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RE: [textualcriticism] Book of Revelation & Folio 129a ofSinaiticus

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  • David Hindley
    Jean, Sounds like it is a commentary on the following passage, which begins the folio: NAB Revelation 7:13-17 13 Then one of the elders spoke up and said to
    Message 1 of 22 , Apr 28, 2007
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      Jean,

      Sounds like it is a commentary on the following passage, which begins the folio:

      NAB Revelation 7:13-17

      13 Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, "Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?" 14 I said to
      him, "My lord, you are the one who knows." He said to me, "These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they
      have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 "For this reason they stand before God's throne and
      worship him day and night in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will shelter them. 16 They will not hunger or thirst
      anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them. 17 For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead
      them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

      Respectfully,

      Dave Hindley
      Newton Falls, Ohio USA


      -----Original Message-----
      Sent: Thursday, April 26, 2007 4:54 PM

      Mark,

      I think I have deciphered the left column in Arabic.
      It sounds like this:

      "And by the end of the seventh millenium, will be achieved the oppression and the murder and the sadness of the witnesses who on the
      name of the [Lord] Messiah have been made notorious, and have been distinguished in [grace] in the [Kingdom]"
      It's difficult to read, though, and I'm not quite sure of the words between brackets, some are quite difficult to read and it could
      be dialectal of course...

      I will be revising this and working on the other two columns, if it sounds interesting to you.

      Greetings,
      Jean V.
    • Daniel Buck
      Jean G. Valentin wrote:
      Message 2 of 22 , May 4, 2007
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        "Jean G. Valentin" <jgvalentin@...> wrote:
        << Mark,
        I think I have deciphered the left column in Arabic.
        It sounds like this:
        "And by the end of the seventh millenium,
        will be achieved the oppression and the murder
        and the sadness of the witnesses who
        on the name of the [Lord] Messiah have been made notorious . . .>>

        Jean, I would definitely translate shuhada' (if that is the word)
        as "martyrs," not "witnesses."

        We have the two different words; Greek and Arabic have just the one.

        DB
      • williampenawells@aol.com
        but the question still is, who put it there? ************************************** See what s free at http://www.aol.com.
        Message 3 of 22 , May 5, 2007
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          but the question still is, who put it there?




          See what's free at AOL.com.
        • bob823y
          interesting thread. Until now i thought the meanings of the word was witness. And that the word martyr, in the sens of a person dying, was the greek word for
          Message 4 of 22 , May 5, 2007
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            interesting thread.

            Until now i thought the meanings of the word was witness. And that the
            word martyr, in the sens of a person dying, was the greek word for
            witness that received an extended meaning because of the martyrdom
            always ending in the dead ot the witness. Is it not right ?

            How do you explain arabic in this codex ? is it the sole occurence ?

            One things that comes to me is that it can be a passage from an arabic
            text that the reader write here in order to remember the parallel. Is
            that possible ?
          • Jean G. Valentin
            Dear all, The right and center columns are quite tougher than the left one! Missing many diacritical marks and some words are nearly erased... It seems that
            Message 5 of 22 , May 7, 2007
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              Dear all,

              The right and center columns are quite tougher than the left one! Missing
              many diacritical marks and some words are nearly erased...
              It seems that I'm not the only one on the list to know some Arabic, so if we
              all put our efforts together perhaps we will succeed.

              here's what I can understand for the time being:

              Center:
              Then will be tranquillity and will abound
              the [...] and we(?) will ascend
              [....] and [....]them to the Lord
              and as a result of this will happen
              the [...] of [...]
              and the signs of the end.

              Right:
              Then will appear the star of the Aghârîsûn (greek word?)
              like the burning from the sky which
              was named Afsintos
              [...] Afsintîn clapping into the waters
              and [... ... ...]
              the waters

              As to the Daniel Buck's remark about "martyrs" instead of "witnesses", no
              objection. I'll add that the verb "have been made notorious" is derived from
              the same root (sh-h-d).

              Just curious to see more words deciphered!
              Greetings,
              Jean V.



              --
              Jean Valentin - Bruxelles - Belgique
              jgvalentin@...

