Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Shlama Akhay!

Thought some of you might enjoy the following entry. I???ll preface it first with some food for thought. Two separate English versions of Martin Luther???s [German] reminiscence that I found on the internet:
  • ???The Hebrew language is the best language of all ??? If I were younger I would want to learn this language, because no one can really understand the Scriptures without it. For although the New Testament is written in Greek, it is full of Hebraisms and Hebrew expressions. It has therefore been aptly said that the Hebrews drink from the spring, the Greeks from the stream that flows from it, and the Latins from a downstream pool.???

    -- Martin Luther, Table Talk, quoted in Pinchas E. Lapide, Hebrew in the Church, trans. Erroll F. Rhodes (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1984), p. x.

    (from <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->)
  • ???If I were younger I would want to learn this language [i.e. Hebrew], for without it no one can properly understand the Holy Scripture ???. For that reason they have said correctly: ???The Jews drink out of the original spring, The Greeks drink out of the stream flowing out of the stream, The Latins, however, out of the puddle.??????

    -- Martin Luther (1483-1546)

    (from <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->)

Interesting, huh? Aside from the terrible thought of this confession coming from mainstream theology???s bulwark general, revealing a lack of expertise concerning the primary ingredient needed to even begin proper theology, hopefully it is noted how modern translators even seem to have difficulty agreeing precisely on what somebody in recent times has said, because it was in a different language. And of course, one of these just might be a paraphrase [targum]! Just something to dwell on. Now, an entry from ???A Theological Word Book of the Bible??? edited by Alan Richardson, D.D. and please note the ???subtle scholarship??? which I so dearly love (underlined by myself):
  • p.109

    ??? It is a priori most improbable that Jesus used this word to mean ???one who acts a false part in life???, i.e. ???one who pretends to be pious when he is not??? (Plummer in HDB, II, 441); for the word hypokrites with the meaning of ???actor??? belonged to the Greek drama, and so was alien to the Jewish tradition and the Aramaic language. The true meaning is deeper and more penetrating.
    ??? The Heb. chaneph is translated ???hypocrite??? some 10 times in AV, and hypokrites twice in LXX, in Job 34.30, 36.13; elsewhere it alternates with asebes, impious, and paranomos, lawless; and the same synonyms occur in Aquila and Theodotion. The NT usage tells the same tale. Matt. 24.51, ???shall appoint his portion with the hypocrites???, appears in Luke 12.46 as ???with the unbelieving??? (apiston). Mark 12.15, ???Jesus perceiving their hypocrisy???, has for parallels Matt. 22.18 ???their wickedness??? (ponerian) and Luke 22.23 ???their craftiness??? (panourgian); this shows that the evangelists recognized these words as synonyms. In Gal. 2.13 the derivative verb and noun, trans. ???dissimulation???, ???dissembled???, are used of the Jewish Christians, including even Peter and Barnabas, refusing to join (no doubt in the agape-eucharist) with the Gentile Christians, and thus dealing falsely with the principle already accepted, that the Gentiles were to be accepted as full Christians; plainly they are accused, not of playing a part, but of unprincipled action. It must be added, however, that when Luke is expressing himself in his own words, he can use hypokrinomenoi in Luke 20.20 of ???feigning themselves to be righteous'.
    ??? Hence the meaning with which Jesus used the word, speaking in Aramaic, cannot be that he accused the Scribes of deliberately acting a part or of conscious insincerity. The point was that while outwardly religious, inwardly and in the sight of God they were profane and ungodly men; so in Mark 7.6 he calls them ???hypocrites??? and quotes Isa. 29.13, ???This people honoureth me with their lips but their heart is far from me???. They are like whited sepulchers, outwardly whitewashed, inwardly foul, Matt. 23.27-8; more terribly still, in Luke 11.44,

    p. 110

    they are like sepulchers not whitewashed, so that people walking over them would become (spiritually) ???unclean???, not suspecting that such outwardly religious men were really inwardly corrupt. Cf. John 5.42, ???I know you, that ye have not the love of God in yourselves???.

    -- A.G. Hebert, M.A., D.D.

Interesting to contemplate the wording. For myself anyways, this is beautiful considering that this comes from a mighty little tome of 1950. And preeminently enough, being that this particular copy is from its ninth printing in 1977, I think nearly three decades of solid standing just makes me want to grin even more! There???s a single entry, ???Isaac???, by Matthew Black. No mention of Aramaic in it, and it???s rather short. Otherwise, from the back cover:
  • ??? This book is intended to elucidate the distinctively theological meanings of the key words in the Bible, from Abomination to Zeal. The editor and thirty other distinguished contributors have focused attention on theological meanings because it is at precisely this point that the ordinary reader of the Bible, as well as the preacher and teacher, requires clear and positive help. The book reflects the strictest historical, literary, and philological scrutiny that is the indispensable discipline of all biblical theology. All Hebrew and Greek words have been transliterated into English characters, and a valuable cross-indexing system is provided. ???

