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10083Gorgias Staff Discover the Original Diatessaron

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  • Dr. George Kiraz
    Apr 2, 2007
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      Gorgias Staff Discover the Original Diatessaron

      For Immediate Release

      Piscataway, NJ�April 1, 2007�Gorgias Staff announce that its staff
      discovered last Friday the original copy of the Diatessaron.

      Tatian produced the Diatessaron, a harmony of the four Gospels, in the second half of the second century, most probably in Syriac. He rewrote the four Gospels in one continuous narrative resolving conflicting statements and removing duplicated text. The original Syriac has long been lost, and a commentary on the Diatessaron by Ephrem the Syrian containing many quotations of the Diatessaron was also presumed lost until fragments started showing up in the antique market in France a few decades ago. The original composition of Tatian remained lost.

      The staff of Gorgias Press began their work on the Diatessaron by publishing an English translation from an Arabic version. The translation was made by J Hamlyn Hill in his The Earliest Life of Christ: The Diatessaron of Tatian. Last year, the staff at Gorgias published Carl H. Kraeling�s A Greek Fragment of Tatian's Diatessaron from Dura, based on an original copy from the private collection of Gorgias President George A. Kiraz. Soon after its publication, the original disappeared too. The staff was terrified. They immediately began fearing a second century curse that may have been placed on anyone who works on the Diatessaron. Would Gorgias staff start disappearing, they wondered? Gorgias management immediately began a search for the original copy.

      Last Friday, after five months of search, Felix Ng, Image and Design Editor at Gorgias, stumbled on a clue. He knew his boss very well, and the fact that he displaces books very easily. During his boss�s absence, Felix went to the desk of the boss and turned his line of vision 90 degrees. The original copy was right there on the shelf at eye level. The original was finally found, the original copy from which the reprint was produced of course. The staff at Gorgias rejoiced as they no longer need to fear the ancient curse.

      A Greek Fragment of Tatian's Diatessaron from Dura
      http://www.gorgiaspress.com/bookshop/showproduct.aspx?isbn=1-59333-368-4
      By Carl H. Kraeling
      ISBN 1-59333-368-4, Paperback, $24

      Discovered in 1933, a fragment of Tatian�s Diatessaron is published here with critical apparatus, a facsimile, and a transcription. The fragment, a discarded portion of a scroll with 14 surviving lines of text, was likely used in the worship of a third century C.E. chapel excavated at Dura Europos.

      The Earliest Life of Christ Ever Compiled from the Four Gospels
      http://www.gorgiaspress.com/bookshop/showproduct.aspx?isbn=1-59333-477-X
      By J Hamlyn Hill
      ISBN 1-59333-477-X, Hardback, $54

      In the second century, well before the canonical gospels took their present form, Tatian wove from the four gospels and one or more Judaic-Christian gospels one harmonized account of the life of Christ, the Diatessaron. The Earliest Life of Christ is an English translation of the Diatessaron based on the Arabic version, itself a translation from the lost Syriac.

      Dr. George Kiraz
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