This Arabic manuscript of the Gospel of Saint John dates from the 18th century. The text is written clearly and enclosed in a double-lined frame in red. The folios are numbered with Coptic numerals. The manuscript has many marginal notes and Old Testament references in Arabic, with Coptic numerals employed for chapter and verse citations. The marginalia may have been added by Wadi’ Muftah, whose name appears on the front endpapers. The text is complete and is in excellent condition, although the last page is copied in a different hand and lacks the border. The binding is brown leather over boards with a flap. The volume may have been part of a set. The scribe and place of copying are not given. Chapter headings in the Gospel text are indicated in red. There is an extensive table of contents and a three-page biographical introduction. The biography identifies John the Evangelist as one of the Twelve Apostles and states that he wrote in Greek. The account continues, following John’s travels and frequent returns to Ephesus where, according to many legends, he is buried. The biography concludes with the miracle of his tomb, which when opened contained only his sandals. This and other details of his life and works are recounted in the biography. This work is part of the Iryan Moftah Collection of Coptic Books and Manuscripts at the American University in Cairo.
Place: Middle East and North Africa; Egypt
Institution: The American University in Cairo Rare Books and Special Collections Library
Physical description: 74 pages ; 17.5 x 12.5 centimeters