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Title: The homilies of Mose bar Kepha on the early chapters of the Gospels
Author: Coakley, James Farwell
ISNI:       0000 0001 3559 3406
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1978
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Jhis thesis is a study and partial edition of a Syriac text known as the Book of Homilies attributed to the Jacobite (i.e. Syrian Crthodox) bishop of Mosul Mose bar Kepha. The Book of Homilies is a collection of approximately thirtyeight treatises for the festivals of the liturgical year. The present edition consists of twelve of these at th~ beginning of the collection which group themselves around the Christmas festival aaa t he infancy stories of the Gospels. Ten of these are edited for the first time. A faci ng English translat i on is also given. The introduction to the edition di~cusses the collection as a whole: its authenticity (eh. 2), the aut hor 's sour cei (eh. 3), and its text (eh. 4). 1. The authenticity of the collection req uires proof in the face of several objections, most seriously the disparity in form among the ho1t'.i :l ies 1:1-nd the differing contents of the h3S~ l"iy c onclusion is that hbK is substaatially the ai.;thor of the collection but tha t it was probably assembled from his wri ~ings and lectu.res by one or rr ore editors. One of the edited homilie--s- stands apart as not deriv ing from hbK, and this is r e l egated to an ap pendix . 2. '.I'he sources used by MbK are discussed with the airn of under st~~ding his olace in the history of Syriac biblical exegesis. The Hcmilies are of particular value si1ce they virtuaJly replace s6me parts of LbK's commentaries which have not survived iatact. 'ihe results of the discussion are the following: (a) Dionysius bar Salibi has copi~d MbK on the Gospe l s, as elsew here , quite slavishly; (b) Hbr, is a typical encyclopedic commentator drawing on a vari.ety of Greek and Syriac sources; (c) MbK ~as not the first such compiler ~f exegesis but depended on at least one earlier source in common with the commentary ofGeorge of Be'eltan; (d) MbK probably used a Jestorian exegetical work among his sources. 3. The edition uses seven MSS, includi3g all those in the West. The res11lting text is probably t he best ever likely to be obtai.ned, although one or two inaccessible hSS mi\ht just possibly upset this con cl u.sion. Th e filiation of the h3S seems to change within the edited homilies, but can be describ ed by a set of five stemmata. Decisions on s ome readings uav~ ~Lill had to be made on internal grounds. 'l'he comrr;entary following the text and translation is designed mainly to support eh, 3 of the introduction by citing sources and parallels for individual passages.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral