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Introduction and Key


Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator




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070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

075: Baruch: Apocalypse Of Baruch

075: Barnabus: Epistle of Barnabus

090: Esdras 2 / 4 Ezra

100: Odes of Solomon

150: Justin: Dialogue with Trypho

150: Melito: Homily of the Pascha

175: Irenaeus: Against Heresies

175: Clement of Alexandria: Stromata

198: Tertullian: Answer to the Jews

230: Origen: The Principles | Commentary on Matthew | Commentary on John | Against Celsus

248: Cyprian: Against the Jews

260: Victorinus: Commentary on the Apocalypse "Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine."

310: Peter of Alexandria

310: Eusebius: Divine Manifestation of our Lord

312: Eusebius: Proof of the Gospel

319: Athanasius: On the Incarnation

320: Eusebius: History of the Martyrs

325: Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History

345: Aphrahat: Demonstrations

367: Athanasius: The Festal Letters

370: Hegesippus: The Ruin of Jerusalem

386: Chrysostom: Matthew and Mark

387: Chrysostom: Against the Jews

408: Jerome: Commentary on Daniel

417: Augustine: On Pelagius

426: Augustine: The City of God

428: Augustine: Harmony

420: Cassian: Conferences

600: Veronica Legend

800: Aquinas: Eternity of the World




1265: Aquinas: Catena Aurea

1543: Luther: On the Jews

1555: Calvin: Harmony on Evangelists

1556: Jewel: Scripture

1586: Douay-Rheims Bible

1598: Jerusalem's Misery ; The dolefull destruction of faire Ierusalem by Tytus, the Sonne of Vaspasian

1603: Nero : A New Tragedy

1613: Carey: The Fair Queen of Jewry

1614: Alcasar: Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi

1654: Ussher: The Annals of the World

1658: Lightfoot: Commentary from Hebraica

1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

1764: Lardner: Fulfilment of our Saviour's Predictions

1776: Edwards: History of Redemption

1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

1801: Porteus: Our Lord's Prophecies

1802: Nisbett: The Coming of the Messiah

1805: Jortin: Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

1810: Clarke: Commentary On the Whole Bible

1816: Wilkins: Destruction of Jerusalem Related to Prophecies

1824: Galt: The Bachelor's Wife

1840: Smith: The Destruction of Jerusalem

1841: Currier: The Second Coming of Christ

1842: Bastow : A (Preterist) Bible Dictionary

1842: Stuart: Interpretation of Prophecy

1843: Lee: Dissertations on Eusebius

1845: Stuart: Commentary on Apocalypse

1849: Lee: Inquiry into Prophecy

1851: Lee: Visions of Daniel and St. John

1853: Newcombe: Observations on our Lord's Conduct as Divine Instructor

1854: Chamberlain: Restoration of Israel

1854: Fairbairn: The Typology of Scripture

1859: "Lee of Boston": Eschatology

1861: Maurice: Lectures on the Apocalypse

1863: Thomas Lewin : The Siege of Jerusalem

1865: Desprez: Daniel (Renounced Full Preterism)

1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

1871: Dale: Jewish Temple and Christian Church (PDF)

1879: Warren: The Parousia

1882: Farrar: The Early Days of Christianity

1883: Milton S. Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics

1888: Henty: For The Temple

1891: Farrar: Scenes in the days of Nero

1896: Lee : A Scholar of a Past Generation

1902: Church: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem

1917: Morris: Christ's Second Coming Fulfilled

1985: Lee: Jerusalem; Rome; Revelation (PDF)

1987: Chilton: The Days of Vengeance

2001: Fowler: Jesus - The Better Everything

2006: M. Gwyn Morgan - AD69 - The Year of Four Emperors

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(Philoxenian Version)

Dissertation and Translation by John Gwynn

"I have endeavoured to lead to the conclusion that this Apocalypse is a portion of the original "Philoxenian" New Testament, as translated A.D. 508, for Philoxenus of Mabug, by Polycarpus "the Chorepiscopus." I have endeavoured to show, farther, that the other version of the Apocalypse, first printed by De Dieu in 1627, is a revision of this, and belongs probably to the Syriac New Testament of Thomas of Harkel, of A.D. 616."

