Peshitta Chronicles


The character of the Peshitta text of Chronicles (sy; Peshitto: “simple”; the authorized Bible of the Syrian Church, dating from the latter 4th or early 5th centuries and traditionally ascribed to Rabbula, Bishop of Adessa) has led numerous scholars to consider it a targum (paraphraseal translation of the biblical texts to the Aramaic) or at least dependent of a targum.

Trying to prove this, there could be arranged three main lines of examples: (a) the breakdown of semitic correspondence between Peshitta Chronicles and MT (Masoretic Text; refers to the received text of the Hebrew Old Testament as punctuated and furnished with vowel points by the Masoretes [or Masorites], the authoritative teachers of Scriptural tradition); and (b) other causes for disagreement between Peshitta Chronicles and the MT; and (c) elements in Peshitta Chronicles that seem to depend on rabbinic or targumic literature.

Instances of agreement between Peshitta Chronicles and Jewish sources are due to reminiscences of the Jewish tradition of biblical scholarship in Aramaic. Though somebody can argue that the Peshitta translator had a sound but far from comprehensive knowlegde of Hebrew and that his Hebrew Vorlage (from German; copy, model, text; literally, “that which lies before,” it is a particular copy of a document used as a source) was damaged.

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