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A Message For Beginners: The Lamsa Bible
Shlama Friends,

This is a spin-off from another post.

If you are NEW to the world of Peshitta Primacy, undoubtedly, one of the first names that you come across, is that of George M. Lamsa.

I used Lamsa's (1958 translation [I believe] from Holman Bible Publishers), for years myself, as there was NOTHING else translated into English from the Aramaic P'shitta New Testament (AT THAT TIME).

Now, here's the rub.

George Lamsa and (and his protege, and main student) Rocco Errico, both translated the P'shitta N.T. as though DEMONS ARE THE SAME THING AS 'MENTAL ILLNESS'.

Now, this clashes with what Maran Yeshua taught. PERIOD. No "if's", NO "but's", NO "maybe's".

In other places, George Lamsa negates the Devil being a spirit being, and Rocco Errico goes even FURTHER than that, by denying the devil, in the way that Yeshua clearly taught about him in The New Covenant.


As are demons.

Are SOME people who are demon possessed, ALSO suffering from a mental illness?

I would say that that is likely, but demon possession IS NOT THE SAME THING AS MENTAL ILLNESS.

If you are new to the world of Peshitta Primacy, the P'shitta New Testament teaches a A REAL DEVIL, who wants to ship wreck the human race, steal your LIFE, and your soul.


Even George M. Lamsa.
Lamsa was a sloppy translator IN SOME PLACES.

Take the New Covenant at face value. If it says that Yeshua 'faced off' with the devil in the desert, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HE DID.

If the P'shitta N.T. says that Yeshua cast demons out of people, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HE DID.

George M. Lamsa, or Rocco Errico, not withstanding.


And I would ask you to remember what Messiah Yeshua said to His Talmidim (Disciples): "Don't rejoice that the demons are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in The Book of Life". (My paraphrase)

This IS NOT an attack on Akhan Otto, nor upon ANYONE ELSE here on the Board.

IT'S A WARNING from someone who has seen the devastation first hand, of what the devil (and his minions) can actually do.

Be CAREFUL reading the P'shitta. Just read it AS IT'S WRITTEN, and you won't go wrong.

Shlama in Yeshua, Albion
Dear Albion,

What a sadly ridiculous statement attacking a brilliant dead man. Apparently, you have not read Lamsa???s extensive commentaries or met him or heard his recorded lectures stressing the importance of understanding idioms in any language including Aramaic. Lamsa was a linguist whose main concern was correct understanding of his native Aramaic language. He was not interested in metaphysics or unorthodox theology.

Rocco Errico has his own agenda, and he is no George Lamsa. If you want to discuss the teachings of Errico, that???s fine and we would probably agree that they are not orthodox, but his ideas are irrelevant.

I believe that you have seriously misrepresented Lamsa???s New Testament translation from the Peshitta and other Aramaic sources by taking a few very special cases out of context, unjustly generalizing, and reaching unjustified conclusions.

It is true and well documented that in a few incidents in the New Testament, Lamsa believed that certain specific references to certain persons described as having demons were idiomatic in his native Aramaic language in reference to their insanity. There were insane men who Jesus encountered. That is a statement of fact, and has nothing at all to do with the cause of that insanity. Do you believe that all insane people are possessed by demons? In some Bible examples it is clear that demons were implicated, and Lamsa???s translation does not misrepresent them. In those few cases of this idiomatic interpretation Lamsa put careful footnotes in his translation of the Peshitta, and further documented and explained these linguistic meanings in his commentaries. He was not intending to hide anything and he did nothing secretive or improper. His commentaries explain his choices. If you believe that the literal meaning of every word conveys the true meaning, then how do you handle the many Biblical metaphors.

To claim that Lamsa did not believe in demons or satan or devils or purposely misrepresnted them is just plain wrong! To imply that Lamsa tried to hide the existence of demons or devils or satan is just plain rediculous.

I started counting the number of times that ???demon??? or ???demons??? are mentioned in Lamsa???s New Testament translation, and a found over 2,000 cases in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. I found over 1,000 cases of ???devil??? or ???devils??? and over 1,000 cases of ???satan??? and for those I looked only the first half Lamsa???a New Testament translation. I was too tired to go any further, but it is clear that Lamsa did not hide or avoid the clear Biblical references to demons, the devil, or satan as found in the Peshitta. How can you claim that he did?

