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A: Alexandria Governorate, Egypt

Translation of the Bible From Greek into Coptic Script Occurs

Circa 100 CE to 250 CE
<p>Psalter in Sahidic, a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coptic_language">Coptic</a>&nbsp;Egyptian dialect (c. 400 CE), Sohag, Egypt. Sch&oslash;yen Collection MS 114.</p>

Psalter in Sahidic, a Coptic Egyptian dialect (c. 400 CE), Sohag, Egypt. Schøyen Collection MS 114.

 

“Translation of the Bible into Egyptian, written in the Coptic Script, dates back to the second century AD. At first, some missionaries translated orally or informally from Greek into Egyptian, certain passages to use in their missionary work. In the last half of the Second Century, Pantaenus, the missionary philosopher, came to Alexandria and became the head of the Theological School. Later on St. Demetrius the first became the Bishop of Alexandria. He was the first known Egyptian to be bishop of that city. The presence of those two sparked a concerted effort to spread Christianity among the Egyptian peasants. Thus the Coptic script was officially christianized for use in translating the Scriptures as needed in the missionary work. This was done to ensure the uniformity of the Christian teachings to be given to the new converts.

“The first translations were in the form of passages mainly from the Gospels. Later on, the whole books were translated. Probably the Gospels were translated first, followed by the Acts in the New Testament. Among the Old Testament books, Psalms followed by Genesis was probably the early order of translation. Eventually the entire New Testament was translated, followed by the Books of Moses, the Prophets, the Poetic Books and the Historical Books in that order. . . . This translation process may have lasted about a century or even more. Keep in mind that all the translations were done from the [koine] Greek whether it was Old or New Testament Books. Except on rare occasions, the Hebrew Old Testament was never utilized by the Christians of Egypt" (http://www.stshenouda.com/newsltr/nl3_2.htm, accessed 01-26-2009).

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