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Syriac Bible Found In Cyprus Causing Debate Over Age


February 6th, 2009

By Sarah Ktisti and Simon Bahceli

NICOSIA (Reuters Life!) - Authorities in northern Cyprus believe they have found an ancient version of the Bible written in Syriac, a dialect of the native language of Jesus.Syriac Bible

The manuscript was found in a police raid on suspected antiquity smugglers. Turkish Cypriot police testified in a court hearing they believe the manuscript could be about 2,000 years old.

The manuscript carries excerpts of the Bible written in gold lettering on vellum and loosely strung together, photos provided to Reuters showed. One page carries a drawing of a tree, and another eight lines of Syriac script.
Experts were however divided over the provenance of the manuscript, and whether it was an original, which would render it priceless, or a fake.

Experts said the use of gold lettering on the manuscript was likely to date it later than 2,000 years.

“I’d suspect that it is most likely to be less than 1,000 years old,” leading expert Peter Williams, Warden of Tyndale House, University of Cambridge told Reuters.

Turkish Cypriot authorities seized the relic last week and nine individuals are in custody pending further investigations. More individuals are being sought in connection with the find, they said.
Further investigations turned up a prayer statue and a stone carving of Jesus believed to be from a church in the Turkish held north, as well as dynamite.

The police have charged the detainees with smuggling antiquities, illegal excavations and the possession of explosives.

Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic - the native language of Jesus - once spoken across much of the Middle East and Central Asia. It is used wherever there are Syrian Christians and still survives in the Syrian Orthodox Church in India.

Aramaic is still used in religious rituals of Maronite Christians in Cyprus.
“One very likely source (of the manuscript) could be the Tur-Abdin area of Turkey, where there is still a Syriac speaking community,” Charlotte Roueche, Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine Studies at King’s College London told Reuters.
Stories regarding the antiquity of manuscripts is commonplace. One case would be the Yonan Codex, carbon dated to the 12th century which people tried to pass off as earlier.
After further scrutiny of photographs of the book, manuscripts specialist at the University of Cambridge library and Fellow of Wolfson College JF Coakley suggested that the book could have been written a good deal later.
“The Syriac writing seems to be in the East Syriac script with vowel points, and you do not find such manuscripts before about the 15th century
On the basis of the one photo…if I’m not mistaken some words at least seem to be in modern Syriac, a language that was not written down until the mid-19th century,” he told Reuters.
http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE5152HR20090206?
pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0

Web Mater's comment:

Syriac is still spoken by the Assyrian communities in Iraq, Iran, and Turkey who are members of the syrian Orthodox Church, Church of the East and the Chaldean Church. Presently it is being taught to the students of the Asyrian schools in Northern Iraq, Australia and Los Angeles California.

 

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Views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect that of the christiansofiraq.com or its staff .


 

 

 

 





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Eshwatt = February

Syriac Bible Found In Cyprus Causing Debate Over Age
February 06, 2009

A New Milestone for the 'Sorry' Campaign in Turkey
February 06, 2009

Assyrians / Syrians situation in Upper Mesopotamia
February 04, 2009

Turkistan or Kurdistan -- Does it Matter to Us?
February 04, 2009

Open Letter From 19,000 Assyrians to Turkey: Do Not Touch St. Gabriel Monastery

Mystery Surrounds Disappearance of Assyrian Finance Minister February 04, 2009

Archbishop Mar Melis was awarded Australia's 2009 Citizen Award February 04, 2009

Low Voter Turnout for Iraq's Assyrian Population
February 04, 2009

We are Iraqis too, Christian Assyrian voters insist
February 01, 2009

Excommunication of Ex-Bishop Ashur Bawai Soro
February 01, 2009

Iraq's Christian Assyrians Caught in Middle of Mosul Vote
February 01, 2009

Kanoon II = January

Saudi Arabia Arrests Christian Blogger Jan. 31 - 2009

In Iraq’s North, Ethnic Strife Flares as Vote Draws Closer Jan. 28 - 2009

US Lawmakers Send Letter to Clinton on Behalf of Iraq's Assyrians Jan. 28 - 2009

Assyrians in North Iraq Fear Ballot Rigging in January 31 Elections Jan. 28 - 2009

Iraq Militants Kill Assyrian; Pope Urges Authorities To Intervene Jan. 24 - 2009

Assyrian and Armenian Rally in front of The Turkish Embassy in London Jan. 24 - 2009

