The peculiar case of the blessed womb and breasts

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mlinssen
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The peculiar case of the blessed womb and breasts

Post by mlinssen »

Thomas logion 79. Greek loanwords are capitalised (and the translation can be found at the usual place, https://www.academia.edu/42110001)

79 said a woman to him in the multitude : blessed-is she the(F) belly have carried by-reason-of you and the(PL) breast have nourished you
said he to her : blessed-is they they-who have heard the Word of the father did they guard as-regards him in a truth
there-be some(PL) day Indeed will come-to-be and you(PL) say it : blessed-is she the(F) belly this(F) which not she conceive and the(PL) breast these not they give milk[/b]

This is a really lovely one that gets shared only between Thomas, Marcion and Luke. Or does it?

Berean Literal:

Mark 13:17 And woe to those having in womb and to the ones nursing infants in those days!

Οὐαὶ δὲ ταῖς ἐν γαστρὶ ἐχούσαις καὶ ταῖς θηλαζούσαις ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις

Matthew 24:19 And woe to those having in womb, and to the ones nursing infants in those days!

Οὐαὶ δὲ ταῖς ἐν γαστρὶ ἐχούσαις καὶ ταῖς θηλαζούσαις ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις

Yes, that is 100% verbatim indeed. But Luke has the real stuff:

Luke 11:27 And it came to pass, in His saying these things, a certain woman from the crowd, having lifted up her voice, said to Him, “Blessed is the womb having borne You, and the breasts at which You nursed.” 28 And He said, “No rather, blessed are those hearing the word of God and keeping it.”

27 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ λέγειν αὐτὸν ταῦτα ἐπάρασά τις φωνὴν γυνὴ ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου εἶπεν αὐτῷ “Μακαρία ἡ κοιλία ἡ βαστάσασά σε καὶ μαστοὶ οὓς ἐθήλασας.” 28 Αὐτὸς δὲ εἶπεν “Μενοῦν μακάριοι οἱ ἀκούοντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ φυλάσσοντες.”

Marcion also has that:

27 It came to pass, as he said these things, a certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice, and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which nursed you!” 28 But he said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and do it.”

27 Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ λέγειν αὐτὸν ταῦτα ἐπάρασά τις φωνὴν γυνὴ ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου εἶπεν αὐτῷ Μακαρία ἡ κοιλία ἡ βαστάσασά σε καὶ μαστοὶ οὓς ἐθήλασας. 28 αὐτὸς δὲ εἶπεν Μενοῦν μακάριοι οἱ ἀκούοντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ ποιοῦντες

This one is slightly difficult because the copies of Mark and Matthew are negations of Thomas's last: instead of blessings to those who don't, they turn it into woes to those who do.
Again, Thomas has a full story here, and turns things upside down / looks at an issue from both sides. He takes a religious-ish and lame comment and counters it, and then reverts it

It is indisputable that Luke and Thomas are in agreement here, that is to say all of Luke is in Thomas.
The similarity between Mark/ Matthew and the last sentence of Thomas is striking, and alas the Coptic doesn't have Greek loanwords so there is nothing verbatim to point to; the order of belly and breast is fairly natural so that is of no use either

But, fortunately, Luke helps out:

Luke 23:29 For behold, the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never did bear, and breasts that never nursed.’

ὅτι ἰδοὺ ἔρχονται ἡμέραι ἐν αἷς ἐροῦσιν ‘Μακάριαι αἱ στεῖραι, καὶ αἱ κοιλίαι αἳ οὐκ ἐγέννησαν, καὶ μαστοὶ οἳ οὐκ ἔθρεψαν.’

Now, isn't that interesting?! But that ain't all

Luke 21:23 But woe to those having in womb, and to the ones nursing in those days.

Οὐαὶ ταῖς ἐν γαστρὶ ἐχούσαις καὶ ταῖς θηλαζούσαις ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις

Luke chapter 21 is also perfectly verbatim with Mark and Matthew.
But what about his 23? That is in perfect agreement with Thomas's last sentence - it has all of it (and Luke inserts the phrase about the barren).
It is unclear whether Marcion has or doesn't have that, and the same goes for Luke's 21

Assuming that Thomas copied from the canonicals instead of vice versa, we have two choices: either he combined Luke 11:27-28 with Luke 23:29, or he "un-negated" Mark 13:17 or Matthew 24:19 to serve that purpose

But isn't it marvelous how Luke uses the γαστρὶ from Mark (or Matthew, if you believe that order) when he copies that verse, while he reverts to the κοιλία "of Marcion" when he has the very last sentence of Thomas

What say you?
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