Thank you Dr. Hebert, and Canon Alan Richardson of Nottingham, posthumously if be so. Also a hearty todah rabbah to the bible camp dumpster whose kindness in displaying the colorfulness of this book???s old cover on top???o???the heap, lead me to its uncanny rescue! This book has been quite the blessing.

And so have you guys. It???s been a long time, too long in fact. Especial honor and thanks to Paul Younan, Dave Bauscher, and Andrew Gabriel Roth for your blistering polemics and rigorous defense of the Faith. I???ve learned and been reformed more from some of ya???ll???s latest postings than I think most of anything else I???ve learned within the past half a year. You guys truly are remarkable, and Albion certainly is right about MarYah???s pairing of Netzri Andrew with Assyrian Paul. At least that makes for a great epic tale!

Your friend,

And some more interesting finds for Aramaic Primacy, from a couple recent sources involved with debunking the Jesus and Mary ossuaries fraud .....

Professor Richard Bauckham, M.A., Ph.D. Cambridge; F.B.A.; Professor of New Testament Studies and Bishop Wardlaw Professor, University of St. Andrews:
  • The name Mariamenou-Mara

    "The Hebrew name Mariam was very popular among Palestinian Jews at this period," ....

    .... "This tradition of using the form Mariamme for Mary Magdalene must have been an alternative tradition of rendering her name in Greek. It most likely goes back to a usage within the orbit of Jewish Palestine (since the name Mary in any form was very rare in the diaspora and Gentile Christians would not be familiar with the name Mariamme ordinarily)." ....

    "We can now turn to the inscription on the ossuary, which has, in Greek: MARIAMENOUMARA. The two words Mariamenou and Mara are written consecutively with no space between. This makes it rather unlikely that two women are named here. But Rahmani takes a small stroke between the last letter of Mariamenou and the first of Mara to be a Greek letter eta (long e). He takes this to be the relative pronoun he (eta with a rough breathing), reading: ???Mariamnenou who [is also called] Mara.??? (Note that this is different, it seems, from what the Discovery Channel do when they read the eta with a smooth breathing, meaning ???or???.) There are parallels (I gather from Rahmani) to this abbreviated way of indicating two names for the same person.

    "The form of the name on the ossuary in question is Mariamenou. This is a Greek genitive case, used to indicate that the ossuary belongs to Mary (it means 'Mary's' or 'belonging to Mary'). The nominative would be Mariamenon. Mariamenon is a diminutive form, used as a form of endearment. The neuter gender is normal in diminutives used for women. But the name Mariamenon is found only here in all our evidence for ancient Jewish names. It is, of course, a specifically Greek formation, not used in Hebrew or Aramaic.

    "This diminutive, Mariamenon, would seem to have been formed from the name Mariamene, a name which is attested twice elsewhere (in the Babatha archive and in the Jewish catacombs at Beth She???arim). Mariamene is an unusual Greek form of Mariam, presumably invented because it has a rather elegant hellenized form. When I first looked at this issue I was rather persuaded that the form Mariamne was a contracted form of Mariamene (which I think is what the Discovery Channel film claims), but I then found that the second and third century evidence (reviewed above) makes it much more plausible that the form Mariamne is a late deformation of Mariamme that occurred only in a context outside Palestine where the name was not known. So the Discovery Channel film???s claim that the name on the ossuary is the same as the name known to have been used for Mary Magdalene in the Acts of Philip is mistaken.

    "But we must also consider the rest of this inscription. The Discovery Channel film proposes to read Mara as the Aramaic word ???the master??? (as in Maranatha). But, since we know that Mara was used as an abbreviated form of Martha, in this context of names on an ossuary it is much more plausible to read it as a name. This woman had two names: Mariamenon and Mara. It could be that the latter in this case was used as an abbreviation of Mariamenou, or it could be that the woman was known by Mariamenon, treated as a Greek name, and the Aramaic name Mara, conforming to the common practice of being known by two names, Greek and Semitic.

    "If the woman, for whatever reason, is given two different names on the ossuary, it is very unlikely that she would also have been known as Mariamene, even though this is the form of which Mariamenon is the diminutive. One other point can be made about Mariamenon. As a term of endearment it would be likely to have originated in the context of her family. But in that case, we probably need to envisage a family which used Greek as an ordinary language within the family. This does not mean it did not also use Aramaic, which would probably be the case if the names on the other ossuaries are those of family members closely related to Mariamenon. The family could have been bilingual even within its own orbit. Alternatively, the ossuaries in Aramaic could come from a branch of a big family or a generation of the family different from that of Mariamenon, such that their linguistic practice would be different. In any case, it is unlikely that the close family of Jesus would have spoken Greek within the family, and so it is unlikely that Mariamenon belonged to that close family circle.

