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Re: [GTh] Parable of the Wicked Tenants (L65)

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  • Michael Grondin
    Hi Ian, No need to apologize for a late response; your message put a welcome end to a week-long dry spell on the list which rather depressed me. ... Although I
    Message 1 of 23 , Mar 22, 2010
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      Hi Ian,

      No need to apologize for a late response; your message put a welcome
      end to a week-long dry spell on the list which rather depressed me.

      > Recently John Kloppenborg published a massive study of the parable
      > of the tenants, Tenants in the Vineyard: Ideology, Economics, & Agrarian
      > Conflict in Jewish Palestine.It's a huge book but well worth the read if
      > Th 65 interests you. Kloppenborg sides with Patterson's reading (and
      > DeConick's too for that matter) that the Coptic should read "a creditor."

      Although I didn't mention it and don't have it, I was aware of
      Kloppenborg's book. I did fail to consult DeConick, however, and you're
      quite right that she has 'creditor' (with a note indicating that the lacuna
      might also be restored as "an 'honest' man".) I have some problems with
      'creditor' (or 'lender'), but at least it's better to my mind than
      Patterson's 'userer' (it was Meyer who suggested 'creditor', but that
      suggestion wasn't followed in _The Fifth Gospel_). I also wonder how
      DeConick would square her translation (of what she takes to be a kernel
      saying) with her opposition to the JSem's picture of Jesus.

      > Based on a literary analysis of the parable, there is no reason for us to
      > assume that the vineyard owner was a good man, and based on the
      > historical circumstances, there is no reason to assume anyone would
      > have presented the vineyard owner as a good man (he was an absentee
      > landlord who exploited the labour of others, this much is clear from
      > Thomas alone!).

      Well, "exploitation" is a subjective concept. To my mind, the Thomas
      version suggests that there was an agreement between the owner and
      the tenant farmers that they would give him the produce of his vineyard
      in return for him allowing them to live on the land free of charge. Whether
      that would have been a bad bargain or not (in terms of *their* time and
      place, not ours), the tenants clearly broke the agreement in an illegal
      and violent manner. The counter to Kloppenborg's analysis, I suppose,
      would be to suppose that a positive description of the vineyard-owner
      (missing from the synoptics) was felt necessary in Thomas to make sure
      that no one assumed that the vineyard-owner might have somehow
      deserved what happened to his son and servants.

      > Mark ... has the tenants assume that by murdering the heir they would
      > inherit the vineyard, there was, of course, no legal grounds for this.

      Are you sure that if the owner died without existing male issue, the
      legalities of that time and place wouldn't have favored the tenants?
      Of course, under *our* laws, the owner's estate would pass to his
      nearest relatives, but Thomas seems to agree with the synoptics
      that the tenants thought that there would be some special benefit
      to them from doing away with the owner's son.

      Aside from these matters of interpretation, the problem I have with
      XRHSTHS is that it appears to have been a very uncommon Greek
      word, and hence not one that would normally be expected to pass
      into the Coptic lexicon of Greek loan-words. In fact, I can't find it at
      all in the entire Greek NT. 'Creditor', 'lender', and 'userer' all seem to
      correspond to other Greek words. Hopefully, Rick or someone else
      who knows Greek pretty well can confirm or disconfirm this.

      Regards,
      Mike
    • Bob Schacht
      ... This is a variety of sharecropping that most Americans don t know about because we ve been divorced from our agricultural roots. It is unusual if the
      Message 2 of 23 , Mar 22, 2010
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        At 12:06 PM 3/22/2010, Michael Grondin wrote:
        ...the Thomas version suggests that there was an agreement between the owner and
        the tenant farmers that they would give him the produce of his vineyard
        in return for him allowing them to live on the land free of charge.

        This is a variety of sharecropping that most Americans don't know about because we've been divorced from our agricultural roots. It is unusual if the landowner demands 100% of the crop, because it would leave the tenants with nothing to eat. To get back in touch with the gritty realities of this situation, it might help to read The Grapes of Wrath, by Steinbeck.

        Whether that would have been a bad bargain or not (in terms of *their* time and
        place, not ours), the tenants clearly broke the agreement in an illegal and violent manner.

        That sounds like an easy legalistic argument that does not sound much like Jesus. It sounds more pharisaic.

        We have become so cut off from our agricultural roots that it is difficult for us to fathom the realities of this situation. Reading The Grapes of Wrath, even though it is from our time and not from Jesus' time, helps. But of course, something true of both situations is that this kind of action (by landowner as well as the tenant) has consequences that cannot be ignored.

