γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

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Ken Olson
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by Ken Olson »

Peter Kirby wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 11:12 am
andrewcriddle wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 3:56 am As I said in another thread I think the issue has to be about the correct version of the pericope Clement has just quoted. I think it particularly unlikely that Gethsemane is involved. The letter says
To you, therefore, I shall not hesitate to answer the questions you have asked, refuting the falsifications by the very words of the Gospel. For example, after "And they were in the road going up to Jerusalem" and what follows, until "After three days he shall arise", the secret Gospel brings the following material word for word:

"And they come into Bethany. And a certain woman whose brother had died was there. And, coming, she prostrated herself before Jesus and says to him, "son of David, have mercy on me". But the disciples rebuked her. And Jesus, being angered , went off with her into the garden where the tomb was, and straightway, going in where the youth was, he stretched forth his hand and raised him, seizing his hand. But the youth, looking upon him, loved him and began to beseech him that he might be with him. And going out of the tomb they came into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days Jesus told him what to do and in the evening the youth comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus thaught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God. And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan."

And these words follow the text, "And James and John come to him" and all that section. But "naked man with naked man" and the other things about which you wrote, are not found.

And after the words,"And he comes into Jericho," the secret Gospel adds only, "And the sister of the youth whom Jesus loved and his mother and Salome were there, and Jesus did not receive them." But many other things about which you wrote both seem to be and are falsifications. Now the true explanation and that which accords with the true philosophy...
Clement quotes one addition in Mark chapter 10 says naked with naked does not occur and then quotes another addition later in chapter 10. I.E. Clement is throughout discussing additions in the section about Jesus going to Jerusalem, not additions to the narrative of events after Jesus arrives in Jerusalem.
Regarding the location of the quoted extracts, I would suggest that they are located where they are (Mark chapter 10) because of the existence of narrative aporias in this part of Mark. So in the voice of Clement of the letter, two locations where there are well-known difficulties in the text of Mark receive expansion.
Peter (and Andrew).

I am trying to think through all that you have said here, but it occurred to me it might be helpful to see the text of Mark 10 with the passages attested in the letter placed in their purported locations, so have inserted them (in Smith's translation) into their context in Mark 10 (RSV) here:

Mark 10.32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; 34 and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise.”

And they come into Bethany. And a certain woman whose brother had died was there. And, coming, she prostrated herself before Jesus and says to him, 'Son of David, have mercy on me.' But the disciples rebuked her. And Jesus, being angered, went off with her into the garden where the tomb was, and straightway a great cry was heard from the tomb. And going near, Jesus rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb. And straightaway, going in where the youth was, he stretched forth his hand and raised him, seizing his hand. But the youth, looking upon him, loved him and began to beseech him that he might be with him. And going out of the tomb, they came into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days Jesus told him what to do, and in the evening the youth comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God. And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan.

35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him, and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” 39 And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” 41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. 42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

46 And they came to Jericho;

And the sister of the youth whom Jesus loved and his mother and Salome were there, and Jesus did not receive them

and as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; rise, he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his mantle he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Master, let me receive my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

The second quotation of Secret Mark in Clement's Letter does fit very nicely in between 'And they came to Jericho' and 'as they were leaving Jericho' in Mark 10.46. I wonder if the author of the text also meant for us to take the three women to be the same three women as in Mark 15.40 and 16.1, the only places in Mark where Salome is named, though the other two without Salome are named in Mark 15.47 as well.

Best,

Ken
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

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Ken Olson wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 12:08 pm The second quotation of Secret Mark in Clement's Letter does fit very nicely in between 'And they came to Jericho' and 'as they were leaving Jericho' in Mark 10.46.
Yes, exactly. The clarification in the first quote is more subtle. Consider this map of roads to Jerusalem:

Image

On such a map, visiting Jericho would require a detour from the more direct routes to Jerusalem. This can allow the reader who has this kind of paratextual knowledge to wonder about the setting of a scene in Jericho on the way to Jerusalem. They may find an implication that Jesus took a route that lay beyond the Jordan.

More directly, the statement here in canonical Mark can be read as providing the suggestion of a route that took place beyond the Jordan: “left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan; and crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them” (Mark 10:1). The first quote supplies geographic details that bridge Mark 10:1 ("beyond the Jordan") and Mark 10:46 ("Jericho").

