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Query in favour of Greek
Searcher Wrote:Me myself, currently i am of the side of Greek primacy, but I still wish to know what it is that actually underlies Aramaic primacy, what is the substantive proof of this theory?
There are dozens of threads here discussing these things. It's hard to know where to start. Why not read some of them and if you have any questions come back.
Searcher Wrote:Shalom brothers!

John 17:22 "And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:"

These words may be quite difficult to fulfill with this 'primacy' issue.

Me myself, currently i am of the side of Greek primacy, but I still wish to know what it is that actually underlies Aramaic primacy, what is the substantive proof of this theory?

I think we all agree that the ?one? refers to our one messiah, who is the head of the body of believers. Salvation is not found in black ink written on parchment, but in faith and service toward the messiah (regardless of which language we speak). I don?t recall the messiah advising the disciples to learn Greek, or instructing them to tell the world they must learn Greek. But even if Greek language primacy were somehow king, which Greek mss. should we all have one mind about? In Greek, there is no satisfactory answer among the hundreds (or thousands) of manuscripts. In Aramaic, the one gospel has been preserved faithfully by the ancient Church of the East. As you know, it is called the Peshitta, and it is the reason you?re here asking your thoughtful questions?

Aramaic and Greek bible scholar David Bauscher has written extensively on this topic to show where multiple Greek texts depend on just one Aramaic original (this one and only Peshitta). Here are some examples of Bauscher?s findings from the gospel of Matthew rebutting Greek primacy and upholding Aramaic primacy:

In Matthew 11:19, ?The Greek has two readings: The Majority of mss. have ?works? and the Critical Text (2 mss.) has children?. [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]hydb9[/font] can mean either ?Works? or ?servant?. The Greek word ?Teknon? (?Child?) can refer to a disciple or pupil as well?. Since the Aramaic [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]hydb9[/font] can mean servant, a Greek translator may easily use a Greek synonym such as ?teknon? to translate it. Codices Alep and B have ?ergown? ? ?works?, which also can be the meaning of [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]hydb9[/font]. The Peshitta can explain the origin of both Greek readings and why two readings exist. These kinds of split spin-off readings in Greek that match dual or multiple Aramaic word meanings in the Peshitta are fairly common. We do not find the opposite phenomenon, however. The Peshitta mss. do not have such varian t readins. Indeed, the Peshitta mss. have practically no variant readings of significance to mention, except in approximately ten places in the entire NT! There is also no Greek type that regularly agrees with the Peshitta. In one place the Critical Text of Vaticanus and Siaiticus may favor it and in the next verse, the Majority text. And the results will alternate. Often the Peshitta will disagree with all Greek readings. This is a highly unlikely scenario if the Peshitta is a translation of the Greek NT. It is a natural result of and easily explained by an original Peshitta NT and Greek translation of that original.? The Peshitta Aramaic-English New Testament - An Interlinear Translation, by Glenn David Bauscher (2011), Pp. 30-31.

Regarding Matthew 14:12, ?Grek mss. B0-Vaticanus (4th Cent.) and [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0[/font] (4th cent.) have pi-tau-omega-mu-alpha ? ?corpse? and the Majority text has sigma-omega-mu-alpha ? ?body?. Either one Greek translator mistook ?Shlada? for ?Pagra?, or we have a case of split meanings of an Aramaic word, ?Shlada? being translated ?Corpse? by one Greek translator and ?Body? by another. It can have either meaning [in Aramaic]. Mark 15:45 has the same word split phenomenon in the Greek texts with Aramaic word Pagra! The Critical text of Westcott and Hort has pi-tau-omega-mu-alpha ? ?corpse? and the Majority text has sigma-omega-mu-alpha ? ?body?, as in this verse!? p. 39.

Regarding Matthew 14:24, ?Most Greek mss. omit ?many furlongs? and have ?was in the midst of the sea?. A few, like Vaticanus and Beza, agree with the Peshitta here. The Peshitta does not conform to any particular Greek text type, in fact, often it disagrees with all Greek readings. This controverts the Greek primacy theory and is explained by Greek translation of the Peshitta. The different Greek text types are simply different translation versions of the Peshitta. Greek can in no wise do justice to Aramaic word meanings and idioms with just one translation of such a pregnant language and text. Either the Peshitta is edited and selected from all Greek readings and text types and many unique non-Greek readings, or the converse is true, i.e., - All Greek text-types are spin offs of this original Aramaic Parent Text [Ashuri]. The evidence overwhelmingly supports the latter and refutes the former proposition.? P. 39