        A lot also depends on who the audience was.

        Bob Schacht
        Northern Arizona University
      • Richard Hubbard
        ... XRHSTHS is that ... that ... loan-words. In ... lender , and userer all ... else who ... I m nowhere close to any printed reference works right at the
        Message 3 of 23 , Mar 23, 2010
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          On the matter of the word XRHSTHS Mike wrote:

          |
          |Aside from these matters of interpretation, the problem I have with
          XRHSTHS is that
          |it appears to have been a very uncommon Greek word, and hence not one
          that
          |would normally be expected to pass into the Coptic lexicon of Greek
          loan-words. In
          |fact, I can't find it at all in the entire Greek NT. 'Creditor',
          'lender', and 'userer' all
          |seem to correspond to other Greek words. Hopefully, Rick or someone
          else who
          |knows Greek pretty well can confirm or disconfirm this.
          |

          I'm nowhere close to any printed reference works right at the moment but
          I took a quick look at LSJ at the Perseus site to see "what is what"
          with XRHSTHS. It's an interesting entry.
          http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=xrh%2Fsths&la=greek&prior=xr
          hsthriw/dhs#lexicon
          The primary meaning of XRHSTHS is " one who gives or expounds oracles"
          but a secondary entry for the word (A.2) gives the meaning as "a
          creditor or userer". As a side note, Perseus looked at 27 sets of texts
          with a total of about 802,000 words and determined that the word occurs
          66 times, so yeah, it is not exactly common as Mike observes.

          While XRHSTHS with the meaning 'Creditor', 'lender', and 'userer' is
          indeed attested I also note that none of the texts in which it is used
          are "religious" texts. I'll do a little more checking when I get home to
          print version of LSJ tonight.

          Rick



          |-----Original Message-----
          |From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com]
          |Sent: Monday, March 22, 2010 3:03 PM
          |To: Richard Hubbard; gthomas@yahoogroups.com
          |Subject: Re: [GTh] Parable of the Wicked Tenants (L65)
          |Importance: Low
          |
          |
          |
          |
          |Hi Ian,
          |
          |No need to apologize for a late response; your message put a welcome
          end to a
          |week-long dry spell on the list which rather depressed me.
          |
          |> Recently John Kloppenborg published a massive study of the parable of
          |> the tenants, Tenants in the Vineyard: Ideology, Economics, & Agrarian
          |> Conflict in Jewish Palestine.It's a huge book but well worth the read
          |> if Th 65 interests you. Kloppenborg sides with Patterson's reading
          |> (and DeConick's too for that matter) that the Coptic should read "a
          creditor."
          |
          |Although I didn't mention it and don't have it, I was aware of
          Kloppenborg's book. I did
          |fail to consult DeConick, however, and you're quite right that she has
          'creditor' (with a
          |note indicating that the lacuna might also be restored as "an 'honest'
          man".) I have
          |some problems with 'creditor' (or 'lender'), but at least it's better
          to my mind than
          |Patterson's 'userer' (it was Meyer who suggested 'creditor', but that
          suggestion wasn't
          |followed in _The Fifth Gospel_). I also wonder how DeConick would
          square her
          |translation (of what she takes to be a kernel
          |saying) with her opposition to the JSem's picture of Jesus.
          |
          |> Based on a literary analysis of the parable, there is no reason for
          us
          |> to assume that the vineyard owner was a good man, and based on the
          |> historical circumstances, there is no reason to assume anyone would
          |> have presented the vineyard owner as a good man (he was an absentee
          |> landlord who exploited the labour of others, this much is clear from
          |> Thomas alone!).
          |
          |Well, "exploitation" is a subjective concept. To my mind, the Thomas
          version
          |suggests that there was an agreement between the owner and the tenant
          farmers
          |that they would give him the produce of his vineyard in return for him
          allowing them
          |to live on the land free of charge. Whether that would have been a bad
          bargain or not
          |(in terms of *their* time and place, not ours), the tenants clearly
          broke the agreement
          |in an illegal and violent manner. The counter to Kloppenborg's
          analysis, I suppose,
          |would be to suppose that a positive description of the vineyard-owner
          (missing from
          |the synoptics) was felt necessary in Thomas to make sure that no one
          assumed that
          |the vineyard-owner might have somehow deserved what happened to his son
          and
          |servants.
          |
          |> Mark ... has the tenants assume that by murdering the heir they would
          |> inherit the vineyard, there was, of course, no legal grounds for
          this.
          |
          |Are you sure that if the owner died without existing male issue, the
          legalities of that
          |time and place wouldn't have favored the tenants?
          |Of course, under *our* laws, the owner's estate would pass to his
          nearest relatives,
          |but Thomas seems to agree with the synoptics that the tenants thought
          that there
          |would be some special benefit to them from doing away with the owner's
          son.
          |
          |Aside from these matters of interpretation, the problem I have with
          XRHSTHS is that
          |it appears to have been a very uncommon Greek word, and hence not one
          that
          |would normally be expected to pass into the Coptic lexicon of Greek
          loan-words. In
          |fact, I can't find it at all in the entire Greek NT. 'Creditor',
          'lender', and 'userer' all
          |seem to correspond to other Greek words. Hopefully, Rick or someone
          else who
          |knows Greek pretty well can confirm or disconfirm this.
          |
          |Regards,
          |Mike
          |
          |
          |
          |
          |
        • Michael Grondin
          Hi Rick, Thanks for your research on XRHSTHS. My own research indicates that it doesn t occur at all in either the Greek or Coptic NT s. Because of that, and
          Message 4 of 23 , Mar 25, 2010
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            Hi Rick,

