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e-Gorgias (Issue 51, February 2012)


Issue 51
February 2012
Reading Time: 14 minutes
Dear {FirstName} {LastName},

As mother nature is starting to embrace the warmer and brighter colors of spring, we bring you the good tidings of an exciting new series called Surath Kthob that will make available the Syriac Bible in English translation.

The Syriac term surath kthob literally means 'image of a book' and denotes the text of the Bible. This series will provide, for the first time, a bilingual English-Syriac edition of the whole Syriac Bible. This is a perfect set for students, the clergy, and scholars. The English translation is close to the Syriac, but is idiomatic. The Syriac text is fully vocalized and pointed with Rukkokho and Qushoyo points. This is the first time a fully vocalized and pointed edition of the Syriac Bible is published in the serto script. This tremendous undertaking is being carried out by an inter-faith international team of specialists with the oversight of our own George A. Kiraz. It is expected that this project will consist of 30 volumes. We expect to publish 4-6 volumes in the next 12 months. The Book of Isaiah is in press and will be followed early in the summer by the Gospel of Matthew.

We are running a limited-time special subscription rate for the first 100 individual subscribers at half price. Only the first 100 individual subscribers will be able to lock the price of all future volumes at $75 a volume. As this is a very costly project, it is expected that the list price will be $150/volume, only the first 100 individual subscribers will lock the price to $75 a volume for the entire series. Don't worry as your credit card will only be charged as volumes become available and you can cancel your subscription after you have received at least twelve volumes. Click here to download free samples from the Book of Isaiah and to subscribe at the special rate. Remember, only the first 100 individual subscribers will get this price, so yallah, hurry and subscribe now!

Institutions may subscribe to the series at a limited-time offer of $100 a volume; click here for institutional subscriptions.

Read more about this exciting project in our "From the Acquisitions Desk" column.

Happy reading,

Christine Kiraz


  • Recently Released
  • Coming Soon
  • From the Acquisitions Desk
  • Conferences


Below is a select list of recent releases. For the complete list, please visit our Just Published page.

A Short Introduction to the Tiberian Masoretic Bible and its Reading Tradition
By Geoffrey Khan

ISBN 978-1-4632-0166-1
Paperback, $39 <!-(BiblioPerks™ $23.40)-->

This book is intended to provide a quick introductory overview of the Tiberian Masoretic tradition of the Hebrew Bible and its background. It was this tradition that produced the great Masoretic codices of the Middle Ages, which form the basis of modern printed editions of the Hebrew Bible. Particular prominence is given to the multi-layered nature of the Masoretic tradition. The volume contains a section describing the Tiberian reading tradition, which is essential for a correct understanding of the vocalization system.

The Coming of the Comforter: When, Where, and to Whom?
By Carlos Segovia

ISBN 978-1-4632-0158-6
Hardback, $207.7 <!-(BiblioPerks™ $124.62)-->

The authors approach the "sectarian milieu" (Wansbrough) out of which Islam arose by exploring its boundaries from the point of view of the early Islamic tradition itself and from the standpoint of the pre-Islamic Christian and Jewish traditions which influenced its emergence and initial development. The formation of Islam is therefore regarded as a complex process without a unique starting point.


Here is a select list of forthcoming publications. Click here for a complete list.

The Book of Isaiah According to the Syriac Peshi?ta Version with English Translation
This volume is the first in a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshi?ta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars. Greenberg and Walter have produced an annotated translation of the Peshi?ta version of the Book of Isaiah, while Kiraz and Bali have edited the Peshi?ta text. The English translation and the Syriac text are shown on facing pages so that both can be studied together.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0155-5, Cloth, $150

The Gospel of Matthew According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation
This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshi?ta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars. Childers has translated the Peshi?ta of Matthew, while Kiraz has prepared the Syriac text in the west Syriac script, fully vocalized and pointed. The translation and the Syriac text are presented on facing pages so that both can be studied together. All readers are catered for: those wanting to read the text in English, those wanting to improve their grasp of Syriac by reading the original language along with a translation, and those wanting to focus on a fully vocalized Syriac text.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0174-6, Cloth, $150


A few years back Gorgias embarked on an ambitious program to produce a fully vocalized edition of the Syriac Bible with an accompanying English translation. Until this day, there has not been an edition of the Syriac Bible in the West Syriac script that is fully vocalized and pointed. The edition of the United Bible Society provides a vocalization for the New Testament, but the Old Testament remains unvocalized. Additionally, the only available English translation of the Peshitta Bible is the unsatisfactory translation of George Lamsa of 1957.

