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Hi,

I'm readng the G.W. Bausch edition of the Peshitta. But I don't get the sense of paul's reasoning.

It's like Paul is saying that who is a servant and 'his lord' observes (looks at) the servant whether or not days or food is observed.

As if there always seem to be critical notes on whatever you do or don't do. Is that what Paul meant?

If that is so, what has the 'lord' to do with this? Or is this about the Heavenly Lord?
George Lamsa's translation makes perfect sense to me. Where Lamsa used the word "master" I will substitute the word "employer" to make it more modern. This yields the following translation:

Romans 14:6 He who is mindful concerning a day's duty is considerate of his employer; and every one who is not mindful concerning a day's duty, is inconsiderate of his employer. An he who is wasteful, is detrimental to his employer, even though he confesses it to God; and he who is not wasteful is not wasteful to his is employer yet he likewise tells it to God.

Romans 14:7 For none of us lives unto himself, and none of us dies to himself.

Otto
A SERVANT
Romans 14: 6

[Commentary by George Lamsa, in his own words.]

The Eastern text correctly reads: ???And he who is an embezzler is an embezzler to his master and he confesses to God. And he who is not an embezzler is not an embezzler to his master snd he confesses to God.???

Akhel is an Aramaic word, derived from ekhal, meaning ???to eat.??? but the same word is also used for ???embezzling??? and ???devouring.??? Thus akhola, ???eater??? (glutton), sometimes is applied to an embezzler. In colloquial speech people often say ???he has eaten my money,??? which means of course that he embezzled it. He had eaten widows??? houses and their sheep. Jesus used the expression.???Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; for you embezzle (Aramaic eat) the property of widows (Matt 23 : 13; Mark 12 : 38; Luke 20 :47, Eastern text).

As certificates and letters of recommendation are not known in the East, servants are given verbal recommendations. Unemployment is hardly known in some of the Eastern countries, and servants and laborers are scarce. Only a few servants seek changes. Most of them prefer to work for the same person as long as they can. Therefore, when a servant seeks employment people begin to gossip about him. They wonder if he had been discharged because of embezzlement or inefficiency. Such rumors make things hard for a servant. When a servant???s reputation is bad, he finds difficulty in securing a new position. This is because the new employer is not satisfied with what the servant says about himself until he learns something about his past from former employers.

Generally when a servant leaves his master and seeks a new position, he is praised by his friends and criticized by his enemies. Some people picture him as an embezzler, extravagant and lazy, while others testify to his good character, honesty, and efficiency. All of this is done by whispering. When one master refuses to hire a servant, the others will be suspicious of hiring him. Consequently, the servant is branded as dishonest and unfaithful. Some people indulge in such gossip concerning servants, not because they are interested in the welfare of the employer, but because it is a habit in which they take some delight.

Pauls warns against this kind of destructive criticism. He bids the Christians to mind their own business and let the masters or employers find out about their servants and laborers. Whatever the servants do, whether good or bad, is know to God, and their acts are only accountable to him. Men are not to judge one another because they themselves might be guilty of the same acts they condemn in others. Some men in the East, when hiring servants or laborers say: ???I leave it to him and to his God.??? ???God is a witness between us.???

George M. Lamsa, NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARY, pp. 219-221, A.J. Holman Company, Philadelphia, 1945.
Wow thanks!

This is quite understandable in combination with the ancient middle-east culture
Shlama Akhi Distazo,

Which "G W Bausch" edition are you referring to? The "G W Bausch" interlinear or the "G W Bausch" Plain English translation? <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

Look at the context of the chapter. Chapter 14 is practically all about eating meat or being vegetarian! He is also addressing the Sabbath and feast day controversy. Where in the world does Lamsa get the idea Paul is talking about embezzlement? The same verb "Akel" is used in verses 2 through 23 fourteen times. The noun form of the same root word (makultha= "food") is used three times in verses 15 & 17. Even Lamsa translates the same word as "eat" in verses 2 and 3.

