Friday, February 8, 2008

Page 123 of the book nearest me

I haven't been officially tagged by anyone, but upon reading tags by Jim Davila and others, here is the book closest to me right now: the Critical Edition of the Tchacos Codex (Kasser, Wurst, et. al.). In fact, it is sitting here open next to my computer. My Coptic class has begun to translate both versions of the First Apocalypse of James so we are working on making a synopsis edition, and I am writing about this text as I prepare my paper for the Codex Judas Congress.

p. 123, the first five lines of the Critical Edition happen to come from the First Apocalypse of James!
"As for me, I have come from the image of the One Who Is to show you the One Who Is. And I have also come to show you the image of the powers, so that the children of the One Who Is may understand what is theirs and what is not theirs" (trans. Kasser, Wurst, et. al.).
What is my translation of this passage?
"As for me, I have come from the image of He-Who-Is. Also I have come to tell you all about the image of the Powers, so that the children of He-Who-Is might know theirs and those who are not theirs" (trans. DeConick).
By the way, the Nag Hammadi version is very different:
"I brought from the image of [...] so that these children of He-Who-Is might understand which ones are theirs and which ones are strangers."
Either we are dealing with different Greek recensions which are being translated, or these scribes are treating whatever they are translating as they might handle oral traditions, or a little of both.

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