    "The conclusion is that the name Mariamenon is unique, the diminutive of the very rare Mariamene. Neither is related to the form Maramne, except in the sense that all derive ultimately from the name Mariam. There is no reason at all to connect the woman in this ossuary with Mary Magdalene, and in fact the name usage is decisively against such a connexion."

    -- Richard Bauckham, The alleged 'Jesus family tomb',
    <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... s-tomb.pdf</a><!-- m -->

Interesting to wonder how he comes across his conclusions. Why is it "unlikely that the close family of Jesus would have spoken Greek within the family" in "any case", considering that it was supposedly "common practice of being known by two names, Greek and Semitic"?

Would it be too "unlikely that the close family of Jesus would have spoken Greek within the family" in "any case" because perhaps they might've been too 'Judean' or something? Or rather couldn't this be a bombshell find to prove that Greek was more syncretic in the lives of Jesus' people than Aramaic Primacists have been willing to yield to, if perhaps only this one didn't involve such heavy Christological ramifications?

After all, "the name Mariamenon is found only here in all our evidence for ancient Jewish names. It is, of course, a specifically Greek formation, not used in Hebrew or Aramaic." Thus, they would've had to been bilingual, since 'Mariamenou' is the genitive case form of 'Mariamenon', specific to its respective yet merely intimated time, which can be argued for or against both Greek and Aramaic Primacy depending on the stakes at hand I suppose, but remember that 'Mariamenon' is stated as being a diminutive which "would seem to have been formed from the name Mariamene, a name which is attested twice elsewhere" and "is an unusual Greek form of Mariam, presumably invented because it has a rather elegant hellenized form".

Remember now what it's like outside of Jewish Palestine: "the name Mary in any form was very rare in the diaspora", so we must be dealing with a local Jewish Palestinian society here, who's plainly familiar enough with koine Greek so as not to only take on second names (as purported a common practice of the time) but even to ably morph them into "a rather elegant hellenized form", unusual to the Greek as this was, yet apparently no obstacle for these bilingually adept Jews.

After all, it had to be them, because "the name Mary in any form" was so rare outside of Jewish Palestine that the "Gentile Christians would not be familiar" with it "ordinarily", since "the conclusion is that the name Mariamenon is unique, the diminutive of the very rare Mariamene. Neither is related to the form Maramne, except in the sense that all derive ultimately from the name Mariam"!

SO WHY CONCLUDE that the deceased Jewess must NOT have had any relationship to Jesus or His family based on this linguistic evidence? Suddenly the voice of reputing critical and modern Christological scholarship has the a priori notion that Jesus' close family members [insinuating also Jesus] unlikely spoke Greek within the family, without further explanation. And those with a Christological faith don't seem to be critically aware of a subtle Evangelical shift in linguistic allegiance here.

All of a sudden the linguae francae of Jesus and His family and disciples was not fluent-enough koine Greek for 'Mystery Mariam' to utilize such a twin "elegant hellenized form" name within Jewish Palestine, alongside her Semitic one? Why not? Just because the Resurrection is at stake on this one? But then how did the New Testament manage to write Itself in Autographical Greek!

So am I just splicing and dicing here; guilty of wrongfully crisping the saganaki? How about just one more associative reference here, to see if it doesn't burn down its own Prait??rion entirely, leaving the Aramaic Peshitta impenetrably provenant .....

Professor Ben Witherington III, M.Div., Ph.D. Durham; Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Asbury Theological Seminary:
  • "Unfortunately, this is a story full of holes, conjectures and problems. It will make good TV and involves a bad critical reading of history. Basically, this is old news with a new interpretation. We have known about this tomb since it was discovered in 1980. There are all sorts of reasons to see this as much ado about nothing."

    "There is a major problem with the analysis of the names on these ossuaries. By this I mean one has to explain why one is in Hebrew, several are in Aramaic, but the supposed Mary Magdalene ossuary is in Greek...The earliest Jewish Christians in Jerusalem, including the members of Jesus??? family and Mary Magdalene, did not speak Greek. They spoke Aramaic. We have absolutely no historical evidence to suggest Mary Magdalene would have been called by a Greek name before a.d. 70. She grew up in a Jewish fishing village called Migdal, not a Greek city at all. It makes no sense that her ossuary would have a Greek inscription."

    -- Ben Witherington, The Lost Tomb of Jesus documentary, quoted in Personal Update: The News Journal of Koinonia House, April 2007 (Vol. 17, No.4), "What's in a Name?" pp. 7-8.
    (also <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... %20RSA.pdf</a><!-- m -->)

Well, perhaps on an off-day, some day, many more distinguished scholars will finally 'come out of the closest' over 1st century Aramaic, yes? Then we can't complain about linguistic hypocrisy when they're otherwise brilliantly at work deconstructing archaeological lies in tandem with the rest of the tools of the trade, such as patina and pre-existent photos of 'newly' unearthed ossuaries, to defend our Saviour by!

Shlama w'burkate,


Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)