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Re: The Man Sayings

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  • mgrondin@tir.com
    ... I have several Coptic grammar books - no need to unearth them - but they only talk about the normal, qualified use ( the X which... ) and the titular use.
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 8, 2001
      --- Christian Jensen wrote:
      > Mike,
      > I am convinced that the Coptic had no firm grammatical rules for
      > the def art. It definitely isn't the same as English grammar. For
      > awhile, I thought it was something like, "this and no other", but
      > that won't fit all uses. The Greek as you know, uses prefixes and
      > suffixes for syntax. The def art is used for emphasis. "The son
      > of man" becomes "son the man". I think that it is up to the
      > context to give the def art meaning in a sentence. Unless you
      > can unearth some Coptic grammar book, that is all I can come up
      > with.

      I have several Coptic grammar books - no need to unearth them - but
      they only talk about the normal, qualified use ("the X which...")
      and the titular use. The other usage ("emphasis" as you put it -
      which seems to correlate with the capitalization function I was
      talking about) seems to be the province of more advanced study.
      Maybe Sytze can help out here.

      > Another thought. Maybe the usage in the Coptic is an anomaly that
      > shows up as part of the translation from an assumed Greek text of
      > the GoT.

      But the same usage of the def article shows up in Greek ('the god',
      'the christ', etc.)

      Now here's another case: "He who knows the mother and the father
      will be called 'son of harlotry'." What's the best translation
      here? If one goes with "He who knows Mother and Father ...", then
      you get tangled up in the English deviant usage where 'Mother' is
      sometimes used to refer to MY mother, even when speaking to a
      third party. In fact, I recall seeing at least one translation
      that rendered it "He who knows his mother and his father...",
      which turns the saying away from a heavenly "mother" and "father",
      and directs it toward another interpretation entirely.

      Considering the harlot saying, and also the use of 'the father' in
      the phrase 'the kingdom of the father', it seems best to capitalize
      the noun, but leave the definite article in. Even though the def
      article has "done its job" of emphasizing (via capitalization) the
      noun, it still seems needed, becuz our sensibilities are not such
      that we regard 'Father' as being on a grammatical par with 'God'.
      In other words, we'd get confused.

      Mike
    • Rick Hubbard
      It seems to me that Chris is on to something here. While I certainly don t wish to represent myself as an authority on this matter, it might be useful to
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 13, 2001
        It seems to me that Chris is on to something here. While I certainly don't
        wish to represent myself as an authority on this matter, it might be useful
        to recall that the Coptic language was an adaptation of Hellenistic Greek to
        an Egyptian predecessor. One wonders if the authors/editors/compilers of
        GThom had any sense of the subtleties of whether or not the definite article
        was present in some of the phrases they adopted.

        Nevertheless, it is a rather fascinating phenomenon that Mike has called to
        our attention and could be worth discussing at greater length.

        Rick Hubbard
        Humble Maine Woodsman

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Christian G Jensen [mailto:cgj@...]
        Sent: Monday, February 05, 2001 12:35 AM
        To: gthomas@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [gthom] Re: [gthomas] The Man Sayings


        Mike,
        I am convinced that the Coptic had no firm grammatical rules for the def
        art. It definitely isn't the same as English grammar. For awhile, I thought
        it was something like, "this and no other", but that won't fit all uses. The
        Greek as you know, uses prefixes and suffixes for syntax. The def art is
        used for emphasis. "The son of man" becomes "son the man". I think that it
        is up to the context to give the def art meaning in a sentence. Unless you
        can unearth some Coptic grammar book, that is all I can come up with.

        Another thought. Maybe the usage in the Coptic is an anomaly that shows up
        as part of the translation from an assumed Greek text of the GoT.

        Regards,
        Chris


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