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Re: [textualcriticism] Book of Revelation & Folio 129a of Sinaiticus

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  • 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 1 of 22 , May 7, 2007
      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
      >>> http://mail.yahoo.com
      >>>
      >>
      >
      >
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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 2 of 22 , May 8, 2007
        "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 3 of 22 , May 9, 2007
          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 4 of 22 , May 9, 2007
            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 5 of 22 , May 10, 2007
              <<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 6 of 22 , May 10, 2007
                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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