Principal Investigator:

Joseph Faragalla

Funded by:

German Research Foundation



The aim of this project is to critically analyse the exegetical work of the Coptic author Simʿān ibn Kalīl (d. ca. 1236/37) on the Gospel of Matthew. This work has not received much attention so far, although it is undoubtedly an important representative of the so-called Coptic Renaissance in the 12th and 13th centuries, a period when the Christian Arabic literature of the Copts took an enormous upswing.

The focus of the project is the preparation of a critical edition of Ibn Kalīl’s commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, the identification of its sources, and the analysis of its exegetical method. This is complemented by an in-depth study of the catena that contains quotations from the church fathers. In addition, the project tries to shed light on the exchange between Christians and Muslims on theological issues, and the points of contention between them concerning biblical literature, as well as the influence of Muslim literature on it. Many of the sources of the commentary can be traced back to Eastern Syriac biblical exegesis, and so the project is also interested in examining how the author used his sources given the different theological understanding between the Copts and Syrians, especially East Syrians.

Team members