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Question about preferred rendering of the Coptic particle ngi-

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  • Rick Hubbard
    While tidying-up my electronic edition of the Coptic text of GTh I noticed that the particle ngi is sometimes un-joined from its antecedent and other times
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 11, 2009
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      While "tidying-up" my electronic edition of the Coptic text of GTh I noticed
      that the particle ngi is sometimes un-joined from its antecedent and other
      times it is not. I checked the Brill edition and there it seems to be a
      discrete lexeme, although it is hard to tell for sure. I also note that
      Mike's interlinear seems to treat it as a bound morpheme (i.e., not a
      discrete lexeme but, instead, joined to the antecedent). Which is the
      "proper" placement?



      Thanks,



      Rick Hubbard





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Michael Grondin
      ... Sorry for the delay in responding, Rick, but I just got around to checking this. My recollection is that at least one of the NH codices had separated
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 14, 2009
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        [Rick Hubbard]:
        > While "tidying-up" my electronic edition of the Coptic text of GTh
        > I noticed that the particle ngi is sometimes un-joined from its
        > antecedent and other times it is not. I checked the Brill edition and
        > there it seems to be a discrete lexeme, although it is hard to tell for
        > sure. I also note that Mike's interlinear seems to treat it as a bound
        > morpheme (i.e., not a discrete lexeme but, instead, joined to the
        > antecedent). Which is the "proper" placement?

        Sorry for the delay in responding, Rick, but I just got around to checking
        this. My recollection is that at least one of the NH codices had separated
        words, and that would perhaps have been the best evidence, but if there
        is such a one, I don't have it. That leaves Horner's Coptic NT as the next
        best bet, I think. In the version on the Coptic CD, 'N6I' is shown as a
        separate word, as are several others which I've joined into a phrase,
        the most common being '2N/2M' ('hen/hem'). I can tell you that at the
        time I was putting my stuff together, I was tending to join, rather than
        separate - particularly when (as with '2N/2M'), the ending of the particle
        was determined by the first letter of the following word. It may be that
        Horner did it properly, but I'd sure like to consult that phantom codex
        that I remember as having separated words.

        BTW, the last word in 6.1, which begins with the letters 'N6I', may not
        be a true case of the use of that particle. Seems ungrammatical as it
        stands, and so might be an error.

        Regards,
        Mike
      • Michael Grondin
        Hi again Rick, As a followup to my previous note, it occurred to me that you might be trying to count words within Coptic Thomas, and if that were so, it might
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 15, 2009
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          Hi again Rick,

          As a followup to my previous note, it occurred to me that you might be
          trying to count words within Coptic Thomas, and if that were so, it might
          be helpful to offer some comments. Before getting to those, though, I'm
          pleased to report that I've just now uncovered a small factoid of very
          great importance (though its importance won't be immediately obvious):
          Horner's Coptic NT has 'EIMHTI' ('if not', 'unless', 'except') as a *single
          word*. The importance of that is that it's the last piece of evidence that
          needed to be nailed down to establish that CGTh contains exactly 500
          occurrences of Greek words and names.

          EIMHTI has been a thorn in my side for a long time. Unless it be regarded
          as a single word, the nice count of 500 becomes an ugly count of 501 or
          502, and intentionality looks less probable. Unfortunately, the authorities
          seemed to be arrayed against me. Lambdin has it in his Glossary
          of Greek Words as 'EI MH TI'. Layton has it as 'EI MHTI' in his list of
          Words Borrowed from Greek. Trying to figure out which was right, I even
          went so far as to pose the question on the B-Greek elist (via the good
          offices of Jeffrey Gibson). Unfortunately, no one there seemed to know the
          answer. Then it occurred to me as I was mulling over my answer to your
          question about the Coptic word 'enchi' (eN6I), that the answer didn't lie
          in how _Greek writers_ (or modern-day Greek experts) handled EI/MH/TI, but
          how _Coptic writers_ handled it. So I turned to the Horner NT on the Coptic
          CD and (after some trouble using the "Find" function) discovered to my
          delight that it's always presented therein as a single word, albeit spelt
          two different ways: in GMt, Rev, and Romans, it's EIMHTEI, but in GMk, GLk,
          Acts, and GJn, it's EIMHTI, just as its one occurrence in CGTh (L.35).

          Taking a quick look at the Greek NT now, it appears that in at at least a
          few cases, the equivalent Greek was 'EI MH' (no 'TI'). That's a surprise.
          Will have to check into this further. But maybe you can save me the
          trouble, since you've already done a great deal of work on a Greek lexicon
          for the NT.

