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also known as: Syriack

the language of ancient Syria, a dialect of Aramaic

Biblical uses

In the New Testament there are several Syriac/Aramaic-based words, such as…

A Syriac version of the Old Testament, containing all the canonical books, along with some Apocryphal books (called the Peshitto, i.e., simple translation, and not a paraphrase), was made early in the 2nd century, and is therefore the first Christian translation of the Old Testament. It was made directly from the original, and not from the Septuagint Version.

The New Testament was also translated from Greek into Syriac about the same time. It is noticeable that this version does not contain the Second and Third Epistles of John, 2 Peter, Jude, and the Apocalypse. These were, however, translated subsequently and placed in the version.

Biblical references

The King James Bible refers 3 times to “Syriac” or “Syrian language.” This is more correctly translated “Aramaic,” as it appears in the New King James Bible and New American Standard Bible

  • 2 Kings 18:26 KJV

    KJV: “Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah, unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and talk not with us in the Jews' language in the ears of the people that are on the wall.”

    NKJV, NASB, ESV: “…in Aramaic…”

  • Ezra 4:7 KJV

    KJV: “And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue.”

    NKJV: “…written in Aramaic script, and translated into the Aramaic language…”

    NASB: “And in the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his colleagues wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the text of the letter was written in Aramaic and translated from Aramaic.”

  • Dan. 2:4 KJV

    KJV: “Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriack, O king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will shew the interpretation.”

    NKJV, NASB, ESV: “…in Aramaic…”

Article Version: August 10, 2017