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So what difference does Aramaic primacy really make?
Thanks Otto, Christina and Albion for your replies. I see that I failed to make my questions clear enough, since you all replied about the strength of Aramaic primacy which I already agree with. Let me try again to clarify my questions regarding the *implications*.

Otto wrote about "Greek New Testament Flaws." Yes I already see that. And I heartedly agree about the faulty Alexandrian Greek Text. My NASB and Nestles are heavily annotated back to the Peshitta :-)

My question is, even with all the Greek flaws, what serious impacts does all this have on our faith? ie, yes Albion, understanding the humour is very interesting, but does it impact the Creed or how we do church in any *substantial* way. ie what is the payoff for a major change. Hey, i'd like to be convinced. Please don't reply about Aramaic primacy- I'm convinced ok!! Its the impact I'm unsure of. And I've read just about every post on the site.
I'm not being picky. I'm somewhat of a perfectionist, So I'd prefer we all change to the Peshitta. But realistically, what *substantial* as opposed to interesting differences would it make in our churches or colleges? I've been trying to arrange an Aramaic class at our seminary and I've been getting interest. But now I'm faced with the question. Why?

Otto points out the superiority of the Peshitta. Fine, I agree. But that's not my question. See, over the last 3 years I suspected that using the Peshitta would unlock many Eastern idioms, but to my surprise, over 95% of what I've read I had already been taught about the meanings. (probably my brethren church roots) ie, even using the Greek mistranslation, somehow scholars had resolved the idioms correctly anyway. So is there enough warrant to change textbooks and a whole theological training apparatus etc for *5% more perspicacity?*

I agree with Christina's comments about Nestle. And the pic was a classic! I already agreed with everything you wrote. The reality is though that colleges are full of Greek NT tools. Why should they change to Aramaic? I'm principal of one- the accounts people will die when we want to replace or add 200 books- they will want to know what justification there is. "Using the language of Jesus" just doesn't cut it. Now if using Aramaic meant a serious new understanding of some aspect of the historic faith then yes, but I'm not seeing evidence for that yet. I'm more than willing to be convinced!

Another way of saying this: Over the last 5 years I've spent considerable time with CoE and Oriental Orth people trying to build bridges from us in the EO church for the sake of unity. And *also* i was wanting to see what "middle-eastern"/Aramaic flavours were *missing* from our more Greek-ised church. What has surprised me is that I saw *very little* difference. Other that a few words in Syriac, the services are analogous. Yes a few words have clearer meaning. Yes its more accurate. And yes as Otto pointed out, its better with a bible that doesn't have so many "possible translations" everywhere. But does this impact my personal faith much? No. Does it change our church much. No. Maybe it should... but noone has yet posted anything clear about this.

I hope my repetition of this question has made it easier for others to answer. I'm not being hard to convince- I already am. I seek outcomes/impacts. As both a priest and Principal, I thought that it *must* have implications- now I'm confused, because i don't see much of *substance* ,... *yet*.

On a personal note, I used some of the material here in a talk to a group of Arabic-speaking Antiochian Orth priests (who would be very happy to hear that Aramaic which is like Arabic in parts, is better than greek!!) and most just did not get it! The evidence for the mistranslation in Luke of "hearts warmed" contra "slow/heavy" just didn't fly because they were so attached to their previous usage. I even showed them the chiasm but most just were not interested. This is the reality we face in the *real world* away from this excellent site. The technical perfection or truth (of using Aramaic) won't mean much unless it has a significant impact on lived theology.

So please, rather than giving me arguments for Aramaic primacy (I'm convinced ok!) Please take my confusion away and address this issue: Q: In what way does Aramaic primacy have "*significant* impact on lived theology"?

Thanks for everyone's efforts. Lots of fantastic stuff here. I hope it *does* make more than a technical difference in the future.

in Christ,
Fr. John D'Alton. Antiochian Orthodox priest and educator. 48 years old. formerly protestant missionary in India. love middle-eastern culture :-)

Messages In This Thread
Re: So what difference does Aramaic primacy really make? - by frjdalton - 09-09-2008, 12:58 AM
Kudos to Christina - by Stephen Silver - 09-09-2008, 09:32 PM

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