The aim of this paper is to address the question to what extent and for what reasons the Melkites, especially of Southern Syria and Egypt, resorted to allographic writing systems, of which garšūnī, the writing of Arabic with Syriac letters, was only one mode. Indeed, various languages such as Greek, Arabic, Syriac and Christian Palestinian Aramaic (CPA) coexisted in the Melkite community, which is characterized by its linguistic diversity. Melkite garšūnī texts can be dated to between the 11th and the late 13th centuries. While the Melkites were not the first to use garšūnī, this mode of writing was in this period far more widespread among them than in the other oriental Christian communities and not limited to notes and colophons, also including liturgical texts and probably a poem on the Mamluk conquest of Tripoli. Other allographic writing systems were also used by the Melkites, such as writing Arabic in Greek characters, Greek in CPA script or Greek in Syriac script. Consequently a rich, very versatile corpus of allographic writing modes was employed by the Melkites between the 9th and 13th centuries for different kinds of texts. Thus the idea that the use of a specific allographic mode can be attributed to the desire to express a sense of group identity or to the reverence for a specific sacred language seems not generally applicable for the Melkites. At different times and places various Melkite groups had different preferences, because there was no single Melkite prestige language. Therefore it is necessary to establish for each case the respective reasons for the application of a certain allographic writing system.