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have Paul's letters in Greek, and we have them also in Syriac, with abundant evidence that they were written in Syriac in the time of the apostles. From what Peter says of Paul's Epistles, it seems probable that they were circulated among Hebrew Christians in Syriac, very soon after they were written. Syriac was the only language, as we have found, which was generally, and well understo by all the Hebrews. Yet Peter, writing to the verso Hebrew Christians of Asia Minor, speaks of allPaul's Epistles, as if well known among them, and not only those which Paul had written “to them.” (2 Pet. iii. 15, 16.) This reference to all his Epistles," seems to imply that those which he had written in Greek were well known to Hebrews who knew little of any language but Syriac; and tends, by its agreement with the Syrian testimony, to show that all the letters of Paul in the Peshito, were written in Syriac in the time of the Apostles.

F. Nairon says in proof that THE PESHITO, AS A WHOLE, IS NOT A MERE TRANSLATION OF THE GREEK COPIES, that the number of books in it is different from that of the Greek text, which has 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation. That the order of books is also different from their order in most Greek copies ; for James, 1 Peter, and 1 John, follow the Acts; and that the Greek text has passages which the Peshito has not.

He says that Luke xxii. 17, 18, is not in most copies of the Peshito. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves; for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.” Bishop Walton says, “ These verses are not found in the Vienna manuscript, nor in the one which we have mostly used.” They are placed in brackets by Dr. Lee, 1816, and in the Ooroomiah edition, to show, apparently, that they were not in the copies followed.

The account of the adulteress, John viii. 1-11, which is in many Greek copies, is absent from most of those of the Peshito. Bishop Walton printed it in Syriac from a copy in the library of Archbishop Usher, but said that it was absent from all preceding printed editions. In Dr. Lee's edition, and that of Ooroomiah, lines are placed across the page at the beginning and end of the passage, with evident intention to show its absence from the copies followed.

Acts xxviii. 29 : “And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves,” is not in the Peshito.

Nor is 1 John v. 7: “ There are three who bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.” F. Nairon remarks that this verse is quoted by Cyprian, (bishop of Carthage, 247—258), when writing on the unity of the the Church, and that this was before Arius was born. (See the

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edition of Cyprian's work by Le Preuse, 1593, p. 297.) Cyprian says, “Respecting the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, it is written, And these three are one." F. Nairon suggests that this verse was probably added to the epistle when published in Greek, with view to meet more fully the denial of the Deity of Christ by Cerinthus; and that its appearance in the Greek text, though absent from the Syriac, tends to show that the epistle was first written by John in Syriac.” (Nairon, p. 8.)

F. NAIRON's belief that A RECORD WAS MADE IN SYRIAC by Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John, of events in the Saviour's history, DURING HIS LIFE-TIME, receives some support from the contents of the first three Gospels. It has been observed, that there are passages in some of the Greek copies of these three Gospels, which are in exactly the same words as passages in others. Bishop Herbert Marsh, in his translation of the Introduction of J. D. Michaelis, vol. iii. pp. 160—409, prints an elaborate treatise on the origin of the first three Gospels, and gives in Greek many instances of these identical Greek passages. He says that it is “wholly impossible” that these three historians, if they had no connexion with each other, should have written in Greek, passages so identical, (p. 168); and that “we are reduced to this dilemma, Either the succeeding Evangelists copied from the preceding, or that all the three drew from a common source. (p. 170.) After examining various attempts made by others to account for this identity of Greek words, he comes to the conclusion that internal proofs show that these three writers did not copy words one from another. (pp: 320—330.) At p. 361, he says that the verbal agreements and disagreements of these three Gospels, can be solved in a manner which is perfectly consistent with the inspiration of the Greek Gospels, by admitting that “ all three writers used copies of a common Hebrew,” that is, a Syriac document."

