By Hikmat Kashouh

The Gospels in Arabic

Volume One

This book is a comparative edition of the Gospel of Matthew in Arabic. The first part of this volume gives a description of thirteen different versions of the Gospels in Arabic, from as early as the seventh century until the thirteenth century A.D. The second part of the book presents a concise study of the earliest extant Arabic Gospel text, in which the author argues, using new evidence, that the first translation of the Gospels was not produced in the Holy Land monastic communities between 685-735 A.D. from a Greek translation, but rather that the Gospels were translated earlier, in either Al-Hīra, Irāq, or Najrān, from an old Syriac text sometime between 500 and 620 A.D. The third part of the book presents these thirteen different Arabic versions of the Gospel of Matthew side by side in order that this part may be used as a comparative tool for in-depth study. Once published, scholars, pastors, and students will be able to access the desired texts of the Gospel of Matthew in Arabic, simultaneously and all in one place. This volume is over thirteen hundred pages, and is the first volume in a series of four volumes covering the four Gospels.

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Hikmat Kashouh

Hikmat Kashouh, is a published scholar with a PhD in Editing Texts in Religion from the University of Birmingham, UK. His book The Arabic Versions of the Gospels: The Manuscripts and Their Families, published by De Gruyter in 2012 is a foundational work and has helped many orientalists and scholars better understand the Arabic Christian tradition. Dr. Kashouh is an adjunct research professor at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, and the senior pastor of Resurrection Church, Beirut. He and his wife Krista have three children.

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“The term “عيسى” is the Qur‘anic name for Jesus. Scholars have been puzzled by the origin of the term ‘Isa, and have offered a number of unconvincing explanations. I would argue that ‘Isa simply comes from the Greek Ἰησοῦς, written as a nomen sacrum. Not in the usual expanded way of today, but in a commonly abbreviated manner (i.e. “IC”) with a line over it, namely “IC”. This is a distinctive writing feature of sacred names in early Greek manuscripts. So, it is very likely that ‘Isa comes from the Greek sacred name IC (pronounced Ee-Sa), as “عيسو” comes from Ησαυ. Moreover, “عيسى” parallels “موسى” (Mūsa), like the well-known pairs of Ismā‘īl and Ibrāhīm, and Jālūt and Tālūt. Finally, one might entertain the idea that the fact that the Qur’anic tradition preferred “عيسى” for IC, instead of “يسوع” for Ἰησοῦς, could point to how this name was revered in early Islamic era, and was indeed considered a nomen sacrum”


The Gospels in Arabic, 17-18.

“The linguistic evidence above, that is based on a comparative study between the translations, demonstrates that ordinary terms used in daily life, in the text of F06, such as rooster, thorns, soil, cloud, tomb, yoke, herd, hunger, thirst, basket, pit, gateway, plate, evening, and Friday, differ from all other translations done in Syria and Palestine. Therefore, since these terms are used in daily life, and since they do not match any of the terms used in translations which originated from Bilad-al Sham, we should be looking for a different geographical location for the autograph of F06 than Bilād al-Shām. Either al-Hīrā or Najrān are highly likely to be the original birthplace of F06. The grammar and syntax of F06 also point in the same direction (see the transcribed text of F06 in this volume, as well as AVG, 147-149). There is a greater need in the near future to prepare a full edition of the text of F06.


The Gospels in Arabic, 121.

“Finally, when the text of the Qur’an is compared with Vat. Ar. 13, it appears to us that both traditions were being developed separately from each other. Vat. Ar. 13 is unique and was later used by subsequent Christian scribes as they were preparing their new translations and recensions in the 8th and 9th centuries A.D. Finally, subsequent copyists from the eighth century and on introduced terminologies into the text of Vat. Ar. 13 that have Qur’anic roots; a phenomenon more common in F06 than any other translation and recension prepared in Bilād al-Shām”


The Gospels in Arabic, 195.

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رحلة النّجاح

تذكّر قارئي العزيز أنّ العالم لا يتبع مشاريع مجرّدة، ولا أفكاراً جيّدةً، ولا تلهمه القضايا الاجتماعية أوّلاً، بل أفرادٌ، وأناسٌ، وقادةٌ يمتلكون شخصيات مميّزة، وملهمون بقضايا ومشاريع وأفكارٍ خلّاقةٍ. أقوى سلاح تمتلكه

رحلة الزواج الناجح

ينقل لك هذا الكتاب رسالة أمل صادقة، نابعة من خبرة الكثيرين، مضمونها أنّ الزواج مشروع الله للإنسان، ورحلة عمر متوّجة بالحبّ، أساسها الرغبة المخلصة، والسعي المتواصل، والأمانة، والدفع، والاحترام المتبادل

 رحلة التربية الناجحة

إنّ طبيعة الحياة السريعة وتحدّياتها غير المتناهية، تردّي الوضع الاقتصاديّ الذي أوجب على الزوجين الانغماس في ساعاتٍ طويلة من العمل لتأمين مستلزمات الأسرة، جعلت من التربية مهمّة صعبة. وفي ظلّ انتشار الإنترنت ومواقع التواصل الاجتماعي والهواتف الذكيّة، أضحى الآباء يتخوّفون أكثر فأكثر من أن يتأثّر أولادهم بالفساد المنتشر في المجتمع.

درب إتباع المسيح

تأمل معي في هذا التلميذ المؤمن بيسوع، الذي تحول بفعل الانجذاب الكامل نحو سيده ومخلصه، حتى غدا يسوع وحده اهتمامه الأقصى هذا التلميذ نال من سيده، عند إيمانه، أعظم عطية، عطية الروح القدس السّاكن فيه

Following Jesus in Turbulent Times

Nations are haemorrhaging refugees around the world. How displaced peoples are treated is under constant scrutiny– whether in the UK, the USA, and Australia, or Turkey, Colombia, and Uganda.
How will the Church respond in these turbulent times?


This book is concerned with the Arabic versions of the Gospels. It is an attempt to examine a substantial number of Arabic manuscripts which contain the continuous text of the canonical Gospels copied between the eighth and the nineteenth centuries and found in twenty-one different library collections in Europe and the Orient.

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