Update on blogging

I have been very quiet on this blog for the last several weeks because life on campus has been hectic and because I have been getting ready to fly to Houston on Saturday. I am going to spend five weeks at Rice University as a visiting student/scholar working with Prof April DeConick on my thesis. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to discuss my work with April, to getting access to the Fondren Library’s collection of Thomas and Early Christianity related books and journals and to the luxury of being able to study full time rather than fitting it in mainly on weekends and evenings. I’m also grateful to April, the Religious Studies Department at Rice and to Profs Peter Flood, Peter Forrest and Majella Franzmann at my own university for making this trip possible.

I plan to spend some time blogging about my research during my time away. I have also been amazed at the amount of time I’ve had to spend on administration just so that I can make this trip. Not having to do it should free up some more research and blogging time when I get back.

Update on Plumley’s Coptic Grammar and other Coptic resources

The hypertext version of Plumley’s Coptic Grammar has been updated and a downloadable version in MS Word added. Both can be found from the link above. Thanks to Mark Goodacre at New Testament Gateway for alerting me to this.

Like Mark, I prefer to use Lambin as my basic Coptic text, but I find that Plumley is sometimes useful for providing another way of looking at the meaning of particular grammatical structures and the electronic version has the advantage of being accessibly when the paper version is in my other office. I also find Ariel Shisha-Halevy’s Coptic Grammatical Chrestomathy useful from time to time because it has a number of tables in the appendices that summarise Coptic grammatical forms. I am not as optimistic as the author about the possibility of teaching oneself Coptic using this book, though, and it is often very expensive. At the time of posting the link above, Eisenbraun’s was offering it for USD 52.25, but it is often well over USD 100.

Eisenbraun’s also offer Richard Smith’s A Concise Coptic-English Lexicon at a very reasonable price (USD 17.96). I find this little book very useful for quick reference, both because it does not use the ornate font that is used in Crum’s and also because he doesn’t give examples, so it is easier to find vocabulary items than it is in Crum. For distinguishing fine shades of meaning, there is no substitute for Crum, of course.

Another useful set of Coptic resources can be found on Lance Eccles’ Macquarie University-based site. He includes outlines of both Sahidic and Bohairic morphology and a short classified Sahidic vocabularly with examples. The latter is very useful when you find yourself asking “Now, what is the Coptic for ‘forearm’, again?” and don’t feel like wading through the English index in the back of Crum.

Update 3 May:

I have just discovered that the links to Eisenbraun’s catalogue don’t work properly, so I’ve simply linked to their website and you will have to put some keywords into the search box to find the books.