Re: [GTh] Listing the "Twins"
- Bruce, You seemed to be summarizing my "alternate" theory on the inclusion of twin sayings by a compiler or later editor of Thomas when you wrote:
> explanation is that the original compiler of the text - conceived as oneI think I made it clear that it could have been a later editor, not necessarily the compiler, who moved these less favored twins to the end of his list. It would be impossible, I think, to say who did it. I also don't remember writing that it happened in a "single afternoon." That's a rather silly thing to say. I also don't recall writing that this compiler or editor was "summoning up recollections." But, leaving this aside, I'll get to the point in question.
> person who finished his work in a single afternoon - intentionally concluded
> his text by summoning up recollections of what he meant to be taken as key
> sayings occurring at various earlier points.
My theory doesn't depend on the doublets having the same precise meaning. It only depends on them *seeming* to be the same saying, only slightly different. That slight difference might indeed alter the meaning somewhat. It might broaden the meaning or define it more carefully, as in GTh 101. The point is that these twins *seem* to be the same sayings, though restated slightly differently. It is perfectly reasonable then for someone to set them aside initially and finally tack them on the end.
I think your argument, Bruce, would be stronger if you stated precisely what the changes were that Pokorny noted in the second appearance of these sayings that made them significantly different and therefore later accretions.
> We now have two theories, and how shall we decide between them? First, what
> exactly are the theories? (1) The original compiler recalled some sayings as
> a conclusion to his work. The meaning of those sayings in their second
> appearance will presumably be the same as it was on their first appearance.
> (2) A later person, in charge of the text at that time, which then consisted
> of Th 1-100, undertook to update it in a revisionist spirit, adding a group
> of references to earlier sayings, but at least sometimes changing their
> To decide between the two, we need only compare the meanings of the first
> and second occurrences of the paired sayings. Most of the pairs (and some
> others) are noticed in the Pokorny commentary, and an easy first test is
> simply to read what Pokorny says on the second occurrences of the sayings in
> question. Does he find identity of message, or does he (at least sometimes)
> find change?
> The answer is that he sometimes finds change. Then as far as this test goes,
> the second theory turns out to be better supported by the evidence of the
> text itself.
> E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts at Amherst
At any rate,> Oops, I don't think that link will actually take you to my old post.
12/3/09.> the title was "The Literary Unity of Thomas" and it was postedHi Ian,The message in question is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gthomas/message/9076As to the suggested pairings in your previous note, I didn't get a chance to put themup today, but I intend to do so at the earliest opportunity, so that we all can look atthem and try to reach some decisions about what constitutes a "doublet", or perhapsdifferent types of sayings-pairs. To answer your question about why some pairsweren't included in my initial list, it was because the list was based on a perceivedsignificant degree of similarity of wording and structure, not necessarily thematicconnections and similarities. But I do want to get into that area as well, since I thinkthere are some really important pairs there, though they may end up being seen asdoublets of another kind.Cheers,Mike G.
- Hi Ian,I've created a new webpage to handle the doublets thingy:One can go back and forth between this page and the keywords page(which no longer contains the doublets list). I've added your suggestedpairings, but it should be noted, I think, that you chose them becausethey're all in the range 101-114. I'm sure you have many others not inthat range. That actually wasn't the case with my original list. I started fromnotes I had made in my copy of The Fifth Gospel, and only discoveredafter I had made the list that all of them except 6-14 connected with 101-114.If we're to be systematic about it, we need to take a closer look at possiblepairs where one of the two isn't in the range 101-114. Some of them areright next to each other, such as 25 and 26, which share the words 'eye'and 'brother'. These are so-called 'catch-words' that some think are a keyto the organization of GTh, which is fine except that catchwords are definedas being in adjacent sayings. The examination of possible doublets opens upthe possibility of "catchwords at a distance" if you will.As we look these over, I think the question to ask is what the criteria areand how stringent we want to be. We might, for example, demand that asupposed pair share two or more exact words. Or we might set up differenttypes of doublets, with different criteria for each type. At the far end, ifwe're too loose about it, we may find that almost every saying has one ormore partners of sorts. That may in fact be the case, but even if it is, I don'tthink we're ready for such a possibility yet.Best,Mike
- My recent work on multi-saying words has sometimes yielded unexpected results.While working on the Coptic word-pair ouNte and mNte ('have' and 'have not')Friday, I came across two short sayings (L41 and L70) in which these words occurthree times each. Consulting the notes I had written in my copy of The Fifth Gospel,I saw that I had written above L41 "see 70?", and a similar note above L70. Becauseof the question marks, I hadn't included 41 & 70 in my initial list of pairs, but nowI think it's clear that these do constitute a pair, so I've added them atInterestingly, L41 has 'have' twice and 'have not' once, while L70 has 'have' onceand 'have not' twice. Both sayings have roughly the same structure and the sametheme (if you have something, it'll be good for you, if not, it won't). FWIW, thetotal number of letters in the two sayings is 180 (73+107).I should also say that I now agree with Plisch and Ian Brown that there is a definiteconnection between L104 ("when the bridegroom leaves the bridal chamber", etc)and the L6/14 halves. Although the structures are different, the sharing of threerelatively infrequent words ('fast', 'pray', and 'sin') is too significant to ignore. ('Fast'and 'pray' do occur elsewhere, but only in one other saying each, while 'sin' occursonly in L14 and 104. Ref: http://www.gospel-thomas.net/htmfiles/fastpray.htm)Mike Grondin
each, while 'sin'> ('Fast' and 'pray' do occur elsewhere, but only in one other saying
href="http://www.gospel-thomas.net/htmfiles/fastpray.htm">http://www.gospel-thomas.net/htmfiles/fastpray.htm)Sorry, it wasn't my intention to ground my observations in the English, but in this caseI inadvertently did. I overlooked the fact that the Coptic word for 'pray' in L73 is differentthan that in L14 and 104. One of the things I've tried to do with these word-displays is toinclude under each main entry other words that are synonymous with or otherwise closelyrelated to the main word, especially if they're frequently translated with the same Englishword. Among other benefits, this allows the inclusion of some single-occurrence wordslike sopS that wouldn't otherwise be included in these displays, although in this case ittripped me up a bit. That only strengthens the case for pairing 6/14 & 104, however.Mike G.