Murdock Syriac (5th Century)

"The Revelation, which was made by God to John the Evangelist, in the island of Patmos, to which he was banished by Nero the Emperor."

Etheridge Syriac (5th Century)





In preparing for publication this edition of a Syriac version of the Apocalypse distinct from that which has hitherto been the only one known, I have judged it best to reproduce the text paginatim et lineatim as it stands in the manuscript from which I derive it. I have merely restored a few letters and points which were illegible or doubtful in the original, usually marking such restorations with square brackets, and in every case indicating them in the Notes which I have added after the text. The Ms. has happily reached us in such good preservation, that the instances in which this has been needful are very few. The Syriac text, and following Notes, form Part II of this volume. My aim has been to place any Syriac scholar who may consult it, as nearly as may be in the same position as if he had the Ms. itself before him. This I believe has been substantially effected, so far as is practicable in a typographical reproduction; though here and there, in the placing of points, slight variations have occurred,—probably immaterial, for in this respect the usage of the scribe seems to have been arbitrary. The prefixed autotype Plate gives a perfect representation of two columns of the Ms. ; and a comparison of these with the corresponding columns of the printed text will show exactly the degree of faithfulness which has been attained in the latter.

In Part I, I have given a reconstruction of the Greek text on which the translator may be supposed to have worked. From it, a student of the New Testament who is unacquainted with Syriac, will be able to ascertain the textual evidence of this version less indirectly, and more surely, than through the medium of a rendering into Latin or English. At the points where doubt exists as to the underlying Greek, I have added such footnotes as may enable the reader of it to judge for himself; but, thanks to the fidelity and clearness of the translator's work, such points are not many, and none of them is material. I may safely affirm that on every textual question of interest or importance, this version bears its testimony without ambiguity, and my Greek text conveys that testimony with precision. At p. cxlv will be found an exact statement of the limits within which it may be relied on as a textual authority.

To this text I have prefixed a Dissertation, in which I have fully discussed the Syriac text, and its underlying Greek. I have endeavoured to lead to the conclusion that this Apocalypse is a portion of the original "Philoxenian" New Testament, as translated A.d. 508, for Philoxenus of Mabug, by Polycarpus "the Chorepiscopus." I have endeavoured to show, farther, that the other version of the Apocalypse, first printed by De Dieu in 1627, is a revision of this, and belongs probably to the Syriac New Testament of Thomas of Harkel, of A.d. 616.

Whether I am right or not in these views, I think it will be admitted by competent critics that the version now printed is older than the other, is superior to it in linguistic purity and in textual value, and is therefore more worthy of being printed in future Syriac New Testaments as a supplement to the Peshitto, in company with the text of the four non- Peshitto Catholic Epistles, first edited in 1630 by Pococke. The affinity between that text of the Epistles and this of the 'Apocalypse is evident; whereas the De Dieu Apocalypse, alike in diction and in method, is Harkleian, harmonizing neither with the Pococke Epistles nor with Peshitto.




I.—Plan and Contents of the present Work.

The Syriac version of the Apocalypse, which I now introduce to the knowledge of Biblical scholars, forms part of a Ms. of the New Testament in Syriac belonging to the Library of the Earl of Crawford. This Ms. was purchased in London by the late Earl in or about the year 1860, but no record has been preserved of the seller's name, nor is it known how or at what time it was brought to Europe. In a Memoir published by the Royal Irish Academy, in vol. xxx of their Transactions (pp. 347 sqq.), I have already given a full account of it and of its contents, and an investigation into its date and history; and have also discussed the character, and endeavoured to determine the authorship, of the version of the Apocalypse which it contains. In the present Dissertation my principal object is to enter more fully than I have done in that Memoir into the consideration of this version: at its close I propose to give a summary of the results I have arrived at with regard to the Ms. itself. For the present it suffices to say of it that, among Syriac Mss. of non- European origin, it is unique, as being the only one that exhibits the entire New Testament—the Peshitto text supplemented not only by the four minor Catholic Epistles (2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Jude), but by the Apocalypse,—that it was written in a Jacobite monastery of northeastern Mesopotamia, and that its age has been variously estimated at from seven to eleven hundred years.

