Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Encouragement to learn Coptic

On the Forbidden Gospels Blog, April DeConick has an excellent call to learn Coptic, which I would like to second. If you are a graduate student on a Christian Origins type programme, I would particularly encourage you to get started on Coptic now, if possible. I have come to it late and have not always found it easy, but it is definitely worthwhile; I wish I had had the opportunity or encouragement to do it earlier. I don't yet think I would be competent to teach it formally and I am lucky in that we have down the road here at UNC Chapel Hill Zlatko Plese. One of his Coptic students, Ben White, led us in our Coptic lessons in the first half of our Gospel of Thomas course this last semester, and I was delighted to delegate to him for that part of the class, not least since he did a fine job. We used the Lambdin introductory grammar, which has been the standard, but the arrival of Bentley Layton's new grammar may change that in the future. Like April, I don't have my copy yet (you see, all these publishers get plugs for free here on the NT Gateway blog, and I don't even get copies of the books I plug, which is quite nice of me, I think).

Update (1 August, 00.32): Judy Redman comments and Daniel Foster writes the following (brought up from comments to this post):
Rick Brannan also offered an apology for Sahidic Coptic last fall, with some very specific examples of how a knowledge of Coptic is helpful in NT studies.

And since you're giving away free plugs...maybe you could throw in a plug for the electronic editions of Crum's Coptic Dictionary and the Sahidic Coptic Collection, which are struggling to attract enough interest to be put into production. :-)

1 comment:

Daniel Foster said...

Rick Brannan also offered an apology for Sahidic Coptic last fall, with some very specific examples of how a knowledge of Coptic is helpful in NT studies.

And since you're giving away free plugs...maybe you could throw in a plug for the electronic editions of Crum's Coptic Dictionary and the Sahidic Coptic Collection, which are struggling to attract enough interest to be put into production. :-)