The Master referred to is God The Messiah, as made clear in verses 8-10.
Here is the interlinear of chapter 14:


Chapter 14

to him) hl (give) wbh (in faith) atwnmyhb (who is weak) hyrkd (but) Nyd (to the one) anyal 14:1
(by your disputes) Nwktbsxmb (divided) Nyglptm (you shall be) Nwwht (& not) alw (the hand) adya

(he may eat) lwkan (that everything) Mdmlkd (he who believes) Nmyhmd (for) ryg (there is) tya 2
(eats *) lka (he) wh (vegetables) aqry (& he who is weak) hyrkdw

(eats) lka (not) ald (whoever) Nm (him) whl (who eats) lkad (but) Nyd (he) wh 3
him) whl (eats) lka (not) ald (whoever) Nm (& he) whw (let him despise) jwsn (not) al
(has accepted him) hbrq (for) ryg (God) ahla (let him judge) Nwdn (not) al (eats) lkad (whoever) Nm

(a servant) adbel (are) tna (who judging) Nadd (are) tna (who?) Nm (you) tna 4
he stands) Maq (to his master) hrml (he stands) Maq (for if) Nad (is yours *) Klyd (who not *) ald
(but) Nyd (he) wh (standing) Mqm (he falls) lpn (to his master) hrml (he falls) lpn (& if) Naw
(to establish him) yhwymyqnd (of his master *) hrm (into the hand) ydyab (for) ryg (it has come) ajm (stands) Maq

The Aramaic hrm -???his master??? is no translation of yeov ??? ???God???; yeov -???God??? is an interpretation of hrm -???his master???.
ydyab ajm ??? ???Mta beeday??? is an idiom meaning, ???to have power???, ???to be able???.

(a day) amwy (from) Nm (a day) amwy (one who distinguishes) Nadd (there is) tya 5
(days) atmwy (all of them) Nwhlk (one who judges) Nadd (& there is) tyaw
(let be certain) rrtsn (of himself) hspnd (in the mind) aedmb (but) Nyd (every person) snlk

(he esteems) aertm (to his Lord) hrml (whatever day) amwyd (esteems) aertmd (whoever) Nm 6
(to his Lord) hrml (whatever day) amwyd (esteems) aertm (who not) ald (& everyone) lkw
(he eats) lka (to his Lord) hrml (& the one who eats) lkadw (esteems) aertm (not) al
(eats) lka (& he who not) aldw (he gives thanks) adwm (& to God) ahlalw
(to God) ahlal (& he gives thanks) adwmw (he eats) lka (not) al (to his Lord) hrml

(he lives) yx (who to himself) hspnld (of us) Nnm (a person) sna (for) ryg (there is not) tyl 7
((he dies) tam (who to himself) hspnld (a person) sna (& there is not) tylw

(we live) Nnyax (to our Lord) Nrml (we live) Nnyax (that if) Nad (because) ljm 8
(we die) Nnytym (it is) wh (to our Lord *) Nrml (we die) Nnytym (& if) Naw
(we die) Nnytym (or if) Naw (therefore) lykh (we live) Nnyyx (whether) Naw
(we are) Nnx (our Lord???s) Nrmd


* Nrm ???Maran??? ???Our Lord??? was the title the disciples used for Jesus;

(The Messiah) axysm (also) Pa (this) anh (for cause) ljm 9
(He arose) Mqw (& lived again) ayxw (died) tym
(Jehovah *) ayrm (would be) awhn (that He) whd
(to the living) ayxlw (to the dead) atyml

* The Messiah is ???The Lord Jehovah???according to The Peshitta, which so names our Lord thirty times or more! See Luke 2:9-11 for the first time He was so named before witnesses on earth.

