Newly Discovered and Unpublished

Arabic Versions

of the Samaritan Pentateuch

from the National Library of Russia

Patma-banassiragan Hantess
Erévan 1986, N°2 (113), pp 176-182 (in Russian)

Oriental Studies in the World

Etudes orientales
et arabo-islamiques
en pays francophones


  • This work has began in 1983 with the agreement between the Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of Armenia Academic Sarkissian G. (1927-1998) and the head of the department of the history of Middle Ages Prof. Ter-Ghévondian A. (1928-1988). Fortunately during the period of our investigations we discovered a great number of manuscripts which were found at the National Library of Rsssia in St Petersbourg. These manuscripts gave us the opportunity to supply our earlier studies with new manuscript parchments, which we introduce in this present work. As a result we got the complete understanding of the Samaritan Pentateuch.

  • This volume does not contain more faults both in omission and comission than it does at present, due to the kindness of a number of scholars with whom I have had a good chance to consult on matters outside my knowledge and whose generous assistance is acknowledged in connection with individual texts. I must express my special gratitude to
    - the great scientist from Frei Universität (Berlin) Prof. Macuch (1919-1993) for his valuable consultations and help ;
    - to the head of the chair of Arabic Department of the University of St Petersbourg Prof. Frolova O.
    - and to Morozov D. who gave me indispensible assistance with the Canonical texts, but responsability for any errors is the author's only .

  • The present work is intended for all investigators in history of the Holy Scripture, Ancient World, History of European Biblical Studies from the Renaissance till our days. This book will be interesting for all who are studying written monuments in Arabic and who are wishing to discover the secret of centuries for all historians, biblists, linguists, philologists interested in world literature.

  • For the first time in the world we are publishing an introduction to the one thousand old new discovered Arabic versions of the Samaritan Pentateuch. The work will be published in Russian with the Summary in English. Il is a valuable monograph informing about the Oriental treasures of the A. Firkovitch Collection in the National Library of Russia.

  • Haroutyoun Jamgotchian, Yerevan, 26-IX-1999.


  • The Samaritan Pentateuch represents great interst first of all as a text in Hebrew, which differs from the Masoretic, but in most cases is common with the Septuaguint and Vulgate. The difference or the significance of the Samaritan Pentateuch becomes more important by the discovery of Kumratz manuscripts.

  • The present work identifies a complex source of information about the Samaritan Pentateuch in its traditional interpretation (in Arabic language). The acquaintance with the Text of the Samariatn Pentateuch is necessary for all text informations about the Old Testament. The work includes the following sections :

    - 1/ Complex observation on the history of the Samaritan Society from the ancient times and Middle Ages

    - 2/ Information about the Samaritan Pentateuque in Europe in the Middle Ages

    - 3/ The Samaritan Pentateuch in Muslim tradition. Ibn Hazm, Biruni

    - 4/ Research of the Samaritan Pentateuch in Europe XVII-XX centuries

    - 5/ Research of the Arabic Versions of the Samaritan Pentateuch XVII°-XX°

    - 6/ Annoted list of important old manuscripts, including Arabic versions of the Samaritan Pentateuch

    - 7/ Invistagations of fragments from the National Library of Russia,

    - 8/ Text research of identical fragments, discovery of typical phonetico-orphographical spellings, particularity of manuscripts of different periodes XIII-XVIII

    - 9/ Classification of different manuscripts, including the Arabic text of the Samaritain Pentateuch

    - 10/ Research of special orphographical and grammatical phenomen by dated manuscripts.

  • And finally as an appendix we represent a critical publication by all Saint Petersbourg's Fragments available, fragmentary texts of the Books of Numeri and deuteronomium (which were not known in Biblical studies)

