuted on my account
        > for they will have a place where they will not be persecuted." Is the
        > GoT thus perhaps but the victim of an inept translator who translated
        > it from (a now lost original) to the Coptic version which was discovered
        > at Nag Hammadi in the 1940s ????

        DeConick and others apparently think that the word AN ('not') in 68.2
        is misplaced. (Rather than "no place will be found where you were
        persecuted", they read it as "a place will be found where you won't
        be persecuted".) I don't happen to agree with that, however. My
        findings of very careful design in Coptic Gos.Thom. lead me to
        believe that the likeliest scenario is that the way it actually reads
        therein is the way the Copts wanted it to read, or thought it should.
        In the latter case, I think it more likely that the source of the
        Coptic version had it that way, than that the Copts mistranslated.

        Regards,
        Mike
      • Michael Grondin
        Hi Maurice, I was perhaps not sympathetic enough to your position in my last note. Let me take another crack at it. If what one is interested in is the actual
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 13, 2009
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          Hi Maurice,

          I was perhaps not sympathetic enough to your position in my
          last note. Let me take another crack at it.

          If what one is interested in is the actual words of Jesus, then
          I think that Clement's version of L68 is most likely what Jesus
          would have said. It's much more consonant with Mt 5:10 and
          the rest of the beatitudes than what we see in Coptic Gos.Thom.
          It may even have been what was in the original Gos.Thom., but
          that seems to largely depend on when one dates it. DeConick
          dates it early, and so she thinks that the Clement wording was
          the original. I would think that a late-dater, however, might suspect
          that the wording had already been redacted in the original. In any
          case, however, as I said in my earlier note, I'm of the opinion that
          either the source text used by the Copts already had the wording
          of 68.2 in it, or that the Copts themselves knowingly redacted it.
          I don't think it was due to mistranslation of their source.

          Which leaves me wondering: where did Clement get his wording?

          Mike
        • jmgcormier
          ... Hello again Mike and thank you for both your recent notes. I should mention (regarding the intro to your second one / above) that no member of this group
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 13, 2009
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            --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi Maurice,
            >
            > I was perhaps not sympathetic enough to your position in my
            > last note. Let me take another crack at it. etc. etc ...

            ----------------------------------------------


            Hello again Mike and thank you for both your recent notes. I should mention (regarding the intro to your second one / above) that no member of this group need ever soften his or her ripostes to my notes and thoughts as expressed on the list, since I often, if not mostly, use this forum to "acid-test" some of my discoveries and findings from among what I consider to be learned and interested "students of Thomas" (all of you) as I myself believe I am. In fact, I greatly welcome controversy over what my Thomas model leads me to, and member discussion and controversy truly serve to reassure me that I am on the right track about the GoT and my postures and convictions with regards thereto.

            The way in which I read your first note, Mike, however, had me believing that I had actually mentioned somewhere in my original post that I was seemingly "reluctant to part with the assumption that L.68.2 was a statement ... made by Jesus", especially given that I'm a late-dater. (your gist of words) I reread my post and don't see where I said that, but I suspect that you may have been confused about this by way of something to that effect which April DeConick may have been quoted as saying later in your note … at any rate, none of it is important but if I said words to that effect, it would seemingly have been to emphasize that Jesus (in L.68.2) was (according to my Thomas model) extremely likely the victim of an "inept translator who translated it from (a now lost original) to the Coptic version which was discovered at Nag Hammadi in the 1940s" ... or as you suggest in your post "the victim of something likely to have been added by collectors of these sayings …"

            Having said all of this, let me "acid-test" anyone who has a view on this by positing the following:

            The traditional alignment of L.68 by researchers is indeed usually with reference to the "beatitudes speech" mentioned in Mt.5, 4-12 ("Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. etc. etc) The problem with this is that Matt. makes no reference therein to the awful word-construction in Thomas L.68 b about "Wherever you have been persecuted they will find no Place." … not even a hint of it …

            Should we not instead be looking to Matt. 10:17 for an alignment …

            "10.17 Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, 10.18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles. 10.19 When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; 10.20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 10.21 Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 10.22 and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. 10.23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel, before the Son of man comes. 10.24 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master; 10.25 it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Be-el'zebul, how much more will they malign those of his household."


            … and yet again, in cursing the Pharasees (within this same reference) later in Matt at 23.34:

            23.34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute you from town to town … " .


            Hmmmmm ! (now we're cooking with gas, I think!) This new persecution threat is not one to be experienced in the decades ahead (during the Bar Kochba wars) by some invading foreigner (the Romans) but rather it will come in the hearers' (disciples) lifetime by Pharasees whom they no doubt know and are familiar to !

            And what about the reference alignment to L.68.2 and the "persecution" / "finding no place" dilemma you say ???? Well, dare I suggest that it can perhaps be found in the words of one possible source reference to Matt's gospel (at least according to some) which might have inspired the above Matthean references …. (note the "persecuted in a place" notation in the last sentence below) :

            "And men will hate you just because you speak the name of Christ.
            Thrice blessed is the man who shall be faithful in this coming day of wrath!
            Go now; and when you are persecuted in a place, go seek another place."