              "Le rite est l'écorce de la sincérité et de la fidélité,
              Mais aussi la source du désordre"

              (Lao Tzeu, Tao-te-king 38)


              > De : Mark Thunderson <mark.thunderson@...>
              > Répondre à : textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
              > Date : Fri, 27 Apr 2007 04:26:36 -0700 (PDT)
              > À : textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
              > Objet : Re: Aw: [textualcriticism] Book of Revelation & Folio 129a of
              > Sinaiticus
              >
              > Dear Martin:
              >
              > For any and all help in translating these Arabic notes
              > I would be grateful. I look forward to your
              > forthcoming translation.
              >
              > Sincerely,
              >
              > Mark Thunderson.
              >
              > --- martin.heide@... wrote:
              >
              >> Surely its Arabic, and it reads s.th. like (just do
              >> not have my Dictionary and Arabic Bible with me, `i
              >> will respond later in detail):
              >> He said at the beginning of the seventh ... (later
              >> more)
              >>
              >> Martin
              >>
              >>
              >> ----- Original Nachricht ----
              >> Von: Mark Thunderson <mark.thunderson@...>
              >> An: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
              >> Datum: 26.04.2007 03:06
              >> Betreff: [textualcriticism] Book of Revelation &
              >> Folio 129a of Sinaiticus
              >>
              >>> Dear list:
              >>>
              >>> In Codex Sinaiticus, Revelation 7:12-9:5 (folio #
              >>> 129a), at the bottom of the page there is some
              >> writing
              >>> placed directly under the first three columns. It
              >>> looks to me like it might be arabic? Does any one
              >>> know what language this is? And, if so, what is
              >> the
              >>> translation as well as the history behind this
              >> strange
              >>> editorial insertion?
              >>>
              >>> You can view the page here:
              >>>
              >>>
              >>
              > http://www.csntm.org/Manuscripts/GA%2001/GA01_129a.jpg
              >>>
              >>> Sincerely,
              >>>
              >>> Mark Thunderson.
              >>>
              >>> __________________________________________________
              >>> Do You Yahoo!?
              >>> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
              >> protection around
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              >>>
              >>
              >
              >
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            • Daniel Buck
              ... of witnesses , no objection. I ll add that the verb have been made notorious is derived from the same root (sh-h-d). I m operating in the dark here,
              Message 6 of 22 , May 8, 2007
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                "Jean G. Valentin" <jgvalentin@...> wrote:
                >> As to the Daniel Buck's remark about "martyrs" instead
                of "witnesses", no objection. I'll add that the verb "have been made
                notorious" is derived from the same root (sh-h-d).>>

                I'm operating in the dark here, not having Sinaiticus before me. But I
                do have Cowan's Fourth Edition, and I don't see this "notorious"
                meaning under sh-h-d. If it's in the fourth measure, 'ushida' in the
                passive means "to die as a martyr." In the tenth measure, 'ustushida'
                in the passive has the same meaning, with the implication of "dying in
                jihad."

                So my revision to this point would be:
                "And by the end of the seventh millenium [1500 CE], will be achieved
                the oppression and the murder and the sadness of the martyrs who have
                been slain in the name of the [Lord] Messiah, and have been
                distinguished in [grace] in the [Kingdom]"

                I would date this bit of millennial commentary after the millennium was
                to commence circa 500 CE. Without any signs of the vaunted millennium
                having started, eschatologists were now focusing on its eventual end.
                Directly implied is that the blood of the martyrs is already starting
                to accumulate at the altar (Rev. 6:9). That, and the fact that it is
                written in Arabic, would probably push the date up into the Muslim
                period.

                Daniel
              • Mark Thunderson
                Dear List: The notes here are definitly instriguing to say the least. The questions leaping to my mind are the following: 1. What would be the motive(s) for
                Message 7 of 22 , May 9, 2007
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                  Dear List:

                  The notes here are definitly instriguing to say the
                  least. The questions leaping to my mind are the
                  following:

                  1. What would be the motive(s) for writing these
                  notes, and why in Arabic?

                  2. Closelyas sociated with the above questions, Why
                  these notes at Revelation 7:12 -8:12?

                  3. What date might we assign this editorial note?
                  Daniel Buck has suggested the Muslim period - perhaps
                  7th century?

                  4. What connection is there between the Manuscript
                  history of Sinaiticus and these Arabic notes? For
                  example, Kirssop Lake outlines two possible histories:
                  one originating in Ceasarea, the other Alexandria.
                  Still more, What connection is there between Saint
                  Catherines Montastery and these Arabic notes? For
                  example, the presence of the Fatimid Mosque within the
                  Monastery as well as the Letter from Mohammad
                  promising protection, suggests a close link between
                  Mohammad and the Monastery that housed this great
                  manuscript. One might even ponder if Mohammad himself
                  is the author of these editorial notes???

                  5. This lines of questioning finally leads to the
                  question: Is there any connection between the
                  editorial notes and the Quran and/or Sunnah? In other
                  words, does the content of the Arabic note have a
                  parallel in the Quran and/or Sunnah?

