The Old Syriac Gospels

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Two manuscripts of the fifth century preserve a text of the Gospels known as the Old Syriac or Vetus Syra. This is the oldest surviving text of the Syriac New Testament. The manuscripts are known as the Curetonian and Sinai copies. The translation was perhaps made in the 3rd century, although a few scholars prefer an early 4th century date. The translators used the Peshitta Old Testament for quotations from the Old Testament in the gospels, even where the Greek text was rather different.

The Greek text which was used as a base was very archaic, and so the Old Syriac is a witness of some interest for the early history of the transmission of the texts of the Gospels. They also may have made use of the Diatessaron in places.