A Concise Coptic-English Lexicon, which began as a word list compiled by students at Fuller Theological Seminary is often regarded as the best resource for students beginning their study of Coptic. Smith's lexicon is commonly paired with Crum's Coptic Dictionary because of their unique relationship and their authority as studies of Coptic Christianity. The Concise Coptic-English Lexicon was originally published in 1983, compared to Crum's work in 1939, and therefore includes additional vocabulary from the discovery of the Nag Hammadi.
What is Coptic? Why is the Coptic Bible important?
The ancient Egyptians wrote with over 4000 symbols, but were quick to adopt the Greek alphabet's 24 letters in the aftermath of the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great. Coptic is the Egyptian language written in Greek letters—with some additional letters added to represent sounds not found in Greek. The Coptic Bible contains some of the earliest recorded manuscripts of the canonical scriptures, as well as many significant Gnostic texts. The Coptic Bible is incredibly important because of its relationship to the early Church and the evolution of the Greek texts in such close proximity to the time of Christ.
Praise for the Print Edition
Smith's book is just the kind of tool that for many users tends to become a well-worn friend, and in the long run pays its own freight in spades due to its sheer convenience.
—Michael Williams, University of Washington (Near Eastern Languages & Civilization and Jackson School of International Studies)
Richard Smith has provided English-speaking beginning Coptic students with a concise aid to reading Sahidic texts … [and] has done students of Coptic an appreciable service.
—Westminster Theological Journal Review
- Title: A Concise Coptic-English Lexicon
- Author: Richard Smith
- Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature