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Greetings all,

As a result of my philosophical studies, I know that one cannot respond to an argument until one has completely comprehended the argument's conclusions, reasons, and assumptions. With this in mind, I am currently unable to contribute anything meaningful to the issue of Aramaic Primacy because I do not totally understand the argument behind it. Could someone list the main points of the argument for me?

Thank you
Hello Kara,

Even though I am not the biggest fan of Wikipedia, this might be helpful to you. That said, as with most Wikipedia entries, not everything stated is accurate.
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramaic_primacy">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramaic_primacy</a><!-- m -->

Also, see <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.peshitta.org/images/Peshitta.pps">http://www.peshitta.org/images/Peshitta.pps</a><!-- m -->. This is a PowerPoint made by Paul Younan which also helps explain a few of the basics.

Enjoy and God Bless,

-Nimrod Warda-
Nimrod,

Thank you for your fast reply to my question. May God bless you for your kindness.

In regards to Aramaic primacy's argument, it assumes too much. (1) it assumes that Jesus' oral teachings, logically conducted in Palestinian Aramaic, were not first translated into Greek, the region's lingua franca, but were instead first penned, word for word, in the dialect of a distant kingdom in Edessa, which was irrevelent to Christianity until the second century. Indirectly, it assumes that Jesus' disciples (a) wrote the Gospels and that (b) their written testimonies are completely accurate. (2) It assumes that since the Peshitta preserves the semiticisms characteristic of Middle Aramaic speech, that it necessarily contains the historical Jesus' actual words. (3) It assumes that Tatian and the Greek-fluent scribes at the schools of Edessa and Nisibis translating the Greek gospels into the Syriac dialect, which in effect would restore lost aramaicisms, is impossible. Aramaic primacists must ascertain 1-3 to strengthen its argument.

My hypothesis is that the Peshitta was translated from the Greek Gospels, which are themselves translations of the Palestinian Aramaic original. If my hypothesis is correct, then we will find at least one corruption therein imported from Greek christology. Of course, much research needs to be done to prove this. I have collected many materials needed to prove/disprove my hypothesis.
Shlama,

i definitely encourage you to keep studying and be willing to ask the difficult questions. the truth is not afraid of us, so we should never be afraid of the truth.

personally, for me, some of the Peshitta's strongest points in regards to it being the source-text for most of the Greek manuscripts, are the multitude of variant explanations that have no answer in the Greek, as well as the even greater number of wordplays and puns in the text. these are extremely strong flags signaling an original text. as to dialect, remember that it can change and yet still be written with the same words/letters. there are instances of both Eastern and Western dialect preserved in the Peshitta which fit contextually in their respective passages. as for accuracy of the Peshitta, i would say it is FAR more accurate than the Greek manuscripts. actually, i recall reading it is more accurate than the Hebrew Torah, which is astonishingly accurate. we know the Greek disagrees with itself in many instances, and the Aramaic disagrees with itself really in only a couple of instances, and those are in regards to known theological controversies between the East and West. so if i had to go with accuracy alone, the Peshitta would win hands-down regardless of personal bias.

anecdotely, i do personal translations of the Hebrew and the Aramaic in my spare time, and i find just as many cleverly-constructed wordplays and puns in the Hebrew OT as i do in the Peshitta NT. when i do my cross-referencing of these respective passages with the Septuagint, targums, and the Greek NT manuscripts, i would say more than 99% of the time, there is no parallel wordplay to be found in those texts. in regards to the OT, nobody argues those texts are the original languages, so this strongly supports the idea that such Hebraisms/Aramaicisms don't survive the translation process except in VERY rare instances.

i am also in the process of learning ASL - American Sign Language, and as it is a fully-functioning, living language, it too possesses these same qualities of wordplays and puns. these puns do not translate into English or even French -- both major contributing languages to ASL. i bring this up to show that such language devices as wordplays/puns almost never survive the act of translating, and to find them liberally throughout the Peshitta is itself a powerful support for the text itself being original in most places.

those are just some language considerations i thought to share after reading your post. may you be blessed in your searching! do not grow weary in well-doing!

Chayim b'Moshiach,
Jeremy
Jeremy,

I enjoyed reading your post. Thank you, too, for your encouraging words. May God bless you and yours!

