The Brooks Model
- Hi Bruce,
Sorry for the long delay in responding to your note of the 11th.
You asked at the end whether the questions you raised have been
discussed on the list. For the most part, I think not, so I will address
some of them here in hopes of eliciting some responses, and thus
alleviating this dry season.
> [DeConick] sees rather many interpolations over the extent of gThos,As I understand it, you have suggested elsewhere that the "originally
> others see none except for late framing elements, still others, none
> at all. I am currently pursuing evidence that seems to suggest a core and
> extension model, at variance with all the above, but with its own list of
> precedents in ancient texts; in that case most of the text is later
> additions on an originally compact core. The question is not which
> model is more common, or which one someone happens to like, but
> which one best fits the signs in the text.
compact core" you have in mind is L1-12 (or perhaps L2-12), on the
grounds that the mention of Jacob the Just in L12 seems to close off
one segment, followed by the opening of another in L13 as the text
turns to Thomas as the model disciple. I guess this would count as
what you call a "sign" in the text.
At this point, one should mention what DeConick takes as textual signs
of accretion (as opposed to kernel sayings.) One of these, as you know,
is the dialogue form, where Jesus is interrogated by the disciples. Within
the first 13 sayings, that occurs in 6a, 12, and 13. L6a doesn't really
count against your own view, because it doesn't belong there, but L12
does seem to count against your view - unless we think of L1 and L12 as
later frames around a core of L2-11 (minus 6a), in which case L12 can
be seen as an accretion. Indeed, the separated dialogue of 6a and
14 can be seen as a kind of odd stitching together of parts. Which is
not to say that I endorse your model (mainly since the idea of a very
small core strikes me as counter-intuitive), but that there are things
that can be said for it.
I'm also interested in your view of what can be surmised from the Greek
fragments. You point out (elsewhere) that the fact that the three Greek
manuscriptal fragments go no further than L39 suggests mathematically
that the Greek text may have been considerably shorter than the Coptic.
That is to say, if one were to take random fragments of three manuscripts
which actually had 114 sayings, the chances are very low (one need not
get into how low) that none of the fragments would have a saying higher
than L39. Again with respect to this view (which seems to me to be
mathematically sound), I don't necessarily endorse it, but I do point out
that L42 can be seen as a possible textual sign of division, especially
when read as "Come into being as you pass away" rather than as
"Become passers-by". It's on a line by itself (line 280) and is the 6th
of 24 textual blocks, if that's of any significance. (The first block
extends thru L9, the second is 10-19, BTW.)
Mt. Clemens, MI