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How many original translators were there, approx
#1
Hey you guys, how have you all been?? Mike here from Georgia. Hey, given that Aramaic Primacy is correct - is there a way of knowing or finding out how many DIFFERENT translators (from Aramaic to Greek for the New Testament) there were when the original manuscripts (in the 1st and 2nd century - approx.) were translated from one language to another??

I mean, we believe there was a number of them, say more than a few; but does Aramaic Primacy take a certain position on this issue?? I do know that the number of manuscripts for the NT Aramaic is about 355 MSs if I recall correctly.

We all know that when the Aramaic was translated into Greek(given that Aramaic Primacy is the correct view) - there had to be more than 2 translators translating them into Greek, I believe. But dowe have a way of coming close to the number of translators who translated the manuscripts from one language to another for the first time?? can we say that there were a multiple number of FIRST TIME TRANSLATORS?? Okay, Tks guys for any help on this question or any links or leads that you can give me if this was discussed before, please. Thanks

Cordially,

Mike Karoules
Resident of metro-Atlanta, GA.
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#2
THere is software which can analyze the grammar and authorship of a document.
That should be used for teh sources you mention.

However, I've never seen a list of possible translator from (possible) Aramaic to Greek. If all the 22 book are analysed, there would be, I guess 5-10.
No hard evidence.

E.g. Mark which is full of latinisms, could have a unique single translator.
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#3
Quote:E.g. Mark which is full of latinisms, could have a unique single translator

Can you show a few here Distazo?

Shlama,
Chuck
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#4
Distazo,

Did you mean 5 to 10 translators(in all) for all the 22 books of the NT Peshitta? Given that, when the original letters were written in entirely different locations I would think you would not have the same writer translating both the letter to the Ephesians as well as the letter to the Corinthians. Or you could not have the same writer translating the letter to the Thessalonians as well as also translating the letter to the Hebrews. These letters were also written at different times.

Is there a way of knowing or coming to some ball park figure of how many FIRST TIME translators there were when translating the originals (or even copy of originals) from Aramaic to Greek; given that Aramaic Primacy is the correct approach??

Let me give you an example. Paul writes his letter to the Ephesians (in Aramaic, let's say). A translator who lives in Ephesus and knows both Aramaic and Greek translates the letter into Greek about 3 months later. Both letters are preserved (one in Aramaic and another in Greek), and both letters , say, get circulated in the region. About 4 months later another guy has the ORIGNAL Aramaic letter and he also translates this into Greek as well. So now we have 3 letters being cirulated: the original by Paul in Aramaic, and 2 copies (of the original) in the Greek language. Some time passes again and a third character/dude gets a hold of the orignal Aramaic letter by Paul (again) and he translates it also (3rd time now) into Greek. [Paranthetically, you also have the 2 Greek copies flowing around and you have a Greek copyist who know both Aramaic and Greek copy one of the Greek copies into Greek again]. So we now have 1st offspring of the Greek copy in circulation; the original Aramaic letter and the 2 FIRST TIME translation Greek copies flowing around. And the story continues. Now, are you guys seeing what I am getting at?? And this kind of scenerio is being played out in all the towns/cities to where Paul wrote his letters: Corinth, Collosae, Thessalonika, Phillipia and few more.

Therefore, let me pose my question this way: can we tell how many FIRST TIME translators (approximately) from Aramic to Greek there were for each letter?? I mean, can we gather that there were several FIRST TIME translators (from Aramaic to Greek) for each letter of the New Testament?? Please let me know. I would like an idea if was believed that there were NUMEROUS FIRST TIME translators for each letter or . . . . if this quest is almost impossible to find out. Anyone with any idea or leads please fill me in. I would like the input.

Cordially,

Mike Karoules
Georgia, USA

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#5
Shlama Mike,

Another, possibly more likely scenario, is that one of Paul's companions (Silas, Timothy, etc.) translated the text for him as they were with him during all those times. As an example, this is what the first Epistles may have looked like:

http://www.marshimun.com/new/pdfs/MB020.pdf

This is an "epistle" that Mar Benyamin Shimun wrote to Rev. Cole, originally in Aramaic. As you can see, Mar Benyamin stated that they received Mr. Cole's poem and had it translated into Syriac so they could understand it. Then he wrote this thank you letter back to Mr. Cole, who I am sure had it translated into English.

Mar Shimun would have an English translator for this purpose when communicating with contacts in England and the States.

So my answer is, maybe there was only one or two initial translators right next to Paul?

+Shamasha
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#6
How do we explain this verse in the Peshitta?

Romans 16:22 "I Tertius, who inscribed this epistle in the Master, ask for your peace."
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#7
Thirdwoe Wrote:How do we explain this verse in the Peshitta?

Romans 16:22 "I Tertius, who inscribed this epistle in the Master, ask for your peace."

Shlama Akhi Chuck,

I don't think Saul/Paul wrote much himself, thus we see the explicit remark in Col. 4:18 about his own handwritten salutation. Galatians 6:11 also, "..see with what big letters I write..." It's commonly accepted that scribes wrote much of what Paul dictated, even at times in chains. He seems to chime in with his own writing towards the end of his epistles.

