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Excursus II. The Secondary Nature of Thomas 5:3
In chapter 1, I pointed out that when the readings of NHC II and the Oxyrhynchus fragments
differ, we do not always have to take the reading preserved by the Oxyrhynchus fragments to be the
more original one. In this excursus, I will argue that Thomas 5 presents us with a case where NHC II
has priority over P.Oxy. 654. One difference between the two witnesses to the text of saying 5 is quite
remarkable: whereas P.Oxy. 654 includes Thomas 5:3, NHC II omits the entire verse. In what follows,
I will demonstrate that the Coptic version preserves the original text of the saying and that the extra
verse in P.Oxy. 654 is a secondary development.
Thomas 5 (NHC II)
Thomas 5 (P.Oxy. 654)
5:1a λέγει Ἰη(σοῦ)ς·
5:1b γ̣[νῶθι τὸ ὂν ἔμπροσ]θεν τῆς ὄψεώς σου,
5:1c καὶ [τὸ κεκρυμμένον]73 ἀπό σου
5:1d ἀποκαλυφ<θ>ήσετ[αί σοι·]
5:2a [οὐ γάρ ἐσ]τιν κρυπτὸν
5:2b ὃ οὐ φανε[ρὸν γενήσεται],
5:3a καὶ θεθαμμένον74 േ
5:3b ὃ ο[ὐκ ἐγερθήσεται]75
5:1a Jesus said,േ
5:1a Jesus said,
5:1b “Recognize what is in your (sg.) sight,േ
5:1b “[Recognize what is in] your (sg.) sight,
5:1c and that which is hidden from you (sg.)േ
5:1c and [that which is hidden] from you (sg.)
5:1d will become plain to you (sg.).
5:1d will become plain [to you (sg.).]േ
5:2a For there is nothing hiddenേ
5:2b that will not become manifest.”
5:2a [For there is nothing] hiddenേ
5:2b which [will] not [become] manifest,
5:3a nor buried
5:3b that [will not be raised].”
This restoration presupposes that ƙįŁേin Thomas 5:1c and Thomas 5:2a corresponds to two cognate words in the Greek
text; cf. Johnson 2010, 325–6. The restoration preferred in Attridge 1989a, 115, [τὸ κεκαλυμμένον], is less likely, since
the usual Coptic equivalent of the Greek verb καλύπτω and its cognates is ƙőģͳ; see, e.g., the Sahidic version of Matt
Read τεθαμμένον.
This restoration is supported by the parallel text from a funerary shroud published in Puech 1955, 127: λέγει Ἰησοῦς·
οὐκ ἔστιν τεθαμμένον ὃ οὐκ ἐγερθήσεται, “Jesus says: ‘There is nothing buried that will not be raised.’” According to
Luijendijk 2011, 390, the present whereabouts of the shroud are unknown. The only image of it is published as the
frontispiece of Puech 1978.
The translation is that of Thomas O. Lambdin, since Attridge’s translation of the Greek fragments is adapted to
Lambdin’s translation of the Coptic text.