Immediately after the present Dissertation, forming with it Part I of the present volume, I have given (pp. 1-48) for the convenience of students of the New Testament who do not read Syriac, in lieu of the usual Latin translation, a reconstruction of the Greek text of the Apocalypse which may be presumed to underlie the Syriac, with footnotes appended dealing, with the relations of agreement and disagreement that subsist between that text and the other chief authorities. In Part II (pp. 1-29), I have printed the Syriac text complete, reproducing it page for page and line for line, exactly as it stands in the Ms.; followed (pp. 37 sqq.) by a body of Notes, in which I have indicated the chief points of interest in it, and the emendations required by it here and there.

II.—The Syriac Versions of the extra-Peshitto Books of the N. T.

It is generally known that the Apocalypse and the Four Epistles above specified are not acknowledged as part of the Peshitto Canon; and that the Apocalypse is wanting from all, and the Four Epistles from all the earlier, and nearly all the later, Mss. hitherto described of the New Testament in Syriac, as well as from all the earlier printed editions, beginning with the Editio Princeps of Widmanstad (1555). These Books were for the first time edited as part of the Syriac New Testament by Sionita in the Paris Polyglot of 1633, in a form substantially identical with the Syriac texts which had been separately issued—of the Apocalypse, by De Dieu in 1627,a and of the Four Epistles, by Pococke in 1630." Thence they passed into th» Syriac columns of Walton's Polyglot (1657), and into all subsequent Syriac New Testaments. This text of the Four Epistles (" Pococke's," as it is commonly called) is the one exhibited in our Ms.; but of it I do not propose to treat except incidentally, my present business being with the Apocalypse. As regards the commonly printed text of the Apocalypse (known as " De Dieu's"), there is no room to question that it is the work of an age much later than that of the Peshitto, and is formed on different principles. Its date and authorship are undetermined, but its affinity to the New Testament version of Thomas of Harkel is unmistakable. Of the few Mss. which contain it, however,

  • * From the Leyden University Ms., Cod. Scalig. 18 (Syr.).

  • b From the Bodleian Ms., Bod. Or. 119.

not one exhibits it as part either of the Harkleian version or of the Peshitto. Yet if not actually the work of Thomas of Harkel, it is wrought so strictly on the lines of the rigid and peculiar method introduced by him, that it cannot be placed earlier—or (probably) much if at all later—than his time ; and it may be provisionally assigned to the first half of the seventh century.

It may naturally be—and in point of fact has been*—questioned whether Sionita, and (after him) Walton and subsequent editors, have not judged amiss in thus deviating from the practice of the Mss., and using as a supplement to the Peshitto, a version so widely remote from it in method and diction, as well as in probable age. In reply it may be fairly urged, that the object of these editors being to present a Syriac New Testament in all parts corresponding to tlie Greek and the Latin, they were justified in adopting the only version of the Apocalypse that was forthcoming, so as to give completeness to their publication even though homogeneity was unattainable.13 Nor was there any reason to apprehend that students of the Syriac New Testament might be misled by this arrangement; for even a superficial knowledge of the language would make it impossible for a reader to mistake this supplement for an integral part of the version to which it is appended. Nor again (it may be added with hardly less confidence) could any competent scholar suppose it to come from the same translation as the other portion of extraneous matter above referred to— that which comprises the four non-Peshitto Epistles. These two supplements, though together included in the printed editions, were derived, as above stated, by two different editors, from two independent sources, and are associated in no known Syriac Ms. of the New Testament0 of Eastern

  • m As, e.g., by Scrivener, Introduction, Chap. Ill, § 3, p. 315 (3rd edition).

  • b In like manner, but with some (though very recent) Ms. authority, Walton includes with the Peshitto Old Testament, 3 Esdras and part of Tobit in a version evidently Hexaplar

  • ' The Paris Ms., Biblioth. Nat., Supplement 79 (No. 5 of Zotenberg's Catalogue), though it incorporates the supplementary Books with the Peshitto, is no exception to what has been stated above. It was written in Paris, in 1695, sixty-two years after the printing of the Paris Polyglot.

