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William Norton's book - Printable Version

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William Norton's book - Larry Kelsey - 12-25-2003

Shlama Akhay,

I just got William Norton's book from Scholarly Reprints.
The title is "A Translation in English Daily Used, of the Peshito-Syriac Text, and of the Received Greek Text of Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, and 1 John.--With an Introduction, on the Peshito-Syriac Text, and the Revised Greek Text of 1881."
The Contents of the Introduction are as follows:

Part I. The many countries in which Syriac was spoken, iii-xi.
Part II. Proof that very few Israelites in the time of Christ understood Greek, xi-xvi.
Part III. The Difference between the Syriac of the Peshito-Syriac Text, and the popular Syriac Dialect of Palestine, xvii.,xviii.
Part IV. How we may know whether Books which are said to be the Word of God, are so or not, xviii-xxvi.
Part V. The Belief of those Christian Bodies which have used the New-Covenant Peshito-Syriac Books, xxvi.-xlvi.
Part VI. Internal Evidence that the Peshito-Syriac was made in Cent. I.; and that it is not a mere translation of the Greek. xlvi-li.
Part VII. Characteristic Differences between the Peshito-Syriac Text, and the Greek Text, li-liii.
Part VIII. The Result of trusting chiefly to certain faulty Greek copies, and slighting the Peshito-Syriac, liii-lviii.
Part IX. Testimonies founded on Knowledge and Esteem of the Peshito-Syriac, lix-lxx.
Part X. Chief Peculiarities of the Text of the Peshito-Syriac, lxx., lxxi.
Part XI. The Design of this work, lxxi.-lxxvi.
Part XII. Words in the Common Version not well understood by some, in words more familiar, lxxvi.-lxxxiii.
Part XIII. A List of the more important Greek Readings which are followed in the Text or Margin of the Revised English Version of 1881, but which do not agree with the Peshito-Syrac Text, and are condemned by it, lxxxiii.-cxi.
Part XIV. A List of the more important Greek readings, followed in the Text or Margin of the Revised English Version of 1881, which agree with the Peshito-Syriac Text, and are approved by it, cxi.-cxxiii.
Part XV. Conclusion, cxxiii.-cxxvii.
INDEX to Introduction, cxxix.-cxxxii.
Finally comes William Norton's translation of the Peshito-Syriac of Hebrews, James, 1st Peter and 1st John with a parallel column of the Greek Text. Both columns have some footnotes and both columns are his translation work.

His approach to translation seems pretty literal. Here's the William Norton translation of Hebrews 11:29--

By trusting, they passed through the sea of Suph, as if on dry land; though the Egyptians were swallowed up in it, when they had dared to enter it.

Shlama w'Burkate, Larry Kelsey

- gbausc - 12-26-2003


Thanks for the info. on Norton's book; sounds awesome !

Dave B

Re: William Norton's book - The Thadman - 12-27-2003

Sounds excellent! I'm going to order a copy and digitize it for's upcomming Library project (which will launch some time in the middle of next semester, I hope). This looks like a good find :-)