Re: Coptic Editions of the Gospel of Thomas
- --- In email@example.com, "smithandp" <smithand44@...> wrote:
> Bentley Layton, Coptic Gnostic Chrestomathy: A Selection of Coptic
> Texts with Grammatical Analysis and Glossary (???: David Brown Book
> Company, 2004)
> I've just come across this on Amazon. It includes Thomas and a good
> selection of other texts (not the Exegesis of the Soul
> and it sounds like it has an interlinear aid to parsing the text.Hi Andrew.
Layton's _Coptic Gnostic Chrestomathy_ is indeed a nice, portable
anthology, but it is not at all an interlinear text. Contrary to how
it is often described on-line, it is not even what I would properly
consider "bilingual." In fact, such can only be asserted inasmuch as
the book is written for an English-speaking market, but while the
introduction and notes are in English, the body of the work is
nothing more than the Coptic text of 15 tractates (abridged in some
instances) from the Nag Hammadi Library. As the title implies, this
book is a Coptic "Reader," and individuals interested in it should
not expect anything more than that.
As far as "parsing the text," even the publisher had this to say:
". . . Laid out in readable literary format, the Coptic text is
analyzed into its component morphs, clarifying the grammatical
structure at every point."
What this is referring to is the use of spaces and hyphens to
facilitate the reader's recognition of particles and lexemes in the
Coptic text. It's easy to see how one might get the impression that
there is some sort of detailed grammatical analysis going on there,
but this is not at all the case.
Still, I have enjoyed the convenience of this book whenever I have
wanted to carry some Coptic texts with me for "light" reading or
research. It's far easier to haul around than one or more hefty
volumes of the Coptic Gnostic Library.