Monday, February 26, 2007

Early versions go online at Titus

I've just been looking at the Titus website with its breathtaking array of material of interest to the linguist. What is of interest to textual critics, however, will be the fact that a number of ancient Bible versions, or transcriptions of manuscripts, are now appearing online. From the Titus page you can read transcriptions of the Old Georgian gospels (for instance, the Adysh manuscript is there), the Old Armenian Bible (Künzle's edition of the Gospels; Zohrab's of the Bible) and the Udi NT. Syriac biblical material (including transcription!) is available for members. There are many other features. Even if you do not know the languages in question, the site is well worth browsing just to get a sense of what is out there.


  1. Unfortunately the "Udi NT" mentioned here is a 1902 translation of the gospels, I think from the Russian Synodal Bible and so of no text critical interest (although the link may well be of interest to the team currently working on a new Udi translation).

    This is not the text in ancient Udi (or at least a language which might be so described, otherwise known as Caucasian Albanian but not related to modern Albanian) which was discovered c. 1996 at St Catherine's Monastery in Sinai. This text is said to be a palimpsest of a "Lectionary [which] dates to the late 4th or early 5th century A.D.", and so is likely to be of considerable text critical interest. I also read: "Dr. Zaza Alexidze (Tbilisi), Dr. Jost Gippert (Frankfurt), Dr. Jean-Pierre Mahé (Paris) and Dr. Wolfgang Shulze (Munich) are in the process of preparing the entire text (facsimile with the transcription and translation). The conclusive results of this research are scheduled to be published in Brussels in 2006. These books will be of interest to a wide variety of scholars in Caucasian studies, as well as those interested in ancient scripts, liturgical and Biblical studies, and Sinai antiquities." The latest information gives a 2007 publication date for this.

    Here are some images of the text and a transcribed extract.

  2. Dear Peter,
    I just stumbled over this site and had a look at your posting. Let me quickly add the following: The Udi Gospels given on TITUS are an excerpt of my edition of the Gospels in book format (W. Schulze 2001. The Udi Gospels. Annotated text, etymological index, lemmatized concordance. Munich: Lincom). Sure, the 1902 version of the Udi Gosepls is not fo great interest to those who want to see 'realier versions' and variants of the Gospels. In fact, the edition mainly aims at making the 1902 text available to linguists working on East Caucasian languages and to language typologists.

    As for the Caucasian Albanian (CA) Bible pericopes and the fragments of John's Gospel [roughly 650 AD] included in the so-called Caucasian Albanian palimpsests from the St.Katherine Monastery (Sinai): Jost Gippert (the 'master' of TITUS) and I, we currently prepare the final manuscript of the edition that will have a critical apparatus and that parallels the CA texts to the corresponding Greek, Georgian, Armenian, and Syriac versions.There will be photos of each parchment leaf, the corresponding facsimile (in CA script deciphered by the authors [based on preliminary work by Z. Aleskdize]), the parallel texts, a grammar of CA, a comprehensive concordance, including meaning parallels (variants) in Armenian, Georgian, and Greek, and various other indices. The two volumes should go to press this summer (hopefully). They will be available at Brepols (Turnhout, Belgium).
    Hope this information helps a bit...
    Best wishes,