Monday, April 21, 2008

Coptic John 3:31-36

The Father loves the Son

31.pentaFei ebol Hn tpe FHiJn ouon nim. petSoop ebol Hm pkaH ou ebol Hm pkaH pe auw eFSaJe ebol Hm pkaH. pentaFei de ebol Hn tpe***
The one who came from above/Heaven is above everyone. The one being from the earth is one from the earth, and he is speaking from the earth. But the one who came from above/Heaven,***

32.pentaFnau eroF auw aFsotmeF Frmntre mmoF auw mmn laau Ji nteFmntmntre
that which he saw and heard, about it he testifies, and no one receives his testimony.

33.pentaFJi de nteFmntmntre aFsfragize mmoF Je oume pe pnoute
But the one who received his testimony has affirmed/marked with his seal that God is true.

34.penta pnoute gar tnnoouF eFJw nnSaJe Je mpnoute nere pnoute gar T an mpepneuma Hn ouSi
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God, for God was not giving the spirit by measure/was not measuring out the spirit.

35.peiwt me mpShre auw aFT nka nim eHrai eteFCiJ
The Father loves the Son and gave everything into his hand.

36.petpisteue epShre ountaF mmau mpwnH Sa eneH pete nFpisteue**** de an epShre nFnanau an epwnH alla torgh mpnoute naCw eHrai eJwF
The one who actively believes in the Son has life forever, but the one who is not actively believing**** in the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God will remain upon him.

*** The Sahidic Coptic text omits the second instance of "is above everyone" found in some Greek texts here, but is absent from the early witnesses Sinaiticus, Bezae and p75 (Bodmer)

****The Greek text has "the one who is disobeying the Son," but the Greek word may also signify "refusing to believe." (Complete Biblical Library: Greek-English Lexicon, Alpha-Gamma; BDAG page 99)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Coptic John 3:16-21

Loving the light

16.tai gar te qe enta pnoute mere pkosmos. Hwste peFShre nouwt aFtaaF Jekaas ouon nim etpisteue eroF nneFHe ebol alla eFeJi nouwnH Sa eneH
"For God loved the world so much/in this manner that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who is actively believing in him might not perish, but receive life forever.

17.nta pnoute gar tnneu peFShre an epkosmos Je eFekrine mpkosmos. alla Jekaas erepkosmos ouJai ebol HitootF
"For God did not send his Son into the world that he should judge the world, but so that the world should be saved through him.

18.petpisteue eroF nsenakrine mmoF an. pete nFpisteue de an hdh aukrine mmoF Je mpFpisteue epran mpShre nouwt nte pnoute
"The one who actively believes in him will not be judged, but the one who does not actively believe is judged already, because he did not actively believe in the name of the only Son of God.

19.tai de te tekrisis Je apouoein ei epkosmos auw anrwme mere pkake eHoue pouoein. nere neuHbhue gar Hoou pe
"And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and the men loved the darkness more than the light because their works were wicked.

20.ouon gar nim etire nmpeqoou Fmoste mpouoein auw mefei Sa pouoein Jekaas enneuJpie neFHbhue Je seHoou
"For everyone who performs wickedness hates the light and does not come to the light, so that his works may not be convicted/reproached as wicked.

21.petire ntoF ntme SaFei Sa pouoin Jekaas ere neFHbhue ouwnH ebol Je ntaFaau Hm pnoute
"The one who performs instead the truth, comes toward the light, so that his works may be manifested/revealed, that he performed them in God."

Monday, March 31, 2008

Coptic Luke 10:29-37

"Who is my neighbor?"

29.ntoF de eFoueS tmaioF peJaF nihsous Je nim pe petHitouwi
But he, wishing to justify himself, said to Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?"

30.aihsous ouwSb peJaF naF Je. ourwme pentaFei ebol Hn qierosoluma eiericw. aFei etootou nHenma nsoone nai de aukaaF kaHhou auJFHensaS aubwk aukaaF eFo mpSmou.
Jesus replied, saying to him, "There was a man who went from Jerusalem to Jericho. He fell among a den of robbers, and these stripped him naked and inflicted blows, and went off leaving him half-dead.