Regarding the Peshitta's strongest points, I agree that it is closest to the Aramaic original. But what is meant by "original?" If by original, we mean Jesus' oral teachings, then based on the high level of uncertainty and turmoil surrounding the early Gospels (i.e. uncertain authorship, questionable memories, character, and motivations of unknown authors, intentional/unintentional scribal corruptions, theological disputes, etc), we can only say that the Peshitta preserves the original idiom behind what Jesus may or may not have said---saying more than this is superfluous. However, if by original, we mean the manuscripts originally authored by members of the earliest Aramaic-speaking Christian communities, who pseudonymously wrote under "Matthew," "Mark," "Luke," and "John" in their own styles and formats, then in terms of closeness, we can only say that there is a moderately high probability that the Peshitta is closer to this "proto-Gospel" than the Greek Gospels for linguistic reasons alone. However, without autographs, we can never say anything absolute about the Peshitta.

Quote: and the Aramaic disagrees with itself really in only a couple of instances, and those are in regards to known theological controversies between the East and West. so if i had to go with accuracy alone, the Peshitta would win hands-down regardless of personal bias.

I would have a large problem with any corruptions because I would not know where the true words begin and where the scribe ends. Studying early Christianity (before the fourth century), for instance, we know that the Gospels were in constant flux. We also know that before the churches canonized their NT books, they made subtle textual corruptions (one letter here, a word there), to justify their theological positions. We find, as you have testified, such corruptions in the Peshitta, which means that it, too, was not immune to human pride. This brings us to a few unavoidable questions:

(1) How many subtle textual corruptions entered the Syriac Gospels before they became "peshitta" or "straight?"
(2)To call the 4th century Syriac NT "straight," is to imply that what came before it was "crooked?" How so? What about the Syriac Gospels needed to be corrected?
(3)For the sake of argument, let's assume that the original authors of the Gospels were (a) pious (b) sane © blessed with amazing memories and (d) unbiased when they sat and recalled what they heard about Jesus' life. If what they wrote was "corrected" or made "straight," can we really say that we are reading all of the historical Jesus' actual words? Are we reading most of his actual words? Which are his words and which are the scribes'?

Finally, I believe that the "son of the man" term inside the Syriac Gospels will strengthen my argument. If you recall, I tried to argue that this term is a Greek christological term that the Syriac Church, in conformity, forced into Jesus' dialogue .If my hypothesis is correct, it will demonstrate either one of the following:

(1) The Syriac Gospels are creative translations of the Greek Gospels
(2) Scribes interpolated the Syriac Gospels in conformity to 4th/5th century theology.
Kara Wrote:Studying early Christianity (before the fourth century), for instance, we know that the Gospels were in constant flux.


No, we know that the greek versions were in state of flux. You have no evidence that this was the case with the peshitta.


Quote:We also know that before creating a canon of NT books, churches made subtle textual corruptions (one letter here, a word there), to justify their theological positions.

You , again, have no evidence that this happened to the peshitta ,in the period mentioned.

There are a lot of very polite patient posters here , but can you excuse me if I'm a little blunt here.
This is the whole dang pont!
The peshitta represents a different textual tradition!!!!
You cant lump it in with the contrary, mixed up, diverse, corrupt greek versions.

The reason we cant is because we dont have the evidence to do so.

If you can get this point, you will go along way to seeing the answer to your opening post.
Quote:No, we know that the greek versions were in state of flux. You have no evidence that this was the case with the peshitta.

Peace and blessings, Judge.

I will assume that I am untutored in the Syriac tradition. I will also assume that you have evidence that (a) the Syriac and Greek scribal traditions were fundamentally different (b) the Syriac Gospels existed before Tatian's Diatessaron, in their present form, until now © the Syriac Gospels were not creative translations of the Greek Gospels. By ©, I mean that the wordplays, puns, etc, as cited by Aramaic primacists, are not textual corruptions attempting to restore the original idiom lost in the Greek Gospels (which themselves could be a bad translation of the "original" Palestinian-Aramaic Gospels).


I do appreciate your patience and consideration. Your response is most anticipated.
Kara Wrote:Peace and blessings, Judge.
Thank you. Blessing to you too.

Quote:I will assume that I am untutored in the Syriac tradition.


