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grammatical forms and particulars of that kind.” (Scrivener's Int. p. 318.) Yet Dr. Scrivener, writing in 1859, said, that though
this precious document (Rich, 7157) had been collated throughout by Dr. Tregelles, together with several other manuscripts of high antiquity in the Museum," and though Dr. Cureton, Mr. Ellis, and two German scholars, had found that these “venerable manuscripts exhibit a text singularly resembling that of the printed editions," Dr. Tregelles had spoken of the Peshito, in his “Printed Text of the Greek N. T., 1854,” p. 170, as “the version commonly printed as the Peshito. “He would persuade us, Scrivener, that the sects of “the whole Eastern Church, distracted as it has been, have laid aside their bitter jealousies in order to substitute a spurious version, in the room of the Peshito, --that sole surviving monument of the first ages of the gospel in Syria ! Nay more, that this wretched forgery has deceived Orientalists profound as Michaelis and Lowth.” (Contributions, pp. 14, 15.)
Drs. Westcott and Hort have represented the Peshito, in the Introduction to their Greek Testament, as made in the third or fourth century out of a corrupt text called the Curetonian Syriac, and have implied that all the Syrians have been deceived as to its origin. (Intro. p. 84.) Dr. Scrivener says, “Of this two-fold authoritative revision of the Greek text, and of this formal transmutation of the Curetonian Syriac into the Peshito, ... not one trace remains in the history of Christian antiquity; no one writer seems conscious that any modification, either of the Greek Scriptures, or of the vernacular translation, [the Peshito], was made in, or before their times. . . Yet Dr. Hort regards his speculative conjecture as undoubtedly true;" and, though he believes that this recension was “made deliberately by the authoritative voice of the Eastern Church,” he declares that all readings so ade “must be at once rejected, (p. 119); thus making a clean sweep of all critical materials,--Fathers, versions, manuscripts uncial and cursive, comprising about nineteen-twentieths of the whole mass, which do not correspond with his preconceived opinion of what a correct text ought to be," p. 163. (Scrivener's Intro., p. 533-4.)
These last remarks apply equally to the untruthful statement of Dr. Tregelles, in the Introduction to his Greek Testament, that “The Peshito-Syriac was frequently modernized from time to time.” (p. v.)
When the word of God is in question, it is necessary to know and show who are trustworthy, and who are not.
THE ABOVE STATEMENTS, made by persons well informed and of faithful mind, will aid some, it is hoped, to arrive at the truth, by as short a path as the breadth of the field permits. Most of these witnesses reject the Syrian testimony that the Peshito was made in the time, and by the care of the Apostles. But they give no good reason for doing so, nor is it easy to see why. if Greek testimony
is accepted as proof of the Apostolic origin of the Greek text, Syrian testimony should not be received as proof of the Apostolic origin of the Syriac text. But it is evident that even on the supposition that the Syriac is but a man-made translation, the three facts, that it was made at so early a date, that there is no proof that it was greatly altered in the first centuries, as the Greek copies were, and that the agreement of existing copies, and of quotations from it, show that it has remained without material change from the fourth century till now; these facts prove that its text has a purity and a stability which are not only peculiar to it, but are providential gifts exactly suited to our present need. They prove that it is able to restore to God's word much of that certainty which some have impaired, and to affirm parts of it to be genuine which they would take away. X. CHIEF PECULIARITIES OF THE TEXT OF THE PESHITO-SYRIAC.
1. Books, passages, and words, NOT CONTAINED IN IT.
xxvii. 9. Jeremiah, not named.
xxvii. 35. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
Luke xxii. 17, 18. 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.
John vii. 53—vüïi11. The account of the adulteress.
Acts viii. 37. And Philip said, If thou dost trust with all the heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus the Anointed is the Son of God. Acts xv. 34. But it pleased Silas to remain there.
xviii. 6. Your blood is on your own heads.
xxviii. 29. And when he had said these things, the Jews departed, and had much reasoning among themselves.
i Tim. ii. 16. The word “God” is not expressed, though evidently understood in the words, “He was revealed in flesh.”
