Sunday, October 4, 2009

Five 10th century Arabic Christian treatises

Five 10th century Arabic Christian treatises originally published by Paul Sbath in "Vingt traités philosophiques et theologiques" (Cairo, 1929) are now online here:

These new English translations are followed by a transcription of the Arabic. All are public domain; use them as you like.

15. Yahya ibn Adi - On the Truth of the Gospel by Way of Reasoning from Proofs
16. Yahya ibn Adi - On the Differences in the _Expressions in the Gospels and their Meanings
17. Yahya ibn Adi - On our saying "and became incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary"
18. Abu al-Khayr ibn al-Tayyib - Refutation of the Muslims who accuse the Christians of Believing in Three Gods
19. Abu al-Faraj `Abdallah ibn al-Tayyib - On Knowledge and Miracles

Numbers 15-17 are by Yahya ibn `Adi. From Graf II 233-249: He was a Jacobite, born in 893 at Tikrit, went to Baghdad and studied in the philosophical school there. Died 13 August 974. A voluminous writer. Sbath pp. 168-171 contains a treatise on the truth of the Gospel, using syllogisms. p. 171f is another similar treatise; p. 172-175 on the credal statement, "He became flesh by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary."

Number 18. Abu al-Khayr ibn al-Tayyib (Graf II 344-348) A Copt, writing between 1204 and 1245. Sbath p. 176-178 prints an extract only of his book "The medicine of understanding", 24 chapters against the attacks of Moslem polemicists.

Number 19. Abu al-Faraj ibn al-Tayyib (Graf II 160-176) An Iraqi Nestorian, philosopher, physician, monk and priest in the first half of the 11th century. Another voluminous writer, including massive biblical commentaries on the Psalms and Gospels. Sbath prints p.179f, a work on miracles and philosophy.

The site contains a large collection of public domain English translations of patristic literature, available here:

If you would like to support the work of the site, a CDROM is also available for sale here:

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