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So what difference does Aramaic primacy really make?
Ok, now we're getting somewhere with some good answers :-) And I'm looking forward to what Paul and others will add.

I'll list/summarise what has been suggested, and respond. Maybe it will help the new PR manager :-)
Q. So what difference does Aramaic primacy really make?

(Answers from Stephen- thanks)
1. "knowing and teaching the truth"
2. (a better alternative/antidote [my words]) to the problem of "western Protestant Christianity have fragmented over various doctrinal issues"
3. "the overall confidence that Aramaic primacists have as to the TRUTH of the Word of God."

As a former protestant missionary and bible college lecturer and perfectionist I resonate strongly with these. Anything that helps is good. There's certainly a big loss of confidence. That's one of the factors that started me investigating Orthodoxy and led to my eventual conversion. So at the personal level that is great. But impact for many others- sadly I doubt it. I wish i was wrong but my experience of prot leaders not to mention laypeople, is that when confronted with the truths of church history they just didn't want to know in 99% of cases. Hey, given that I was very well known in Evangelical circles and was even acting Principal of a very large Australian bible college, you'd think that when i became Orthodox people would wonder why... but sadly, facts are not allowed to get in the road of prejudice :-( And even within Orthodoxy, frankly, its hard enough to get people to read *any* Bible, let alone a true one !!

So, these are good points and may on a good day amount to IMHO a 1% impact on the sad state of Christianity, compared to a good kick up the rear-end, lightening from heaven or something! Every bit counts i suppose.

Judge added:

4. Many contradictions will vanish, including some which might make the NT appear to have been written by men far removed from the incidents it descibes.

5. An original Aramaic must mean that it is earlier than now thought.

Also good points that will interest not just theologians but hopefully laypeople, and is important for mission.

and...(its hard to condense this to one line, its good)
6. "The western Institutional churches (mainly "protestant" ones) lame brained insistence on greek originals has created many problems for it as it has tried to insist upon the integrity of the texts. many today doubt the integrity of the texts and with fair reason.
Personally I think it will be a good thing if the credibility of the institutional church is brought further into question by this issue but at the same time the integrity of the documents is strengthened.
Hopefully the crisis in textual criticism that must ensue will be concurrent witha time when the man in the street is open to having a fresh look at the texts and asking "what do these really say?"."

Well said!!! As long as we recognise that the integrity of the texts will not in and of itself convince people then that's fine. If Jesus walked down the street and said hello most people would still not believe! But yes this adds another good push.

7. The church will have to face the semitic-culture truth (this is a very interpretive summary of Otto's answer)

I think this is part of what I expected when first came to this site. Yes there are good examples, but as i said above, they are not earth-shattering, so i don't think this is very convincing/weighty.

Just to clarify, I agree with Otto that much of the church is seeking to be "more comfortable" and is "hiding" from truth. This in itself is a good reason to promote Aramaic primacy :-) What i have been questioning is whether there are points of much worse church comfort and hiding to confront. To put it another way, we only have 168 hours per week, so ...

Q. In the grand scale of things, when compared to the problem that most Christians don't read their bible at all, are addicted to mammon, avoid any discomfort etc etc, on what scale is Aramaic primacy?

Christina added:

8. The Peshitta does make a difference when it comes to faith, especially when it comes to the most important issue - defending the Faith.

Yepp, agreed.

9. The Greek NT has contributed hugely to Church division, we have so many different Greek texts so we shouldn't be surprised that we have so many different denominations, the connection is unmistakable.

Umm, I doubt that "hugely" is true, but I'm open to facts. I'm a church history lecturer and this is news to me. Do you have any evidence?

Christina wrote:
"Do we value our comfort zones more than the great commission?"
Sadly I'd say as a pastor "yes". Personally i've had knives and guns pointed at my chest for the sake of Christ's mission, and lived with our family including a 3 month old, in the slums of india (which i consider nothing compared to the saints), but when i challenge others to come with us very few are interested :-(. They won't even witness at work here in safe Australia. Most Christians "can't afford" a new Aramaic-based Bible rather than a slab of coke! Personally, I'd love an Aramaic translation that has nice chiastic structured text and cultural footnotes. But to get even one seminary to add an Aramaic department or a single course will be like re-floating the titanic, unless I'm being too negative??

Enarxe wrote:

10. having the issue of Aramaic origin of the NT sorted out is important but in many situations "righteousness, peace and joy in the holy ghost" is much more important.

Yes, that's my point too.

11. "it matters, because the truth matters"

I agree but am still not convinced that this is a first order truth like the Trinity or deity of Christ etc. Its probably not even 2nd order like church government forms or getting people to read ANY bible. Its IMHO and I'm open to more facts, 3rd order. Its certainly much more than 4th order (like how many days you fast or on what days.) Oh, if it helps reconciliation between EO and CoE then its probably 2nd order :-) ... not sure, that's part of what I've been asking.

enarxe wondered whether my comments about Aramaic courses was a hyperbole- no it wasn't! This is very real for me, as a college principal, organising courses! I've been almost able to get one course in Aramaic happening. What an effort. And frankly I wonder whther my time would have been better spent teaching people to just read any Bible at all.

To summarise, If we are serious about Aramaic primacy, then it must have implications. I didn't see many on this site, so i asked. Now we do have a few more, and they are of sufficient weight together to make a difference, however small. I'm still trying to see their scale visavis other pressing matters.
Thanks all for the helpful points. For me persoanlly Aramaic primacy does matter quite a bit. i'm just still unsure what it means in the real world...

Any more clarity on scale of impact and kinds of impact still welcomed. It'll give more work for Christina :-)

I'm looking forawrd to abudar2000's reply too. Keefa.

in Christ,
Fr. John D'Alton

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 frjdalton - 09-10-2008, 02:40 AM

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