Regarding Matthew 15:36, ?The Critical Greek text of Westcott and Hort ([font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0[/font], B) has ?to the crowds, whereas the rest of the Greek mss. has ?to the crowd?. The Aramaic word [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]04nk[/font] of the Peshitta can have plural or singular meaning in its unpointed form (early mss. have no vowel points), hence this kind of phenomenon is not uncommon. Most Aramaic nouns have the same spelling for singular and plural forms. Some Greek translators will interpret a noun as singular and others as a plural, as here. This explains why often Greek mss. will differ in this regard.? P. 43

Regarding Matthew 16:9-10, ?Verses 9 and 10 refer to the two multitudes Jesus fed; The Aramaic and Greek each use two different words for the baskets used, however, the Greek lexicons are uncertain about the origin of kappa-omicron-phi-iota-nu-omicron-sigma (?Kofinos?), which looks like it may be borrowed from the Aramaic word [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]Nynypwq[/font] (?Qophina), meaning ?a large basket?, from the Aramaic root ?Qopa? ? ?To carry?. The other Greek word used for ?Basket? is ?sigma-pi-upsilon-rho-iota-delta-alpha-sigma? (?Spuridas?), from (sigma-pi-upsilon-rho-iota-sigma?) ?Spuris?. Thayer?s Greek-English Lexicon says this comes from the root ?Speiro? ? meaning ?to sow?. That looks dubious, since sowing or scattering has little to do with baskets. This word is also very similar to the Aramaic word used in the Peshitta - [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]Nydyrps0[/font] ? ?Espiridin?, from Esprida?. This comes from the Aramaic root ?Espira?, meaning ?Spherical?. This emphasizes the shape of the basket. The other emphasizes its function as a ?a carrier?. One will find many Greek words in the Greek NT listed as ?Derivation unknown? in the lexicons. It seems many of these are borrowed from Aramaic but unattributed as such.? P. 44.

[font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0nwyd hrb[/font] (?Bar-Jonah?) is reproduced in all Greek mss., transliterated from the Aramaic letters into Greek letters: ?beta-alpha-rho-iota-omega-nu-alpha?. This is different from borrowed words, one language from another. This is very telling about the native language and culture of the Jews of Palestine in the first century and of the source of the thousands of Greek mss. we have today. This occurs throughout the Greek NT with many names, words and phrases. In John 1:42?the Greek writer of John tells the reader that he is translating when he writes ?Petros? and that Petros is not the original name of this apostle; it is the Aramaic ?Kephas??. Here in the Greek NT, then, we find hard evidence, and in 160 other places where this Greek name occurs, that the Greek NT is translated from Aramaic! Naturally the Peshitta has no similar translation from Greek to Aramaic, here or anywhere else.? P. 44-45.

Regarding Matthew 18:28, ??That? -[font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]Mdm[/font] can mean, ?that?, ?something? or ?anything?. The text makes clear the fellow servant of this man owed him 100 denarii, yet most Greek mss. have alpha-pi-omicron-delta-omicron-sigma mu-omicron-iota epsilon-iota tau-iota omicron-phi-epsilon-iota-lamda-epsilon-iota-sigma? (?Pay me that which you owe?). Which is the text the KJV translators used. It is a late ms and was probably corrected to make sense of the verse. The Peshitta appears again to be the original and accounts for the Greek as its translation.? P. 49

Regarding Matthew 21:1, ?Verse one differs from the Majority Greek text in the name of ?BethPhage? ? most Greek mss. have beta-eta-theta-sigma-phi-alpha-gamma-eta ? ?BethSphage?, while some Byzantine and [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0[/font], B) and TR have beta-eta-theta -phi-alpha-gamma-eta ? ?Bethphage?, in agreement with the Peshitta. However, the Vaticanus ms. (B) also has epsilon-iota-sigma tau-omicron omicron-rho-omicron-sigma tau-omega-nu epsilon-lambda-alpha-iota-omega-nu? (?toward the Mount of Olives?). Finally, all Greek texts omit the personal pronoun in, ?His disciples?. Thus it looks like the Peshitta if it were a translation of Greek, translated the Critical Greek represented by Vaticanus, in the first reading, then the Byzantine Majority Text in the next reading, and finally, no Greek ms. In the last reading ? all in one verse!? p. 53

