The Syriac Acts of Thomas: A computerized grammatical concordance of Acts 1 and 2

John David Zemler, Marquette University


At present there is no concordance to the Syriac Acts of Thomas . The lack of a concordance hobbles research into this early third-century Christian apocryphal acts. A Greek concordance already exists. In order to study the Acts of Thomas with any confidence a concordance is necessary for both the Greek and the Syriac. Research interests in the Acts revolve around a number of areas, including, but not limited to the following: (1) Translation Direction: The question concerning the Acts ' original language remains, was it Greek or Syriac? (2) Sacraments: The Acts of Thomas offer insights from early Christianity concerning Baptism and Eucharist. (3) Biblical texts and Translations: The text retains readings which can be classified as belonging to the Old Syriac Gospels and possibly to the Diatesseron. (4) The Thomas Tradition: The Acts are part of the Thomas Tradition. (5) Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles: The Acts are one of the five great apocryphal acts of the apostles. (6) Gender Studies: Women play a crucial part in most of the individual stories which form the Acts . (7) Jewish-Christian Relations: There appear to be connections between some portions of the Acts and portions of the Talmud. None of these areas of research can be fully undertaken without a concordance to the Syriac Acts of Thomas . To this end, I have automated the Syriac text of the Acts of Thomas as found in the 1871 William Wright edition of the British Museum manuscript additional 14,645. I have developed a concordance which emphasizes automation and grammatical classification of the text. My aim is two-fold, to offer a grammatical concordance to Acts 1 and 2, and to exploit modern word processing software to be able to conduct this research without having to take courses in computer programming. Acts 1 and 2 circulated separately from the entire thirteen act version, so a concordance to those two acts will be immediately useful for research on the Acts of Thomas .

Recommended Citation

Zemler, John David, "The Syriac Acts of Thomas: A computerized grammatical concordance of Acts 1 and 2" (2003). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI3093155.