The Arabic Versions of the Gospels: The Manuscripts and their Families

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Walter de Gruyter, Jan 1, 2012 - Religion - 775 pages
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This book is concerned with the Arabic versions of the Gospels. It is an attempt to examine a substantial number of Arabic manuscripts which contain the continuous text of the canonical Gospels copied between the eighth and the nineteenth centuries and found in twenty-one different library collections in Europe and the Orient.
Following the introduction, Chapter Two presents the state of research from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present time. Chapter Three introduces and reflects on the two hundred plus manuscripts examined in this work. Chapters Four to Eight concentrate on grouping these manuscripts into twenty-four families and examining their Vorlagen (Greek, Syriac, Coptic and Latin). In order to examine the relationship between the families, phylogenetic software is used. Consequently, the manuscripts are grouped into seven different mega clusters or tribes. Finally the date of the first translation of the Gospels into Arabic is addressed and (a) provisional date(s) suggested based on the textual and linguistic analyses of the manuscripts.
The conclusion in Chapter Ten gives the overall contribution made by this thesis and also future avenues for the study of the Arabic versions of the Gospels.


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This is an excellent resource for textual criticism and theological history. We learn, for example, that pre-islamic Arab Christians used a distinct vocabulary, much of which had gone extinct even by the 8th century, but was preserved both in one lone monastic inscription and in a few surviving gospel manuscripts from as late as the 19th century! Prominent in this vocabulary was the use of 'Allah' for 'Elah' (the Aramaic vorlage's rendition of Theos).
The book is basically Dr. Kashouh's doctoral these, with minimal editing--some errors were not caught before it went to press. As such, it is way overpriced.


1 Introduction
The State of Research 18492004
3 An Abridged List of the Arabic Gospel Manuscripts
4 The Grouping of Arabic Gospel Manuscripts of Greek Vorlagen
5 The Grouping of Arabic Gospel Manuscripts of Syriac Vorlagen
The Arabic Vulgate
7 The Grouping Of Arabic Gospel Manuscripts of Coptic Latin and Mixture Vorlagen and Manuscripts edited from Arabic Lectionaries ...
8 Manuscripts of Mixed Arabic Versions and Fragmentary Manuscripts
10 Conclusion
11 Bibliography
Test Passages and Variants
Textual Evidence 1
Textual Evidence2 Family K
The Stemmas
16 General Index

9 The Organic Linguistic Relation Between the Families

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About the author (2012)

Hikmat Kashouh, University of Birmingham, UK.