Reading Joshua in Sahidic

Anthony the Great, Pachomius the Great, Shenoute
Post Reply
Shenoute
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 482
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:23 pm

Reading Joshua in Sahidic

Post by Shenoute »

The state of Sahidic Joshua is pretty typical for the Sahidic Old Testament, i.e. no manuscript of the book has been preserved in full. The reader has to hop between several partially preserved witnesses to read (almost) the whole text.

As with any other OT book, the simplest solution is to go https://data.copticscriptorium.org/texts/old-testament/ and just start reading. Note though that, despite a massive update last year, Coptic Scriptorium does not (yet?) offer a complete picture of what has been preserved for Joshua.
Another "problem" with the text there is that no source is given, which may not be a problem to all. But since we're dealing with a composite text, made from bits taken from various manuscripts, I like knowing where the individual parts comes from.

So what if you want to read Josh. in Sahidic?

The two most important witnesses manuscripts are:
- British Library Add. 17183, a 7th c. manuscript, published in Thompson (1911)
- P. Chester Beatty 1389/P. Bodmer 21, a 4/5th c. manuscript, published by Shore (1963) and Kasser (1963). As far as I can see, Kasser's publication is not available online but high resolution photographs of the manuscript can be found at https://bodmerlab.unige.ch/fr/constella ... 1072205359.

P. Chester Beatty 1389/P. Bodmer 21 is older and the language is not Standard Sahidic.
Shore notes that its text differs a lot from British Library Add. 17183 but underlines that "nevertheless the variations are insufficient of themselves to warrant the assumption that the version is an independent one" (p. 14). Later he also notes that "the new text of Joshua is exceptional in the number of places in which it is clearly following a textual tradition distinct from the later Sahidic version" (p. 15).

To fill the small gaps left by the two main witnesses, fragments can be found in:
- Ciasca (1885: 148-158)
- Maspero (1892: 129-136)
- Wessely (1914: 61-62), not really filling a gap but it has 2,13-2,24 in apparently the same recension as Thompson (1911).

Using Thompson (1911) as the base text, a possible reading plan would then be:
1,1-2,13: Thompson
2,13-3,6: Shore (Wessely as an alternative for 2,13-2,24)
3,6-10,25: Thompson
10,25-10,36: Kasser
10,37-17,16: Thompson
17,16-18,1: Ciasca
18,2-18,6: no witness?
18,7-19,50: Thompson
19,51-21,1: Maspero
21,2-21,6: no witness?
21,7-22,14: Thompson
22,14-22,19: Shore
22,20-24,33: Thompson.

Shenoute
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 482
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:23 pm

Re: Reading Joshua in Sahidic

Post by Shenoute »

I'm up to Josh. 11 and I can't say I'm enjoying the ride too much. It's mostly "Been there, took this city, killed its people". There are some more interesting bits though, like the episode with Rahab or the one in which the people of Gabaon trick the Israelites into thinking they are only distant neighbours.

Since Kasser (1963) is not available online, here is a quick transcription of Josh. 10,26-37 to fill in the gap in Thompson (1911). I'm not too familiar with the papyrus' dialect though. I would have like to put a translation side-by-side but [table] doesn't seem to work...
page 47
(...)
ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲓⲏⲥ ⲛⲁⲩ ϫⲉ ⲙⲡⲣⲉⲣϩⲟⲧⲉ ⲁⲗⲗ[ⲁ]
ϫⲣⲟ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲧⲉⲧⲛϭⲙϭⲟⲙ ⲧⲁⲓ ⲛⲅⲁⲣ
ⲧⲉ ⲑⲉ ⲉⲧⲉⲣⲉⲡϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲛⲁⲁⲥ
ⲛⲛⲉⲧⲉⲛϫⲓϫⲉⲟⲩ: ⲛⲁⲓ ⲉⲧⲉⲧⲉⲧⲛ
ⲛⲁⲙⲓϣⲉ ⲛⲙⲙⲁⲩ: ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁⲓⲏⲥ ⲙⲟⲟ
ⲧⲟⲩ: ⲁϥⲁϣⲧⲟⲩ ⲉϯⲟⲩ ⲛϣⲉ: ϣⲁⲣⲟⲩϩ[ⲉ]
ⲁⲥϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲇⲉ ⲙⲛⲛⲥⲁ ⲛⲁⲩ ⲛϩⲱⲧⲡ ⲛ
ⲙⲡⲣⲏ: ⲁⲓⲏⲥ ϩⲱⲛ ⲉⲧⲟⲟⲧⲟⲩ ⲁⲩⲉⲛ[ⲧⲟⲩ]
ⲉⲡⲉⲥⲏⲧ ϩⲓⲡϣⲉ: ⲁⲩⲛⲟϫⲟⲩ ⲉⲡ[ⲉⲥ]
ⲡⲏⲗⲁⲓⲟⲛ: ⲡⲙⲁ ⲛⲧⲁⲩⲡⲱⲧ ⲉⲣ[ⲟϥ]
ⲁⲩⲥⲕⲣⲕⲣϣ ⲛⲱⲛⲉ ⲉⲣⲛⲡⲉⲥⲡⲏ[ⲗⲁⲓⲟⲛ]
ϣⲁⲡⲟⲟⲩ ⲙⲛ ϩⲟⲟⲩ
ⲁⲩϫⲓⲙⲁⲅⲉⲇⲱ: ϩⲙⲡⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲉⲧⲙ[ⲙⲁⲩ]
ⲁⲩϩⲉⲧⲃⲟⲩⲟⲛ ⲛⲓⲙ ⲉⲧⲛϩⲏⲧⲥ ϩⲛ[ⲧⲁⲡⲣⲟ]
ⲛⲧⲥⲏϥⲉ: ⲁⲩⲉⲝⲟⲗⲉⲑⲣⲟⲩ ⲛ[ⲟⲩⲟⲛ]
ⲛⲓⲙ ⲉⲧⲛⲓϥⲉ ⲙϩⲣⲁⲓ ⲛϩⲏⲧⲥ ⲁⲩ[ⲱ ⲙⲡⲉ]
ⲗⲁⲁⲩ ⲥⲉⲡⲉ ⲉϥⲟⲛϩ ⲏ ⲁϥⲡⲱⲧ
ⲛϩⲏⲧⲥ ⲁⲩⲉⲓⲣⲉ ⲙⲡⲣⲣⲟ ⲙⲁ[ⲅⲉⲇⲱ]

