Author Topic: John 1:1 in Sahidic Coptic  (Read 322 times)

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Offline Luke

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John 1:1 in Sahidic Coptic
« on: January 07, 2020, 08:53:32 PM »
I read an argument by an Arian that John 1:1 in Sahidic Coptic  uses an indefinite article, "The word was a god."
I know absolutely zip Coptic, so if anyone knows Coptic,, how would you reply?

Offline MalpanaGiwargis

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Re: John 1:1 in Sahidic Coptic
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2020, 09:25:42 PM »
I read an argument by an Arian that John 1:1 in Sahidic Coptic  uses an indefinite article, "The word was a god."
I know absolutely zip Coptic, so if anyone knows Coptic,, how would you reply?

It's true: The word in question is the third from the end of verse 1. It could mean the Word was "a god" or simply that the Word was "divine"—this is often how Sahidic forms adjectives, of which the language has remarkably few. Coptic has a definite article, an indefinite article, and zero-article. When translating Greek words without a definite article, as in John 1:1, the Coptic translator has to make a choice between indefinite and zero-article, and this can introduce nuances perhaps not intended. I have often wondered how an ancient Sahidic-speaking Copt with no knowledge of the Greek text or Christian doctrine would have understood this verse.
Woe is me, that I have read the commandments,
   and have become learned in the Scriptures,
and have been instructed in Your glories,
   and yet I have become occupied in shameful things!

(Giwargis Warda, On Compunction of Soul)

Offline WPM

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Re: John 1:1 in Sahidic Coptic
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2020, 01:37:58 PM »
~ Sayings of the Desert Fathers. ~
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Offline juliogb

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Re: John 1:1 in Sahidic Coptic
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2020, 07:21:40 AM »
I remember seeing a similar thread about Sahidic John 1:1, I remember that there was something about partitive articles and some features of coptic language that makes it difficult to translate it properly to english.