Friday, April 11, 2014

Jesus' Wife Attempts a Comeback: Initial Response, Francis Watson

I am grateful to Prof. Francis Watson, Research Chair of Biblical Interpretation, Durham University, for permission to post here his initial response to the recent re-emergence of discussion on the Jesus' Wife Fragment (see The Jesus' Wife Fragment is Back):

Jesus' Wife Attempts a Comeback: Initial Response
Francis Watson

Earlier pieces by Prof. Watson on the fragment are gathered here.

6 comments:

Richard Budelberger said...

« The author has used a kind of “collage” technique to assemble the items selected from Thomas into a new composition. While this is a very unlikely way for an ancient author to compose a text, it’s what might be expected of a modern forger with limited facility in the Coptic language. » : As a modern forger aware of the existence of Michael Grondin’s pdf version of the Gnostic Coptic Gospel of Thomas – forgotten by all, even by its owner… –, I composed a very “dense” – full of spectacular assertions – text in a short fragment with no beginning on the left side, with no ending on the right side, extracting words and sentences from this pdf file – exactly copied, even with its typo (I’ve never heard of “Direct Object Marker”…), the “missing M”… But alas ! no Jesus’ “wife” in our Coptic Gospel of Thomas ! With my limited ability in the Coptic language, how can I do – my aim being to promote Gender “Studies”… – ? Sure, I’m a forger, but not as stupid as they say. Where can I find a “wife” to marry to Jesus ? As a scholar trained in New Testament studies, I open my so-called Luke Gospel, at 1, 18, where I read : « Καὶ εἶπεν Ζαχαρίας πρὸς τὸν ἄγγελον, Κατὰ τί γνώσομαι τοῦτο; ἐγὼ γάρ εἰμι πρεσβύτης καὶ ἡ γυνή μου προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις αὐτῆς. », that is, in Coptic, « ⲞⲨⲞϨ ⲠⲈϪⲈ ⲌⲀⲬⲀⲢⲒⲀⲤ ⲘⲠⲒⲀⲄⲄⲈⲖⲞⲤ ϪⲈ ⲚϦⲢⲎⲒ ϦⲈⲚⲞⲨ ϮⲚⲀⲈⲘⲒ ⲈⲪⲀⲒ ⲀⲚⲞⲔ ⲄⲀⲢ ⲞⲨϦⲈⲖⲖⲞ ⲞⲨⲞϨ ⲦⲀⲤϨⲒⲘⲒ ⲀⲤⲀⲒⲀⲒ ϦⲈⲚⲚⲈⲤⲈϨⲞⲞⲨ. », and, because I’m a Sahidic Coptic forger, I just have to change “ΤΑϹϨΙΜΙ” into “ΤΑϹϨΙΜΕ”. But all is not right… As a facetious forger, I drop the lunate sigma, in order to give wheat to future generations of scholars…

Richard Budelberger said...

Full Coptic text here !

Mark Goodacre said...

Interesting point, Richard, that the forger could have looked up Luke 1.18 for "my wife", and he wouldn't have needed to go to the Bohairic. Sahidic Coptic ⲧⲁⲥϩⲓⲙⲉ would have been straightforward to find online (e.g. here: https://archive.org/details/copticversionofn02hornuoft ). But why does he drop the ϩ ?

Richard Budelberger said...

Sure, Mark (may I call you “Mark”, Dr Goodacre ?…), but the Bohairic version was what I had immediately available in my computer…

I’m not at home, now [but at Rita’s…], it would be too long to search for old comments, but remember what was said in September/October 2012… Something like « It seems that the Forger add many “Ϲ” in his text, knowing that’s a feminine suffix, and maybe he wrongly thought that in “ΤΑϹϨΙΜΕ” “Ϲ” was a suffix too, which needed to be dropped because of the feminine possesive “ΤΑ”. » !…

Richard Budelberger said...

Dr Christian Askeland was faster than me (H. T. to Dr Alin Suciu), studying the Lycopolitan Gospel of John (from now #LGJn) – but it doesn’t matter, since he was the honest discoverer of the #LGJn issues, not being an An. B. with his fellow M. W. Gr., so it’s polite and a pleasure for me to give him the absolute priority here ! –, essentially § 4, but… I will provide a better analysis of this issue that his and Ulrich Schmid’s… ;-) [Alas ! I’m so ill and tired… writing technical comments is a torture…]

Mark Goodacre said...

Yes, of course you can call me Mark. Interesting thoughts about TAC2IME.