Thursday, May 11, 2017

Syriac New Testament MSS at Saint Catherine's Monastery

            The collection of page-views of manuscripts at Saint Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai housed at the Library of Congress includes not only Greek manuscripts, and Georgian manuscripts, but also Syriac manuscripts.  A series of links to the Syriac New Testament manuscripts in the collection is at the end of this post.
            How important is Syriac evidence?  Very important.  To find out more about the Syriac Versions – the Old Syriac, the Peshitta, the Harklean Syriac, and more – here are links to a few resources:
            The Bible in the Syriac Tradition, by Sebastian Brock
            The Fourfold Gospels in the Writings of Ephrem, by Matthew Crawford.
            Syriac Versions of the New Testament, by Peter Williams
            ENTTC Entry:  Syriac Versions, by Robert Waltz
            1915 ISBE Entry:  Syriac Versions, by Thomas Nicol
            Two Memoirs on the Syriac Version, by John Gwynn
            English Translations of the Peshitta Version, at

In addition, if you are hungry for additional Syriac resources:
            Sebastian Brock has provided a collection of Syriac resources, including information on patristic writers such as Cyrillona and Isaac of Antioch, who are not even named in the list of cited authors in UBS4.
            Hugoye:  Journal of Syriac Studies, is crammed with articles keeping readers up to date about Syriac discoveries and research, especially regarding Syriac patristic writings.
            George al-Banna has a series of video lessons on how to read Syriac.
            The Meltho font may be useful if you want to write Syriac electronically.

Here are links to the page-views of over 50 manuscripts in the collection at Saint Catherine’s Monastery.  (If a date-assignment appears to be an estimate, it is.)

MS 2:  Four Gospels (500’s)  This is a very early copy of the Peshitta Gospels.
MS 3:  Pauline Epistles  (c. 500)  This is the same manuscript as Schøyen MS 2530.  Andreas Juckel has made a thorough analysis and full collation of this manuscript’s text.
MS 12:  Lectionary and Gospel of Luke (600’s)            
MS 13:  Lectionary of Gospels and Epistles (1000)              
MS 15:  Acts and Epistles (700’s)     
MS 17:  Syriac New Testament (800’s)             
MS 21:  New Testament Lectionary (1000’s)           
MS 30:  Lives of Holy Women and Four Gospels (Sinaitic Syriac Palimpsest) (400)  This is the famous (or infamous) Sinaitic Syriac palimpsest; its upper writing tells about events in the lives of some Christian ladies; the harder-to-see lower writing is the (incomplete) Gospels, from about 400.  This manuscript’s Gospels-text is closely related to the text in the (also incomplete) Curetonian Syriac Gospels manuscript.
MS 32: Lectionary:  Gospels and Epistles (1000’s)           
MS 45:  Apostolos (1043)                                     
MS 49:  Lectionary (1100-1300)
MS 65 Gospels-Lectionaryand Kanonarion (1000)                
MS 74:  Four Gospels (1200)              
MS 75:  Lectionary (Acts and Epistles) (1295)             
MS 81:  Lectionary (Epistles) (1232)               
MS 92:  Praxapostolos (1291)              
MS 100:  Lectionary (Acts and Epistles) (1200)                    
MS 120:  Lectionary(Acts and Epistles) (1100)              
MS 134:  Gospels (Matthew and Mark) (1200)                   
MS 135:  Four Gospels (1100-1300)     
MS 145:  Four Gospels (1188)
MS 159:  Gospels (Matthew and John) 1260                    
MS 205:  Four Gospels (1300’s)
MS 214:  Lectionary (Acts and Epistles) (1200’s)           
MS 215:  Praxapostolos (1219)             
MS 216:  Praxapostolos (1200)             
MS 218:  Praxapostolos (1200)             
MS 219:  Lectionary (Gospels) (1200’s)           
MS 222:  Praxapostolos (1267)             
MS 227:  Praxapostolos (1293)             
MS 229:  Praxapostolos (1200’s)          
MS 231:  Four Gospels (1200’s)           
MS 235:  Praxapostolos (1215)              
MS 236:  Lectionary (Gospels) (1294)              
MS 238:  Lectionary (Gospels) (1200’s)
MS 259:  Gospels (Luke and John) (1200’s)           
MS 269:  Lectionary (Gospels) (1100-1300)       
MS 271:  Lectionary (Gospels) (1288)              
            Image 105, with asterisks and rubrics      
MS 272:  Four Gospels (1296)              


MS 16:  Patristica and Profana (600’s)             
MS 24:  Works of Mar Isaac et al (900’s)            
MS 28:  Book of Kings (700’s)             
MS 35:  First Samuel (600’s)             
MS 56:  Patristica,Works of John Climacus et al (700’s)             
MS 67:  Works of Mar Ephrem (800’s)             

And if that’s not enough, the contents of more Syriac manuscripts, from other places, can be accessed at MSS-Syriaques and at the Mingana Collection.

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