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Re: [GTh] Progression of translations of saying 70

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... Unfortunately, the word that Schoedel translates as him in the phrase When you beget in yourselves HIM ... is a demonstrative pronoun - namely, PH
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 23, 2005
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      Andrew writes:
      > [Schoedel's translation] renders saying 70 as 'Jesus said: 'When you beget
      > in yourselves him whom you have, he will save you. If you do not have him
      > within yourselves, he whom you do not have within yourselves will kill
      > you.'
      > By using 'he' instead of 'it' this translation seems close to Frank
      > McCoy's suggestion earlier in this thread.

      Unfortunately, the word that Schoedel translates as 'him' in the phrase
      "When you beget in yourselves HIM ..." is a demonstrative pronoun - namely,
      PH (meaning 'that' or 'that one'). Since all nouns are gendered in Coptic,
      there isn't any true non-gendered 'it', so we don't know (unless the context
      makes it clear - which in this case it doesn't) whether the object to which
      a masculine pronoun refers is a male person or a masculine noun (still less,
      of course, WHICH person or thing the pronoun stands for). In other words, we
      know that the object of PH is masculine (the feminine form being TH), but we
      don't know whether it's a 'him' (to our way of thinking) or what we (but not
      the Copts) would call an 'it'. Because of this, it can't be counted either
      for or against a given interpretation that it assumes 'him' instead of 'it',
      or vice versa.

      (BTW, this problem is rampant throughout Coptic and any other language with
      gendered nouns and pronouns. In my own interlinear, the reason I favored
      'he'/'him' for masculine pronouns in most cases, is because it more
      accurately reflects the thought patterns of the native speakers, even though
      it sometimes gives a misleading impression to our own minds. Interestingly,
      however, I think the interlinear gives some idea of how native Copts might
      speak English if they weren't very fluent in it. A native Copt, like a
      native Italian, say, might be prone to transfer his/her own grammatical
      structures into English, resulting in such utterances as "The city, she is
      beautiful". True, we ourselves sometimes refer to ships and other things
      with gendered pronouns, but it's not a systematic feature of our language.)

      Mike Grondin
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