          Now on to the general issue of counting. Unlike counting the Greek words
          and names in CGTh, I think it's going to be difficult counting Coptic words
          (which is why all my efforts failed a-borning). The letter-counts,
          however, are suggestive. The overall letter-count that I've come up with is
          16850 - with a probable error factor of plus or minus no more than 2.
          (There are a couple of unresolved lacunae, but it's fairly clear how many
          letters must have been in the gaps.) Of course, conventional wisdom has
          it that this talk of counting letters is fool's business, but I think it's
          been
          justified by its results. With respect to the 16850, for example, were 50
          letters to be removed, the result would be 16800, or 80x210. Furthermore,
          suppose we separate from that figure the 2400 letters that go to make up
          the 500 Greek words and names: the result is now 14400, which may be
          a reflection of the number 144,000 mentioned in Revelation three times
          (7.4, 14.1, 14.3). (See also 21:17, which mentions the number 144
          in re the "new Jerusalem", presumably because the number 12 was
          looked on as representing fullness or completion, so that 144 would
          represent the fullness of fullness, or something like that.)

          Clearly, 144,000 is a good number in Rev. It's the size of the
          saved remnant of Israel (which to a Christian mind would be Christian
          Jews). I think it's distinctly possible that the Copts who designed CGTh
          identified with that number and thus built it into the document - with the
          2400 letters in Greek words/names perhaps representing "saved"
          Gentiles. (That, of course, leaves the problem with the extra 50 or
          so letters, but I'm confident that that'll be resolved in time.)

          I might also mention that Rev's famous number 666 seems to have
          been 668 in a few mss.

          There's a few other things that might be said, but already this note has
          exhausted me, so the rest'll have to wait. (:-)

          Cheers,
          Mike G.
        • Judy Redman
          I am not following this carefully, but ... ... I am sure you re right about this, Mike. Given that the Copts didn t always borrow their Greek unaltered, if
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 21, 2009
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            I am not following this carefully, but ...

            Mike writes:
            > EIMHTI has been a thorn in my side for a long time. Unless it be
            > regarded
            > as a single word, the nice count of 500 becomes an ugly count of 501 or
            > 502, and intentionality looks less probable. Unfortunately, the
            > authorities
            > seemed to be arrayed against me. Lambdin has it in his Glossary
            > of Greek Words as 'EI MH TI'. Layton has it as 'EI MHTI' in his list of
            > Words Borrowed from Greek. Trying to figure out which was right, I even
            > went so far as to pose the question on the B-Greek elist (via the good
            > offices of Jeffrey Gibson). Unfortunately, no one there seemed to know
            > the
            > answer. Then it occurred to me as I was mulling over my answer to your
            > question about the Coptic word 'enchi' (eN6I), that the answer didn't
            > lie
            > in how _Greek writers_ (or modern-day Greek experts) handled EI/MH/TI,
            > but
            > how _Coptic writers_ handled it.

            I am sure you're right about this, Mike. Given that the Copts didn't always
            borrow their Greek unaltered, if you are looking at what the Copts did with
            the MSS, it's what *they* did with the words that you need to worry about.
            They simply borrowed Greek words and used Coptic grammatical conventions
            with them. Layton says "Despite the large amount of Greek vocabulary in
            Coptic, little influence of Greek syntax is evident" (A Coptic Grammar,
            second edition, p 12)

            > So I turned to the Horner NT on the
            > Coptic
            > CD and (after some trouble using the "Find" function) discovered to my
            > delight that it's always presented therein as a single word, albeit
            > spelt
            > two different ways: in GMt, Rev, and Romans, it's EIMHTEI, but in GMk,
            > GLk,
            > Acts, and GJn, it's EIMHTI, just as its one occurrence in CGTh (L.35).

            It's of course a little difficult to be sure about this because what we have
            to do is to work backwards from MSS that have words separated to help us to
            work out how words were viewed in the times when all the letters were run
            together. There have been slippages in English in word separation in my
            lifetime, so I don't know that we can necessarily assume that it didn't
            happen in the time between when NH was written down and when the Horner NT
            texts were written. Given that these MSS are centuries newer than the
            originals and that people who wrote things down without spacings between
            words may well have had a different concept of what constitutes a word to
            ours, anyway.

            Sorry - just an observation, no conclusions.

            Judy
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