The Character of the Peshitta of the Book of Judges and its Relation to other Ancient Translations
Abstract of DissertationThe Character of the Peshitta of the Book of Judges and its Relation to other Ancient TranslationsCharles G. Flinn This dissertation analyzes the character of the Peshitta of Judges by applying the methodology of James Barr described in his comprehensive study: The Typology of Literalism in Ancient Biblical Translations (Gottingen, 1979), 279-325. Based on his analysis and that of other writers such as Emmanel Tov and Sebastian Brock, a verse by verse analysis is made of Chapters One to Five of Judges, including analysis of portions of Chapters Six to Twenty-one in order to evaluate the verses studied according to modes of literalism defined by Barr and other writers. Conclusions are reached about the degree to which each verse is literal or free and those verses are compared to the corresponding verses in Targum Jonathan and the Codices Alexandrinus and Vaticanus. Some comparisons were also made with the Vulgate and the Syro-Hexaplar version. Detailed conclusions have been reached about the degree to which the verses studied are literal according to Barr's typology. A high degree of literalism is found, but some of the modes of the typology defined by Barr exhibit more freedom than others. A high degree of similarity is also found between the Peshitta and the three versions compared, with Targum Jonathan found to be more similar in a plurality of the verses of Chapters One to Four, followed by Codex Vaticanus as to all five chapters. The study also leads to conclusions about the Syriac Manuscripts that may have higher value for recovering the Urtext of the Peshitta. These conclusions are based on a few places where certain Syriac MSS follow the Masoretic Text more closely than the MSS on which the critical edition is based. These occur at points where the syntax or sense of the critical text is disordered in a way that cannot be explained based on some possible alternative Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic MS. In those places, the alternative Syriac text can be explained based on the MT.
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