STEPHEN EVOD ASSEMAN, Archbishop of Apamea, a third Syrian of the name of Asseman, in answer to an inquiry made by Dr. Glocester Ridley, who published a work on the Peshito in 1761, said,-“The first [Syriac] version of the N. T., is called the Peshito; the Syrians believe thatitstranslation of the Gospels was made either by the Apostles themselves, or at least by the Apostle Thaddæus; that the Acts and Epistles were made by Apostolic men, and that Ephraem, and other fathers, who flourished in the third and fourth centuries, used that version.” (Wichelhaus, p. 68.) Dr. N. Lardner defines the meaning of “apostolical men,” to be disciples of the Apostles, intimately acquainted with them,” (Credibility, book i., chap. xxii. p. 536); men like “Mark and Luke, companions of the Apostles.” (chap. xxvii. p. 576.) Such men could obtain from the apostles their correction of and authority for what they wrote.

TRANSLATIONS MADE FROM THE PESHITO FOR CHRISTIAN BODIES are themselves testimonies that its authority was deemed as great as, or greater than that of the Greek text. F. Nairon, in the Introduction already named, refers, as Bishop Walton has done also, to a Syrian Coniinentator on Psalm xix., who asserts, in reference to the “New Covenant,” that “though the Armenians translated from the Greek, they afterwards compared their copy with the Syriac, and made it agree with the Syriac in particular places.” (p. 9.). An Arabic version in part, and a Persian version, were made from the Peshito. (Wichelhaus, p. 214, also p. 152.)

In the above testimonies, NO ELEMENT IS WANTING OF PROOF HELD TO BE DECISIVE, that a book is what it is said to be. They give, by their universal and continuous harmony, from very early to the present time, proof that the Peshito had its origin in the time of the Apostles, and was made under their care. They fully satisfy the rule of Bishop Huet. They equally satisfy the rule laid down by Dr. Westcott in his book on the Canon. They are testimonies respecting the belief of large Christian bodies ; a belief attested by the treatment of the book as “sacred,” and as a Divine Rule of faith and practice. The Peshito is a witness, such as the utmost efforts have failed to find in Greek copies of early date. Vain, as yet, has been every attempt, by means of Greek copies, to give a text which is proved to be brought back to the condition in which it stood in the sacred autographs.” (Scrivener, Int. pp. 6, 520.) But the Peshito, in the opinion of Wichelhaus, who has studied it and its history with the greatest care, possesses a Syriac text so ancient and so well preserved, that even if it were die only to a human translator, it would be proved to represent, with a few exceptions, a Greek text “most like to the autographs of the apostles.” (Wichelhaus, p. 261.) Canon Cook also, the Editor of the Speaker's Commentary, says that the Syriac Peshito, is the version which probably comes nearest to the autographs of the Evangelists, especially in Matthew;" and that to it, and some other authorities, a higher value is to be assigned in some cases,” than to any Greek copies, because this version is “ ancient, and better attested than any manuscripts.” (First Three Gospels, p. 143.)


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JESUDAD said that the N. C. Peshito is “a translation made by the care and solicitude of Thaddæus and other Apostles.” Books written, as the Gospel of Matthew was, in the Syriac of Palestine, needed very little change when translated into the Syriac of Edessa. Paul's letter to the Hebrews, the letter of James, the first of Peter, and the first of John, were all addressed to Hebrews, and probably, therefore, were first written in Syriac, the language of the Hebrews; and needed but few changes when translated into the dialect of E'dessa. These few changes were probably what Jesudad called a “ translation,” so far as the word had reference to these books. The Apostles, when taking the care and oversight of the translation of all the books in the Peshito, were not bound as an uninspired translator would have been, to follow always the exact words of what was translated. They had divine authority to use whatever difference of expression the Holy Spirit might guide them to adopt, as better fitted for use in the translation.

If, therefore, in comparing the Syriac with the Greek text, we find that they both express nearly the same meaning, but that in places a supposed Greek original so differs in words from the Syriac, that if the Syriac had been made by an uninspired translator, he would be justly condemned for licentious departure from his Greek copy, the reason may be, that the inspired translator has been divinely guided to make that difference; and if, in some of these cases of different wording, the Syriac meaning be more clear, or exact, or better adapted for Syrian readers than the Greek wording is, those very differences become evidence of the correctness of the Syrian belief that the Peshito was made “ by the care and solicitude of Apostles.” For it is evident that an uninspired translator could not, as a rule, bring light out of darkness, clearness out of obscurity, exactness and correctness out of ambiguity and uncertainty. Persons familiar with the Peshito admit the truth of Faust Nairon's remark, that the Peshito does really sometimes“ make clear, things difficult or doubtful in the Greek.” (Introduction, p. 9.)