  • These Books are found together in one Ms. of Oriental origin only—the Dublin Ms., B. 5.16 (Trinity Coll.). But this Ms. (see Transaction*, Royal Irish Academy, vol. xxvii, pp. 271, 283), is a transcript made in 1625 by a monk of the Lebanon for Archbishop Ussher; and it is not a Syriac New Testament, but a supplement to the Syriac New Testament. The combination of its contents (Apocalypse, Pericope de Aiiultera, Four Epistles) is but the reflex of Ussher's desire to procure the Syriac text of the portions of the New Testament that were wanting from Widmanstad's edition; and it gives no sure ground for presuming that the scribe found them in one and the same Mb.

origin. They have nothing in common save the negative fact that they do not belong to the Peshitto. The Syriac of the Apocalypse of the printed editions is unsparingly graecized, and its method is severely (even servilely) literal. The Syriac of the Four Epistles is idiomatic, and its method combines faithfulness with freedom. In both respects— diction and method—the former portion (as has been above said) bears the artificial character of the Harkleian; while the latter follows the lines of the Peshitto and makes a near approach to the excellence of that admirable version. Critics of experience and acuteness may perhaps detect shortcomings on the part of the translator of these Epistles, and may fix on points in which he falls short of the Peshitto standard: but the ordinary Syriac student is conscious of no marked change of style when he passes in reading from 1 Peter to 2 Peter, from 1 John to 2 and 3 John. In the Ms. from which Pococke's Editio Princeps of the Four Epistles was printed, they stand, not as in .most earlier copies postponed to the Three Epistles of the Peshitto, but in their usual Greek Order. I suspect that if the first editor of the Syriac New Testament in 1555 had had in his hands this or a similar Ms., these Epistles would have been unhesitatingly included by him, and accepted by Biblical scholars without question, as an integral part of the Peshitto. Or if questioned, they would have been questioned on grounds of external evidence—for, from the time of Cosmas Indico- pleustes* (sixth century), it has been known that the Peshitto Canon lacks these Epistles—not of internal discrepancy of style and language, or of inferiority of execution.

  • In his Topographia Christiana, lib. vii. p. 292 D.


Henry Wace (1881)
"St. Ephraem Cyrus seems to have used an early Syriac translation of the New Testament which contained the Apocalypse. The Apocalypse is not contained in the Peschito, — the "simple" Syriac version of the New Testament, "of the most remote Christian antiquity" (Westcott, l.c., p. 204). [Neither, apparently, was it contained in the Philoxenian version (a.d. 485-518), nor in the recension of this latter by Thomas of Harkel (a.d. 616). If, as Hug (Einl. i. s. 307) maintains, Ephrsem did not understand Greek, his references to the Apocalypse prove that there must have been an early Syriac translation of that Book, see Smith's Christ. Biogr., art Epkrtrm Syr. Hug quotes Sozomen (H.E., iii. 16); Theodore! (H.E., iv. 29)] The inference, accordingly, is plain that Ephraem did not consider this omission any reason for not regarding the Book as inspired Scripture: and we are also to bear in mind, that, as has been already shown, the earliest teachers of the Church of Syria in the second century —Justin M. and Theophilus of Antioch— acknowledged the Divine character of the Apocalypse. Although absent, however, from the recognized Syriac versions, a Syriac translation of the Book was published in 1627 by Ludovicus de Dieu, [As to the omission of the Apocalypse from the earlier Syriac versions, Hug conjectures (Einl., i. s. 306) that it may have been originally omitted owing to the Millennarian controversy, or have been afterwards left out in Cent. iv. Walton would assign the Peschito to a period before the Apocalypse was written. Hengstenberg makes the date to be the close of Cent. iii. Lucke concludes that the Apocalypse was not received as canonical till after the Peschito version was made,—i.e., at the end of Cent. ii; but this, we have seen, is opposed to the whole current of early evidence. From the fact that Manes, who died A.d. 277, acknowledged the Apocalypse (Lardner, Cred. of the Gosp., iii. p. 404), it has been fairly concluded that the lacuna in the Peschito must have been filled up at a very early date. As to the edition of De Dieu, Dr. Tregelles (The Greek Text of the Book of Rev., p. xxviii), thinks that this Syriac version of the Revelation "may perhaps be assigned to the sixth century."] which scholars generally assign to the sixth century, and of which the superscription runs thus:—

"The Revelation which was given by God to the Evangelist John on the island of Patmos, upon which he was cast by Nero Caesar." ["Revelatio quae facta est Johanni Evangelistce a Deo in Patamon insula, in quam injectus fuit a Nerone Caesare."—ap. Walton, Bitl. Polyglot!., Lond. 1657.] (The Holy Bible, According to the Authorized Version (A.D. 1611), p. 419)

