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Christian Manuscripts of the Mingana Collection

As well as the Arabic Islamic and Persian manuscripts, the Mingana Collection contains Christian Arabic and Syriac manuscripts. Other languages include Karshuni (Arabic writing in the Syriac characters), Ethiopic, Georgian, Hebrew, Samaritan, Sanskrit and Armenian.

The value of the collection to scholarship is enormous: the Syriac section with its 662 manuscripts rates third in the West after the British Library and the Vatican Library; the Christian Arabic section is surpassed in the West only by the Vatican Library and the Bibliotheque Nationale of Paris.

The Syriac and Karshuni Christian manuscripts include church documents, gospels, works on liturgy, and lives of saints and homilies. Amongst the earliest items in this part of the Mingana Collection are a number of important fragments originating from St Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai.

The 270 Arabic Christian manuscripts include a fragment of the oldest known text of the Acta Thomae, and a very early copy of the Arabic translation of some works by St Ephrem.

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This article is from the free online course:

The Birmingham Qur'an: Its Journey from the Islamic Heartlands

University of Birmingham

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