31.Hn ouSsne de auouhhb ei epesht HiteHih etmmau aFnau eroF aFsaatF
And by coincidence, a priest coming down on that road saw him, but crossed over.

32.Homoiws on ouleueths ntereFei eJmpma etmmau aFnau eroF aFsaatF
Likewise also a Levite, when he came upon that place, saw him, but crossed over.

33.ausamariths de eFmooSe ei eJwF aFnau eroF aFSnHthF eHrai eJwF
But a Samaritan, travelling toward him, saw him and had pity upon/felt compassion for him.

34.aFTpeFouoi eroF aFmour nneFsaS aFpwHt nouneH eJwou nmouhrp aFtaloF eJn peFtbnh mmin mmoF aFntF eupantocion aFFipeFroouS
He approached him, bound up his wounds, and poured oil and wine upon them. He mounted him upon his own beast/donkey and brought him to an inn and took care of him.

35.mpeFraste de eFnhou ebol aFTFkhte mppantoceus peJaF naF Je. FipeFroouS auw petknaJoF ebol eroF. eiSanktoi TnataaF nak
And on the next day, he brought forth a double drachma and gave it to the inkeeper, and said to him, "Take care of him and what (more) you will expend on him, when I return I will give it to you."

36.nim mpeiSomnt nnaHrak pentaFr petHitouwF mpentaFei etootou nnsoone
Who of these three appears to you to have become the neighbor of the one who fell into the hands of the robbers?

37.ntoF de peJaF naF Je pentaFrpna nmmaF pe. peJe ihsous de naF Je bwk Hwwk ngeire Hinai
And he said to him, "The one who treated him mercifully." And Jesus said to him, "Go, and you yourself do likewise."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Coptic Luke 9:18-26

Who Do You Say He Is?

18.asSwpe de eFHnouma mauaaF eFSlhl ereneFmaqhths nmmaF. aFJnou eFJw mmos Je. eremmhhSe Jw mmos Je angnim
And it occurred while he is praying alone that his disciples were with him, and he questioned them, saying, "Who do the crowds say that I am?"

19.ntoou de auouwSb euJw mmos Je ereHoine men Jw mmos Je iwHannhs pbaptisths pe Henkooue de Je Hhleias pe Henkooue de Je ierhmias pe Henkooue de Je oua nneprofhths nnarcaios pentaFtwoun
And certain ones, having answered, replied, "John the Baptist; but others, Elijah, but others, Jeremiah, but still others, that one of the ancient prophets has risen."

20.peJaF de nau Je ntwtn etetnJw mmos Je angnim. apetros ouwSb peJaF Je. ntok pe pecristos mpnoute
And he said to them, "But you, who do you say that I am?" Peter answered in reply: "You are the Christ/the Anointed One of God."

21.ntoF de aFepitima naF aFparaggile Je mprJepai elaau
But he commanded and gave him strict orders to tell no one.

22.eFJw mmos Je Haps etrepShre mprwme SpHaH nHise nsetstoF ebol Hitn nepresbuteros nm narciereus mn negrammateus nsemooutF nFtwoun Hm pmeHSomnt nHoou
He said, "It is necessary that the Son of Man suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and arise on the third day."

23.neFJw de mmos ouon nim. Je petouwS eouaHF nswi mareFarna mmoF nFFi mpeFstauros mmhne nFouaHF nswi
And he said, "Anyone who wants to follow after me, let him disown/deny himself, and lift up his stauros (execution-stake) daily, and (continue to) follow after me.

24.petnaoueS teFyuch gar etanHos Fnasormes auw petnaswrm nteFyuch etbht FnatanHos
For the one who desires to save/keep alive his soul will lose/mislead it, and the one who will lose his soul for my sake will save it.

25.ereprwme gar naTHhou nou eFSanTHhou mpkosmos thrF. nFsormeF de HwwF hnFTose mmoF
For what will it profit the man if he should gain the whole world but lose himself?

26.petnaTSipe gar nai nmnaSaJe. pShre mprwme naTSipe mpai eFSanei Hm peFeoou nmpa peFiwt nmpa neFaggelos etouaab
For the one who will be ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of this one when he comes in his glory and that of his Father and that of his holy angels."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Coptic Mark 14:1-11 (and John 3:16)

No Greater Love

1.nereppasca de auw peHoou nnaqab. naSwpe mmnnsa Hoou snau auw narciereus mn negrammateus neukwte nsaqe nCopF Hn oukroF nsemooutF
But the Passover and the (festival) of Unleavened Bread was two days later, and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize him by deceit/ambush and kill him.

