There are several arguments which point to this possibility: 1) the previous rendering of this line as “Let wicked people swell up […],” although not entirely impossible, would constitute an awkward and unparalleled cursing formula; 2) with the exception of all surviving words on this line are recoverable in the Gospel of Thomas, 41.1-3; 3) seems to be a misspelling which the copyist attempted to correct. This is relatively clear from the unusual shape of the first epsilon, which seems to derive from an iota:
The problem is that in this case the text is grammatically incorrect and such a mistake could have been done only by someone who does not have a proper knowledge of Coptic language. If we have the imperative , then we would not find there which marks the aorist of the third person masculine singular. The correct form of the sentence would be , “] let wicked man bring [forth] …” (the relative particle goes better with a definite noun, but Ariel Shisha-Halevy suggested us that this form is also acceptable).
Another more likely possibility is that the intention was to write “No wicked man brings [forth]” (perhaps ‘good deeds’), taking as a dialectal variant of the negative aorist Michael Grondin remarked in a comment to our post that precisely this form of the negative aorist is attested several times in the Gospel of Thomas (cf. 39.6; 39.13; 41.17; 46.21). To be sure, in the Gospel of Thomas 41.17, is employed exactly in this sense, that is, “no man.” Consequently, we believe now that the text was meant to say “no wicked man brings [forth] …,” but the result is still ungrammatical if we take to be a misspelling of
We now have a better picture of GosJesWife line 6, which takes over from the Coptic version of the Gospel of Thomas logia 45 & 47 not only a cluster of words, but also a dialectal feature.