This paper will first discuss the evidence for various versions of the Old Testament in Syriac exegetical works. In addition to quotations from the Peshitta, which is a second-century translation based on a Hebrew text, one finds references to the recentiores and to “the Greek” and “the Hebrew”. A complicating issue is the fact that references to “the Greek” may refer either to the Syro-Hexapla or to ad hoc renderings of the Greek biblical text of Greek commentaries that have been translated or excerpted.
Second, the significance of the material will be discussed. Quotations from the Fathers should play a role in the constitution of the critical text of the Peshitta, Syro-Hexapla, and Hexapla. This might seem to be self evident, but practical problems have often prevented editors from using the evidence. There are also more reasons why the quotations are important. For instance, they may help us to assign a place and date to a certain text form. In exegetical collections which do not state their sources, they may help to find out the provenance of the material. And last but not least, the role given to the quotations is a major aspect of the exegetical method that needs to be analysed.
The third issue that will be brought up has to do with the practical problems mentioned before: the Peshitta Institute will cooperate with the Biblindex Project and the Hexapla Institute in order to make at least a selection of the material available.