Regarding Matthew 21:14, ?The Greek mss. all have pi-rho-omicron-sigma-eta-lambda-theta-omicron-nu alpha-upsilon-tau-omega ? ?came to Him?, where the Peshitta has ?They brought to Him?. The Aramaic verb [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]Brq[/font] ?Qareb? can mean ?Approach? or ?Bring?. Think about it: ?The blind and the lame came to him??" p. 54

Regarding Matthew 23:8, ?The Majority Greek Text and ([font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0[/font], D) have ?upsilon-mu-omega-nu omicron kappa-alpha-theta-eta-gamma-eta-tau-eta-sigma? ? ?your Guide, Leader?; (B-Vaticanus) and others have ?upsilon-mu-omega-nu omicron delta-iota-delta-alpha-sigma-kappa-alpha-lambda-omicron-sigma? ?your Teacher?. The Majority Grek text has also ?omicron chi-rho-iota-sigma-tau-omicron-sigma? (The Christ). Both Greek readings: [your Guide, Leader] and [your Teacher] can be explained by the Peshitta reading [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]Jwkbr[/font] (?your Rabbi?), [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0br[/font] ?Rabba? means ?Great one?, and can also mean ?Teacher? or ?Master, Ruler?. P. 60

Regarding Matthew 27:4, ?[font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0ykz[/font] ? ?Zakaia? can mean ?victorious?, ?innocent? or ?just?; the Majority Greek text has ?alpha-theta-omega-omicron-nu? ? ?innocent? and the Critical Greek has ?delta-iota-kappa-alpha0iota-omicron-nu? ? ?righteous?. The Peshitta reading can explain the Greek readings." p. 71

Regarding Matthew 27:9, ?All but 3 Greek mss. have ?iota-epsilon-rho-epsilon-mu-iota-omicron-upsilon tau-omicron-upsilon pi-rho-omicron-phi-eta-tau-omicron-upsilon? ? ?Jeremiah the Prophet?. Those three agree with the Peshitta in reading ?The Prophet?, however they are 6th to 9th century mss. There are no earlier Greek witnesses for this reading, making it highly unlikely the Peshitta is a translation of the Greek in this place. Besides, ?Jeremiah is clearly a false reading. The quotation in this verse is from Zechariah, not Jeremiah, which means the Greek is incorrect and the Peshitta reading is not, since it does not name the prophet quoted.? P. 71

And the above is just a small sample of Bauscher?s findings and explanations. This small sample of his Peshitta primacy analysis from the gospel of Matthew should help answer your question and may interest you also in his Peshitta primacy analysis for each one of the gospels (as he shows with Greek textual evidence how the Greek depends on Aramaic). His work is a treasure of logic and evidence.

In my next posts, I'll provide illustrative quotes from Bauscher's review of the second and fourth gospels...
Okay, that sounds positive that we?re acknowledging the Gospel of Matthew with a probable Aramaic origin. Let?s continue with just the polysemy and mistranslation evidence in the Greek Gospels of Mark and John -- I can continue to omit any evidence of Aramaic wordplay and the like in the Peshitta for the sake of meeting you as you wish:

A few of Bauscher?s examples from the Gospels of Mark and John:
Regarding Mark 7:4, ?The different Greek texts have ?baptize? ? Majority text and, ?wash? ? Vaticanus and Sinaiticus (4th cent.). The Aramaic word ?[font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]Nydm9[/font]? can mean ?baptize?, ?wash? or ?bathe?. Might this account for the Greek variants??

Regarding Mark 7:9, ?Three very old (5th-6th cent.) Greek mss. agree with the Peshitta reading ?that you may establish your traditions?. The other Greek mss. have ?that you may keep your traditions?. The Aramaic root word ?Qam? has both meanings ? ?keep? and ?be established?. Can it be that all of them got their readings from the Peshitta?s Aramaic?"

