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Lamsa Bible
I just joined, and I would like to ask the forum members their opinion of the Lamsa Bible.

I heard it was a 'well received' and respected bible.

The reason why I ask is because I tripped over this 'christian' site called Chick Publications at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m --> while searching for peshitta material on the web and it said George Lamsa was "... a very sly man" . It produces christian material in the form of cartoons, presumably pitched at kids, offering pat answers to complex questions using fear, uncertainty, and doubt; and advising one to stick to the traditional kjv.

Here is the full text:

Question: What is the Lamsa Bible? Is it trustworthy like the King James Bible? If not, how is it different?

Answer: I used the Lamsa Bible myself, when I was into the occult, over two decades ago. But I still remember the strange things it says to this day. The Lamsa Bible is supposedly a translation of the Aramaic Peshitta Bible, authored by occultist George Lamsa. He was a very sly man. He used as his base text the King James Bible, and changed passages to fit what he wanted them to say, then claimed he was only "translating the Aramaic."

Perverted Prophecies of the Lord Jesus Christ

For example, in Matthew 27:46 God's words say: "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" But Lamsa's book says "Eli, Eli, lemana shabakthani," which according to his notes means, "My God, my God, for this I was spared," or "this was my destiny." This destroys the Lord Jesus Christ's quotation of Psalm 22:1. Even worse, he changed Psalm 22:1 into heresy:

"My God, my God, why hast thou let me to live? and yet thou hast delayed my salvation from me, because of the words of my folly."

A person reading Jesus' words on the cross and Psalm 22 would have no idea that God made that psalm into a precise prophecy of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We know that the Lord Jesus is the "only-begotten" of God the Father. But in Lamsa's perversion it reads, "the first-born" (John 1:14, 18). Jesus wasn't the first born from God; He is the ONLY one, God the Son and Son of God.

1 Timothy 3:16 says clearly "God was manifest in the flesh;" but Lamsa wrongly wrote, "it [the "divine mystery"] is revealed in the flesh." Jesus wasn't a mystery with a body. He was, and is, God Himself.

Micah 5:2 tells us that the Lord Jesus has always lived; but instead of "whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting," Lamsa lies, "whose goings forth have been predicted from of old, from everlasting." This makes no sense. Jesus wasn't predicted from eternity; He has existed from eternity!

Other prophecies

He changed other passages, too, such as one in Daniel 11:38, which many believe prophesies the antichrist. The KJV clearly says: "But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things." But in the Lamsa Bible, it says this evil man will honor "the mighty God..."

Isaiah 14:12 tells us about the spirit behind the kings of the world, namely Lucifer: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!" But in Lamsa's perversion it reads: "How are you fallen from heaven! howl in the morning!"

It's Not a Christian Bible

The Lamsa Bible is not Christian at all. It is Lamsa's own blend of occultic ideas made to look a lot like the King James Bible. Amazingly he published books with both Holman Publishers and the occultic Unity "School of Christianity." For a while, some Christians endorsed this Bible, and it was the choice for Oral Roberts' study Bible years back. I have not heard anything more about it for years.

It is better to stay with God's preserved words in English. All these supposed "more ancient" and "better" Bible texts have done is bring confusion to the Christian world. And we all know who is the author of confusion.

The Lamsa Bible is not endorsed or utilized by the Church of the East as we have the Peshitta in it's Aramaic purity. This site as far as I know does not endorse his translation either.

Deacon Paul has the interlinear version on this website so you can read this and compare.

Why would we be confused by reading the Peshitta version of the Bible? We simply know that it is the purest form of the Word of God and from what I have read here, many scholars who do not agree with Aramaic Primacy still believe it is the closest representation to the original manuscripts that are now lost.
One more thing, it is the Protestant churches and the many English translations that bring confusion into the Christian world, do not forget that Christianity is a Semitic teaching and should be understood from a Semitic perspective.

We have and have always had one translation, so from our perspective it is a rather clear picture in respect to the content of the new testament.

I agree with you however that there is cause for concern as there is an opportunity for someone to translate the Peshitta incorrectly and deliberately lead them astray.
@Alan: you used the word "translation:" are you claiming the Peshitta to be the original Bible, or the Authorised Version of the Aramaic-speaking Church? I'm new to this, so thanks for your input.
@Rafa: thanks for the post. The Targumim were not complete translations, and were used as an aid for Jews whose grasp of Hebrew was too tenuous to follow the lectionary reading in the synagogue; they were without canonical authority. Perhaps my question to Alan would be better phrased: does the ACOE regard the Peshitta as the original, of which the Masoretic Text and Greek manuscripts are but translations, or is the Peshitta itself a translation done under Church authority?
Hi doc,

We believe that the word was written in Aramaic and we therefore believe the contents of the peshitta are the closest written text to the original writings attributed to Christ our Lord.
@Rafa: I have done some reading on the Peshitta Tanakh (PT), but I have no source stating that the Masoretic Text (MT) differs in any wise, save with vowels and marginal notes, from the texts received from the Tannaim and Amoraim. I would be very surprised that the scribes would alter the text in any wise, given the rigour shown in copying; however, if you have such a source, I would greatly appreciate it if you would share it.
We have covered the Lamsa translation and the George Lamsa quite extensively before in thsi forum. Search at the upper right of the screen on Lamsa and you will have much interesting reading.

I met Lamsa in 1970 and had dinner wiuh him. He was a sincere and dedicated Christian. Since Aramaic was his native language, he believed he could effectively translate the Peshitta text of both the Old and New Testament using his inate understanding of the languaage and its idioms. There are very few singificant differecnes between his translation of the New Testament and modern translations of the Greek Majority Text such as in the New King James Version.

The Pershitta Old Textament has some significant differences from the current versions of Hebrew Bible that are based on the Masoretic Text that was contructed many centuries after the birth of Jesus. The Greeek Septuagent text of the Hebrew Bible that was translated from Hebrew a few Centuries before Jesus was born also has significant differences.


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