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Learn Syriac

Many of our customers ask how they can learn Syriac, the language of the Antioch Bible. While we have designed the Antioch Bible so that anyone can enjoy it, it’s true that knowing a little Syriac can enrich your reading experience. Fortunately, there are lots of options to help you. In the chart below, you can find a list of quick links to some of the resources we offer on Syriac language and history.

The Syriac Summer Course, taught at the Beth Mardutho Institute The Syriac Summer Course has two tiers:
  • Syriac I is for students with little or no prior experience and teaches reading, writing, and conversation. By the end of the course, the student will be able to translate introductory texts.
  • Syriac II is for students who have already done Syriac and would like to dig deeper into the grammar and nuances of the language.
The New Syriac Primer, by George Kiraz Fun, intuitive, and highly practical, this primer is an excellent introduction to those who have never studied Syriac before. The webpage for this book includes free audio downloads so that you can hear Syriac being spoken.
The Bible in the Syriac Tradition, by Sebastian Brock This is a basic introduction to the various Syriac translations of the Bible and the ways in which they were used in the Syriac tradition. After an initial discussion of the general problems of biblical translation, the different surviving Syriac translations are outlined, as well as biblical manuscripts, lectionaries, printed editions, and translations. An appendix offers some comparative samples (in translation) to illustrate some of the differences between the different Syriac translations.
The Syriac Dot, by George Kiraz Dots are used in Syriac for everything from gender and tense to vowels and punctuation. In this short book, Dr. Kiraz peels back the story of the dot layer by layer to discover its origins and demystify each of its uses.
The Gorgias Concise Syriac-English, English-Syriac Dictionary, by Sebastian Brock and George Kiraz The 13,000 entries in the Syriac-English section provide a handy and practical tool for reading all but the most specialized Classical Syriac texts. The English-Syriac section opens up the opportunity for scholars to compose Syriac texts and to participate in modern Syriac liturgies. A short section on Syriac ecclesiastical phrases and etiquette is included, along with an explanation of numbers and dates.
Language and Textual History of the Syriac Bible, by Jan Joosten Jan Joosten gathers a number of pilot studies, published in various journals and collected volumes, shedding light on the Syriac "Old Testament," on the Syriac New Testament, and on the relationship between them. Notably, a number of studies advance the claim that the Old Syriac and Peshitta gospels preserve echoes of an Aramaic gospel tradition that bypassed the Greek gospels and gives independent access to the earliest, oral, traditions on the life and teaching of Jesus.
Lexical Tools to the Syriac New Testament, by George Kiraz This is a Syriac-English dictionary based on word frequencies, tables of conjugations, a list of homographs, a list of Greek words, a skeleton grammar, and more. It is a necessary tool for any student of NT Syriac.

"Syriac students who digest the material in this volume will be able to read the Syriac New Testament with ease and pleasure." -C. Morrison, Orientalia Christiana Periodica

The Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage, edited by Sebastian Brock, Aaron Butts, George Kiraz, and Lucas Van Rompay In more than 600 entries, this reference work covers the Syriac heritage from its beginnings in the first centuries of the Common Era up to the present day, with major entries devoted to Syriac Christianity’s contacts with Judaism and Islam, and with Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Georgian Christianities. The entries are accompanied by 131 illustrations and maps, twenty of which are in color.
An Introduction to Syriac Studies, by Sebastian Brock This book discusses resources for Syriac studies, including grammars, dictionaries, histories of Syriac literature, bibliographical aids and more. An appendix explains how the different churches of Syriac tradition are related to one another and how they fit into the Christian tradition as a whole.
The Hidden Pearl: the Aramaic Heritage, Edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Madeleine Petit, Ewa Balicka-Witakowska & Witold Witakowski A book and album set on the Aramaic heritage, including three one-hour documentaries. Vol. I covers the ancient Aramaic heritage, vol. II is on the Syriac tradition, and vol. III covers the communities today.
`Enbe men Karmo Suryoyo (Bunches of Grapes from the Syriac Vineyard): A Syriac Chrestomathy, by Martin Zammit `Enbe men Karmo Suryoyo is a chrestomathy intended primarily for students who have covered the essentials of Syriac morphology and syntax, but it should also interest anyone who enjoys Syriac literature in general. The twenty-six selections consist of examples of Syriac prose and poetry from the second until the thirteenth centuries AD. A Syriac-English glossary and an index of grammatical points are included.
Symbols of Church and Kingdom, by Robert Murray In this revised and updated edition of his classic work, Robert Murray offers the fullest and most vivid picture yet available of the development and character of the Syriac culture, illustrating both its original close relationship to Judaism and its earlier origins in Mesopotamian civilization.