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YOHANNA Samer Soreshow [Facoltà Orientalistica]

The Gospel of Mark in the Syriac Harklean Version.
An Edition Based upon the Earliest Witnesses

Mod.: R.P. Craig Morrison, O.Carm. 

This study intends to fill a well-known desideratum in the field of New Testament textual criticism by providing an edition of the Harklean version of the Gospel of Mark based upon its earliest witnesses. The Harklean version, considered to be a Greek text in Syriac dress, has an extremely literal style due to its refined translation techniques, where almost every detail of the Greek original text is reflected attentively in the translation/revision. This version, considered by modern scholars as a kind of scholarly revision of the lost Philoxenian version, was undertaken by the Syriac scholar Thomas of Harqel and it was completed in 615/616.

Because of the absence of a critical edition for the four Gospels of this version, there is no clear, convincing interpretation of the function and precise meaning of the Harklean marginalia and the critical signs. Several scholars have called for such an edition of the Gospels and have noted that it should be based upon the earliest manuscripts. This present study provides the text of the Gospel of Mark based upon the earliest Harklean manuscripts while employing a user-friendly style that will allow scholars to read this version, study its character and appreciate its place in New Testament textual criticism.

This edition collates the surviving Harklean manuscripts from the first millennium. Their contents and interrelationships are carefully described. The base text for this edition is that of manuscript C 25 from the depository of the Chaldean Antonion Order of St. Hormizd (O.A.O.C.). This manuscript is one of the better representatives of the Harklean Gospels because it contains a high percentage of the text (99,79% of the four Gospels) and has a more accurate marginalia, including a full representation of the Harklean critical signs. The methodology that was employed for editing the text and creating its apparatuses is presented with illustrative examples. When manuscript C 25 has an obvious error, the edition is corrected and the reading in manuscript C 25 is moved to the apparatus. The strict criteria for correcting the lemma are carefully delineated for the reader.

This study explains the various levels of text division and the marginalia, along with a description of the critical signs, especially the primary Harklean critical signs and the unified Harklean signs. A description of the diacritics and other punctuation marks used in the text is provided along with the rules for emending the base text and the marginalia. This study concludes with the limits of this research and provides suggestions for further study. Some items of major interest for the study of the Harklean version are presented in seven appendixes, which also illustrate the reasoning for some of the decisions made in the creation of this edition.