Origin of the Bible

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Syriac or Peshitta (around 200 to 300 AD). Syriac is a Greek word for the language spoken by the Syrians. It was an Aramaic dialect spoken in Syria. The term Peshitta was used by Moses bar Kepha in 903 and means “simple” (in analogy to the Latin Vulgate). It is the oldest Syriac version which has survived to the present day in its entirety. It contains the entire Old Testament, most of the deuterocanonical books, as well as 22 books of the New Testament, lacking the shorter Catholic Epistles (2-3 John, 2 Peter, Jude, as well as John 7:53-8:11). It was made in the beginning of the 5th century. Its authorship was ascribed to Rabbula, bishop of Edessa (411-435). The Syriac church still uses it to the present day.

More than 350 manuscripts survived, several of which date from the 5th and 6th centuries. In the Gospels it is closer to the Byzantine text-type, but in Acts to the Western text-type. The earliest manuscript of the Peshitta is a Pentateuch dated AD 464. There are two New Testament manuscripts of the 5th century (Codex Phillipps 1388).

James Trimm wrote: The “Syriac” version of the Tanak, is mentioned by Melito of Sardis as early as the second century C.E. One tradition has it that Hiram, King of Tyre in the days of Solomon, commissioned this Aramaic translation of the Tanak. Another tradition assigns the Peshitta translation as having been commissioned by the King of Assyria, who dispatched Assa the Priest to Samarir (see 2Kn. 17:2728). According to the Aramaic “Church Father” Bar Hebraeus, the Peshitta Tanak originated when Abgar, king of Edessa, Syria, dispatched scholars to Israel to produce an Aramaic translation of the Tanak (Bar Hebraeus; Comm. To Ps. 10). Wichelshaus suggested that this king was the same as King Izates II of Adiabene. This king, along with his family, converted to Judaism as recorded by Josephus (Ant. 20:69-71). This king had dispatched his five sons to Israel in order for them to study Hebrew and Judaism. Burkitt maintained that the Peshitta Tanak originated not long after the first century C.E., as the product of the Jewish community of Edessa, in Syria.“Mashiach: The Messiah from a True Jewish Perspective,” by James Trimm, pg11; 2012.

 

~ by Joel Huan on June 17, 2019.

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