In particular, the first quote supplies the detail of a prior visit to Bethany beyond the Jordan: "And they come into Bethany. ... And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan." This explicitly gives Jesus a route by which he would pass through Jericho on the way to Jerusalem (after visiting Bethany beyond the Jordan), thus explaining the detail in the text of canonical Mark about the fact that Jesus passed through Jericho while going to Jerusalem.

On the interpretation that I am suggesting, two noteworthy difficult passages of canonical Mark provide the most important pre-existent scaffolding for the introduction of secret Mark within the text of the letter of Clement to Theodore, i.e. Mark 10:46 and Mark 14:52. These are the sort of passages in canonical Mark that leave the reader wondering and hoping for some additional lost details about the text.

The comment added after providing a quote denies conspicuously a reading of Mark first suggested by Mark 14:52.
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

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Peter Kirby wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 1:33 pm On such a map, visiting Jericho would require a detour from the more direct routes to Jerusalem. This can allow the reader who has this kind of paratextual knowledge to wonder about the setting of a scene in Jericho on the way to Jerusalem. They may find an implication that Jesus took a route that lay beyond the Jordan.

More directly, the statement here in canonical Mark can be read as providing the suggestion of a route that took place beyond the Jordan: “left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan; and crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them” (Mark 10:1). The first quote supplies geographic details that bridge Mark 10:1 ("beyond the Jordan") and Mark 10:46 ("Jericho").

In particular, the first quote supplies the detail of a prior visit to Bethany beyond the Jordan: "And they come into Bethany. ... And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan." This explicitly gives Jesus a route by which he would pass through Jericho on the way to Jerusalem (after visiting Bethany beyond the Jordan), thus explaining the detail in the text of canonical Mark about the fact that Jesus passed through Jericho while going to Jerusalem.

On the interpretation that I am suggesting, two noteworthy difficult passages of canonical Mark provide the most important pre-existent scaffolding for the introduction of secret Mark within the text of the letter of Clement to Theodore, i.e. Mark 10:46 and Mark 14:52. These are the sort of passages in canonical Mark that leave the reader wondering and hoping for some additional lost details about the text.

The comment added after providing a quote denies conspicuously a reading of Mark first suggested by Mark 14:52.
On the theory you are advocating, Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan is different from the Bethany mentioned in Mark 11.1, 11-22; and 14.3, right? The map shows a Bethany just west of Jerusalem.

In John there is a Bethany-beyond the Jordan where John was Baptizing (John 1.20) and Jesus later went across the Jordan to where John had first Baptized (John 10.40).

The very next pericope after that begins with Lazarus of Bethany (John 11.1). I think the story in Secret Mark about the young man who loved Jesus is recognizably a version of the Lazarus story. But the Bethany of Lazarus was apparently much closer to Jerusalem (John 11.18) than Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan.

Any ideas on why we seem to have two Bethanies in Mark and John, or why the author of Secret Mark would move the raising of the youth from the tomb from Bethany-near-Jerusalem to Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan (other than the one you gave of giving a reason for Jesus to pass through Jericho on the way to Jerusalem)? I don't have a theory about this at the moment, but I think there is an intersection of Markan and Johannine material in Secret Mark's additional material not found in canonical Mark and I'm wondering what the author might be up to with the two Bethanies.

Best,

Ken
Last edited by Ken Olson on Wed Mar 20, 2024 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

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Ken Olson wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 2:39 pm On the theory you are advocating, Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan is different from the Bethany mentioned in Mark 11.1, 11-22; and 14.3, right?
Yes, although I would interpret the Bethany in the first quote as Bethany beyond the Jordan (which we hear about in John 1:28) even if I abandoned the theory that I've been advocating. That makes the most natural sense of the explicit reference in the quote to crossing the Jordan: "And they come into Bethany. ... And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan."
Ken Olson wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 2:39 pmAny ideas on why we seem to have two Bethanies in Mark and John, or why the author of Secret Mark would move the raising of the youth from the tomb from Bethany-near-Jerusalem to Bethany-beyond-the-Jordan (other than the one you gave of giving a reason for Jesus to pass through Jericho on the way to Jerusalem)? I don't have a theory about this at the moment, but I think there is an intersection of Markan and Johannine material in Secret Mark's additional material not found in canonical Mark and I'm wondering what the author might be up to with the two Bethanies.
I don't have yet have any different idea, other than the one mentioned (giving a reason for Jesus to pass through Jericho on the way to Jerusalem).

