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Difference in dialects
Shlama lukhon,

Here is a portion of Section III of William Norton's book. This section is entitled "The Difference Between the Syriac of the Peshito-Syriac Text, and the Popular Syriac Dialect of Palestine"

The Syriac words which are retained in the Greek text have a slight difference, in form, from those of the Peshito-Syriac text; and show that the Syriac of Palestine, used by the Redeemer, differed slightly from that of Edessa, for which city the Peshito-Syriac was made. Professor Neubauer says, that the Syriac words which are recorded in the Greek text, show that the Jewish Syriac "was a distinct dialect, in some respects, from the Syriac of the Syrians," (p. 53.) No book of the New Covenant writings has come down to us, written in the popular dialect of Palestine. The Gospel of Matthew is said by all the early Christian writers to have been written for the Christians of Palestine in their own Syriac language. It has not come down to us in that dialect. But Jerome (who died A. D. 420) said that he had seen a copy of it. His words are these:-- "Matthew, the first [writer], composed in Judaea, for those of the circumcision who had believed, a gospel of Christ in Hebrew letters and words. Who it was who afterwards translated it into Greek is not sufficiently certain. Moreover the Hebrew gospel itself is preserved even to this day in the Library at Caesarea, which Pamphilius the martyr collected with the greatest diligence," (Jer. Jones on the Canon, part ii., chap. xxv., sec. 13; also Prager on Old Covenant Peshito, p. 36.) The siege and destruction of Jerusalem are probably the cause of its having been so rare even at that time. It seems also to have been afterwards corrupted and made worthless. But it was much more important that copies of the inspired books should be preserved in the more widely used Syriac dialect in which the Peshito is written, than in the local dialect of Palestine. And God so ordered events that though whatever books of the New Covenant were written in the Syriac of Palestine, seem to have perished, those of the Peshito in the Edessa dialect were multiplied exceedingly, and were copied with the utmost care.
The New Covenant Peshito-Syriac, properly so called, never contained the whole of the books which we have in the Greek text. The books 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation, were never regarded as part of it, though these books, in a separate Syriac translation, were admitted to represent inspired books. The extraordinary esteem in which the books of the Peshito were held, shows that the Syriac copies of these were regarded as having had a far more exalted origin than the Syriac text of the other five. The fact seems to be, that at the later date at which the omitted five books were written, no inspired men corrected them in the dialect of Edessa; and that for this reason the Syriac translation of these five books was not permitted to be associated with that of the other books, to prevent it from being regarded as of the same authority.
Bishop Walton, in his Polyglot, Prol. xiii., sec. 16, says that "Syriac writers state that 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation, were not in the ancient edition" of the Peshito.
J. Wichelhaus says, "It is very well known that the Syrians did not reject" the five books not contained in the Peshito. "We deem the sum of the matter to be that by the tradition of the Syrians, the Peshito version was made in the time of Abgar the King [of Edessa], at the time when the gospel was preached there," (p. 63.) The Nestorian Christians deemed it "to have been written by Apostolic Authority," (p. 153.) At page 85, Wichelhaus says of the five books which are not in the Peshito, that "by the consent of all, they ought to be assigned to the end of the lives of the Apostles;" and that some derive from their omission an argument for the antiquity of the Peshito, as having been "written before the four epistles and the Revelation were published," (p. 85.)
Bishop Huet, in his learned work "On the most illustrious Translators, 1683," remarks that the absence of those five books is "a great proof of the antiquity" of the New Covenant Peshito, (p. 126.)
The New Covenant Peshito-Syriac is of special worth for two reasons; first, that there is credible testimony that it was made in the life-time of the Apostles; and next, that the copies of it have been made with the greatest exactness and care. Wichelhaus says "There was no doubt about its truth and perfectness; and on that account the more effort and labour were bestowed on the text of the version, to keep it pure and free from every taint of error and variation," (p. 153.) "All persons testify, and the history of the Syrians itself clearly proves, that the greatest care was taken from the most ancient times, in order that the letter of the sacred Scripture might be always perfectly preserved in agreement with itself. For of the Peshito version, there was the greatest veneration," (p. 230.)

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