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Gorgias Press Syriac Collection (9 vols.)
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Overview

The nine-volume Gorgias Press Syriac Collection contains English translations of the New Testament from the Syriac language as well as a host of other books about the Syrian church and early church. From scholars to students, the collection offers something for anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of early church history and Syriac literature as it pertains to the Bible—including English translations of Bible texts, suitable for comparative studies! New Testament scholars will be aided in their study of the first disciples since Aramaic was their native language. Textual critics will appreciate how the Syriac versions of the texts bear witness to their Greek counterparts. Church historians will discover an array of studies on the early church. Since many of the titles are introductory and written in English, even those untrained in Syriac can use the collection for comparative studies and more!

The collection features source texts (including comparative translations into English of the earliest versions of the Syriac Gospels, an English translation of the Diatessaron, a literal translation of the Peshitto), commentaries and surveys (including a survey of the Syriac Church and its Fathers; a short history of Syriac Literature, and a look at early Christianity outside the Roman Empire); and lexical and grammatical aids (including a Syriac-English word dictionary and a comparative grammar of the Semitic languages).

Individual Titles

The Bible in the Syriac Tradition (Syriac Version)

  • Author: Sebastian Brock
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 147

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

This is a basic introduction to the various Syriac translations of the Bible and the ways in which they were used in the Syriac tradition. Originally written for an MA Course in Syriac Studies at the St. Ephrem Ecumenical Research Institute (SEERI), in Kottayam, India, this new edition has been brought up to date and the bibliography expanded.

The first chapter, besides giving an initial overview of the Syriac Bible, also explores how the Bible has been passed down, and problems of biblical translation in general. Chapter 2 gives an outline of the various different Syriac translations that have survived, while Chapter 3 looks at how the books of the Syriac Bible have reached today’s audience: in biblical manuscripts, lectionaries, printed editions, and translations.

The remaining chapters are devoted to the reception history of the Syriac Bible: the ways in which it has been interpreted, the commentary tradition, its use in preaching, in the liturgy, and in spirituality. An appendix offers some comparative samples (in translation) to illustrate some of the differences between the different Syriac translations.

Finally, a classified bibliography provides convenient guidance to the most important editions, tools, and secondary literature.

Sebastian Brock was born in 1938 and studied Classics (Greek and Latin) and Oriental Studies (Hebrew and Aramaic) at Cambridge University before doing a DPhil. at Oxford University on the text of the Septuagint. He has taught at the Universities of Birmingham, Cambridge, and (from 1974 until his retirement in 2003) Oxford, where he was Reader in Syriac Studies.

He has published extensively in the field of Syriac, and has edited a number of new texts. Among his publications are: The Luminous Eye: the Spiritual World Vision of St Ephrem; Hymns on Paradise, Isaac of Nineveh (Isaac the Syrian): the 'Second Part,' ch. IV-XLI, An Outline of Syriac Literature, and three volumes in the Variorum Reprint series. He was also the editor and main contributor to the three-volume The Hidden Pearl: The Syrian Orthodox Church and its Ancient Aramaic Heritage.

The Old Syriac Gospels, Studies and Comparative Translations

  • Translator: Jan Wilson
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 850

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

The Old Syriac Gospels, Studies and Comparative Translations is a comparative translation into English of the two earliest versions of the Syriac (or Aramaic) Gospels (codex Sinaiticus and codex Curetonianus), with some interesting differences between the Aramaic and traditional Greek texts. This work is useful for theologians, interested laymen and students of Syriac. The edition gives the full text of the Sinaiticus and Curetonianus manuscripts in Syriac (based on transcriptions by George A. Kiraz).

Considerable mystery still surrounds the origin of the four Gospels, with much arguing about the language of the original texts. Did the first disciples write in Greek, as has been long assumed in the West? Or did they in fact write to their fellow believers in the language which they all spoke natively, viz. Aramaic? That question is only one of the topics treated in this work, which offers to scholars and laymen alike the opportunity to examine the earliest known Aramaic versions of the four Gospels.

Dr. Jan Wilson has written books and articles on various aspects of the Ancient Near East, including articles on Babylonian religious practices, articles on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and a translation of some of the world's oldest literature - the Sumerian cylinders of Gudea from southern Mesopotamia. The current work is the result of a long and intense interest in the origins of Christianity and of the Christian scriptures.

The Syriac Church and Fathers

  • Author: De Lacy O'Leary
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 154

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

In The Syriac Church and Fathers De Lacy O'Leary gives a survey of the Syriac Church and its Fathers based on lectures delivered at Bristol University College (probably during the first decade of the 20th century). "The lectures," Leary says, "were of an entirely elementary character, and were intended to serve as a first introduction to the study of Syriac literature, and more especially to enable students to fit that literature and the history of Syria into their proper place in relation to the contemporary history of the Roman Empire and of the Christian Church."

De Lacy O'Leary (1872-1957) was Reader in Aramaic and Syriac at Bristol University College. Among his authored titles are Arabic Thought and Its Place in History, Arabia Before Muhammad, and Colloquial Arabic: With Notes on the Vernacular Speech of Egypt, Syria.

Lectures on the Comparative Grammar of the Semitic Languages

  • Author: William Wright
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 288

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

These Lectures were written for students of the University of Cambridge towards the end of the nineteenth century by the eminent Semitist William Wright. The Lectures are full of valuable and accurate data drawn from a variety of Semitic languages. While more recent studies on the comparative linguistics of Semitic have appeared, Wright's Lectures remain a classic in the field.