When the Bible says that Yeshua faced off with the devil in the desert, you can find that well described in Lamsa???s translation. When Yeshua cast demons out of people, Lamsa???s translation clearly describes these cases because Lamsa was a precise and accurate tramslator.

To read the Peshitta just ???AS IT???S WRITTEN??? requires a mastery of Aramic and an understanding of first Century Aramaic idioms. Few NEW STUDENTS meet these requirements.

The best complete translation into English of the whole Peshitta including the Hebrew scriptures is Lamsa???s translation, the result of his life???s work carefully accomplished singlehandedly without the aid of computers. It is primarily a linguistic accomplishment, which he carefully documented in his books and commentaries, of which I think I have every one. Yes, his translation has some flaws and not everyone agrees with his views of some Aramaic idioms, but I have not seen a more complete, accurate, and readable translation in English of the whole Peshitta.



To get factual information about the work and actual opinions of George Lamsa I recommend visiting the web site of the Aramaic Bible Society at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->

The Aramaic Bible Society was founded by Lamsa in 1943.


Dear Otto,

I wrote you a post of about an hour and a half length this morning.

See the 'Technical Section' below for my post about that to Paul Younan.

I will write sometime again today.

Newbies, here is an article about George M. Lamsa.

It's written by Greek Primacy people, but some (A LOT OF) of the information about Lamsa is quite damning.

I've got some more thoughts on Lamsa that I will share again sometime today.

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... 0032a.html</a><!-- m -->

Till then.

Shlama, Albion
Shlama Otto,

First, let me say that I???ve not studied George Lamsa???s Bible since probably 1997, when I threw the copy that I then had in the garbage can.

That's about 11 years ago.

But I first started reading from George Lamsa's New Testament in about 1976-77.

And I read it every night, for years, literally.

Otto, do you remember when Akhan Paul Younan said that the FIRST thing that they did with his home (missionary) Church in Chicago, was to throw all of George Lamsa???s Bibles in the garbage??

This was when it first became a part of The Assyrian Church of the East.

Now, if Paul Younan thought highly of Lamsa???s Bible, this would NOT have happened, would it?
But it DID.

As to demons, and mental illness. Are most people who are mentally ill demon possessed? I frankly doubt it.

But do most people who are demon possessed have a mental illness, as well. I???d say this might be.

I???ve seen one person who is a socio-path and he is clearly demon possessed, which one can see from a photograph.

This is one of those what came first, the chicken or the egg, kind of questions.

When I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the early 1980???s, every New Age bookstore in town sold George M. Lamsa???s New Testaments, and his Bible, and most of his books.

Lamsa was associated with The Unity School of Christianity, The Way International, and Edgar Cayce???s Association for Research and Enlightment organization as well.

Now, I personally like The Way International???s 3 volume Aramaic-English Interlinear New Testament, but clearly, The Way International used to have some pretty heretical ideas.

Ditto, for The Unity School of Christianity, and Edgar Cayce???s A.R.E. Organization.

George M. Lamsa used to receive funds from, and taught at ALL of these organizations.

If I was a beginner in the P???shitta, and I was going to buy ANY of Lamsa???s material???s, I would spend my money on a 1940 Edition of his New Testament.

I think that this might be ???the safest??? Translation of any of his New Testament???s/Bibles.

But, I think with all of the other Aramaic-English New Testaments that are sold now, I would not waste my money on ANY of Lamsa???s Translations.

I guess the real question here is George Lamsa???s ideas about:

1.Demons versus mental illness.

As I said, this is one of my real problems with Lamsa.

Being demon possessed IS NOT (necessarily) ???mental illness???.

Can demoniac???s ALSO have a mental illness?

Yes, I would certainly think so, as I said before.

2. Lamsa???s view of angels, which I frankly had forgotten about, until I read this article by Juedes.

His view of angels is also very strange, in my opinion.

Either angels are the Messenger???s of Alaha, or they are NOT.

There does not seem to be a lot of ???wiggle room???on this one.

3.Lamsa???s view of Yeshua???s Death and Resurrection.

Either Yeshua rose from the grave, and literally conquered death, or He did NOT.

