Saturday, July 19, 2008

Earliest Arabic Biblical Text?

From Kam Weng's blog: "...I refer readers to what is possibly the oldest biblical Arabic manuscript (Codex 151). I cite the judgment of Bruce Metzger, one of the most outstanding scholar of textual criticism of our time, “What appears to be the oldest dated copy of the Arabic Acts of the Apostles, and the Catholic Epistles, is cod. Sinai arab, 151. Written in A.D. 867 in what Atiya describes as a ‘rubricate transitional hand between Naskh and Kufic, the codex contains many annotations in the margin which provide exegetical comments on the the Scripture text. The text of Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Philippians, along with the annotations, has been edited, with an English translation, by Harvey Staal” (The Early Versions of the New Testament: Their Origin, Transmission, and Limitations Oxford University Press, USA (September 15, 1977), p. 261.

...he codex begins with the inscription “In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate” (note the first line which says bismillah al rahman al rahim!!). This seems to parallel the practice of Quranic script writers. A similar form is evident at the beginning of three books of this manuscript (Acts, Romans and 2 Corinthians) which read, “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

Readers may be interested to access the following sites for more information on this ancient Arabic New Testament

More updates on the court case regarding the prohibition of the use of ‘Allah’ in non-Muslim media here

No comments: