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Greetings All,

After reading through the threads regarding Aramaic idioms it struck me that perhaps because of culture and geography there isn't a necessary primacy to be had.

Here's what I mean. If people like Edersheim are to be believed the people of Palestine had a lot of necessary religious, cultural, and sociological intercourse with their brothers in the east while those Jews in the west and in other parts were a bit more removed. Since it was drilled into the disciples that it is to the Jew first then everyone else it seems logical that the disciples would write their witness to their brothers in the coin of the realm, so to speak, not necessarily translating idioms because their intended audience would be aware of their meaning. This process would not necessarily preclude Aramaic or Greek originals if by original we mean authored or commisioned by a NT writer.



Shlama Akhi John,

In and of themselves, idioms are inconclusive because as you pointed out the meaning would be recognizable by someone in the same cultural setting regardless of the language it was conveyed in - most of the time, at least. Some idioms, especially those related to etymology of words, are totally incomprehensible outside of the language they are first conceived in.

Nevertheless, the strategy here is to combine multiple aspects of Aramaic take them as a whole. While idioms are, in and of themselves, a weak argument for the language the NT was written in - when they are combined with the "bigger picture" and more conclusive evidence (mistranslations, polysemy, variants, etc.) then they become part of a more powerful argument. (Which is why we have all the different categories split up here on the forum.)