            Thanks for your research on XRHSTHS. My own research
            indicates that it doesn't occur at all in either the Greek or
            Coptic NT's. Because of that, and in the absence of any
            examples of Coptic usage in the NHL or elsewhere, I would
            have to conclude that the word would have been almost
            totally unfamiliar to a Coptic audience, and therefore that
            the lacuna in L65 most likely contained XRHSTOS, i.e.,
            that the intention in Coptic Thomas was to describe the
            vineyard-owner as a kind or good man. Unfortunately, those
            who have suggested XRHSTHS seem not to have asked
            themselves the key question of how likely (or unlikely) the
            sheer occurrence of that word in this text might have been.

            Mike
          • Rick Hubbard
            Hi Mike- I concur that XRHSTHS is a genuinely obscure Greek word. Subsequent to my on-line query into the Perseus database, I also pulled out my copy of LSJ
            Message 5 of 23 , Mar 25, 2010
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              Hi Mike-

              I concur that XRHSTHS is a genuinely "obscure" Greek word. Subsequent to my
              on-line query into the Perseus database, I also pulled out my copy of LSJ to
              look for more detail but attestation there is equally scanty.

              More or less on a lark I pulled out my copy of Rudolf Kasser's _L' Evangile
              selon Thomas_ just to see how he translated L 65 from Coptic back into
              Greek(a feature of his commentary that I always find informative). He
              clearly did not favor XRHSTHS since his Greek reads: EIPEN: ANQROPW XRHSTW
              hN AMPELWN.... Oddly enough, in his retranslation he takes no note of the
              lacuna but he was clearly aware of it because in his French translation of
              the logion he renders: Un home ex[cel]lent avait une vigne (p 91). Neither
              is there anything in the footnotes remarking on the lacuna. Guillaumont's
              old edition of the text reads the Coptic as MXPH[ST].S (with the uncertain
              letter being "O"). The Brill edition follows Guillaumont except that even
              Guillaumont's uncertain reading of the O is included inside the brackets.
              From my perpective, I can't see any way that XPHTNS is defensible given the
              word's obscurity and the apparent contrary readings proposed by other
              authorities. At best, at least the number of letters is plausible, but it
              seems to me pretty cheeky to adopt the "creditor" reading given the evidence
              **against** it being correct.

              Rick





              ||-----Original Message-----
              ||From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On
              ||Behalf Of Michael Grondin
              ||Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 4:15 PM
              ||To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
              ||Subject: Re: [GTh] Parable of the Wicked Tenants (L65)
              ||
              ||
              ||
              ||Hi Rick,
              ||
              ||Thanks for your research on XRHSTHS. My own research indicates that it
              ||doesn't occur at all in either the Greek or Coptic NT's. Because of that,
              and in
              ||the absence of any examples of Coptic usage in the NHL or elsewhere, I
              would
              ||have to conclude that the word would have been almost totally unfamiliar
              to a
              ||Coptic audience, and therefore that the lacuna in L65 most likely
              contained
              ||XRHSTOS, i.e., that the intention in Coptic Thomas was to describe the
              ||vineyard-owner as a kind or good man. Unfortunately, those who have
              ||suggested XRHSTHS seem not to have asked themselves the key question of
              ||how likely (or unlikely) the sheer occurrence of that word in this text
              might
              ||have been.
              ||
              ||Mike
              ||
              ||
              ||
              ||
            • Ian Brown
              Rick (and others for that matter), You write that, At best, at least the number of letters is plausible, but it seems to me pretty cheeky to adopt the
              Message 6 of 23 , Mar 25, 2010
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                Rick (and others for that matter),

                You write that, "At best, at least the number of letters is plausible, but it
                seems to me pretty cheeky to adopt the "creditor" reading given the evidence
                **against** it being correct."

