Book Details

Publication Date   July 12, 2009
Pages  146


The story, which I have called the Book of the Rolls, from an expression in its opening rubric, is taken from the Arabic MS. No. 508 in the Library of the Convent of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai, where I photographed it during my second visit, in 1893, and where I revised it and re-photographed various pages on my two subsequent visits in 1895 and 1897. The work of copying it for the press, and of correcting the proof-sheets, I have done from my photographs at home. At first I thought it was a recension of the Book of Adam and Eve, of which an Arabic MS. exists in the Library at Munich, and which has been translated from the Ethiopic by the Rev. S. C. Malan, D.D., but in this I was mistaken. It was not till I had got three sheets of the present work through the Press, that I learned from Prof. Seybold of Tübingen, that this same subject had been published in Germany so long ago as 1888, both in Syriac and Arabic, by Prof. Bezold of Munich, under the title of Die Schatzhöhle, the “Cave of Treasures,” a translation having preceded it in 1883. I determined, however, to go on with my publication, first, because the Sinai text is so different from Dr Bezold’s that I found it impossible to collate them, and second, because though Dr Bezold collated eight Arabic and four Syriac texts for his publication, only one of them, the Paris one, No. 76, has any claim to antiquity, and it is precisely with it that the Sinai text is most in agreement. As Dr de Lagarde pointed out in his Mittheilungen, Vol. IV., pp. 6-8 Dr Bezold has not menioned three other Paris texts, Nos. 77, 78 and 79, nor that in all four this story forms part of an “Apocalypse of Peter.” As Prof. Bezold has published the text of 76, with which the other three are quite or nearly identical, I thought it better to give the Sinai text without any collation. The story stands by itself in the Codex, apart from any Apocalypse. As I think that it throuws light on some bdoubtful places in the Paris MSS., I subjoin a short list of some of these, hoping that in most p. viii of the passages, the Sinai MS. will be considered to have the advantage {here follows a list of variations, not reproduced in this rescension}

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