John's Gospel: The Coptic Translations of Its Greek Text (Arbeiten Zur Neutestamentlichen Textforschung) Hardcover – 15 Oct 2012
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About the Author
Christian Askeland, Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal, Germany.
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This is a Cambridge PhD, turned into publication. As such, it is carefully researched and written. It is something of a first manual toward the use of the Coptic witnesses as a means to establishing the early text of John's Gospel. As such, it is a foundational tool for New Testament textual criticism. Perhaps the greatest urgency is to caution against the assumption that the Coptic witnesses "literally" represents their underlying Greek text. Askeland states that NA27 cites Coptic in its apparatus over a thousand times, but he argues that many such references are misleading--he gives convincing reasons why, and helps the critic approach the issue more cautiously. The book also discusses the various Coptic dialects which bear witness to John's gospel, including some hitherto unidentified witnesses.
Although some of the material can be read without a knowledge of Greek or Coptic, it is generally written at a level which requires a basic knowledge of Greek and Coptic. Non-specialists might benefit by first reading Askeland's chapter on the Coptic witnesses in this book: http://www.amazon.com/Text-New-Testament-Contemporary-Research/dp/900423604X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371221462&sr=1-1&keywords=Michael+Holmes+status+quaestionis
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