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So what difference does Aramaic primacy really make?
shlom lokh abun John D'Alton,

Your main question was ???In what way does Aramaic primacy have "*significant* impact on lived theology"????

As you already know the Church that I belong to is the Antiochan Syriac Maronite Church. The official language of this Church is Syriac-Aramaic and the official Bible is the Peshitto.

All our original Church teachings were done in Syriac-Aramaic, and have been preserved in the actual text themselves that are used during the different prayers and liturgies.

Our Church faced both issues related to Latinization and Arabisian. Latinization introduced Western theology into our Church and Arabisian made the teachings of our Church completely foreign to some of its children.

We debated the relevance of the Syriac-Aramaic in our 2005 Synod, and from there we decided that Syriac-Aramaic was crucial to the understanding of the Church's theology and positions. The Synod encouraged the children of the Maronite Church to learn Syriac-Aramaic once more and to make every effort to learn about our history.
The Syriac-Aramaic language was seen as a way to maintain our distinction and unity in a hostile area of the world.

I think the words of St Hardini, were probably still resonating in their ears. St Hardini had told his students that only in learning theology in the Syriac-Aramaic language will you understand.

Our Patriarch has taken measures in Lebanon to make it easier for the common man to learn Syriac-Aramaic.
(Ex: The classes that the Maronite Antonian Order are doing in Syriac-Aramaic and the Qurbono that they are celebrating in Syriac-Aramaic rises to this challenge.
The Maronite Order has recently translated the Peshitto (both OT and NT) into Arabic, to help the lay people have a better Bible than had been previously available to them in Arabic (i.e. for those that can???t read Syriac-Aramaic.))

I can tell you personally that when I hear a priest explain a Bible verse based on what he has learned from the Western schools, as opposed to the Eastern schools based on Syriac, then I run for the Peshitto (just to preserve my sanity. (i.e. this is obviously not the case in all cases.))

In the case of the Maronite Church we are still struggling with implementing the 2005 Synod as many of the Bishops and Priests who had objected to the Synod are now doing all they can to make it as hard as possible for the Church to implement the 2005 Synod.

So to answer your question; in the case of the Maronite Church it has played a huge role in both the theology that priests are taught and that the people are taught. The use of foreign languages has caused great confusion in regards to our authentic theology and has lead many people away from our Church.
The gradual loss of the Syriac-Aramaic language in the Maronite Church is only 60 years old and it has caused this much trouble, now just imagine what would happen to the teachings of our Lord after almost 2000 years (and yes I understand that the early Church fathers helped us understand all these points of confusion through their works and commentaries, but did we have to go through all the problems linked to the different Greek translations. Luckily for the Maronite Church we had the Peshitto which maintained our unity and prevented us from fracturing.)

We believe that between us and the Western Church, there are no issues on the dogmatic front, but there are differences on how we explain these dogmas. We believe that maintaining the language that our Lord spoke, that our ancestors spoke, and that our Church fathers spoke is crucial to the very continuance and existence of our Syriac Maronite Church.

This question is harder to answer than I expected, because we recently relived the debate and as such I???m more focused on what it means for the everyday Maronite than on a grand scale.

push bashlomo,

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 abudar2000 - 09-13-2008, 12:05 PM

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