Hot off the press: The Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon. A Coptic Apostolic Memoir

Alin Suciu, The Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon: A Coptic Apostolic Memoir (WUNT, 370; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017).

10958_00_detailI am pleased to announce that my book on the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon has just been published with Mohr Siebeck. The book is available HERE.

Abstract: “The present volume offers a new edition, English translation, and interpretation of the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon, previously known as the Gospel of the Savior. An apocryphal story about Jesus probably transpiring shortly before the Crucifixion, the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon claims to recount the narrative as told by the apostles themselves. The text also includes a long hymn sung by Christ to the cross on which he will soon be crucified. The Berlin Strasbourg-Apocryphon is exclusively preserved in Coptic by two fragmentary manuscripts, Papyrus Berolinensis 22220 and Strasbourg Copte 5–7. Additionally, a Coptic manuscript discovered at Qasr el-Wizz in Christian Nubia contains a short version of the Hymn of the Cross. Until now, it has been almost unanimously accepted that the Berlin Strasbourg-Apocryphon is an ancient Christian gospel – probably datable to the second century CE – which was bypassed in the formation of the Christian canon. Approaching the text from the angle of Coptic literature, Alin Suciu rejects this early dating, showing instead that its composition must be located following the Council of Chalcedon (451 CE), whose theological deliberations gradually alienated Egypt from the Byzantine world. The author argues that the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon is one of numerous “apostolic memoirs,” a peculiar genre of Coptic literature, which consists of writings allegedly written by the apostles, often embedded in sermons attributed to famous church fathers.”

I owe a special debt of gratitude to the Mohr Siebeck editors and staff for their professionalism. I finalized the manuscript in October and today I already got my free copies.

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Guest Post: Anthony Alcock – The Sahidic Version of the Acts of Pilate

Anthony Alcock has prepared an English translation of the Sahidic version of the Acts of Pilate. This text constitutes the source of many apocryphal Passion narratives composed in Coptic. You can download his translation HERE.

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Guest Post: Anthony Alcock – The Investiture of the Archangel Michael in English

Anthony Alcock translated into English the Investiture of the Archangel Michael, an apocryphal text which has survived in Coptic (Sahidic and Fayyumic), Gǝʿǝz, Old Nubian, and Greek. The Investiture of Michael is one of the apostolic memoirs, a group of Coptic apocryphal writings which I studied in my PhD dissertation (and also in my book, which I hope to appear within the next two months or so). Remarkably, this is the only apostolic memoir extant in Greek. The Greek text is preserved in a single damaged parchment fragment discovered at Serra East, in Christian Nubia. However, the Serra East fragment is written in such a poor Greek idiom that it emerges plainly, at least in my opinion, that this version must be an imperfect translation made either from Coptic or from Old Nubian.

Alcock’s translation was made from Sahidic, with occasional references to the Fayyumic text. You can download the document HERE.

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Conferință despre literatura coptă la București: “Biblioteca Mănăstirii Albe: centru al culturii monastice în Egiptul copt”

Dacă sunteți în București pe 28 noiembrie, vă invit la NEC de la ora 17 pentru prelegerea “Biblioteca Mănăstirii Albe: centru al culturii monastice în Egiptul copt”. Voi vorbi despre dezmembrarea manuscriselor Mănăstirii Albe, situată în Egiptul Superior, lângă Sohag, și importanța reasamblării lor pentru studiul literaturii copte.

A doua zi, pe 29 noiembrie, va avea loc un workshop cu cercetătorii care participă la cursul The Bible in linguistic context. Introduction to the Coptic language, care se derulează de  câțiva ani deja la NEC. Sunt onorat de invitația pe care mi-a făcut-o echipa de la București, mai ales pentru că este prima prelegere pe care o țin în România.

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Coptic Sushi, SBL, San Antonio 2016

sushi-zushi-colonnadeI will not be attending the SBL conference this year (I plan to have my first SBL in Boston next year), but here is an important announcement from Christian Askeland:

By popular demand, the biggest Coptological party of the year will once again occur at an establishment of fine sushi. RSVP in the comments here or by emailing Christian Askeland.

Monday, 21 November 19:15

Sushi Zushi (click for the exact location)

http://www.sushizushi.com/Locations/SanAntonio.aspx

Many attendees will probably be coming from the following session:

Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism

11/21/2016

4:00 PM to 6:30 PM

Room: Crockett B (4th Level) – Grand Hyatt (GH)

Theme: Gnostic Writings, Sayings, and Histories

René Falkenberg, Aarhus Universitet, Presiding

Sarit Kattan Gribetz, Fordham University

Women as Readers of the Nag Hammadi Codices (20 min)

Eric Crégheur, Université d’Ottawa

On Plants, Spices and Gems: How Feasible are the Baptismal Rituals in the “Books of Jeu”? (20 min)

J. Gregory Given, Harvard University

Four Texts from Nag Hammadi amid the Fluidity of the “Letter” in Late Antique Egypt (20 min)

Discussion (15 min)

Geoffrey S. Smith, University of Texas at Austin

Medicine and Polemic in Tertullian’s Version of the Valentinian Sophia Myth (20 min)

Emanuel Fiano, Fordham University

The Theory of Names of the Gospel of Truth (20 min)

Einar Thomassen, Universitetet i Bergen

Did Gnostics Have a Concept of History? (20 min)

Discussion (15 min)

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Complete Facsimile Edition of the Coptic Codices from Hamuli Online

We all owe a debt of gratitude to Ronald Hurlocker and to his supervisor, Christian Askeland, for making available on archive.org the massive facsimile edition of the Morgan Library & Museum’s Coptic codices which belonged to the Monastery of the Archangel Michael at Hamuli, in the Fayyum (Henri Hyvernat (ed.), Codices coptici photographice expressi: Bibliothecae Pierpont Morgan. Rome, 1922).

You can access the collection HERE.

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Job Opening for the Project Katalogisierung der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland/Cataloguing of Oriental Manuscripts in Germany

This is a two-year fixed term position starting at the earliest possible date on or after October 15, 2016. An extension of the contract beyond the initial two-year term may be available. The project (planned completion date: December 31, 2022) is based in Berlin. The position is part-time (50%) on the public service scale TV-L E 13. There is the possibility (not yet finalised) for a full-time appointment from July 1, 2017, depending on funding being made available.

The appointee will be responsible for the following tasks:

•       Catalogisation of Coptic manuscripts, ostraca and papyri from German collections, chiefly from the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection Berlin, in an online database

Requirements are specifically:

·       Ph.D. or M.A. (or equivalent) in the areas of Coptic Studies, Theology/Religious Studies, Egyptology, Christian Oriental Studies, Byzantine Studies or related fields. Opportunities for further training are available.

·       A solid knowledge of Coptic language and the textual tradition of Christian Egypt. Some expertise and experience in the area of Philology/Editions and Manuscript Studies/Codicology is welcome.

Candidates are expected to have:

·      Willingness and ability to quickly familiarise themselves with the tasks at hand

·       Familiarity with modern databases and online research

·       Language skills in Ancient Greek and German. Other language skills, in particular in French or ancient languages other than Coptic are helpful.

·      Excellent time management and good teamwork skills.

The Göttingen Academy of Sciences is an equal opportunity employer. In case of identical qualifications applicants with disabilities will be considered on a preferential basis.

Closing date: September 30, 2016

Please send your application (cover letter, CV, copies of relevant diplomas, publication list, if applicable) – in electronic form – to:

Professor Heike Behlmer (hbehlme at uni-goettingen dot de)

Please direct any enquiries about the project to the same address. General project information can also be found here.

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