Bible

Where to Start

  • The best introduction to the Bible in Syriac is Sebastian Brock's The Bible in the Syriac Tradition. There is now a second edition that has been published, but the first edition can still be found here.

  • This little-known article by Michel van Esbroeck provides an excellent bibliographic guide to all the oriental versions of the Bible, including Syriac.

 

Syriac Bibles on the Web

  • The most useful online tool for the study of the Syriac Peshitta New Testament is the Dukhrana Peshitta Tool, which gives full parsing information and multiple English translations through it's "analyze" links. The English translations include Etheridge, Murdock, Lamsa, and the KJV.

  • The STEP Bible at Tyndale House, Cambridge, offers a very flexible interface in which a number of ancient versions, including Syriac, can be viewed in parallel. Recent English translations, such as the ESV, are also available.

  • The Unbound Bible at Biola University in Los Angeles, allows you to view parallel Biblical versions, both ancient and modern.

  • The Bible Tool, a creation of the American Bible Society, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Crosswire Bible Society, allows you to view the Peshitta (and other ancient versions) in parallel with translations into modern languages.

 

Scholarly Edition

 

Mosul Bible

 

Peshitta Old Testament

 

Peshitta New Testament

 

Old Syriac Gospels

 

Harklean New Testament

  • J. White, ed., Sacrorum Evangeliorum versio Syriaca Philoxeniana ex codd. mss. Ridleianis in bibl. coll. Nov. Oxon. repositis nunc primum edita: cum interpretatione et annotationibus (Oxford, 1778). (Volume 1Volume 2).

  • J. White, ed., Actuum apostolorum et Epistolarum tam catholicarum quam paulinarum, versio syriaca philoxeniana, ex codice ms. Ridleiano ...: nunc primum edita: cum interpretatione et annotationibus Josephi White, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1799–1803). (Volume 1Volume 2).

 

Syro-Hexapla Old Testament

 

Christian Palestinian Aramaic

 

Diatessaron

The Diatessaron of Tatian, dating from the late second century, though probably originally composed in Syriac, no longer survives in Syriac. There are only quotations from it in a number of different Syriac authors, most notably in Ephrem's Commentary on the Diatessaron, but also in Aphrahat, the Liber Graduum, Isho'dad of Merv, and even Rabbula of Edessa, a figure who opposed the use of the Diatessaron.  There may also be Diatessaronic influences on the Old Syriac Gospels and the Peshitta.

Though the original text of the Diatessaron no longer exists, the document had an influence on Gospel harmonies in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages from England in the West to Persia in the East.  Scholars have been able to look to Gospel Harmonies in a large number of languages in their attempt to reconstruct the Diatessaron.  These harmonies have been of interest to scholars on two levels: 1) their content, which may contain Diatessaronic readings (e.g., the great light which is present at the baptism of Jesus in Matthew 3:15-16 seems to be a Diatessaronic reading) and 2) their sequence/their arrangement of the events of the life of Jesus.

The following are Gospel Harmonies which are important for the study of the Diatessaron:

Latin

Middle English

Old High German

  • ​E. Sievers, Tatian, lateinisch und altdeutsch, 2nd ed., (Paderborn, 1892). [Codex Sangallensis, Latin and German (East Frankish) from around 830; the Latin is essentially the text of the Vulgate but the German seems to follow the Vetus Latina).

 

Apocrypha

 

Pseudepigrapha

 

English

  • ​Murdock’s translation of the Peshitta NT can be found here.
  • The standard Douay-Rheims can be found here.
  • A collection of extra-Biblical writings in English can be found here.

 

Other Instrumenta

  • ​C.R. Gregory, Die griechiscen Handschriften des Neuen Testament (Leipzig, 1908).

  • C.R. Gregory, Textkritik des Neuen Testaments (Leipzig, 1902). Volume 2 contains lists of Syriac (and Arabic and other) Biblical mss.

  • Tischendorf's Editio Octava Critica Maior (Vol.1Vol. 2; Vol. 3, part 1part 2part 3) still has what is perhaps the richest apparatus criticus of the NT ever assembled and is therefore invaluable for Biblical study. See, e.g., his discussion of the important passage Hebrews 2:9.

  • Nestle-Aland 28 can be read online here.