The Old Syriac Version Of The Lord’s Prayer: Its Rendering Of ᾿ΕΠΛΟΥΣΛΟΣ. -- By: L. S. Potwin

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 051:201 (Jan 1894)
Article: The Old Syriac Version Of The Lord’s Prayer: Its Rendering Of ᾿ΕΠΛΟΥΣΛΟΣ.
Author: L. S. Potwin


The Old Syriac Version Of The Lord’s Prayer: Its Rendering Of ᾿ΕΠΛΟΥΣΛΟΣ.

L. S. Potwin

Adelbert College

The recent discovery of a MS. of the entire Curetonian Syriac Gospels has awakened fresh interest in the Syriac versions of the New Testament. A new edition of Dr. Murdock’s translation has also appeared.1 This is from the Peshito version, which, though certainly as early as the fourth century, is, in the general opinion of scholars, later than the Curetonian. Both these versions have been called in to aid in the interpretation of that much discussed word in the Lord’s Prayer, ἐπιούσιος. Τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον, “our daily bread.”

I wish to recall attention to the rendering found in the Curetonian or Old Syriac. The word in Hebrew characters is אָמִינא, and may be Anglicized with Continental vowel sounds, amīna, showing its correspondence to the English amen. Our two questions are, of course, What is the meaning of the word? and What is the value of its testimony to the meaning of its Greek original?

The meaning of the Syriac word is sufficiently attested by its biblical usage. In the New Testament it is used once, adverbially, to translate διαπαντός, “always a conscience void of offence” (Acts 24:16); several times, προσκαρτερέω, “continued steadfastly” (Acts 2:46); also πυκνός. thine often infirmities” (1 Tim. 5:23); προσμένω, “continueth in supplications” (1 Tim. 5:5); ἐκτενῶς, “prayer was made without ceasing’” [Rev. earnestly], (Acts 12:5); ἀδιάλειπτος, “remembering without ceasing” (1 Thess. 1:3). These examples, being outside of the Gospels, are from the Peshito version.

In the Old Testament, where amīna is of frequent occurrence, it regularly represents, often adverbially, the Hebrew תָּמִיר. It is found in every part of the Old Testament, except the Psalms, which are acknowledged to be peculiar. Thus Aaron’s breastplate is a m...

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