Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Manuscripts Man

SYRIAC WATCH: A Lifetime in Asia. 40 YEARS ON THE SILK ROAD (Tim Johnson, Cascadia Weekly).
Father Dale Albert Johnson is a Skagit Valley native who has gained international recognition for his discovery, translation and interpretation of manuscripts written in the language of Jesus.

But that’s far from being his only accomplishment. Ordained as a Syriac Orthodox Priest in 1991, Father Johnson has served refugees, internally displaced people and religious minorities of the Middle East for the last 25 years. He’s also a winner of the prestigious Role Model Leadership Award awarded by North Carolina State University. (Previous winners have included Poet Maya Anjelou and former North Carolina Governor James Hunt.)


Father Johnson began his career searching for Syria/Aramaic manuscripts in the Middle East. He contributed more than 20,000 pages of previously unknown material to the Arthur Voobus manuscript collection at the University of Chicago. During these years he was chosen by Bishop Athanasius Y. Samuel to be his personal assistant. Bishop Samuel was famous for owning and naming the Dead Sea Scrolls when he was bishop of Jerusalem in 1948.

That's a lot of manuscripts! I am very surprised to find that PaleoJudaica has never before had occasion to refer to Professor Arthur Vööbus or to the Vööbus manuscript collection. Glad to have that remedied now. More on Mar Athanasius Y. Samuel and the Dead Sea Scrolls is here, here, and here.