OK
Quote:I will also assume that you have evidence that (a) the Syriac and Greek scribal traditions were fundamentally different

Well the peshitta is in Aramaic and then greek versions are in greek, The peshitta has been used exclusively by the COE and there is no evidence of them ever using anything greek in the early period you mention.
These facts seem to indicate a fundamental difference, dont you think?


Quote:(b) the Syriac Gospels existed before Tatian's Diatessaron, in their present form

Well the diatessaron is a condensing of the four gospels, so obviously the gospels came first.
IOW the evidence that is required is that the peshitta is prior to the greek versions, which is what this whole thing is about.


Quote:, until now © the Syriac Gospels were not creative translations of the Greek Gospels. By ©, I mean that the wordplays, puns, etc, as cited by Aramaic primacists, are not textual corruptions attempting to restore the original idiom lost in the Greek Gospels (which themselves could be a bad translation of the "original" Palestinian-Aramaic Gospels).

Well to turn this around the evidence on this site attempts to show that the greek is a translation of the peshitta.
Proving a negative, proving something is not the case, as you ask me to do here is generally considered a poor approach.
In other words one can never show that by some sheer fluke some COE monk didnt translate the greek and cleverly insert all manner of wordplay whilst keeping the same meaning. But really, what are the chances?
Do you have any evidence that this happened?

It's kind of like the dictum "innocent till proven guilty". What you are asking is like asking someone to show they didnt commit a murder. The correct approach is for the accuser, the one making the case, to provide evidence that it did happen.



Quote:I do appreciate your patience and consideration. Your response is most anticipated.
No problem :-)
Kara Wrote:My hypothesis is that the Peshitta was translated from the Greek Gospels, which are themselves translations of the Palestinian Aramaic original.

1)What evidence do you have for this?

2)What do you mean by the palestinian original? Would Luqa have written in Palestinian Aramaic if, as tradition tells us he was from Antioch? Would Gallileans have written in this dialect? What about Judeans?

3)How do you propose to be able to falsify this hypothesis?

Quote: If my hypothesis is correct, then we will find at least one corruption therein imported from Greek christology.

Incorrect. Because it is possible for your hypothesis to be correct and not find any corruptions.
Peace and Blessings, Judge.

You are absolutely right concerning a number of things about my argument. First, finding a textual corruption in the Peshitta is not dependent on the Syriac Gospels being derivative of the Greek Gospels; these are separate issues. Second, the burden of proof is on me. Thank you for correcting me.

George Kiraz and Sebastian Brock argue that the Peshitta is a revision of the Old Syriac, which is a translation of a 400c Greek NT. In order to prove that the Syriac Gospels derive from the Greek, we must textually compare the Peshitta with the Old Syriac. If I find that the Peshitta is in 60% agreement or more with the Old Syriac, then their relationship is statistically significant, thereby establishing that the Peshitta is indirectly dependent on the Greek Gospels If, however, I find that the Peshitta is in 50% or less agreement with the Old Syriac, then any agreement could have resulted by chance, thereby destroying my argument

Off topic, I also love Alex Gray's work.
Hello again Kara,

To piggy back off of Andrew Gabriel Roth's newest post, I thought I would provide this info for you to read in context.

Below is a reading in which a well respected Western theologian (who happens to be a Greek Primacist) attests to the Peshitta being from at least the 2nd Century A.D. The book is A General Survey of the History and Canon of the New Testament (Seventh Edition), and was written in the year 1896 by Brooke Foss Westcott. It was originally published in Cambridge at the University Press. I am quoting multiple passages from pages 244 to 248.

"...Moreover it is known that books {in general} were soon translated from Syriac into Greek, and while such an intercourse existed it is scarcely possible to believe that the Scriptures themselves remained untranslated. The same conclusion follows from the controversial writings of Bardesanes {whom died in the year 222 CE according to the Catholic Encyclopedia} which necessarily imply the existence of a Syriac Version of the Bible. Tertullian's example may show that he could hardly have refuted Marcion without the constant use of Scripture. And more than this, Eusebius tells us that Hegisippius 'made quotations from the Gospel according the Hebrews and the Syriac and especially from [writings in?] the Hebrew language, showing thereby that he was a Christian of Hebrew descent. This testimony is valuable coming from the only early Greek writer likely to have been familar with Syriac literature...

