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Still no evidence for Peter in Rome

Sep 16, 1996 04:52 PM
by Dr. A.M.Bain

In message <>,
>at internet I find the following comments:
>>Until the nineteenth century New Testament scholars and translators availed
>>themselves only sparingly of other manuscripts. Then, within a fairly short
>>period, a number of manuscripts of superior quality became available, mainly
>>thanks to the work of the German scholar Constantin Tischendorf. These
>>manuscripts dated from the fourth and fifth centuries and presented a text that
>>was at least free from the accretions of a later age. We had to wait, however,
>>until the 70's and 80's of the nineteenth century for new critical editions of
>>New Testament. Tischendorf himself and the British scholars Westcott and Hort
>>produced two rival editions of the Greek text. Most of the work in textual
>>criticism in the past forty years has been done by Kurt Aland in Muenster and
>>Bruce Metzger in Princeton. The latest translations of the New Testament are
>>based on their work.
>However it`s clear that this addition that you supposes is before century
>IV, beccause:
>Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. BOOK II, CHAPTER XV. The Gospel according to Mark.
>Clement in the eighth book of his Hypotyposes gives this account, and with
>him agrees the bishop of Hierapolis named Papias. And Peter makes mention
>of Mark in his first epistle which they say that he wrote in Rome itself, as
>is indicated by him, when he calls the city, by a figure,Babylon, as he does
>in the following words: "The church that is at Babylon, elected together with
>you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son."

Correct!  The Peshitta text (pub. Bible Soc. in Israel in Hebrew and
Aramaic ONLY) is considered to date (in its earliest form or parts) from
circa 208 c.e. (a.d.).  This is well before century IV.  It is only very
recently (in scholarly terms) that this text has received any serious
notice, and then only by a few.  In England the principal Syriac (ie,
Aramaic) scholars were Burkitt and Cureton, both long deceased.  In the
1930s a great deal of material was published from Cambridge under the
now very scarce "Woodbrooke Studies" series, which was the work of A.
Mingana.  I have a few of these volumes, but they deal almost
exclusively with NT apocryphal material in Syriac/Aramaic and related

In more recent times the Peshitta text has been translated into English
(but adding later material in order to make it fit the Protestant
"Canon" of scripture by the late George Lamsa.  His complete Bible
translation is still, I believe, available from Harper in the USA.
Lamsa was himself a native Aramaic speaker, having gone to the US from
that part of the world.  English was his second language.  There are
other books by him, all in English.

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