The Bohairic Literary Corpus of St. Shenouda: Scope and Language

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Hany N. Takla

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Al-Shaykh al-Mu’taman Shams al-Riyasah ibn al-Shaykh al-As‘ad Abu al-Barakat ibn Kabar, in his thirteenth– fourteenth century encyclopedic work, Misbah al-Zulmah fi Idah al-Khidmah, wrote that St. Sinuthius (Shenouda) left several writings in Sahidic Coptic, some of which were translated to Bohairic Coptic and some to Arabic. Most likely Ibn Kabar was referring to the abridged sermons that are included in the Bohairic twelfth century Pascha Book. This lectionary was composed and transmitted in a Copto-Arabic parallel columns format. In 1932 the renowned Cypriot Coptologist O. H. E. Khs-Burmester published all nine of these abridged sermons along with other patristic sermons included in the various manuscripts of this book. The 1949 edition of the Pascha book prepared by the late Coptologist Yassa Abdel-Masih included for the first time all nine of these sermons arranged within their proper reading order in the service. In this article, I will attempt to trace the development history of these sermons from known manuscripts as well as printed additions. In addition, I will discuss the question of the attribution of these sermons.

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