The Antioch Bible
A fresh new idiomatic English translation based on the
Aramaic text of the Syriac Peshitta
No branch of the Early Church has done more for the translation of the Bible into their vernacular than the Syriac-speaking. In our European libraries we have Syriac Bible manuscripts from Lebanon, Egypt, Sinai, Mesopotamia, Armenia, India, even from China.
[Early Syriac Christianity] offers us a largely unhellenized form of Christianity that is deeply Biblical in character and quite different in many respects from the Christianity of the Greek- and Latin-speaking world of the Mediterranean littoral.�
Sebastian Brock (University of Oxford)
Why the Peshitta Bible? The Peshitta Bible is one of the earliest versions of the Scripture dating back to the times of the
Early Church, and is the only version that is written in a Semitic
setting similar to that of the ancient Israelites and the early
Christians. In fact Syriac, the language of the Peshitta, is a dialect
of Aramaic akin to the Aramaic of the Jewish exile and the Palestinian
Aramaic of Jesus Christ. This sociolinguistic connection with the
Semitic world gives new insights into the words of the Bible (see the
Matthew example below) currently undisclosed by Western languages.
Moreover, the Peshitta Bible is full of distinctive readings that are
absent in other versions.
The Old Testament, or the Hebrew Bible, probably originated as a
Jewish targum translation� and was inherited by the Early Church. It is rich with links to the ancient Jewish exegetical tradition. The New
Testament, in particular the Gospels, is a revision of an older Syriac
version that dates back to the early centuries of the Early Church.
The Antioch Bible makes the Syriac Bible available to the modern
reader in an easy-to-read idiomatic English translation, with ample
footnotes that point out literal expressions in the original Syriac.
While the edition caters to the non-specialist, it is a particularly
expansive tool in the repertoire of a specialist. In this set the
specialist can easily consult the original text, fully pointed and
vocalized, alongside the translation on facing pages. The translation is the work of an inter-faith international team of scholars from North America and Europe. The original text was prepared by individuals who grew using the Peshitta Bible, in consultation with leading Biblical scholars in North America and Europe. This special limited inaugural edition will appear in ca. 28 volumes at the rate of 4 or 5 volumes per year starting from 2012. Each volume is bound in special cloth and is printed on matte paper with ornate end-sheets.
Isaiah, Chapter 42, The Praise of Isaiah
10 Praise the Lord with new praise, his praise from the ends of the
earth, those who go down to the sea in its fullness, the islands and
those who dwell in them. 11 Let the wilderness and its cities rejoice,
let Kedar become meadows, let the dwellers in the crags sing praises,
let them cry out from the highest mountain. 12 May they give praise to
the Lord, may they proclaim his praises in the islands. 13 The Lord will go forth as a mighty man, as a warrior he will arouse zeal; he will cry out, he will conduct himself manfully, he will kill his enemies.
Matthew, Chapter 6, The Lord's Prayer
12 Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, because yours
is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.’
Whereas the Greek text at this point has ‘debts’ (τὰ ὀφειλήματα) and debtors (τοῖς ὀφειλέταις), but in the parallel
Luke 11:4 we find sins (τὰς ἁμαρτίας), the Syriac uses a term that means both debts and sins. The Syriac provides a telling clue as to the original wording Jesus was likely to have used, in his own Palestinian Aramaic dialect, where the same root carries both meanings. From the translator's introduction.
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Dr.Kuriakose Corepiscopa Moolayil�
Kerala, Pin:�686 106� India�
Tel. +91 481 272 4353
Cell: +91 944 620 3002
Director: Theeram, India Center for Social Change http://www.icsctheeram.org
Director, Mor Adai Study Centre