This book attempts to determine the Gospel text used by Ephraim, and the bearing his quotations have upon the date of the Peshitta. Ephraim is one of the figures from the Syriac-speaking Church whose name is well known in both East and West. His surviving works are by themselves as voluminous as all other remains of Syriac literature earlier than 400 AD. Ephraim’s death in roughly 373 AD means that his Gospel text predates the 5th century and attests a text older than many of the extant manuscripts.
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This book is an attempt to determine what text of the Gospels was used in the genuine works of S. Ephraim, and to investigate the bearing of his quotations upon the date of the Peshitta. S. Ephraim, commonly known as Ephraem Syrus, is the only one of the worthies of the Syriac-speaking Church whose name is well known both in the East and the West, and his surviving works, even when all doubtful and spurious pieces have been set aside, are by themselves as voluminous as all other remains of Syriac literature earlier than 400 AD. Ephraim died about 373 AD; therefore any version of the Bible used by him must be at least as old as the fourth century.
Francis Crawford Burkitt (1864-1935) began his academic career as a student of mathematics. While at Cambridge University he eventually moved to Divinity, becoming the Norrisian Professor. His interest in the text of the New Testament led him to study Syriac manuscripts and to publish widely in the field