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    The Text of the Diatessaron.


    [Section I]

    [1] 75

    75 John i. 1.

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God is the [2,3] Word.  76

    76 John i. 2.

    This was in the beginning with God77

    77 John i. 3.

    Everything was by his hand, and [4] without him not even one existing thing was made78

    78 John i. 4.

    In him was life, and the life [5] is the light of men.  79

    79 John i. 5.

    And the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness apprehended it not.

    [6] 80

    80 On the margin of the Vatican ms., fol. 1a, are written by a later hand these words, The first of his GospelThe first of the Evangel (is) the Gospel of Luke; followed by the text of the first four verses of Luke, and that in turn by the words, Four complete Gospels, Matthew, and Mark, and Luke, and John.  See Ciasca’s Essay, cited above (Introduction, 5), p. 468.


    81 Luke i. 5.

    There was in the days of Herod the king a priest whose name was Zacharias, of the family of Abijah; and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name [7] was Elizabeth.  82

    82 Luke i. 6.

    And they were both righteous before God, walking in all his commands, [8] and in the uprightness of God without reproach83

    83 Luke i. 7.

    And they had no son, for [9] Elizabeth was barren, and they had both advanced in age.  84

    84 Luke i. 8.

    And while he discharged [10] [Arabic, p. 2] the duties of priest in the order of his service before God, 85

    85 Luke i. 9.

    according to the custom of the priesthood it was his turn to burn incense; so he entered the [11] temple of the Lord86

    86 Luke i. 10.

    And the whole gathering of the people were praying without at the [12] time of the incense87

    87 Luke i. 11.

    And there appeared unto Zacharias the angel of the Lord, standing [13] at the right of the altar of incense; 88

    88 Luke i. 12.

    and Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, [14] and fear fell upon him.  89

    89 Luke i. 13.

    But the angel said unto him, Be not agitated,90

    90 This word is constantly recurring in the sense of fear.

    Zacharias, for thy prayer is heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt [15] call his name John; 91

    91 Luke i. 14.

    and thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice [16] at his birth92

    92 Luke i. 15.

    And he shall be great before the Lord, and shall not drink wine nor strong drink, and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit93

    93 Everywhere, except in the introductory notes, the Arabic is the Spirit of Holiness, as in the Arabic versions.

    while he is in his mother’s [17] womb94

    94 Luke i. 16.

    And he shall turn back many of the children of Israel to the Lord their [18] God95

    95 Luke i. 17.

    And he shall go before him in the spirit, and in the power of Elijah the prophet, to turn back the heart of the fathers to the sons, and those that obey not to the knowledge96

    96 See § 28, 17, note.

    of the righteous; and to prepare for the Lord a perfect people.  [19] 97

    97 Luke i. 18.

    And Zacharias said unto the angel, How shall I know this, since I am an old man [20] and my wife is advanced in years?  98

    98 Luke i. 19.

    And the angel answered and said unto him, I am Gabriel, that standeth before God; and I was sent to speak unto thee, and give [21] thee tidings of this.  99

    99 Luke i. 20.

    Henceforth thou shalt be speechless, and shalt not be able to speak until the day in which this shall come to pass, because thou didst not trust [22] this my word, which shall be accomplished in its time.  100

    100 Luke i. 21.

    And the people were standing [Arabic, p. 3] awaiting Zacharias, and they were perplexed at his delaying in the temple.  [23]101

    101 Luke i. 22.

    And when Zacharias went out, he was not able to speak unto them:  so they knew that he had seen in the temple a vision; and he made signs unto them, and [24] continued dumb102

    102 Luke i. 23.

    And when the days of his service were completed, he departed to his dwelling.

    [25] 103

    103 Luke i. 24.

    And after those days Elizabeth his wife conceived; and she hid herself five [26] months, and said, 104

    104 Luke i. 25.

    This hath the Lord done unto me in the days when he looked upon me, to remove my reproach from among men.

