--- In Heb-Aram-NT@yahoogroups.com
, "James Trimm" <jstrimm@n...>
A Response to Andrew Gabriel Roth
Concerning the Old Syriac
(In his book RUACH QADIM, Andrew Gabriel Roth argues that the
the oldest Aramaic NT text and that the Old Syriac is not.)
Andrew's next example is Luke 23:48
Here Andrew keys in on the following phrase which appears here in
the Old Syriac ""and saying: `Woe to us! What has befallen us? Woe
to us from our sins!".
Andrew says "the Old Syriac then, is
left virtually alone with a
This reading, absent in the Peshitta, [and] the
Greek traditions can only be found in two other manuscripts: Codex
Sangermanensis a 9th century Latin Vulgate manuscript [and] The
Apocryphal Greek Gospel of Peter"
First off Andrew has wrongly identified Codex Sangermanensis as a
Latin Vulgate manuscript when it is in fact an Old Latin manuscript
(and thus more directly part of the Western textual tradition).
(The Latin Vulgate is a revision of the Old Latin).
Secondly Andrew has missed a very important witness to this
reading. It is very Ironic that this reading is attested to by this
one other witness. This is because this other witness is one whome
Andrew insists never quotes the Old Syriac against the Peshitta. In
Aphrates Hom. 271 he quotes this passage and includes the
phrase "Woe to us! What has befallen us!", a phrase that Andrew
himself has said the Old Syriac is "left virtually alone with" and
is "absent in the Peshitta".
360 COMPLETE IDENTICAL MANUSCRIPTS?
At this point I would like to address a statement Andrew makes at
the end of his paper by comparing the Old Syriac manuscripts
with "the full Peshitta version that is rendered identically in 360
other complete manuscripts!"
I want to answer three questions here:
1. Are there 360 ancient Peshitta manuscripts?
No. There are 360 Peshitta manuscripts but the majority of them
post date the 7th century.
Is it true that all 360 Peshitta manuscripts are identical?
No it is not true.
The Peshitta has not been imune to scribal errors and variances.
For example there is a variant between some Peshitta mss. in Acts
7:21 where some read "his people" and some have "his mother" (these
words look alike in Aramaic).
And there are other scribal errors in Peshitta mss. as well, for
example Codex Khaboris is lacking the verb "pass" in Mt. 19:24.
I believe there is one Peshitta ms. in Berlin that contains some Old
Peshitta manuscripts can generally be categorized under two
groupings: Nestorian (Peshitta) and Jacobite (Peshitto)
manuscripts. These two are similar but not identical, they have
clear variant readings in Acts 20:28 and Heb. 2:9.
Of the 360 more of them are Jacobite (Peshitto) than Nestorian
(Peshitta) in their text.
Andrew is somewhat inconstant in his handling of the Jacobite
version. Sometimes he claims that all 360 Peshitta mss agree
exactly and points out the unity with which the Syrian Orthodox
Church (Jacobite) and the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of
the East (Nestorian) both use the Peshitta. On other occasions he
discusses the Peshitta and Peshitto as if they were very different
In the early twentieth century there was an attempt to publish a
critical edition of the Peshitta/Peshitto but they only finished and
published the Gospels.
Is it true that all 360 Peshitta manuscripts are "complete"?
First of all the Peshitta itself is an incomplete canon lacking
2Peter, 2&3 John, Jude and Revelation.
Secondly most Peshitta manuscripts are only manuscripts of parts of
the Peshitta canon. Many contain only the Gospels while others
contain only Acts and the Epistles. Even those manuscripts which
contain the full 22 book Peshitta canon are often missing pages or
have pages in another hand which were clearly added later to replace
lost or damaged pages.
The 360 Peshitta manuscripts are not all ancient, they are not
identical and they are not complete.
--- End forwarded message ---