Explanations generally involve going a little beyond the bare facts of the case, and I hope my explanations are understood in the way that I intend them, of attempting to bring in what is most necessary to understand in order to explain the creation of the text. The ideas that I have suggested aren't very elaborate, but I think they do help in understanding the creation of the text.
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

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Ken Olson wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 2:39 pmThe map shows a Bethany just west of Jerusalem.
This is the site typically identified as Bethany beyond the Jordan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Maghtas
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

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I think there might be some connection to the Second Apocalypse of James where the overall theme of nakedness is mentioned:
...
For just as you are first having clothed yourself,
you are also the first who will strip himself,
and you shall become as you were before you were stripped."

"And he kissed my mouth. He took hold of me, saying, "My beloved! Behold, I shall reveal to you those things that (neither) the heavens nor their archons have known. Behold, I shall reveal to you those things that he did not know, he who boasted, "[...] there is no other except me. Am I not alive? Because I am a father, do I not have power for everything?" Behold, I shall reveal to you everything, my beloved. Understand and know them, that you may come forth just as I am. Behold, I shall reveal to you him who is hidden. But now, stretch out your hand. Now, take hold of me."

"And then I stretched out my hands and I did not find him as I thought (he would be). But afterward I heard him saying, "Understand and take hold of me." Then I understood, and I was afraid. And I was exceedingly joyful.
...
And there are other places in the Second Apocalypse of James with this theme:
... he who stripped himself and went about naked ...
and
... I saw that he was naked, and there was no garment clothing him. ...
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

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AdamKvanta wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2024 2:33 am I think there might be some connection to the Second Apocalypse of James where the overall theme of nakedness is mentioned:
There are several early Christian texts that use the word 'naked' (presumably) without a sexual suggestion. But what we are discussing here is the the Secret Gospel According to Mark mentioned in Clement's letter to Theodore, in which the issue of a sexual reading is raised directly by Clement.

Here is Morton Smith's translation of the text:

From the letters of the most holy Clement, the author of the Stromateis. To Theodore.

You did well in silencing the unspeakable teachings of the Carpocrations. For these are the "wandering stars" referred to in the prophecy, who wander from the narrow road of the commandments into a boundless abyss of the carnal and bodily sins. For, priding themselves in knowledge, as they say, "of the deep things of Satan", they do not know that they are casting themselves away into "the nether world of the darkness" of falsity, and boasting that they are free, they have become slaves of servile desires. Such men are to be opposed in all ways and altogether. For, even if they should say something true, one who loves the truth should not, even so, agree with them. For not all true things are the truth, nor should that truth which merely seems true according to human opinions be preferred to the true truth, that according to the faith.

Now of the things they keep saying about the divinely inspired Gospel according to Mark, some are altogether falsifications, and others, even if they do contain some true elements, nevertheless are not reported truly. For the true things, being mixed with inventions, are falsified, so that, as the saying goes, even the salt loses its savor.

As for Mark, then, during Peter's stay in Rome he wrote an account of the Lord's doings, not, however, declaring all of them, nor yet hinting at the secret ones, but selecting what he thought most useful for increasing the faith of those who were being instructed. But when Peter died a martyr, Mark came over to Alexandria, bringing both his own notes and those of Peter, from which he transferred to his former book the things suitable to whatever makes for progress toward knowledge. Thus he composed a more spiritual Gospel for the use of those who were being perfected. Nevertheless, he yet did not divulge the things not to be uttered, nor did he write down the hierophantic teaching of the Lord, but to the stories already written he added yet others and, moreover, brought in certain sayings of which he knew the interpretation would, as a mystagogue, lead the hearers into the innermost sanctuary of that truth hidden by seven veils. Thus, in sum, he prepared matters, neither grudgingly nor incautiously, in my opinion, and, dying, he left his composition to the church in Alexandria, where it even yet is most carefully guarded, being read only to those who are being initiated into the great mysteries.

But since the foul demons are always devising destruction for the race of men, Carpocrates, instructed by them and using deceitful arts, so enslaved a certain presbyter of the church in Alexandria that he got from him a copy of the secret Gospel, which he both interpreted according to his blasphemous and carnal doctrine and, moreover, polluted, mixing with the spotless and holy words utterly shameless lies. From this mixture is drawn off the teaching of the Carpocratians.

To them, therefore, as I said above, one must never give way; nor, when they put forward their falsifications, should one concede that the secret Gospel is by Mark, but should even deny it on oath. For, "Not all true things are to be said to all men". For this reason the Wisdom of God, through Solomon, advises, "Answer the fool from his folly", teaching that the light of the truth should be hidden from those who are mentally blind. Again it says, "From him who has not shall be taken away", and "Let the fool walk in darkness". But we are "children of Light", having been illuminated by "the dayspring" of the spirit of the Lord "from on high", and "Where the Spirit of the Lord is", it says, "there is liberty", for "All things are pure to the pure".

