Coptic John 1:1

Another Lie to Justify the NWT?

In a desperate attempt to justify the poor NWT translation of John 1:1, we find some quoting the Coptic version. So let's check that.

Bohairic dialect:
(John 1:1)
ϧⲉⲛ `ⲧⲁⲣⲭⲏ ⲛⲉ ⲡⲓⲥⲁϫⲓ ⲡⲉ ⲟⲩⲟϩ ⲡⲓⲥⲁϫⲓ ⲛⲁϥⲭⲏ ϧⲁⲧⲉⲛ ⲫϯ ⲟⲩⲟϩ ⲛⲉ ⲟⲩⲛⲟⲩϯ ⲡⲉ ⲡⲓⲥⲁϫⲓ

Sahidic dialect:
(John 1:1)
ϨΝ ΤΕϨΟΥΕΙΤΕ ΝΕϤϢΟΟΠ ΝϬΙ ΠϢΑϪΕ ΑΥШ ΠϢΑϪΕ ΝΕϤϢΟΟΠ ΝΝΑϨΡΜ ΠΝΟΥΤΕ ΑΥШ ΝΕΥΝΟΥΤΕ ΠΕ ΠϢΑϪΕ.

Unlike Greek, Coptic has an indefinite article. However, this indefinite article doesn't correspond to the 'a' in English, as will be seen here.
Both Bohairic and Sahidic versions of the verse have the indefinite article ⲟⲩ, though in Sahidic it is contracted with ΝΕ into ΝΕΥ.

Actually this strengthens our understanding of the Qualitative [as in Greek].
We will see why:


One of the uses of the indefinite article in Coptic language is to denote a qualitative noun.

Qualitative, as in Greek, points to nature, essence or quality, not identity.

Examples:
1-
(1 John 1:5 [NIV]) God is light
(1 John 1:5 [coptic]) ⲫϯ ⲟⲩⲟⲩⲱⲓⲛⲓ ⲡⲉ  (efnouti ou'ou'oini pe)
(1 John 1:5 [TR]) ο θεος φως εστιν

We see that the Greek word for light (
φως) is anarthrous (without article). It is qualitative.
We don't translate it "God is a light", but simply "God is light".

In Coptic, the word ⲟⲩⲟⲩⲱⲓⲛⲓ has an indefinite article ⲟⲩ.
We can see that the noun here is qualitative not indefinite
, despite the use of the indefinite article.

2-
(1 John 4:8 [NIV])
God is love.
(1 John 4:8 [coptic])
ⲫϯ ⲟⲩⲁⲅⲁⲡⲏ ⲡⲉ (efnouti ouaghapi pe)
(1 John 4:8 [TR])
ο θεος αγαπη εστιν

Again Greek
αγαπη is anarthrous (no article).
Coptic ⲟⲩⲁⲅⲁⲡⲏ has the indefinite article ⲟⲩ.

God is love (not "a love")
The nouns
αγαπη/ⲟⲩⲁⲅⲁⲡⲏ
here are qualitative too.

So we've seen that the Coptic language strengthens our understanding that θεος in John 1:1c is qualitative.



The Coptic indefinite article can be used with "God":

(Deuteronomy 4:31 [NIV]) For the LORD your God is a merciful God;
(Deuteronomy 4:31 [coptic]) ϫⲉ ⲟⲩⲛⲟⲩϯ `ⲛⲣⲉϥϣⲉⲛϩⲏⲧ ⲡⲉ ⲡϭⲟⲓ ⲡⲉⲕⲛⲟⲩϯ

(Malachi 2:10[NIV]) Did not one God create us?
(Malachi 2:10[coptic]) ⲙⲏ ⲟⲩⲛⲟⲩϯ `ⲛⲟⲩⲱⲧ ⲁⲛ ⲡⲉ `ⲉⲧⲉⲛⲧⲱⲧⲉⲛ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ

In the previous two verses ⲟⲩⲛⲟⲩϯ (with the indefinite article) refers to “God”.


The Coptic definite article can be used with "gods":

(Isaiah 36:19 [NIV]) Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad?
(Isaiah 36:19 [coptic]) ⲁϥⲑⲱⲛ ϯ `ⲛ`ⲉⲙⲁⲣ ⲛⲉⲙ ⲁⲣⲫⲁⲑ
Here we see ϯ (efnouti) refers to “the gods”, is the definite article.


I think thus far we have destroyed the Coptic Anarthrous argument too.


 
But let's go one step further:

If we proceed to verse 18, we will find:

Bohairic:
(John 1:18) ⲫϯ `ⲙⲡⲉ `ϩⲗⲓ ⲛⲁⲩ `ⲉⲣⲟϥ `ⲉⲛⲉϩ
ⲡⲓⲙⲟⲛⲟⲅⲉⲛⲏⲥ `ⲛⲛⲟⲩϯ ⲫⲏ ⲉⲧⲭⲏ ϧⲉⲛ ⲕⲉⲛϥ `ⲙⲡⲉϥⲓⲱⲧ `ⲛⲑⲟϥ ⲡⲉⲧⲁϥⲥⲁϫⲓ
ⲡⲓⲙⲟⲛⲟⲅⲉⲛⲏⲥ `ⲛⲛⲟⲩϯ : The only begotten God
Yes, there is a definite article ⲡⲓ.
It's basically like the Greek μονογενης θεος but with a definite article.

Sahidic:
(John 1:18) ΠΝΟΥΤΕ ΜΠΕΛΑΑΥ ΝΑΥ ΕΡΟϤ ΕΝΕϨ.
ΠΝΟΥΤΕ ΠϢΗΡΕ ΝΟΥШΤ ΠΕΤϢΟΟΠ ϨΝ ΚΟΥΝϤ ΜΠΕϤΕΙШΤ Π ΕΤΜΜΑΥ ΠΕ ΝΤΑϤϢΑϪΕ ΕΡΟϤ.

ΠΝΟΥΤΕ ΠϢΗΡΕ ΝΟΥШΤ: God the Son the One and Only
ΠΝΟΥΤΕ:
God with the definite article Π.



So we can see that both the Bohairic and Sahidic versions show the Divinity of the Son.


(John 1:1 [NIV])
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.


And if this wasn't enough, let's see what G. Horner really wrote:

Bohairic:
In (the) beginning was the Word, and the Word was (imperf.) with God, and God (indef. art.) was the Word.

Sahidic:
In the beginning was being the word, and the word was being with God, and [a] God was the word.




From http://www.forananswer.org/Top_JW/Scholars%20and%20NWT.htm :

Horner's critical apparatus defines the use of square brackets as follows: "Square brackets imply words used by the Coptic and not required by the English"(p. 376).



Horner translates John 1:16 as:
"Because out of fulness we all of us took [a] life and [a] grace in place of [a] grace."

He also renders
John 1:26 as
"I am baptizing you in [a] water"


(John 1:1 [NIV])
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.



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