                I'm not quite sure why "creditor" is any cheekier a translation than "good". While I admit it is very interesting that XRHSTHS is used infrequently, just because a word isn't used often does not mean that it wasn't used here. There are plenty of texts that use a word once, or use vocabulary that is otherwise not characteristic of the text.

                Yes, I agree that the proposition that Th. 65 refers to a "creditor" does play into the hand of the Jesus seminar. But we need to remember that the idea that Th. 65 refers to a "good man" is primarily derived from an anachronistic reading of Thomas through the synoptics. They allegorize the parable and make it (reasonably) clear that the vineyard owner is the protagonist. This is not the case in Thomas (the allegorixation that is), therefore there is no reason to see the vineyard owner as the protagonist.

                Having dispensed with our predispositions (or rather acknowledged that both are ideologically loaded), we can read the parable on its own, but also in the context of its location in Thomas. The parable does not betray any indication that we should sympathize with the vineyard owner. So while this does not prove one way or ther other whether or not he is good, it does suggest, perhaps we are not meant to see him as such.

                I think there is more evidence for this when we look at Th. 65 in the context of the preceeding two logia. Th. 63 tells us of the rich man who invested in worldly things, then died, and Th. 64 tells us of a person hosting a banquet who is shamed when the originally invited guests refuse his invitation. The logion concludes with Jesus saying "Buyers and merchants will not enter the places of my Father."

                Thus in light of the fact that Th. 65 gives us no reason to view the vineyard owner as a good man, and the location of Th. 65 after two logia which are a little more clearly opposed to material exchange, it seems to me that reading the man as a "creditor" makes much more sense than as a "good man".

                ian


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              • Rick Hubbard
                The notion that the 3 logia (64, 65 and 66) are part of a seminal context has merit, and Ian needs to be thanked for pointing that out to us. On the other
                Message 7 of 23 , Mar 27, 2010
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                  The notion that the 3 logia (64, 65 and 66) are part of a seminal context
                  has merit, and Ian needs to be thanked for pointing that out to us.

                  On the other hand, with regard to the question of the choice of XPHSTHS or
                  XRHSTOS, I still remain skeptical of the former and lean toward the latter.

                  Mike observed that XPHSTHS appears nowhere in the CNT nor in the NHL.
                  Lidell-Scott-Jones (LSJ) finds little record of its usage except in a narrow
                  group of classical writers and the Perseus site attests to an undeniably low
                  use frequency. I note also that Mike has apparently checked the indices to
                  the NHL and found no use of the word elsewhere in the corpus. Moreover, at
                  least two textual authorities read the damaged glyph in the MSS as "O"
                  rather than "H". In fact, in the notes on the reconstructed Coptic text
                  (printed in the Q-Thomas reader which I presume is the basis for the
                  disputed translation and which I also presume to be identical to the BWG
                  text, [p154]), the alternative readings of **either** "a [good] person"
                  (XRHSTOS ) **or** "a [creditor]" (XRHSTHS) are offered as alternatives.

                  Why the latter of these two possibilities was chosen for the translation is
                  unclear, but I **still** think that the choice cuts hard against the grain
                  of probability given the statistically rare use of XRHSTHS in both Greek and
                  Coptic literature.

