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So, anyone care to ref. me to the three best evidences for the primacy of the Peshitta that we have today, compared to the greek? If possible, make it less, but with references. You may know i am still undecided on the issue, after following the forum for a long time. So best shots only. :-)
Andrej Wrote:So, anyone care to ref. me to the three best evidences for the primacy of the Peshitta that we have today, compared to the greek? If possible, make it less, but with references. You may know i am still undecided on the issue, after following the forum for a long time. So best shots only. :-)

1) Evidence of total mistranslation because of not understanding the Aramaic Idiom:
2 Peter 3:10
Aramaic: But they day of the LORD comes like a thief, in which the heavens will suddenly pass away

Greek (to English) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise,

I wonder: Why 'great noise' and suddenly in Aramaic?
The Aramaic idiom is: 'men sheli' (out of silence). Can one translate from Greek 'a booming noise' to 'men sheli'? I don't think so! But from Aramaic to Greek? Yes. Because 'out of silence' (men sheli) could be understood as *noisy* by a non-native speaker.

John 21:15
2) Aramaic; Feed my lambs, male-sheep, female-sheep.
Greek; Feed my Lambs, sheep, sheep

The usage of mentioning male/female sheep shows a deep knowledge of the language, and of course, which impact did this have on Peter?
He wrote to men (1 Pe 3:7)
To women (1 Pe 3:1)
Young people (1 Pe 5:5)

Using the Greek Bible, people tend to understand it as if there are different kinds of 'love' like agape vs filea (while they are used intermingled)

3) Janus parallelism
Luke 13:19
Yeshu used a poetic language to describe the kingdom of God.
The parallelism is of great beauty, it would accidently appear if you translate from Greek. Or would it? (And show some examples)
Shlama Andrej,

1. I vote for Mattai 1,17 (gawra). With Peshitta primacy assumed, now it is possible that the former tax collector can actually count.

It works for me, like in science, one theory is better than the other if it can explain more "problematic phenomena".

2. It is very natural that shlichim would write in their native language first, not in a foreign one. My view, but that is not necessarily a very convincing argument for others.

Which brings me to asking you - what would you consider as evidence? What are the rules of engagement and accepted arguments for deciding about one thing against another ? For different people, I think different examples will be appealing. It depends on what is the methodology (e.g. should it be purely linguistic?) and most importantly what is the "pain", which when solved would make you accept this or that view?

I'm sure you have your own opinion and examples/evidence - can you share it?

With peace and blessings,
[after reading some of your old posts I decided to edit this message and delete very simple statements and add the question]
Thanks for all your answers, this was really helpful.

i have one more question: What exactly is the earliest actual referene to the Peshitta in any literature? i have seen the "78AD" one, but it does not seem clear it is in reference to a Peshitta manuscripts. What about the St. Thomas Chrstians as a whole, what do the different groups believe concerning the origins of the Peshitta?

Are there any history books that talk about how it was actully delivered by the Apostle Thomas? If not, where do the stories come from?

Thanks in advance
The 78 A.D. ref in Assemeni's Biblioteca is indeed speaking of an Aramaic copy, of at least the Gospels, this MS is known by members of the Church of the East to have existed among them, and there tradition has always been that they received the NT in Aramaic from the Apostles.

As far as I know, no other non-Greek speaking peoples traditions has maintained that assertion.
Here is my collection of evidence:

1. Polesemy (Split words)- Instances in which one Aramaic word has been read two different ways either because it is spelled the same or because they look so similar that you have to look very closely at them in order to distinguish them from one another (look at nun and lamed in Estrangela font). An example would be the two readings of I Corinthians 13:3 in the Greek manuscripts:

And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.- New American Standard Bible

If I give away everything I own, and if I give over my body in order to boast, but do not have love, I receive no benefit.- Holman Christian Standard Bible

Apparently the Aramaic word for these two phrases is spelled exactly the same way. Without vowels, words can easily be confused with one another. Without vowels, the Hebrew name for Saul (Sha'ul) and the grave/hell (Sheol): Sheen-Alef-Vav-Lamed.

Another somewhat example of a split verb is concerning the Aramaic talitha cumi. The Greek has two different transliterations of this Aramaic phrase in Mark 5:41:

Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, "Talitha kum!" (which translated means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!").- New American Standard Bible

And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.- King James Version

The differences in the transliterations arose because the yod at the end of cumi (represented by the "i" for uninformed readers), is not pronounced when spoken. So the written form would be: talitha cumi, while the spoken form is talitha cum.