page 48
ⲛⲑⲉ ⲛⲧⲁⲩⲁⲁⲥ ⲙⲡⲣⲣⲟ ⲛϩⲓⲉⲣⲓⲭⲱ:
ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁⲓⲏⲥ ⲃⲱⲕ ⲛⲙ ⲡⲓⲥⲣⲁⲏⲗ ⲧⲏⲣϥ ⲛⲙ
ⲛⲙⲁϥ: ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲙⲙⲁⲅⲉⲇⲱ: ⲉⲗⲟⲙⲛⲁ
ⲁⲩⲕⲱⲧⲉ ⲉⲣⲟⲥ ⲁⲡϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲧⲁⲁⲥ ⲉⲧϭⲓϫ
ⲙⲡⲓⲥⲣⲁⲏⲗ: ⲁⲩϫⲓⲧⲥ ϩⲛⲧⲁⲡⲣⲟ ⲛⲧ
ⲥⲏϥⲉ ⲛⲙ ⲡⲉⲥⲣⲟ: ⲁⲩⲉⲝⲟⲩⲗⲉⲑⲣⲟⲩ
ⲛⲟⲩⲟⲛ ⲛⲓⲙ ⲉⲧⲛⲛⲓϥⲉ ⲛϩⲣⲁⲓ ⲛϩⲏⲧⲥ
ⲙⲡⲉⲗⲁⲁⲩ ⲥⲉⲡⲉ ⲉϥⲟⲛϩ ⲏ ⲁϥⲡⲱⲧ
ⲛϩⲣⲁⲓ ⲛϩⲏⲧⲥ: ⲁⲩⲉⲓⲣⲉ ⲙⲡⲉⲥⲣⲟ
ⲛⲑⲉ ⲛⲧⲁⲩⲁⲁⲥ ⲙⲡⲣⲣⲟ ⲛϩⲓⲉⲣⲓⲭⲱ:
[ⲁ]ϥⲃⲱⲕ ⲛϭⲓⲓⲏⲥ ⲛⲙ ⲡⲓⲥⲣⲁⲏⲗ ⲧⲏⲣϥ ⲛⲙ
ⲙⲁϥ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲛ ⲗⲟⲙⲛⲁ: ⲉⲗⲁⲭⲉⲓⲥ ⲁϥ
[ϩ]ⲙⲟⲟⲥ ϩⲓⲣⲱⲥ: ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁϥⲕⲱⲧⲉ ⲉⲣⲟⲥ
[ⲁⲩ]ⲱ ⲁⲡϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ϯ ⲛⲗⲁⲭⲉⲓⲥ ⲉⲧϭⲓϫ ⲙ
[ⲡⲓ]ⲥⲣⲁⲏⲗ ⲁⲩⲱ ϩⲛⲡⲙⲉϩϩⲟⲩ ⲥⲛⲁⲩ
[ⲁⲩ]ϫⲓⲧⲥ ϩⲛⲧⲁⲡⲣⲟ ⲛⲧⲥⲏϥⲉ: ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁϥ
[ϥⲟ]ⲧⲥ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲛⲑⲉ ⲛⲧⲁϥⲁⲁⲥ ⲛⲗⲟⲙⲛⲁ
[ⲧⲟⲧ]ⲉ ⲁϥⲉⲓ ⲛϭⲓ ⲉⲗⲁⲙⲓ ⲡⲣⲣⲟ ⲛⲅⲁⲥⲍⲉⲣ
[ⲉⲃⲟ]ⲏⲑⲓ ⲉⲗⲁⲭⲉⲓⲥ: ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁⲓⲏⲥ ⲡⲁⲧⲁⲥ
[ⲍⲉ] ⲙⲙⲟϥ ϩⲛⲧⲁⲡⲣⲟ ⲛⲧⲥⲏϥⲉ ⲛⲙ
[ⲡⲉϥ]ⲙⲏⲏϣⲉ ⲉⲧⲙⲕⲁⲗⲁⲁⲩ ⲉⲥⲉⲡⲉ
[..]. ⲛϩⲏⲧⲟⲩ ⲉϥⲟⲛϩ ⲏ ⲁϥⲡⲱⲧ
[ⲁϥⲃⲱ]ⲕ ⲛϭⲓ ⲓⲏⲥ ⲛⲙⲡⲓⲥⲣⲁⲏⲗ ⲧⲏⲣϥ