                  Rick


                  ||-----Original Message-----
                  ||From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On
                  ||Behalf Of Ian Brown
                  ||Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 7:32 PM
                  ||To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                  ||Subject: Re: [GTh] Parable of the Wicked Tenants (L65)
                  ||
                  ||
                  ||
                  ||Rick (and others for that matter),
                  ||
                  ||You write that, "At best, at least the number of letters is plausible, but
                  it
                  ||seems to me pretty cheeky to adopt the "creditor" reading given the
                  evidence
                  ||**against** it being correct."
                  ||
                  ||I'm not quite sure why "creditor" is any cheekier a translation than
                  "good".
                  ||While I admit it is very interesting that XRHSTHS is used infrequently,
                  just
                  ||because a word isn't used often does not mean that it wasn't used here.
                  There
                  ||are plenty of texts that use a word once, or use vocabulary that is
                  otherwise
                  ||not characteristic of the text.
                  ||
                  ||Yes, I agree that the proposition that Th. 65 refers to a "creditor" does
                  play
                  ||into the hand of the Jesus seminar. But we need to remember that the idea
                  ||that Th. 65 refers to a "good man" is primarily derived from an
                  anachronistic
                  ||reading of Thomas through the synoptics. They allegorize the parable and
                  ||make it (reasonably) clear that the vineyard owner is the protagonist.
                  This is
                  ||not the case in Thomas (the allegorixation that is), therefore there is no
                  reason
                  ||to see the vineyard owner as the protagonist.
                  ||
                  ||Having dispensed with our predispositions (or rather acknowledged that
                  both
                  ||are ideologically loaded), we can read the parable on its own, but also in
                  the
                  ||context of its location in Thomas. The parable does not betray any
                  indication
                  ||that we should sympathize with the vineyard owner. So while this does not
                  ||prove one way or ther other whether or not he is good, it does suggest,
                  ||perhaps we are not meant to see him as such.
                  ||
                  ||I think there is more evidence for this when we look at Th. 65 in the
                  context of
                  ||the preceeding two logia. Th. 63 tells us of the rich man who invested in
                  ||worldly things, then died, and Th. 64 tells us of a person hosting a
                  banquet
                  ||who is shamed when the originally invited guests refuse his invitation.
                  The
                  ||logion concludes with Jesus saying "Buyers and merchants will not enter
                  the
                  ||places of my Father."
                  ||
                  ||Thus in light of the fact that Th. 65 gives us no reason to view the
                  vineyard
                  ||owner as a good man, and the location of Th. 65 after two logia which are
                  a
                  ||little more clearly opposed to material exchange, it seems to me that
                  reading
                  ||the man as a "creditor" makes much more sense than as a "good man".
                  ||
                  ||ian
                  ||
                  ||
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                • Michael Grondin
                  Hi Ian, You make a good case, and I m glad to see that here, even if I may not ... It isn t that XRHSTHS would be used just once in the text; there are other
                  Message 8 of 23 , Mar 27, 2010
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                    Hi Ian,
                    You make a good case, and I'm glad to see that here, even if I may not
                    agree with it. Here's a few pieces of reasoning I would question:

                    > While I admit it is very interesting that XRHSTHS is used infrequently,
                    > just because a word isn't used often does not mean that it wasn't used
                    > here. There are plenty of texts that use a word once, or use vocabulary
                    > that is otherwise not characteristic of the text.

                    It isn't that XRHSTHS would be used just once in the text; there are other
                    words that were used just once in Coptic Thomas, LOGOS among them.
                    Nor is it that this word would necessarily be uncharacteristic of the text.
                    It's that it's questionable whether the word was part of the Coptic lexicon
                    of Greek loan-words to begin with. They didn't use every Greek word,
                    anymore than French speakers use every English word, though they use
                    some. That the word was uncommon in Greek even to the extent of never
                    being used in the Greek NT is a strong indication that it was an unlikely
                    candidate to have passed into Coptic usage. I think, then, that it's
                    incumbent on those who favor the word to find at least one example of
                    its usage in Coptic.

                    > [The synoptics] allegorize the parable and make it (reasonably) clear
                    > that the vineyard owner is the protagonist. This is not the case in
                    > Thomas (the allegorixation that is), therefore there is no reason
                    > to see the vineyard owner as the protagonist.

                    Well, as I understand the word 'protagonist', he still remains one. The
                    parable begins with him, and he has a continuing action and speaking
                    role, while the tenant-farmers are acting as his antagonists.

                    > The parable does not betray any indication that we should sympathize
                    > with the vineyard owner. So while this does not prove one way or the
                    > other whether or not he is good, it does suggest, perhaps we are not
                    > meant to see him as such.

                    You should have prefaced this with "apart from the lacuna", but in any
                    case, I disagree with it. The Thomas version indicates that the owner
                    had an agreement with the tenants, that they broke it and refused to
                    render to him any part of the fruit of his vineyard, and that not only did
                    they do that, but they also viciously beat (note that the text doesn't
                    just say 'beat', but adds 'almost to death') his servants and killed his
                    son. You think none of that evokes sympathy or was intended to?

                    > I think there is more evidence for this when we look at Th. 65 in the
                    > context of the preceeding two logia. Th. 63 tells us of the rich man
                    > who invested in worldly things, then died, and Th. 64 tells us of a
                    > person hosting a banquet who is shamed when the originally invited
                    > guests refuse his invitation. The logion concludes with Jesus saying
                    > "Buyers and merchants will not enter the places of my Father."