2.auJoos de Je Hm pSa an Je nneuStortr Swpe Hm plaos
But they said, "Not during the festival, so that there will not be a disturbance of the people."

3.auw ere ihsous Hn bhqania eFnhJ Hm phi nsimwn petsobH asei nCi ousHime ereoualabastron nsoCn ntoots nnardos eFsotp enaSesounts astaH talabastron de aspaHts eJn teFape
And Jesus was in Bethany, reclining (at a meal) in the house of Simon the leper. A woman came with an alabaster jar of ointment, choice nard, very expensive. She opened the alabaster jar and poured it upon his head.

4.aHoine de Cnat euJw mmos nneuerhu Je etbe ou peisoCn autakoF
But certain (ones) of them became furious, saying to each other: "Why has this ointment been destroyed/wasted?"

5.neueStaaF gar ebol HaHouo eSmtSe nsateere nsetaau nnHhke. auw neuCont eros
"For it could have been sold for more than three hundred staters and given to the poor." And they were furious at her.

6.ihsous de peJaF nau Je alwtn Haros etbe ou tetnoueHHise eros ouHwb enanouF pe ntasaaF nai
But Jesus said to them, "Leave her alone! Why do you make trouble for her? She performed a good deed for me.

7.nHhke gar nmmhtn ouoiS nim auw etetnSanr Hnhtn etetneS rpetnanouF nau ouoiS nim anok de neinaCw an nmmhtn ouoeiS nim
For the poor are always with you and whenever you want to, you can do good for them, always. But I will not always remain with you.

8.pentaFr atoots asaaF asrSorp eteHspaswma nsoCn epkoost
She did what she could do: she anointed my body beforehand for the burial.

9.Hamhn de TJw mmos nhtn Je pma etounataSeoiS mpeieuaggelion nHhtF Hm pkosmos thrF senaSaJe epentatai aaF eurpmeeue nas
But truly I say to you, wherever this Gospel/good news is proclaimed in all the world, what this one did will (also) be spoken of as a memorial of her."

10.auw ioudas piskariwths oua Hm pmntsnoous aFbwk eratou nnarciereus Je eFeparadidou mmoF nau
And Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests, that he might hand him over to them.

11.ntoou de nterouswtm auraSe auw auerht nHenHomnt etaau naF. auw aFkwte nsaoueukairia etbe qe ntaaF etootou
But when they heard (it), they rejoiced and promised to give him money. And he went about seeking a convenient time to hand him over to them.

Sahidic Coptic JOHN 3:16

16.tai gar te qe enta pnoute mere pkosmos. Hwste peFShre nouwt aFtaaF Jekaas ouon nim etpisteue eroF nneFHe ebol alla eFeJi nouwnH Sa eneH
For God loved the world so much/in this manner that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who is actively believing in him might not perish, but receive life forever.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Coptic Mark 5:38-42

From Grief to Amazement

38.auw auei eHrai ephei mparcisunagwgos aFnau eroou euStrtwr auw eurime euounro emate
And they came to the house of the synagogue leader, and he saw them being troubled/confused, weeping and wailing very much.

39.ntereFbwk de eHoun peJaF nau Je aHrwtn tetnStrtwr. auw tetnrime etSeere Shm mpsmou alla esnkotk
And when he went in he said to them, "Why are you in confusion, and weeping? The young girl did not die, but instead, she is sleeping."

40.auswbe nswF ntoF de ntereFnoJou ebol throu aFJipiwt ntSeere Shm mn tesmaau mn netnmmaF aFbwk eHoun epma eteretSeere Shm nHhtF
They laughed at him/mocked him. But, having put them all out, he took the father of the young girl and her mother and those with him, and he went into the place where the young girl was.

41.auw ntereFamaHte ntCiJ ntSeere Shm peJaF nas Je taleiqa koum. ete pai pe SauouaHmeF Je tSeere Shm eeiJero twoune
And when he grasped the hand of the young girl, he said to her, "Taleitha Koum," which means in translation, "young girl, I say to you, Arise!"

