Coptic-Arabic gospel catena also known in Ge`ez?

This evening I found the following snippet in Google Books, given as in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1989, p.380:

… Ethiopia’s access to foreign commentaries (including that of Iso’dad of Merv and the other Syrian scholars) is through the Geez version of Ibn at-Taiyib’s exegetica and the Geez adaptation of Coptic-Arabic Catena….

Now call me daft, but this sounds as if the Coptic gospel catena published by De Lagarde, which was translated into Arabic, was then onward translated into Ethiopic, or more precisely Ge`ez.  And that someone out there knows this.  It’s in a book review of some kind.

Unfortunately I have no access to the article in which this appears.  Poking around the website for the JRAS of 1989, p.380 belongs to Michael Loewe, of “East Asian civilizations: a dialogue in five stages. By Wm. Theodore de Bary. (The Edwin O. Reischauer Lectures, 1986.) pp. xi, 160. Cambridge, Mass, and London, Harvard University Press, 1988. £15.95.”  That doesn’t sound right, nor does the abstract look right.  Cambridge University Press greedily demand 20 GBP to access the article, the swine. 

Wish I could find the article.  Anyone got any ideas?

UPDATE: I think the Google Books snippet must be in error in some way, probably in the page number?  I’ve found the book itself reviewed above, and it has nothing relevant in it.

UPDATE: Found it!  I took the snippet and pasted it into the general Google search, and up it came as a JSTOR review in JRAS 1990, p.379f.  The article is a review of Roger W. Cowley, Ethiopian Biblical Interpretation, CUP, 1988.  Now that sounds like an interesting book.  Amazon list it at a fantastic price, unfortunately.

3 Responses to “Coptic-Arabic gospel catena also known in Ge`ez?”


  1. Maureen

    Huh. It turns out that my local downtown community college has Ethiopian Biblical Interpretation.

    That’s a small library, but it’s also very weird, because they do try to fill requests and their student clientele is very diverse. I suspect some kind of African studies tie-in… but honestly, who cares why it’s there if it’s there? That’d be a nice easy bus trip to get me out of the house, so no reason not to go read it.

  2. Roger Pearse

    Well, don’t put yourself to trouble, but if you can look at it, and find whatever he says about this, I’d be grateful to hear it. But I’ll probably be able to look at a copy myself in a week or two, if I take a trip up to Cambridge.

  3. More on the Ge`ez version of the Coptic-Arabic gospel catena at Roger Pearse

    […] has taken some time since I wrote this initial article, but I am finally in a position to say somewhat […]



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