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(Richard Watts, printer,) a very beautiful edition of the Syriac text, corrected by manuscripts, in 552 pages, 4to., intended for distribution in India. “This edition," says Mr. Horne, was corrected for the press, as far as the Acts of the Apostles, by the late Rev. Dr. Buchanan, and was completed by Rev. Samuel Lee, D. D., Professor of Arabic in the University of Cambridge." The copies vary in title and prefatory matter.
18. In 1826, the British and Foreign Bible Society reprinted their edition of 1816, in a fair, but smaller type, in 360 pages, 4to. This edition was, probably, superintended by Professor Lee. Reprinted, 1828. Copies vary like the last. Some bear no date.
19. In 1824, under the superintendence of Silvestre de Sacy, was published at Paris a beautiful edition, Carshun and Syriac in parallel columns, 4to.
20. Bagster, in 1828, published an edition in 12mo, with Syriac preface by W. Greenfield, with various readings, and a revision of the lexicon of Giles Gutbier. This has been repeatedly re-issued, generally without date. Its text also occurs in Bagster's Triglott Gospels, 1828, 4to.
21. In 1836 an edition was published by Macintosh at London, Syriac in Hebrew letters, 12mo.
22. In 1846, the Missionaries of the A. B. C. F. M., at Oroomia, in Persia, having completed their translation of the New Testament into the vernacular dialect of the modern Nestorians, printed it with the Syriac text, in parallel columns, and both in the modern Nestorian character, with a marginal notice of all the deviations of the Syriac from the Greek text: printed at Oroomia, in one vol., large 4to. The Syriac text of this edition was constructed from the edition of the British and Foreign Bible Society, with modifications from Walton's Polyglott and ancient native Nestorian manuscripts. Its Ancient Syriac text has been reprinted at New York, 16mo., in 1878, and again, revised and corrected, 1886, and repeatedly. 23. At London, in 1876, was published anonymously the Syriac text with
Giridye? an English translation, 4to.
24. At London in 1875, was published by Dickinson, in a Hexaglott, repeated, 1890, in a Triglott, the Syriac text: that of Walton's Polyglott, 4to.
It has often been regretted, that the editors of the Peshitto New Testament have taken so little pains to collate manuscripts, and to obtain a correct text. They have for the most part, followed the editio princeps, with some changes in the vowel points, and have admitted but few changes of words on the authority of manuscripts. The received text, it is said, appears to have been derived chiefly from the Nestorian family of manuscripts, and needs a thorough collation, especially with manuscripts of the Jacobite family. But a critical edition, edited by G. H. Gwilliam, based on the most ancient manuscripts, is about to be issued from the Oxford University Press.
Among the parts of the New Testament, an edition of the Gospels m Nestorian type, edited from two Nestorian Mss. of Joseph Wolff, by Thomas Pell Platt, was published by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1829, 4to, and is worthy of mention. In 1877 the Roman Catholic missionaries
in Oroomia published an edition of the Gospels and the Acts, with a translation of the same in the spoken language of the Nestorians of that district. They seem to have followed closely the text used by the American Missionaries in their publications, The New Testament has also been printed at Mosul within a few years./ Prof. John Gwynn, D. D., of Trinity College, Dublin, has in press an edition of the Apocalypse, from an older and better manuscript. Among many other instances, this MS. is free from the gross mistake in Rev. viii. 13. (See p. 452, and foot-note.)
THE CURETONIAN VERSION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. This version was discovered by the Rev. Dr. Cureton, in one of the manuscripts brought to the British Museum in 1842 from the Monastery of St. Mary Deipara, in the valley of the Natron Lakes, near Egypt. It consisted of portions of three ancient copies, bound together to form a volume of the Four Gospels, with a few leaves in a more recent hand added to make up the deficiencies. This binding together was done a. D. 1221; but the portions are of the fifth century. Other leaves were found among the manuscripts brought at the same time; and the whole put together and rebound. The volume consists of fragments of Matthew, Mark, John and Luke, arranged in this order. They were published in quarto, with a very inadequate English translation, by Dr. Cureton, in 1858.
Since then an additional fragment was discovered by Roediger, and by him published in the Monthly of the Berlin Academy of Sciences, July, 1872; reprinted the same year by W. Wright, uniform with Cureton's edition. This appears to be the oldest known Syriac version. Attempts have been made to restore the Greek text it represents; the best by Prof. Friedrich Baethgen, Leipzig, 1885.
An ancient manuscript, palimpsest, of the Curetonian version, has recently been discovered at the Monastery of St. Catharine, at Mt. Sinai.
For further particulars see the original edition of Cureton, and Wm. Wright's article, “Syriac Literature ” in the last edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica; also published separately.