...Ephraem Syrus {whom died in the year 373 according to the Catholic Encyclopedia}, a deacon of Edessa, treats the Version in such a manner as to prove that it was already old in the fourth century. He quotes it as a book of established authority, calling it 'Our Version'; he speaks of the Translator one whose words were familar; and though the dialects of the East are proverbially permanent, his explanations show that its language even in his time had become partially obsolete.

Another circumstance serves to exhibit the venerable age of this Version. It was universally received by the different sects into which the Syrian church was divided in the fourth century, and so has continued current even to the present time. All the Syrian Christians, whether belonging to the Nestorian, Jacobite or Roman communion, conspire to hold the Peshitto authoriative and to use it in their public services. It must consequently have been established by familar use before the first heresies arose or it could not have remained without a rival. Numerous versions or revisions of the New Testament were indeed made afterwards, for Syriac literature is peculiarly rich in this branch of theological crticism; but no one ever supplanted the Peshitto for ecclesiastical purposes. Like the Latin Vulgate in the Western Church, the Peshitto became in the East the fixed and unalterable Rule of Scripture.
The respect in which the Peshitto was held was further shown by the fact that it was taken as the basis of other Versions in the East. An Arabic and a Persian Version were made from it; but it is more important to notice that at the beginning of the fifth century (before the Council of Ephesus A.D. 431) an Armenian Version was commenced from the Syriac in the absence of Greek Manuscripts.

These indications of the antiquity of the Peshitto do not indeed possess and conclusive authority, but they all tend in the same direction, and there is nothing on the other side to reverse or modify them. It is not improbable that fresh discoveries may throw a clearer light on the early Syriac literature; and that more copious critical resources may serve to determine the date of the Peshitto on philological grounds. But meanwhile there is no sufficient reason to desert the opinion that has obtained the sanction of the most competent scholars, that its formation should be fixed to the first half of the second century. The text, even in its present revised form, exhibits remarkable agreement with the most ancient Greek Manuscripts and the earliest quotations from, The very obscurity that hangs over its origin is a proof of its venerable age, because it shows it grew up spontaneously in Christian congregations, and it was not the result of any public labour. Had it been a work of late date, of the third or fourth century, it is scarecly possible that its history should be so uncertain as it is."


When reading this chapter of Westcott's book it is still obvious that the author, like you, assumes the Peshitta is a translation from the Greek, but he himself says earlier in the chapter "In the absence of an adequate supply of critical materials it is impossible to construct the history of these recensions in the Syriac..." Now the reason I bring this up is that, as Mr. Roth mentioned in his post, many of today's Western scholars quote Westcott as authoritative, yet he himself says that he has no facts to support this assumption! At the very least, he is acknowledging that the Peshitta is NOT from Rabulla or a revision of the so-called "Old Syriac".

Peace,

-Nimrod Warda-
Nimrod Warda Wrote:Hello again Kara,

To piggy back off of Andrew Gabriel Roth's newest post, I thought I would provide this info for you to read in context.

Below is a reading in which a well respected Western theologian (who happens to be a Greek Primacist) attests to the Peshitta being from at least the 2nd Century A.D. The book is A General Survey of the History and Canon of the New Testament (Seventh Edition), and was written in the year 1896 by Brooke Foss Westcott. It was originally published in Cambridge at the University Press. I am quoting multiple passages from pages 244 to 248.

"...Moreover it is known that books {in general} were soon translated from Syriac into Greek, and while such an intercourse existed it is scarcely possible to believe that the Scriptures themselves remained untranslated. The same conclusion follows from the controversial writings of Bardesanes {whom died in the year 222 CE according to the Catholic Encyclopedia} which necessarily imply the existence of a Syriac Version of the Bible. Tertullian's example may show that he could hardly have refuted Marcion without the constant use of Scripture. And more than this, Eusebius tells us that Hegisippius 'made quotations from the Gospel according the Hebrews and the Syriac and especially from [writings in?] the Hebrew language, showing thereby that he was a Christian of Hebrew descent. This testimony is valuable coming from the only early Greek writer likely to have been familar with Syriac literature...

...Ephraem Syrus {whom died in the year 373 according to the Catholic Encyclopedia}, a deacon of Edessa, treats the Version in such a manner as to prove that it was already old in the fourth century. He quotes it as a book of established authority, calling it 'Our Version'; he speaks of the Translator one whose words were familar; and though the dialects of the East are proverbially permanent, his explanations show that its language even in his time had become partially obsolete.