Regarding Mark 7:34, ?[font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]Xtpt0[/font]- ?Ethpathakh?, ?Be opened?, is transliterated in all Greek mss. and then translated into Greek. This is just another of many such cases in all known Greek mss. of the Gospels and Acts. The Peshitta has no cases of transliterating Greek phrases with a translation following. What is difficult to account for is that there are any translations of Aramaic into Greek accompanying a transliterated Aramaic word or phrase, assuming the Greek to be the original. There are many more transliterations which are simply left alone; not translation follows, ?Raca?, ?Mammon?, ?Corban?, ?Marantha?, ?Gehenna?, etc. The inclusion of those contained in the Greek beg the question: Where is the original Aramaic? The many other tell-tale Aramaic words ? over two hundred total occurrences in the Greek NT, suggest Aramaic sources which occasionally posed a challenge to a translator, hence the puzzling transliterations: ?Beelzebub?, ?Belial?, Raca?, ?Maranatha?, ?Mammon?, ?Corban?,, all of which are unexplained and untranslated. They are not Greek words. They are all Aramaic ? ?Belial? is Hebrew. So also for the Hellenism ?Satanas?, from the Aramaic, ?Satana?. The LXX always translated the Hebrew ?Ha Satan? with the Greek ?Diabolos?, except in 1 Kings 11:14, where it transliterates ?Satan? as ?Satan? (not ?Satana?) twice. The Greek NT translates the Aramaic ?Satana? with the Greek ?Diabolos? about half the time, and the other half uses the Aramaic word ?Satana? in Greek letters. The Aramaic ?Satana? occurs 36 times in the Majority Greek text in twelve books from Matthew to Revelation!?

See more examples in the Polysemy section of this forum, such as Mark 14:41: <!-- l --><a class="postlink-local" href="">viewtopic.php?f=10&t=464</a><!-- l -->

Regarding John 6:19, ??Yammta? ? (Lake) [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0tmy[/font] is paralleled in Greek by ?Thallsay? ? (Sea), but the Aramaic word for ?Sea? is Yamma - [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0my[/font], very similar to the Aramaic for ?Lake?. These facts point again to the strong probability that the Aramaic text was misread here by a Greek translator. It is highly unlikely an Aramean would mistake the Greek ?Thallasay? qalassh ? (Sea) for ?Yammta? (Lake); the Greek for ?Lake? is ?Limnay? - limnh, nothing like ?Thallasay? ? (Sea).? Indeed, to add to Bauscher?s points here, the Aramaic original becomes all the more probable because the word difference between [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0tmy[/font] and [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0my[/font] is a linguistic subtlety that a native Aramaic speaker would know by applying the distinction in reality (because it is a perspective-based word, as you apply the word to your own perspective looking at the water and the likely perspective of those looking at the water with you). The distinction would not necessarily be known to a writer who is trained in Aramaic (as he is simply sitting at a table staring at paper and more likely to be seeing only a gender distinction in the different spelling of the two words).

Regarding John 11:1, ?It looks like a Greek translator had a problem with the Semitic form of naming a town ([font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]0tyrq 0yn9 tyb[/font]), ?Bethany Town? and the spelling of [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]hwx0[/font] (?Achuah? ? ?Brother?), which apparently was mistaken for [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]htxd[/font] (?D?Khatha? ? ?Sister?) [note Ashuri text in Bauscher book]. The Greek has ?the town of Mary and her sister Martha?; the Peshitta?s Aramaic has ?the brother of Mary and Martha?. ?Town? should not be connected with any word following it, only with ?Bethany?. A very literal reading, disregarding the Semitic use of town as part of the name of Bethany would lead to something like the following sense: ?And a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of the brother of Mary and Martha.? That would have been OK, but apparently, the Greek translator misread ?Brother? as ?Sister?, thereby throwing a monkey wrench into the meaning of the verse: ?The sister of Mary and Martha? does not work, so ?sister? must be moved in the Greek text to follow ?Martha?: Hence, ?the town of Mary and her sister Martha?. Please note that the Greek does not really make good sense here: ?Lazarus was from the town of Mary and her sister?? So what? He was their brother! The next verse alludes to that, but the Peshitta makes it plain in verse 1?. It would be a very difficult case to make to say the Aramaic came from the Greek, even if ?sister? were to be misread as ?brother?, which are very similar in Greek; there would have been more than reconstructive surgery going on here. To get ?Lazarus of the town of Bethany, the brother of Mary and Martha? from ?Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha? would be progressive evolution! The translator would have misread the definite article ?thj? as well as ?adelfhj? (?Sister?) and dropped ?authj? (?her?), all three of which are feminine, and made a masculine noun ?brother? out of them. It is triply unlikely that three words would be misread, as opposed to one, as in the other scenario discussed above.? P. 265-266.

Again, see more examples from the gospel of John in the polysemy section of this forum.


