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Yuhanna Ibn Abi Zakariyya Ibn Sabba‘ (13th-14th C.) - Coptic Wiki


A Liturgical encyclopedist. Yuhanna ibn Abi Zakariyya ibn Sabba‘ was the author of an encyclopedic compilation in 113 chapters with the rhymed title al-Jawhara al-nafisa fi ‘ulum al-kanisa (The Jewel in the Sciences). After a theological, biblical, and introduction (chapters 1-26), the work concentrates on ecclesial and ritual matters, frequently giving them typological and spiritual interpretations.

For example, in chapter 113 we learn that the naqus is to be beaten to the faithful to prayer; this imitates Noah, who beat the naqus in order to the and who would be saved from God’s wrath into the ark—which is a type of church. The Jewel has been published a number of times, notably by the Franciscans in Cairo in 1966. It remains an important witness to the and spiritual life of the medieval Coptic Church.