The following is a translation of the text published in J.Leipoldt (ed.) Sinuthii archimandritae vita et opera omnia IV CSCO (1913) pp. 173-197, to which he assigned the title De Discrimine Temporum. A Latin translation was made in the 1930s by Hans Wiesmann and published in the same series. The only Biblical references I have supplied are ones that I have been able to find myself, but I am sure Wiesmann has all of them. I have occasionally added references to the Arabic text, but I should point out that I am not an Arabist.
The text has been divided, presumably by the editor, into 50 numbered paragraphs. The Arabic follows the same divisional, with the difference that the numbers are enclosed in square brackets. Leipoldt provides no explanation for this in his introduction. The Arabic text was made available to Leipoldt, who makes clear on p. xiv that he added it to this edition.
Sections 1 – 5 consist largely of adjectival or nominal sentences: the adjective nanou (good) followed by a noun/verbal noun type and the A is B type. The Arabic deals with the adjectival type by using a structure that corresponds to English ‘how good …’ It is probably
from this passage that the text has derived its name.