                    And yet the banquet-giver is apparently himself a rich man, and the
                    story is apparently an allegory, so there's nothing implied to be
                    wrong with being rich per se - what's impled to be wrong is letting
                    mundane affairs interfere with spiritual needs (which is apparently
                    what the tenants did in Th.65). But more than that, if we're going to
                    consider adjacent sayings, then we need to consider Th.66 also.
                    That saying seems to allegorize Jesus as "the stone that the builders
                    rejected", which in turn lends credence to the view that the vineyard-
                    owner's son in Th.65 might have been intended the same way.
                    Overall, I don't see that context is any better than a draw.

                    What we may be able to agree on is that given that there's
                    plausible reasons on both sides, the best translation of the
                    lacuna may be an ellipsis.

                    Regards,
                    Mike
                  • Michael Grondin
                    ... I would have done that if there was any way to do it, but as far as I know, there isn t. What I did do was to check Layton s Greek lexicons for the 7
                    Message 9 of 23 , Mar 27, 2010
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                      Rick writes:
                      > I note ... that Mike has apparently checked the indices to the
                      > NHL and found no use of the word elsewhere in the corpus.

                      I would have done that if there was any way to do it, but as far as
                      I know, there isn't. What I did do was to check Layton's Greek
                      lexicons for the 7 tractates of Codex II, and to use the search
                      function at gnosis.org to search the English translations of the
                      entire NHL for the words 'creditor', 'lender', and 'usurer'. I came
                      up with nothing, but of course that isn't as conclusive as could
                      be wished.

                      Mike
                    • Ian Brown
                      Rick, just a quick note of correction. You wrote that, The notion that the 3 logia (64, 65 and 66) are part of a seminal context has merit, and Ian needs to
                      Message 10 of 23 , Mar 27, 2010
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                        Rick,

                        just a quick note of correction. You wrote that,

                        "The notion that the 3 logia (64, 65 and 66) are part of a seminal context
                        has merit, and Ian needs to be thanked for pointing that out to us."

                        The three logia I linked together thematically were actually 63*, 64, and 65. In terms of themes (here all show the folly of investing in material things) 66 does not actually fit in with them.

                        ian


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                      • Rick Hubbard
                        Hi Ian- Thanks for pointing out my mis-typing. I hope no readers got confused by the error. I did after all mean to say 63, 64 and 65 . On another note, just
                        Message 11 of 23 , Mar 28, 2010
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                          Hi Ian-

                          Thanks for pointing out my mis-typing. I hope no readers got confused by the
                          error. I did after all mean to say "63, 64 and 65".

                          On another note, just to further ensure I haven't misspoken about the use of
                          XRHSTHS in the NHL, I called the library at the local seminary (Bangor
                          Theological Seminary) to see if they have all the volumes of the NHL on
                          their shelves so I can hand check the indices for use of the word. They do
                          have a complete set but for some inexplicable reason they are all in cold
                          storage so it will take them "a few days" to retrieve them. In any case when
                          they are available, I'll sift through them to see what I can find. Who
                          knows, maybe XRHSTHS is attested somewhere in the collection.

                          Rick

                          ||-----Original Message-----
                          ||From: gthomas@yahoogroups.com [mailto:gthomas@yahoogroups.com] On
                          ||Behalf Of Ian Brown
                          ||Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2010 4:22 PM
                          ||To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
                          ||Subject: Re: [GTh] Parable of the Wicked Tenants (L65)
                          ||
                          ||
                          ||
                          ||Rick,
                          ||
                          ||just a quick note of correction. You wrote that,
                          ||
                          ||"The notion that the 3 logia (64, 65 and 66) are part of a seminal context
                          has
                          ||merit, and Ian needs to be thanked for pointing that out to us."
                          ||
                          ||The three logia I linked together thematically were actually 63*, 64, and
                          65. In
                          ||terms of themes (here all show the folly of investing in material things)
                          66
                          ||does not actually fit in with them.
                          ||
                          ||ian
                          ||
                          ||
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                          ||
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                          ExplorerR
                          ||8. Optimized for Yahoo! Get it Now for Free!
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                        • Michael Grondin
                          Just to clarify what Rick is now doing, and what we were talking about earlier: NHL is commonly used to refer to the volume of English translations that
                          Message 12 of 23 , Mar 29, 2010
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                            Just to clarify what Rick is now doing, and what we were talking
                            about earlier: "NHL" is commonly used to refer to the volume of
                            English translations that Robinson edited (1977,1988). That
                            book doesn't contain any indices of Coptic or Greek words, and
                            indeed all the individual translators were free to translate as they
                            wished. Subsequently, however, a series of critical editions
                            were published by Brill under the general title "The Coptic
                            Gnostic Library". Basically, each book in the series covered one
                            codex, though sometimes in more than one volume. These books,
                            unlike Robinson's NHL, contain both the Coptic text and indices
                            of Coptic and Greek words used in each tractate of the codex.
                            (The series also covers Papyrus Berolinensis 8502 and the Askew
                            and Bruce codices, BTW.)