                  Any help from the list, would be greatly appreciated.

                  Mark Thunderson.



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                • Jean G. Valentin
                  I ll quickly make a few points and come back later: 1. Why in Arabic? Simply because many christians in the middle east were speaking and writing in that
                  Message 8 of 22 , May 9, 2007
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                    I'll quickly make a few points and come back later:

                    1. Why in Arabic? Simply because many christians in the middle east were
                    speaking and writing in that language. The first versions of the Gospels in
                    Arabic date from around the IXth century if my memory serves me well. It was
                    simply the language of all people there, not only muslims. Don't associate
                    too quickly the Arabic language to islam, there have always been Arabic
                    Christians. And if you live in Europe or in America, there's surely a
                    melkite catholic (http://www.mliles.com/melkite/) or an antiochian orthodox
                    parish not far from your home, where divine liturgy is celebrated in Arabic.

                    2. Judging from the handwriting, the notes are not earlier than the XIIIth
                    century. Just my two cents of course!

                    3. Connection of Sinai with Arabic: just see my first paragraph. If you look
                    a the list of manuscripts of the library at St Catherine's, you'll find
                    scores of biblical, patristic and liturgical texts in Arabic because it was
                    the language of everyday life. Of course there's an evolution and it differs
                    according to time and place, but most of the eastern churches were
                    completely arabized by the XIIIth century (the Antiochian-Malkite church
                    still undivided had translated all of the Byzantine liturgical books by the
                    XIth century). Greek remained as a hieratic language, and Syriac resisted
                    better, specially in the mountains of Lebanon (till the XVIIth century?) and
                    Northern Mesopotamia where it is still alive today in a modern dialectal
                    form - not to forget a few villages north of Damascus in the mountains of
                    Antilibanonn, among which Maalula.

                    4. So to me there's nothing curious about notes in Arabic inside a Greek
                    codex of the Sinai convent. In my opinion there's no point in trying to find
                    islamic influences: the annotator was certainly an orthodox monk whose
                    mother tongue was Arabic.

                    5. For more on Arabic in the Church, there's a chapter in Metzger "Versions"
                    and you can find my examination of the Arabic Gospel manuscripts in Le
                    Muséon of 2003. There's plenty of footnotes in both if you need more
                    sources.

                    I'll come back later.
                    Jean V.

                    --
                    Jean Valentin - Bruxelles - Belgique
                    jgvalentin@...

                    "Le rite est l'écorce de la sincérité et de la fidélité,
                    Mais aussi la source du désordre"

                    (Lao Tzeu, Tao-te-king 38)


                    > De : Mark Thunderson <mark.thunderson@...>
                    > Répondre à : textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                    > Date : Wed, 9 May 2007 04:40:19 -0700 (PDT)
                    > À : textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                    > Objet : [textualcriticism] Book of Revelation & Folio 129a of Sinaiticus
                    >
                    > Dear List:
                    >
                    > The notes here are definitly instriguing to say the
                    > least. The questions leaping to my mind are the
                    > following:
                    >
                    > 1. What would be the motive(s) for writing these
                    > notes, and why in Arabic?
                    >
                    > 2. Closelyas sociated with the above questions, Why
                    > these notes at Revelation 7:12 -8:12?
                    >
                    > 3. What date might we assign this editorial note?
                    > Daniel Buck has suggested the Muslim period - perhaps
                    > 7th century?
                    >
                    > 4. What connection is there between the Manuscript
                    > history of Sinaiticus and these Arabic notes? For
                    > example, Kirssop Lake outlines two possible histories:
                    > one originating in Ceasarea, the other Alexandria.
                    > Still more, What connection is there between Saint
                    > Catherines Montastery and these Arabic notes? For
                    > example, the presence of the Fatimid Mosque within the
                    > Monastery as well as the Letter from Mohammad
                    > promising protection, suggests a close link between
                    > Mohammad and the Monastery that housed this great
                    > manuscript. One might even ponder if Mohammad himself
                    > is the author of these editorial notes???
                    >
                    > 5. This lines of questioning finally leads to the
                    > question: Is there any connection between the
                    > editorial notes and the Quran and/or Sunnah? In other
                    > words, does the content of the Arabic note have a
                    > parallel in the Quran and/or Sunnah?
                    >
                    > Any help from the list, would be greatly appreciated.
                    >
                    > Mark Thunderson.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > __________________________________________________
                    > Do You Yahoo!?
                    > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                    > http://mail.yahoo.com
                    >
                  • Daniel Buck
                    Virtually impossible, as he was most probably illiterate. As Jean has
                    Message 9 of 22 , May 10, 2007
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                      <<One might even ponder if Mohammad himself is the author of these
                      editorial notes???>>

                      Virtually impossible, as he was most probably illiterate.

