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Is this a shock or what?
Shlama all--

Here is something that shocked me for obvious reasons. I will just reproduce my letter to my publisher and my reaction to what I found tonight. To paraphrase a Latin proverb, "The thing, it speaks for itself":

Shlama Akhi Baruch,

I can hardly beleve what I am looking at. I have made a STUNNING discovery. Listen to this...

"Moreover it is known that books were soon translated from Syriac into Greek, and while such an intercourse existed it is scarcely possible to believe that the Scriptures themselves remained untranslated. The same conclusion follows from the controversial writings of Bardesanes (dead in the year 222 CE, Catholic Encyclopedia-- AGR) which necessarily imply the existence of a Syriac Version of the Bible. Tertullian's example may show that he could hardly have refuted Marcion without the constant use of Scripture. And more than this, Eusebius tells us that Hegisippius 'made quotations from the Gospel according the Hebrews and the Syriac and especially from [writings in?] the Hebrew language, showing thereby that he was a Christian of Hebrew descent. This testimony is valuable coming from the only early Greek writer likely to have been familar with Syriac literature...

"Ephraem Syrus (dead 373, Catholic Encyclopedia--AGR), a deacon of Edessa, treats the Version in such a manner as to prove that it was already old in the fourth century. He quotes it as a book of established authority, calling it 'Our Version'; he speaks of the Translator one whose words were familar; and though the dialects of the East are proverbially permanent, his explanations show that its language even in his time had become partially obsolete.

"Another circumstance serves to eshibit the venerable age of this Version. It was universally received by the different sects into which the Syrian church was divided in the fourth century, and so has continued current even to the present time. All the Syrian Christians, whether belonging to the Nestorian (Church of the East--AGR), Jacobite (Syrian Orthodox Church--AGR) or Roman communion, conspire to hold the Peshitto authoriative and to use it in their public services. It must consequently have been established by familar use before the first heresies arose or it could not have remained without a rival. Numerous versions or revisions of the New Testament were indeed made afterwards, for Syriac literature is peculiarly rich in this branch of theological crticism; but no one ever supplanted the Peshitto for ecclesiastical purposes...

"But meanwhile there is no sufficient reason to desert the opinion that has obtained the sanction of the most competent scholars, that its formation should be fixed to the first half of the second century. The text, even in its present revised form, exhibits remarkable agreement with the most ancient Greek Manuscripts and the earliest quotations from, The very obscurity that hangs over its origin is a proof of its venerable age, because it shows it grew up spontaneously in Christian congregations, and it was not the result of any public labour. Had it been a work of late date, of the third or fourth century, it is scarecly possible that its history should be so uncertain as it is."

Brooke Foss Westcott, "A General Survey of the History and Canon of the New Testament" (Seventh Edition, 1896), p. 244-8.

This Akhi is Westcott as in WESTSCOTT AND HORT, one of the two people most responsible for the belief in Greek primacy through their critical text. I cannot believe that he sees the exact same things that I did, did what he did anyway, and no one knows that this Grand Poobah of Greek Primacists, practically the scholarly grand-daddy of Bruce Metzger, wrote this. At the very least, he is acknowledging that the Peshitta is NOT from Rabulla or a revision of Old Syriac. He is NOT strictly even calling it a translation from the Greek but some kind of independent version, or as he calls it "Version". I mean given what he became famous for, what more could he say in favor of the Peshitta without calling himself a fraud? Lamsa was super critical of Westcott. I am amazed that in all the discussion he has about him, he never caught this quote as I did tonight, almost by accident. What say you when the father of Greek primacy puts the Peshitta at the beginning of the second century????
Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth
Shlama Andrew

This is very good, I am quite certain I have seen some of this quote before maybe on this site. I am still quite new to Peshitta Primacy so quotes like this are very encouraging, and from Westcot, well, then that really helps clear the air between us and a greek primacist.

You could just say "well, according to westcot.." The observations are very interesting. Again, it is so clear and very encouraging to anyone who is calm inside and just looks at the evidence.

