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Full Version: I could use some advice re: John 16:23-24
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Hi everyone!

I was hoping someone could help me with a discussion I entered into on another forum about the different versions of John 16:23-24. I came across a reference in a book that referenced Douglas Klotz's translation of the 'ask and ye shall receive' part of the King James Bible.

The Peshitta and King James Version are very different and it seems the KJV leaves quite a bit out. I pointed this out on another board as an example of how the KJV of the Bible contains errors and omissions and had the following response from another poster there who said:

Quote:"This is not, I repeat, NOT some long last "original version" of the text that was "left out" of the KJV (not that I'm married
to any specific translation, we can go back to the Greek, yes, the Greek, there's no "earlier Aramaic" extent for
any of the New Testament writings I'm afraid."

Quote:"Sure, several Church Fathers assert their belief that the Gospel of Matthew was originally written in Aramaic (or in Hebrew, or in "Hebrew letters," reports vary). Whether this was something true or merely a rumor, the fact remains that we have NO copies or even fragments of this "Hebrew Matthew" or any Aramaic text to prove this theory. Instead, what we have are Greek copies, and Aramaic and Hebrew copies or fragments which are MUCH LATER than the Greek ones, that were clearly translated FROM the Greek."

Quote:"The origin of the PESH-ITT-A [sorry, the word censor confuses that with a cuss word] according to the vast majority of scholars, is that it was an Aramaic translation OF THE GREEK."

Quote:"In other words, they're taking a Greek text, that is then translated into Aramaic and then re-translating it into English. They're then using this to create wiggle room to fit their own interpretations into the text."

I'm no scholar. However, in the brief amount of time I've spent on this site, and in reading some of the forum posts, it seems like Peshitta is a serious scholarly pursuit with merit. This sounds like he's trying to say Peshitta is some sort of hippy dippy interpretation of the original biblical texts.

And really, he seems to also be intimating that any attempt to translate original biblical texts in Peshitta would contain errors...I guess in that, if what he is saying is true, that it's not possible to translate Greek to Aramaic with any accuracy.

Is there anyone who could help me to understand this problem?
Hi Bella,

First, welcome to the forum.

The comments from the poster are typical of the average person who is unfamiliar with Aramaic primacy. The breadth of his/her argument is that the scholarly consensus is that Greek was the original, and that because the earliest fragments are in Greek, therefore that must have been the original language of the New Testament.

I'm afraid there's not much in a single reply that would overturn such faulty line of reasoning. It is the entire picture we look at here on this forum. And we don't place much emphasis, if at all, on scholarly consensus or tradition. We look at the texts, side-by-side, and allow the story of the texts themselves to be told.

I've found throughout the years here on the forum that even when a person is fixed in their belief, once they see evidences to the contrary one of two things happens: if they are truly open to the possibility that they're wrong and willing to change their mind, they do readily once the examples of Aramaic primacy are shown to them in a reasonable manner. The evidence in many cases is that powerful.

But it's not a magic one-off that you can show someone. It's really more a cumulative effect from seeing example after example of mistranslations, semiticisms, etc. One type of proof is powerful enough, but then when you start to add in all the others, it becomes undeniable. After a while they begin to become convinced.

I would start with any number of posts from the Mistranslations forum. These tend to be very powerful proofs.

Try this variant from 1Corinthians 8:11 - very simple example to reconcile two variant Greek readings by showing how close two Aramaic words are in spelling.

Or how about a completely missed meaning in the Greek of James ? A nice example of how the imagery was completely missed in Greek, and more importantly ... why.

In John 21:15-17, if we use only the Greek we totally miss the beautiful imagery Christ was trying to convey when He alluded to His sheep as Children, Men and Women:

Then of course there is the Acts 2:24 example which is as clear an example of Aramaic Primacy as you can find (an outright mistake in Greek that is undeniable):

There are so many examples like this that I cannot fit them all in here. Perhaps you can invite the people on the other forum here, at least to browse our posts.

Take care,
Shamasha Paul
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question. It really was very helpful and so kind of you. I look forward to learning all I can about this very interesting topic.