To which OO Church do the Monophysites, Maronites or Nestorians belong? Because that is who ÃŽâ€˜ÃÂÃŽÂ¹ÃÆ’Ãâ€žÃŽÂ¿ÃŽÂºÃŽÂ»ÃŽÂ®Ãâ€š is talking about in response to M777's question..
The terms "Nestorian" and "Monophysite" have been used for the sake of convenience. The Assyrian Church of the East isn't "Nestorian," and neither is Syriac Orthodox Church "Monophysite," but these two groups historically would have made these allegations against each other. The Syriac Orthodox Church is part of the Oriental Orthodox communion, while the Assyrian Church of the East became separated from us long ago.
If the legend of Thaddeus' missioning to the Syrians is true, then the first New Testament we ever received was in Syriac or Aramaic. On the other hand, if the Peshitta is a Syriac translation of the Greek, then it is the earliest translation of the New Testament. With the Gospel's spread across the known world, translating the Scriptures into the vernacular became essential. It's rather arrogant to assume that every converted people should have used the Greek as their common text.
The Peshitta is considered inspired and authoritative by Christians of the Syriac tradition. The name 'Peshitta' itself means 'simple,' 'straight,' and 'pure.' While the various Greek manuscripts of the New Testament disagree, the available Peshitta manuscripts show surprising agreement in comparison.
Being our traditional Biblical text, the Peshitta provides our understanding of the New Testament.
The Syrian Orthodox Church believes that the Holy Bible, which comprises of the Old Testament and the New Testament, is the divine word of God. Its Fathers labored in translating the Holy Scriptures into Syriac since the very dawn of Christianity. These Syriac translations of the Bible are the oldest and most ancient in any language. Further, the Syriac New Testament is quite unique for it presents the teachings of our Lord in an Aramaic dialect (Syriac) which is akin and would have been mutually comprehensible with the Palestinian dialect of Aramaic in which Christ taught. Since the translation of the Bible into Syriac started as early as the first century, the Syriac version preserves the very ancient renditions of the original texts. In fact, the Syriac Church Fathers produced a number of translations of the Bible and revisions of these translations from the original languages of the Bible.
The words of Christ were first transmitted in his native language, the Palestinian dialect of Aramaic, either orally or in a written form. It is from this Aramaic tradition that the Greek Gospels were derived. The Syriac New Testament as we know it today is an early translation of the Greek text back into Syriac, the Aramaic dialect of Edessa (Modern Urfa in Southeast Turkey). The Syriac Old Testament is a translation from the original Hebrew and Aramaic (a different Aramaic dialect from Syriac which is known by the name 'Biblical Aramaic').
The close similarities between the Palestinian dialect of Aramaic spoken by Christ and Syriac offer us a unique understanding of some of the Biblical readings...
Another interesting reading appears in the Lord's prayer. The King James reads "and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" (Matthew 6:12). The Syriac version reads "and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." This implies that we must first forgive our debtors before asking forgiveness from God. The English New Revised Version agrees with the Syriac in this verse!
In many instances the Syriac language offers interesting interpretations of Biblical verses. An understanding of Syriac homonyms, for example, help us clarify the reading in Matthew 19:25 (also Mark 10:25 and Luke 128:25), when Jesus tells us how much easier it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. The Syriac word corresponding to camel is gamlo which means 'camel.' However, gamlo has other meanings as well, one of which is given by the Syriac lexicographer Bar Bahlul (10th century) in his Syriac dictionary: "gamlo is a thick rope which is used to bind ships." Considering that Jesus was speaking to fishermen, this meaning of gamlo seems more appropriate.