(your brother) Kwxal (are) tna (judging) Nad (why?) anm (but) Nyd (you) tna 10
(your brother) Kwxal (are) tna (despising) jas (Why?) anml (you) tna (even) Pa (or) wa
(to stand) Mqml (we are going) Nnydyte (for) ryg (all of us) Nlk
(of The Messiah *) axysmd (the judgment seat) Myb (before) Mdq

(Jehovah) ayrm (says) rma (I) ana (???As live) yxd (that is written) bytkd (as) Kya 11
(knee???) Kwrb (every) lk (shall bow) Pwkt (???to Me???) yld
(tongue *) Nsl (every) lk (shall swear) adwn (& to Me) ylw

(an account) amgtp (of us) Nnm (person) sna (every) lk (so then) Nydm 12
(to God) ahlal (gives) bhy (his soul) hspn (for the sake of) Plx

(another) dxl (one) dx (let judge) Nwdn (from now on) lykm (not) al 13
(rather) tyaryty (judge) wnwd (this) adh (but) ala
(you will lay) Myot (not) al (for your brother) Kwxal (that a stumbling block) atlqwtd

(Yeshua) ewsy (by Jehovah) ayrmb (I am) ana (& persuaded) opmw (for) ryg (I) ana (know) edy 14
(there is not) tyl (His Presence) htwl (before) Nm (that is defiled) byomd (that a thing) Mdmd
(to him) whl (impure) amjd (anything) Mdm le (who regards) anrd (to the one) anyal (but) ala
(impure) amj (alone) dwxlb (it is) wh

See how The Peshitta Names Jesus (Yeshua) as Jehovah. The Greek NT does not have this, as Greek has no equivalent for YAHWEH as Aramaic does ???( ayrm -???MarYah??? ). The Greek has ???Kurios???, which means, ???Lord???, ???Master???, or ???Sir???.

(your brother) Kwxal (you) tna (grieve) qyem (food) atlwkam (because of) ljm (but) Nyd (if) Na 15
(you are) tna (walking) Klhm (in love) abwxb (it has been) awh (not) al
(the one) whl (by your food) Ktlwkamb (you shall destroy) dbwt (not) al
(The Messiah) axysm (died) tym (for whose sake) htljmd

(our good) Ntbj (let be insulted) Pdgtt (& not) alw 16

(& drinking) aytsmw (eating) alkam (is) twh (not) al (of God) ahlad (for) ryg (the kingdom) htwklm 17
(& the joy) atwdxw (& the peace) amlsw (the righteousness) atwnak (but) ala
(of Holiness) asdwqd (in The Spirit) axwrb

(The Messiah) axysml (serves) smsm (for) ryg (in these things) Nylhbd (whoever) Nm 18
(is approved) aqb (children of men) asnynb (& before) Mdqw (to God) ahlal (is beautiful) rps

(let us run) jhrn (peace) amls (after) rtb (now) ash 19
(another) dxd (one) dx (building up) anynb (& after) rtbw

(of God) ahlad (a servant) adbe (let us destroy) arsn (food) atlwkam (because of) ljm (& not) alw 20
(it is) wh (evil) syb (but) ala (is) wh (pure) akd (for) ryg (everything) Mdmlk
(eats) lka (who with a stumbing block) atlqwtbd (to the son of man) asnrbl

(flesh) arob (we shall eat) lwkan (that not) ald (it is) wh (good) ryps 21
(wine) armx (we shall drink) atsn (neither) alw
(our brother) Nwxa (by which) hb (is subverted) lqttmd (anything) Mdm (neither) alw

(in your soul) Kspnb (faith) atwnmyh (in you) Kb (who have) tyad (you) tna 22
(whoever) Nml (blessed is he) yhwbwj (God) ahla (before) Mdq (hold it) hydwxa
(which he designates) srpd (in the thing) Mdmb (his soul) hspn (judges) Nd (not) ald

(to him) hl (is condemned) byxta (& eats) lkaw (is doubtful) glptmd (for) ryg (whoever) anya 23
(thing) Mdm (every) lk (in faith) atwnmyhb (that one is not) wld (because) ljm
(is) wh (sin) atyjx (faith) atwnmyh (from) Nm (has been) awh (that not) ald (for) ryg


Here is The Plain English translation:

