I mentioned in my previous post that by a matter of serendipity, I decided to produce a bi-lingual edition of the Apocryphal Gospels. My idea was to make available to scholars who wanted easy access to (virtually all) the non-canonical Gospels in the original language a one-volume edition, and to make available to everyone, whether scholars or not, solid and new English translations of all these works. The original idea was to include all the early and important Gospels (up to the Middle Ages) in Greek, Latin, and English. But when I switched publishers to Oxford, I realized that I could do more than that, and decided to include some in Coptic as well. Had I been really ambitious I could have gone for some in other languages, but that would have stretched me too far.
The Coptic itself was a stretch. I had read Coptic at a fairly basic level for years, but I was no expert. And so I decided to ask my colleague Zlatko Plese to join me in producing the volume. Zlatko is one of the world’s best Coptologists, and he happens to have an office next to mine. Together we run the program in Early Christian studies at UNC. He is Croatian and was trained as a classicist, first in Zagreb and then (second PhD) at Yale. He started reading Latin and Greek as a boy, and reads them, I have to say, like the flippin’ newspaper. He’s perfect for something like this. And he agreed to do it.
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