Looking at the summary of information on catenas on the gospels in Di Berardino’s latest volume of Quasten’s Patrology, I notice an intriguing couple of entries:
E. J. Caubet Iturbe, La Cadena arabe del Evangelio de san Mateo,1 Texto; 2 Version, Vatican City 1969-1970.
E. J. Caubet Iturbe, “La Cadena copto-arabe de los Evangelios y Severo de Antioquia”, Homenaje a J. Prado. Miscelanea de estudios biblicos y hebraicos, ed. L.Alvarez Verdes, E.J. Alonso Hernandez, Madrid 1975,421-432.
Now I recall from Graf’s Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur 1, p. 318, n.1 and p.481-2, that the Coptic catena on the gospels published by Paul de Lagarde also exists in an Arabic version in the Vatican. I came across this reference while searching for material by Eusebius of Caesarea in Arabic. He’s listed in Abu’l Barakat’s catalogue:
Eusebius of Caesarea: He has explanations on passages of the holy Gospels and other separate religious treatises.
which Graf discusses, referring to a catena with 6 passages from Eusebius on Matthew and material from Severus of Antioch on Luke. Page 481f discusses an “anonymous gospel catena”, which turns out to be that of Paul de Lagarde. I’m not sure I’ve read the entry before. Written in Bohairic, and almost certainly based on a Greek catena now unknown, H. Achelis dates the catena before 888 AD. The manuscript used by de Lagarde is incomplete, however. The manuscript turns out to be Vatican Arab 452, and most of the scholia are at least under the name of Eusebius. A long quotation from Luke, and five chunks on Matthew, are ascribed to Eusebius, or so Graf says.
It is an interesting sight, therefore, to see this in the modern bibliography, and no mention of de Lagarde’s publication.
Is it possible that Iturbe published a critical text of the Arabic version of the catena? It looks very much like it. I wish I could obtain the article and see what he says.
UPDATE: After typing those words, I started searching for the book in Google. Slightly amazing to find my site listed, and this article listed, less than a minute after I pressed save. Is Google really watching these words that intently!?
I find in COPAC more details of the book:
A compilation of patristic commentaries, with the text of the Gospel, in the Arabic of Codex Vaticanus ar. 452 and in a Spanish version.
which also aligns with my understanding. Another states:
Studi e testi 254-5. Half title: Cod. vat. ar. 452, ff. 6-135. Originally presented as the editor’s thesis, Pontificia Commissio Biblica. Based on a Coptic version entitled: Ermēnia n̄te pieuangelion ethouab kata Matheon. cf. the editor’s introd., v.1, p. [li]-liv; H. Achelis. Hippolytsudien. 1897. p. 163-169. Originally presented as the editor’s thesis, Pontificia Commissio Biblica. Arabic text; Spanish introduction, notes and translation.
So there we have it. This is indeed a critical edition of the Arabic catena. The next question is whether I obtain this and include it in the Eusebius! For there is a copy available for sale online…
UPDATE 2: I cannot resist. It would be cheaper to order the books by ILL, and copy them, etc; but it is far easier to just buy the things.