Chapter 14
1.But offer a hand to the one who is weak in faith and do not be divided by your disputes.
2.There is one who believes that he may eat everything, and he who is weak eats vegetables.
3.But let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him.
4.Who are you to judge a Servant who is not yours*? For if he stands, he stands to his Master, and if he falls, he falls to his Master, for it is appointed to his Master to be able to establish him.
5.There is one who distinguishes one day from another and there is another who judges all days the same, but let every person be certain in his own mind.
6.Whoever esteems whatever day, he esteems it for his Lord, and everyone who does not esteem whatever day, for his Lord he does not esteem it. He who eats, eats for his Lord and he gives thanks to God, and he who does not eat, for his Lord he does not eat, and he gives thanks to God.
7.For none of us lives for himself and no man dies for himself.
8.For if we live, we live for Our Lord, and if we die, we die for Our Lord; whether we live, therefore, or we die, we belong to Our Lord. *
9.For this purpose also The Messiah died and lived and arose, that he would be THE LORD JEHOVAH to the dead and to the living.
10.But why are you judging your brother, or why do you even despise your brother? For all of us are going to stand before the judgment seat of The Messiah*,
11. According to what is written: "As I live, says THE LORD JEHOVAH, every knee shall bow to me and to me every tongue shall swear."
12.So then, every person among us gives an account of himself to God.
13.From now on let us not judge one another, but determine this rather: ???You shall not lay a stumbling block for your brother.???
14.For I know and I am persuaded by THE LORD JEHOVAH Yeshua that there is nothing that is defiled in his presence. But to the one who regards anything impure, it is impure to him alone.
15.But if you grieve your brother because of food, you are not walking in love. You shall not destroy, by your food, one for whose sake The Messiah died.
16.And let not our good be blasphemed.
17.For The Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but the righteousness and the peace and the joy in The Spirit of Holiness.
18.For whoever serves The Messiah in these things is beautiful to God and is approved before the children of men.
19.And now, let us run after peace and after building one another up.
20.And let us not destroy a Servant of God because of food, for everything is pure, but it is evil to a man who eats with offense.
21.For it is good that we do not eat flesh, neither drink wine, neither anything by which our brother is subverted.
22.You who have faith in your soul, hold it before God. Whoever does not judge his soul in the thing which he designates is blessed.
23.For whoever is doubtful and eats is condemned because it is not in faith, for everything that is not from faith is sin.


Lamsa perverted his translation of verse 6 in at least 2 ways;his translation (modified by Otto) follows:
Romans 14:6 He who is mindful concerning a day's duty is considerate of his employer; and every one who is not mindful concerning a day's duty, is inconsiderate of his employer. An he who is wasteful, is detrimental to his employer, even though he confesses it to God; and he who is not wasteful is not wasteful to his is employer yet he likewise tells it to God.

He adds "duty" to translate the simple word "yoma" (day) . This is uncalled for and is simply dishonest; he is circumventing the plain meaning and purpose of the text which clearly teaches that "day keeping" is optional for the believer. A Sabbatarian may serve God in his Sabbath keeping; a non Sabbatarian may also serve God with a clear conscience, because he does what he does also for the sake of God and His Messiah. Lamsa simply obfuscates here by muddying the crystal clear waters of scripture.

The same applies to eating various foods as applies to the Sabbath and feast days or holy days. Paul says we should not judge one another for these things. Our Master Yeshua The Messiah alone can judge us, and will judge us all.

Glenn David Bauscher
June 30, 2008

George Lamsa was an native Assyrian born near the end if the 19th Century whose native language was Aramaic and whose family was Christian. He did not need a lexicon to ???translate??? the Peshitta, since it was the Bible of his youth and culture, it was written in his native language, and he was certainly a brilliant and precocious scholar. Well before the age of computers or efficient world-wide communication, he single-handedly translated the whole Peshitta including all of Old Testament, into English, and wrote extensive commentaries explaining major issues associated with translating from an ancient Aramaic culture to modern English. Lamsa???s knowledge of his native language is far more likely to be correct than literal word-for-word ???translations??? by people who do not have a native knowledge of Aramaic or Lamsa???s understanding of the ancient cultures of Aramaic-speaking peoples including the followers of Jesus.

