[agade] eNOTES: "The Linguistic Nature of the Arabic Gospel Manuscripts" [24 May 2023]

From Peter Tarras <tarraspeter@gmail.com>:linebreak=======================linebreaklinebreakThe Linguistic Nature of the Arabic Gospel Manuscripts: The Status Quaestionislinebreakby Phillip W. Stokeslinebreak[For a full version including images check: <https://biblia-arabica.com/t/>]linebreaklinebreakScholarly interest in the Bible in Arabic has surged in recent decades. While traditionally specialists in the textual history of the Bible downplayed the importance of Arabic Bible manuscripts, scholars have increasingly shown the potential significance of these manuscripts, not only for the textual history of the Bible in general, but especially for our understanding of the communal lives of Arabicized Christians and Jews, as well as their theologies. Of the Christian scriptures, the study of the Arabic Gospel manuscript tradition has been especially active, represented in the publication of Hikmat Kashouh’s 700-page monograph, in which the author produces manuscript families based on detailed verbal analysis of over 200 manuscripts.linebreaklinebreakOne aspect of these manuscripts which has not been given appropriate attention is the linguistic study of the Gospel manuscripts. By far the most thoroughly-studied Gospel manuscripts are Kashouh’s Families A and H. However, these studies, still few in number, rely on the historical linguistic framework of a single work, namely Joshua Blau’s three-volume grammar of what he calls “Ancient South Palestinian.” Indeed, I have been unable to identify a single work produced on any Arabic Bible manuscript or tradition since Blau’s grammar appeared that does not cite, and basically reproduce, both Blau’s interpretation of the linguistic phenomena as well as his methodology. Since I disagree with both, it is worth briefly exploring Blau’s still-dominant framework. I will then argue for a different approach, and provide a few brief case studies.linebreaklinebreak[...]linebreaklinebreak