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Etheridge On the Antiquity of the Peshitta - Printable Version

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Etheridge On the Antiquity of the Peshitta - ScorpioSniper2 - 09-20-2014

"With respect to the class, or family, to which the Greek manuscripts belonged that the translators followed in the work, it seems most accordant with truth to hold, that they were anterior to any of the recensions which form the basis of the classifications that have been made of them in modern times. The Peschito, in fact, does not evince a uniform agreement with either class, Byzantine, Alexandrine, or Western; being , in the judgment of Griesbach, "not like any of them, and yet not totally dissimilar from any: for in many of its readings it agrees with the Alexandrine, in more with the Western, and in some also with the Constantinopolitan." But the perplexity created by this circumstance, is obviated by referring the translation to a time prior to the labours of the first recensionists, and considering the text as belonging to the...unrevised editions of the apostolic age:

4. Because the DATE of this version can only be reasonably assigned to that venerable period. The opinion that the Peschito was executed so late as the fourth or even fifth century, is now universally rejected. The Syriac translation is quoted by Ephrem, in the fourth century, in a manner which betokens that it was, in his time, the current medium of scripture knowledge among the Syrian nationl as he speaks of it as we habiutually do of the English Bible, as "our version"..."- The Apostolical Acts and Epistles, From the Peschito, or Ancient Syriac: To Which Are Added, the Remaining Epistles, and the Book of Revelation After a Later Syrian Text, Pg. 30-31

I firmly believe the Peshitta to be the source of the various Greek manuscript families that we see, as the various examples of polysemy appear to show. Even if the Peshitta is a translation of a lost Greek text, I have always felt like the disagreement it has with every major manuscript class shows that it is of ancient origin (likely before other major translation).