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Manuscripts, Versions, and Transmission
Author: Vevian Zaki
In this study, Vevian Zaki places the Arabic versions of the Pauline Epistles in their historical context, exploring when, where, and how they were produced, transmitted, understood, and adapted among Eastern Christian communities across the centuries. She also considers the transmission and use of these texts among Muslim polemicists, as well as European missionaries and scholars. Underpinning the study is a close investigation of the manuscripts and a critical examination of their variant readings. The work concludes with a case study: an edition and translation of the Epistle to the Philippians from manuscripts London, BL, Or. 8612 and Vatican, BAV, Ar. 13; a comparison of the translation strategies employed in these two versions; and an investigation of the possible relations between them.
Author: Vevian F. Zaki


This paper unfolds parts of the dynamic, yet mostly hidden, history of MS Sinai Arabic 151 based on its paleographical, codicological, paratextual, and textual features. Combining these aspects opens new horizons of research in the Arabic Bible manuscripts that had previously received attention limited solely to the text. MS Sinai, Ar. 151 is an intact manuscript containing the Pauline Epistles, Acts of the Apostles, and the Catholic Epistles. Its fame derives mainly from its colophon, which dates it to 867 CE, and bestows it with the distinction of belonging to the earliest Arabic Bibles. In observing the various stages through which the manuscript evolved from two separate units of production into the codex preserved today, several aspects of the life of MS Sinai, Ar. 151, such as the copies made from it, its damage and restoration, and the functions it served, become clearer. Furthermore, for different reasons, scholars have cast shadows on its colophon’s authenticity. Our investigation clarifies that there is no reason to suspect the authenticity of the colophon.

Open Access
In: Journal of Islamic Manuscripts