Egypt Exploration Fund   [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1897-1898

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Coptic Studies.


(that chosen, with Lagai'de's approval, being Bodl. Hunt. 889), and, accom-
panying this, (1) the errors of that MS., (2) the collated readings, (3) re-
ferences to Tischendorf. The Sa'idic is seldom drawn upon, owing to the
still unsatisfactory state of the published texts. Great care has evidently
been given to the parallel English translation, in which, by a corresponding
sequence of the words and the choice of precise unvarying equivalents
for each Coptic expression, the English reader may be aware of even the
minutest peculiarities of the version. Unfortunately we have to await
a further instalment of the work before we can learn the conclusions to
which the editor has come as to the character and value of the Bob.
version. In these volumes it is merely stated that the received opinion
—presumably the derivation from the type of Codex B—will be con-
firmed and the persistency of the traditional Jacobite text vindicated.
More strongly even than of the work of Dr. Peters, noticed above,
one feels here, amidst such a wealth of ' variants,' that only the fullest
realization of the spirit of the Coptic language will be able to guide iu
the separation of the fundamental from the negligable, merely idiomatic
peculiarities of the text. Mr. Horner, who is now continuing his work
upon the Acts and Epistles, promises a more exhaustive collation with
Teschendorf's apparatus, besides a collation with the 'Revised Version''
and a full Coptic concordance. The word-division adopted is a modifi-
fication of Erman's system. Not the least interesting result of the
examination of so many JISS. is the collection of scribe's and owner'&
colophons, both iu Arabic and Coptic, to be found at the beginning of
Vol. I. It is perhaps unfortunate that N should have been chosen as
the sign for an important MS. (the Curzon Catena).

Under the heading " Egyptian Versions," Mr. Forbes Robinson has
contributed to Hastings's Dictionary of the Bible one of the most com-
prehensive estimates of the Coptic translations of the New Testament—
for comparatively little is said as to the Old—hitherto attempted.4
He designates the dialects as Sa'idic, Bohairic and Middle Egyptian,
including under the last name also the Achmimic, which he distinguishes
as Old M.E. Mi1. Robinson does not hesitate to offer a genealogy of
these varieties ; Sa'. he regards as the earliest—judging it so presumably
owing to the insufficiency of the material in Achmimic,—and Bob. as a
development from Mid. Egyptian. Yet in treating of the dialects, he-
lays adequate emphasis on the impossibility of maintaining thorough
distinction between them; a mutual interchange of characteristics is, of
course, more and more observable, the farther the texts examined depart
from the standards set by Bible-translations and the like. As to the
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