Thread: The Peshitta
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:11 AM
Steven Avery Steven Avery is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 462
Default Peshitta overview

Hi Folks,

There are a number of difficulties in this thread, some of which were addressed by Thomas Holland in response to the Tegart-Norris confusions. Alllow me to start with a summary of the major issues, concentrating first on the NT.

The traditional text of the Holy Gospels vindicated and established
"It is well known that the Peshitto is mainly in agreement with the traditional text." - Dean John Burgon

a) The Peshitta (even in its earlier form, before the greater Byzantine influence of the Philoxenian and Harklean versions) has a much greater affinity to the TR/KJB texts than to the Alexandrian. When I looked at about 200 significant variants, more than 75% of the time the Peshitta lined up with the true Bible, about 25% with corruption. Note that 25% corruption on those variants will allow for a lot of significant corruptions, such as the omission of the Pericope Adultera, while the other large section variant, the ending of Mark, is in the Peshitta.

(btw - It would be nice to have a page where about 30 of the variants are shown, say 20 pro-Byz and 10 pro-Alex, just to give a fuller sense.)

(Studies can vary, there is absolutely no doubt that the numbers are a large majority. I used Brandon's Magic Marker page as the significant variants in my study, looking at every variant.)

b) Thus it is absolutely correct to use the Peshitta as an important Byzantine and TR/KJB witness. Dean John Burgon showed conclusively that this is true even if the Peshitta were the result of a recension, per the strange Hort theories.

Note that this emphasis is largely a refutation of the bogus Westcott-Hort theories. The Peshitta is one of many such refutations, important because it is such a significant and early witness.

c) However, it is not right to claim the Peshitta as identical or almost identical to the King James Bible. A lot of the Tegart-Norris stuff is an attack on this unsupportable claim, made or implied by a couple of King James Bible writers. By their cornfusenik and deceptive writing techniques they can then try to ignore the real textual substantive issues of the clear and strong Peshitta-KJB affinity. And falsely try to link the majority of King James Bible defenders (who write reasonably and accurately on this) with the few who err and overstate the similarity. And if we see a King James Bible defender who overstates the similarity, we can consider sending them a correction. (In that sense, I appreciate the critics, as they help us clarify the real issues and write more precisely.)

d) It is simply incorrect to try to claim that the Peshitta text has been alexandrinized in a Westcott-Hort sense. You can get the agreed-upon Peshitta text from Murdock, Etheridge or Lasma, all online, and the only differences are a few western-eastern distinctions (Murdoch==Western, Lamsa==Eastern) that have very little influence on this analysis.

There is a lot more that could be discussed, such as the dating of the Peshitta, the missing five books (important especially in its support of an early date), the significance in more depth in the analysis of Dean Burgon, the OT situation, the Aramaic Primacy mishegas (helpful though in some factual stuff), Lamsa's approach. However I simply want to renew this discussion in a more general sense first.


Last edited by Steven Avery; 07-27-2009 at 05:17 AM.