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The Peshitta and the versions: A study of the Peshitta variants in Joshua 1-5 in relation to their equivalents in the ancient versions
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Languages, Department of Asian and African Languages.
1999 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The dissertation focuses on the relationship between the Peshitta readings and their equivalent readings in the ancient versions. The purpose of this study is to discover the possible influences of the Masoretic Text on the one hand, and the versions, especially the Septuagint, on the other. The material is too scarce to attempt creating a stemma. Therefore, as a starting point, it was decided to look into the matter from a purely formalistic point of view. The sources used were the Masoretic Text, medieval Hebrew manuscripts, Targum Jonathan, the Septuagint, the Syro-Hexapla, Coptic, Ethiopic, and Latin. In contrast to other such ndeavors, all the variant material in the most recent text editions available was included. The Septuagint variant material has been regrouped according to suggestions by J. Wm. Wevers. The investigation limits itself to all actual variants found in chapters l-5 in my Joshua edition for the Leiden Peshitta.

The methodology was to assess the relevance of each of the 459 readings and discuss their place among the versional readings. Each of these readings is quoted in context, additional Peshitta variant information given, grouped and organized in such a way as to allow the reader to arrive at alternative solutions. The variants are then discussed in regard to various possible explanations or alternatives of translation technique. The presentation attempts to satisfy the specialized as well as the general reader.

The conclusions, within the framework of a limited text corpus, are tentatively as following: The Peshitta most often follows the Masoretic Text. At times, the Peshitta agrees with Septuagint readings which only can have originated in the Septuagint. The Targum does not seem to have influenced the Peshitta. There are indications of contacts between the Peshitta and the Ethiopic Bible, an area needing further study. The Vulgate gives but little insight beyond the other versional material presented. Early Coptic readings (early 4th century A.D.) contribute to the verification of the antiquity of later medieval Greek readings. For the purposes of the modern Bible translator, the Peshitta has little to offer apart from where it is unique, and there, other explanations for versional contacts can be given.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1999. , 374 p.
Studia Semitica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0585-5535 ; 16
Keyword [en]
Languages and linguistics, Old Testament, Book of Joshua, Hebrew, Masoretic Text, Peshitta, Syriac manuscripts, Syriac, Targum, Septuagint, Syro-Hexapla, Coptic, Ethiopic, Vulgate, textual criticism, translation technique
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Semitic Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-324ISBN: 91-554-4459-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-324DiVA: diva2:162269
Public defence
1999-05-31, Ihresalen, Språkvetenskapligt centrum, Villavägen 4, Uppsala, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 1999-05-10 Created: 1999-05-10Bibliographically approved

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