            Could, then, this last sentence be what led to the seeming confusion in Thomas L. 68 b. when it was translated from its original into Greek and then into Coptic by an alleged "inept translator" or, as an "add-on" by what Mike refers to as a "collector of these sayings …" in his note ?

            Well, worth a moment of thought, no? All of this suggests to me, at least, that Plisch and his followers might want to either retract or at least reconsider their view that Logion 68 is necessarily aligned with the Bar Kochba revolt on Jerusalem decades after Jesus warns of "persecutions" to his followers … unless, of course, Plisch's book indeed produces convincing support beyond conjecture for this contention … Indeed, if someone has read Plisch's proof, please share it with the rest of us ....


            Cheers,

            Maurice (with apologies for being so long-winded)
          • jmgcormier
            ... My findings of very careful design in Coptic Gos.Thom. lead me to believe that the likeliest scenario is that the way it actually reads therein is the way
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 15, 2009
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              --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote: etc, etc followed by:

              "My findings of very careful design in Coptic Gos.Thom. lead me to
              believe that the likeliest scenario is that the way it actually reads
              therein is the way the Copts wanted it to read, or thought it should.
              In the latter case, I think it more likely that the source of the
              Coptic version had it that way, than that the Copts mistranslated."



              --------------------------------------------

              Hello again Mike ... two curiosities re the above statement ....



              Have you ever stopped to consider that the GoT found at Nag Hammadi may not have been a translation made by Copts from an original but that it may have been a translation into Coptic made by a "missionary" from "afar" or such (say a Hebrew with a knowledge of isopsephia, a Greek with a knowledge of gematria or some other mystic scribe with a knowledge of the Coptic language ...) and that he or she might have done the translation rather than the Copts ???

              Egypt, after all, was largely Christianized by the apostle Mark (he actually went there in 61 C.E.)who knew Hebrew and likely Greek (thus necessarily isopsephia and germatria)and in fact was the founder of the Coptic Church while there. There is no record (as far as I know) that the apostle Thomas ever went to Egypt (he clearly went to India - and if you believe Pope Benedict's speech of 2006 he went to Syria and Persia as well) ... and if he (Thomas) wrote the GoT, why would Copts be translating Thomas' gospel all the while Mark would have been there (as the founder of the Coptic church)to do all of the translating needed ? Indeed, if Mark were there to do the translating, why would the Coptic version differ so greatly from the accounts of the gospel of Mark (or better stated why would the GoT contain so little original material from the gospel of Mark ???)

              My second curiosity is if you have ever been able to "fit" an acceptable isopsephia or gematria numerical value to a Thomas logion or sequence by removing existent wording in the GoT and replacing it with borrowed wording (on the same topic) from the apocrypha or agrapha such as the Clement of Alexandria reference to the wording of logion #68 discussed earlier ....

              Regards,

              Maurice
            • Michael Grondin
              ... Hi Maurice: My understanding is that there were Jewish Christians in the monastery or monasteries near where the jar was hidden. These are the Copts I
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 16, 2009
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                > Have you ever stopped to consider that the GoT found at Nag
                > Hammadi ... may have been a translation into Coptic made by a
                > "missionary" from "afar" or such (say a Hebrew with a knowledge
                > of isopsephia, a Greek with a knowledge of gematria or some
                > other mystic scribe with a knowledge of the Coptic language ...) and
                > that he or she might have done the translation rather than the Copts ???

                Hi Maurice: My understanding is that there were Jewish Christians
                in the monastery or monasteries near where the jar was hidden.
                These are the "Copts" I have in mind when I use that term (perhaps
                incorrectly), not necessarily native Egyptians, who would presumably
                not have the requisite background, as you suggest. These Jewish
                Christians might have been former missionaries, I suppose, but they
                were probably at the monasteries for the purpose of taking refuge
                from war or persecution occuring either in Alexandria (where there
                was a large Jewish population) or elsewhere.

                As to your questions on Mark, I'm not aware of any evidence
                that Mark had anything to do with the Gospel of Thomas, and
                so I work from the presumption that he didn't.

                > My second curiosity is if you have ever been able to "fit" an
                > acceptable isopsephia or gematria numerical value to a Thomas
                > logion or sequence by removing existent wording in the GoT and
                > replacing it with borrowed wording (on the same topic) from the
                > apocrypha or agrapha such as the Clement of Alexandria reference
                > to the wording of logion #68 discussed earlier ....

                Not exactly. The work I did recently on L100 ("Gimme What's Mine")
                is the first of that nature that I've done. As you know, the transformation
                of L100 involves the removal of some verbiage, which makes it agree
                with other sources, but without adding anything to the text. I've looked
                at L68, but am unable to see how it could be subjected to similar
                treatment.

                Regards,
                Mike
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