Did A Forger Use My Interlinear?

I was slow to seriously consider the idea that a forger might have used my interlinear. It
seemed very unlikely when Andrew Bernhard (in his first online draft, dated Sept. 24th)
mentioned the possibility that someone might have used a modern tool like my interlinear.
Not only was there no evidence for that possibility at that time, but more importantly, the
Munro letter to Laukamp quoting Fecht that King mentioned in her draft article indicated
that the fragment was already in existence in the early 80's. So I shrugged off the idea of
a connection to my interlinear, and even did so again when, in a note to the GThomas
group dated Sept. 28th, Mark Goodacre presented two items of possible evidence: (1)
the missing direct-object marker 'M' in front of 'life' on GJW line 1, and (2) the spelling
'Mariam' on line 3. As to the latter item, I had spelled the name 'Mariam' in the English
translation under the Coptic, though other translations have 'Mary'. Someone copying from
CGT, however, would have spelled it 'Mariham'. This did tug at me a bit, but I thought that
possibly a forger might inadvertently have left out a letter. As to item 1 - which later turned
out to be major - none of us were aware at the time that there was in fact one version of my
interlinear (but not the one we were looking at) wherein that letter was missing.

To make sense of all this, one has to realize that my website has long contained two versions
of my interlinear. The first one (in terms of date of composition) was a page-by-page pdf file
intended to reflect the actual page structure of CGT. This version (hereafter 'the P-version')
was created in November, 2002, in preparation for the annual SBL meeting in Toronto, at
which I handed out five copies. Thereafter, I left that version as is and turned to the task of
creating an interactive, split-screen facility that would allow myself and other folks working
on either Coptic or Greek Thomas to easily view two items of their choice simultaneously.
Although it eventually came to include much more, the first and most basic set of items were
individual CGT sayings done up in the interlinear style. (I'll refer to these collectively as 'the
S-version'.) The S-version, like the P-version, followed the line-structure of the manuscript,
but over time has come to differ from the P-version as changes subsequent to November 2002
were made to the S-version only. It was that version that Mark and I consulted on Sept. 28th,
and therein the 'M' is in its proper place on line 50.01 - the CGT line that Andrew had linked to
GJW line 1. It was only after I read a first draft of Andrew's new paper that I looked at Mark's
Sept 28th GThomas note again, and this time thought to check the P-version of my interlinear
rather than the S-version. To my surprise, the 'M' wasn't there.

How could this have happened? Well, in the first place, my interlinear dates back to a Word
file that I created in 1997. In that file, line 50.01 is rendered properly. What must have
happened, then, is that, in the process of manually changing the original Word file to make
a pdf out of it, I inadvertently deleted the 'M' in question. This means, of course, that anyone
copying from the P-version of my interlinear could not have done so prior to mid-November
2002 (when a draft version was posted). Which in turn means that if this did happen, the
collector cannot have obtained the fragment in its current inscribed condition in 1997,
as he claims. Furthermore, the handwritten, undated, unsigned Munro/Fecht/Laukamp
note supposedly authenticating the fragment must be either a forgery or dated after 2002.

(By coincidence or otherwise, Munro, Fecht, and Laukamp are all now deceased, Munro
being the last to pass away, in Jan 2009. About six months later, King went to Harvard,
and about a year after that (about a year and a half after Munro's death), the anonymous
collector first contacted her.)

[Update of 30 April 2014]
Just yesterday, I became aware (via the writings of Andrew Bernhard) of a third possible
connection to my pdf file. According to Ariel Sabar in the Smithsonian.com of Sept 18,
2012, one of the items emailed to Karen King by the private collector in July 2010 was
"an unsigned translation" containing the words "Jesus said this to them: my wife ..."
[my emphasis]. As far as I know, my interlinear is the only translation that has the word
'this' for the Coptic word 'je' usually left untranslated in such a context. Furthermore, 'je'
doesn't appear in the fragment at that point! A photo of this "unsigned translation" needs
to be made public, and the collector needs to be asked when and from whom he got it.

- Michael W. Grondin, 14 Oct 2012, rev. 30 Apr 2014.