Thursday, April 06, 2006

Gospel of Judas

These are the first three lines from the Gospel of Judas. (PDF) I watched the news conference tonight and then found the National Geographic site. I wasn't able to open the actual manuscript image pages at the time so I decided to work with the font.

I downloaded and installed the New Athena Unicode font from Dave McCreedy's Gallery of Unicode Fonts and copied these lines for myself below. The Coptic alphabet is found in the Coptic Unicode block and the Greek and Coptic block. Five of the seven characters in the Greek and Coptic block were necessary for this text. These letters are basic to Coptic, so don't lose them. Just so you know, it you are looking to input Coptic. Use both blocks. The disunification of Coptic from Greek in Unicode just occurred in the past year.

My text is below, a simple exercise in order to figure out where I would find the different characters. They are basically in the same order as Greek with a few others characters like U+03E2 : COPTIC CAPITAL LETTER SHEI and U+03E4 : COPTIC CAPITAL LETTER FEI.

I copied out the name of Judas Iscariot underneath the text here - this name can be seen at the end of the second line and the beginning of the third line.

One thing I did find was that it was much easier to copy a known name than the rest of the text. The text is in the Sahidic Coptic, the major literary variety of Coptic.

I couldn't access the actual images of the manuscript when I started out this evening, however, they are available and on a second try I was able to view a few select pages here. Some excerpts of the English text are here.

The National Geographic special is on this Sunday, April 9. Great previews of old manuscripts on the news tonight.

Update: Here is where you can download a Coptic keyboard.

7 Comments:

Blogger goliah said...

Like the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi discoveries, this latest 'gospel' increases the amount of new scriptural material only available this century making the concept of 'canonical scriptures' and the traditions built upon them even less convincing. What would 'Christianity' look like if all these resources were available from the beginning? For what may be an AWESOME religious controversy check this link: www.energon.uklinux.net

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Anonymous siti said...

The discovery of the Gospel of Judas yet again contributes to the quest for uncovering true events during the time of Jesus. Whether it speaks of the truth or not, it will be one of those issues again that will stimulate curiousity among christianity.

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