1 John v. 7, 8. In heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth.
The absence of a passage from the Peshito, is not, of itself, ovidence that it is not a part of God's word; for the passage may have been added by the inspired writer to a Greek copy isqued afterwards, If Greek authorities give strong evidence that such a passage is of divine origin, its absence from the Peshito implies that the Peshito was made in the life-time of that sacred writer, and before he
wrote those words. But if the evidence from Greek authorities is not decisive, then the absence of the passage from the Peshito strongly implies that it is an unauthorized addition.
2. Readings which DIFFER from the Common Greek text.
In Acts xx. 28, some Jacobite copies have, “ The assembly of God, which he purchased with his own blood.” But most Syriac copies have“ The assembly of the Anointed," etc. Wichelhaus says, I mistake not, all the Nestorian copies have, of the Anointed ;' some Jacobite copies have, of the Anointed; some of them have,
of God.'” (p. 150.) Some Greek authorities have “ of the Lord," others, “ of God." Those Greek authorities which have
“ of the Lord,” are, on the whole, the more trustworthy.
In' 1 Cor. v. 8, some Syriac copies have," with the leaven," instead of, “with the unleavened (bread),” etc.
In Heb. ï. 9, the Nestorian copies have, “For he, apart from Godhead, tasted death,” etc. The Jacobite copies have, “For he, God, in his merciful favour tasted death,” etc. Dr. Lee, 1816, without giving any authority, has placed the word “God” after “ favour,” and has made the passage read thus, “ He, by the merciful favour of God, tasted,” etc. But unless manuscript authority can be produced in proof that such a reading existed, it has no title to be considered part of the Peshito. Greek copies had “ without God,” as early as the time of Origen, and as the Nestorian copies are, as a rule, so correct, there seems to be no reason for doubting their correctness in this instance.
XI. THE DESIGN OF THIS WORK.
THE CHIEF DESIGN has been to aid in defending THE TRUE TEXT OF GOD'S WORD, by means of the Peshito-Syriac. God has preserved the Peshito from being corrupted as Greek copies have been. The use recently made of some of these corrupt copies has undermined belief in some parts of God's Book. The testimony of the Peshito-Syriac tends to re-establish confidence in most of these parts, whether they have been set forth as doubtful or rejected. By comparing the translation here given of the Syriac text, with that of the Received Greek text, printed by the side of it, the reader can see how very much the two agree, and how they tend to fix the true meaning of both. The Received Greek text agrees in most places with the Pesbito, in opposition to the new Greek text constructed by the Revisers of the English Version. The Common English Version is also proved to be, as a rule, more in accord with the Peshito, than the Revised English Version is. A hope has also been entertained of making THE WAYOF SALVATION
In the common version the verb to believe is used where a verb is needed which agrees with the noun faith. The Greek noun pistis is sometimes translated belief, sometimes faith,
and correctly bo. But the Greek verb pisteuo is translated believe, even when it means to have faith ; and this leaves the impression that belief of the truth of words is meant, when the real meaning is that of trust on God himself, or on Christ Jesus. The word believe means, indeed, to trust; but only to trust in the truth of words. The Hebrew, Syriac, and Greek words, which sometimes mean to trust in the truth of words, are used also to express trust in persons; and the word believe cannot express this trust with clearness and full effect.
In the Common English Version, those passages in which the idea of trusting ought to be clearly expressed, often fail to convey that meaning, from the unfitness of the word believe to do so.
We do not, in the language of daily life say we believe in, or believe on a person, when we wish to express full trust in him, with view to bome benefit. We say then that we trust in him.
Who is there who has not felt the difficulty of defining how & person must believe, so as to be saved ? Some have said that no one really believes a thing to be true who does not act accordingly. But this is plainly contrary to fact; for we may believe a thing to be good and right, and yet resolve to have nothing to do with it. Others, when asked what it is to believe so as to be saved, say that the word believe must be understood in Scripture to have the unusual meaning of rely on. But this is a poor remedy for a faulty translation. The mass of readers and hearers have to trust to the impression given by the word believe itself, which impression, in most cases, is likely to be, that to believe in the truth of facts and doctrines, and in the reality of the Saviour's history, if this belief be connected with morality, makes salvation sure.
