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23 - The translation of the Bible into Coptic

from Part IV - Biblical versions other than the Hebrew and the Greek

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2013

James Carleton Paget
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Joachim Schaper
Affiliation:
University of Aberdeen
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Summary

The desire to translate biblical texts from Greek and to record them in the native language of the majority of the populace is supposed to have played an important part in the creation of literary standards of the Coptic language. The most puzzling aspect of the Coptic translation of biblical texts is probably the diversity of the literary dialects used. Most scholarly chapters on Coptic Bible versions in the last few decades were authored by scholars whose primary interest is not the history of Coptic literature but the textual criticism of the Old and New Testaments. The one Coptic version of biblical texts for which continuous usage throughout the classical period can safely be asserted is the Sahidic version. The history of the principal Fayyumic version appears to parallel that of the Sahidic version in that it may have remained constant over a long period.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2013

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