One CANNOT have it both ways.

4. Lamsa???s organization to promote ???peace??? between Muslims and Christians, which I no longer remember the name of.

If one considers the history of The Assyrian Church of the East, of which Lamsa was a member, or Eastern Christianity altogether, this is a VERY strange idea.

There is literally hundreds of years of Muslims murdering Church of the East people, or Muslims submitting them to the Muslim ???tax??? for them to even continue existing in the Muslim Middle East.

These are a few of my objections to George Lamsa???s ???translations??? from the Aramaic.

How many times did Lamsa translate to ???please??? those who funded his efforts? I don???t really know, and NEITHER does Otto.

But, as was pointed out the other day about Hebrews Chapter 4??????.sometimes Lamsa has *the correct* translation from the Eastern Text of the P???shitta N.T.

And sometimes he does NOT.

I would again warn new comers to the Peshitta N.T. to seek some other translation besides George Lamsa???s.

Shlama, Albion
Just a clarification: I didn't say we threw Lamsa's translation into the garbage. I said we got rid of the copies from the pew areas, specifically they were moved into the library in the office. But that was also true of several copies of the KJV and NIV we found in the aisles, too.

My exact words were:

Quote:St. John, the Church where I serve, used to be a Protestant church that approached the CoE to become united with it (about 15 years ago). When the clergy were sent over, we found the church loaded with Lamsa bibles all over the pews. One of the first acts was to get rid of them all.

The CoE considers both Lamsa and Errico heretics.

That's a far cry from throwing anything into a garbage can. You seem to sometimes misrepresent someone's ideas or words Akhi Albion, I hope that is not intentional.

Needless to say, never is anything with God's Name in it to be thrown in the garbage. Lamsa's translation, imperfect as it was (as imperfect as mine surely is), still had God's Word in it, not to mention the Yudh-Heh "symbol" on the cover.

Incidentally, translations always reflect the bias of the author(s). No translation of anything is an exception. That's why the original is the best to reference, if possible.

In other words don't think for one moment the Interlinear here is perfect or doesn't contain the bias of yours trooly. As much as one tries to avoid it, at times it becomes an unintentional reality.
Shlama Paul,

I did not mean to mis-quote you.

I'm sorry that I did.

And if I at times "mis-represent" someone's words, it's by human error, NOT by design, I assure you.

It bothers me that you would think that, but I, like others here, am only human.

Perhaps I should have not thrown away Lamsa's Bible back in back in 1997.

But I didn't know THEN, what I know NOW.

I was discouraged with some of Lamsa's teachings that I felt clashed with Yeshua's teachings.

Albeit some of these (teachings) were from his books, which I had several of as well.

Peace be unto you, Albion

Paul Younan Wrote:Just a clarification: I didn't say we threw Lamsa's translation into the garbage. I said we got rid of the copies from the pew areas, specifically they were moved into the library in the office. But that was also true of several copies of the KJV and NIV we found in the aisles, too.

Never is anything with God's Name in it to be thrown in the garbage. Lamsa's translation, imperfect as it was (perhaps as imperfect as mine surely is), still had God's Word in it, not to mention the Yudh-Heh "symbol" on the cover.

Translations always reflect the bias of the author(s). No translation of anything is an exception. That's why the original is the best to reference, if possible.
Shlama all--

It is with great pleasure and pride that I announce the final stages of the Mari/PEACE interlinear NT! We are still on track for Pesach release, around April 20th for those keeping score at home. <!-- s:onfire: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/onfire.gif" alt=":onfire:" title="On Fire" /><!-- s:onfire: -->

This morning I received the Master File for the entire translation, from Matthew to Revelation. The English section ALONE is 273 pages with 1335 footnotes. Of course double this number for the matching Aramaic verses.