42.auw nteunou astwouns nCi tSeere Shm asmooSe nesHm mntsnoous gar rrompe auw aurSphre nteunou nounoC nSphre
And immediately the young girl rose up and walked about, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they became amazed with great amazement/wonder.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Coptic Mark 4:35-41

Even the wind and the sea obey him

35.auw peJaF nau Hm peHoou etmmau ntererouHe Swpe Je maron epikro
And he said to them on that day, when it had become evening, "Let us go to the (other) shore."

36.aukapmhhSe Ce autaloF epJoei nqe etFnHhts aHenkeeJhu sChr nmmaF
And having left the crowd, they took him aboard the boat as he was, and some other boats sailed with him.

37.auw aunoC nHathu Swpe anHoeim FwCe epJoei Hwste eomsF
And a great whirlwind occurred, the waves were leaping up into the boat, so that it was about to sink.

38.ntoF de neFHipaHou mpJoei eFnkotk HiJn ouSot auw auneHse mmoF euJw mmos naF. Je psaH ngo an pe rroouS Je tnnamou
But he was in the back of the boat, asleep upon a cushion. So they woke him up, saying to him: "Master! Have you no care that we may die?"

39.aFtwounF de aFepitima mpthu auw peJaF nteqalassa Je karw nteStmrw auw apthu HrhC aunoC nJamh Swpe
But he got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Be silent! Be quiet!" And the wind became still, and a great calm occurred.

40.auw peJaF nau Je aHrwtn tetno nCabHht mpatetnkapistis nhtn
Then he said to them, "Why were you fainthearted? Do you not yet have faith?"

41.auw aurHote Hn ounoC nHote euJw mmos nneuerhu Je ouaS mmine pe pai Je pkethu nmteqalassa swtm nswF
And they became afraid with great fear, saying to one another, "What sort of (person) is this One, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Coptic Mark 4:26-32

[According to Coptic tradition, the Evangelist and Gospel writer Mark was the founder of Egyptian Christianity. The New Testament also puts Egyptians in Jerusalem when the original Christian congregation began, at Pentecost. (Acts 2:8-11) In addition, the eloquent Alexandrian Christian orator and teacher, Apollos, is mentioned at Acts 18:24-28]

26.neFJw de mmos nau Je tai te qe ntmntrro mpnoute eso nqe nourwme eFSannouJe mpeFCroC eHrai epeFkaH
And he was saying to them, "So, too, is the Kingdom of God. It is like a man who would sow his seed upon the ground,

27.auw nFnkotk nFtwoun nteuSh mn peHoou SarepeCroC Touw nFrnoC enFsooun an
"and then he sleeps at night and gets up at day, while the seed sprouts and grows big, although he knows not how.

28.ntoF nqe pkaH SaFTouw eHraei mauaaF Sorp men noucortos mnnswF ouHms auw ousouo eFmeH Hm pHms
"The ground sprouts gradually by itself: first grass, then a spike-head, then the full grain in the spike-head.

29.erSanpkarpos de pwH nteunou SaFnpoHs Je apte mpwHs Swpe
"And whenever the fruit ripens, immediately he brings the sickle, because the season of the harvest has come."

30.auw neFJw mmos Je einatntn tmntrro mpnoute eou. hennakaas eHrai Hn aS mparabolh
And he was saying, "To what may we compare the Kingdom of God, or in what way may we set it out as a parable?

31.ennakaas nqe noublbile nSltm euSanJos eHrai epkaH essobk men eneCrwC throu etHiJmpkaH
"We may set it out like a mustard-seed, which, when planted in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds that are on the ground.

32.auw euSanJos Sasei eHrai nsJise enouoote throu nstauo ebol nHennoC nklados Hwste nseSouwH HatesHaeibes nCi nHalate ntpe
"And when it is planted, it comes up and becomes larger than all the vegetables, and it sends forth great branches, so that the birds of the heaven are able to reside under its shade."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Coptic Matthew 24:9-14

'Then comes the End'

9.tote senaparadidou mmwtn euqliyis. nsemouout mmwtn ntetnSwpe mmoste mmwtn ebol Hitn nHeqnos throu etbe paran
Then they will give you over to tribulation and will kill you, and you will become hated by all the nations because of my name.

