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Syriac versions of the Bible

Syriac versions of the Bible: “

Leszek Jańczuk: m

[[Image:SyriacBibleParisFolio8rrMosesBeforePharaoh.jpg|thumb|right|220px|”The Syriac Bible of Paris”, Moses before pharao]]
Syria played an important or even predominate role in the beginning of christianity. Here was written [[Gospel of Matthew]], [[Gospel of Luke]], [[Didache]], Ignatiana, [[Gospel of Thomas]]. Syria was the country in which intersected Greek language with Syriac. Syriac was the language in close relationship to the [[Aramaic language|Aramaic]] dialect used by Jesus and Apostles. That is the reason for which Syriac Versions are high estimed by textual critics.
Scholars have distinguished five or six different Syriac versions of all or part of the New Testament. It is possible some translations were lost. Majority of the manuscripts are holded now in [[British Library]]), and other European libraries. The came from countries like [[Lebanon]], [[Egypt]], [[Sinai]], [[Mesopotamia]], [[Armenia]], [[India]], and even from [[China]]. It is good evidence of the great activity of Syriac church in his history.

== [[Diatessaron]] ==
The earliest translation of the Gospels into Syriac language which survived to the present day, it is [[Diatessaron]], a harmony of the four Gospels prepared about A.D. 170 by [[Tatian]] in Rome. After his return to Syria he translated it into Syriac. Probably it was the first translation of part of the New Testament from Greek into other language. Survived only fragments.

== The Old Syriac ==
The Old Syriac Version of the four Gospels is preserved today only in two manuscripts, both with a large number of gaps.
The [[Curetonian Gospels]] consists of fragments of the four Gospels. It was brought in 1842 from the [[Nitrian Desert]] in Egypt, and now holded in the [[British Library]]. The fragments were examined by [[William Cureton]] and edited by him in 1858. The manuscript is dated paleographically to the 5th century. It is called Curetonian Syriac, and designated by Syr<sup>c</sup>.
The second manuscript it is a [[palimpsest]] discovered by [[Agnes Smith Lewis]] in the [[Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai|Monastery of St. Catherine]] in 1892 at Mount Sinai, called Sinaitic Syriac, and designated by Syr<sup>s</sup>.
This version was made at the end of the 2nd century. It was known for [[Ephrem the Syrian]], and it was cited by him. It is a representative of the [[Western text-type]].
These two manuscript represent only Gospels. The text of Acts and the Pauline Epistles has not survived to the our time. We know it only from citations made by Eastern fathers.

== [[Peshitta]] ==
[[Image:RabulaGospelsFolio04vCanonTable.jpg|thumb|right|220px|[[Rabbula Gospels]], [[Eusebian Canons]]]]
The term Peshitta was used by Moses bar Kepha in 903. and means ‘simple’ (analogy of Latin [[Vulgate]]). It is the oldest Syriac version survived to the present day in its entirety.
It contains 22 books of New Testament, lacking the shorter [[General epistles]] (2-3 John, 2 Peter, Jude, as well as John 7:53-8:11).
It was made in the beginning of the 5th century. Authorship ascribed bp [[Rabbulas|Rabbuli z Edessy]] (zm. 436). It is a representative of the [[Byzantine text-type]]. The Syriac church still uses it in the present day.

== Later Syriac versions ==
Philoxenian, probably was produced in 508 for Philoxenus, Bishop of Mabbug in eastern Syria.
This translaton contains the five books not found in the Peshitta: 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, and the Apocalypse.
This translation survived only in short fragments.
It is designated by syr<sup>ph</sup>.
Harclensis is designated by syr<sup>h</sup>.

According to some scholars the Philoxenian and Harclensis are only recentions of Peshitta, according the other they are independent new translations.

About A.D. 500 was made Palestinian Syriac version in Palestinian dialect. It contains 2 Peter, 2-3 John, Jude, and Apocalypse. It is a representative of the [[Caesarean text-type]] and it is absolutely new translation different from any other which was made into Syriac.
In 1892 [[Agnes Smith Lewis]] discovered manuscript of the Palestinian Syriac lectionary in the library of the Monastery of St. Catherine on Mount Sinai.

== Limitations of Syriac ==

Syriac language belongs to a completely different group of languages than Greek language. Translation into it from Greek impose some problems.
Syriac, having no case endings, and was unable to use every order of words which was possible in Greek.
The Syriac and Greek tense systems are different conciderably.

In transcription of proper names Greek letter ξ was translitered by using two Syriac letters ܭܣ. Letter τ was translittered by ܜ, and θ by ܬ (f.e. in name Τιμοθεε, Timothy, ܛܡܬܐܘܣ). In the case of Semitic names translatiors always tried to restore original semitic pattern, but not always translators recognized semitic names (f.e. Arethas in 2 Cor 11:32). The Greek New Testament in two ways translitered saint city Jerusalem, hebr. ‘j<sup>e</sup>rušalajim’: Ιερουσαλημ i Ιεροσολυμα. Syriac versions always used Urišlem. Διαβολος into – ”satana”. Σιμων Πετρος almost in every case – šem‛un kepa, but in some cases Πετρος was translitered into Ptrws.

== See also ==
* [[Diatessaron]]
* [[Peshitta]]

== External links ==
* [ Syriac Versions of the Bible at the Bible Reaserch]
* [ At the Encyclopedia of Textual Criticism]

== Bibliography ==
* Kurt Aland, and Barbara ”Aland, The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism”, 1995, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
* F.G. Kenyon, ”Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts” (4th ed.), London 1939.
* Bruce M. Metzger, Bart D. Ehrman, ”The Early Versions of the New Testament”, Oxford University Press, Nowy Jork — Oxford 2005.
* B. Metzger, ”The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration”, Oksford 1968, pp. 3-98.
* M. Black, K. Aland, ”Die alten Übersetzungen des Neuen Testaments, die Kirchenväterzitate und Lektionare: der gegenwärtige Stand ihrer Erforschung und ihre Bedeutung für die griechische Textgeschichte, Wissenschaftliche Beirat des Instituts für neutestamentliche Textforschung”, Berlin 1972.
* W. Wright, ”Catalogue of the Syriac Manuscripts in the British Museum”, Gorgias Press LLC 2002.

[[Category:Bible versions and translations]]

[[pl:Biblia syryjska]]

(Via Wikipedia – New pages [en].)

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