"One does not have to go very far to gain an immense appreciation for the magnitude of Zohrapian's contribution" (Cox)

[ARMENIAN BIBLE] – ZOHRAPIAN, Hovhannes (editor)

A[stuats]ashunch' matean hin ew nor ktakaranats' ěst chshgrit t'argmanu[t']ean nakhneats' merots' i hellenakann hawatarmagoyn bnagrē i haykakans barbaṛ hashkhatasirut'[en]ē Hovhannu Zōhrapean

[Sacred Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. Edited with critical notes and introduction by Hovhannes Zohrapean. With prefaces to each book and an appendix of Apocryphal writings]

Publication: San Lazzaro, Venëtik [Venice], 1805.

[ARMENIAN BIBLE] – ZOHRAPIAN, Hovhannes (editor), A[stuats]ashunch’ matean hin ew nor ktakaranats’ ěst chshgrit t’argmanu[t’]ean nakhneats’ merots’ i hellenakann hawatarmagoyn bnagrē i haykakans barbaṛ hashkhatasirut'[en]ē Hovhannu Zōhrapean

A landmark edition of the Armenian Bible, in a pleasant example. Rarely found.

Read More


In stock

Our Notes & References

The first critical edition of the Bible in Armenian, its “principal edition” (Cox), almost 140 years after the first Armenian Bible, printed in Amsterdam in 1666.

Giovanni Zohrab (Hovhannes Zohrapean, or Zohrapian, 1756-1829) was a Benedictine monk at the celebrated Armenian monastery on the island of San Lazzaro near Venice. He chose as basis for his edition the oldest complete, dated Armenian Bible at his disposal, the Venetian manuscript MS V1508 of 1319, against which he collated 8 other manuscripts of the whole Bible and 20 of the New Testament kept in Venice’s Mxit’arist collection. The result of these comparisons can be seen in Zohrab’s footnotes, which quote major variations in the manuscripts he examined (which are however usually identified in general terms such as ‘some witnesses,’ ‘one example,’ ‘many’ etc).

Zohrab’s remarkable and long-lasting achievement was published in two variants, both finely illustrated: a quarto volume and these four duodecimo volumes. The first volume includes the Genesis through Ruth; volume 2 – Kings through Maccabees II; volume 3 – Psalms through Ezekiel; and volume 4 contains the whole New Testament.

Zohrab’s edition was reproduced in facsimile in 1984, with an extensive introduction by the scholar Claude Cox, who notes: ‘The principal edition of the Armenian Bible is that of Zohrapian, published in 1805 […] His edition stands head and shoulders above many editions of texts in his day because he does not tamper with the text: it is a faithful copy of his base manuscript’.

This is a lovely example of this important edition, rarely found complete and in contemporary bindings.


Darlow & Moule 1787; Mr. Bart D. Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis, Brill, 2013, p. 255; Armin Lange ed., Textual History of the Bible, Brill, 2016, p.10; Cox, The Zohrab Bible, in Studies in Classical Armenian Literature, ed. John Greppin, Delmar, Caravan Books, 1994, pp. 227-261 (which is an updated reprint of the 1984 Introduction); Cox, Biblical Studies and the Armenian Bible, 1980-2002, in Revue Biblique, Vol. 112, No.3, July 2003, pp. 355-368, p.361 for the quote in our heading.

Item number



Physical Description

Four volumes 12mo (19 x 12.2 cm). Frontispiece, pp. 32, including title, 527, with an engraved plate; title, pp. [2], 687, with an engr. plate; title, pp. [2], 805, with an engr. plate; title, pp. [2], 587, 92, with an engr. plate.


Contemporary brown calf.


Vol. 4 differently bound, possibly from another set; slightly rubbed; some light marginal waterstaining at end of vol 3. and at beginning and end of vol 4, but overall a pleasant example.

Request More Information/Shipping Quote

    do you have a question about this item?

    If you would like more information on this item, or if you have a similar item you would like to know more about, please contact us via the short form here.