                            With respect to Codex II, for example, Bentley Layton edited a
                            two volume work that covers tractates 2 thru 7 - the Apocryphon
                            of John in its three versions being edited by Wisse and published
                            separately. My personal holdings include just the 2-volume Layton
                            book, the Wisse book on ApJohn, and the critical edition of the Bruce
                            Codex (Books of Jeu), so that was all I was able to consult at the
                            outset, as far as indices of Greek words used in Coptic writings
                            (other than a search of the Coptic and Greek NT's on CD).
                            There is no general index to all the NHL tractates that I know of
                            (I would certainly acquire it if there was one), so the best that can
                            be done is to check the Greek index of every tractate in the entire
                            series in the "Coptic Gnostic Library". That's what Rick's doing now.
                            However, only a positive result will be decisive. If Rick's search
                            turns up nothing, a proponent of XRHSTHS can still claim that
                            it's possible, even if improbable, that that word was used only once
                            in the entire NHL,

                            Mike Grondin
                          • rickhubbardus
                            ... Thanks, Mike, for helping to clarify what I am doing (that s especially helpful because sometimes I, myself, don t know what I m doing). On a more
                            Message 13 of 23 , Mar 30, 2010
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                              Mike wrote:

                              > Just to clarify what Rick is now doing, <snip>

                              Thanks, Mike, for helping to clarify "what I am doing" (that's especially helpful because sometimes I, myself, don't know what I'm doing).

                              On a more serious note, to further clarify, the Brill critical editions which Mike has in his possession are individual volumes of the primo hard-bound editions with reconstructed texts, indices and translations of the Nag Hammadi corpus that were published over several years by multiple translators and editors (and are now priced far beyond the means of the average person, if they can be found at all). The formal title of these editions is _The Coptic Gnostic Library: Edited with English Translation, Index and Notes_. I think the conventional short-hand reference to this collection is therefore "CGL".

                              A few years ago Brill published the complete critical editions of the Coptic Gnostic Library into a single 5 volume paperback set **also** called the Coptic Gnostic Library and this too, which **also** is ALSO regularly called the "CGL". Somewhere in between these critical editions two editions of English-only English translations were published in a single volume. These are called The Nag Hammadi Library in English and are usually shot-handed as the "NHL".

                              To Be Perfectly Clear: There is no comprehensive index to the "NHL".

                              So, what I hope to **really** clarify is that when I said I was going to look at the indices of the NHL what I really SHOULD have said (in order to be completely accurate) was that I'm going to examine the indices of the **GCL**not the *NHL*.

                              Clear as mud, eh?

                              Rick
                            • Rick Hubbard
                              To All: My apologies for the garbled post I submitted earlier: In the second paragraph I wrote: A few years ago Brill published the complete critical
                              Message 14 of 23 , Mar 30, 2010
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                                To All:

                                My apologies for the garbled post I submitted earlier:

                                In the second paragraph I wrote:

                                " A few years ago Brill published the complete critical editions of the
                                Coptic Gnostic Library into a single 5 volume paperback set **also** called
                                the Coptic Gnostic Library and this too, which **also** is ALSO regularly
                                called the "CGL".

                                Please ignore the "which **also**". Or, better yet, just understand that
                                both the original hard-bound critical edition and the paper-bound versions
                                mat both be called "CGL". The contents of both are the same (as far as I
                                know).

                                Then there is this:
                                These are called The Nag Hammadi Library in English and are usually
                                shot-handed as the "NHL".

                                I meant to say, "usually short-handed as the 'NHL'."

                                Rick
                              • Judy Redman
                                Well, Rick, it s clear to me what you re doing. But, as Mike says, not finding anything is not definitive, so a rather frustrating exercise. I spent quite a
                                Message 15 of 23 , Mar 31, 2010
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                                  Well, Rick, it’s clear to me what you’re doing. But, as Mike says, not finding anything is not definitive, so a rather frustrating exercise. I spent quite a number of hours doing a very similar task with CGL (paperback edition) a number of years ago, only I was looking at the way “time” CGL talked about “time” or something similar and the best I could do is “it seems highly unlikely that ...” L

                                   

                                  Good luck.

