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Tendencies In The Syriac Sirach Not Shared By The 'Expanded Text'

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Chapter Summary

In the earliest centuries of its history, the Hebrew text underwent many changes and this affected the cultural and religious profile of the book. The attitude of the Syriac translator towards the temple service, sacrifices and the priesthood plays an important role in establishing the translator's religious and cultural background. Even Jewish-Christian groups that adhered to circumcision and other elements of the Mosaic Law, rejected sacrifices. The present chapter presents a lot of evidence that is relevant to the translator's religious profile. The translator had an indifferent, if not hostile attitude towards the sacrificial temple service. The translator did not bother to retain references to 'the Law', and even tends to omit them. Syr omits a remark about the eternity of Israel and inserts references to 'the nations'. Winter's hypothesis that the Syriac translator avoided references to the creation of Wisdom is unfounded.

Keywords: Hebrew text; Jewish-Christian; Mosaic Law; Syriac; Syriac translator; Winter's hypothesis



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