‘ABD AL-MASIH SALIB AL-MASU‘DI. A monk at the monastery of the Virgin (DAYR AL-BARAMUS in Wadi al-Natrun), ‘Abd al-Masih (1848-1935) was ordained a monk by his uncle, ‘Abd al-Masih al-Kabir, in 1874. His prolific writings covered linguistics, ritual, and history. He mastered Hebrew, Syriac, Greek, and Coptic. His best known work is his interpretation of the Epact, in the Arabic version of al-Abukti (reckoning of the derivation of feast days in the Coptic, Syrian, Armenian, and Greek churches).
His most significant works include Kitab al-Khulaji al-Muqaddas (i.e., Kita al-Thalath Quddasat; The three masses, Cairo, 1903); Kitab al-Tuhfah al-Saniyyah (Theology, Cairo, 1925); Kitab al-Durrah al-Nafisah fi Hisabat al-Kanisah, Cairo, 1926; a small and concise treatise on dates of the church developed in a much more detailed work of more than 617 pages entitled Al-Tuhfah al-Baramusiyyah fi Sharh wa-Tatimmat Qawa‘id Hisab al-Abqati lil-Kanisah al-Qibtiyyah al-Urthudhuksiyyah, Cairo, 1925); Kitab al-Karmah (Theology, Cairo, 1927); Kitab al-Asrar (Coptic and Arabic terminology of the church defined, Cairo, 1926); and Tuhfat al-Sa‘ilin fi Dhikr Adyirat Ruhban al-Misriyyin (On Coptic monasteries, Cairo, 1932).
He was summoned by Patriarch Cyril V to serve in the central administration of the church at the patriarchate in Cairo. He died at the age of eighty-seven in 1935.
AZIZ S. ATIYA
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