The Peshitta is the Syriac translation of the Old Testament made on the basis of the Hebrew text during the second century CE. Much like the Greek translations of the Old Testament, this document is an important source for our knowledge of the text of the Old Testament. Its language is also of great interest to linguists. Moreover, as Bible of the Syriac Churches it is used in sermons, commentaries, poetry, prayers, and hymns. Many terms specific to the spirituality of the Syriac Churches have their origins in this ancient and reliable version of the Old Testament.
The present edition, published by the Peshitta Institute in Leiden on behalf of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament, is the first scholarly one of this text. It presents the evidence of all known ancient manuscripts and gives full introductions to the individual books. This volume contains Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1-2 Maccabees.
Micheline Albert was formerly directeur de recherche at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. She is an expert in Syriac Christianity and published many editions and translations of Syriac texts Don Angelo Penna, Canon Regular of the Lateran, was Professor of Semitic Languages at the University of Perugia and at the Pontifical Institute `Regina Mundi' in Rome. He has published extensively in the fields of Biblical Studies, Patristics, and Church History. He passed away in 1981. Konrad D. Jenner was formerly University Lecturer in Old Testament Studies at Leiden University and Director of the Peshitta Institute. He has published on Syriac codicology and palaeography, biblical exegesis, and comparative religion. Dirk Bakker is a post-doctoral researcher at the Leiden Peshitta Institute. He is specialized in Syriac and computational linguistics. In 2011 he defended his dissertation entitled Bardaisan's Book of the Laws of the Countries: A Computer-Assisted Linguistic Analysis. Chiemi Nakano is a graduate of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Paris-Sorbonne (Religious Studies); she is working with Dr M.-J. Pierre on the edition and translation of Syriac texts. She has also worked with Dr A. Boud'hors on the study and publication of Coptic manuscripts, in particular fragments of the biblical text (codicology and palaeography).