10.tote senaskandalize nCi HaH. nseparadidou nneuerhu. nsemesteneuerhu
(And) then many will be brought to downfall and will give one another over/betray one another and will hate one another.

11.nsetwoun nCi HaH mprofhths nnouJ nseplana noumhhSe
And many false/lying prophets will arise and lead many astray.

12.Hm ptresaSai nCi tanomia snaaroS nCi tagaph nHaH
In the increase/multiplication of lawlessness, the love of the many/the majority will become cold.

13.petnaHupomeine de Sabol pai petnaouJai
But the one who will endure to the end, this is the one who will be saved.

14.nsetaSeoeiS mpeieuaggelion ntmntrro Hrai Hn toikoumenh thrs. eumntmntre nnHeqnos throu tote snhu nCi qah
And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached/proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth as a witness/testimony to all the nations. Then the End is about to come.

Next: Readings from the Sahidic Coptic Canonical Gospel of Mark

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Coptic Matthew 24:1-8

Sign of the End of the Age

1.ihsous de aFei ebol Hm prpe aFbwk. auTpeuouoi eroF nCi neFmaqhths etouoF epkwt mprpe
But Jesus, having departed from the temple, was proceeding (onward). And his disciples advanced toward him, to show him the ediface of the temple.

2.ntoF de aFouwSb eFJw mmos nau Je tetnnau enai throu. Hamhn TJw mmos nhtn. Je nneukaouwne HiJn ouwne mpeima mpoubolF ebol
But he said in response to them: "Do you see all these things? Truly I tell you, there will not be left behind a stone upon a stone in this place and not be ruined. "

3.eFHmoos de HiJm ptoou nnJoeit. auTpeuouoi eroF nCi mmaqhths nsaousa euJw mmos Je aJis eron Je erenai naSwpe tnau auw ou pe pmaein ntekparHousia mn tsunteleia mpaiwn.
But while he was sitting upon the mountain of the olive trees, the disciples came up to him privately, saying, "Tell us, When will these things happen? And what is the sign of your presence/arrival and the completion of the age/world order?"

4.aFouwSb nCi ihsous peJaF nau. Je CwSt mhpote nteoua plana mmwtn
Jesus answered in response: "Watch out that no one misleads you.

5.ounHaH gar nhu Hm paran euJw mmos Je anok pe pecristos. nseplana nHaH
"For there are many coming in my name, saying 'I am the Christ' and they (will) mislead many.

6.tetnnaswtm de eHenpolemos mn HenHroou mpolemos CwSt mprStortr Haps gar etreuSwpe alla mpateqah ei
"But you will hear of wars and reports of wars. Watch out that (you) are not disturbed. For it is necessary that they occur, but the end comes not yet.

7.ounouHeqnos gar natwoun eJn ouHeqnos. auw oumntrro eJn oumntrro. nseSwpe nCi HenHebwwn mn Henkmto katama
"For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will come to be bad seasons/famines and earthquakes in various places.

8.nai de throu tarch nnnaake ne
"But all these things are the beginning of the agonies/labor pains."

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Coptic Matthew 13:18-23

Hearing the Word and bearing Kingdom fruit

18.ntwtn de swtm etparabolh mpetJo
You, therefore, hear the parable of the one who planted.

19.ouon nim etswtm epSaJe ntmntrro enFnoi mmoF an SaFei nCi pponhros nFtwrp mpentauJoF Hrai Hm peFHht. pai pentauJoF HatnteHih
Anyone who hears the word of the Kingdom but does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away that which was planted in his heart. This is the one planted along the road.

20.pentauJoF de eJn mma mpetra. pai petswtm epSaJe etJi mmoF nteunou Hn ouraSe
But the one planted upon the rocky places, this is the one who hears the Word and immediately receives it with joy. noune de Soop Hrai nHhtF alla ouprosouoeiS pe erSanouqliyis de Swpe houdiwgmos etbe pSaJe nteunou SaFskandalize
Yet he has no root in himself, but is transitory, and when distress or persecution occurs because of the Word, immediately he is brought to a downfall.

