Manuscript digitisation gathers pace

Jim Davila’s excellent PaleoJudaica blog highlights a number of interesting non-Jewish items this week.  I don’t seem to be able to link to his individual posts, so here are some excerpts.

The Cologne Manichaean codex is a tiny parchment codex from middle Egypt, containing an account of the youth of Mani.  Digitising it and placing it online is such an excellent idea.  This is where the internet scores.  Suddenly people can SEE the thing!  I wonder if an English translation of the text is around, tho?

Jim has posted on this before and links to other posts.  It seems that the mass of Syriac manuscripts in Kerala are to be photographed.  Let us hope they go online!  But the easy availability of digital cameras makes digitisation simple.  Well done, the Kerala clergymen who seem to be leading this one.  They’re also trying to encourage interest in Syriac.

  • PHILIP JENKINS’S BOOK, The Lost History of Christianity, is reviewed by Brother Jeffrey Gros, F.S.C. in the Catholic Review Online.

This is a book that discusses Oriental Christianity, and which has been criticised to me for being too Christian, and not Christian enough.  I’m going to have a read once the paperback comes out here.  Anything which will increase the number of people interested in the obscure Syriac and Arabic Christianity must be a good thing.


5 thoughts on “Manuscript digitisation gathers pace

  1. Yes, the Mani Codex has been translated into English, unfortunately the only complete English translation (that I know of) is out of print. The title is “Cologne Mani Codex: Concerning the Origins of His Body” translated by Ron Cameron and Arthur Dewey. Amazon offers two out of print copies here


    We should all go over to the Society for Biblical Literature Website and recommend it for reprinting

    I have yet to get my hands on a copy and have been contented with the volume “Manichaean Texts of the Roman Empire,” which cites portions of the codex. If you do purchase the full translation, please let me know what you think.

    ….I really need to figure out how to insert hyperlinks in these comment boxes

  2. Maybe Jenkins’ mistake was not being one or the other. I’d have loved him to be more Christian, or less Christian, but he kind of ends up unhelpfully in the middle, so you don’t know what he’s articulating, and what he seems to be articulating doesn’t come across well.

  3. We shouldn’t lobby for reprints, surely? Who needs paper books only held in a handful of institutions? What we want is the text online, where the world can see it?

    Interesting comment on Jenkins. I’m looking forward to reading his book.

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