Another circumstance serves to exhibit the venerable age of this Version. It was universally received by the different sects into which the Syrian church was divided in the fourth century, and so has continued current even to the present time. All the Syrian Christians, whether belonging to the Nestorian, Jacobite or Roman communion, conspire to hold the Peshitto authoriative and to use it in their public services. It must consequently have been established by familar use before the first heresies arose or it could not have remained without a rival. Numerous versions or revisions of the New Testament were indeed made afterwards, for Syriac literature is peculiarly rich in this branch of theological crticism; but no one ever supplanted the Peshitto for ecclesiastical purposes. Like the Latin Vulgate in the Western Church, the Peshitto became in the East the fixed and unalterable Rule of Scripture.
The respect in which the Peshitto was held was further shown by the fact that it was taken as the basis of other Versions in the East. An Arabic and a Persian Version were made from it; but it is more important to notice that at the beginning of the fifth century (before the Council of Ephesus A.D. 431) an Armenian Version was commenced from the Syriac in the absence of Greek Manuscripts.

These indications of the antiquity of the Peshitto do not indeed possess and conclusive authority, but they all tend in the same direction, and there is nothing on the other side to reverse or modify them. It is not improbable that fresh discoveries may throw a clearer light on the early Syriac literature; and that more copious critical resources may serve to determine the date of the Peshitto on philological grounds. But meanwhile there is no sufficient reason to desert the opinion that has obtained the sanction of the most competent scholars, that its formation should be fixed to the first half of the second century. The text, even in its present revised form, exhibits remarkable agreement with the most ancient Greek Manuscripts and the earliest quotations from, The very obscurity that hangs over its origin is a proof of its venerable age, because it shows it grew up spontaneously in Christian congregations, and it was not the result of any public labour. Had it been a work of late date, of the third or fourth century, it is scarecly possible that its history should be so uncertain as it is."


When reading this chapter of Westcott's book it is still obvious that the author, like you, assumes the Peshitta is a translation from the Greek, but he himself says earlier in the chapter "In the absence of an adequate supply of critical materials it is impossible to construct the history of these recensions in the Syriac..." Now the reason I bring this up is that, as Mr. Roth mentioned in his post, many of today's Western scholars quote Westcott as authoritative, yet he himself says that he has no facts to support this assumption! At the very least, he is acknowledging that the Peshitta is NOT from Rabulla or a revision of the so-called "Old Syriac".

Peace,

-Nimrod Warda-

Nimrod,

Peace and blessings to you and yours.

First, I want to correct myself. I should have never sided with either camp before overwhelming evidence presented itself from either party. Right now, evidence behind the claim that the Syriac Gospels are derived from the Greek Gospels is scant, whereas the evidence behind the other way around is based on correlational research. To say that the Greek Gospels lacks this or that pun/wordplay otherwise found in the Peshitta does not prove that one came from the other. Fortunately, Sebastian Brock referred me to Kiraz's "aligned edition of the Old Syriac, Peshitta, and Harkean Gospels." This book, according to Brock, is supposed to demonstrate how the Peshitta is irrefutably a revision of the Old Syriac by showing their interrelationship.

If Kiraz demonstrates that the Peshitta has a 60% agreement or more with either the Old Syriac or Harklean Gospels, then I will conclude that the Peshitta is related to the Greek mss. If he demonstrates a 50% or less agreement to either manuscripts, then we can conclude, based on the statistical insignificance of the findings, that the Peshitta is unique in the sense that it is unrelated to the Greek mss and thus Greek tradition.


Kevin
Kara Wrote:Peace and Blessings, Judge.
Thanks again and peace to you as well <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

Quote:George Kiraz and Sebastian Brock argue that the Peshitta is a revision of the Old Syriac, which is a translation of a 400c Greek NT.

Maybe they are right? What evidence do they use in their arguments?
Let's examine it with open minds.

Quote:Off topic, I also love Alex Gray's work.
Me too <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->
Kara Wrote:If Kiraz demonstrates that the Peshitta has a 60% agreement or more with either the Old Syriac or Harklean Gospels, then I will conclude that the Peshitta is related to the Greek mss.

