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882
[N.T. VERSIONS
BIBLE


between Antioch and Aleppo; though the monastery is otherwise unknown, it seems probable that it was the source of many of the MSS. now at Sinai. The under writing seems to be a little earlier than that of the Curetonian; it contains the gospels in the order Mt., Mc., Lc., Jo. with a few lacunae. There is no evidence that this version was ever used in the Church services: the Diatessaron was always the normal Syriac text of the gospels until the introduction of the Peshito. But the quotations and references in Aphraates, Ephraem and the Acts of Judas Thomas show that it was known, even if not often used. It seems certain that the Old Syriac version also contained the Acts and Pauline epistles, as Aphraates and Ephraem agree in quoting a text which differs from the Peshito, but no MSS. containing this text are at present known to exist.

[The text of this version is best given, with a literal English translation, in F. C. Burkitt’s Evangelion da Mepharreshe (Cambridge, 1904).]

2. The Peshito (Simple) Version. This is represented by many MSS. dating from the 5th century. It has been proved almost to demonstration by F. C. Burkitt that the portion containing the gospels was made by Rabbula, bishop of Edessa Peshito. (411), to take the place of the Diatessaron, and was based on the Greek text which was at that time in current use at Antioch. The Old Testament Peshito is a much older and quite separate version. The exact limits of Rabbula’s work are difficult to define. It seems probable that the Old Syriac version did not contain the Catholic epistles, and as these are found in the Peshito they were presumably added by Rabbula. But he never added 2 Peter, Jude, 2 and 3 John, or the Apocalypse, and the text of these books, which is sometimes bound up with the Peshito, really is that of the Philoxenian or of the Harklean version. A comparison of the Peshito with quotations in Aphraates and Ephraem shows that Rabbula revised the text of the Acts and Pauline epistles, but in the absence of MSS. of the Old Syriac for these books, it is difficult to define the extent or character of his work. The Peshito is quoted as Syr P, Pesh., and Syrsch (because Tischendorf followed the edition of Schaaf).

[The best text of the Peshito is by G. H. Gwilliam, Tetraevangelium Sanctum (Oxford, 1901); its relations to Rabbula’s revision are shown by F. C. Burkitt, “S. Ephraim’s quotations from the Gospel” (Texts and Studies, vii. 2, Cambridge, 1901), which renders out of date F. H. Woods’s article on the same subject in Studia Biblica, iii. pp. 105-138.]

3. The Philoxenian Version. This is known, from a note extant in MSS. of the Harklean version, to have been made in A.D. 508 for Philoxenus, bishop of Hierapolis, by Polycarpus, a chorepiscopus. No MSS. of it have survived except in Philoxenian. 2 Peter, Jude, 2 and 3 John and the Apocalypse. The four former are found in some MSS. of the Peshito, as the Philoxenian was used to supply these epistles which were not in the older version, and the Apocalypse was published in 1892 by Dr Gwynn from a MS. belonging to Lord Crawford.

[This version may be studied in Isaac H. Hall’s Williams MS. (Baltimore, 1886); in the European editions of the Syriac Bible so far as the minor Catholic epistles are concerned; in Hermathena, vol. vii. (1890), pp. 281-314 (article by Gwynn); in Zeitschrift für Assyriologie, xii. and xiii. (series of articles by Merx); in Gwynn’s The Apocalypse of St John in a Syriac Version (Dublin, 1897).]

4. The Harklean Version. This is a revision of the Philoxenian made in 616 by Thomas of Harkel (Heraclea), bishop of Hierapolis. It was apparently an attempt to replace the literary freedom of the Philoxenian by an extreme literalness. It Harklean. represents in the main the text of the later Greek MSS., but it has important textual notes, and has adopted a system of asterisks and obeli from the Hexaplar LXX. The source of these notes seems to have been old MSS. from the library of the Enaton near Alexandria. The marginal readings are therefore valuable evidence for the Old Alexandrian text. This version is quoted as Syr H (and when necessary Syr Hc* or Syr Hmg) and by Tischendorf as Syrp (= Syrp posterior). It should be noted that when Tischendorf speaks of Syrutr he means the Peshito and the Harklean.

[There is no satisfactory critical edition of this version, nor have the Philoxenian and the Harklean been disentangled from each other. The printed text is that published in 1778-1803 by J. White at Oxford under the title Versio Philoxenia; for the marginal notes see esp. Westcott and Hort, Introduction, and for Acts, Pott’s Abendländische Text der Apostelgesch. (Leipzig, 1900).]

5. The Palestinian or Jerusalem Version. This is a lectionary which was once thought to have come from the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, but has been shown by Burkitt to come from Palestinian. that of Antioch. It was probably made in the 6th century in connexion with the attempts of Justinian to abolish Judaism. Usually quoted as SyrPa and by Tischendorf as Syrhier.

[The text may be found in Lewis and Gibson’s The Palestinian Syriac Lectionary (London, 1899), (Gospels), and in Studia Sinaitica, part vi. (Acts and Epistles); its origin is discussed best by F. C. Burkitt in the Journal of Theological Studies, vol. ii. (1901), pp. 174-183.]

