THE Manuscript from which I have edited this text of the Acts of the Apostles and theseven Catholic Epistles as well as the theological treatise which follows them, isnumbered 154 in my Catalogue of the Arabic MSS. in the Convent of Saint Catharine onMount Sinai (
, No. III.). It was among the first dozen books which in1893 the monks, in obedience to the directions of their Archbishop, brought to me out of a little closet at the foot of the staircase leading to the room then assigned for our work
.I had already affixed a label to this volume,
, and was busy receiving the second instalment of books, when thelate lamented Professor Bensly examined this one. He became greatly interested in itsstyle and appearance, and with the permission of the Librarian, Father Galakteon, hecarried it to his tent, and gave it to Mrs Burkitt. She made a transcription of the"Antilegomena," (II. Peter, II. and III. John, Jude,) and also, I believe, of a portion of the Acts. My sister, Mrs Lewis, photographed all the pages containing the CatholicEpistles, but only with partial success, as our dragoman flashed a magnesium light roundour tent while we were changing the rolls, and spoilt the results of a whole morning'swork. These photographs were amongst the films thus damaged, and though portions of them were legible, Mrs Burkitt did not think they would be of any use to her.On my third visit to the Convent, in 1895, I was convinced, (all the
This room has since been improved by two rooms being thrown into it, and the whole has been furnished withshelves, on which the MSS. are arranged according to their numbers, old boxes and baskets being completelyabolished.
Arabic books having passed through my hands in 1893,) that this was the most ancientspecimen of Arabic calligraphy to be found in the library, and I therefore photographedall the Biblical part of the volume. I also transcribed the pages which had becomeindistinct from pressure against the opposite ones, and from which I could not thereforeobtain anything legible by means of the camera. After my return home, I copied thedistinct pages from my photographs, which this time were very successful. On a fourthvisit to the Convent, in 1897, I carefully revised my transcription with the MS., and alsophotographed the remainder of the volume, so that I got its contents complete exceptinga few pages at the end. Mrs Burkitt put her transcription of the Antilegomena into thehands of Dr Merx, who edited it in the
eitschrift für Assyriologie
for December 1897,adding copious notes in the same magazine for April and September, 1898.It will doubtless be observed that is a few cases my reading of certain words differs fromthat of Mrs Burkitt and Dr Merx. I should hesitate to place my own judgment inopposition to that of so distinguished a scholar as Dr Merx, were it not corroborated innearly every case by the evidence of my photographs.The Manuscript is on vellum, and measures 18 centimetres by 12 ½. It is in quires of eight leaves each, but as a number of pages are missing at the beginning as well as atthe end, there are only two leaves in the first existing quire. In its present state it has