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Mark 1:1, 1:3 in Greek, Hebrew, and Coptic

  • Date Submitted: 12/29/2011 08:56 AM
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MARK 1:1, 1:3 in Greek, Hebrew, and Coptic The Gospel of Mark has always been considered one of the most unique of all the Gospels. Its brevity, use of certain vocabulary, and its all too debated ending make it a key component in academic study and rigor. So, I thought it best to choose a short passage from Mark chapter one. I hope to compare in these few pages three different textual traditions of the first chapter of Mark. Those three traditions are: Hebrew, Greek, and Coptic. I chose Mark 1:1, 1:3 since 1:3 is essentially a quotation from the Hebrew Bible and the Septuagint. Thus, it will be possible to compare the Coptic textual tradition by comparing the use of all three of these languages and their unique translations of the original text.1 Mark 1:1 The first verse of Mark in coptic reads: tarCy m-peuaggelion n-is peCc& The literal translation of this verse is: "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ".2 The word tarCy is best translated "the beginning" with elements t (definite article) and arCy (beginning). In the Greek of Mark 1:1 of the New Testament, the first word is Ἀρχὴ, which is a word derived from the root ἄρκω, meaning beginning. The greek word can be parsed as a feminine singular nominative. The coptic word arCy is obviously a borrowed greek word and it has the t definite singular feminine marker. The words to follow in the Coptic are m-peuaggelion, which reads, "of the Gospel." The particle m in this instance,

I understand the Coptic text is thought to be a translation of the Alexandrian text tradition of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, but either way, I think it is still important to look at all three.


For this verse, we will not include Hebrew, since there is no Hebrew equivalent. -1-

is equivalent to the word "of". The word peuaggelion can be broke down as p (definite article) and euaggelion, which simply means "gospel or good news." This phrase in the Greek reads, τοῦ εὐα.ελίου, a genitive construction with the...


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