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Monday, September 2, 2013

What is the Coptic Language and Why is it Important?

"The Coptic language was spoken in Egypt in the centuries immediately following Jesus' earthly ministry, and the Sahidic dialect was an early literary form of the language. Regarding the earliest Coptic translations of the Bible, The Anchor Bible Dictionary says: 'Since the [Septuagint} and the [Christian Greek Scriptures] were being translated into Coptic during the 3rd century C.E., the Coptic version is based on [Greek manuscripts] which are significantly older than the vast majority of extant [still-existing] witnesses.'" - Nov. 1, 2008 Watchtower

[A significant fact concerning the Coptic language is that, unlike the Greek, it used an indefinite article ("a" or "an" in English).

So in NT Greek for example, the literal translation of John 1:6 is, "came to be man having been sent forth ...." But Bible translators always render 'man' here as 'a man.' This is because the Greek did not use any form of an indefinite article, and it had to be understood and supplied by the English translator.]

The Coptic, however, DID use a form of an indefinite article ('a' or 'an' in English).]

"Hence," says the WT article, "the Coptic translation supplies interesting evidence as to how John 1:1 would have been understood back then. What do we find? The Sahidic Coptic translation uses an indefinite article with the word 'god' in the final part of John 1:1 Thus, when rendered into modern English, the translation reads: 'And the Word was a god.'" - Nov. 1, 2008 Watchtower; page 25

Also see:

John 1:1 - Links to Information (Defend Jehovah's Witnesses)

Coptic - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

From a Biblical standpoint, why is Coptic extremely important and for what reasons? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

What is the Sahidic and when did it come into existence? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

The Importance of the Sahidic Coptic Version (copticjohn)

The Coptic Gospel of John 1:1-14 ("...and the Word was a God." According to the Coptic text in G. Horner, The Coptic Version of the New Testament in the Southern Dialect, vol. III (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1911-1924) pp.2-4.)

How does the Coptic text render John 1:1? (Search For Bible Truths; Video Included)

John 1:1 and the Coptic Versions (NWT and Coptic)

Coptic John 1:1 (Reasoning From Scripture)

Is there any connection between the Coptic canonical Gospels and the Coptic Gnostic "gospels"? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

How is John 10:33 translated in the coptic? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

The Sahidic Coptic of John 14:14 (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

How does the 2nd/3rd century Sahidic Coptic version translate Acts 20:28? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

How does the 2nd/3rd century Sahidic Coptic version translate 1 Tim. 3:16? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

"The Coptic text uses articles with the term 'holy spirit', proving conclusively that it was not regarded as a personal name by those early translators." (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

NWT and Coptic (NWT and Coptic)

Sahidic Coptic Insight on NT Verses (Sahidic Coptic Insight on NT Verses)

Bibliacoptica (Bibliacoptica)


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