                      As Jean has pointed out, Arabic was the language of the Christians
                      living in the general area around Sinai; but not until well into the
                      Muslim period, as I pointed out. The Arabic language spread rather
                      rapidly with the Muslim religion from the Arabian Peninsula to the
                      far corners of Northern Africa & Western Asia within a century or two
                      of Muhammad's revelation.

                      Here are some historical considerations that may help in dating the
                      marginalia to the 12th-13th centuries:

                      1. The Crusader States (12th-13th cent.)imposed Catholicism in
                      Caesarea; Sinai remained under the Fatimid Caliphate. This would have
                      limited interaction with churches outside the Arabic-speaking area.

                      2. Battles in the Mediterranean and its seaports could have severely
                      disrupted traffic between the Greek-speaking areas of Christendom and
                      the parts of the Middle East still under the Caliphate. This could
                      have served to keep non-Arabic monks from being able to repopulate
                      the monastery.


                      3. Martyrdom, especially on the battlefield, was more likely in view
                      of over a century of clashes between Muslims and Catholics, with
                      Byzantines often caught in the middle.

                      DB
                    • Mark Thunderson
                      Dear Jean: First of all, thank you very much for taking the time and effort to translate this Arabic note from Sinaiticus. Your comments and expertise are
                      Message 10 of 22 , May 10, 2007
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                        Dear Jean:

                        First of all, thank you very much for taking the time
                        and effort to translate this Arabic note from
                        Sinaiticus. Your comments and expertise are well
                        taken. However, perhaps I can elucidate more on my
                        curiosity regarding this particular note.

                        1. That Arabic was common-place on the Sinai
                        Peninsula is true enough. However, my question
                        regarding the language of the note in Revelation
                        arises on account of the history of Codex Sinaiticus.
                        For instance, as far as I can recall, my understanding
                        is that Sinaiticus is ÒlostÓ to the common memory
                        somewhere around the 7th or 8th century AD.
                        Presumably, this would imply that it was either
                        intentionally hidden or simply forgotten about within
                        the Monastery library of Saint CatherineÕs. As you
                        can certainly deduce from this line of logic, this
                        would imply that the Arabic notes within Sinaiticus
                        would have to have been written prior to the 7th or
                        8th century.

                        2. Regarding your second comment, perhaps it is the
                        faded nature of the hand-writing or just poor style.
                        If the above be true or have plausibility then
                        regardless of style, it must be prior to the 13th
                        century AD (which is where you placed it). In other
                        words, as you can see, the issues surrounding the
                        hand-writing are not easily pinned down. My own
                        inclination would be to try to locate a time period
                        for the hand writing based upon content. For example,
                        the Arabic names of the stars which are mentioned.
                        Your own translation yielded the names ÒAghrosÓ and
                        ÒAfsintos.Ó However, another Arabic source which
                        translated the passage came up with ÒAÕarneyounÓ and
                        ÒAl-Sofleen.Ó Can you comment on this semantic flux
                        in the meaning of these stars? Moreover, the 7th
                        millenium does so far as I know have correspondance
                        with the Sunnah. Can you comment on this?

                        3. Once again, you mention the prominence of Arabic
                        among the Christian churches. This is true enough for
                        the later centuries. Yet, what about the early
                        centuries? In particular we are back to the elusive
                        history of this particular ancient manuscript, which
                        pre-dates Islam and Mohammad. Moreover, itÕs the
                        location of the manuscript that is of particular
                        interest. For instance, Saint CatherineÕs has a
                        peculiar history about it. As I mentioned previously,
                        it houses the Fatimid Mosque within the Monastery
                        walls, as well as the Letter from Mohammad promising
                        protection. WouldnÕt you agree this is rather
                        unusual? In other words, there is an unmistakable
                        Islamic footprint upon this particular monastery,
                        unlike many others. Hence, it does seem worthwhile
                        pursuing this line of questioning until it is
                        complete.

                        Sincerely,

                        Mark Thunderson.


