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(Syriac p ešītā ), the official Bible text of Syrian Christians. The name, in use since the 8th century, means "common" or "simple," in contradistinction to elaborate, which is applicable to versions such as the Syro-Hexaplar and the Harklean [see bible (texts), 2]. Although it was once believed to be the oldest version in the Syriac tongue, the Peshitta is no longer accorded this honor; yet it does have a venerable past, since it claims the heritage of the whole of Syrian Christianity despite the doctrinal separations that began in a.d. 431. One sign of its great antiquity is its limited New Testament canon, which did not include 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and the Revelation.

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