Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Some Notable Readings from the new Old Syriac Gospel MS (Sinai NF 37 & 39) -- with pictures!

Since the announcement of a new (third) Old Syriac Gospel MS in the New Finds palimpsests at St. Catherine's (Brock, 2016), I have been desperately awaiting any information on the content of its text. While we will all be excited to get our hands on David Taylor's edition of the MS, the images uploaded by the Sinai Palimpsest Project (https://sinai.library.ucla.edu/) allow the impatient among us to try their hand at transcribing the palimpsest themselves.

Here are some interesting readings that I rushed to check. It's hardly a systematic survey but it gives one a sense of the split loyalties of the new gospel MS on intra-Syriac variants.

Mark 1:41 (Sinai NF 39 f.8r)

The New Finds Gospel agrees with the Peshitta and Sinaitic palimpsest in attesting a merciful = ܐܬܪܚܡ, rather than "angry" = ὀργισθεὶς Jesus with the Codex Bezae and the Old Latin.

Mark 2:14 (Sinai NF 39 f.8v)

Brock discussed this variant in his article but I wanted to include the picture. The New Finds Gospel names the publican in Mark 2 "James" = ܝܥܩܘܒ rather than "Levi" = ܠܠܘܝ with Codex Bezae and the Old Latin.

Luke 10:17 (Sinai NF 37 f.4r)

The New Finds Gospel agrees with the Curetonian Old Syriac and Peshitta against the Sinaitic Palimpsest, Codex Bezae, and Old Latin on the number "seventy" = ܫܒܥܝܢ (not seventy two) disciples sent out by Jesus.

Luke 23:9 (Sinai NF 37 f.2r)

The New Finds Gospel agrees with the Curetonian Syriac (and maybe the Old Latin Codex Colbertinus) in adding "like he wasn't there" = ܐܝܟ ܗܘ ܕܠܐ ܗܘܐ ܬܡܢ ܗܘܐ to the end of the verse. This reading is found nowhere else.

Luke 23:34 (Sinai NF 37 f.2v)

The New Finds Gospel agrees with the Sinaitic Palimpsest, Codex Bezae, and the Old Latin against the Curetonian and Peshitta in omitting Jesus' plea "Father, forgive them for they not what they do."

So, if you're keeping score, the New Finds gospel agrees with Sinaitic and Peshitta against Curetonian once, with Sinaitic against the Curetonian and Peshitta once, with the Curetonian and Peshitta against Sinaitic once, and with the Curetonian against the Sinaitic and Peshitta once. This is hardly a representative data set but the new Old Syriac manuscript doesn't seem to align with either of the Old Syriac gospels.

#PalimpsestsArePretty

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