St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society

Society Progress 1997-8

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Beginning July 31 , 1998, the Society held its first general conference of Coptic Studies which lasted for two full days. It was held at the campus of the California State University, Long Beach, through the courtesy of the University authorities and the hard word of the Coptic Collegiate Club there. It dealt with a wide range of subjects related to Coptic Studies. Bishop Samuel of Shibin al-Qanater, Egypt was both an attendee and a participant. He delivered the opening address for the first day. Bishop Serapion, the Coptic bishop of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas, was in attendance on the second day and delivered the opening Address on the work of the Diocese in the field of Christian Education. There were about 20 presentations over the two-day period delivered by scholars, Students, clergy, and laymen. Approximately 90 people were in attendance on either or both days. Four of the presentations were related to monastic subjects from either an archeological or a contemplative perspective. This event was a watershed mark in the Society efforts to promote scholarly research among the Coptic Community.

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The Society's monumental work in publishing the treasures that the Coptic Heritage possesses, has continued. The first fruits of this work appeared as part of the Coptic computer CD that was published. This included an edition of the substantially complete versions of the New Testament (CB43-CB60). The first 42 volumes of the Biblical Section, CB1-CB42, has had substantial work accomplished. The following step is to complete the review of the computerized texts against the printed or the manuscript that they were based on as well as the assembly of the dismembered books, especially among the Sahidic Old Testament books. The hagiographic section on St. Shenouda the Archimandrite and the Martyrdom of St. John of Phanidjoit are also being worked on. A preliminary report was published in commemoration of the Center's Open House on December 4, 1993, copies are still available to be ordered.

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a. Coptic CD: This year saw the completion of the first substantial work of the Society in the field of Coptic Studies. It included enormous resources of Coptic instructional and research material. The files were be in Adobe Acrobat format. The contents included an Introductory Bohairic Grammar with sounds in both the current pronunciation system as well a slightly modified one proposed by the lessons' compiler, Bohairic-English dictionary, Bohairic/Sahidic/English(KJV)/Greek New Testament in at least six different parallel editions, and a Bohairic-English Annual Lectionary for the days (or feasts). This format is suitable for IBM PC's and Apple Mac's. The CD was available for distribution in May 1998.

b. Image Digitizing: This work was dealt a painful blow late in November 1997 with the crash of the Hard Disk that housed the information. Much of the material was recovered but they needed to be enhanced. We will be resuming this work in the upcoming year which will keep us busy for years to come judging by the vast collections of the Society.

c. Computer at the Coptic Center: This year we expanded our computer capability at the Los Angeles Coptic Center (LA) and the Orange County Regional Center (OC) to better handle the needs of the users of the facilities. This included the addition of two new PCs to our existing office Ethernet Network at LA and upgrade of the existing unit at OC. There is two additional PCs being planned for the upcoming year at LA along with new Intranet to better serve the users of the facilities.

d. Global Access (Internet): This year we continued our solid presence on the internet with our own domain name and with an adequate space to publish several documents about the Coptic Language, St. Shenouda, Coptic Studies, our Coptic Newsletters, and many other documents to promote the Coptic Heritage and its study. Our Address is still:


The site was recognized by the Encyclopedia Britannica Internet Guide as a recommended site under the keyword Coptic. Also, sites all over the world have made links to our site, especially the Coptic Language section. This section became the default site for all interested in its study. We are planning to add Adobe Acrobat documents that include bibliographies and other research material needed by people interested in Coptic Studies.

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During the past year the library grew to nearly 1,400 volumes of material in the different branches of Coptic Studies. We expanded the library in nearly every section of its more than 14 different sections. We are continuing the expansion and the development of the library to contain all the necessary references required by those who want to learn and/or to research the Coptic Heritage. The most notable additions, including items on order, were as follows:

a. Coptic Art/Architecture/Inscriptions: A.Badawy, History of Egyptian Architecture V.1 from the Earliest Time to the End of the Old Kingdom; E.M.Chassinat, Fouilles a Baouit. Tome 1 (1911); M.Erikson, Textiles in Egypt 200-1500 AD - In the Swedish Museum Collection (1997); A.Gayet, L'Art Copte (1902); P.Grossmann, Elephantine II, Kirche und Spätantike Hauanlagen im Chnumtempelhof (1980); N.S.H.Janesma, Ornements des Manuscrits Copte du Monastere Blanc (1973); P.van.Moorsel, Le Monastere de Saint Antoine 2 vol; M.Zibawi, Eastern Christian Worlds (1995);