                                   

                                  Judy

                                   

                                  --

                                  Judy Redman
                                  PhD Candidate, School of Humanities
                                  University of New England
                                  Armidale 2351 Australia
                                  ph:  +61 2 6773 3401
                                  mob: 0437 044 579
                                  web: 
                                   http://judyredman.wordpress.com/
                                  email: 
                                   jredman2@...
                                   

                                  _

                                • Michael Grondin
                                  Hi Rick, Many thanks for your research. I ve been trying to track down the 1974 French piece by B. Dehandschutter that Marvin Meyer cited in his comments on
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Apr 5, 2010
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                                    Hi Rick,
                                    Many thanks for your research. I've been trying to track down the
                                    1974 French piece by B. Dehandschutter that Marvin Meyer cited
                                    in his comments on L.65 in _The Gospel of Thomas_ (1992).
                                    It's in a 1974 book edited by Maurits Sabbe. (It wouldn't do me any
                                    good to have it in French, cuz I don't know the language, but I was
                                    hoping it might be online, so that I could get a rough translation via
                                    the browser.) Preliminary search results indicate it isn't online, but
                                    I did find a 2001 address by John Kloppenborg (whose book Ian
                                    Brown had mentioned) on the occasion of assuming office as the
                                    president of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies. It's titled
                                    "Ideology and Ideological Readings of the Parable of the Tenants",
                                    and presumably includes some of the basic ideas of his book.
                                    See in particular pages 18-19, where he addresses the Thomas
                                    version (and cites Dehandschutter):

                                    www.ccsr.ca/csbs/presidential2001.PDF

                                    Kloppenborg notes that the 15th edition of the German publication
                                    SQE (1993) incorporates Dehandschutter's suggestion, which I
                                    wasn't aware of. I happen to have that, so I checked it out, and sure
                                    enough, XRHSTOS is reduced to a footnote. (Even worse, the English
                                    translation given is 'usurer', rather than the more benign 'creditor'.)
                                    It appears, then, that the earlier consensus in favor of XRHSTOS
                                    shifted some years back in favor of XRHSTHS. But as far as I have
                                    been able to determine, that shift was entirely based on reasoning
                                    about what the parable must mean. I haven't seen any indication that
                                    anyone gave any thought to the *likelihood* of that word appearing in
                                    a Coptic text. What I want to do is to check the Dehandschutter piece
                                    to see if *he* gave it any thought. I suspect he didn't, but that remains
                                    to be seen. Everyone else seems to have assumed that because it
                                    was a Greek word, there was no reason why it wouldn't show up in a
                                    Coptic text. But if they had actually researched the question, they would
                                    have seen that Coptic writings contain a relatively small lexicon of Greek
                                    words. Those that were used were those with which the Copts were most
                                    familiar, and as far as can be determined, XRHSTHS wasn't one of them.

                                    Mike
                                  • Michael Grondin
                                    Rick informs me that he s posted a note relevant to this discussion on Charlie Hedrick s blog at: http://www.charleshedrick.com It s worth taking a look at,
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Apr 8, 2010
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                                      Rick informs me that he's posted a note relevant to this
                                      discussion on Charlie Hedrick's blog at:
                                      http://www.charleshedrick.com

                                      It's worth taking a look at, though Hedrick totally ignores
                                      the research results that Rick presents. Instead, he makes
                                      two claims that I think are misleading to the point of being
                                      blatantly false:

                                      (1) that XRHSTOS and XRHSTHS are "equally possible".
                                      What Hedrick must mean is that they both fit the lacuna.
                                      As to probability of usage, however, it's clear from the evidence
                                      presented here lately (and in Rick's blog note) that XRHSTHS is
                                      quite improbable.

                                      (2) that 'usurer' is a neutral term. To quote Hedrick:
                                      "... there is nothing intrinsically wrong about being a userer
                                      (money lender). Under certain community attitudes it can be
                                      seen as an ignoble profession, but in our society it plays a
                                      helpful role, unless of course we are talking about payday
                                      loans at exorbitant rates of interest."

                                      But when we use the word 'usurer', we _are_ talking about "loans
                                      at exorbitant rates of interest", because that's what the word means
                                      today! In an English translation, we cannot use a word to convey an
                                      *archaic* meaning that it no longer has. The reader will understand
                                      it in its contemporary meaning. If we want to convey an archaic
                                      meaning, another word should be used which has that meaning in
                                      contemporary parlance, such as, in the present case, 'money lender'.
                                      In short, I find Hedrick's defense of 'usurer' to be untenable.

                                      Mike Grondin
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