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In the year 508 Aksenaya or Philoxenus, bishop of Mabbogh (485–519) with the help of his Chorepiscopus, Polycarp undertook a literal translation of the Bible. Besides the New Testament the Psalms of this version are mentioned by Moses of Aggel (between 550570). A portion of Isaiah is in the British Museum (17106 Additional), This has been edited by Ceriani.

A hundred years later Paul of Tella in Mesopotamia revised it in Alexandria from MSS which were derived from Origens Hexaplar text. Hence it is often called the Syro-Hexaplar text. The New Testament of this version was made by Thomas of Harkel, as the following subscription attests: This book of the four holy Gospels was translated out of the Greek into Syriac with great diligence and labour … first in the city of Mabug, in the year of Alexander of Macedon 819 (A.D. 508), in the days of the pious Mar Philoxenus, confessor, bishop of that city. Afterwards it was collated with much diligence by me, the poor Thomas, by the help of two [or three] approved and accurate Greek Manuscripts in Antonia, of the great city of Alexandria, in the holy monastery of the Antonians. It was again written out and collated in the aforesaid place in the year of the same Alexander 927 (A.D. 616), Indiction IV. How much toil I spent upon it and its companions the Lord alone knoweth … &c. It is plain that by its companions the other parts of the N. T. are meant, for a similar subscription (specifying but one manuscript) is annexed to the Catholic Epistles.

This version contains all the N. T. except the Apocalypse.

In 1627 L. de Dieu published at Leyden a MS of the Apocalypse which is now proven by the labors of Gywnn to be of the hand of Thomas of Harkel. An earlier MS of the Apocalypse of St. John was published by Gwynn in 1897.

The perikope of the Adulteress (John 8:2–11) is wanting in many Syriac texts; but numerous ancient MSS of it have been found and published.








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