Re: [GTh] Greek vs Coptic Thomas
- Fascinating discussion. Real evidence, not angels dancing on pins.
One thing rarely pointed out is that from the perspective of picking "kernels" out of the Coptic Thomas, things deleted from the Greek don't matter (much).
In other words, looking at the Coptic and trying to decide if it was in early manuscripts, all that matters is what the Coptics added.
And in the 14 sayings sufficiently complete to judge, the Coptics only added complete sentences (and significant changes) in two places. Saying 28(P.Oxy.1) and Saying 37(P.Oxy.655). And in both cases, sentences at the end (as one might expect.)
Color coded, side by side...
Not a large sample, but the most probable case is that in the 114-14=100 Coptic sayings not matched by the Greek, 2/14 will have sentences added at the end.
In other words, about 14 of the Coptic sayings not matched by the Greek, we can expect sentences added at the end not being in the Greek version. Could be 5 could be 20, could be a few added at the beginning, but that's about the only hard evidence we have.
Richard Van Vliet
- Maurice wrote:
> Could it thus be that the translator of Coptic Thomas is notIn case it hasn't so far been clear, the answer to this question
> simply translating a Greek document into Coptic, but that he
> is recasting the timeframe of the document which he is copying
> from in order to meet certain chronological realities or dogma
> of his own (later) times ?
is "no". There is no valid basis for this speculation, neither in the
Greek (see Ian Brown's response) nor in the Coptic (see SQL
and _The Fifth Gospel_ for notes on the translation of 'peje'.)
This is just another case where reasoning from English
translations alone leads one astray.
> ... in the 14 sayings sufficiently complete to judge, the [Copts]This analysis is flawed by being based on translations alone.
> only added complete sentences (and significant changes) in
> two places. Saying 28 (P.Oxy.1) and Saying 37 (P.Oxy.655).
> And in both cases, sentences at the end (as one might expect.)
When the manuscripts are taken into account, a different picture
emerges, because there are portions of the fragments which
can't be reliably reconstructed. These lacunae don't show up
in translations, but they had something in them.
Saying 37 is a case in point. According to Layton's presentation
in the Brill Nag Hammadi series, saying 37 occupies about 15
lines, but only the first 7 are visible. That means that much of
L.37 is missing in the Greek - and doesn't show up in translation,
of course. But there was something there; we just don't know
what is was. So it seems that we can't draw any reliable conclusions
about the relationship between the Greek and Coptic versions.
The case of L.28 is different, but has its own oddities. If I read
Layton's presentation correctly, L.28 begins at the bottom half
of the front side of P.Oxy. 1 and seems to end at the top of the
obverse side. Problem is, though, that there doesn't appear to
be enough space there for even the beginning of L.29. Perhaps
Tim Ricchuiti can clarify the situation, but I note for starters that
Tim's pdf doesn't show a Coptic addition on the end of either
L.28 or L.37, and I assume he has good reasons for that.
- ... looking at the best copy of POxy1 I have...
...it sure doesn't look like there's a trace of a continuation of #28
And it's absolutely certain, if I had a high resolution scan of it, one you could do with a cheap PC and put on the internet for free, I would be able to tell you for a fact if there was writing there at one time.
If such a thing exists, I'd sure like to get my hands on it. If it doesn't exist, shame on those that made that decision.
There's a way to make progress,
Richard Van Vliet
> ... looking at the best copy of POxy1 I have...You're right that there's a mystery or two there. The first is that
> ...it sure doesn't look like there's a trace of a continuation of #28
there's no trace in the image of the end of L.28 and the beginning
of L.29. But there's also the question of where line 21 came from.
The last thing that can be seen on the image of the front of POxy 1
is line 20, ending with KAR, the beginning of the word KARDIA (heart).
But Harold Attridge, who edited the Greek fragments in Layton's book,
and others like Andrew Bernhard and Tim Ricchuiti (who may or may
not have been simply following Attridge) have somehow been able to
discern most of the letters of a line 21 below that. At least, that's the
implication of the fact that most of what they show as line 21 isn't
enclosed in brackets (any material not enclosed in brackets being
supposed to be visible). I can't find any explanation for this anomaly.
Hopefully, one of our Greek folks will speak up, if only to say that
they have no explanation either.
- Mike wrote:
|You're right that there's a mystery or two there. The first is that
there's no trace in the
|image of the end of L.28 and the beginning of L.29. But there's also
the question of
|where line 21 came from.
|The last thing that can be seen on the image of the front of POxy 1 is
line 20, ending
|with KAR, the beginning of the word KARDIA (heart).
Well, at least I'm not the only one who can't see line 21. My eyes
aren't what they used to be, I'll concede but I'm a long way from being
blind (except perhaps "in my heart", as line 21 has been reconstructed).
