The Peshitta (the Syriac translation of the Bible) represents a valuable resource for studying the text of both the Old and New Testaments. For the Old Testament, the Peshitta represents an important early source of variant readings with many manuscripts being dated significantly earlier than the most important Hebrew manuscripts. Likewise, the Peshitta in the New Testament is essential for both textual criticism and gospel research.
The Peshitta in the Old Testament and New Testament differs in a number of ways. The Old Testament Peshitta has its origins in the work of a number of translators and was then later revised with the help of the Septuagint. Thus as a whole, the OT Peshitta translation varies from book to book, but generally represents a single translation that evolved over time. In contrast, the New Testament Peshitta is one of several distinct Syriac versions including the Old Syriac, translated at least two centuries earlier than the Peshitta—a situation that roughly parallels what we see in Latin New Testament with the Vulgate and Old Latin translations.
These two volumes reflect the differing statuses of the Old and New Testaments in their approach to the Syriac Bible. The first presents an examination of the Peshitta text of Daniel and its relationship to those portions of Daniel originally written in Aramaic with a recognition of the influence of the Old Greek, Septuagint and Theodotion versions on the final form of the Peshitta text. The second, on the Syriac text of Matthew, takes a look at how the Syriac language changed and developed between the Old Syriac versions and the Peshitta.
The reviewer is impressed with the method of the author, and his capacity in preparing camera-ready copy of a complex multi-lingual text, and commends the volume as a pattern of Peshitta studies which properly takes into account translation technique as well as text-criticism.
—D. J. Lane, Journal of Semitic Studies, 1995
This is an important work for all students of Daniel and the Peshitta.
—Old Testament Abstracts, 1995