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book of Hebrews: better from Greek, or Aramaic?
Is it true that the Greek Mt 28:1 has "Late on the sabbath"?

_Our Translated Gospels: Some of the Evidence_ (1936), 172pp. by Charles Cutler Torrey. On 20-26:
Exhibit IV. Ambiguity of the Aram. Text.
F. Mt. 28:1 ac. to Grk.: LATE ON(!) THE SABBATH (....[snip Aramaic]....), AS IT DAWNED TO (....[snip Aramaic]....) the first day of the week, etc.
True rendering: AFTER THE SABBATH (same words) AND BEFORE THE DAWN OF (same word) the first day of the week, etc.
Exhibit IV, F (Mt. 28:1). This is a particularly fine example of translator's nonsense. The Grk. renders admirably, according to the canons of that day; but the curious idiom of the original cannot be rendered closely, in any non-Semitic language, without losing its meaning and creating confusion. The familiar Aram. phrase (translated also into Talmudic Heb.) designates ordinarily the time between the close (sunset) of one day and the dawn of the next day, and may apply either to the entire time or to any part of it. In the present case, it happens to apply to the latter part of the night, before dawn. "Late on the sabbath" is a ridiculous rendering, though faithful to the Grk. It is also quite incorrect to suppose that "as it began to dawn" (German, "in der Dammerung") gives the true meaning of the latter part of the phrase. The word "dawn" is there, it is true, but as it is employed in this idiom, the time intended could equally well be midnight, or any hour before or after it.

The same idiom precisely, using the same word (_dawn!_) is found in classical Syriac. In the _Chronicle of Joshua the Stylite_, ed. Wright, p. 22, line 9, it designates the whole "night between Friday and Saturday." In Bedjan's _Acta Mart. et Sanct._, IV, 579 f., the time is "at midnight"; _ibid._, 629, "at the eleventh hour of the night."

The facts in regard to the use of this peculiar phrase in Jewish Aram. and Talmudic Heb. were set forth very fully, with abundant references, by George F. Moore in the _Journ. Am. Oriental Soc._, Vol. 26 (1906), pp. 323-329. They seem to have been unknown to the N.T. commentators  (including Wellhausen), who suppose Mt. to have misunderstood this and that in Mk., and in general to have made a bad mess of the account at this point. Mt.'s Aram. text differed indeed considerably from Mk.'s, but contradicted it in no respect. Allen, _Comm._, Klostermann-Gressmann, and probably others, have been misled by Dalman, _Gramm._, 2nd ed., p. 247, notes 2 and 4. The reference in the former note cannot apply to Mt. 28:1, and the phrase referred to in note 4 is only part of the idiom described here. Dalman's further remark, "Vom Morgengrauen ab ist die Bezeichnung unmoglich," is also incorrect, for, as Moore (p. 325) shows, the phrase quoted is sometimes made to include the whole of the following day. See, further, the note on Lk. 23:54.

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RE: book of Hebrews: better from Greek, or Aramaic? - by DavidFord - 09-01-2020, 02:04 AM

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