Friday, July 6, 2007
Critical Edition of Codex Tchacos
I have been away for the last week and was happy to see when I returned that my copy of the critical edition of the Codex Tchacos was waiting for me in the mailroom. Of course, it is entitled the "Gospel of Judas together with the Letter of Peter to Philip, James, and a Book of Allogenes from Codex Tchacos" with the Gospel of Judas in much larger print than the other titles for marketing purposes, to be sure. But I am particularly excited to read the books getting less press. Two of them, the Letter of Peter to Philip and James, are attested in the Nag Hammadi Codices, and so FINALLY we can see variant readings of the same text and begin to discuss issues of transmission history in ways that we cannot for most NHC documents. But the real gem, in my view, is the tentatively-titled "Book of Allogenes," which appears to be almost a midrash on Jesus' temptation in the desert and the Transfiguration all wrapped into one, but instead of saying "Jesus" the text speaks of ''Allogenes" or the "Stranger/Foreigner/Alien." I have only skimmed the contents of of this volume, but it contains introductory essays on the codicological analysis, the particularities of the Coptic dialect in these four tractates, and so on, photographs of the text, a coptic reconstruction of the text, English and French translations, and an index of the Coptic words used in each tractate, particularly proper names and places, etc. I can't wait to dive into these texts.