THE PHILOXENIAN AND HARCLENSIAN VERSIONS. Until recent years the Philoxenian version and its revision, the Harclensiar, have been generally confounded together, because it was generally supposed that the original unrevised Philoxenian was lost.
But more careful investigation has shown conclusively that the Epistles not found in the Peshitto, but printed in our ordinary Syriac New Testaments, viz., 2d Peter, 2d and 3d John and Jude, are the original, unrevised Philoxenian. Besides the manuscript from which these were first published, by Pococke, in 1630, a number of others exist in various libraries, and may be found described in the works mentioned above under the head of Manuscripts of the Peshitto New Testament; besides another mentioned in J. J. Wetstein's Greek New Testament 1751. But none of these have ever been used for the
purpose of emending the very faulty text of Pococke.
In 1886 these Epistles were published in phototype fac-simile by Isaac H.
Hall, from an excellent manuscript owned by Robert S. Williams, of Utica, N. Y.; and in the same year the American Bible Society permitted these Epistles in their Ancient Syriac New Testament to be corrected from this manuscript, “in cases of obvious errors." One of these is 2d Peter ii. 1, where for “But in the world ”
-an error caused by the mistake of one letter,—the true reading, “But among the people,” has now been restored.
The other portions of the original Philoxenian New Testament were supposed to be irrecoverably lost; but Bernstein supposed that he bad discovered the Gospels in the “Codex Angelicus” at Florence (see his “Gospel of John” in Syriac, Leipzig, 1853); and much more probably have they been discovered by Isaac H. Hall, who found them in 1875 in the “Beirut Manuscript,” a codex of the ninth century, belonging to the Syrian Protestant College at Beirut, and deposited in the library of the Union Theological Seminary, New York. From this he published three phototype fac-simile leaves, in 1883.
Premising this, we may let Dr. Murdock's matter stand almost exactly as he left it; but it is to be understood that the version of Polycarp, mentioned below, is the true Philoxenian; while the revision by Thomas of Harkel, or Heraclea, is the Harclensian. It was customary, as said above, to confound the names; and White's edition, mentioned below, was entitled “Philoxenian,” though really Harclensian. The printed edition known to Murdock, if not all the manuscripts known to him, was Harclensian; not at all Philoxenian in fact.
The history of these versions is given in the Syriac Indorsements on the manuscripts. The following occurs in a manuscript of the Four Gospels in the Bibliotheca Angelica at Rome:
“This Book has been collated with two accurate manuscripts. This Book of the four Holy Evangelists was translated from the Greek tongue into Syriac, with great accuracy and much labor, first in the city of Mabug, in the days of the holy MAR PHILOXENUS, confessor, bishop of that city. It was afterwards collated with much diligence by me, THOMAS, a poor sinner, with three [margin, and other MSS., two] highly approved and accurate Greek copies, at Enaton [i. e., 'the Ninth-mile Village) of the great city Alexandria, in the monastery of St. Anthony; in order that its writing might be to me for the profit of my sinful soul, and for that of the many that love and seek to know and preserve the profitable accuracy of the Divine Books. It was written and collated, at the place above named, in the year 927 of Alexander, in the 4th Indiction. But how much labor and anxiety I had with it and with its fellows [i. e., the Acts and Epistles] the Lord only knoweth, He who will recompense to every man according to his works in the day of] his just and righteous Judgment."
Adler cites two other similar manuscript indorsements, which, after the words “first in the city of Mabug,” insert “in the year 819 of Alexander the Macedonian, in the days of the holy Mar PAILOXENUS, confesssor, bishop of that city. It was afterwards,” etc.
From these indorsements, it appears that this translation was made at MABUG, or Menbij, as it is called in Arabic, the Hierapolis of the Greeks, city of Syria, near the Euphrates, and the See of both a Nestorian and a Jacobite Bishop: and that it was made in the year 819 of Alexander, that is A. D. 508, and in the days of Philoxenus, the Bishop of Mabug. It is not said that it was made by Philoxenus, but only in his days. This Philoxenus, otherwise called Xenaias, was the Monophysite Bishop of Mabug, from A. D. 488 to A. D. 518, (see Assemani's Bibliotheca Orient. tom. ii. p. 10—46); but he did not sit quietly on his throne. Being a warm partisan of Peter Fullo, he was in sharp conflict nearly all his life, and he could have had but little leisure for biblical studies. The persecutions he suffered, procured for him the title of Confessor among his own sect. According to Moses Aghaeus, (in Assemani's Bibliotheca Orient. tom. ii. ch. 10,) one POLYCARP, a rural Bishop under Philoxenus, made this translation; and dedicated it, in the year specified, to Philoxenus, by whom he had been prompted to undertake the work. And hence this version is often called the Translation of Polycarp. It is this version from which the epistles published
by Pococke (see under No. 8, above) were taken.