In his Foreword to the first volume, project director and Gorgias Editor-in-Chief George Kiraz states that “the primary objective of this edition is twofold: to provide a reliable text for scholars and students who are looking for a fully vocalized Syriac text, and to make available to religious communities, for whom this text is sacred, an English translation that can be used in various religious and cultural settings. As such, one had to navigate carefully between rigid scholarly principles and practical editorial choices.”

The Gorgias Edition of the Bible relies on the 1887-91 East Syriac Mosul edition for the text of the Old Testament which was mostly edited by Clemis Joseph David and supplements this edition with full Rukokho and Qushoyo pointing. This text, while based on second millennium manuscripts, is remarkably close to the early text of the first millennium. Our text of the New Testament is based on the Pusey and Gwilliam text which in turn is based on dozens of manuscripts.

Describing their translation for the Isaiah volume, Peshitta specialists Gillian Greenberg and Donald M. Walter tell us “we were writing for people who want an English translation of the Syriac text, but who also want to be able to use this translation to help them follow and understand the Syriac, in which they are not all completely fluent.”

The edition not only provides the Syriac text and an English translation, but also provides sufficient notes for the reader. “In addition to providing biblical references,” says Jeff Childers, the translator of the Gospel of Matthew volume, “the notes that accompany the English translation define obscure terms and provide information about ancient weights and measures. They also supply alternative meanings for some Syriac words and expressions, explain the literal wording behind certain translations, and clarify distinctions otherwise lost in English.” This will be an invaluable tool for students of the Bible, even those who are interested in the Syriac variants to the Hebrew and Greek texts.

This project is carried out by an international team of scholars, both Jewish and Christian, Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant. They all bring to the table their various experiences in the biblical world.

We do not intend for this project to take decades; rather, we would like to finish it in a reasonable time. Editors and translators work with deadlines that show commitment to the project. Volumes will be published as their texts and translations become available. It is expected that the set will consist of 30 volumes. The Book of Isaiah is now in press, and will be followed shortly by the Gospel of Matthew. We expect to publish 4-6 volumes in the next 12 months or so.

Gorgias also understands that academic books, because of the nature of the market, are quite expensive, and while we try to keep our pricing below the competition, we are making here a special effort to make this series affordable to our audience. For this reason, we are offering 50% subscription discount to the first 100 individuals who subscribe to the series through this link. One can also download a free sample from the same link.

The Gorgias Acquisitions Department



Gorgias Press will be exhibiting at the conferences and meetings listed below, offering a special discount to conference attendees for not just the books in display but for all items in our current catalog. In addition, our editors will also be present at these meetings should you have a manuscript proposal which you would like to discuss with us.


Conference Report: American Oriental Society 2012 Meeting, 16-19 March 2012, Boston, MA.

Hoda Mitwally, GP's Editorial & Acquisitions Assistant, shares the following report:

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to represent Gorgias Press at the American Oriental Society's 2012 meeting. It was pleasurable seeing old Gorgias friends and authors, and meeting many new colleagues for the first time. Not to mention, being in Boston on St. Patrick's Day weekend was quite the experience! Our bestsellers were James T. Monroe's Hispano-Arabic Poetry: A Student Anthology, Michael Sokoloff's A Syriac Lexicon, and Sebastian Brock's The Bible in the Syriac Tradition. Overall, it was a wonderful experience, and we appreciate the support from all.

Summer is fast approaching; in the next few months, we will be exhibiting at a number of conferences around the world, from Chicago to Turkey to Malta (see the above list for more details). We hope to see you there!



Gorgias Press
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Tel. +1 732-885-8900
Fax. +1 732-885-8908

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