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The Peshitta – What is it?

The Peshitta, a collection of Aramaic manuscripts of the Bible, is relied upon by Syriac churches.

Aramaic was the prevailing spoken language in the Middle and Near Eastern regions of the world directly before, during, and after Jesus' time on earth. Scholars agree that the New Testament was originally written in Greek. The Peshitta was an important early translation of the Bible.

Some, such as the Assyrian Church of the East, believe it was earlier Peshitta manuscripts that were translated into Greek to form the New Testament. The Peshitta, they say, reflects the original New Testament writings. Most scholars dismiss such a claim. Of note is that the Peshitta does not relate certain metaphors and word nuances, a common challenge in translations but not original autographs. Additionally, the form of Aramaic used in the writings is of a much later form than the Aramaic language spoken in the first century. In fact, the earliest Peshitta manuscripts date from the AD 400s.

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