To describe any of his brilliant translation as ???perverted??? is absurd. Lamsa points out repeatedly that words in Aramaic often have several meanings and there are idiomatic usages as well. Word for word literal ???translations??? did not work well for the Greeks and may not work well for English translators either. Context is important, and in Aramaic Lamsa instinctively understood the context of sentences written in his native language. A word may mean one thing in one context and mean something quite different in another. Lamsa has gone to some length to clearly explain this in his commentaries.

Dave, you seems to be quite inflexible in your handling of word traslation in different contexts. You claim that ???The Master referred to is God The Messiah, as made clear in verses 8-10.??? Well the ???master??? and ???God??? are separately referred to two times in Verse 6 by Lamsa and also in your translation where you have ???eats (or doesn???t eat) for his Lord and he gives thanks to God???, so that doesn???t make much sense.

What does make sense is Lamsa???s translation of the Book of Romans, as any reader can plainly see, especially in Chapter 14, which is about being helpful and not judging others.

Otto
Shlama AKhi Otto,

Lamsa was a brilliant man, no doubt. I do not deny it. That is not the point we are discussing. We are discussing the fact that in his translation of "Akel" in verse 6, he ignored the context of chapter 14 , which is about "eating" or "not eating" different foods, especially meat as opposed to vegetables. (see Romans 14: 2) It is certainly not about "embezzlement", as he translates it, or as you seem to interpret it. The verb "Akel" is used 14 times in this chapter, Otto. It is not about "embezzlement. You are ignoring the context altogether; so was Lamsa. He had a theological agenda to push, apparently, as he did in other places, where he seemed to relegate demon possession to some type of mental disorder in several places in the Gospels and took the word "demon" out of the text altogether. You are as aware of this as I and others on this forum. Don't act like Lamsa was some babe in the woods who simply slipped up in a few places; he knew better than this, as you also are aware.

He was deliberately wrong in his translation and thought his expertise as a native Aramaean would give him a free pass as he pulled the wool over the eyes of unsuspecting sheep. Well, I am not buying it. Neither is anyone who looks into the Peshitta text and learns the Aramaic language. I have explained what I think he was doing in Romans 14 in my previous post, which I need not repeat here. I have also given my interlinear and my Plain English translation, which I think is quite clear. Paul was talking about a controversy in the church over whether it was proper to eat "all things" or "vegetables only". His instruction was that the motive was all important. If one who allows himself the liberty to eat "all things", which liberty is granted in the NT elsewhere, and does so for the sake of His Lord, then he is not to be judged.

If one is a vegetarian for His Lord's sake, as He believes that is His will, he is not to be judged, but respected and accepted as a servant of The Messiah. And yes, if we serve The Messiah, we may also give thanks to God The Father at the same time!

You really should ask Paul Younan again why The Church of The East would never use Lamsa's translation in their churches. You seem to have forgotten some rather recent posts on the Lamsa translation.

You also seem willing to overlook the fact that Lamsa added the words "duty of" to "day"- "Yoma" in verse 6. He has no idiomatic usage to support this translation, Otto, as you may think. He was circumventing the obvious point of the verse, which instructs us that the "day keeping" and "dietary regulations" of Judaism are unnecessary for New Testament believers.

Peace,

Dave
Quote:DAVE WROTE: ???Lamsa was a brilliant man, no doubt. I do not deny it. That is not the point we are discussing. We are discussing the fact that in his translation of "Akel" in verse 6, he ignored the context of chapter 14 , which is about "eating" or "not eating" different foods, especially meat as opposed to vegetables. (see Romans 14: 2) It is certainly not about "embezzlement", as he translates it, or as you seem to interpret it. The verb "Akel" is used 14 times in this chapter, Otto. It is not about "embezzlement. You are ignoring the context altogether; so was Lamsa.???

Eating choices are clearly the subject of Romans 14: 1-3, versus 4-13 are about other aspects of not judging others. The idea that Paul devoted a whole chapter to eating different foods strikes me as bizarre.

