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Author Topic: What Bible Translation is Used in Coptic Orthodox Church Services?  (Read 2374 times) Average Rating: 0
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Severian
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« on: August 25, 2012, 08:39:17 PM »

I have already posted this on another forum where I got some good results. But, I am putting here to get a second opinion.

Is there any particular English Bible translation used in the services of the Coptic Orthodox Church? I ask because I had planned on memorizing some passages of Scripture and I wanted it to be in conformity to the translations we used at Church.

Jonathan gave a really good answer:

The translation originally approved to read in Coptic Churches is the KJV. Many still use that, but some have switched to the NKJV. I think that eventually gained approval as well, but I'm not sure. It is more understandable to youth who aren't familiar with the older English, but it does have some inferior translation choices, so it's a trade-off. You should be able to tell which of these your Church uses by how old fashioned it sounds.

The KJV and its descendants uses the MT for the OT, which is not right in an Orthodox Church. We follow the LXX (of which the Coptic Bible is a translation, and in fact in many ways more accurate than the versions of the LXX available today).

Many Churches use Brenton's translation of the LXX for the OT prophecies, and many translate the Psalms from Coptic. Brenton's translation is quite poor, but a much more accurate OT than KJV.


Here is an Agpeya translated from the Coptic (even the Gospels):
http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/index.php/component/preachit/sermon/the-agpeya?Itemid=

It is far more accurate than pretty much anything else available. But the literary quality is not great at this point.

You would have to check your Church books to see what translations are being used in them.

I personally would memorize from KJV for NT. I would check Brenton, NETS, and KJV for OT passages, and memorize from KJV if not substantially different, Brenton otherwise. For Psalms, I would compare Brenton to the Coptic translation, and memorize from KJV or Brenton if not substantially different from the Coptic. I would not just memorize from the KJV OT without checking first, as it may be quite different in Christological passages

(The MT is the Hebrew, so the KJV translators thought it was the obvious choice to translate from rather than the later LXX translation of the Hebrew. But it is not the original Hebrew. It is a late version of the Hebrew that has Christological references "sanitized" by the Jewish Community that use it, while the LXX was the Bible of the Christian Church, which should be used by Christians, with understanding that it is a translation with limitations).


I was just wondering if anyone else had something to say on the topic.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2012, 08:50:34 PM by Severian » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2012, 09:10:53 PM »

I would suggest the Holy Transfiguration Monastery translation of the Psalms from the LXX as being accurate and similar to the KJV style of wording: http://orthodox.seasidehosting.st/seaside/psalm

You can purchase it here: http://www.bostonmonks.com/product_info.php/products_id/888

Quote
Psalm 22

The Lord is my shepherd, and I shall not want. In a place of green pasture, there hath He made me to dwell; beside the water of rest hath He nurtured me. He hath converted my soul, He hath led me on the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they have comforted me. Thou hast prepared a table for me in the presence of them that afflict me. Thou hast anointed my head with oil, and Thy cup which filleth me, how excellent it is! And Thy mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord unto length of days.

You could compare it with the Agpeya translation and it would be easier since they are both the LXX, rather than the KJV Hebrew.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 09:13:49 PM by zekarja » Logged

HabteSelassie
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2012, 10:05:25 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

My Agpeya uses the Coptic original translations for the Psalter (which I feel are one of the best English translations I ever used for such), but for all the Readings it uses the New King James Version like the Orthodox Study Bible.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 11:37:47 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

My Agpeya uses the Coptic original translations for the Psalter (which I feel are one of the best English translations I ever used for such), but for all the Readings it uses the New King James Version like the Orthodox Study Bible.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

That is very interesting. Could you tell me which church produces that Agpeya? I wasn't aware of one translated from the Coptic except from Kitchener.
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Jonathan
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 11:39:53 AM »

I would suggest the Holy Transfiguration Monastery translation of the Psalms from the LXX as being accurate and similar to the KJV style of wording: http://orthodox.seasidehosting.st/seaside/psalm

You can purchase it here: http://www.bostonmonks.com/product_info.php/products_id/888

Quote
Psalm 22

The Lord is my shepherd, and I shall not want. In a place of green pasture, there hath He made me to dwell; beside the water of rest hath He nurtured me. He hath converted my soul, He hath led me on the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they have comforted me. Thou hast prepared a table for me in the presence of them that afflict me. Thou hast anointed my head with oil, and Thy cup which filleth me, how excellent it is! And Thy mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord unto length of days.

You could compare it with the Agpeya translation and it would be easier since they are both the LXX, rather than the KJV Hebrew.

Thank you for this, I will see if I can find someone to take a look at it. The purchase link you provided is broken though, is there another?
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zekarja
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2012, 11:47:11 AM »

I would suggest the Holy Transfiguration Monastery translation of the Psalms from the LXX as being accurate and similar to the KJV style of wording: http://orthodox.seasidehosting.st/seaside/psalm

You can purchase it here: http://www.bostonmonks.com/product_info.php/products_id/888

Quote
Psalm 22

The Lord is my shepherd, and I shall not want. In a place of green pasture, there hath He made me to dwell; beside the water of rest hath He nurtured me. He hath converted my soul, He hath led me on the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they have comforted me. Thou hast prepared a table for me in the presence of them that afflict me. Thou hast anointed my head with oil, and Thy cup which filleth me, how excellent it is! And Thy mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord unto length of days.

You could compare it with the Agpeya translation and it would be easier since they are both the LXX, rather than the KJV Hebrew.

Thank you for this, I will see if I can find someone to take a look at it. The purchase link you provided is broken though, is there another?

Here is another link: http://www.easternchristiansupply.biz/-#supplies/c98/c118/41927
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2012, 12:24:07 PM »

I would suggest the Holy Transfiguration Monastery translation of the Psalms from the LXX as being accurate and similar to the KJV style of wording: http://orthodox.seasidehosting.st/seaside/psalm

You can purchase it here: http://www.bostonmonks.com/product_info.php/products_id/888

Quote
Psalm 22

The Lord is my shepherd, and I shall not want. In a place of green pasture, there hath He made me to dwell; beside the water of rest hath He nurtured me. He hath converted my soul, He hath led me on the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they have comforted me. Thou hast prepared a table for me in the presence of them that afflict me. Thou hast anointed my head with oil, and Thy cup which filleth me, how excellent it is! And Thy mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord unto length of days.

You could compare it with the Agpeya translation and it would be easier since they are both the LXX, rather than the KJV Hebrew.

The LXX has 'The Lord shepherds me', not 'The Lord is my shepherd.' At least that's what my Rahlfs LXX says. So even the HTM version isn't perfect.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 12:24:31 PM by Cyrillic » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2012, 12:41:52 PM »

In Egypt, I am not sure if there would ever be readings in English, but Coptic book stores would typically have NKJV, sometimes also NIV.
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Jonathan
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2012, 01:05:34 PM »

In Egypt, I am not sure if there would ever be readings in English, but Coptic book stores would typically have NKJV, sometimes also NIV.

NIV is most assuredly not approved to be read in the Liturgy, though sadly it is often used in some priests' publications, and sold in book stores. What we should memorize though is the translation that we pray with in Church, regardless of what they chose to sell in the basement...
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