Syriac Revelation ms. - very close to the Received Text

Steven Avery

Apocalypsis S. Johannis (Syriac Apocalypse)

• [Hall] In 1627, Louis de Dieu published the Apocalypse at Leyden (Elzevirs, 4 to.), from a MS. that had been bequeathed
to the University of Leyden by Joseph Scaliger; (Isaac H. Hall,”The Syriac Apocalypse", 1882, p. 135)

• [Hall] The subscription to this last MS. states that it was copied from a MS. in the writing of Thomas of Harkel, in
A. D. 622. (Isaac H. Hall,”The Syriac Apocalypse", 1882, p. 136)

• [Hall] From the language both of De Dieu and of Ussher nothing is certain beyond the fact that the MS. contained
the fragment, John vii. 53 to viii. 11, with 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, the Apocalypse, and a small tractate of Ephrem
Syrus. ...De Dieu could conjecture nothing as to the age of the Syriac Apocalypse, though he rightly supposed it
to have been made directly from the Greek. (Isaac H. Hall,”The Syriac Apocalypse", 1882, p. 137)

• [Hall] As this text is almost exactly that of the Elzevir N. T. of 1624[F1], varying only in certain inconsiderable
minutiae or oversights, it is natural that many things which De Dieu considered as variations from the Greek, or
as imperfections of his MS., would now be thought marks of its better character. (fn. As more exact information
may be desired respecting the Greek text of De Dieu, I will state that a careful collation with the Elzevir N. T. of
1633 discloses only about 38 differences, of which only two amount to a real variant, viz.: xvi. 5, D has ὁ ὅσιος for
E ἐσόμενος and xx. 8, D omits τὸν before Μαγώγ.) (Isaac H. Hall,”The Syriac Apocalypse", 1882, p. 139)
• [Gwynn] I have endeavoured to lead to the conclusion that this [Crawford Mss] Apocalypse is a portion of the
original”Philoxenian”New Testament, as translated A.D. 508, for Philoxenus of Mabug, by Polycarpus”the
Chorepiscopus.”I have endeavoured to show, farther, that the other version of the Apocalypse, first printed by
Ludovici De Dieu in 1627, is a revision of this, and belongs probably to the Syriac New Testament of Thomas
Harkel, of A.D. 616. (Gwynn, The Apocalypse of St. John, in a Syriac Version Hitherto Unknown, 1897, p. iv)
• John Gwynn (1827 in Larne – 1917 in Dublin) was an Irish Syriacist. He was Regius Professor of Divinity
at Trinity College, Dublin (the University of Dublin) from 1888 to 1907.[1] John continued studying while
working. He took his MA in 1854 and became a Bachelor of Divinity in 1861. After taking holy orders he
spent the next twenty years (1863 to 1883) working as a clergyman in County Donegal and County
Londonderry. He was much involved in the process of”disestablishment”of the Church of Ireland, which took
place in 1869. Simultaneously he was preparing to take his Doctorate in Divinity from Trinity, which he achieved in
1880. [1] Then in 1883 he returned to Trinity College as a Divinity Lecturer; five years later he was
appointed Regius Professor of Divinity. A meticulous scholar and linguist, John had mastered Latin,
Greek and Hebrew while an undergraduate student, and later taught himself Syriac. He studied Syriac
while commuting by train between Ulster and Dublin, partly in order to give himself some mental
occupation during the journey. Over the years he published numerous learned articles. His greatest work,
which took him twenty years to complete, was a landmark annotated edition of a ninth century Irish manuscript
written in Latin and known as the Book of Armagh.[6][1] John Gwynn also produced editions of the five books
missing from the traditional canon of the New Testament which are found in the Aramaic New Testament of the
Peshitta: 2 John, 3 John, 2 Peter, Jude (all in 1893), and Revelation (in 1897).[7] He worked from twenty different
manuscripts for the epistles, but had to rely on only one, the Crawford Aramaic New Testament manuscript, for
Revelation.[8] These were later added to the Gospels and Epistles of Philip E. Pusey and George Gwilliam to
produce the 1905 United Bible Societies standard edition of the Syriac Peshitta. (John Gwynn (Syriacist).
Wikipedia. <>)

• [Gill] The genuineness of this text [Heavenly Witnesses] has been called in question by some, because it is wanting in
the Syriac version, as it also is in the Arabic and Ethiopic versions; and because the old Latin interpreter has it not; and it
is not to be found in many Greek manuscripts; nor cited by many of the ancient fathers, even by such who wrote against
the Arians, when it might have been of great service to them: to all which it may be replied, that as to the Syriac version,
which is the most ancient, and of the greatest consequence, it is but a version, and a defective one. The history of the
adulterous woman in the eighth of John, the second epistle of Peter, the second and third epistles of John, the epistle of
Jude, and the book of the Revelations, were formerly wanting in it, till restored from Bishop Usher's copy by De Dieu and
Dr. Pocock, and who also, from an eastern copy, has supplied this version with this text. (John Gill,”1 John 5:7”in John
Gill’s Exposition of the New Testament, 3 vols, 1746. )

