YASSA ‘ (1898-1959)

An Egyptian scholar, with special knowledge of ecclesiastical Arabic. Although his higher education was limited to diplomas in theological studies from the Coptic Clerical College (1922) and in from the Egyptian University, now , he distinguished himself through his own independent efforts in the study of the . He became an internationally recognized scholar in this field.

He started his career as a teacher at Thamarat al-Tawfiq Coptic School (1918-1922). He then became librarian of the in (1922-1957). In 1951 he was selected to assist in the American expedition for microfilming the manuscripts of the MOUNT MONASTERY OF . He taught Coptic at the CLERICAL COLLEGE and the .

His publications include Catalogue of the Coptic and Arabic Manuscripts in the Coptic Museum, the Patriarchate, the Principal Churches in Cairo and Alexandria, and the (with Murqus Pasha, 3 vols., Cairo, 1939-1942); an unedited letter of (Bulletin de l’Institut français d’Archéologie orientale 45, 1946, pp. 65-80); a fragment of the of Saint (Orientalia Christiana Periodica 4, 1938, pp. 584-90); “Saint Cyrille dans la liturgie de l’église copte” (Kyrelliana, 1947); “Doxologies in the Coptic Church” (Bulletin de la Société d’archéologie copte 4, 1938, pp. 97-113; 5, 1939, pp. 175-91; 6, 1940, pp. 19-76; 8, 1942, pp. 31-61); letter from a bishop of al- (Bulletin de la Société d’archéologie copte 7, 1941, pp. 15-18); (trans., with O. H. E. Burmester, of the History of the Holy Church, by Sawirus ibn al-Muqaffa‘, Vol. 2, pt. 1, Cairo, 1943; and with Aziz Suryal Atiya and O. H. E. Burmester, Vol. 2, pts. 2-3, Cairo, 1948-1949); and The Gospel According to (ed. and trans. with A. Guillaumont, H. C. Puech, and W. C. Till, New York, 1959).


  • Burmester, O. H. E. Obituary. Bulletin de la Société d’archéologie copte 15 (1958-1960):191-92.
  • , W. A Coptic Bibliography. Ann Arbor, Mich., 1950. , A. “Bibliographie de Yassa ‘Abd al-Masih.” Bulletin de la Société d’archéologie copte 15 (1958-1960):167.


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