22.pentauJoF de eJn nSonte. pai petswtm epSaJe. ereproouS mpeiaiwn mn tapath ntmntrmmao wCt mpSaJe eFSwpe aJnkarpos
The one planted among the thornbushes, this is the one who hears the Word, but anxiety for this world-order and the deceitfulness of wealth strangle the Word and it becomes unfruitful.

23.pentauJoF de eJm pkaH etnanouF pai petswtm epSaJe etnoi mmoF eFTkarpos oua men eFeire nSe ket de nse keoua de mmaab
But the one planted on the good ground, this is the one who hears the Word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces, one a hundred(fold), another sixty, and another thirty.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Coptic Matthew 11:25-30

Finding Refreshment in Jesus

Matthew 11:25-30, Sahidic Coptic and my English translation

25. HmpeuoeiS etmmau aFouwSb nCi ihsous eFJw mmos Je Texomologei nak paeiwt pJoeis ntpe mn pkaH.Je nai akHopou ensofos mn nsabeeu akColpou de ebol nnShre Shm
At that time Jesus answered, saying, "I praise you, my Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because you hid these things from the wise and learned, and you revealed them to the children.

26. aHe paeiwt Je ntasranak nteiHe mpekmto ebol
Yes, my Father, because in this way it became pleasing in your presence.

27. auT nai mpthrF ebol HitootF mpaeiwt auw mn laau sooun mpShre ei mhti peiwt oude mn laau sooun mpeiwt eimhti pShre mn peterepShre naouwS eouwS euwnH naF ebol
All was given to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, neither does anyone know the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son is willing to reveal Him.

28. amhitn Saroi ouon nim etHose auw etotp. auw anok TnaTmton nhtn
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened down, and I will set you at ease/give you rest.

29. Fi mpanaHb eHrai eJn thutn. ntetn eime ebol nHht Je angourmraS auw Tqbbihu Hm paHht. taretetnHe eumton nneyuch
Take my yoke upon you, and understand/know from me, for I am mild and humble in heart, and you will find ease/rest in (your) souls.

30. panaHb gar naHlwCF auw saswou nCi taetpw.
For my yoke is pleasant/sweet and my burden is light."

Friday, February 29, 2008

Coptic Matthew 7:21-27

What Does It Mean to Call Jesus "Lord"? Proofs of Discipleship

Matthew 7:21-27,Sahidic Coptic and my English translation

21.ouon nim an etJw mmos nai Je pJoeis pJoeis petnabwk eHoun etmntrro nmphue. alla peteire pe mpouwS mpaeiwt etHn mphue
Not everyone who calls me "Lord! Lord!" will go into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one who is working the will of my Father who is in the heavens.

22.ounHaH gar naJoos nai Hm peHoou etmmau Je pJoeis pJoeis mh Hrai an Hm pekran anprofhteue. auw Hrai Hm pekran anneJdaimwnion ebol. mh Hrai an Hm pekran anrHaH nCom
For there are many who will tell me on that Day, "Lord! Lord, was it not in your name that we prophesied, and in your name cast out demons? Was it not in your name that we performed wondrous acts?"

23.auw tote TnaHomologei nau Je mpeisounthutn eneH. saHethutn ebol mmoi netrHwb etanomia
And then I will confess to them, "I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of lawlessness!"

24.ouon Ce nim etswtm enaSaJe etenai ne eFeire mmoou. eFnaeine nourwme nsabe. pai ntaFkwt mpeFhi eHrai eJn tpetra
Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and is performing them will resemble a wise man that built his house upon the (solid) rock.

25.aFei epesht nCi pHwou auei nCi neierwou auneiFe nCi nthu auHioue eHoun Hm phi etmmau auw mpeFHe Je neFtaJrhu gar eHrai eJn tpetra
The rain came down, the (flood) rivers came , the winds blew (and) they beat against that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded upon the (solid) rock.

26.auw ouon nim etswtm enaSaJe etenai ne nFeire mmoou an. eFnaeine nourwme nsoC. pai ntaFkwt mpeFhi HiJm pSw
And everyone who hears these words of mine and is not performing them will resemble a stupid man that built his house upon the sand.

