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Re: [John_Lit] water jugs

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  • Paul Schmehl
    ... From: Yuri Kuchinsky To: Sent: Friday, March 08, 2002 10:34 AM Subject: Re: [John_Lit] water jugs
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 9, 2002
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Yuri Kuchinsky" <yuku@...>
      To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, March 08, 2002 10:34 AM
      Subject: Re: [John_Lit] water jugs
      >
      > Hello, Paul,
      >
      > The standard Greek text of course says METRHTHS DUO HE TREIS, as Jack
      > Kilmon has already helpfully noted. So the question then becomes, What did
      > the translator of MG have in his/her source text? Was it METRHTHS, or
      > perhaps some other word?
      >
      > But of course if one accepts your suggestion that our MG translator was
      > aware of a tradition that was different from the standard canonical text,
      > then it's also possible that this tradition was pre-canonical. Which is
      > what my argument is all about.

      This is the part of your argument that bothers me the most. It is equally
      possible that this tradition is post-canonical. ISTM that your tendency is
      to assume early provenance if no evidence supports late provenance.
      Essentially it's an argument from silence, which is by far the weakest
      argument one can make.
      >
      [snipped]
      >
      > As to Jack's suggestion that this variant reading was merely a
      > mistranslation by the medieval translator, this is undermined somewhat by
      > the fact that some further details in MG story are inconsistent with this.
      > Namely, the same Chapter 10 includes the following,
      >
      > "9 And Jesus told them to take them up,
      > and to carry them to him who was the chief
      > of the feast. 10 And they took them up,
      > and carried them over."
      >
      > So this looks like the servants are carrying the jugs, themselves, over to
      > "the chief of the feast", rather than just a sample of the wine, like in
      > the canonical version of the story. But this is only possible if the jugs
      > are quite small.
      >
      Why is it only possible if they were quite small? 1) You're assuming the
      servants couldn't carry large jugs full of wine and 2) you're assuming that
      each servant carried one jug. What if they had devised a carrier that could
      hold multiple jugs, with extensions so that several servants could carry
      them? I'm not saying it's true, mind you, merely that it's possible. Again
      I think this points out the weakness of arguments from silence. If we don't
      *know* how it was done, there is no warrant to *assume* certain parameters.
      ISTM there is so much speculation in your arguments that I remain thoroughly
      unconvinced.

      Paul Schmehl pauls@...
      pschmehl@...
      http://www.utdallas.edu/~pauls/
    • Yuri Kuchinsky
      ... Paul, I don t agree that it s equally possible that this tradition is post-canonical. I think that, for a number of reasons, the chances are greater that
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 11, 2002
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        On Sat, 9 Mar 2002, Paul Schmehl wrote:

        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Yuri Kuchinsky" <yuku@...>
        > To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Friday, March 08, 2002 10:34 AM
        > Subject: Re: [John_Lit] water jugs
        > >
        > > Hello, Paul,
        > >
        > > The standard Greek text of course says METRHTHS DUO HE TREIS, as Jack
        > > Kilmon has already helpfully noted. So the question then becomes, What did
        > > the translator of MG have in his/her source text? Was it METRHTHS, or
        > > perhaps some other word?
        > >
        > > But of course if one accepts your suggestion that our MG translator was
        > > aware of a tradition that was different from the standard canonical text,
        > > then it's also possible that this tradition was pre-canonical. Which is
        > > what my argument is all about.
        >
        > This is the part of your argument that bothers me the most. It is
        > equally possible that this tradition is post-canonical. ISTM that
        > your tendency is to assume early provenance if no evidence supports
        > late provenance. Essentially it's an argument from silence, which is
        > by far the weakest argument one can make.

        Paul,

        I don't agree that it's equally possible that this tradition is
        post-canonical. I think that, for a number of reasons, the chances are
        greater that it's pre-canonical.

        > > As to Jack's suggestion that this variant reading was merely a
        > > mistranslation by the medieval translator, this is undermined somewhat by
        > > the fact that some further details in MG story are inconsistent with this.
        > > Namely, the same Chapter 10 includes the following,
        > >
        > > "9 And Jesus told them to take them up,
        > > and to carry them to him who was the chief
        > > of the feast. 10 And they took them up,
        > > and carried them over."
        > >
        > > So this looks like the servants are carrying the jugs, themselves, over to
        > > "the chief of the feast", rather than just a sample of the wine, like in
        > > the canonical version of the story. But this is only possible if the jugs
        > > are quite small.
        >
        > Why is it only possible if they were quite small? 1) You're assuming
        > the servants couldn't carry large jugs full of wine and 2) you're
        > assuming that each servant carried one jug. What if they had devised
        > a carrier that could hold multiple jugs, with extensions so that
        > several servants could carry them? I'm not saying it's true, mind
        > you, merely that it's possible. Again I think this points out the
        > weakness of arguments from silence. If we don't *know* how it was
        > done, there is no warrant to *assume* certain parameters. ISTM there
        > is so much speculation in your arguments that I remain thoroughly
        > unconvinced.

        Well, my only point here is that the smaller size of jugs in MG is
        consistent with the rest of the story, as we find it in MG. So this
        decreases the chances that this was some sort of a mistranslation by a
        medieval translator.

        Of course they could have had a whole army of servants carrying such huge
        jugs around, but this is not what our texts are really indicating.

        Best wishes,

        Yuri.

        Yuri Kuchinsky -=O=- http://www.trends.ca/~yuku

        The goal proposed by Cynic philosophy is apathy, which is
        equivalent to becoming God -=O=- Julian
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