St. Nersess Theological Review
Volume 2, Number 1 - January, 1997
PROCEEDINGS OF THE ARMENIAN BIBLE CONFERENCE
May 24-25, 1996
Co-sponsored by St. Nersess Armenian Seminary and the Krikor and Clara Zohrab Information Center
Cox, Claude, “The Textual Criticism of the Armenian Bible an Example:
Deuteronomy 6” (1-31)
As an example of textual criticism of the Armenian Bible, the author analyzes a relatively brief passage, Deuteronomy 6. To find the original wording of the text, he compares a large number of variants from the chosen text with the Greek MS and LXX Deuteronomy. He concludes that the methodology employed in this criticism can be employed in various other parts of the Armenian canon.
Amalyan, H M., “The Critical Text of 1-3 Maccabees” (33-38)
Based on his work, Books of the Maccabees: a Critical Text, published in Erevan, Armenia in 1996, the author discusses typical text-critical questions raised in biblical scholarship such as: enumeration and classification of manuscripts, selection of representative manuscripts and of the base text, and identification of significant variants.
Cowe, S. Peter, “Text Critical Investigation of the Armenian Version
of Third Corinthians” (39-51)
After reviewing earlier scholarly work on this deuterocanonical work, the author argues that what the Armenian version of Third Corinthians has lost as the sole surviving testimony to this writing is compensated by its interrelation with witnesses discovered later, especially in the commentary on this book by St. Ephrem. However, he suggests that a closer examination of the text may reveal the Armenian version to be the earliest translation of this work.
Hovhanessian, Vahan, “Third Corinthians: Its Relationship to the
Apocryphal Acts of Paul” (53-64)
The hypothesis that Third Corinthians was part of the Apocryphal Acts of Paul was suggested by Theodore Zahn and Vetter, and further developed by Carl Schmidt. However, based on theological, textual, and stylistic differences between the Acts of Paul and Third Corinthians, in addition to the witness of available manuscripts, the author argues that Third Corinthians could not have been originally part of the Acts of Paul. Therefore the origin of these two works must be independent.
Thomson, R W., “Sebeos and the Bible” (65-76)
The language of the Bible conditioned the general mode of expression and the imagery of Armenian writers during the classical and medieval periods. Sebeos, a historian who describes events from the late-fifth to the mid-seventh centuries, is a good example of this. Sebeos wrote during the period of Byzantine-Persian conflict and the early Islamic conquest. The text shows how Sebeos has the ability to use scripture and to quote it in all contexts.
Terian, Abraham, “Biblical Interpretation in the Epic Poetry of Grigor Magistros” (77-93)
The author evaluates Grigor Magistros’ epic, Magnalia Dei, the first literary epic in classical Armenian literature, considering the place of the document in the history of Armenian biblical interpretation. The epic is a retelling of the biblical narrative in verse, and concludes with a personal confession and prayer. It was written in four days, while Grigor was on a visit to Constantinople. As a result of a chance encounter with a Moslem, the theologian wrote the piece to convince him that the Quran is imitable, and therefore of human, not divine origin.
Findikyan, Michael Daniel, “Armenian Funeral Rites:
An Assessment of a Recent Study” (95-101)
An evaluation of Andrea Schmidt’s study of the Armenian funeral rites: Kanon der Entschlafenen. Das Begräbnisrituale der Armenier. Schmidt has used the oldest extant Armenian manuscript euchology in her investigation. The author emphasizes Schmidt’s successful examination of the earliest Armenian historiographical, canonical and exegetical literature, and her liturgical analysis in comparing the oldest shape of the rites with the current form, and its complete translation into German.
Basilio di Cesarea: Il Libro delle domande (Le Regole). Edited and translated by Gabriella Uluhogian. Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium 536-537 (Scriptores armeniaci 19-20). Louvain: Peeters, 1993. [Abraham Terian]
St. Nersēs Šnorhali: General Epistle. Introduction and translation by Fr. Arakel Aljalian. New Rochelle, NY: St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, 1996. [Robert W. Thomson]
Nersēs di Lambron. Il Primato della carità. Discorso sinodale ‘Atenabanut‘iwn.’ Introduction and notes by Boghos Levon Zekiyan. Translation by Boghos Levon Zekiyan and Valerio Lanzarini. Magnano, Italy: Edizione Qiqajon Comunità di Bose, 1996. [Michael Daniel Findikyan]