27.aFei epesht nCi pHwou auei nCi neierwou auneiFe nCi nthu auHioue eHoun Hm phi etmmau aFHe auw peFHe neFo nounoC
The rain came down, the (flood) rivers came, the winds blew (and) they beat against that house. It fell, and its fall was great.

Monday, February 25, 2008

What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?

“What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What concord is there between the Academy and the Church? What between heretics and Christians? Our instruction comes from ‘the porch of Solomon.’....Away with all attempts to produce a mottled Christianity of Stoic, Platonic, and dialectic composition!....With our faith, we desire no further belief.” So Tertullian in De Praescriptione Haereticorum. (Ante-Nicene Fathers, volume 3, p. 246)

Apparently for Tertullian, syncretism was synonymous with sin. Jerusalem had its divine revelation; Athens represented the blander fruit of human endeavor. Tertullian was expounding on Colossians 2:8, 9, in which the Pauline writer employs the Greek term philosophia, “philosophy” for the first and only time in the New Testament, and that pejoratively. He connects the word to "empty deception." (Coptic, tefilosofia mn tapath etSoueit). He argues that the fullness of divinity rests bodily in Christ alone. (Coptic, Je ere pJwk thrF ntmntnoute ouhH nHhtF swmatikws). Those who believe in another All or Pleroma have been "kidnapped, carried away as spoil" (Coptic, Swl) by false teachers.

Some scholars feel that the whole thrust of Colossians is to combat one or another form of gnosticism. Certainly that was Tertullian's concern since he specifically mentions "the the system of Valentinus, who was of Plato's school" and "Marcion's better god." (ibid.)

For moderns, however, that struggle has lost its urgency. "Jerusalem" today is the mirror image of "Athens." It's basically "game over," and philosophy won out in Western thought. The fruit of human endeavor has trumped claims of divine revelation.

I find it of more interest that the orthodox aversion to gnosticism apparently found its way into the Sahidic Coptic version of the New Testament. At Colossians 2:8, they make it plain that true salvific work is only through pecristos ihsous , i.e., Christ Jesus, whereas the best Greek texts only say "Christ." There must be no division, in the mind of these translators, between Christ and Jesus.

An even more obvious example is found in the Sahidic Coptic version of 2 Corinthians 4:4. This translation unabashedly follows the exegesis of Irenaeus against Marcion.
Among other things that conflicted with orthodox belief, Marcion taught the gnostic idea that the Creator God of the "Old Testament" was a separate, inferior God to the God of the "New Testament," and that this inferior God was the one responsible for all the evils of the world.

Irenaeus and other leaders of the church fiercely combated this view of two Gods, so much so that Irenaeus did not accept that the "God of this world" mentioned at 2 Corinthians 4:4 could be other than God himself. In Against Heresies book 3, chapter 7, he writes: "The true contained in the expression, "God has blinded the minds of the unbelievers of this world."....For Paul does not say, "the God of this world," as if recognizing any other beyond Him; but he confessed God as indeed God. And he says, "the unbelievers of this world," because they shall not inherit the future age of incorruption. I shall show from Paul himself, how it is that God has blinded the minds of those that believe not."

This rendering by Irenaeus of 2 Corinthians 4:4 does not follow the plain sense of the Greek, which indeed says "the God of this world," but evidently referring to the devil. (Jesus called the devil the "ruler of this world," Coptic parcwn mpeikosmos at John 12:31.) However, the Syriac Peshitta according to George Lamsa’s Holy Bible from the Ancient Eastern Text reads similarly: "To those in this world whose minds have been blinded by God, because they did not believe, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the likeness of God, should shine on them."

Likewise, the Sahidic Coptic text of 2 Corinthians 4:4 says: "In these, God has closed the minds of the unbelievers of this world, so that they might not see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." (Coptic, Hn nai pnoute aFtwm nnHht nnapistos mpeeiaiwn Je nneunau epouoein mpeuaggelion mpeoou mpecristos ete pai pe qikwn mpnoute)

It appears that the Coptic translators wished to translate this verse of Scripture as far away from gnostic teaching as possible.

