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Re: [GTh] Re: A Closer Look at NBX's

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  • Michael Grondin
    Hi Rick, Spot on about the unusual textual situation of GThom. If there s anything comparable, I m not aware of it. I m looking forward to the time when the
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 9, 2010
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      Hi Rick,

      Spot on about the unusual textual situation of GThom. If there's anything
      comparable, I'm not aware of it. I'm looking forward to the time when
      the numerically-based features of Coptic Thomas are widely recognized
      and we can start thrashing out the implications of that. What we do know
      already, I think, is that the prologue to the Greek version isn't chiastic,
      and that the Greek version has nothing comparable to the set of words
      from a second language that occurs in the Coptic.

      As it happens, I was just about to write to the list that I came up with an
      English-language NBX today that's sorta like the Prologue to Coptic
      Thomas, and has the same structure. Here it is:

      > These are the / words Jesus (11+10=21)
      > spoke them / and / wrote them (9+3+9=21)
      > did the twin / Judas Thomas. (10+11=21)

      One of the differences (aside from words that couldn't be fit in) is that
      this English NBX is missing one of the signs of intentionality present
      in the Coptic, namely the use of the sacred name 'IS' - the numeric
      value of which (210) explains why the number 21 features twice over
      in the structure: first as the size of each of the three lines, and
      secondly (and independently) as the product of the number of lines
      times the number of segments (3x7).

      It also occurred to me that one could take certain WBX's (not all of
      them, but some) and convert them into NBX's. The key is to find a
      WBX that has chunks of words of an appropriate size, e.g.:

      > Never be / kissed by / a fool [] never be / fooled by / a kiss.

      This is not yet an NBX. What I've done here is to arbitrarily segment the
      WBX so that it has different-sized segments, specifically 7, 8, and 5.
      (Different-sized segments seems to be required to make NBX's analogous
      to WBX's.) The brackets in the middle represent a possible mid-point.
      If it's filled in with a word like 'and' or 'but', then the thing will have
      a mid-point. If it's simply filled in with a semi-colon to separate the two
      parts, then it won't.

      So far, we have the numeric series 7-8-5-[]-7-8-5. That's not an NBX.
      What we need is 7-8-5-[]-5-8-7. That requires an imaginative - but
      I think not ungrammatical - change:

      > Never be / kissed by / a fool [] a kiss / fooled by / never be.

      No doubt not as effective as the original, but I think this kind of
      transformation is kinda interesting. It needs to be added, though,
      that this structure in itself doesn't have any indications of
      intentionality. If we saw it in a natural setting, we'd probably
      conclude (rightly, I think) that it was accidental.

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