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the history and doctrines of Christ; and now was any way more likely to do this, than giving them the Scriptures in their own language? The fame reason, which put each of them upon writing in Greek, for the univerfal benefit of mankind, would very probably influence those of them, who were at Jerufalem, to translate their books into the language we are speaking of. Well does Tremellius argue on this head"It "is altogether probable" (he is speaking of the Syriack Version), " that it was made in the very beginning of Christi"anity, either by the Apostles or some of their disciples; un"less we will choose rather to believe, that in writing, they "had regard only to those of other nations, and very little, or "none at all to those of their own." But,
2. If we suppose the Apostles thus negligent of the interest of the believing Jews, and not to have done this for them, we may with a great deal of reason suppose, that they would take care to have it done themselves. Every body knows, how prodigiously fond the Jewish nation was of the facred books of the Old Testament, because they came from God; and would not the converted Jews be likewise fond of the books of the New Testament, which they believed also came from God? They were careful enough to get the Hebrew of the Old Testament translated into Chaldee, and may be as reasonably supposed (I mean they who were converted) to get the Greek of the New Testament translated into Syriack. Upon the whole, I think it fair to conclude, that a Version of • the New Testament was made into this language in the time of the Apostles.
* Præfat. in Vers. Syr.
CHAP. CHAP. XXIV.
The Syriack Vers on, which we now have, is the same which was made in the Apostles' Time. This proved by three arguments. The Syrians, from whom we had it, believed it to be the same. It is improbable the Æitient Version Jhould be losi. It wants the Parts of the New Testament, which were lajl written.
1HAVE attempted in the foregoing Chapter to shew, that a Version of the New Testament was made into Syriack in the time of the Apostles; I shall now endeavour to prove, 3. That the Syriack Version which we now have, is the fame which was then made. In order to which, I observe;
1. That it was constantly and univerfally believed by the Syrians, from whom we had this Version, that it was made by St. Mark the Evangelist. The truth of this depends upon the testimony of Postellus*, a karned man, who assisted Widmanstadius in his first edition of this Version; and avers, that he received this account from the Syrians themselves, when he travelled among them, to acquire the knowledge of their language and customs.1
2. Whether this Version was made by St. Mark or not, it is very improbable that the Church at Jerufalem or Antiocb, or any other Church, for whom the Syriack Version was first made, would suffer it to be lost. There was no more probability of the Syrians losing their translation, than of the Greek Churches losing their original. A Church of Christians, who were in postession of so valuable a treasure, would be continually using it; its copies would be daily multiplying amongst them, and so they cannot reasonably be supposed to. have lost it; they looked upon it as the word of God, though not in the language in which it was originally written, and therefore
• Guid. Fabrit. Piæfat. in Syr. Test.
would would be careful in preserving it. Every one knows, how exceeding fond the Jews were of their Chaluee , Versions of the Old Testament. Galatinus tells us % they paid the same refpefl to them, as to the original itself: and is it not likely the Christian Jews would be as careful of their translations of the New Testament, as the others were of the translations of the Old?
3. The Syriack Version, which we now have, is the fame which was made in the Apostles' time, because it has not in it those books of the New Testament, which were last written, viz. The second Epijlle of Peter, the second and third of John, the Epijile of slide, and the Revelation. These indeed have been added, since this Version was brought into Europe, viz. the four Epistles by Mr. Pocock, and the Revelation by De Dieu; but it is, 1 think, agreed by every body, even the editors themselves, that these are but modern translations. Now there can be but two probable reasons assigned, why they were wanting in the copy brought by Moses Meridinæus into Europe, and the other antient Syriack copies; viz. either,
1. Because they were not received into the Canon, and judged authentick, when this Version was made. It is certain these books were not at first received by all, but for a long time rejected by many, as Eusebius tells us b: or
2. They are not in the Syriack copies, because they were not written when the Syriack Version was made; and this indeed seems most probable; for had they been written then, those so useful Epistles would have been translated, for the fame reason as the others. This was the argument, which, among others, convinced Tremelliusc and the learned Bp. Waltond, that this Version was made in the Apostles' time. I conclude therefore, since this Version has the several periods of St. Matthew's Gospel, in the fame order with our present copies, that they never have been disordered or misplaced.
t De Arcan. Cathol. Verit. 1. 1. c Prfefat. in Nov. Test. Syr. c. 6. d Prolegom. in Bibl. Polyglot.
h Hist. F.ccl. 1. 3. c. 24., 25. & xiii. \;. 1. 6. c. 25. Sc I. 7. c. 25.
ACTS Of The Apostles,
** written by St. Luke, 125.
Adulterous Woman, History
Alogians, affirmed St. John's
Ambrose, his testimony concern-
Ammonius, his Harmony of the
Anabaptists, German, denied
Antiochus Epiphanes, his ea-
Arabic Version of St. Mark,
Aristæas, his testimony that the
AthAnAsius, his testimony con-
AtheN AgorAs, his references to
Austin, his testimony concerning
Babylon, in 1 Pet. v. 13. ge-
Barnabas, cites St. Matthew,
Baronius, his opinion that St.
Bf 1.1. Ar Mine, his opinion that St.