Sahidic Coptic Gospel of John--------200-300 C.E. 

and the Word was a god.

The Sahidic Coptic text was translated from NT Greek manuscripts about 200-300 C.E.  Some of those Greek manuscripts may have been as early as p66 (Bodmer II), the earliest extant witness to the Gospel of John.

The Sahidic Coptic text is a very early example of how the NT Greek text was understood and translated by early Christians.  It is on a par with the Old Latin and Syriac translations.  However, the Sahidic text was the first translation in a language with grammar that contained both definite and indefinite articles.

Open click on Light and Life in Coptic John

1 In the beginning the Word existed. The Word was in the presence of God, and the Word was a god. 2 This one was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and apart from him nothing that exists came into being.

4 That which came into being through him was life, and that life was the light of mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.

6 There came a man sent from God, named John. 7 He came to bear witness, to bear witness about the light so that people might believe by means of him. 8 [John] was not the light, but he [came] to bear witness about the light. 9 The genuine light that gives light to everyone was [just] coming into the world.

10 He was in the world, the world made through him, but the world did not acknowledge him. 11 He came to those who were his own, but those who were his own did not welcome him. 12 But to those who did receive him, he gave authority to become children of God, those believing on his name. 13 These were born from God, not from the will of flesh and blood, nor from the will of mankind.

14 So the Word did become flesh and he lived with us. And we saw his glory, the glory given an only Son by his Father, full of divine loving-kindness and truth.

15 John bore witness about him, calling out and declaring, "This was the one concerning whom I said, ‘‘He who comes behind me has come to be ahead of me, because he existed prior to me.’’" 16 From his fullness we all received life and divine loving-kindness upon divine loving-kindness. 17 The Law was given through Moses, but the divine loving-kindness and the truth came to be through Jesus, the Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God at all. The god who is the only Son in the bosom of his Father is the one who has explained him.

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