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tc-list Sheb Tob and Isaac Velasquez

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  • William L. Petersen
    If I may offer a small correction: The *NTS* article does NOT propose that Shem-Tob used ... as Smith put it in his post. (I am reminded of the first
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 5, 1998
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      If I may offer a small correction:

      The *NTS* article does NOT propose that Shem-Tob used

      >an Arabic translation of the gospels made by Isaac Velasquez of Spain

      as Smith put it in his post. (I am reminded of the first reactions to the
      TC article, which interpreted me as arguing that Shem-Tob was dependent
      upon the Middle Dutch *Vorlage* of the Liege Harmony...)

      Rather, to quote the *NTS* article:

      "...has Howard considered the possibility that Shem-Tob might be dependent
      upon the same *Vorlage* as that used *in Spain* by Isaac Velasquez *in 946
      CE* when he translted the separate gospels into *Arabic*? Velasquez's
      translation has been known for over a century, and more than sixty years
      ago Anton Baumstark remarked on the extraordinary fact that this Arabic
      translation contained *numerous variant reading which were also found in
      the Middle Dutch Liege Harmony. Baumstark concluded that the ***Latin
      separate-gsopel *Vorlage* from which Velasquez worked was *related to the
      Western harmoniezed gospel tradition, especially the Middle Dutch
      tradition.* ***" (pp. 494-495)

      It is this "Latin separate-gospel *Vorlage* from which Velasquez worked"
      which is the presumed link with Shem-Tob--recall the reading "fowl" in Matt
      22:4 in both Shem-Tob and the Liege Harmony, which shows that Shem-Tob's
      *Vorlage* is almost certainly *LATIN* (TC article, para. 89).

      Dependence of Shem-Tob upon a *LATIN* Vorlage is explicitly stated at the
      conclusion of my *NTS* article, pp. 510-511: after pointing out (point 4,
      at the top of p. 511) that Velasquez's translation was made from "a Latin
      separate-gospel text which had numerous agreements with the Liege Harmony,"
      I state (middle of the page) "One is forced to conclude that the *Vorlage*
      of Shem-Tob's Hebrew Matthew was a *medieval Latin manuscript of the
      separate gospels, whose text had been profoundly influenced by the same
      harmonized gospel tradition found in the Middle Dutch family of harmonies.* "

      Reading either article and concluding--contrary to the explicit statements
      asserting Latin dependence--"that Shem Tob may have used an Arabic
      translation of the gospels made by Isaac Velasquez of Spain" means that one
      has been reading too quickly. No statement in either article even remotely
      suggests Shem-Tob's dependence upon an Arabic source, of any sort.

      Please: read carefully and accurately. I go out of my way to *write*
      accurately; I ask my readers to make the same investment.

      As to Smith's questions about "further information on this apparently
      unpublished Arabic text, or where one may be able to get a microfilm or
      photocopy of a ms.": I have given the bibliographic information in the TC
      article: see Baumstark and Guidi; one may also consult G. Graf,
      *Geschichte der christlichen Arabischen Literatur* (5 vols.; Vatican,
      1944-53), which is the standard work on Arabic Christian literature. The
      manuscripts are in Munich (Staatsbibliothek, as I recall), in Seville
      (Cathedral Library), and in Fez (? I am working from memory: check the
      sources). The Arabist of our NIAS team, Dr. Peter Joosse of Frankfurt, has
      obtained microfilms of three or four of the manuscripts (I forget the
      precise number), all, of course, in Arabic script. He is doing preliminary
      work on an edition and translation. Publication (if it ever occurs) will
      be many years down the road... As both the *TC* and the *NTS* articles
      indicate, we also have Baumstark's archive, which contains occasional notes
      on variants in Velasquez's text. Dr. August den Hollander (Amsterdam) and
      Dr. Ulrich Schmid (Bethel) are the curators of the archive, which is
      described in full in the articles. It is now in Amsterdam.

      --Petersen, Penn State University.


      At 09:45 PM 10/5/98 +1000, you wrote:
      >Some time ago Prof William Petersen informed us of his critique of George
      Howard's work concerning the Hebrew text of
      >Matthew contained in the work of the 14th century Shem Tob of Spain. Prof
      Petersen's article in the latest "New Testament
      >Studies" journal goes a little further than his first publication in TC
      earlier this year. in NTS he suggests that Shem Tob
      >may have used an Arabic translation of the gospels made by Isaac Velasquez
      of Spain apparently made from an Old Latin source
      >in about 930 CE. This translation was quite popular in Spain and Morrocco
      for some time and was a quite plausibly accessable
      >to Shem Tob.
      >
      >Does anyone know if there is any further information on this apparently
      unpublished Arabic text, or where one may be able to
      >get a microfilm or photocopy of a ms. So far the only information I have
      is what I have gleaned from Petersen's article,
      >Metzger's "Early Versions of the N.T.", and Voobus' "Early Versions of the
      N.T.".
      >
      >With thanks, Errol Smith.
      >
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