2nd century Peshitta supports Byzantine and Received Texts

Steven Avery

Administrator
The missing books are similar to those in the Muratorian canon

A general survey of the history of the canon of the NT -p. 254-268
Brooke Westcott (1855)
http://books.google.com/books?id=E7ICAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA264

there is no sufficient reason to desert the opinion which has obtained the sanction of the most competent scholars, that the formation of the Peshitto Syriac was to be fixed within the first half of the second century. The very obscurity which hangs over its origin is proof of its venerable age, because it shows that it grew up spontaneously among Christian congregations...Had it been a work of later date, of the 3rd or 4th century it is scarcely possible that its history should be so uncertain as it is.
Dr. Brooke Foss Westcott, The New Testament Canon, 1855

"Note: Westcott later changed his mind about the Peshitta, seeing how it often agreed with the Byzantine texts, against his beloved Alexandrian texts. He then concluded that the Peshitta must have been a revision of the Old Syriac (Introduction to the NT Greek, 1882). "

The Oxford Debate on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament: Held at New College on May 6, 1897 ;
with a Preface Explanatory of the Rival Systems (1897)
https://books.google.com/books?id=nmNIAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA39
2nd century - yet no mention of the five missing books as an argument for the early Peshitta

Studies in the Early Text of the Gospels and Acts (1999)
The Oxford Debate on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, held at New College on May 6, 1897: An End, not a Beginning, for the Textus Receptus
J. L. North
https://books.google.com/books?id=XxJJGf1eBhgC&pg=PA8

The early dates of their few witnesses, which Burgon did not contest, was more than outweighed by the very early date of the Syp, second century if not earlier.20

Discussion on contra forum - BVDB
https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/bib...tta-2nd-c-how-when-why-5th-c-theory-t756.html
 
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Steven Avery

Administrator
The original Peshitta was missing five books. That type of canon decision was very consistent with 2nd century viewpoints, like the Muratorian fragment, virtually impossible c. 400 AD. It is a puzzle to me why this is rarely pointed out.
 

Steven Avery

Administrator
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writings.kennypearce.net/greekNT.txt
Kenny Pearce
It is universally acknowledged that the Peshitta is a translation of the Byzantine text and, according to church historians (Eusebius and others), the Peshitta dates from c AD 150. Terence H Brown confirms that "the Syriac version was older by two centuries than the Nestorian heresy (AD 431)". Naturally, Westcott and Hort were not happy with the ancient church tradition that the Peshitta dated from the second century, and so they maintained, without any evidence whatsoever, that the Peshitta dated from c AD 425.

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rosetta.reltech.org/TC/do...-list.9701
David Washburn
It's my understanding from reading Metzger and several others that the Byzantine character of the Peshitta is the main reason eclectics concluded it couldn't be second century (I know this is grossly oversimplified). As I recall, and somebody correct me if necessary, during the WH age Burgon and others pointed to the Peshitta as evidence that the "Syrian" text couldn't be as late and secondary as WH said it was, and within about 20 years the Peshitta had been redated to the 5th century. That has always kinda made me wonder...

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Oh, and here is Dean John Burgon
smile.gif
.
books.google.com/books?id=nXkw1TAatV8C

III.] AND OF THE SYRIAC VERSIONA.D. 350. 275
XVIII. Now, the first consideration which strikes us as fatal to Dr. Hort's unsupported conjecture concerning the date of the Text he calls ' Syrian ' or ' Antiochian,' is the fact that what he so designates bears a most inconvenient resemblance to the Peschito or ancient Syriac Version; which, like the old Latin, is (by consent of the Critics) generally assigned to the second century of our era. ' It is at any rate no stretch of imagination,' (according to Bp. Ellicott,) ' to suppose that portions of it might have been in the hands of S. John.' [p. 26.] Accordingly, these Editors assure us that 'the only way of explaining the whole body of facts is to suppose that the Syriac, like the Latin Version, underwent Revision long after its origin ; and that our ordinary Syriac MSS. represent not the primitive but the altered Syriac Text.' (p. 136.)

'A Revision of the old Syriac Version appears to have taken place in the IVth century, or sooner; and doubtless in some connexion with the Syrian Revision of the Greek Text, the readings being to a very great extent coincident.'-(Text, 552.) '

Till recently, the Peschito has been known only in the form which it finally received by on evidently authoritative Revision,' a Syriac ' Vulgate' answering to the Latin' Vulgate.'(p. 84.) ' Historical antecedents render it tolerably certain that the locality of such an authoritative Revision' (which Revision however, be it observed, still rests wholly on unsupported conjecture)' would be either Edessa or Nisibis.'(p. 136.)

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There really are two related yet distinct questions.
a) Is the history correct ? Was there a circular reasoning redating for the purposes of allowing the necessary but strange Hort 'Lucian recension' theories to fester away in textcrit land.
(Basically nobody buys into the recension any more and the fact that the theory is a necessary component for Hort's theories is blithely ignored.. a bit like dealing with evolutionists ).

b) What is sensible current scholarship on the Peshitta ?
ie. Excluding any theory or argument that the Peshitta must or should be a late translation because the Byzantine text is late. ... ie. excluding any modern version alexandrian circular attempts.

