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The Text

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Chapter Summary

The textual basis for the present study is the text of the Syriac version of Sirach (= Syr). According to the general policy of the Leiden edition, biblical manuscripts up to and including the twelfth century are included. The earliest extant biblical manuscripts containing Syr date from the sixth or seventh century AD. Quotations from Sirach occur in the works of Ephrem, Pseudo Ephrem, Aphrahat, The Book of Steps (Liber Graduum) and The Life of Eulogius the Stone-Cutter.The external evidence (quotations in early Syriac literature) contains some indications that the earliest text of Syr was closer to Heb and that its linguistic profile was more 'Hebraizing' (whether in imitation of the Hebrew source text or as a reflection of the earliest phase of Syriac) than the BTR and the TR. The internal evidence (traces of textual transmission in the extant witnesses) includes a large number of inner-Syriac corruptions.

Keywords: Aphrahat; Hebraizing; Hebrew; Leiden edition; Pseudo Ephrem; Sirach; Syriac version; The Book of Steps; The Life of Eulogius the Stone-Cutter



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