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"Master YHWH" and "I AM"s in the Peshitta
odd Greek translation resolved by original Aramaic:  Matthew 24:51

Matthew 24:51 (HCSB);DLNT
He will cut him to pieces[a:  Lit _him in two_]
and assign him a place with the hypocrites.
In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The Greek translation doesn't sound right.  Is a dismembered person-- presumably a dead corpse or about to be a dead corpse-- really supposed to become company with hypocrites that are weeping and gnashing their teeth?  

Study of the original Aramaic provides for a more-reasonable translation:

Lewis, Agnes Smith.  1913.  _Light on the Four Gospels from the Sinai Palimpsest_ (London:  Williams & Norgate), 226pp.
On 109-110, with her bracket:
Dr Arnold Meyer has pointed out that the verb used in Luke xii. 46 and in Matt. xxiv. 51 in all the Syriac versions, _palleg_, has the primary meaning of "cut in pieces," and the secondary one of "appoint to some one his portion."^1[1:  Cf. _Jesv Muttersprache_, p. 115.  Dr Meyer attributes these meanings to the _Afel_ form of the verb.  But they belong also to the form _Pael_.]  If we suppose that our Lord used it in the primary sense, the difficulty as to how the man survived so trying a process becomes insoluble.  But if we take it in the secondary one, we must assume that the Evangelist, whilst investigating about all these things, and writing them down carefully in Greek for the benefit of Theophilus, misunderstood a Syriac idiom by taking it too literally.  The translation would then be:  "_and shall allot his portion, and shall place him [or it] with the unfaithful_," etc.
This parable, as Dr Rendel Harris has pointed out, is possibly taken from the story of Achikar, which belongs to the Pseudepigraphy of the Old Testament, and just missed getting into the canonical Apocrypha.  Achikar had a wicked and ungrateful nephew named Nadan, who behaved in precisely the same way as this bad servant did, and who met with a similar fate.


Pashka, Joseph.  2003.  _The Aramaic Gospels and Acts:  Text and Translation_ (USA:  Xulon Press), 300pp.  On 53, Mt 24:51:
and will separate from him his share to give among the hypocrites;
there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

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RE: "Master YHWH" and "I AM"s in the Peshitta - by DavidFord - 05-29-2015, 05:20 PM

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