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6739The Zeytun Gospels' Canon Tables

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  • james_snapp_jr
    Nov 14, 2011
      The Zey'tun Gospels. Ever hear of it? It's an Armenian copy of the four Gospels, produced in the mid-1200's. There is an ownership dispute underway regarding eight pages of Canon-tables which were originally part of this codex: the Getty Museum has the pages and has had them for some time. The Armenian Church -- which apparently entrusted the codex to someone back in the early 1900's for safekeeping -- wants them back.

      And, if I understand reports correctly, to get back those eight pages of Canon-tables, the Armenian owners of the manuscript are suing the Getty Museum for $50,000,000.

      Those are some very fancy Canon-tables.

      Doing a little google-work, I found that the IAA site has images of several pages from the Zey'tun Gospels -- mostly artwork but with some text included in a few images (including the opening verse of Mark).

      Perhaps the Getty Museum should make digital photos of the Canon-tables, place them all online, and send the pages themselves back to Armenia. And perhaps the Armenians should place online a digital presentation of this $50,000,000 codex -- like what has been done for the Goodspeed Collection, and for Codex Sinaiticus (and even for that Latin book we saw last Christmas!) -- as a gesture of gratitude for the return of the Canon-Table pages, and to show everyone that they, as custodians of valuable and interesting manuscripts, actually can do something that is text-critically helpful for non-Armenian researchers, instead of publishing pretty pictures and promising and promising that they will release something text-critically useful, someday, eventually, when their cataloguing and photography and analysis, etc., etc., are all finished.

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.