3. Poetry and Wordplay in the Aramaic Text that is absent in the Greek. Let's use John 1:18 for an example:

Alaha la khza anash memtum ikhiddaya Alaha haw d'itawhi b'uba d'awuhi huw eshtai.- Transliteration of the Eastern Peshitta

Man has not ever seen Elohim. The Only Begotten of Elohim, he who is in the bosom of his Father, he has declared him."- Aramaic English New Testament translation of the Eastern Peshitta

Another example of Semitic poetry in the Peshitta is a Janus parallelism, as explained by Paul Younan who is quoting another user:

Quote:Shlama Akhay!
I'm very excited to share with you something special - a very unique feature of Hebrew poetry in our precious Peshitta - hey, I like the way that sounds!

The first example was discovered in Song of Songs by my teacher's teacher's teacher, the late great Cyrus Gordon. He termed this extremely creative poetic device 'janus parallelism', where a passage exploits both meanings of a word with two meanings simultaneously. Here it is in his own words:

"One kind of parallelism is quite ingenious, for it hinges on the use of a single word with two entirely different meanings: one meaning paralleling what precedes, and the other meaning, what follows."
- Cyrus Gordon, 1978

Since he first published his findings, many more have been discovered in the Hebrew Bible.

Well, I've discovered one in Matti 13! Hold on to your chair...

Matti 13:31-32

[font=Estrangelo (V1.1)]fdrxd Fdrpl 0ym4d Fwklm 0ymd[/font]

[font=Estrangelo (V1.1)]htyrqb h9rz 0rbg Bsnd[/font]

The Kingdom of Heaven is likened to a grain of mustard seed,
which a man took and sowed in his field.

[font=Estrangelo (V1.1)]0nw9rz Jwhlk Nm Yh 0yrw9z Yhw[/font]

(nice pun, eh? <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/happy.gif" alt="Big Grin" title="Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin --> Now watch this...)

[font=Estrangelo (V1.1)]0nwqry Jwhlk Nm Yh 0br tbrd Nyd 0m[/font]

when it has grown, it is greater than all the herbs.

[font=Estrangelo (V1.1)]hykwsb Nqt 0ym4d Fxrp F0td Ky0 0nly0 hywhw[/font]

and becomes a tree, so that the birds of heaven will come and nest in its branches

O.K. - check this out: Here, the word for 'birds' can also mean 'flowers' or 'blossoms'! The two-faced janus aspect is that taken in parallel with what precedes - seeds, herbs, and trees - it can be understood as 'blossoms'. Taken with what follows - 'nesting in branches' - it can be understood as birds!

Here's how it pivots:

seeds, herbs, trees, <- blossoms/birds -> , heaven, nesting, branches

See how it works? Pretty cool, eh?

This is a very authentic feature, with precedents in TaNaKh, impossible to be conveyed in Greek.

I hope this is as exciting for you as it is for me!


4. The Greek New Testament has commonalities in grammar and translation to the Septuagint Tanakh (known by all to be translated from Hebrew). Since Hebrew and Aramaic are closely related, commonalities between translations from these languages (when translated literally) should be expected. Here is a gloss from John 1:41-

He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah " (which translated means Christ).-New American Standard Bible

Here is Genesis 19:37-38 according to the Septuagint:

And the elder bore a son and called his name Moab, saying, He is of my father. This is the father of the Moabites to this present day. And the younger also bore a son, and called his name Amman, saying, The son of my family. This is the father of the Ammanites to this present day.- The Septuagint with Apocrypha

5. The Testimony of Josephus:

...I have also taken a great deal of pains to obtain the learning of the Greeks, and understand the elements of the Greek language, although I have so long accustomed myself to speak our own tongue, that I cannot pronounce Greek with sufficient exactness; for our nation does not encourage those that learn the languages of many nations....- Antiquities of the Jews 20.11.2

6. The Septuagint was not widely used in Israel:

The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures that was made in Egypt and existed before the New Covenant writings; but Prof. Neubauer says, "we may boldly state that this Greek translation of the Bible was unknown in Israel, except to men of the schools, and perhaps a few of the Hellenistic Jews. It is said in the Talmud that when the Greek translation of the Seventy appeared, there came darkness upon the earth, and that the day was as unfortunate for Israel as that on which the golden calf was made."- A Translation in English Daily Used, of the Peshitto-Syriac Text, and of the Received Greek Text, of Hebrews, James, 1 Peter and 1 John by William Norton