Kevin
But what if the peshitta is like the Old Syriac because the Old Syriac is a revision of the peshitta (to bring it into line with the gree which had previously been translated, possibly).
Wouldn't this also explain the similarity?
Kara Wrote:Jeremy,

I enjoyed reading your post. Thank you, too, for your encouraging words. May God bless you and yours!

Regarding the Peshitta's strongest points, I agree that it is closest to the Aramaic original. But what is meant by "original?" If by original, we mean Jesus' oral teachings, then based on the high level of uncertainty and turmoil surrounding the early Gospels (i.e. uncertain authorship, questionable memories, character, and motivations of unknown authors, intentional/unintentional scribal corruptions, theological disputes, etc), we can only say that the Peshitta preserves the original idiom behind what Jesus may or may not have said---saying more than this is superfluous. However, if by original, we mean the manuscripts originally authored by members of the earliest Aramaic-speaking Christian communities, who pseudonymously wrote under "Matthew," "Mark," "Luke," and "John" in their own styles and formats, then in terms of closeness, we can only say that there is a moderately high probability that the Peshitta is closer to this "proto-Gospel" than the Greek Gospels for linguistic reasons alone. However, without autographs, we can never say anything absolute about the Peshitta.

Quote: and the Aramaic disagrees with itself really in only a couple of instances, and those are in regards to known theological controversies between the East and West. so if i had to go with accuracy alone, the Peshitta would win hands-down regardless of personal bias.

I would have a large problem with any corruptions because I would not know where the true words begin and where the scribe ends. Studying early Christianity (before the fourth century), for instance, we know that the Gospels were in constant flux. We also know that before the churches canonized their NT books, they made subtle textual corruptions (one letter here, a word there), to justify their theological positions. We find, as you have testified, such corruptions in the Peshitta, which means that it, too, was not immune to human pride. This brings us to a few unavoidable questions:

(1) How many subtle textual corruptions entered the Syriac Gospels before they became "peshitta" or "straight?"
(2)To call the 4th century Syriac NT "straight," is to imply that what came before it was "crooked?" How so? What about the Syriac Gospels needed to be corrected?
(3)For the sake of argument, let's assume that the original authors of the Gospels were (a) pious (b) sane © blessed with amazing memories and (d) unbiased when they sat and recalled what they heard about Jesus' life. If what they wrote was "corrected" or made "straight," can we really say that we are reading all of the historical Jesus' actual words? Are we reading most of his actual words? Which are his words and which are the scribes'?

Finally, I believe that the "son of the man" term inside the Syriac Gospels will strengthen my argument. If you recall, I tried to argue that this term is a Greek christological term that the Syriac Church, in conformity, forced into Jesus' dialogue .If my hypothesis is correct, it will demonstrate either one of the following:

(1) The Syriac Gospels are creative translations of the Greek Gospels
(2) Scribes interpolated the Syriac Gospels in conformity to 4th/5th century theology.

Shlama,

i apologize, i got busy and forgot about this particular topic. my bad. i do want to make a few comments on your reply, though.

you wrote:
without autographs, we can never say anything absolute about the Peshitta.

okay, you can legitimately take this road. but to be honest, not a single person that i've ever heard claimed that the Greek were autographs, either. scholars are clear time after time that the Greek are copies only. so if this is true for the Greek AND, as you suggest, the Aramaic, then we are in an equally bad place. how can you say anything absolute about ANY of the NT texts or contents? now, if you aren't a believer, that won't be an issue for you, as it is relative to begin with. but if you are, then you've run into trouble. i started looking at the claims made by Aramaic Primacists exactly because i felt that the plethora of variants in the Greek texts damaged strongly the proposal that they could be trusted as faithful renditions of the autographs. i wondered precisely how i was supposed to decide what the "Word" was when there were so many variants in the Greek. this is a legitimate pondering, and i firmly believe the Peshitta is the only answer to the question. why? in another post to Judge you stated that we needed to prove:

© the Syriac Gospels were not creative translations of the Greek Gospels. By ©, I mean that the wordplays, puns, etc, as cited by Aramaic primacists, are not textual corruptions attempting to restore the original idiom lost in the Greek Gospels (which themselves could be a bad translation of the "original" Palestinian-Aramaic Gospels).

