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3820RE: [GTh] GTh 82 - Fire & Kingdom

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  • Michael Grondin
    Jun 1, 2001
      Rick wrote:
      >Mike; Thanks for helping shed a little light on the subtleties that exist
      >among the Coptic words for fire. I note, however, that we are each using a
      >different transliteration protocol for Coptic words. I'm certain that yours
      >is the correct scheme and I am also pretty sure that there is a website (or
      >some other document) that defines the protocol. For the benefit of all,
      >could you provide the link?

      For starters: http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/x_fonts.htm, which is a
      table I developed for my site. The table is probably rather confusing,
      since I was trying to do three things with it: (1) compare two different
      widely-available freeware Coptic fonts, both as to appearance and as to
      keyboard mapping of the characters, (2) display the numeric value of the
      Greek letters, which occasionally enters into textual analysis, and (3)
      show both a common Greek transliteration scheme (B-Greek) and the translit
      scheme that I used for my own work, prior to putting it online (and which
      still seems to me a pretty intuitive scheme, though it breaks the
      "one-for-one" and "single case" rules of standard schemes).

      As to the two words in question, I really had no good reason to change your
      'KW2T' to 'Kw2T' or your 'SATE' to 'SATe', other than that that's the way
      they're represented in my own scheme. Your representation conforms to the
      B-Greek and TLG protocols with respect to all the Greek letters, and I
      should have gone along with that, since any disagreements I might have with
      other Coptic translit schemes was irrelevant to the issues being discussed
      in the note.

      Translit protocols for the Greek alphabet are pretty well established, as
      you well know. (The English characters in the "TLG" ['Thesaurus Lingae
      Graecae'], for example, differ from B-Greek in only a single instance: 'C'
      for 'X' and vice versa.) But Coptic is a poor-cousin-come-lately to
      biblical scholarship, so the additional Coptic letters are typically
      handled as add-ons to the basic Greek scheme - with some pretty horrific
      results, if you ask me. Take for example the translit scheme developed for
      the electronic journal TC (Textual Criticism), as at
      http://rosetta.atla-certr.org/TC/TC-translit-main.html. The additional
      seven Coptic letters (six in Sahidic) are all represented by special
      characters, so that 'KW2T', which resembles the Coptic, comes out as
      'KW^T', which doesn't. It'd be a losing battle to insist on my own scheme,
      but I must say that my own transliteration of the Coptic letters looks a
      heck of a lot more like them, and conflicts with the standard all-caps
      Greek protocols in only one place (I used 'w' for omega, and 'W' for 'shai'
      (or 'shay'), the Coptic letter that looks like a 'W' with a long tail on
      it), so it's clearly possible to do much better for the Coptic letters than
      TC does. Unfortunately, as you know, trying to change a standard, once set,
      no matter how carelessly or by whom put together, requires the marshalling
      of a rather large army of angry scholars. Where're you gonna find that many
      that care enough about Coptic to oppose standards adopted by a
      Greek-oriented majority?

      If Mark Goodacre or Jeffrey Gibson are listening in, they may be able to
      provide the latest information about Greek/Coptic translit schemes. I'd
      like to know whether the SBL Style Manual has something in it, for example.
      In fact, you yourself have probably by now developed much more complete
      information than I've been able to present here. In any case, I'm
      personally pretty happy with any conscientious representation, as long as
      it's not too hard to figure out what word is being represented.

      Regards,
      Mike
      p.s. Any thoughts about embedding fonts in these messages? I believe our
      current group option is set to "Text only", not "HTML allowed".

      The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
      http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
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