Some may perhaps ask for PROOF that the Greek word pisteuo does ever mean to trust.
One proof is, that other passages require repentance, devoted love, and unreserved obedience, as necessary to salvation, and that these would not be necessary if salvation were promised to those who only believe.
ABRAHAM is often referred to in the New Covenant, in order to show how we may be declared just, and saved. The words in Gen. xv. 6, which describe how Abraham came to be declared just, are quoted in three places in the N. C. Scriptures; in Rom. iv. 3; Gal. i. 6; and James ii. 23. In each of these three quotations the Common Version says, “ Abraham believed God.” It may be asked, perhaps, how these passages can possibly mean more than that Abraham believed the truth of God's words. It is true that the English version of these passages does convey this meaning; and yet this meaning implies that salvation is sure to all who believe the truth of what God says, even though they should live in sin, and care nothing about him.
But these three passages must, in reality, have the same meaning as Gen. xv. 6, of which they are a quotation. What do those Hebrew words really mean? The word aman is there used in its Hiphil form, of which Gesenius says in his Hebrew Lexicon, “It often means to have faith in, as in Job iv. 18; xv. 15; xxxix. 12; Psalm lxxviii. 22, 32 ; cxix. 66. In Gen. xv. 6, [it means] he had faith in God," that is, he trusted in God. In Gen. xv. 6, the word meaning to trust is followed by the preposition in; and the trust is said to be, not in the words of God, but “in Jehovah ” himself. In the following passages the same word with the same preposition in, can have no other meaning than trust in. Job iv. 18, “ Behold, hé put no trust in his servants. Job xv. 15," Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints.” Job xv. 31, “Let not him who is deceived trust in vanity.” Micah vii. 5, “ Trust ye not in a friend." In these passages the evident meaning of aman with in could not be expressed by believe. They prove that the meaning of Gen. xv. 6, may be, and seems to be, i Abraham trusted in Jehovah.” If we substitute “believed in Jehovah,” the meaning is, that Abraham believed Jehovah to be what he really is. But is it not evident that “trusted in Jehovah,” must be the real meaning ? Therefore, as Gen. xv. 6, not only may mean, but so far as evidence goes,
“ Abraham trusted in God;" each of the passages, Rom. iv. 3; Gal. iii. 6; and Jas. ii. 23, must have the same meaning; and this meaning is one which agrees with what all other passages say of the way of salvation. It does not convey the false impression which believe does, namely, that to believe the truth of what is true, saves. The word trust implies the existence of love and obedience, which other passages make necessary to salvation.
ANOTHER PROOF that pisteuo means to trust, when it refers to the way of salvation, is the description given by Paul of what it meant in his own case ; (see 2 Tim. i. 12,) the committing or intrusting of himself to God. He says, “I know in whom pepisteuka I have trusted, and am persuaded that he is able to guard my deposit,-what I have intrusted to him, against that day." In
many passages pisteuo means to INTRUST SOMETHING to the care of another. This shows that the idea of trust is really in the word. It is used in this sense in Luke xvi. 11, “Who will commit or intrust to you the true riches?” Rom. iii. 2, “Because they were intrusted with the words of God.” (See also 1 Cor. ix. 17; Gal. ii. 7; Titus i. 3.)
THE PESHITO-SYRIAC uses a word which means to trust where the Greek has pisteuo. For instance, in John iii. 36, “He who trusts in the Son has eternal life.” John vi. 29, “This is the work of God, that ye trust in him whom he has sent.” Acts xvi. 31, “Trust in our Lord Jesus the Anointed, and thou shalt have life-bliss." The Syriac word is the same as the Hebrew word used in Gen. xv. 6. It has in Syriac the same meaning which it has in Hebrew. It means in Syriac to trust.
Wichelhaus says of