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So what difference does Aramaic primacy really make?
Dear Fr. John,

"Does it matter that much that we need to teach Aramaic at theology schools instead of Greek? In what way? What other impacts should it all have??"

I'm not an expert in designing theology courses but I believe learning Greek (or Latin) has its merits, so I wouldn't scrap it if I was redesigning programmes. But I understand your question is a hyperbole (oh, which happens to be a word of .. Greek origin).

I was asking myself a similar question - does it really matter if NT was written in Greek or Aramaic? Does it matter for an average Christian or a "prospect Christian"? If he/she doesn't read a translation of a translation with understanding, if at all? Isn't Aramaic/Greek primacy just a hair splitting? The Gospel is very simple and can be conveyed in any language. But the answer to your question is for me - yes, it matters, because the truth matters. But when I speak to my brothers and sisters I very rarely converse with them about Aramaic primacy of the NT. Simply because I cannot expect a coherent conversation on a sensible level (the same would apply to Greek). Biblical knowledge of many of my friends is based on whatever they hear from their pastors once a week or read in the Times or hear on TV, it is basically based on fables. And no desire to learn, sacrifice time (either studies on Saturdays or golf with friends, tough decision huh?). Instead of talking about Aramaic, I ask them what have they been reading recently (in English most likely) and what have they learned. You probably have similar reflections in your pastoral work. What I'm trying to say is that I believe that having the issue of Aramaic origin of the NT sorted out is important but in many situations "righteousness, peace and joy in the holy ghost" is much more important. Just looking at the discussions on this forum might give someone a false impression that most of us have an Aramaic obsession. Because the discussions are focused on one issue it may look as we miss the whole perspective.

Your question brings many other questions - does it really matter if Yeshu' had blood brothers? If so, what implications? Does it really matter how we exactly understand the Spirit, is it The Third Person? Does it really matter if G*d died on the cross? My gut feeling is that - yes, the answers to those questions do matter, at least for me. Not to the extent that I would shout "off with their heads" about those who dare to differ in opinion, but for me those questions and answers are important. And I wish that they were important to those who teach in the church.

Somewhere above is my answer to your question, and some other thoughts as well. Looks like it will be a long night, I will go back to doing my Aramaic homework.


Messages In This Thread
Kudos to Christina - by Stephen Silver - 09-09-2008, 09:32 PM
Re: So what difference does Aramaic primacy really make? - by enarxe - 09-09-2008, 11:07 PM

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