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Full Version: Curetonian Manuscript better than the Peshitta?
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Quote:In 1842 a great mass of Syriac manuscripts reached the British Museum from the library of a monastery in the Nitrian Desert in Egypt???the result of long negotiations with the monks by various travellers. Among them was the palimpsest under whose Syriac text is the copy of the Greek Gospels known as R (see p.150), many copies of the ordinary Syriac Bible, and other precious documents. But among them also were some eighty leaves of a copy of the Gospels in Syriac which Dr. Cureton, one of the officers of the Museum, recognised as containing a completely different text from any manuscript previously known. These leaves were edited by him, with a preface in which he contended that in this version we have the very words of our Lord's discourses, in the identical language in which they were originally spoken. The manuscript itself (of which a facsimile may be seen in Plate XXII above) is of the fifth century, practically contemporary with the earliest manuscripts which we possess of the Peshitta Syriac; but Cureton argued that the character of the translation showed that the original of his version (which from the name of its discoverer is often known as the Curetonian Syriac, and is so referred to in the Variorum Bible) must have been made earlier than the original of the Peshitta, and that, in fact, the Peshitta was a revision of the Old Syriac, just as the Vulgate Latin was in part a revision of the Old Latin.

Description & picture from 'Our Bible & the Ancient Manuscripts' by Sir Frederick Kenyon (1895 - 4th Ed. 1939) Page 160 & Plate XXII. (Illustration: 24 x 18cm - Original page-size: 29.5 x 22.5cm. )

[Image: cure.gif]
He brings up a good point regarding the smoothing out of translations. Taken from "The Riddle of the New Testament" by Hoskyns and Davey:

Quote:These manuscripts contain a large number of readings not found elsewhere. It is important to remember, however, that if these readings are the result of a revision, they rest upon a scholarly judgement and there is no evidence whatever that this judgement was based upon knowledge of the autographs. Moreover, the Alexandrian scholars were possessed of a nice sense for correct literary Greek, and there is every reason to suppose that they tended to smooth out the roughness of the earlier tradition and to substitute, so far as this was possible, a greater literary elegance.

It still is somewhat difficult for me to handle even a single greek loan word; if it was in fact true that Judeans despised hellenistic influence. Food for thought I guess.
The Curetonian is also known for corruption. For example, there are several extra names in Matthew's preamble making the 3 sets count out to 14, 17 and 14. In the next few verses, however, it states that there were 14, 14 and 14. :-)


Is it not possible that what are called Greek loan words are
really Aramaic loan words ? Aramaic and Hebrew are older than Greek ; Eunglion in Aramaic may be the source of euangelion in Greek. Hebrew has a Eunglion, as I recall, meaning ,"powerful scroll".

Perhaps this loan word argument has been stood on its head and needs to be put back on its feet.
There are other Hebrew cognates which parallel Aramaic so called loan words from greek. It seems doubtful that both Hebrew & Aramaic would be borrowing the same word from Greek.

It seems much more reasonable to argue the converse, especially given the longer and wider dominance of Aramaic over world empires and Greek being introduced by Alexander to his empire centuries afterward, while Aramaic continued to hold the field for several centuries more in Asia Minor and Palestine, etc..

Dave B
This is an interesting thought when you come to think of it, akhay! For instance, akhi Paul pointed out in one of his posts that Baklava was a Turkish pastry before it was a Grecian pastry if I remember correctly. I was flipping through my Random House College Dictionary and it has "(a) Middle Eastern pastry made of many layers of paper-thin dough with a filling, usually of honey and ground nuts."
For some really thought-provoking material along these lines, check out this link--
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