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Re: Peshitta confluence with the Greek TR/Byzantine text

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  • Ross J Purdy
    http://rpbyztxt.com/RP2005_files/Complete2005RPByzNT.pdf This is a pdf of the Byzantine and the footnotes point out differences with the critical text. In
    Message 1 of 16 , Jul 9, 2007
      http://rpbyztxt.com/RP2005_files/Complete2005RPByzNT.pdf

      This is a pdf of the Byzantine and the footnotes point out differences
      with the critical text.

      In Christ,
      Ross Purdy
    • James Snapp, Jr.
      Dear Albion, My view is that all of the books of the NT were originally written in Greek. However, research into Aramaic and Syriac forms of the text are
      Message 2 of 16 , Jul 10, 2007
        Dear Albion,

        My view is that all of the books of the NT were originally written in
        Greek. However, research into Aramaic and Syriac forms of the text
        are valuable, especially in the Gospels and Acts and wherever else
        Aramaic oral traditions and/or Aramaic source-literature may have
        existed before the Biblical books were composed.

        If one were to adjust the Aramaic Primacists' approach so as to argue
        for the existence of Aramaic source-materials, instead of Aramaic
        originals of the books themselves, their arguments would be better
        received. As a whole, I think that what the Aramaic Primacists have
        noticed and misinterpreted amount to the following:

        (1) relics of an Aramaic Sayings-source used by Matthew (which was
        translated into Greek, and then used in its Greek form by Luke).
        (2) Relics of the Diatessaron.
        (3) Syriasms in Western witnesses.
        (4) Places where Greek copyists and Syriac translators both desired
        to "improve" perceived difficulties in the Greek text.

        Basically, when I attempt to connect the dots, as identified by
        Matthew Black and others, it seems a lot easier to form a picture of
        what I've just described than to form a picture of Aramaic originals
        of the books.

        Which, again, is not to say that it is not worthwhile to explore the
        possible impact of Aramaic and Syriac material on the production and
        transmission of the text. Some variant-units seem to have origins
        which are opaque except for where the impact of Aramaic or Syriac
        seems to shine through. Mark 8:10 might be one example of this.
        Here's what J. Rendel Harris had to say about it, in "A Study of
        Codex Bezae" (1893), in a chapter titled, "Does the Codex Bezae
        Syriacize?" --

        "Those who have, like ourselves, sought to explain the perplexing
        textual anomalies of the Western readings, have generally fallen back
        either upon the hypothesis of reflex Latinism or upon reflex
        Syriasm. And it has usually happened that the Syriac hypothesis has
        been taken up, because the Latinizing theiry was supposed to be no
        longer tenable. Certainly it is not a theory against which we ought
        to be prejudiced in advance. There are some things in the New
        Testament that perhaps will never yield to any other mode of
        elucidation. Take for example Mark viii. 10, which in Cod. D reads
        [Greek:] KAI HLQEN EIS TA ORIA MELEGADA
        [Latin:] ET VENIT IN PERTES MAGIDAN.

        Here most early texts give us [Greek:] DALMANOUQA, so as to read
        [Greek:] HLQEN EIS TA MERH DALMANOUQA.

        But since the letters [Greek:] LMANOUQA are an almost exact
        transcript of the Syriac for [Greek:] EIS TA MERH, we have a text
        which is equivalent to
        [Syriac, which I can't replicate here]
        and it is clear that the text is dittographed and that the real name
        has dropped out.
        If this explanation be the right one, we have lighted upon a case in
        which all Greek MSS. except D have a Syriac error! An astonishing
        thing, but not an impossibility. Let this instance suffice to shew
        that it is by no means an unreasonable thing to look for Syriac
        corruptions in the New Testament."

        That's just one of the interesting things that can be uncovered by
        the study of Aramaic and Syriac texts. It's a fine shovel, but the
        Aramaic Primacists, especially the Peshitta Primacists, are digging
        in the wrong place.

        AA: "And how near is the Byzantine Text to the Syriac Peshitta N.T.
        text?"

        I'm not a Syriac specialist, but an estimate of 80% agreement, maybe
        a bit higher, in the Gospels, is probably about right. I don't know
        about the rest.

        This should raise a question: if the Peshitta was based on the work
        of Lucian, then shouldn't the Syriac OT closely agree with the
        Lucianic OT text? Lucian is *known* to have worked on the OT.
        Metzger mentioned (in "The Lucianic recension of the Greek Bible," p.
        33) that Stockmayer (in a work published in 1892) "found more than a
        score of readings in I Samuel where Lucian agrees with the Peshitta
        against the Masoretic text and the current Septuagint text." More
        than 20 readings is evidence of something, yes, but in a book the
        size of First Samuel I think a lot more is necessary to indicate a
        very close relationship. Metzger proceeded to say, "Although the
        exact date of the translation of the Old Testament Peshitta is not
        known, most scholars believe that it was made in the second or third
        century of the Christian era. Thus, at least in the Books of Samuel,
        it too affords evidence of Ur-Lucianic readings."

        If the producer(s) of the Peshitta incorporated into the text of
        First Samuel only something like 20 or 30 uniquely Lucianic readings -
        - preserving, everywhere else, readings older than Lucian -- then why
        wouldn't a similar approach have been employed in the NT text of the
        Peshitta, with the result that a small stratum of young readings
        rests upon an otherwise more ancient text?

        Yours in Christ,

        James Snapp, Jr.
        Minister, Curtisville Christian Church
        Tipton, Indiana (USA)
        www.curtisvillechristian.org/KataMarkon.html
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