Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
The Nestorians of Persia

Found this on Google books:

The Nestorians of Persia: A History of the Origin and Progress of that People, and of Missionary Labours Among Them : with an Account of the Nestorian Massacres by the Koords

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... utput=text</a><!-- m -->
Ya'aqub Younan-Levine

An excerpt from the book:

In the beautiful plain to which we have introduced the reader, and among the rough mountains of Koordistan, the descendants of this mission- people now dwell. We shall love to visit them, and study their manners and customs, and the prospect of their being able again to take a part in the great work of giving the gospel to the pagan world.

They formerly used the Syriac language only; and their books are written in it. The more intelligent of them now write their letters in it, and some of the better educated of the clergy converse in it. But the common language of conversation is a dialect of the ancient Syrian, into which have been introduced a great number of Persian and Turkish words, but the Syriac features strongly preponderate. It is by many believed, that the Syriac language was spoken in Palestine in the if our Saviour, and the language of the Nestorians at Oroomiah now differs so little from that of the Jews in the same city, that it is considered, by those qualified to judge, as one and the same. The mountain Nestorians speak a language less corrupted from the Syrian than those of the plain, as these mingle more with other people, and thus acquire foreign words. Scarcely any thing had been done in the way of reducing the spoken language of the Nestorians to writing, until the American mission was established among them, and so great progress has been made in the work, that considerable portions of the Scriptures and some other books have been prepared in this way for the use of the people.

There are few books among them, yet they place a great value upon them, regarding the Patriarch's library of sixty volumes as a vast collection: and so it would probably seem to us, if we made our books, as they did, before the missions were established there. These books are written out with the pen, and a copy of the Bible, thus made, must be of immense value, and few, indeed, must be the number of them among a people, to whom the art of printing is unknown. There is something exceedingly painful in the thought that here, in this age of the world, there should be a nation that reveres the word of God, to whom that precious book is yet almost a sealed book, because the art of printing had not been extended to them, to diffuse among them the blessings of light and the knowledge of God. We do not think of the inestimable value of these blessings that are so common with us, and which are enjoyed only by those people to whom the gospel has been preached. There is no real civilization, and few of the arts that now add to the comforts of life, where the Bible is unknown.

Yet these Nestorians have retained the word of God among them, in written pages, through all the changes of centuries; except that they have suffered a few portions of it to fall out by the way : as the Epistle of Jude, the second and third Epistles of John, the second Epistle of Peter, and the Book of Revelations : yet Mr. Perkins says, that when the Bible was presented to them, as used by Christians in other parts of the world, they did not hesitate to adopt these parts which they had lost, and admit them as possessed of equal authority with the other portions of the word of God.
Ya'aqub Younan-Levine
Shlama all---

Very interesting. It seems almost a partial sequel to Dr. Grant's "Nestorians or Lost Tribes" as it deals with what happened after he wrote that book, how he actually died. Here is a very cool quote, from p. 36:

"The missionary then showed them copies of the gospels, prepared by the British and Foreign Bible Society, and the Nestorian Spelling Book, prepared at Malta. They kissed the books and pronounced them excellent. The bishop then produced a copy of the New Testament, which Messrs Smith and Dwight had given him; he had kept it enveloped in a shawl, as a choice treasure, and he and his father had not only read it carefully, comparing it with their manuscript of the New Testament, to ascertain if it was a true copy, but he had actually counted the letters, in each verse of the two copies, and found them to agree exactly."

Does this sound a bit familar? This is exactly the practice also developed by the Masoretes for the Tanakh, so when I call the Peshitta the NT Masorah, this is exactly part of what I am talking about.
Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth
Shlama akhi,

Yes, I see it as being closely associated with Grant's book on a similar subject. I think I'll have the book transcribed and put online in html for easier access.
Ya'aqub Younan-Levine
Here is a book written earlier by Mr Justin Perkins himself: "A residence of eight years in Persia, among the Nestorian Christians, with notices of the Muhammedans" 1843, see <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->

A recommended reading for western Christians trying to understand what was known in the west about the region in the 19th century. Reading the book I was very positively struck by the Instructions Mr Perkins has received (and quoted) for his missionary journey (and found many interesting facts as well).

Mr Perkins and/or Dr Grant has brought manuscripts from Oormiah (Urumia) region, which served as the basis for the American Bible Society publication of a "Syriac Bible" (see ABS reps notes to point C in the Gwilliam's list of Peshitto manuscripts in <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... 0/mode/1up</a><!-- m --> , page 56).


Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)