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Do there exist any fragments of peshitta manuscripts, as we have with the greek mss?
Or were damaged versions of the peshitta always copied then destroyed?
judge Wrote:Do there exist any fragments of peshitta manuscripts, as we have with the greek mss?
Or were damaged versions of the peshitta always copied then destroyed?

I think this is the closest thing to early manuscript evidence, are quotes from early Syriac saints, who seem to be quoting it.

"Miller says,

The commanding position thus occupied leads back virtually a long way. Changes are difficult to introduce in "the unchangeable East." Accordingly, the use of the Peshitta is attested in the 4th century by Ephraem Syrus and Aphraates. Ephraem "in the main used the Peshitta text" "


And in reference to your question from yesterday on that other thread, this article also has something to say regarding Burkitt's theory.


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"Burkitt's theory was once generally accepted, but now scholars are realizing that the Peshitta must have been in existence before Rabbula episcopate, because it was the received text of both the two Sects into Which the Syrian Church became divided. Since this division took place in Rabbula???s time and since Rabbula was the leader of one of these sects, it is impossible to suppose that the Peshitta was his handiwork, for if it had been produced under his auspices, his opponents would have adopted it as their received New Testament text. Indeed A. Voobus, in a series of special studies (1947-54), has argued not only that Rabbula was not the author of the Peshitta but even that he did not use it, it least not in its present form. If this is true and if Burkitt's contention is also true, namely, that the Syrian ecclesiastical leaders who lived before Rabbula also did not use the Peshitta, then why was it that the Peshitta was received by all the mutually opposing groups in the Syrian Church is their common, authoritative Bible? It must have been that the Peshitta was a very ancient version and that because it was so old the common people within the Syrian Church continued to be loyal to it regardless of the faction into which they came to be divided and the preferences of their leaders. It made little difference to them whether these leaders quoted the Peshitta or not. They persevered in their usage of it, and because of their steadfast devotion this old translation retained its place as the received text of the Syriac-speaking churches. (Edward F. Hills)."
Shlama Akhi Michael,

judge Wrote:Do there exist any fragments of peshitta manuscripts, as we have with the greek mss?
Or were damaged versions of the peshitta always copied then destroyed?

(B) <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

Incidentally, there are no fragments (nor complete manuscripts) of the Hebrew OT from the 1st century BC (DSS) until the 11th century AD (Aleppo Codex) for the same reason. That's more than a millenium of silence in regards to Hebrew witnesses of the OT. (and the DSS weren't intended to go fragmentary - it was by pure luck that the people thought they would hide them and come back for them when times where less dangerous.)

There was a general fear of allowing the name~word of God on paper to disintegrate and fall to the ground where it would be stepped on by foot.

If an expedition is ever made into Hakkari again, there will be plenty of fragments because the same phenomenon that produced the DSS happened there in 1915.
Before I go to bed. I started reading some of the online Bethmardutho jounals. On of them kind of is on the topic.


"The Background
[1] This re-examination of ???Codex Phillipps 1388???1 resumes the work of Arthur Allgeier, who seventy years ago was the first to introduce this 5th/6th-century Gospel manuscript2 (held at the Staatsbibliothek, Berlin) to scholarly discussion3. Collating the codex with the text of the Peshitta Gospels published by E. Ph. Pusey and G. H. Gwilliam in 1901, Allgeier???s intention was to point to its significance for the history of the Peshitta text. According to him, ???Codex Phillipps??? is the only known Peshitta manuscript which shares a significant number of readings with the ???Old Syriac??? Gospel text, thus attesting a transition stage between the ???Old Syriac??? and the Peshitta. Discussing only two sample passages (Jn xiii.17 and Jn xviii.16) to set out this view in some detail, Allgeier???s primary concern was to resume the question of a revisional history of the Peshitta Gospels, which was answered in the negative by G. H. Gwilliam in an article of 18914. But meanwhile the reopening of this question had been effected by the discovery (1892) and successive publication (1894, 1896, 1910) of the ???Old Syriac??? Sinaitic manuscript, by the improved republication of the ???Old Syriac??? Curetonian manuscript by F.C. Burkitt (1904), and by Gwilliam???s splendid edition of the Peshitta Gospels (1901). All these publications had created new conditions for the discussion about the ???Old Syriac??? Gospels5 and about the early Peshitta text. Allgeier continued this line to add further manuscript evidence by introducing ???Codex Phillipps???.