    [27] 105

    105 Luke i. 26.


    106 The Vat. ms. has over this verse, The second section, from the Gospel of Luke, i.e., as divided in the Syriac and Arabic versions.

    in the sixth month Gabriel the angel was sent from God to Galilee107

    107 The Borgian ms. omits to Galilee.

    to a [28] city called Nazareth, 108

    108 Luke i. 27.

    to a virgin given in marriage to a man named Joseph, of the [29] house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary109

    109 Luke i. 28.

    And the angel entered unto her and said unto her, Peace be unto thee, thou who art filled with grace.  Our Lord [30] is with thee, thou blessed amongst women110

    110 Luke i. 29.

    And she, when she beheld, was agitated [31] at his word, and pondered what this salutation could be.  111

    111 Luke i. 30.

    And the angel said unto [32] her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God112

    112 Luke i. 31.

    Thou shalt now conceive, [33] and bear a son, and call his name Jesus113

    113 Luke i. 32.

    This shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give him the throne of [34] David his father:  and he shall rule over the house of Jacob for ever; 114

    114 Luke i. 33.

    and to his [35] kingdom there shall be no end.  115

    115 Luke i. 34.

    Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be to [36] me when no man hath known me?  116

    116 Luke i. 35.

    The angel answered and said unto her, The [Arabic, p. 4] Holy Spirit will come, and the power of the Most High shall rest upon thee, and therefore shall he that is born of thee be pure, and shall be called the Son [37] of God117

    117 Luke i. 36.

    And lo, Elizabeth thy kinswoman, she also hath conceived a son in her old [38] age; and this is the sixth month with her, her that is called barren118

    118 Luke i. 37.

    For nothing is [39] difficult for God119

    119 Luke i. 38.

    Mary said, Lo, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be unto me according unto thy word.  And the angel departed from her.

    [40] 120

    120 Luke i. 39.

    And then Mary arose in those days and went in haste into the hill country,121

    121 Vat. ms., like that described by Gildemeister (see Introduction, 20) has into Galilee (cf. § 8, 10, note).

    to a122

    122 Lit. the, a form due to Syriac influence (cf. § ii. 12, and passim).

    [41] city of Judah; 123

    123 Luke i. 40.

    and entered into the house of Zacharias, and asked for the health of [42] Elizabeth.  124

    124 Luke i. 41.

    And when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in [43] her womb125

    125 Luke i. 42.

    And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit; and cried with a loud voice and said unto Mary, Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the [44] fruit that is in thy womb126

    126 Luke i. 43.

    Whence have I this privilege, that the mother of my [45] Lord should come unto me?  127

    127 Luke i. 44.

    When the sound of thy salutation reached my ears, [46] with great joy rejoiced the babe in my womb128

    128 Luke i. 45.

    And blessed is she who believed [47] that what was spoken to her from the Lord would be fulfilled.  129

    129 Luke i. 46.

    And Mary said,

    My soul doth magnify the Lord,

    [48] 130

    130 Luke i. 47.

    And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour,

    [49] 131

    131 Luke i. 48.

    Who hath looked upon the low estate of his handmaiden:

    Lo, henceforth, all generations132

    132 The Arabic word ordinarily means tribe or nation, but in this work it regularly represents the Syriac word used in the N.T. for generation.

    shall pronounce blessing on me.

    [50] 133

    133 Luke i. 49.


    134 The Arabic would naturally be rendered, the blessing on me, That; but a number of passages in this work seem to justify the rendering given in the text (cf., e.g., § 46, 54, and especially § 15, 40).

    he hath done great things for me, who is mighty,

    And holy is his name.

    [51] 135

    135 Luke i. 50.

    And his mercy embraceth them who fear him,

    Throughout the ages and the times.

    [52] [Arabic, p. 5] 136

    136 Luke i. 51.

    He wrought the victory with his arm,

    And scattered them that prided themselves in their opinions.

    [53] 137

    137 Luke i. 52.

    He overthrew them that acted haughtily from their thrones,

    And raised the lowly.

    [54] 138

    138 Luke i. 53.

    He satisfied with good things the hungry,

    And left the rich without anything.