  • H. J. Yerevan 26 XI 1999


  • Research :
    - 1/ Brief History of the Samaritan Society from ancient times and middle Ages
    - 2/ Pentateuch information in the Middle Ages in Europe
    ___a) Samaritan epigraphies
    ___b) Samariticon
    ___c) Samaritan Pentateuch in Muslim Spain
    - 3/ Signifiance of the Samaritan Pentateuch for the development of European Biblical Studies
    - 4/ Historiography of the Arabic Versions of the Samaritan Pentateuch
    - 5/ Principal Arabic Versions of the Samaritan Pentateuch
    - 6/ Manuscripts of the Arabic Versions of the Samaritan Pentateuch
    ___a) dated
    ___b) undated
    - 7/ Condition of the Manuscrip Texts
    - 8/ Manuscripts with the Arabic Versions in the National Library of Russia in Saint Petersbourg
    ___a) Identified Catalogued fragments in division II and IIb
    ___b) Identification of fragments in division III ; second collection of Firkovitch
    _______Codex P (dated 1340)
    _______Codex Q (Handwritting similar with Abu-l-Fath-G)
    _______Codex R (Calligraphic "naskh")
    _______Codex S (Rough handwriting with rare diacretic points)
    _______Codex T (Three points under the letter "sin")
    _______Codex U (Copied, evidently, by some copyists who were changing each other)
    _______Codex V (Fragments of Codex V, are written in plenitude and differ from manuscript Sam III, 1, such as it contains passages from Codex U, copied by different manners and are present in the same manuscript)
    - 9/ Composition of published fragments
    - 10/ Some remarks about published fragments
    ___a) Fragments of Samaritan adaptation, Translation of Saadia al-Fayyoumi
    ___b) Fragments of so-called Version of Abu Saïd
    - 11/ Princips of publication of the Text
    - 12/ Conclusion
    - 13/ Prospects and examples of pratise
    - 14/ Bibliography
    - 15/ Appendices
    - 16/ Résumé

  • H. J. Yerevan 26 XI 1999

Haroutun Jamgotchian - Résumé

  • Jamgtchian Haroutun (=Artine), son of Sizefri was born in Egypt, Alexandria 25 january 1934. His first education was at the Franciscan Catholic School "Santa Lucia" then to the Armenian School Boghossian Azkayin Varjaran in Siouf and untill 1948 he attended an English College in Alexandria.

  • In 1948 he was repatriated with all his family to Armenia - Eérvan. In the same year he continued hs education in Armenia. In 1952-55, he served the soviet Army and after his demobilization took part at the Virgin Lands development, Kazakhstan - Alma Ata Districts.

  • In 1961-67 he was a student at Leningrad's State University (now St Petersbourg State University) and after graduating he collaborated at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia. In 1985 he attended Leningrad's Branch of the Institute of Orientl Studies (RAN) to fulfill his studies in samaritan Language and Litterature under the supervision of Prof. I. Shiffman, and at the same year he defended his Ph.D. thesis in Tashkent.

  • In 1996 he represented his doctoral thesis in Moscow entitled :"The Unpublished Fragments of the Arabic versions of the Samaritan Pentateuch from the Collection of the national Russian Library - St Petersburg. His interets are didacated to Bible Investigations His reports and articles were represented at the following International Conferences : .1/ Paris 1985 ; .2/ Tel Aviv 1988 ; .3/ London 1990 ; .4/ Paris 1990 ; .5/ Makhatchka 1991 ; .6/ Hong-Kong 1993 ; .7/ Milano 1996 ; .8/ Helsinski 2000

  • Prof. Dr Haroutun Jamgotchian is a co-fondateur de la Société d'Etudes Samaritaines (SES) - Paris

Société d'Etudes Samaritaines (SES - Paris) & Participants to Congresses

  • The work of Prof. Dr Haroutun Jamgotchian mentionned in :
    - [The Samaritan Update Anniversary August 2003]
    - [Addenda et Corrigenda to the Arabic Text of Samaritan Liber Josuae in European Association of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting Copenhagen August 2003]

  • Société d'Etudes Samaritaines (SES - Paris) : Society.Newsletter.Members -

  • Guy-Dominique Sixdenier (New York) - Dr. Stefan Schorch (Germany) - Mercredi 14 Mars 2001 à l'Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres - James D. Purvis (Boston) - Professor Dr. Isaac Kalimi (Cleveland) -

  • "The Samareitikon Revisited." In New Samaritan Studies of the Société d'études samaritaines, ed. Alan D. Crown and Lucy Davey (Studies in Judaica, 5; Sydney: Mandelbaum Publishing, 1995), pp. 381-455.

  • "Were There Samaritan-Christian Churches?" In Proceeding of the First International Congress of the Société d'études samaritaines, Tel-Aviv, April 11-13, 1988, ed. Abraham Tal and Moshe Florentin (Tel Aviv: Chaim Rosenberg School for Jewish Studies, 1991), pp. 123-138.

  • and many other pages to look for...
- Documentation : CRDA -
- Bibliographical Research, Numerisation & Page Set Up : Nil Vahakn Agopoff -
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