I think our explanation of the verse from an Aramaic primacy perspective presents the same challenges as would be present from a Greek primacy perspective - this was an epistle addressed to a community of believers in Rome, the capital, where Latin was the official tongue. Who were they, and what language did they speak? Many of the people addressed to in the salutation are Jews...for example, Aquila (Acts 18:2), Andronicus, Junias and Herodion, whom Paul calls his "kinsmen", "fellow Jews", etc.

So we still have a Jew, dictating an epistle to a community of believers (seemingly mostly Jews) in Rome. Was that epistle in Latin, Greek or Aramaic ? The texts are the key witnesses, that's all we have. All else is guessing.

+Shamasha
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#8
Paul,

In response to your post last Thursday, Feb. 16, I would say also that Paul could have just wrote his letter in Greek to those regions where the Greek language was, by and large, the "street language" of that day. I am thinking mailnly of cities in Thessalonika and Corinth but other cities that would be deemed "Greek cities." Probaobly, time would fail me to show examples that the street language throughout the provinces of the Roman Empire was mainly Koine Greek too. We know that Paul did know some Greek and even some Greek beyond the rudimentary(elementary) level. He preached to those Greek philosophers right in Athens. See Acts 17:18-31. Here we see Paul the Apostle debate and preach to the Athenians(GREEKS,see 17:21). Also, at this point Paul was not preaching in a Jewish synogogue but on Mars Hill even at the Areopogus to the Stoics (Greek philosophers) and the Epicureans (GREEKS,see 17:18). Paul (Y.), I could probobly give you a list as long as the length of my arm of the names of Greek philosphers whose writings and language was Greek, including the Epicureans. I will just plead that we both will realize that these philosphers (Epicureans) and Stoics were Greek and their language and writing was in Greek. Plus it says in Acts 17:17 that in the MARKET PLACE daily (in Athens now) Paul the Apostle was disputing or debating these kinds of folks.

We also come to 17:28 where there is a big clue (to me anyway) that Paul read Greek as well as he quotes a popular Greek poet: "for we are also his offspring. . . ." So Paul can speak and read Greek and is familiar with some Greek philosphy.

The framework is now set and established for Paul to write his letters in Greek (mainly to those in Thessalonica and Corinth; for now). The pins are set up well.

Paul can speak and read in the Greek and has the ability to write in the Greek. His audience in the Greek regions do the same. So, (rhetocrical question to all/any) would it not be an anomoly (or incongrous) for Paul to be writing in Aramaic???

Cordially,

Mike
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#9
Shlama Akhi Mike:
Indeed I agree that Paul spoke in "more tongues than ye all". However, the 22 book Peshitta was delivered to the Church in Babylon. Would it not be more consistent to consolidate the New Testament in Aramaic as the Gospels were written and then translate the WORD into Greek? Since Aramaic was also written in the Hebrew Scriptures and this WORD was also universal would it not be more cohesive to follow the original tradition of using Aramaic, as the Targums were also written. The LXX is a unique independent witness but the Peshitta A"NK is a cohesive interlinear translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. The Targums are a para-phrase, "to give the sense". If the Western Church did not have so many versions of so-called "original manuscripts, I might agree that the Greek and the Aramaic were both used. However, the Eastern Peshitta New Testament used by the A.C.O.E. has virtually no variants whatsoever. The many Greek manuscripts have about 80% agreement with one another. Why is this, if they are all copies of the original? Shouldn't it be the other way around. If the Greek was translated into Aramaic, would you not find many variants of the Eastern Peshitta. What is it with these Eastern Scribes who seemed to follow the Jewish Scribal method and come up with ONE version, rather than many dozen variant texts to "give the sense". Where there are synonyms there are different scribes at various times and places. When you have ONE textual tradition you have the original copied faithfully using the Jewish Scribal tradition, which was set in place at the time of Ezra the Scribe.

Shlama,
Stephen
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#10
Stephen,

Hey, tks for the reply. You raise some very good points and asked alot of questions. I can not answer them all right now. But the ORIGINAL letters were not written in one place at one time, (say a library), polished, bound together, and then sent by a courier (if you will) to be presented to the church at Babylon. The letter(s) of Corinth were ORIGINALLY penned to those at Corinth: addressed to a certain audience, at a certain time, in a certain context, in a certain backround or CULTURE, to meet a certain goal. the New Testament, (I am almost sure you would agree with me here) was not given to us like, say, the Quran was given to Mohammad's followers which was (you could say) given to one person, bound together (and "packaged" together) and given to Muslims in one "setting" so to speak. There is a culture or historical backround to the New Testament letters. More later, God willing. I will stop here for now.

Tks for the input, Stephen.