• Lewis De Dieu (1590–?), protestant minister of Leyden, and professor in the Walloon college of that city,
a man of great abilities, and uncommonly versed in the oriental languages, was born April 7, 1590, at
Flushing, where his father Daniel de Dieu was minister. Daniel was a man of great merit, and a native of Brussels,
where he had been a minister twenty: two years. He removed from thence in 1585, to serve the church at
Flushing, after the duke of Parma had taken Brussels. He understood Greek and the oriental languages, and
could preach with the applause of his auditors in German, Italian, French, and English. The churches of the
Netherlands sent him, in 1588, over to queen Elizabeth, to inform her of the designs of the duke of Parma, who
secretly made her proposals of peace, while the king of Spain was equipping a formidable fleet against England.
Lewis, his son, studied under Daniel Colonius, his uncle by his mother’s side, who was professor at Leyden in the
Walloon college. He was two years minister of the French church at Flushing; and might have been court-minister
at the Hague, if his natural aversion to the manners of a court had not restrained him from accepting that place.
There are some circumstances relating to that affair which deserve to be remembered. Prince Maurice, being in
Zealand, heard Lewis de Dieu preach, who was yet but a student; and some time after sent for him to court. The
young man modestly excused himself, declaring, that he designed to satisfy his conscience in the exercise of his
ministry, and to censure freely what he should find deserved censure; a liberty, he said, which courts did not care
to allow. Besides, he thought the post which was offered him more proper for a man in years than a student. The
prince, conscious that he was in the right, commended his modesty and prudence. He was called to Leyden in
1619 to teach, with his uncle Colonius, in the Walloon college; and he discharged the duty of that employment
with great diligence till his death, which happened in 1642. He refused the post, which was offered him, of divinity-
professor in the new university of Utrecht; but, if he had lived long enough, he would have been advanced to the
same post in that of Leyden. He married | the daughter of a counsellor of Flushing, by whom he had eleven
children. Father Simon speaks advantageously of the writings of Lewis de Dieu in the 35th chapter of his”Critical
History of the Commentators on the New Testament.”The estimation in which he was held by archbishop Usher,
appears from the Letters of that excellent prelate, published by Dr. Parr. The titles of his learned writings are,
1.”Compendium Grammatica; Hebraicae,”Leyden, 1626, 4to. 2.”Apocalypsis S. Joanna Syriace ex manuscripto
exemplari bibliothecce Jos. Scaligeri edita, &c.”Leyden, 1627, 4to. 3.”Grammatica trilinguis, Hebraica, Syriaca, et
Chaldaica,”ibid. 1628, 4to. 4.”Animadversiones in quatuor evangelia,”ibid. 1631, 4to. 5.”Animadversiones in Acta
Apostolorum,”ibid. 1634, 4to. 6.”Historia Christi et S. Petri Persice conscripta, &c.”ibid. 1639, 4to. 7.”Rudimenta
linguae Persictc,”ibid. 1639, 4to. 8.”Animadversiones in Epistolam ad Romanes et reliquas Epistolas,”ibid. 1646,
4to. 9.”Animadversiones in omnes libros Veteris Testamenti,”ibid. 1648. 10.”Critica Sacra, sive animadversiones
in loca qucedam difficiliora Veteris et Novi Testamenti,”Amst. 1693, folio. 11.”Grammatica Linguarum Orientalium
ex recensione Davidis Clodii,”Francfort, 1683, 4to, in which the editor has collected all that De Dieu had published
on the grammar of the Eastern languages. 12.”Aphorismi Theologi,”Utrecht, 1693. This and the two following
were edited by professor Leydecker of Utrecht. 13.”Traite co‘ntre l’avarice, par Louis de Dieu, qui est le seul de
tous ses ouvrages Flamans qu‘il ait souhaite qu’on publiat.”Deventer, 1695, 8vo. 14.”Khetorica Sacra.”11 Gen.
Dict. —Niceron, vol. XV. —Foppen Bibl. Belg.—Moreri. Blount’s Censura. Parr’s Life and Letters of Archbishop
Usher, pp. 413, 461,464, 415, 480, 481, 486, 4S7, 490, 596. Saxij Onomast. ("Lewis De Dieu”in Chalmers’
Biography, vol. 12, 1812, p. 65. <>.)
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