7126[GTh] Re: Introductory Coptic Grammars
- Apr 5 2:31 PM--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
>coming from a
> Thanks for saying so, Gerry. It means a lot to me, especially
> person who knows Coptic as well as you evidently do.Oh, I'm hardly an expert, Mike. My lifelong, geeky fascination with
languages has led me to dabble in the study of a number of them, but
I've only gained some degree of proficiency in a few (all modern).
While I've been trying for years to acquire the materials necessary
to make it possible for me to teach myself Coptic, it is only in
recent months that I finally have what I consider to be adequate
resources. Now, I simply need the time required to devote to that
endeavor. Unfortunately, thanks to work and other demands in my
personal life, spare time is something that has been quite scarce for
me, so my mission will undoubtedly continue to be a slow process,
just as my involvement with Internet groups seems to have become
relegated to a few moments on my day off.
> What I'm wondering is whether he covers 77.1. As you know, there'san
> unreferenced third person plural there, but it's not a passiveconstruction.
> (I have it as "I am the light - the one which is upon all ofthem.") This
> would make sense if it was, say, appended to the saying about the 24doesn't make
> prophets, since they would be the "them", but as it stands it
> much sense to me. (If what was intended was "I am the light whichis over
> everything", why not use P-THRef as it's used immediatelyfollowing?.) What
> do you and/or Eccles make of it?Sorry to say that Eccles does not cover that saying. I'm not sure
> Mike Grondin
how Marvin Meyer's translation is received here, but my acquaintance
with his book on the Gospel of Thomas goes waaaay back, and I
occasionally still find myself resonating with his renderings in
instances where others leave me cold. Here's that entire passage:
77. Jesus said, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all:
from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of
wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."
I would have to say that it makes more sense to me as it stands in
the Coptic. How exactly Meyer viewed the technical particulars for
his rendering is something that I could not answer. I know that
Lambdin says that "THR" must take a resumptive suffix, and it does
indeed match the same pronoun in the preceding clause (eT-2Ijw-OY),
so maybe the question would be better focused on finding a referent
for that previous instance of "OY." I am inclined to wonder if
something like a prospective referential function (rather than a
retrospective one) could be applicable here. This would appear to be
consistent with the remainder of that passage, as well as with
As for "P-THRef," it seems to me that the connotation of "the All"
would be lost if this phrase were also used for the first occurrence
of "THR." For instance, if we were to have Jesus saying that he was
the Light OVER the All, before saying that he WAS the All, then we
either diminish the concept of "the All" or we leave ourselves with
another contradiction. On a more technical basis, unless additional
changes were made to the first part of 77.1, the expression "P-THRef"
carries a definite article and a masculine singular suffix that would
need to be reconciled somehow with the rest of that sentence. I
don't see a way to accomplish that without altering the content to
the point that it becomes unnecessarily redundant.
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