Bishop Walton quotes with approval the remark of De Dieu, that “the true meaning of phrases which often occur in the N. T., can scarcely be sought from any other source than the Syriac. (Polyg. Prol. xiii. 19.)

J. Ď. Michaelis says, “ the Syriac Version leads us sometimes to just and beautiful explanations, where other help is insufficient.” (Marsh's Michaelis, vol. ii. p. 41.)

WICHELHAUS REJECTS THE SYRIAN TESTIMONY that the Peshito was made by “the care of Apostles," and gives this reason for doing so,—that it “does not in all things express and religiously follow the Greek text;” (p. 259.) But these differences, according to Syrian testimony, are differences made BY SOME OF THE APOSTLES THEMSELVES, in writing, or revising the same things in two different languages. If, in some places, the expressions in the Syriac are more exact, and make the meaning more clear, than the Greek does, the fact that they differ from the Greek more than a faithful translator from the Greek would have dared to differ, favours the Syrian belief that they are due to that apostolic authority, which had a right to vary the mode of verbal expression, where this was thought to be desirable, in a different language.

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The following are specimens of those differences which Wichelhaus mentions, and which, as he contends, compel the conclusion that the Syrian belief which has existed from the first ages till now, is a complete delusion. The reader will probably think that, instead of proving this, there is nothing in them which is inconsistent with that belief.

The passages which ARE NOT IN THE SYRIAC, are not on that account to be deemed of doubtful authority ; for if they are well sustained by Greek copies, that is evidence that they were afterwards added by Apostolic authority. Dr. Scrivener says that some various readings are probably due to additions made by the sacred writers themselves to some copies of their writings after these were first issued. He says, “ It may be reasonably thought that a portion of the variations (in ancient copies), and those among the most considerable, had their origin in a cause which must have operated at least as much in ancient as in modern times, the changes gradually introduced after publication, by the authors themselves, into the various copies yet within their reach. Such revised copies would circulate independently of those issued previously, and now beyond the writer's control, and thus, becoming the parents of a new family of copies, would originate and keep up diversities from the first edition, without any fault on the part of transcribers.” (Intro., p. 18.)

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In MATTHEW, six differences named by Wichelhaus as proof of bad translation, are certainly not so. They are cases in which the common Greek text is admitted to be corrupt, and the Revisers of the E. V. have followed the Peshito readings. They are v. 27; ix. 13; xxii. 44; xxvi. 9, 60 ; xxviii. 9. In xiv. 24 also, some Greek copies have, as the Peshito has, “many furlongs distant from the land," instead of, now in the midst of the sea;" that it is doubtful whether the true Greek text differs from the Syriac there. In vii. 14, the Syr. has, how narrow; the Gk. has, for narrow. In x. 10, Syr., staff ; Gk., some copies, staves ; some, staff. xiii. 18, Syr., seed; Gk., sower. xiv. 13., Syr., on dry land; Gk., on foot. xvi. 27, Syr., holy angels; Gk., angels. xxi. 34, Syr., that they should send; Gk., to receive. xxii. 23, Syr., the Sadducees were saying; Gk., the Sadduces who say. xxii. 37, Syr., and with all thy might; Gk. has it not. xxvii. 9, Syr., by means of the prophet; Gk., by means of the prophet Jeremiah. An error, for the words are in Zech. xi. 12, 13. In Matt. xxvii. 60, Syr., was hewn; they rolled, placed, departed; Gk., he had hewn; he rolled, and departed. xxviii. 18, Syr., And as my Father sent me, so I send you; Gk, has it not.

IN LUKE, ix. 34, Syr., And they feared when they saw that Moses and Elijah entered the cloud; Gk., and they feared when those, (some copies have, when they) entered the cloud.

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