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The Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels
 
 
Author
Janet Soskice.
Publisher Knopf/QPB  
Format paperback, QPB
Product Dimensions 8.25 x 5.5 x 1 inches
ISBN 9781611293807
Pages/Publication Date 316/2009
Daedalus Item Code 33337
This item is not available.
Description
In 1892 Agnes and Margaret Smith, identical twins from Scotland, made one of the most important scriptural discoveries of modern times. Combing the library of St. Catherine's Monastery at Mount Sinai, they found a neglected palimpsest, unearthing the earliest known copy of the Gospels written in ancient Syriac. Philosophical theologist Janet Soskice takes us on a quintessentially Victorian adventure, revealing how two middle-aged ladies without university degrees—but with a great facility for languages—uncovered and translated this biblical treasure and brought it to world attention.

"As scholar Janet Soskice reveals in her luminous new study, The Sisters of Sinai, Margaret and Agnes had nosed out nothing less than the earliest known copies of the Gospels—an account written in Syriac, the language likely spoken by Jesus himself. At the time, Soskice writes, 'the Bible remained an unquestioned compendium of truth, its immutable word conveyed supernaturally through the generations.' And yet this codex—so different in content from the modern edition of the Gospels—indicated that Scripture was actually the product of years of careful revisions. The Bible, in other words, had evolved. Of course, since Agnes and Margaret were only amateurs—and female amateurs at that—they needed experts to validate their find. Once recruited, those experts attempted to take the bulk of the credit, and soon the twins found themselves engaged in a series of very public rows. But neither woman ever backed down, and by the mid-1890s both were deservedly famous, honored by academics and laymen alike. The Sisters of Sinai is by turns a rattling adventure yarn—thick with roving Bedouin and ancient tombs—and a testament to the power of perseverance. In the end, Soskice writes, 'it was the Smiths' fierce commitment to the truth that most impresses'."—Washington Post Book World

 
 
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