Re Jean Valentin's note:
There is a well-known variant here in the Judaic-Christian gospels.
Depending upon which edition you use, the fragment may be attributed to the
GHebrews, GNazoraeans, or GEbionites. I don't recall the reading exactly
(I'm on the road at the moment, and away from my sources), but it is
usually attributed to GHebrews, as I recall, and has "oil-fried cakes"
instead of "locusts"--and this has usually been taken to be an Encratite
variant, and also evidence for a Greek origin of the GHebrews (the two
words are very similar in Greek). Check out Klijn's *Jewish Christian
Gospel Tradition* (SuppVigChr 17) or any NT Apocyrpha
(Henneck-Schneemelcher, or Elliott).
However: to the best of my knowledge, there is no obvious Diatessaronic
reading here. Note that Boismard (cp. my comments on the work you cite in
*Tatian's Diatessaron,* pp. 348-356) refers to Syriac Fathers (if your
recitation of his evidence is correct), not the Diatessaron; check
Plooij's edition of the Liege Harmony, which will give any significant
--Petersen, Penn State University.
At , you wrote:
>Just discovered this variant in an Arabic ms of the XIth century, ms Sinai
>Arabic 106.. According to the standard Greek text, John the Baptist ate
>"locusts and wild honey". So is it also in most manuscripts of this Arabic
>version on which I'm working, except this one.
>Here it is written that John "ate tree blades and herbs" (wa-yaakul atraaf
>ash-shajar wa-ahsheesh). Notably, from the copy of the ms in my possession,
>it can be clearly seen that it is a correction: the original text of the ms
>(probably the one we find in the other mss) is erased and replaced by these
>words. To those interested, I can try to send a scanning of that page.
>Is this reading diatessaronic? I hesitate. From a footnote in Boismard's "Le
>Diatessaron de Tatien à Justin" (p.75) I learn that Syriac fathers quoting
>the Diatessaron read in it that John ate "milk and honey".
>Nevertheless, the reading of my Arabic ms is strictly vegetarian. Locusts
>are animals. Milk and honey are derived or produced by animals. On the
>contrary, tree blades and herbs have no connection whatsoever with animals.
>This sounds like a very strict encratism.
>Now the questions are: why would a corrector of the XIth century or later,
>probably working in the scriptorium of the very orthodox Mount Sinai
>monastery, bother to introduct such an idiosyncratic reading (did forms of
>encratisme survive for such a long time in monastic circles?), and where
>would he have taken it from?
>Jean Valentin - 34 rue du Berceau - 1000 Bruxelles - Belgique
>e-mail : jgvalentin@...