William Wright (1830–1889) was a famed British Orientalist and Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge. His authored and edited works include A Short History of Syriac Literature, Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, and Fragments of the Homilies of Cyril of Alexandria on the Gospel of S. Luke.

The Earliest Life of Christ: The Diatessaron of Tatian

  • Translator: J. Hamlyn Hill
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Pages: 224

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

In the second century, well before the canonical gospels took their present form, Tatian wove from the four gospels and one or more Judaic-Christian gospels one harmonized account of the life of Christ, the Diatessaron. He eliminated duplicated passages, deleted or reconciled contradicting verses, and harmonized parallels. Tatian's Diatessaron became the standard gospel among the Syriac-speaking Christians of Syria and Mesopotamia up till the fifth century. Its text spread from China to England, and maybe Iceland, and became one of the oldest witnesses to the gospels.

The Earliest Life of Christ is an English translation of the Diatessaron based on the Arabic version, itself a translation from the lost Syriac.

J. Hamlyn Hill's English translation of the Arabic Diatessaron remains a milestone in scholarship, for it was the first translation of a Diatessaronic text into English. Although based on Augustinus Ciasca's imperfect 1888 edition of the Arabic Diatessaron, Hill's translation nevertheless opened the mysteries of the Diatessaron to the English-speaking world for the first time.

—William Petersen, author of Tatian's Diatessaron

In the history of the [New Testament] versions, as well as in the early phase of textual developments of the New Testament as a whole, there is no greater and more important name than Tatian.

—Arthur Vööbus, Early Versions of the New Testament

J. Hamlyn Hill is the translator of The Earliest Life of Christ and author of A Dissertation on the Gospel Commentary of S. Ephraem the Syrian.

Lexical Tools to the Syriac New Testament

  • Author: George Anton Kiraz
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 136

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

This is a Syriac-English dictionary based on word frequencies, tables of conjugations, a list of homographs, a list of Greek words, a skeleton grammar, and more. It is a necessary tool for any student of NT Syriac.

Syriac students who digest the material in this volume will be able to read the Syriac New Testament with ease and pleasure.

—C. Morrison, Orientalia Christiana Periodica

Here, then, is a helpful book that will provide direction for those who are beginning their study of the Syriac New Testament. Hopefully many New Testament students will see it as an invitation to a discipline that has been unjustifiably neglected by contemporary scholarship.

—Richard A. Taylor, Bibliotheca Sacra

George Anton Kiraz holds a B.Sc. degree in Engineering from California State University, Northridge; an M.St. degree in Syriac Studies from Oxford, an M.Phil. degree in Computer Speech and Language Processing from Cambridge, and a Ph.D. degree in Computational Linguistics, also from Cambridge. His recent publications include an aligned Comparative Edition of the Syriac Gospels, Lexical tools to the Syriac New Testament, and a Concordance to the Syriac New Testament.

Short History of Syriac Literature

  • Author: William Wright
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Pages: 296

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Although William Wright's famous book is over a century old and so is inevitably outdated in certain respects, nevertheless his unsurpassed knowledge of Syriac literature, gained through cataloguing the very large collection of Syriac manuscripts in the British Museum (now, British Library), means that his Short History of Syriac Literature still remains an extremely valuable resource, and it is most welcome to have it made available again.

Syriac students who digest the material in this volume will be able to read the Syriac New Testament with ease and pleasure.

—Dr. Sebastian P. Brock, University of Oxford

The New Testament: A Literal Translation from the Syriac Peshitto Version

  • Translator: James Murdock
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Pages: 507

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

The Syriac version of the New Testament known as the Peshitto is one of the earliest witnesses to the early New Testament text. The Peshitto has been, and still is, the official text of a multitude of Aramaic-speaking Churches: the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East, the Syriac Maronite Church, the Chaldean Church, the Syriac Catholic Church, and seven established Churches in India including the Syro-Malankara Church, Syro-Malabar Church, and Mar Thoma Church.

Full Title: The New Testament; Or, The Book of the Holy Gospel of Our Lord And Our God, Jesus the Messiah. A Literal Translation from the Syriac Peshitto Version .

James Murdock (1776-1856) was Professor of Learned Languages at the University of Vermont, and Professor of Sacred Rhetoric and Ecclesiastical History at Andover Theological Seminary. Among his authored and translated works are Mosheim’s Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, Mosheim’s Commentaries on the affairs of the Christians before Constantine, and Sketches of Modern Philosophy, especially among the Germans.

Early Christianity Outside the Roman Empire

  • Author: F. C. Burkitt
  • Publisher: Gorgias Press
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 89

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Early Christianity Outside the Roman Empire consists of two lectures delivered by the author at Trinity College, Dublin. The first lecture deals with Aphrahat, the Persian sage, and the second with Bardaisan and the Acts of Judas Thomas.

Francis Crawford Burkitt (1864-1935) began his academic career as a student of mathematics. While at Cambridge University he eventually moved to Divinity, becoming the Norrisian Professor. His interest in the text of the New Testament led him to study Syriac manuscripts and to publish widely in the field.

Product Details

  • Title: Gorgias Press Syriac Collection (9 vols.)
  • Volumes: 9
  • Pages: 2,691

About Gorgias Press

Gorgias Press is an academic publisher of new titles and reprints of rare books in the areas of Arabic and Islamic studies, archaeology, the Near East, classics, history, religion, languages and linguistics, Jewish studies, Syriac studies, the Middle East and more. They have a backlist that includes three hundred books. Gorgias Press champions academic ideas and their academically trained staff constantly push technology to its limits without sacrificing the academic integrity of their titles.