It further appears, from these Indorsements, that about 100 years after this version was made by Polycarp, one Thomas, a monk, at Enaton, at the ninth milestone out of Alexandria, and in the monastery of St. Anthony, in that city, revised and re-wrote this translation, collating it with two (or some indorsements say, three) highly approved Greek manuscripts. This was in the year of Alexander 927, or A. D. 616. Who this Thomas was, and when and where he lived, we learn from Bar-Hebraeus' Chronicon, (year of the Seleucidæ 927, or A. D. 616.) Bar-Hebraeus there says:“ About this time flourished Thomas Harclensis, (i e. mas of Harkel, the Syriac form of Heraclea, an obscure village in Palestine), a monk of the monastery of Taril; who in his childhood, learned Greek in the Kenserine monastery, and was afterwards Bishop of Mabug. Being persecuted by Domitian, the Meletian, he went to Egypt, and resided in the Enaton of Alexandria, in the holy monastery of the Antonies; where, with praiseworthy diligence, he restored, by a very exact and accurate emendation, the holy Codex of the Gospels, and the other Books of the New Testament, after the first version of them by the procuration of Philoxenus, of Mabug." -From this statement, and from an inspection of the manuscripts, it appears, that Thomas Harclensis corrected the text of Polycarp's translation; added various readings, derived from his collation of Greek manuscripts; and subjoined other marginal notices, especially the division into Lessons for the public worship through the year. That he did not materially alter the text of Polycarp, Adler infers from a manuscript that he examined at Florence, which had none of the marginal notes and indorsements of the Harclensian recension, yet contained almost precisely the same text; whence he concluded, that it was copied from an ancient manuscript of Polycarp's version, written before its revision by Thomas Harclensis. Bernstein thinks the codex Angelicus more nearly represents the original Philoxenian. The Gospels of the Beirut MS., a codex of the ninth century, present stronger
claims than either to be considered as the true Philoxenian. But Adler's inference is of force only so far as the Gospels are concerned, and it is borne out so far by all that we know. But the Epistles were much revised by Thomas.
Such is the origin of the Harclensian version. It is the translation of Polycarp as revised, and furnished with marginal notes, by THOMAS HARCLENSIS. It was exclusively of Jacobite origin; and it never obtained currency among the other oriental sects. Yet it was not made for any sectariau purposes; nor in hostility to the Peshitto version. The sole aim of its author and revi. ser, was, to produce a Syriac version, which should more perfectly resemble the Greek original as it existed in their times.— It embraces all the books of the New Testament, except the Apocalypse. The history of the adulteress, is also wanting; but not so the 20 Epistle of Peter, the 2d and 3d of John, and the Epistle of Jude. How much these portions were revised by Thomas may be seen by comparing them with the same Epistles in the ordinary Syriac New Testament. The latter are the unrevised Philoxenian.
CHARACTER AND VALUE OF THIS VERSION.
The prominent characteristic of the Harclensian version, is extreme servility, even to the habitual sacrifice of the purity and propriety of the Syriac language. But much that a reader of the Peshitto might think to be servility, is merely a common expression in the Syriac of later times. It gener. ally copies the Greek phraseology so exactly, that it would often not be difficult to translate it back again into the identical words of the original. As the Syriac has no article, the definite article of the Greek is often expressed (as indeed by Syriac writers of all ages,) by the Syriac pronouns for he, she, and they. The Greek expletives, which could not be expressed in Syriac, are sometimes transcribed in the translation. Greek compounds are awkwardly expressed, by two or more words in strange combination. Greek diminutives are imitated in the Syriac. The Greek construction is followed, as closely as possible, without the strictest regard to the laws of Syriac construction. And in all the proper names, even those of Hebrew origin, the Greek orthography is, in some manuscripts, imitated in Syriac letters, though subversive of every trace of the etymology, and perverting the true pronunciation. Even the case endings of these names are retained; —as sometimes occurs also in the Peshitto; which could only serve to puzzle the brains of a Syrian who did not understand Greek.
Of the value of this translation J. D. Michaelis, (in his Introduction to the New Testament, vol. ii. p. 1. p. 67, &c., ed. Marsh,) says: “The intrinsic worth of the Philoxenian version, admits no comparison with that of the Peshitto. The style is much inferior, and more difficult to be understood; the version is less accurate; and the translator was less acquainted with the Greek. It is neither so valuable to a divine, for the purpose of instruction in the Christian religion; nor to the learned expositor, as a means of explaining difficult and doubtful passages. But the version is not devoid of value, and is of real importance to a critic, whose object is to select a variety of readings, with the view of restoring the genuine text of the Greek original.