Today, however, "Athens," philosophy, and even gnosticism permeate Western thought in many ways.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

"Jesus said to his disciples," continuing

Jesus Sayings from the Canonical Gospel of Matthew

Chapter 5

Verse 8

naiatou nnetouaab Hm peuHht Je ntoou netnanau epnoute
Divinely favored are those pure [innocent, holy] in heart, because they will behold God.

Verse 9

naiatou nnreFreirhnh Je ntoou netounamoute eroou Je nShre mpnoute
Divinely favored are the makers of peace, because they will be called sons of God.

Verse 10

naiatou nntaupwt nswou etbe tdikaiosunh Je twou te tmntrro nmphue
Divinely favored are those who have been persued (in persecution) on account of righteousness, because theirs is Heaven's kingdom.

Verse 11

naiatthutn euSanneCneCthutn. nsepwt nswtn. nseJeHwb nim eqoou eHoun erwtn euJiCol erwtn etbhht
Divinely favored are you whenever they mock you and pursue you (in persecution), and speak every (sort of) lying evil against you because of me.

Verse 12

raSe ntetn telhl Je petnbeke naSwF Hrai Hn mphue. tai gar te qe ntaupwt nsaneprofhths etHatetnHh
Rejoice, rejoice (greatly), because your wage is great in the heavens. For in this way they pursued (in persecution) the prophets who were before you.

Verse 13

ntwtn pe peHmou mpkaH erSanpeHmou de baabe eunamolHF nou. meFrSau nlaau nsanoJF ebol nseHomF Hitn nerwme
You are the salt of the earth. If the salt should become insipid, how will it be made salty? It is not useful for anything except for throwing outside, to be trampled on by people.

Verse 14

ntwtn pe pouoein mpkosmos. mn SCom noupolis eHwp eskh eHrai HiJn outoou
You are the world's light. It is impossible for a city lying upon a mountain to be hidden.

Verse 15

oude meuJereouHhbs nsekaaF HaouSi. alla nSaukaaF HiJn tlucnia nFrouoein enetSoop throu Hm phi
Nor is it customary to kindle a lamp and set it under a measure(-basket), but they set it upon the lampstand and it gives light to all those in the house.

Verse 16

tai te qe mareFrouoein nCi petnouoen mpemto ebol nnerwme Jekaas euenau enetnHbhue etnanouou nseTeoou mpetneiwt etHn mphue
In this manner, let your light shine (openly) in the presence of people, so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in the heavens.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Jesus said to his disciples..."

Many people are familiar with apocryphal Coptic gospels that begin this way. However, this blog contains sayings from the Canonical Gospels about the Lord Jesus Christ, as found in the Holy Bible, i.e., Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The purpose is to highlight the wisdom found in the Sahidic Coptic version (2nd/3rd centuries) of the Canonical Gospels, often overshadowed by the current popularity of possibly Gnostic works like the gospels of Thomas, Philip, or Judas.

A secondary purpose is to enhance my continuing study of the Egyptian language (in its Sahidic Coptic form), by means of practical translating exercises.

The Coptic verses below are generally conformable to those found in the Sahidic Coptic New Testament, J. Warren Wells, editor, 2006. The English translations are mine.

The translations are not overly literal, but attempt to bring out, succinctly, the flavor of the Coptic. For example, the Sahidic word that translates the Greek makarios, "fortunate or happy; blessed or favored," derives from the Coptic word for "eye," eia, signifying divine favor in this context.

Jesus Sayings from the Canonical Gospel of Matthew

Chapter 5

Verse 3
naiatou nnHhke Hm pepneuma Je twou te tmntrro nmphue
Divinely favored are the poor for the Spirit, because theirs is Heaven's kingdom.

Verse 4
naiatou nnetrHhbe Je ntoou netounaspswpou
Divinely favored are the mourners, because they will be comforted.

Verse 5
naiatou nnrmraS Je ntoou netnaklhronomei mpkaH
Divinely favored are the mild (and) gentle, because they will inherit the earth.

Verse 6
naiatou nnetHkaeit etobe ntdikaiosunh Je ntoou netnasei
Divinely favored are those hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be satisfied.

Verse 7
naiatou nnnaht Je ntoou netounana nau
Divinely favored are the compassionate, because they will be treated with compassion.

This is just a beginning...

Constuctive comments are welcome: