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"Master YHWH" and "I AM"s in the Peshitta
John 1:18, 5:2, 5:44, 10:29, 20:31

The key word in John 1:18 is "Ekhediya," which means "only/unique," and when used in a theological sense, is according to Younan, a "beautiful theological term employed by many Eastern theologians and poets. It literally means 'THE ONE.'" We'll start by taking a look at some other verses that use the word in a non-theological sense.

Luke 7:12 (Younan)
And when he [Yeshua] approached the gate of the medintha [city] he saw a dead man while being escorted d'ekhediya [who the only (son)] was of his mother, and she his mother was a widow.

Luke 8:41-42
And a certain man whose name was Yorash, a chief of the assembly, fell before the feet of Yeshua and was beseeching him that he might enter his house, for he had ekheditha [an only] daughter about twelve years old, and she was about to die.

Luke 9:38
And a certain man from the crowd cried out and he said, "Malpana [Teacher], I beseech you, take notice of me! He is bari [my son] ekhediya [only] to me, and a rukha [spirit] seizes him and suddenly he cries out and gnashes his teeth?.

The word is also in John 1:14, 1:18, 3:16, 3:18, Hebrews 11:17, and 1 John 4:9. We now look at the controversial verse.

John 1:18 (Younan)
Man has not ever seen Allaha.
The Ekhediya [literally: THE ONE] (of) Allaha,
he who is in the bosom of his Father,
he has declared Him.

Ehrman, 161, states that John 1:18 comes "in two variant forms:
'No one has seen God at any time,
but _the unique Son/the unique God_ who is in the bosom of Father,
that one has made him known.'"
Question: Is it the unique/only Son in the bosom of the Father? Is it the unique/only God in the bosom of the Father?

Aramaic to Arabic to English yielded this:

Diatesseron 4:1
No man hath seen God at any time;
the only Son, God, which is in the bosom of his Father,
he hath told of him.

That rendering has it as 'the unique Son, who is God, is in the bosom of his Father.'

Starting with the original Aramaic of the Peshitta, Younan takes the other approach, and supplies an implied "of" to get:

John 1:18 (Younan)
Man has not ever seen Allaha.
The Ekhediya [literally: THE ONE] (of) Allaha,
he who is in the bosom of his Father,
he has declared Him.

One way to construe the verse is the way the Diatesseron has it, where the Son is called God:
"the only Son, God"
Another way to construe the verse is the way the Younan has it, where an implied "of" is supplied to get:
"Ekhadaya [THE ONE] (of) Allaha"

The word "son" is implied but not actually present in John 1:18, just as Yorash "had ekheditha [an only] daughter," and another father spoke of "bari [my son] ekhediya [only] to me."

The verse is ambiguous, with both the Diatesseron's rendition and Younan's rendition seeming-- to me at least-- acceptable. Ehrman speculates that nefarious scribes re-wrote the text, when in fact, the 2 variations are both plausible translations of the original Aramaic.

John 5:2 (NIV)
Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a: Some manuscripts _Bethzatha_; other manuscripts _Bethsaida_] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.

The translator into Arabic did a translation rather than merely a transliteration of Beth-Khisda, so it's of little use in selecting the best transliteration:

Diatesseron 22:10, Hill translation (Aramaic to Arabic to Latin to English, with consultation with the Arabic)
Now there was at Jerusalem a place prepared for bathing, which is called in Hebrew Baitharrahmat [House of Mercy], having five porches.

From the original Aramaic:

John 5:2 (Younan)
Now there was there in Urishlim a certain place of baptism, which is called in Hebrew "Beth-Khisda," and there was in it five porches.

As noted by the NIV, various Greek manuscripts have the phrase transliterated various ways, namely Beth-Zatha, Beth-Esda, and Beth-Saida. The NIV interprets 'Hebrew' as referring to 'Aramaic'; Brown, 206, comments that "'Hebrew' is used loosely, often for names that are Aramaic." Regarding the 'house/place of baptism/bathing,' Greek manuscripts are quite varied: after mentioning the phrase "by the Sheep Pool," Brown, 206 states that "the manuscript evidence is quite confused" before elaborating. How Greek manuscripts came to have "sheep" given the original Aramaic is an interesting question.

John 5:44 (NIV)
How can you believe
since you accept glory from one another
but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God[a: Some early manuscripts _the Only One_]?

As of A.D. 175, the verse had "the only God":

Diatesseron 22:52
And how can ye believe,
while ye receive praise one from another,
and praise from God, the One, ye seek not?

The original Aramaic of the Peshitta has "the only God":

John 5:44
How are you able to believe,
you who receive shubkha [praise] from one to another,
and (yet) you do not seek the shubkha that is from the one Allaha?

John 10:29 (NIV)
My Father, who has given them to me,
is greater than all[a: Many early manuscripts
_What my Father has given me is greater than all_];
no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.

As of A.D. 175, the verse described the Father as "greater than all":

Dia 37:33
For the Father, who hath given them unto me, is greater than all;
and no man is able to take them from the hand of my Father.

The original Aramaic of the Peshitta has Jesus saying his Father is greater than all:

John 10:29
For Abbi [my Father] who gave (them) to me is greater than all,
and no man is able to snatch (them) from the hands of Abbi.

John 20:31 (NIV)
But these are written that you may [1984 NIV: Some manuscripts _may continue to_] believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God,
and that by believing you may have life in his name.

A "continue to" is absent from the Diatesseron, which strongly suggests that it wasn't present as of A.D. 175, though of course Tatian didn't include 100% of the 4 Gospels when compiling his consolidation:

Diatesseron 54:24
but these that are written also are that ye may believe
in Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God;
and that when ye have believed,
ye may have in his name eternal life.

The original Aramaic of the Peshitta lacks a "continue to":

John 20:31
But indeed, these things are written that you might believe that
Yeshua is the Meshikha, the Son of Allaha,
and when you believe in his name
you might have life that is eternal.

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Re: "Master YHWH" and "I AM"s in the Peshitta - by DavidFord - 01-07-2015, 01:31 AM

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