Quote:DAVE WROTE: ???He had a theological agenda to push, apparently, as he did in other places, where he seemed to relegate demon possession to some type of mental disorder in several places in the Gospels and took the word "demon" out of the text altogether. You are as aware of this as I and others on this forum. Don't act like Lamsa was some babe in the woods who simply slipped up in a few places; he knew better than this, as you also are aware.???

It is true and well documented that in a few incidents in the New Testament, Lamsa believed that certain specific references to certain persons described as having demons were idiomatic in his native Aramaic language in reference to their insanity. There were insane men who Jesus encountered. That is a statement of fact, and has nothing at all to do with the cause of that insanity. Do you believe that all insane people are possessed by demons? In some Bible examples it is clear that demons were implicated, and Lamsa???s translation does not misrepresent them. In those few cases of this idiomatic interpretation Lamsa put careful footnotes in his translation of the Peshitta, and further documented and explained these linguistic meanings in his commentaries. He was not intending to hide anything and he did nothing secretive or improper. His commentaries explain his choices. Dave, if you believe that the literal meaning of every word conveys the true meaning, then how do you handle the many Biblical idioms and metaphors.

To claim that Lamsa did not believe in demons or satan or devils or purposely misrepresented them is just plain wrong! To imply that Lamsa tried to hide the existence of demons or devils or satan is just plain ridiculous.

I started counting the number of times that ???demon??? or ???demons??? are mentioned in Lamsa???s New Testament translation, and a found over 2,000 cases in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. I found over 1,000 cases of ???devil??? or ???devils??? and over 1,000 cases of ???satan??? and for those I looked only the first half Lamsa???a New Testament translation. I was too tired to go any further, but it is clear that Lamsa did not hide or avoid the clear Biblical references to demons, the devil, or satan as found in the Peshitta. Dave, how can you claim that he did?

When the Bible says that Yeshua faced off with the devil in the desert, you can find that well described in Lamsa???s translation. When Yeshua cast demons out of people, Lamsa???s translation clearly describes these cases because Lamsa was a precise and accurate traslator

Quote:DAVE WROTE: ???You really should ask Paul Younan again why The Church of The East would never use Lamsa's translation in their churches. You seem to have forgotten some rather recent posts on the Lamsa translation.???

My understanding is that the Church of the East only accepts the Peshitta in its original Aramaic words. It does not promote any translations and it does not believe that the Western Five and the Western changes in the other 22 books are truly inspired scripture. Dave, I think you translated a Peshitto version that the Church of East rejects in whole or in part. Hence, your translation will probably be rejected by the Church of the East as well.

Quote:DAVE WROTE: ???You also seem willing to overlook the fact that Lamsa added the words "duty of" to "day"- "Yoma" in verse 6. He has no idiomatic usage to support this translation, Otto, as you may think. He was circumventing the obvious point of the verse, which instructs us that the "day keeping" and "dietary regulations" of Judaism are unnecessary for New Testament believers.???

That may be your view, but I doubt that you are an expert on First Century Aramaic idioms. I believe that Lamsa was. It is important to remember that Lamsa was a native Assyrian who thought in Aramaic. He did not translate the Peshitta, per se. Rather he created an English version of the Peshitta based on his native understanding of the Aramaic text using his beloved KJV as a template. I know of no one on this forum who has Lamsa???s credentials. I talked with Lamsa about his view of his work, and I learned that he firmly believed that God lead him and that God was responsible for making it possible. He hid nothing and was very sincere. In him was no guile. He explained it all in his commentary volumes and he wrote a nice little book about First Century Aramaic. See Gospel Light (408 pages, 1935), New Testament Commentary (630 pages, 1945), More Light on the Gospel (377 pages, 1968), Old Testament Light (976 pages, 1964), Idiom of the Bible Explained (86 pages, 1971), and others.

Lamsa was the pioneer who angered the U.S. Christian establishment in 1947 when he published his little book, New Testament Origin, in which Chapter One began with this strong statement: ???Not a word of either the Old or New Testaments was originally written in Greek or any other European language.??? Those were fighting words!

We are all blessed to have the Peshitta.

Otto