I did, however take a closer look at the image this morning (the
colorized one) by blowing it up to 400%. It looks to me like I can see
just the faintest trace underneath the iota in the first word in line 20
that **looks** like it could be the right side of an alpha (which would
be consistent with the restoration of the line that begins with DIA
I suppose one plausible explanation is that the bottom of the papyrus
has eroded between the time of its earliest collation and the time this
picture was taken and since then editors have simply followed the
original restored reading (Grenfell Hunt? Ca. 1897).
The other possibility, less likely IMO, is that the Greek was restored
based on the Coptic reading NHC II,2 38:25-26
> ... looking at the best copy of POxy1 I have...My first response to this remark of Rick V's was inadequate,
> ...it sure doesn't look like there's a trace of a continuation of #28
since I failed to take account of Attridge's Introduction to the
Greek fragments in Layton's book. It doesn't solve the mystery
of line 21, but it does address the missing portions of L28 & 29:
"Both sides [of P.Oxy.1] now contain twenty-one lines ... but
the bottom half of the page, which must have contained another
sixteen lines or so, is wanting." (Layton, NHC II, 2-7, p.97)
- FWIW, I turned up Grenfell and Hunt's reconstruction of P Oxy 1 ("LOGIA
IHSOU: Sayings of or Lord", Frowde: 1897). Here is the note on line 21 from
that publication (p 12):
"Of the **latter half** [my emphasis] of l. 21 only very faint vestiges
remain. At the end of it the horizontal stroke which looks like the top of S
might only be part of a long cross bar of E; and the dot which is
discernable before this stroke, and which could doubtless have transcribed
as I could be the bottom of a long P (Rho) in the previous line."
These remarks seem to reinforce the possibility I mentioned earlier that the
bottom of the papyrus deteriorated between the time of its
discovery/publication and the time the photographic image was made. In
addition G-H's critical rendering of line 21 is virtually the same as that
in B. Layton (by H. Attridge), viz:
DIA AUTW[N] KAI [..] BLEIS- (with AI, L, E and s marked as questionable).
Attridge (in 1989) represents "[..]" as "[OU]" and emends BLEIS to BLEP the
same as J. Fitzmyer (Essays on the Semitic Background of the New Testament
SP, 1974, p.394), so somewhere between 1897 and 1974 it appears that [OU]
became an acceptable conjecture (I have a hunch it was first proposed by F.
Cross in 1897 suggested in Hugh Evelyn White (The sayings of Jesus from
Oxyrhynchus [Cambridge University Press, 1920, p.32 n2), but so far I
haven't been able to work through his references.
||From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On
||Behalf Of Michael Grondin
||Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 7:32 PM
||Subject: Re: [GTh] Greek vs Coptic Thomas
||> ... looking at the best copy of POxy1 I have...
||> ...it sure doesn't look like there's a trace of a continuation of #28
||My first response to this remark of Rick V's was inadequate, since I
||take account of Attridge's Introduction to the Greek fragments in Layton's
||It doesn't solve the mystery of line 21, but it does address the missing
||of L28 & 29:
||"Both sides [of P.Oxy.1] now contain twenty-one lines ... but the bottom
||the page, which must have contained another sixteen lines or so, is
||(Layton, NHC II, 2-7, p.97)
- Given that we are only missing the latter half of line 21, and the lion's share of line 1 on the reverse, there is hardly enough space to complete Logion 28 and begin Logion 29 as represented in our Coptic version.
The simpliest explanation may be that the ending for Logion 28 in the P.Oxy. 1 version was the last clause of we know as Logion 29 from NH version, and did not represent the last 5 clauses of the NH ending of Logion 28 (at this point in the P.Oxy. 1 version anyway).
Here is one possible reconstruction of P.Oxy. 1 (Logion 28 ending):
line 21 -earts and they do not see, yet I marvel at how
line 1 this great wealth came to dwell in this poverty.
This has some cohesive properties not present in the NH version, such as the contrast between 'my heart aches' and 'yet i marvel'.
> Here is one possible reconstruction of P.Oxy. 1 (Logion 28 ending):Hi Adrian,
> line 21 -earts and they do not see, yet I marvel at how
> line 1 this great wealth came to dwell in this poverty.
The test of this would be to see if the Greek would work out, but
I'm inclined to agree with Attridge et al that the bottom portion
of the page is missing. In fact, it appears to this untrained
eye that the page was torn. The bottom edge is rather jagged,
with extended fibers, unlike the edges I've seen which were
worn away by the normal processes of time. It was originally
part of a codex, BTW, so given its separation from the original
codex and its presence in a garbage dump, I think it's safe to
assume an ancient attempt to destroy. Tearing the page in half
would be a natural part of that. As to the appearance of the edge,
my guess is that when one tries to tear a piece of papyrus in half,
its overlapping fiber construction causes a jagged tear rather
than a clean one, but that's only an untrained guess, mind you.
Jack Kilmon could tell us, if he's still listening in.