T. J. Buckton. Lichfield (1863)
"A new question having been opened, I am entitled to a reply, which I should have anticipated had I been aware that B. H. C. doubted the fact, that the Apocalypse was contained in the Philoxenian version. I quoted from Bagster's Polyglot, which was advertised to admit the Apocalypse from the Philoxenian version, and which was published under the revision of Professor Lee, the editor of the Bible Society's edition of the Syriac, with the same text of the Revelation (Seiler's Hermeneutics, p. 146, Wright). Hug, in his Introduction to the New Testament (s. 70), says the Philoxenian version "contains the whole New Testament." Dr. Bialloblotzky, the most recent authority (Dictionary of the Bible), says that "L. de Dieu subsequently [to 1559] published the Apocalypse from an ancient MS., formerly in the library of the younger Scaliger, and afterwards in that of the University of Leyden, containing part of the Pbiloxenian or younger version " (Lugd. Bat., 1627, 4to) ; which statement is confirmed by Hug (s. 64, p. 347, Wait). The silence of De Dieu in his Preface, or of Lee in his Prolegomena, does not abrogate the fact, that both published the Apocalypse from the Philoxenian ; indeed, there was no other source for it Louis de Dieu is not entirely silent, for in his title-page he says his Apocalypse is taken " ex manuscripto exemplar! c Bibliotheca clariss. Viri Josephi Scaligeri," and a reference to the MS. at Leyden identifies it as Philoxenian.

Many difficulties surround the Syriac student, arising from the ignorance of the early critics, the cant of criticism of some of the moderns, the mass of unexplored MSS., and the want of persons of adequate learning, integrity, and means for their collation. Lee has not escaped animadversion, and even Gutbir foisted 1 John v. 7 into his Syriac text. I have not access to Adler; but the quotation from him that "the Apocalypse does not own Philoxenus as its author," of which there can be no doubt, implies that Philoxenus translated some or the rest of the New Testament; but such is not the case.

Philoxenus was the bishop who patronised this translation of Polycarp, his chorepiscopus. Bialloblotzky is also wrong in attributing this translation to "Thomas of Harclea" (Charkel) ; this person, who is the same as "Thomas the Pauper" (and not another, as Asseman supposes), merely revised the translation of Polycarp by comparing it with two MSS. (Eichhorn's Repertorium, vii. 245). This Thomas, afterwards Bishop of Marash, is possibly the author of the inferior versions of the Apocalypse and four general Epistles, neither belonging to the Peshito nor Philoxenian (Conf. Hug, s. 64).

I would remark, in passing, that the number 666 (Rev. xiiu 18) is represented by Irenaeus (Proleg. v. 30, 1), on the authority of St. John himself, to have been the name Lateinos (meaning the sixth Roman Emperor, Nero, who was born in Latium), not Laetinos, as B. H. C. found it. The characters undecyphered were probably numerals. Dean Alford does not follow Tregelles and Lucke, but he admits that the Apocalypse is in the Philoxenian (s. 14).

Lucke thinks that the Apocalypse was received into the canon after the publication of the Peshito (Alford, s. 16). Perhaps B. H. C. refers to an Apocalypse that appears after some editions of the Peshito, which, says Hug (s. 64), "is certainly no part of it, if one may judge from its quality," but which may have originated from the Philoxenian version. I will meet the very novel statement of B. H. C., that this "version" (of the Apocalypse) " is not very ancient," by referring him to Thiersch, Walton, Wichelhause, Hengstenberg, and Lucke, but especially to the arguments of Hug (s. 65), in proof of its existence at an early period, in the Peshito itself. The mere absence of books in MS. or print is no evidence of uncanonicality. The Scriptures in constant use now by the Jews contain little more than the books of Moses, and there is no wonder that the Syrians, who were poor, whilst MSS. were costly, should confine themselves very much to the publication of the four Gospels only. Protestants issue more copies of the New than of the Old Testament, although both are cheap. But neither Jews, Syrians, nor Protestants thereby intend to repudiate their other books as uncanonical."  (Notes and Queries, p. 56)

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