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Question for Andrew Roth
Shlama Akhi Otto,

I got the pdf and it is lovely I must say. Unpointed Hebrew like the Torah scrolls I grew up with, meaning the script of course.

I think it would be a great addition to and I may add it myself, but back to the business at hand.

1) I know you have been a staunch critic of Bauscher's position on the codes, and I didn't mean to suggest otherwise.

2) I was more getting at a need that I have seen from many for "perfect Peshitta" of all books in Western canon, which is a separate issue. The 22 are so good that there is a natural "gestalting" mechanism to want to complete them with the surviving Aramaic candidates as original, and I am glad you see they cannot be, meaning the W5. The belief in an Aramaic compositional original 27 book canon is to my mind separate from the codes issue, but I can see where you would link them.

3) Now as for the rest, here is what I did for you. I compared Gwynn's transcription of Crawford Revelation, with the 1905 file you sent and the "blue book" which I know to be Harkalean (Mosul, UBS-SOC), as well as Mari's transcription. My conclusion is this:

a) As discussed, 1905 Rev is Crawford, but it is a CORRECTED Crawford. What I mean is that I compared certain key readings that I know are divergent in the Aramaic Revs (not the full text and not getting into "incidentals" which don't really change meaning). In at least one case, 1905 BFBS corrected Crawford.

b) That instance is 1:16, which has always been one of the most fascinating variants in the entire NT for me. In that verse, Greek versions read "sharp sword", Peshitto Rev reads "sipa kharipa" (sword), Crawford Rev reads "sharp spirit (rukha)" and 1905's version reads "sharp lance/spear" which is closer to both the meaning of "sword" (sipa) but only one letter off spelling wise with "spirit"--rukha vs rumkha. So it seems that by 1920, when Gwynn had been dead for 7 years, the final editors of BFBS assumed a scribal error there and inserted the MEEM to bring the word closer to the others. I actually went in the direction of the Crawford reading, but Lamsa, Etheridge and Murdock all did it straight from the Harkalean as "sharp two edged sword". I wanted to though, as you know, give the variety of possibilities for the reader to decide.

c) But if Bauscher is of the opinion that BFBS is the perfect text, then at least one letter was added by BFBS AGAINST CRAWFORD CODEX, and I have a feeling it's not the only time that happened. Honestly though I do not know for sure why the BFBS version has RUMKHA and Crawford RUKHA, but I can say that it seems to me in all other respects BFBS is using Crawford.

d) Of course, owing to their theological bent, 1905 BFBS added as we said the pericopa adultera NOT in Eastern 22 tradition and also added 2 lines from Luke that also were outside the Peshitta, and other readings of later origin. Going down a set list I have memorized, BFBS has Acts 20:28 reads "Alaha" rather than "Meshikha" showing its Monophysite bent, 1 Cor 6:19 misses the critical Eastern addition of "and in your spirit" and Hebrews 2:9 in BOTH BFBS AND THE CRAWFORD CODEX have the later reading (i.e. NOT SITAR MIN ALAHA). In short, this is as Paul Younan says a WESTERN text even in the 22 books we agree on. That being the case, NO WAY THE "PERFECT" TEXT BAUSCHER ENVISIONS CAN BE WESTERN. If anything, the "science" proves the OPPOSITE conclusion. The original readings are ABANDONED in places of 1905. And to be honest, that really bothers me, especially in the 22.

e) It is for that reason, that I do NOT retain 1905 letter for letter in Mari, and I actually restore the Aramaic to the Eastern readings. It may not seem like much, but to me it is important. There are other cases where Khabouris and the 1905 basically have the identical thoughts expressed in slightly different ways, and these I document too. I will say "1905 retained in the Aramaic" or "Khabouris is adopted", to hopefully make those very clear to all concerned.

Does that help dear brother?
Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth
Dear Andrew,

Wow. Your comments are very clear and helpful. I think I am beginning to understand what is going on with the various texts. What you have done in your book is a great service to us all.

As I suspected, the so-called 1905 (which is actually 1905 + 1920) is neither Eastern or Western but the result of editing and compiling of various Aramaic documents by academic scholars including Gwilliam, Pinkerton, and Gwynn. Reading the Preface of the 1920 edition literally, it does not say that the Crawford Revelation was used exactly, but rather that it was a version of Revelation prepared by John Gwynn based on the Crawford Manusciript. The remarkable result is a 1920 BFBS text that is now the UBS text that has apparenlty been accepted by the SOC as the official Western Peshitto version.

Thanks for all your insightful comments.


Shlama Akhi Otto,

No problem. I think this is very productive to help clarify these terms. To be honest, the level of seemingly contradictory statements about what came from where (not us brother, I mean the other resources that really seem to skirt around the issue) really surprised me. I knew what I wanted at the textual level but those classifications, well, oy vey, for lack of a better term.

For example, in "Aramaic New Covenant" intro reads on p. iv:

"The old manuscripts of the Peshitta did not contain four of the General Epistles: 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John and Jude, nor the book of Revelation. These four Epistles were added to the Peshitta from copies of Syriac manuscripts of the revision is AD 616 made by Thomas of Harkel, bishop of Madbog (Hieroppolis)..."

Seems pretty clear right? And so it would remain if they just stopped here and didn't add a confusing statement that takes a few time to sort out:

",OF AN EARLIER RECENSION MAD BY AT MADBOG IN 508 IN THE DAYS OF PHILOXENOS, BISHOP OF THAT CITY, by a certain Polycarpos (who was a chorepiscus). For the four Epistles and the Revelation we have used the 1891 Mosul text."

If you read these two parts together, it is clear that the Aramaic Scriptures Research Society in Israel means that:

1) These manuscripts of W5 are added from Harkel's work.
2) Harkel's work is, in turn, a revision of an earlier work by Philoxenos.
3) OUR version is Harkelean, from the Mosul 1891 text.

But wait, both men were FROM Madbog and headed that church! Then "Madbog" appears twice in two lines, and it is easy for the eye to skip and conclude that PHILOXENIAN Epistles/Rev were used in Mosul text, that was in turn used by Aramaic New Covenant.

And so, it is hardly surprising that some sources on the web have described this book as having Philoxenian sources. But again, you have to connect the top thought through to the bottom that says otherwise.

So you have helped me realize not just the need to sort this out but the need to define terms better to stop the lazy language.
Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth

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