b. Coptic Bible, Old & New: ---, The Septuagint Version Greek and English, Samuel Bagster & Sons (1851); ---, Vetus Testamentum ex Versione Septuginta Interpretum Secundum Exemplar Vaticanum ... 3­vol, Oxford (1875); Aland & Aland, The Greek New Testament (4th ed. rev.); Lust et al, A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint pt.2 K-; S.Olofsson, The LXX Version - A Guide to the Translation Techniques of the Septuagint; Rahlfs, Septuaginta v.X Psalmi cum Odis; B.Taylor, The Analytical Lexicon to the Septuagint; Wevers, Septuginta v.1 Genesis; Wevers, Septuaginta v.II,1 Exodus; Wevers, Septuginta v.III,2 Deuteronomium; Ziegler, Septuaginta v. XIII Duodecim Prophetae;

c. Coptic Festschrifts and conference proceedings: P.Borgen & S.Giversen (ed.), The New Testament and Hellenistic Judaism (1997); van den Broek, Studies in Gnosticism and Alexandrian Christianity; van den Broek, Studies in Gnosticism and Hellenistic Religions presented to G.Quispel; Byzantine Institute, Studies in Honor of W.E.Crum (1950); D.W.Young (ed.), Studies Presented to Hans Jakob Polotsky (1981);

d. Canon Law and Legal Texts: R.S.Bagnall, Dakhleh Oasis Project Monograph 7. The Kellis Agricultural Account (1997); R.S.Bagnall & D.D.Obbink, Columbia Papyri X (1996); R.Cribiore, Writing, Teacher, and Student in Graeco-Roman Egypt (1996); Endress, A Greek and Arabic Lexicon. Materials for a Dictionary of the Mediaeval Translations from Greek into Arabic, 4 parts; I.Gardinar, Dakhleh Oasis Project Monograph 4. The Kellis Literary Texts. V.1 (1996); A.Grohmann, Arabic Papyri in the Egyptian Library (1934); P.A.L'Huillier, The Church of the Ancient Councils - The Disciplinary Work of the First Ecumenical Councils (1996); A.C.Johnson & L.C.West, Byzantine Egypt: Economic Studies (1949); Khoury, Chrestomathie de Papyrologie Arabe - Documents Relatifs a La vie Privee, Sociale et Administrative; J.G.Winter, Life and Letters in the Papyri (1933); K.A.Worp & A.Rijiksbaron, Dakhleh Oasis Project Mono-graph 5. The Kellis Isocrates Codex (1997);

e. Cataloges of Manuscripts & Bibiographies: W.Kammerer, A Coptic Bibliography (Reprint 1969); Macomber, Final Inventory of the Microfilmed Manuscripts of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Al-Azbakiyah, Cairo (unpublished); W.Pleyte & P.A.A.Boeser, Manuscrits Coptes du Musee d'Antiquites des Pays-Bas a Leide (1897);

f. Coptic Hagiography: T.Mina, Le Martyre d'Apa Epima (1937);

g. Coptic History and Geography: Behrens-Abouseif, Egypt's Adjustment to Ottoman Rule; H.I.Bell, Egypt from Alexander the Great to the Arab Conquest; P.Brown, The Body And Society - Men Women and Sexual Renunciation In Early Christianity; P.Brown, The Making of Late Antiquity; E.W.Budge, The Dwellers of the Nile, 2nd Ed. London (1888); J.H.Ellens, Alexander the Great and Hellenistic Culture: The impact of Political and Military Achievements upon the Life of the Mind and the Spirit (1997); W.H.C.Frend (ed.), The Archaeology of Early Christianity: a History (1998); Lietzmann, History of the Early Church Vol IV - The Era of the Church Fathers; R.Makar, Jacques Tagher - Christians Under Moslem Rule (English Translation); A.Marsot, Women and Men in Late Eighteenth Century Egypt (1995); J.M.Modrzejewski, The Jews of Egypt - From Ramses II to Emperor Hadrian; Mosheim, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, 2-vol (1857); Stevenson, A New Eusebius - Documents Illustrative of the History of the Church to AD 337.