page 49
ⲛⲙⲁⲁϥ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲛ ⲗⲁⲭⲉⲓⲥ: ⲉⲟⲇⲟⲗⲁⲙ
ⲁⲩϩⲙⲟⲟⲥ ϩⲓⲣⲱⲥ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁⲩⲕⲱⲧⲉ ⲉⲣⲟⲥ
ⲁⲡϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲧⲁⲁⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲟⲧϥ ⲙⲡⲓⲥⲣⲁⲏⲗ
ⲁⲩϫⲓⲧⲥ ϩⲛⲧⲁⲡⲣⲟ ⲛⲧⲥⲏϥⲉ: ⲁⲩⲱ ⲟⲩ[ⲟⲛ]
ⲛⲓⲙ ⲉⲧⲛⲓϥⲉ ⲛϩⲣⲁⲓ ⲛϩⲏⲧⲥ ⲁⲩϩⲟⲧⲃⲉ
ⲛⲑⲉ ⲛⲧⲁⲩⲁⲁⲥ ⲛⲗⲁⲭⲉⲓⲥ:
ⲁϥⲃⲱⲕ ⲛϭⲓ ⲓⲏⲥ ⲛⲙ ⲡⲓⲥⲣⲁⲏⲗ ⲧⲏⲣϥ ⲛⲙ
ⲙⲁϥ ⲉⲭⲉⲃⲣⲱⲛ: ⲁⲩϩⲙⲟⲟⲥ ϩⲓⲣⲱⲥ ⲁⲩ
ϫⲓⲧⲥ ϩⲛⲧⲁⲡⲣⲟ ⲛⲧⲥⲏϥⲉ: ⲁⲩϩⲉⲧⲃ
ⲟⲩⲟⲛ ⲛⲓⲙ ⲉⲧⲛⲓϥⲉ ⲛϩⲣⲁⲓ ⲛϩⲏⲧ[ⲥ]
ⲙⲡⲉⲗⲁⲁⲩ ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ⲛϩⲏⲧⲥ: ⲛⲑⲉ [ⲛ]
ⲧⲁⲩⲁⲁⲥ ⲛⲟⲇⲟⲗⲁⲙ:
(...)
The beginning of page 48 (see https://bodmerlab.unige.ch/fr/constella ... 1072205359 for photographs of all the leaves kept at the Bodmer foundation).
Image

Shenoute
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 482
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:23 pm

Re: Reading Joshua in Sahidic

Post by Shenoute »

Josh. 11-19 are even less interesting than the previous chapters. It deals with the dividing of Canaan bewteen the twelve tribes of Israel, so it's mostly lists of borders and cities. I don't remember reading anything more boring.
I am conforted by the fact that I'm probably not alone in this sentiment since the scribe of the Bodmer/Chester Beatty just skipped chapters 12-21, as can be seen here. I'm still going to finish the book but, boy, is it a snooze-fest.

Interesting(?) tidbit: ⲧ.ⲟⲣⲓⲛⲏ (from Gr. ὀρεινή) "hill-country" is regularly glossed as ⲡⲕⲁϩ ⲉⲧϫⲟⲥⲉ "the high land" in Thompson's text. ⲟⲣⲓⲛⲏ is a rather common word in Coptic (it is introduced early in Lambdin), so does the gloss mean that the word could have still been unfamiliar to readers when this Sahidic translation was made? On the other hand the word is not glossed in the older Chester Beatty/Bodmer papyrus...

Shenoute
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 482
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:23 pm

Re: Reading Joshua in Sahidic

Post by Shenoute »

I finished reading Joshua and I'm glad it's over. Chapters 20-24 were slightly better than ones before but still far from riveting.

I'll be moving on to something else now and hope I'll be able to post slightly more interesting updates soon.

Post Reply