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The Peshitta of Ben Sira: Jewish and/or Christian?

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image of Aramaic Studies

The religious context in which the Syriac translation of the Bible originated is a much-debated issue. Some scholars argue that it originated in a Jewish context, others that it has a Christian background. Also various hypotheses about a Jewish-Christian origin have been put forward. This paper argues that the question 'Jewish or Christian?' and even the question 'Jewish, Christian, or Jewish-Christian?' is an over-simplification of the problem because of the broad Jewish-Christian spectrum that existed in the first centuries of the Common Era. The paper concentrates on the Syriac translation of Ben Sira, which has some undeniable traces of an origin somewhere on the Christian side of the spectrum.

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Theology, Leiden University


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