Kindly,

Mike Karoules
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#11
Shlama Akhi Mike:
I just read in a quote from the Holocaust Chronicles, that 80% of the Jewish population lived outside of the LAND in the First Century. That means that they not only settled eastward but also westward. It stands to reason that Jewish Communities popped up all throughout Asia and wherever they could live amongst the Gentiles. So, when Paul did his missionary journeys he would most certainly have encountered Jews of all persuasions in Autonomous Communities wherever Gentiles were in abundance. What a tremendous burden they were on the heart of Paul (Romans 11). This being the case me thinks he had good reason to write in Aramaic and preach in Greek and even in Latin where the need arose. He preached in Greek to Greek speakers, giving the "sense" of what he wrote to the same community in Aramaic. There was only one Church in each city. It wasn't like it is today with several Protestant and Catholic Churches in one city or town. It was imperative that both Jewish and Gentile believers live in such a way that they had fellowship together, just as it was decided in Acts 15. They came together to share the Eukharist together. This is why Acts 15 was so important to establish just as the Rukha d'Kadusha planned and set in place. Alaha was truly in their midst. The were ONE K'hillah of One Body and of One Mind, both Jews and Gentiles together in the Love of Yeshua HaMashiakh.
Also we must remember that the Gospel was very much an oral necessity. The only Scriptures that existed was the Jewish Bible, Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Writings/Psalms or (Torah, Neviim and Ketuvim). Few assemblies had the written Bible. However the Synagogues had the Scrolls of the Bible. So, remembering that the Gentiles had to conform somewhat to the Synagogue rules of behaviour to be present to hear the WORD of the Scriptures. It was also imperative that a consolidated text be written in Aramaic, the language spoken by the Jews in the LAND. Just as the LXX is an independent witness to the Greek speaking Gentiles, so a translation into Greek of the various books of the Eastern Peshitta New Testament was next on the agenda of the Rukha d'Kadusha.
This is my personal take on things because it makes plain sense to me. Plain sense or "pashat" is what stands out about the works of Alaha, and by taking this direction the early Church flourished as they responded in obedience to the Rukha d'Kadusha/Holy Spirit.

Shlama,
Stephen
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#12
Tks Stephen. Yes, the Jews were scattered throughout the whole of the Roman Empire. This "dispersion" continued for several centures if I am not mistaken. Yes, as the Jews settled in communities like Rome, Corinth, Thessalonika, Alexandria and Ephesus they took their religion with them and built synogoges for worship. This is clear historical fact. The Jews were scattered throughout the whole Roman Empire and were faithful to a bulk of what we know as Judiasm (the main points: circumcision, keeping Sabbath, abstaining from unclean foods like pork; abstaining from blood; keeping the holy days and a couple other key Jewish traditions, I think). AND, as they were there they converted Gentiles as well into their religion and a good many Gentiles came to be "prosolytes" or G(d) fearers. This is where I believe the Greek Old TEstament Septuagint plays a key role. You have to keep in mind, Stephen, that, as the Jews "camped out" in the particular community in which they lived - after a couple of generations (and I think even after only the 2nd generation) they would have picked up or learned the local language of the region where they lived or the "street language" of their area. This had to be done by default and probably more by necessity; to do business and transact among the locales. I can not comprehend (and I do not think anyone else will either) or admit that the Gentiles (whether it be Rome, or Corinth, or Athens, or Thessalonika) felt the need to learn Aramaic of the day just to suit the Jews. It was the other way around as is witnessed to be the case anywhere else in the world and at any time. I mean, it is the foreigners who arrive and settle in a foreign land who learn the language of the country or region. English today is an excellent example. So, I believe and can attest to that the Jews (at least by the 2nd generation of the despersion) know Aramaic AND THE LANGUAGE OF THE COMMUNITY. How else would they do business and interact with those around them who did not know Aramaic?? And, in bringing Gentile converts into their religion there had to be a language that the Gentiles and the Jews knew to communicate the ways of the Jewish religion. We see this perfectly played out in the Septuagint Old Testament. The Greek LXX was the tool used (from the many sources and articles that I have read) to teach the Gentiles the Jewish religion. Why not look at Alexandria as a case in point?? It is an excellent example. Can we agree that Alexandria comprised the largest Jewish
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#13
(cont'd) . . . comprised the largest Jewish community outside of Palestine?? Can we also agree that the Jews in Alexandria knew the Greek language very well?? Was their not a synogogue in Alexandria as well as in the other cities throughout the Roman Empire?? Soooo, in what language would they be conversing to the Gentiles in their attempt to convert them and make prosolytes of them?? (a big clue: in what city was the Septuagint translated into Greek??) Well, what was the language in Alexandria?? Stephen, we all would agree, I hope, that Alexandria, Egypt was the HOTBED of Greek learning, Greek philosophy (maybe apart from Athens) and Greek education of the day. In Alexandria as a case in point you have Jews that knew Aramaic but also Greek and they would be speaking to the Gentiles in Greek and we should conclude that they would also be TEACHING to them in Greek as well. And, duplicate this in just about every city throughtout the Roman Empire from about 230BC to about 250AD (being conservative). Remember, as a people settle in a foreign land, their offspring learn the language of that country so much better with each succeeding generation.

Kindly,

Mike Karoules
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#14
I forgot to mention a name as a prime example to my point and I should not need to say anything else: Philo of Alexandria. And to pre-empt you my motive in bringing Philo up is not an example of whether he was a hero of the Jewish faith or not. But let us agree that he did speak for the Jews of Alexandria for his day.

Kindly,

Mike
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