The upcoming rally in Berlin Jan. 23 - 2009

Iraqi Bishops Launch Appeal to Pope to Stop Christians Fleeing Jan. 23 - 2009

Anatolia Festival 2009 - Assyrian Concert Jan. 22 - 2009

Barzani vows to work for “a more tolerant Ninewa”
Jan. 22 - 2009

Assyrian You Tube 3 Jan. 21 - 2009

Art exhibit in Baghdad Jan. 21 - 2009

Demonstration in Berlin: “Save the Syrian Orthodox monastery Mor Gabriel! Save Christianity in Turkey!” Jan. 20 - 2009

The  growing apprehesion  in Iraq about  Kurd's aspirations Jan. 20 - 2009

The Assyrian Monastery: an Opportunity For Turkey To Lead By Example Jan. 20 - 2009

Reasons behind attempts against the Assyrian Monastery in Turkey Jan. 19 - 2009

CIGI Report-Minorities in Iraq. Jan. 10 - 2009

Brief Assyrian Church History Jan. 9 - 2009

Turkish Man Returns Property of 1915 Assyrian Genocide Victims
Jan. 9 - 2009

Hrant Dink Day 2009 in London Jan. 8 - 2009

Assyrian Veteran Became State Senator Jan. 7 - 2009

Assyrian youtube update3 Jan. 3 - 2009

Greatest gift for Iraqi Christians — returning home Jan. 2 - 2009

Swedish Asylum Case Hiighlights Dangers for Iraq's Assyrians
Jan. 3 - 2009

Turkey Inches Toward Genocide Recognition January 3 -2009

Kanoon I = December

In Mosul, Iraqi Christians Brave the Violence to Celebrate Christmas
Dec. 25, 08

Turkmen Turkish ( and Assyrian) edorced as official languages in Kirkuk
Dec. 24, 08

Turkish Court Reschedules Hearings on Assyrian Monastery
Dec. 24, 08

Finnish Church Leaders Ask Turkey to Safeguard Assyrian Monastery
Dec. 23, 08

Iraq: Christmas hampers distributed to victims of persecution
Dec. 23, 08

A new book for Assyrians during Christmas Dec. 23, 08

Bishop’s fear for Iraqi Christians Dec. 23, 08

Baghdad celebrates first public Christmas amid hope, memories
Dec. 21, 08

Australia Assists Victims Of Sectarian Violence In North Iraq
Dec. 19, 08

Assyian er Nestorian christianity and the Roman Church Dec. 18, 08

Westminster Hall Debate of the House of Commons on: Christians in Iraq
Dec. 18, 08

US Turns 'Blind Eye' to Persecution of Christians in Iraq, Congressman Says Dec. 18, 08

Islamists Drive Christian Assyrians Out of Nineveh Dec. 16, 08

Thousands of Assyrians Rally in Sweden in Support of Besieged Monastery in Turkey Dec. 15, 08

Lost Christianity: Golden age of Church in Middle East and Africa
Dec. 15, 08

EU Lawmakers Raise Concerns Over Threats to Assyrian Monastery in TurkeyDec. 12, 08

Lobby for the Minorities of Iraq Dec. 12, 08

Jews, Assyrians share worship space Dec. 12, 08

Why Attacks on Iraq Christians Largely Under-reported? Dec. 10, 08

Assyrian Tube videos updated Dec. 9, 08 Dec. 09, 08

Turkey Disrespectful of Christianity and Assyrians: Swedish MPs
Dec. 09, 08

Iraqi Christians in Need; Christmas Charity Fair Dec. 05, 08

invitation to Seminars About Middle-East Minorities
Dec. 05, 08

Evangelical sects put Iraqi Christians in danger, Iraqi bishop says
Dec. 05, 08

Islam: Catholic - Islam Marriage 'Drama' Dec. 04, 08

Call for Investigation Into Egypt Church Attack Dec. 04, 08

EU MP Critical of Kurdish Treatment of Assyrians and Other Iraqi Minorities Dec. 04, 08

Assyrian Poetry At the British Museum Dec. 03, 08

Iraq bids to stop Christie's sale of ancient earrings Dec. 03, 08

Encouraging the Exodus of Iraqi Christians will decimate an ancient community Dec. 03, 08

Turkey Attempting to Confiscate Assyrian Monastery's Land Dec. 02, 08

Situation of Iraqi Assyrians Often Overlooked: EU MP Dec. 01, 08

 

 

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