[2] In the history of research attention was paid to the codex during the re-examination of F.C. Burkitt???s influential hypothesis6 on the origin of the Peshitta text by A. V????bus, which finally resulted in a modification of this hypothesis by M. Black."

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Shlama Akhi Addai,

Codex Phillipps is a western text (Peshitto) from the Roman empire and specifically from within Rabbula's realm in Edessa. I would expect it to be a revisionary text in between the Peshitta and Rabbula's "Evangellion de Mepharreshe" (Old Scratch).

When we speak of Peshitta here, we normally associate it with the eastern (Persian) text used by the Church of the East which has had no revisionary history behind it.
Paul Younan Wrote:Shlama Akhi Addai,

When we speak of Peshitta here, we normally associate it with the eastern (Persian) text used by the Church of the East which has had no revisionary history behind it.

My understanding however is that Peshitto and Peshitta are in a very high state of word agreement with each other. David Bausher, I beleive did a word study that compared the two and found that it was as good as the best Old Testament Tanak manuscripts (I think it was t 99.8% or 99.9%). Wouldn't this be proof that they share a common origon, or background? It would be hard to have so much agreement otherwise.
Shlama Akhi Addai,

Two things I'd like to point out:

(1) Nobody is denying that the Peshitto has an origin in the Peshitta. The problem is that it's been revised several times in several different passages (never mind the 5 books translated from the Greek version which were later added to it.)

By all accounts, the eastern scribal tradition (who were responsible for the Peshitta text) have kept it more meticulously pure than their Western counterparts (who were responsible for the Peshitto text.)

Codex Phillips was discovered in an area where the Western Aramaic tradition was located. Even the style of writing is Western.

The fact that it has readings which are shared by Old Scratch doesn't surprise me at all. Anyone at all familiar with the revisionary tendencies of the Western scribes will know what I am talking about.

The Eastern scribes changed nothing, and I mean nothing, in their manuscripts. It shows by carefully comparing manuscripts within their tradition.

(2) The comparison that Akhan Dave did between the two texts was flawed in that he used the Western text thinking it was the Eastern. For the basis of the eastern he used the Word Docs hosted on this site, which are a work in progress because they were based on the Bible Society's edition which was itself based on the Western scribal tradition. Currently, there is no copy of the Eastern text in electronic format. Part of my work here is to make sure I go through all those word docs and make them conform to the Eastern text. But for now, the Interlinear is the only place I'm making those changes....as I translate. It's a slow and tedious task.

Now, having said all that, the versions are very very close.

But when you see a manuscript like Codex Philipps coming from an area under the episcopate of Rabbula, who produced the Old Scratch to begin with, you can immediately suspect a tampering occured because Rabbula's command to all his churches was that they use HIS version, which we strongly suspect was the Old Scratch. It makes sense that somebody under his authority made those revisions to the Peshitta to more closely conform to Rabbula's own translation. We know the Western tradition had certain scribes who at certain times tried to revise the Peshitta....they even included 5 books which never belonged in the canon to begin with.

Once somebody messes with the canon, it's very easy to mess with the internal readings in the already existing books.

That was never done in the east.
Hi Paul:


"(2) The comparison that Akhan Dave did between the two texts was flawed in that he used the Western text thinking it was the Eastern. For the basis of the eastern he used the Word Docs hosted on this site, which are a work in progress because they were based on the Bible Society's edition which was itself based on the Western scribal tradition. Currently, there is no copy of the Eastern text in electronic format. Part of my work here is to make sure I go through all those word docs and make them conform to the Eastern text. But for now, the Interlinear is the only place I'm making those changes....as I translate. It's a slow and tedious task.

Now, having said all that, the versions are very very close."

1) How does the Khaburis Codex line up with the "original Peshitta text"?

2) Since the Word Documents are flawed, can you give a rough idea as to the percentage of disagreement with the unflawed Peshitta text?

Warm Regards,
Stephen Silver
Shlama Akhi Stephen,

The Khabouris, along with the printed edition (Mosul, 1891) are what I use as the basis for revising the Word Docs in the Interlinear.

Percentage-wise, the texts are very similiar (perhaps 99% if you disregard the western 5 books.)

After Rabbula died, so did his revision of the Peshitta (Old Scratch). Even members of his own church reverted back to the Peshitta....although with some revised readings and with 5 additional books.