To you, therefore, I shall not hesitate to answer the questions you have asked, refuting the falsifications by the very words of the Gospel. For example, after "And they were in the road going up to Jerusalem" and what follows, until "After three days he shall arise", the secret Gospel brings the following material word for word:

"And they come into Bethany. And a certain woman whose brother had died was there. And, coming, she prostrated herself before Jesus and says to him, 'Son of David, have mercy on me.' But the disciples rebuked her. And Jesus, being angered, went off with her into the garden where the tomb was, and straightway a great cry was heard from the tomb. And going near, Jesus rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb. And straightaway, going in where the youth was, he stretched forth his hand and raised him, seizing his hand. But the youth, looking upon him, loved him and began to beseech him that he might be with him. And going out of the tomb, they came into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days Jesus told him what to do, and in the evening the youth comes to him, wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God. And thence, arising, he returned to the other side of the Jordan."

After these words follows the text, "And James and John come to him", and all that section. But "naked man with naked man," and the other things about which you wrote, are not found.

And after the words, "And he comes into Jericho," the secret Gospel adds only, "And the sister of the youth whom Jesus loved and his mother and Salome were there, and Jesus did not receive them." But the many other things about which you wrote both seem to be, and are, falsifications.

https://www.earlychristianwritings.com/ ... tmark.html

Clement would appear to be saying that the secret gospel Mark wrote, including the parts he quotes, consisted in itself of holy and spotless words, but that Carpocrates has polluted it with shameless lies and the Carpocratians then read the whole text according to their blasphemous and carnal doctrine because they have wandered into a boundless abyss of carnal and bodily sins and become slaves of servile desires.

When Clement writes to Theodore that the words 'naked man with naked man' (or 'naked men with naked man') and the other things about which he wrote are not found in the genuine text Mark wrote, we can infer that they are the shameless lies, pollutions, and falsifications of Carpocrates and his followers.

Best,

Ken
Last edited by Ken Olson on Sun Mar 17, 2024 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by Ken Olson »

Peter Kirby wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 11:22 am
Peter Kirby wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 6:03 pm It's possible that what is referenced here is a scene of a group of people having sex in the garden of Gethsamane that is broken up, with people running off naked (along with the mentioned naked man), when the authorities arrive.
Ken Olson wrote: Sat Mar 16, 2024 6:27 am I think Andrew has now given a better response to this than the one I was writing.
You did ask or present these questions in the OP:
Second, if Tselikas' reading is correct, what would it mean that R. Morton Smith gave the wrong reading? Third, how would Tselikas' reading affect the interpretation of the text if it were adopted?
This would be the only real attempt to answer them, seriously and in detail, so far in this thread. If I am missing some other different and better interpretation of γυμνοὶ γυμνῷ that someone else has presented, what is it?

One possibility is that a person introducing the text of Clement to Theodore didn't want to mention the most risque interpretations. So the text can operate at two levels, the more explicitly mentioned one where "naked man with naked man" gingerly highlights the possibility of a homosexual reading in the first quote, and the unmentioned one based on the text itself where γυμνοὶ γυμνῷ is a reference to the scene of the arrest where the man following Jesus fled away naked. The explicitly mentioned transcription is more plausible for Clement. The text of the letter itself, γυμνοὶ γυμνῷ, invites the reader to discover a reference to the story in Mark 14. That reference can't be explained because it is implausible for Clement, but it can be planted in the text in a playful way, to see if anyone picks up on it.
Peter,

Thanks for addressing the question of how Tselikas' reading γυμνοὶ γυμνῷ , 'naked men' (plural) with 'naked man' (singular) would affect the interpretation of the text, and sorry to be slow slow in responding to the point. Yes, the reading 'naked man with naked man' highlights the possibility of a particularly homo-sexual reading, but the masculine plural γυμνοὶ could be used to indicate a mixed group of men and women, so that would allow for a hetero-sexual reading or a homo-sexual reading or both.

I still think Andrew has a strong point in that Clement's Letter emphasizes the passage about Jesus and the young man from the tomb in which they are together apparently alone, and this is st between two passages that are found in Mark 10. Further, this would make me lean to the 'naked man naked man' reading, though admittedly Clement could be addressing some other location in the text.