Thanks for posting!
Shlama Akhi Sami,

I think I am going to call it the TESTIMONIUM WESCOTTIUM from now on!

Also I've never seen it before. I am pretty sure Lamsa never saw it either or he would have quoted it all over the place, but Dr. Otto is the real expert on Lamsa, so maybe he knows that better than I do.

I am still reeling from the force of the shock. I can barely think on anything else and can't wait to share this with a largely Christian audience in Portland Oregon in a few days. To me this is nothing less than pure vindication. All the work that I and others here have done over the years, all the historical research and cultural evidence from the Middle East, has been vindicated in the most mainstream and influential source imaginable.

If Brooke Westcott saw this, he must be turning in his grave now at the thought of how others have gone away from that vision citing his own works as they do so. And as for myself I guess getting the memo 111 years late is better than not getting it at all. I can hardly imagine a more strongly worded endorsement of the Peshitta text from a Greek giant than this one.

WOW YHWH, You are so gracious, todah rabba for preserving Thy holy word...
Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth
I don't remember having seen this quote in any of Lamsa's writings.

Shlama Andrew,

Thanks for sharing this startling information with us. It is amazing how you hear many pastors and lay people say that no reputable scholar would ever suggest that the New Testament could have originally been written in Aramaic. Now we have what I would consider another smoking gun against western scholarship. I just downloaded the book in pdf format from Google books and it will go on my e-reader. I will share this with many people just like I share so much of what I have learned from this forum. Now the question has to be asked. Will the greek primacists have an Apostle Paul experience when learning of this and have the scales drop off of their eyes? <!-- s:biggrin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/biggrin.gif" alt=":biggrin:" title="Big Grin" /><!-- s:biggrin: -->

Shlama w'burkate
Donald J
Shlama all---

For those who asked me privately--here's the link from Google Books:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... q=&f=false</a><!-- m -->
Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth
For convenience, here's a link directly to the quote of excerpt:
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The excerpt starts at the bottom of the page.
It is a great quote Andrew, and probably not suprising, as, as Paul has pointed out on this forum, this (that the peshitta was that early) was the general view about the peshitta prior to F.C. Burkitt coming up with the idea that the peshitta was the work of Rabbula.
For the reasons that Wescott points out, it would have been very strange to place the peshitta so late, so it was vaguely placed quite early (but not too early, as this would have too much ;-) )

Again, we see why Aphrahat (and works like the odes of Solomon), hold the key here.
These works quote the peshitta, making the peshitta the earliest quoted "Syriac" version of the NT.
Dear Andrew,

This is a tremendous find. Thank you for sharing it and thanks to YHWH for leading you to it.

Peace & Brotherly regards,

-Raymond Ramlow
dowidh Wrote:People want the apostles to be like them and often they re-imagine them to be more like themselves than what they really are. Like some ... picture white Jesus without a beard, speaking English singing praise and worship music at Church...
Shlama Akha Rafa, Raymond, Judge and Aaron,

Just getting back to these wonderful responses.

Akhi Rafa, yes I am using that quote a lot. You can make whatever art out of it you's the words themselves that matter.

Akhi Aaron, thanks for making that direct link so people can see it for themselves and also for your private correspondence.

Akhi Judge, as to your point, I think It is a bit more complicated than saying Burkitt ruined the party for everyone. Part of the problem was also that Western missionaries tended to ignore the Eastern Peshitta and the Western traditions got supremacy in the literature of the time generally speaking. Agnes Lewis' discoveries of Siniaticus and other mss at St. Catherines muddied the picture too--especially when it was linked to the Curetonian mss discovered earlier. Plus we should bear in mind that even Bruce Metzger and Arthur Voobus refuted Burkitt but still retained Greek primacist belief otherwise, so it's not like Burkitt's theories are in ascendancy either.

And to all of you, for me the most astonishing thing remains that I found it days before that seminar in Portland when it was so desperately needed. YHWH is most kind...
Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth

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