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Re: tc-list Re: The James M. Robinson debate about Matt. 6.28 and par.

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  • U.B.Schmid
    ... To be honest, I don t know. My point simply was that we are dealing here with conjectures, i.e. a conjecture made by the scribe of 01 in Skeat s view
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 1, 1999
      Mark Goodacre wrote:
      > Dr. Ulrich Schmid wrote:
      > > Let's sum up:
      > > 1) We are dealing here with a conjectural emendation by the scribe of
      > > 01 (in Skeat's view) plus a conjecture made by Skeat to fill in a
      > > lacuna in P.Oxy. 655 (as part of the Gospel of Thomas = GT).
      > Did Skeat himself make the latter suggestion as well as the former?

      To be honest, I don't know. My point simply was that we are dealing here with
      conjectures, i.e. a conjecture made by the scribe of 01 in Skeat's view
      (according to Robinson), and a conjecture in P. Oxy. 655 supported by some.

      > > 2)
      > > Correct me, if I'm wrong. But, out of the four copies of GT only one
      > > gives us a hint to speculate about the XAINW-reading. Oddly enough,
      > > the hint is a dammaged portion of text. Would you call that
      > > substantial evidence that GT ever contained the reading under
      > > discussion?
      > This point lacks force because only one of "the four copies of GT" contains
      > the
      > *sentence* in question -- so we have nothing within the Thomas tradition with
      > which to compare this reconstruction. P Oxy 655 is the fragment featuring
      > the
      > words in question; P Oxy 654 and 1 do not cover the same material and Coptic
      > Thomas has a much shorter version of Logion 36.

      I probably gave a confusing presentation of my case. What I indended to argue
      was as follows:
      Robinson brought up the number "four" apparently to illustrate the wide
      dissemination of GT which enhances the probability that the scribe of 01 made
      contact with the (conjectured) reading of GT. It is, of course, Robinson's point
      that lacks force, because the only copy of GT to compare P. Oxy. 655 with, i.e.
      Coptic Thomas, lacks this part of the logion, as you already indicated.
      My main point is the confusing textual history of GT which becomes apparent when
      comparing the Greek fragments with the Coptic text. This is especially odd for
      logion 36, for this very logion apparently was not preserved in its integrity
      throughout the entire textual history of GT. To put it boldly: Arguing on the
      basis of "four copies" of GT for a wide dissemination of the conjectured
      *reading* in P. Oxy. 655 is deeply misleading.

      > > 3) Let's assume for a moment that one copy of GT might
      > > have given the XAINW-reading. How likely is ist to assume that the
      > > mentioned reading was transmitted faithfully within the textual
      > > transmission of GT, considering (a) the dramatically unstable textual
      > > transmission of GT when compared to Mt, Mk, and Lk, and (b) the clear
      > > signs of influence from the canonical Gospels on GT (by the fourth
      > > century GT was already transmitted with the title borrowed from the
      > > canonical Gospels = Gospel _according_ to Thomas)? I'm left with
      > > puzzling questions: Is there undisputable evidence that GT exerted any
      > > other influence on fourth century scribes of Gospel manuscripts (by
      > > now we have only evidence of the reverse)? Is there any chance that a
      > > possible XAINW-reading at some point within the fluid textual
      > > transmission of GT might go back to a written source anterior to GT's
      > > initial composition?
      > If I have understood Robinson (and Heil's) thesis, isn't that the point, that
      > Thomas
      > and Q shared a Vorlage that featured the words OU XAINEI? Thomas (P Oxy
      > 655) witnesses directly to the Vorlage while Q is held to have made a scribal
      > error, misreading the words as AUXANEI.

      Let's rephrase the (rhetorical) questions of my previous post. Given the
      unstable textual history of GT, especially for logion 36 (see above), I would
      argue as follows:
      1. The extant textual transmission of GT strongly suggests that the
      XAINW-reading, had it once existed, has not seen wide dissemination (see above).
      Therefore, this reading is a very poor example of GT influence on scribes of
      Gospel manuscripts. I would like to see more and better examples of that kind in
      order to enhance the probability for the XAINW-reading.
      2. On the other hand, we do have evidence that GT, at least the Coptic version,
      has been subjected to influence from the canonical Gospels. Therefore, we can't
      even be sure, that the XAINW-reading, had it once existed within the textual
      transmission of GT, belonged to the earliest version of GT, let alone to a
      written source anterior to GT.
      One could argue the reverse as well: Logion 36 of GT has been subjected to
      influence from the canonical tradition (Mt 6:28), since 01* testifies to the
      reading that could have stood in P. Oxy. 655.

      Dr. Ulrich Schmid
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