Best,

Ken
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by Peter Kirby »

Ken Olson wrote: Fri Mar 15, 2024 6:12 am One factor brought in support of Tselikas' reading is the placement of the accent in the first of the two words. It is not over the Omicron, but over the final letter. Therefore the final letter must be a vowel, not a consonant, and we ought to prefer the reading γυμνοὶ, in which the final letter is an Iota, to γυμνὸς, in which the final letter is a Sigma. This makes sense when looked at by itself, but a look at line 67 (AKMA's 3.13) in the manuscript complicates matters considerably:

Clement - Letter To Theodore - Page 3 Enlarged.png

Tselikas reads line 67 (the sixth line from the bottom) as κοπή. Τὸ δὲ γυμνοὶ γυμνῷ καὶ τἆλλα περὶ ὧν ἔγραψας οὐκ εὑ

Reading the manuscript along with Tselikas' transcription, there are seven accents in line 67. The accent on the final letter in κοπή actually touches the Eta (the full word is περικοπή, but the first part of the word is on the previous line), the accent on the Omicron in Τὸ is to the right of the letter, as is the accent on the Epsilon in δὲ. The accent on γυμνοὶ or γυμνὸς is either over the final Iota or to the right of the Omicron (i.e., over the Sigma). The accent on the final letter of καὶ is again to the right of the Iota, as is the accent on the final Iota in περὶ. Perhaps most relevant, the accent on the word ἔγραψας is not placed over the vowel Epsilon, but over the consonant Gamma to the right of it.

It seems that, except for the first accent on the Eta in (περι)κοπή, the scribe has placed the accents to the right of the vowels with which they belong rather than over them, including one case, ἔγραψας, in which the scribe has placed the accent over the consonant to the right of the vowel with which it belongs.
The case of ἔγραψας is somewhat dissimilar because of the breathing mark in addition to the accent.

In any case, based on these comments, I took a look at the manuscript.
marsaba-marked.gif
marsaba-marked.gif (156.98 KiB) Viewed 215 times
Here is the associated transcription:

https://akma.disseminary.org/wp-content ... etMark.pdf
10 Ἰησοῦς τὸ µυστήριον τῆς[?] βασιλείας τοῦ Θεοῦ. Ἐκεῖθεν δὲ ἀναστὰς
11 ἐπέστρεψεν εἰς τὸ πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου. Ἐπὶ µὲν τούτοις ἕπεται τὸ καὶ
12 προσεπορεύοντο αὐτῷ Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάννης καὶ πᾶσα ἡ
13 περικοπή. Τὸ δὲ [γυµνοὶ / γυµνὸς] γυµνῷ καὶ τἆvα περὶ ὧν ἔγραψας οὐκ
14 εὑρίσκεται. Μετὰ δὲ τὸ καὶ ἔρχεται εἰς[?] Ἱεριχὼ ἐπάγει µόνον, καὶ
15 ἦσαν ἐκεῖ ἡ ἀδελφὴ τοῦ νεανίσκου, ὃν ἠγάπα αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς, καὶ
16 ἡ µήτηρ αὐτοῦ καὶ Σαλώµη, καὶ οὐκ ἀπεδέξατο αὐτὰςἸησοῦς.
17 Τὰ δὲ ἄvα τὰ ποvὰ ἁ ἐγραψας ψεύσµατα καὶ φαίνεται καὶ ἐστιν. Ἡ
18 µὲν οὖν ἀληθὴς καὶ κατὰ τὴν ἀληθῆ φιλοσοφίαν ἐξήγησις

I have underlined the terminal sigmas. (At least, I attempted to do so. Any errors in doing so are my own. There is a question mark at two points in the transcription due to my own uncertainty in aligning it with the manuscript.)

I also added diagonal lines of the same length and slope to line 13 as mentioned, tangent to the letter they may be accenting.

Based on how I see it, there are two things that indicate in favor of the γυµνοὶ transcription of the text:

(a) The shape of the letter, which is dissimilar to the shape of the terminal sigmas (or at least a very large majority of them).
(b) The quantity by which the accent would have to be considered to be shifted to the right if it were for the omicron.

IMO the evidence of the manuscript photo itself favors a higher probability of the accuracy of the γυµνοὶ transcription.

Of course, it's still possible that other considerations, other than the manuscript itself, may indicate in favor of a γυµνὸς transcription.
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Re: γυμνὸς or γυμνοὶ in Clement's Letter to Theodore?

Post by Peter Kirby »

IMO the shape of the letter looks more similar to the iotas.

Image
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