h. Coptic and Other Languages: W.Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the NT and Other early Christian Literature; Lane, Arabic English Lexicon, 2 vol; T.Muraoka, Classical Syriac - A Basic Grammar with Chrestomathy (1997); H.W.Smythe, Greek Grammar; G.Steindorff, Kürzer Abriss der Koptischen Grammatik mit Lesenstücken und Worterverzeichnis, Berlin (1921) and associated archive; G.Steindorff, Lehrbuch der Koptischen Grammatik (Am. Ed. 1951); C.C.Walters, An Elementary Coptic Grammar (Reprint 1976);

i. Coptic Liturgy: Duchesne, Christian Worship - Its Origin and Evolution, 4th Ed. London 1949;

j. Coptic Literature/Patristics: B.Altaner, Patrologie - Leben, Schriften und Lehre des Kirchenvater; Giordani, The Social message of the Early Church Fathers; Metcalfe, Origen the Teacher..., London 1907; Meyendorf et al, Christian Spirituality - Origins to the 12th Century; Patristic Centre Cairo, Patrological and Theological Studies (1998 - Arabic); B.A.Pearson, The emergence of the Christian Religion - Essays on Early Christianity; Prestige, God in Patristic Thought; Reynolds, Church History - Council of Nicaea and St. Athanasius; Robertson, St. Athanasius on the Incarnation, London (1891); M.Sheridan, Rufus of Shotep - Homilies on the Gospels of Matthew and Luke - Introduction, Text, Translation, Commentary; M.Simonetti, Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church - A Historical introduction to Patristic Exegesis; Squire, Asking the Fathers; Fr. M.Wahba, Honorable Marriage according to St. Athanasius (1996);

k. Coptic Monasticism: R.R.Jones, An Ethnohistory of Coptic Monasticism (Egypt Christianity) (UMI 1997); J.Patrich, Sabas, Leader of Palestinian Monasticism;

l. Coptic Theology/Religion: Galavaris, Icon in the Life of the Church; McGlinchey, The Teaching of Amen-em-Ope and the Book of Proverbs, CUA Diss. 1939;

m. Coptic Apocrypha/Gnosticism: B.Layton, The Gnostic Treatise on Resurrection from Nag Hammadi; Sox, The Gospel of Barnabas;

n. Periodicals: Volumes 30, 33-36 of the Bulletin of the Society for Coptic Archaeology. The most recent issues of Coptic Church Review, Al-Risala Newsletter, Sunday School Magazine, St. Mark Magazine, and the monthly book of the Patristic Center in Egypt. We received numerous offprints from our corresponding colleagues/

o. Miscellaneous: J.L.Foster, Hymns Prayers and Songs - An Anthology of Ancient Egyptian Lyric Poetry; M.Meyer, The Magical Book of Mary & the Angels in English Translation (1997); E.Wente, Letters from Ancient Egypt (1990).

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The Advanced Coptic Seminar, concluded its work on the 10th century manuscript of the Homily of St. Theodosius of Alexandria on the Virgin Mary. The new session is dealing with a Homily of St. Cyril of Alexandria on the Three Holy Youth as well as selections from the Bohairic Genesis. Two Introductory Coptic sessions were completed. All classes are conducted at the Center by the Society's president, Hany N. Takla.

The Society in cooperation with the Coptic Diocese of Los Angeles, is preparing a curriculum for training students in the methodology of researching liturgical subjects using primary sources, i.e. manuscripts. The training will include two sessions of Coptic grammar and text translation, followed by a series of seminars and workshops on the methodologies of using the liturgical manuscripts in research. Mr. Maged S. Mikhail and Mr. Hany N. Takla will be preparing and conducting these seminars at the Center.

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a. Newsletter - Subscriber's Edition: The Coptic Center staff started to publish an expanded version of quarterly newsletter which is bringing out some of the work being done using the resources available at the Center. Four issues of volume one of that edition were published and mailed to our members and others selected individuals throughout the world. We also began an abridged regular edition for non-members.

b. Annual Bulletin: Volume 4, came out in July of this year. It contained nine of the papers presented at last year's Coptic Symposium. It was sent to all dues-paying members as part of their membership. All others interested in sampling this work, will be able to do so at a nominal fee.

c. Coptic Symposium on Video: Mr. Adel Mankarious has gratefully produced, on behalf of the Society, a video recording of the entire proceedings of last year's Coptic Symposium on two video tapes. Copies can be ordered from the Society.

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During the past year, the Society has continued a course of constructive collaboration with the newly founded St. Mark Foundation for Coptic History. This organization will be concerned primarily with the rewriting of the History of the Coptic Church and its people. Through this branch of Coptic Studies, the Society has found avenues of collaboration particularly in the technical aspects. The organization also, through the able direction of its founder, Dr. Fawzy Estafanous of Cleveland Ohio, is working on a wider scale of participation by the ecclesiastical authorities as well as the Coptic Laity in Egypt and Abroad. We wish them all divine help and guidance.

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Prepared by Hany N. Takla 10/27/98

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