In addition, more than 300 pages of extra study materials have also been edited in this single volume. Included in these sections are topics such as:

*Restoring the Original Biblical Calendars as a Key to Prophecy.
*Detailed comparitive notes for Khabouris and other Peshitta mss, as well as Old Syriac and later Hebrew sources.
*Detailed studies on the timing of key Gospel events, including the crucifixion and resurrection.
*Exploring the truth behind Josephus' REAL beliefs about Y'shua and dispelling doubts about the facts in his Testimonium once and for all.
*Reconstructing the original Tanakh book list that Josephus and Y'shua both knew and used in the first century.
*Putting together the full sweep of the historical record to show how the Aramaic Scriptures read, where some versions were changed, and annotating all such alterations so that the reader can make up their own mind.
*Sacred names for Father and Son and original Nazarene terminology RESTORED, with a running Nazarene commentary throughout the footnotes. Special attention given to restoring Aramaic understanding also through showing cognates in the Hebrew Tanakh for the exact same words.
*Pronunciation keys and standardized vowel pointing applied to Estrangela for ease in speaking and reading. Comparitive tables with Hebrew letters included.

AND much more! I will give more detailed lists later...

From this point, I will make the final edits shortly and in a few weeks I will then get the "camera ready pdf" which will show the real layout. Once that is approved we are off to the bindery, so stay tuned!

Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth
To Paul,

Willis Barnstone said in his book 'The New Covenant': "In biblical work, mortals begin with error".

I would count everyone's mistakes (mine included) here on this list, to fall under Barnstone's description.

Brother Paul, I would appreciate it, since the enemy of our soul's has 'a scout' here on this list, that in the future if you need to discipline me, that you'd do it in a private message.

Thank you very much.

Shlama Andrew,

If I'm not mistaken, George Lamsa first published his New Testament in 1935.

That's 73 years ago now.

We've waited a long time now for a complete P'shitta Interlinear New Covenant, and I rejoice that the wait is almost over!!

I have two questions for you regarding Mari/PEACE.

Will it be available to buy in some form besides 'Pay Pal', since my Pay Pal account was hacked and closed by Pay Pal themselves to avoid misuse?

Using only Pay Pal limits the potential buyers for your New Covenant in my opinion.

So, I mean will one be able to purchase Mari/PEACE with a credit card or a debit card?

And will you sell it through, or just through your publisher?

I'm VERY EXCITED about the near publication of Mari/PEACE, and in fact I just mentioned to my wife yesterday that "I wonder if Andrew is still going to publish his P'shitta by Passover?"

So, those are my questions Andrew, and I'm really jazzed that we're almost THERE!! <!-- s:biggrin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/biggrin.gif" alt=":biggrin:" title="Big Grin" /><!-- s:biggrin: -->

Shlama all, Albion
Shlama Akhi Albion,

I thought you might be the first one to respond! <!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) -->

Anyhow, here is the answer to your questions.

1) We are still setting up distribution channels and payment methods, but I can tell you that I think you will be able to purchase Mari/PEACE with a conventional credit card. You are probably thinking of how Ruach Qadim was set up, but that was with a different publisher than the one I am with now, Netzari Press. I will update you when these arrangements are completed though.

2) I am also pretty sure it will be on Amazon as well, but that's on my publisher to decide. Typically though Amazon ends up purchasing copies from all sorts of web-based smaller entities like Netzari Press to re-sell them through their portal anyway. Amazon usually doesn't care about having authors jump through hoops so long as their regular bulk discounts are in place. Like with #1, when I know more, you will know.

But as for the rest, zowray haymanutha--you of little faith! <!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) --> There should have been NO DOUBT about whether this would come. Yes there have been delays but my team has been steadfast throughout, and now we are almost there.

Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth
Did Lamsa speak for Unity because he believed in their doctrines or because he was looking for an audience?
October 21, 2008

I spoke with Lamsa, and he favored the Anglican or Episcopal Church with which he was associated for many years. His home church was the Church of the East.

But Lamsa was willing to speak to any group who would support his work in translating and promoting the Aramaic Bible.

Remember, he translated the whole Aramaic Bible including both the Old and New Testaments himself and there were no personal computers available in those days and he depended on contributions to accomplish his work.

Lamsa certainly did not hold to Unity doctrines.


Otto, I notice it says that you live in Davis CA....

I worked there once as a teen. Born in Woodland, rasied in Winters...I would ride my 10speed from Winters to Davis on the back roads...then I got myself a moped and did the same for a bit....fond memories.

My main dislike of the Lamsa Bible is that it seems he just took the KJV and edited whenever he saw fit.
Which bible would you recommend for the old testament than other than lamsa?
At the moment I cannot read aramaic, thank you.

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