Shalom,
Steven
 
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Steven Avery

Administrator
The History of the New Testament Canon in the Syrian Church (1900)
Julius August Bewer
https://books.google.com/books?id=RlAVAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA49

Now about the Peshitto. Suppose it had come into existence about his time (340 A. I).). As bishop he must have become at once familiar with the new work, be it that he met it on his visits in his diocese, where perhaps the priests might use it here or there, or be it that the translation was at once shown to him, the bishop, when it was completed. However that may be, his extensive use of it favors rather an earlier date for the origin of the Peshitto. We have, then, in Aphraates nothing else than this: a man who faithfully studies the Bible in the Diatessaron as well as in the three versions existing in his time, writes some homilies, and here, in quoting from memory (there is no doubt that he did that), quotes now from this, now from that text, apparently without being conscious that he is doing something extraordinary.
 

Steven Avery

Administrator
BCHF
The New Testament Peshitta and the Nomina Sacra - Biblical Criticism & History Forum - earlywritings.com
https://earlywritings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=124931#p124931

Until the late 1800s the Peshitta NT was considered a 2nd century text. That did not fit well with the Westcott-Hort theory so an attempt was made to change that to be as late as the 5th century. Note that Hort also had absurd theories of a Syriac recension, to go along with his Greek (Syrian) recension theories.

The lack of the five books in the original Peshitta would tend to fit better with an earlier date. Also the fact that there was a Peshitta OT would be a spur to the NT edition.

The Peshitta Primacists try to argue for the Peshitta being the original NT. While that is a failure, their arguments can help the earlier dating scenario.

The Peshitta is far closer to the Greek Byzantine text than to the Vaticanus/Alexandrian reader's digest abbreviated text. However, there are many important spots where it does not match the Greek. Starting with the lack of the Pericope Adultera and not having "God was manifest in the flesh.." in 1 Timothy 3:16, the word God is instead a pronoun, and God instead of Son in John 1:18.

Overall my studies have shown the Peshitta to match about 75% to the Greek Byzantine and 25% to the Alexandrian, in a 3-way study.

Johann David Michaelis wrote an interesting section on the antiquity of the Syriac NT.

Introduction to the New Testament (1793 in German, 1823 in English)
Antiquity of the Syriac Version
https://books.google.com/books?id=9WAUAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA29
p. 29-32 and more around p. 71-74

The question of the dating of the Peshitta was a major element in the Oxford Debate of 1897.

The Oxford debate on the textual criticism of the New Testament ... 1897
edited by Edward Miller
https://books.google.com/books?id=9fAOAAAAQAAJ

Background on the debate, with spin.

Studies in the Early Text of the Gospels and Acts (1999)
The Oxford Debate on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, held at New College on May 6, 1897
James L. North
https://books.google.com/books?id=XxJJGf1eBhgC&pg=PA1

The later Philoxenian and Harklean editions (c. 500 to 650 AD) are closer to the Byzantine Greek.
 

Steven Avery

Administrator
BCHF
The New Testament Peshitta and the Nomina Sacra
https://earlywritings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=124931#p124931


Until the late 1800s the Peshitta NT was considered a 2nd century text. That did not fit well with the Westcott-Hort theory so an attempt was made to change that to be as late as the 5th century. Note that Hort also had absurd theories of a Syriac recension, to go along with his Greek (Syrian) recension theories.

The lack of the five books in the original Peshitta would tend to fit better with an earlier date. Also the fact that there was a Peshitta OT would be a spur to the NT edition.

The Peshitta Primacists try to argue for the Peshitta being the original NT. While that is a failure, their arguments can help the earlier dating scenario.

The Peshitta is far closer to the Greek Byzantine text than to the Vaticanus/Alexandrian reader's digest abbreviated text. However, there are many important spots where it does not match the Greek. Starting with the lack of the Pericope Adultera and not having "God was manifest in the flesh.." in 1 Timothy 3:16, the word God is instead a pronoun, and God instead of Son in John 1:18.

Overall my studies have shown the Peshitta to match about 75% to the Greek Byzantine and 25% to the Alexandrian, in a 3-way study.

Johann David Michaelis wrote an interesting section on the antiquity of the Syriac NT.

Introduction to the New Testament (1793 in German, 1823 in English)
Antiquity of the Syriac Version
https://books.google.com/books?id=9WAUAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA29
p. 29-32 and more around p. 71-74

The question of the dating of the Peshitta was a major element in the Oxford Debate of 1897.

The Oxford debate on the textual criticism of the New Testament ... 1897
edited by Edward Miller
https://books.google.com/books?id=9fAOAAAAQAAJ

Background on the debate, with spin.

Studies in the Early Text of the Gospels and Acts (1999)
The Oxford Debate on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, held at New College on May 6, 1897
James L. North
https://books.google.com/books?id=XxJJGf1eBhgC&pg=PA1

The later Philoxenian and Harklean editions (c. 500 to 650 AD) are closer to the Byzantine Greek.
 
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