                        --- "Jean G. Valentin" <jgvalentin@...> wrote:

                        > I'll quickly make a few points and come back later:
                        >
                        > 1. Why in Arabic? Simply because many christians in
                        > the middle east were
                        > speaking and writing in that language. The first
                        > versions of the Gospels in
                        > Arabic date from around the IXth century if my
                        > memory serves me well. It was
                        > simply the language of all people there, not only
                        > muslims. Don't associate
                        > too quickly the Arabic language to islam, there have
                        > always been Arabic
                        > Christians. And if you live in Europe or in America,
                        > there's surely a
                        > melkite catholic (http://www.mliles.com/melkite/) or
                        > an antiochian orthodox
                        > parish not far from your home, where divine liturgy
                        > is celebrated in Arabic.
                        >
                        > 2. Judging from the handwriting, the notes are not
                        > earlier than the XIIIth
                        > century. Just my two cents of course!
                        >
                        > 3. Connection of Sinai with Arabic: just see my
                        > first paragraph. If you look
                        > a the list of manuscripts of the library at St
                        > Catherine's, you'll find
                        > scores of biblical, patristic and liturgical texts
                        > in Arabic because it was
                        > the language of everyday life. Of course there's an
                        > evolution and it differs
                        > according to time and place, but most of the eastern
                        > churches were
                        > completely arabized by the XIIIth century (the
                        > Antiochian-Malkite church
                        > still undivided had translated all of the Byzantine
                        > liturgical books by the
                        > XIth century). Greek remained as a hieratic
                        > language, and Syriac resisted
                        > better, specially in the mountains of Lebanon (till
                        > the XVIIth century?) and
                        > Northern Mesopotamia where it is still alive today
                        > in a modern dialectal
                        > form - not to forget a few villages north of
                        > Damascus in the mountains of
                        > Antilibanonn, among which Maalula.
                        >
                        > 4. So to me there's nothing curious about notes in
                        > Arabic inside a Greek
                        > codex of the Sinai convent. In my opinion there's no
                        > point in trying to find
                        > islamic influences: the annotator was certainly an
                        > orthodox monk whose
                        > mother tongue was Arabic.
                        >
                        > 5. For more on Arabic in the Church, there's a
                        > chapter in Metzger "Versions"
                        > and you can find my examination of the Arabic Gospel
                        > manuscripts in Le
                        > Muséon of 2003. There's plenty of footnotes in both
                        > if you need more
                        > sources.
                        >
                        > I'll come back later.
                        > Jean V.
                        >
                        > --
                        > Jean Valentin - Bruxelles - Belgique
                        > jgvalentin@...
                        >
                        > "Le rite est l'écorce de la sincérité et de la
                        > fidélité,
                        > Mais aussi la source du désordre"
                        >
                        > (Lao Tzeu, Tao-te-king 38)
                        >
                        >
                        > > De : Mark Thunderson <mark.thunderson@...>
                        > > Répondre à : textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                        > > Date : Wed, 9 May 2007 04:40:19 -0700 (PDT)
                        > > À : textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                        > > Objet : [textualcriticism] Book of Revelation &
                        > Folio 129a of Sinaiticus
                        > >
                        > > Dear List:
                        > >
                        > > The notes here are definitly instriguing to say
                        > the
                        > > least. The questions leaping to my mind are the
                        > > following:
                        > >
                        > > 1. What would be the motive(s) for writing these
                        > > notes, and why in Arabic?
                        > >
                        > > 2. Closelyas sociated with the above questions,
                        > Why
                        > > these notes at Revelation 7:12 -8:12?
                        > >
                        > > 3. What date might we assign this editorial note?
                        > > Daniel Buck has suggested the Muslim period -
                        > perhaps
                        > > 7th century?
                        > >
                        > > 4. What connection is there between the
                        > Manuscript
                        > > history of Sinaiticus and these Arabic notes? For
                        > > example, Kirssop Lake outlines two possible
                        > histories:
                        > > one originating in Ceasarea, the other Alexandria.
                        > > Still more, What connection is there between Saint
                        > > Catherines Montastery and these Arabic notes? For
                        > > example, the presence of the Fatimid Mosque within
                        > the
                        > > Monastery as well as the Letter from Mohammad
                        > > promising protection, suggests a close link
                        > between
                        > > Mohammad and the Monastery that housed this great
                        > > manuscript. One might even ponder if Mohammad
                        > himself
                        > > is the author of these editorial notes???
                        > >
                        > > 5. This lines of questioning finally leads to the
                        > > question: Is there any connection between the
                        > > editorial notes and the Quran and/or Sunnah? In
                        > other
                        > > words, does the content of the Arabic note have a
                        > > parallel in the Quran and/or Sunnah?
                        > >
                        > > Any help from the list, would be greatly
                        > appreciated.
                        > >
                        > > Mark Thunderson.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > __________________________________________________
                        > > Do You Yahoo!?
                        > > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam
                        > protection around
                        > > http://mail.yahoo.com
                        > >
                        >
                        >


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