6. The Karkaphensian. This is not a version, but a Syriac “Massorah” of the New Testament, i.e. a collection of notes on the texts. Probably emanates from the monastery of the Skull. Little is known of it and it is unimportant.

[See Gwilliam’s “Materials for the Criticism of the Peshito N.T.” in Studia Biblica, in. esp. pp. 60-63.]

7. Tatian’s Diatessaron. This is something more than a version. It was originally a harmony of the four goepels made by Tatian, the pupil of Justin Martyr, towards the end of the 2nd century. In its original form it is no longer extant, but it Tatian’s “Diatessaron.” exists in Arabic (published by Ciasca) and Latin (cod. Fuldensis) translations, in both of which the text has unfortunately been almost entirely conformed to the ordinary type. These authorities are, therefore, only available for the reconstruction of the order of the selections from the gospels, not for textual criticism properly so called. For the latter purpose, however, we can use an Armenian translation of a commentary on the Diatessaron by Ephraem, and the quotations in Aphraates. The Diatessaron appears to have been the usual form in which the gospels were read until the beginning of the 5th century, when the Peshito was put in its place, and a systematic destruction of copies of the Diatessaron was undertaken.

[The Diatessaron may be studied in Zahn, “Evangelien-harmonie,” article in the Protestantische Realencyklopädie (1898); J. H. Hill, The Earliest Life of Christ (Edinburgh, 1893); J. Rendel Harris, Fragments of the Commentary of Ephraim the Syrian (London, 1895); F. C. Burkitt, Evangelion da Mepharreshe (Cambridge, 1904, vol. ii.).]

Inter-relation of Syriac Versions.—The relations which subsist between the various Syriac versions remain to be discussed. There is little room for doubt that the Harklean was based on the Philoxenian, and the Philoxenian was based on the Peshito, the revision being made in each case by the help of the Greek MSS. of the day, but the relations which subsist between the Old Syriac, the Diatessaron and the Peshito are a more difficult question. There are now but few, if any, scholars who think that the Peshito is an entirely separate version, and the majority have been convinced by Burkitt and recognize (1) that the Peshito is based on a knowledge of the Old Syriac and the Diatessaron; (2) that it was made by Rabbula with the help of the contemporary Greek text of the Antiochene Church. But there is not yet the same degree of consensus as to the relations between the Old Syriac and the Diatessaron. Here it is necessary to distinguish between the original text of the Old Syriac and the existing MSS. of it—Cur. and Sin. There is no question that many passages in these show signs of Diatessaron influence, but this is only to be expected if we consider that from the end of the 2nd to the beginning of the 5th century the Diatessaron was the popular form of the gospels. A large discount has therefore to be made from the agreements between Diatessaron and Syr. S and C. Still, it is improbable that this will explain everything, and it is generally conceded that the original Diatessaron and the original Old Syriac were in some way connected. The connexion is variously explained, and efforts have been made to show on which side the dependence is to be found. The most probable theory is that of Burkitt. He thinks that the first Syriac translation was that of Tatian (c. A.D. 175), who brought the Diatessaron from Rome and translated it into Syriac. There, in the last days of the 2nd century, when Serapion was bishop of Antioch (A.D. 190-203), a new start was made, and a translation of the “separated Gospels” (Evangelion da Mepharreshe) was made from the MSS. which was in use at Antioch. Probably the maker of this version was partly guided, especially in his choice of renderings, by his knowledge of the Diatessaron. Nevertheless, the Diatessaron remained the more popular and was only driven out by Theodoret and Rabbula in the 5th century, when it was replaced by the Peshito. If this theory be correct the Syriac versions represent three distinct Greek texts:—(1) the 2nd-century Greek text from Rome, used by Tatian; (2) the 2nd-century Greek text from Antioch, used for the Old Syriac; (3) the 2nd-century Greek text from Antioch, used by Rabbula for the Peshito.

[The best discussion of this point is in vol. ii. of Burkitt’s Evangelion da Mepharreshe.]

Egyptian Versions.—Much less is known at present about the history of the Egyptian versions. They are found in various dialects of Coptic, the mutual relations of which are not yet certain, but the only ones which are preserved with Coptic. any completeness are the Bohairic, or Lower Egyptian, and Sahidic, or Upper Egyptian, though it is certain that fragments of intermediate dialects such as Middle Egyptian, Fayumic, Akhmimic and Memphitic also exist. The Bohairic has been edited by G. Horner. It is well represented, as it became the official version of the Coptic Church; its history is unknown, but from internal evidence it seems to have been made from good Greek MSS. of the type of אBL, but the date to which this points depends largely on the general view taken of the history of the text of the New Testament. It need not, but may be earlier than the 4th century. The Sahidic is not so well preserved. G. Homer’s researches tend to show that the Greek text on which it was based was different from that represented by the Bohairic, and probably was akin to the “Western” text, perhaps of the type used by Clement of Alexandria. Unfortunately none of the MSS. seems to be good, and at present it is impossible to make very definite use of the version. It is possible that this is the oldest Coptic version, and this view is supported by the general probabilities of the spread of Christianity in Egypt,