    [55] 139

    139 Luke i. 54.

    He helped Israel his servant,

    And remembered his mercy

    [56] 140

    140 Luke i. 55.

    (According as he spake with our fathers)

    Unto Abraham and unto his seed for ever.

    [57] 141

    141 Luke i. 56.

    And Mary abode with Elizabeth about three months, and returned unto her house.

    [58, 59] 142

    142 Luke i. 57.

    And Elizabeth’s time of delivery was come; and she brought forth a son.  143

    143 Luke i. 58.

    And her neighbours and kinsfolk heard that God had multiplied his mercy towards her; [60] and they rejoiced with her.  144

    144 Luke i. 59.

    And when145

    145 The text is indistinct in the Vat. ms.  The reading seems to be conflate, the doublets being when it was, which is the reading of Ibn-at-Tayyib’s Commentary, and on.

    it was the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child, and called him Zacharias, calling him by the name of his father.  [61] 146

    146 Luke i. 60.

    And his mother answered and said unto them, Not so; but he shall be called John.  [62] 147

    147 Luke i. 61.

    And they said unto her, There is no man of thy kindred that is called by this name.  [63, 64] 148

    148 Luke i. 62.

    And they made signs to his father, saying, How dost thou wish to name him?  149

    149 Luke i. 63.

    And he asked for a tablet, and wrote and said, His name is John.  And every one wondered.  [65] 150

    150 Luke i. 64.

    And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue, and he spake and [66] praised God151

    151 Luke i. 65.

    And fear fell on all their neighbours:  and this was spoken of152

    152 Lit. described (cf. § ii. 46).

    in all [67] the mountains of Judah153

    153 Luke i. 66.

    And all who heard pondered in their hearts and said, What shall this child be?  And the hand of the Lord was with him.

    [68] 154

    154 Luke i. 67.

    And Zacharias his father was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied and said,

    [69] 155

    155 Luke i. 68.

    Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel,

    Who hath cared for his people, and wrought for it salvation;

    [70] 156

    156 Luke i. 69.

    And hath raised for us the horn of salvation

    [Arabic, p. 6] In the house of David his servant

    [71] 157

    157 Luke i. 70.

    (As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets from eternity),

    [72] 158

    158 Luke i. 71.

    That he might save us from our enemies,

    And from the hand of all them that hate us.

    [73] 159

    159 Luke i. 72.

    And he hath performed his mercy towards our fathers,

    And remembered his holy covenants,

    [74] 160

    160 Luke i. 73.

    And the oath which he sware unto Abraham our father,

    [75] 161

    161 Luke i. 74.

    That he would give us deliverance from the hand of our enemies,

    And without fear we shall162

    162 Or, should.

    serve before him

    [76] 163

    163 Luke i. 75.

    All our days with equity and righteousness.

    [77] 164

    164 Luke i. 76.

    And as for thee, O child, prophet of the Most High shalt thou be called.

    Thou shalt go forth before the face of the Lord to prepare his way,

    [78] 165

    165 Luke i. 77.

    To give the knowledge of salvation166

    166 Here and elsewhere the Arabic translator uses life and live and give life, as in Syriac, for salvation, etc.

    unto his people,

    For the forgiveness of their sins,

    [79] 167

    167 Luke i. 78.

    Through the mercy of168

    168 Borg. ms. has and for of.

    the compassion of our God,

    With which he careth for169

    169 The word used in the Peshitta means visit, either in the sense of caring for or in that of frequenting.  See § 24, 29.

    us, to appear170

    170 So Borg. ms.  The Vat. ms. is very indistinct.  Lagarde (see Introduction, 13, note), quoting Guidi, prints Whereby there visiteth us the manifestation from on high.  The difference in Arabic is in a single stroke.

    from on high

    [80] 171

    171 Luke i. 79.

    To give light to them that sit in darkness and under the shadow of death,

    And to set straight our feet in the way of peace.

    [81] 172

    172 Luke i. 80.

    And the child grew and became strong in the spirit, and abode in the desert until the time of his appearing unto the children of Israel.


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