if you have ever tried to translate wordplays or puns into another language, you will find it to be VERY difficult. the likelihood is that you can't maintain it without dynamic equivalence in translation. the reason the Peshitta is so truly fascinating in this respect is that there is no "loss" of meaning when going from the Greek to Aramaic, but a very visibly and recognizable "gain." Moreover, this gain is in such that there is not a "change" of meaning as we would expect there would be, where instances of dynamic equivalence might be found. Rather, the opposite is the case. The Greek possesses very clear examples where dynamic equivalence can be seen IF, and only IF, it were a translation from the Aramaic. honestly, the wordplays/puns are of a greater weight than you are giving them. talk to any linguist or translator and ask them how easy it is to carry over a pun from one language to another, or to translate in such a way so that the result is a pun/wordplay that didn't exist in the original language but is now contained in the new translation. it is extremely difficult to do. this is a strong weight that you can't dismiss, or i should say, shouldn't dismiss. i have a copy of a Hebrew translation of the Greek NT, and every so often, on a rare occasion, you will run across a translated passage that does indeed "sound" better than the Greek. so i am not denying that it CAN happen. but the rate at which it occurs in the Peshitta is astounding, which strongly suggests not a translation, but a source-text.

you wrote:
(1) How many subtle textual corruptions entered the Syriac Gospels before they became "peshitta" or "straight?"
(2)To call the 4th century Syriac NT "straight," is to imply that what came before it was "crooked?" How so? What about the Syriac Gospels needed to be corrected?


i think you are putting too much emphasis on the title of the Aramaic text as relating to the contents itself. but if you want to go that route, consider this: Peshitta can also mean "simple/straightforward," as in the idea of no addition, as it is related to the idea of peshat. in this regards, one could say that the Greek texts, as well as the Harklean and Philoxean Aramaic texts that were unquestionably influenced by the Greek, were not considered straightforward or simple, but arose from the connection to them being translations.
to this, i would strongly suggest reading just a sample of the reasons why the other Aramaic texts, including the Old Syriac, aren't of merit when placed side by side to the Peshitta's text. it is found on this particular site, even:

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furthermore, if the Old Syriac is the specimen from whence came the Peshitta, where did the Peshitta get the REST of the books of the NT from? The OSS is not a complete manuscript by far, so if you go that route, the explanation is only in part.

i think i could get a resounding "amen" from those others on this board who also read the Peshitta that books by the same author in the Peshitta NT have the same flavor. for instance, reading Paul's Aramaic letters are noticeably different than reading Peter, etc.. now you could argue that it just means one scribe was called upon to translate all of one man's writings, and all of anothers, etc., but there is a point to this: the level of wordplay/puns are consistent from one author to another, normally, showing that each author wrote his letter individually, and was not translating. this goes back to the difficulty of the wordplay/punning merit mentioned above. to make this happen in a translation, you would need the greatest minds on the planet each taking a series of Greek letter manuscripts, plus having those manuscripts in all different assortments so as to account for variants and somehow weave those variants into a perfect Aramaic term, and producing a translation that is better than the original. such an idea is absurd. take it over to the Greek, for instance, to the letters of Peter, and you have scholars seriously debating WHO wrote 2nd Peter, since the style is so very different than 1st Peter. if it were written by the same author, do you think he would change his style so drastically that people wouldn't think he actually wrote it? this leans towards translation of a text, rather than the Greek being the original source.

furthermore, if you're interested, there is an online book available that lets you scour the Peshitta and the Old Syriac verse by verse for yourself to see the differences, so you don't have to rely on anyone's interpretation of the data but your own, if you like. let me know if it sounds like something you could benefit from and i can give you the link to where you can get it.

you wrote:
Finally, I believe that the "son of the man" term inside the Syriac Gospels will strengthen my argument. If you recall, I tried to argue that this term is a Greek christological term that the Syriac Church, in conformity, forced into Jesus' dialogue .If my hypothesis is correct, it will demonstrate either one of the following:

(1) The Syriac Gospels are creative translations of the Greek Gospels
(2) Scribes interpolated the Syriac Gospels in conformity to 4th/5th century theology.


i thought in our previous discussion of the Bar Anasha issue that i clearly showed you it was a common phrase, used even in the Hebrew OT? grammatical features over time added the "a" on the end, so i don't know how it could be argued to stem from a Greek christological term.


Chayim b'Moshiach,
Jeremy
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