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10596Anthony Alcock on Greco-Coptic

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  • Mike Grondin
    Jun 12, 2013
      A couple days ago, Alin Suciu posted a piece by one Anthony Alcock on
      his (Alin's) blog. It's basically a translation of the Sahidic Coptic version
      of an apocryphal text titled Metastasis Iohannis. That work itself doesn't
      see to hold much interest or relevance, but it does seem to me that Alcott's
      introductory comments on Coptic and the use of Greek therein are worth
      perusing. Here's the blog entry:
      The linked pdf file (which is downloadable, of course) is here:
      Of particular interest to me was Alcott's statement that Syriac was like Coptic
      in its use of a certain amount (5-10%, he estimates) of identifiable pseudo-Greek.
      This factoid bears on my question of whether the controlled use of Greek within
      Coptic Thomas was something that could have been present in a hypothetical
      Syriac Thomas as well. Evidently, the answer is "Yes, it could have been".
      So while there are features of Coptic Thomas that are clearly redactional with
      respect to what we have of the Greek version(s), it isn't clear that any of them
      would be redactional with respect to a Syriac Thomas. Put in more colorful
      terms, the question in my mind has long been whether the Copts jimmied up
      a Greek version, or whether they got the jimmying from a Syriac version. (Not
      that I'm unaware of the consensus view that CGT derived from some Greek
      version, but let's just say that I'm under-convinced of lack of Syriac influence.)
      Mike Grondin