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Biblica et Orientalia

Direttore: Agustinus Gianto, S.J.

Questa collana sviluppa aspetti della Bibbia direttamente collegati al retroterra culturale dell’Antico Oriente da cui essa proviene. Nelle pubblicazioni più recenti vengono particolarmente approfonditi studi di carattere filologico.

The Gospel of Mark in the Syriac Harklean Version

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Yohanna Samer Soreshow

“Biblica et Orientalia” vol. 52

2015 pp. 208 + 4 tav.



This edition of the Harklean version of the Gospel of Mark fills a well-known desideratum in the field of the New Testament textual criticism. Based upon manuscript Chaldean 25 from the depository of the Chaldean Antonian Order of St. Hormizd (O.A.O.C.), this edition describes and collates the surviving Harklean manuscripts from the first millennium. The first critical apparatus reports variants to the lemma while a second apparatus reports variants in the marginal readings.  Colour images from the manuscripts are included so that the reader can fully appreciate the Harklean tradition and understand how the apparatuses were created. The introduction explains the system of text division, the marginalia, the diacritics and the other punctuation marks in the Harklean traditions. Special attention is given to the meaning of the critical signs that Thomas of Harqel employed in his creation of a new Syriac translation of the New Testament. 

Samer Soreshow Yohanna (1980), is a Chaldean priest (2006) and member of the Chaldean Antonian Order of St. Harmizd since 2003. He studied in Rome at the Pontifical Biblical Institute where he received his licentiate (2011) and his doctorate (2014) in Ancient Near Eastern Studies. 

This admirable critical edition of the Harklean version of the Gospel according to St. Mark, with its detailed introduction, constitutes a major contribution to the study of this important Syriac version. Besides presenting the evidence of twelve of the earliest manuscripts, Samer Yohanna also pays excellent attention to the marginalia and text divisions, as well as to the critical signs, thus providing a solid basis for all future research on the Harklean text of Mark.  Prof. Sebastian P. Brock, Oxford University.


Samer Yohanna’s excellent critical version edition of the Harklean Gospel of Mark based on the earliest manuscripts, including the hitherto unpublished manuscript C, fills a major gap in the study of the Harklean version of the New Testament. The edition sheds new light on the philological, orthographical, and ‘critical’ feature of the Syriac ‘mirror translatiion’ of the Greek Vorlage, and serves as a model to follow in the edition of the remaining gospels.  Prof. Amir Harrak, University of Toronto.


Dr. Samer Yohanna’s fine monograph marks a very substantial progress on previous editions of the Gospel of Mark in the Harklean version, most particulary by its excellent apparatus critici, both for the text and for the highly significant marginalia, which will allow future scholars to reach different interpretations of the evidence, and by its convincing-though avowedly provisional-diagram illustrating the relationships between the earliest manuscripts, far more complex than a traditional stemma codicum. Prof. Riccardo Contini, University of Naples “L’Orientale”.


The Syriac Version of Ezra-Nehemiah

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altBalzaretti Claudio

“Biblica et Orientalia” 51

2013, pp. XII-420



Manuscripts and Editions,

Translation Technique and Its Use in Textual Criticism



Ayādgār ī Jāmāspīg

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Agostini Domenico

“Biblica et Orientalia” 50

2013, pp. 542




Hezekiah and the assyrian spies

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Dubovský Peter
“Biblica et Orientalia” 49

2006 pp. XVIII – 308 978-887653-352-4



Biblical and Oriental Essays in Memory of William L. Moran

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Gianto Agustinus (ed.)
“Biblica et Orientalia” 48

2005 pp. X-204



Cosmic Battle and Political Conflict

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Gzella Holger
“Biblica et Orientalia” 47
2003 pp. XIV-190



Ezekiel's Oracles against Tyre

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Corral, Martin Alonso
“Biblica et Orientalia” 46
2002 pp. XIV-250

This work is a study of the historical reality and motivations of the Tyrian oracles in Ezekiel 26:1-28:19. It shows that economic and political reasons are the main causes for the condemnation. Judah's economic stagnation was the direct result of Tyre's economic policies and trade practices, which may have included selling Judean slaves after Jerusalem's destruction in 586. Social factors are important as well. Tyrian products were status symbols representing the oppression of a dishonest Tyrian elite. A clear connection between Tyre's religion and her economic activities is also observable. Tyrian colonizing activities were a continuation of her Canaanite religion. The study provides a new interpretation of Ezekiel 26:2, the clue for understanding the oracles, showing that the text describes the situation of desolation that resulted from Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of the Philistine ports at the end of the 7ch century. Tyre anticipated a major trade shift to her own ports that would mean Judah's economic ruin.

Martin Corral, born in 1961, completed a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible at New York University in 2000. He was a lecturer of religion at St. John's University, New York during the same year and a visiting professor of religion at Siena College, Albany in 2001. He is the recipient of a post doctoral fellowship of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture for a study covering the prophecies against the Phoenicians in the Hebrew Bible.


Studies in Northwest Semitic

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Althann Robert
"Biblica et Orientalia" 45
1997 pp. XII-208



The late Mitchell Dahood who lectured in Northwest Semitic languages at the Pontifical Biblical Institute from 1956-1982 made numerous, often very original suggestions for interpreting the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. His proposals provoked much controversy at the time. Fifteen years after his sudden death, it seems appropriate to consider some of them again with a view to establishing how far they may be judged plausible.

Robert Althann completed theological studies at Heythrop college, London and at the Pontifical Biblical Institute after which he taught Sacred Scripture at the Regional Seminary of Zimbabwe.
He is a director of the review Elenchus of Biblica.

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