With regard to your points in the original post regarding the number of scholars that favor the Greek, the ?quality of the Greek?, etc., you can review the posts on this site for rebuttals and clarity on each item, just as the user ?judge? highlighted above. See e.g., <!-- l --><a class="postlink-local" href="">viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3746&p=23605#p23605</a><!-- l -->
See also this article for follow-up study: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->

Bauscher has written, ?Greek mss. have some grammatical errors and poor word usage. The Peshitta contains no such errors, and yet it has been supposed by Western scholars to be a translation of the Greek NT and the Greek is supposed to be the original!? p. 210. You can find other scholars echoing the same sentiments about the questionable quality of the Greek. And likewise, you can find Greek primacists who feel compelled to admit the quality of the Aramaic Peshitta. Of course, if these Greek primacists took the next logical step and actually admitted Aramaic primacy, what do you suppose they would jeopardize (it is like admitting to errors on your tax forms, and having to go back and re-file every tax return you've ever prepared).

All fields of study reward majorities who harmonize with the established institutions, and only rock the boat carefully. Try to publish articles about creation science today and see if you can get a paid position at a University publishing your research. Go back to the year 1880 and try to publish research about quantum physics and see how much impact you have. Go back to the dark ages and try to publish on the heresies of the Catholic Church and see how far you get. Go back to year 150AD and try to find a single person who wants the Greek scriptures translated into Aramaic. Oh, but you can get paid handsomely the other way around in 150AD -- writing translations of Aramaic scriptures in Greek, because the market demand was high as Christianity was spreading, and Greek was considered the enlightened language. Regarding that website you quoted, I have not found quotes from ?early church fathers? saying the original gospel was written in Greek and that they accepted this without debate amongst one another. Indeed, to say such a thing ignores the origins of the Church of the East! Perhaps that's the point though, division? It looks like your argument was cut & paste from this website, which notably does not provide any citation: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->

How about logic? We can readily observe the Greek gospel transliterates the Aramaic Peshitta text routinely, just as the Septuagint does this with the Hebrew Tanakh. How often do men preface their statements, ?because the Hebrews spoke Hebrew,? ?because the Arameans spoke Aramaic?. Or, how many books have you read that have the introduction, "This English book is originally written in English". Notice how often in history English speakers have translated the bible in English, with transliterated Aramaic and Hebrew root words, and then claimed the English as the inspired word of God. It's Churchianity, and the English were not the first to do it.

At the end of the day, the Father in heaven can make the Greek as meaningful as He wishes. If he wanted Aramaic primacy to be crystal clear, it would be written in the sky for all to see, along with an unadulterated torah. If you like, perhaps some of the disciples' letters were written or originally distributed in Greek. Decide for yourself as you examine the polysemy and more. With the strong polysemy evidence showing Aramaic primacy of the gospel, I just hope that Greek primacists do not feel undermined by or divided from Aramaic primacists. We are searching one another's scriptures. Why would anyone want to try to take away our one messiah that anyone else has learned about, because if it is indeed the heart that brings one close to the one messiah to hear his words, who would claim they know more about our messiah from Greek study above Aramaic?

It is natural though that the Aramaic speaking apostles would write the gospel in the Aramaic language of Israel. Does the gospel not quote the messiah saying his words were first given to the lost sheep in Israel? These are cool questions that are fun to debate, and I'm glad you're here...

Quite simply, there is boatloads of evidence for Aramaic primacy, so excellent opportunities abound for fellowship and learning with those who speak and read the same language spoken by [font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"](w4y[/font].
I might recommend taking a look at the definition of polysemy: <!-- l --><a class="postlink-local" href="">viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1454</a><!-- l -->

And then also, please note that I provided illustrative examples above, rather than an exhaustive list. That is why the math exercise you offered is just not realistic. I think most readers will be glad you offered it though, because it gives an insight into your present thinking and research (and consequently, the likely outcome of this thread).

In reality, you can find thousands of examples of Aramaic Primacy on this website and elsewhere. Check out the sections here on Greek Polysemy, Greek Variances, Greek Mistranslations, Greek Contradictions, etc. The ?General? and ?Aramaic Primacy Forum? are also filled with amazing examples. Reading through the examples one-by-one would be a good place to start your research as you can focus, if you wish, on just those examples (i.e., split-words, polysemy) that do not depend on wordplay or just the Semitic-origin of transliterated words. Indeed, I think we saw above that even a sample of evidence above was quite compelling for the gospel of Matthew. Rather than me summarizing every example of Aramaic Primacy for the other gospels here on this post, you can just access the evidence yourself directly from the Forum homepage -- to get you started, here are some highlights:
Hi Searcher, good inquiry. However, I think there are some mistakes in your analogy and interpretation of the stats you gave. Let's assume your numbers are correct -- now how many *unique* words make up the Gospels? Many of the words in the Gospels are repeats, words like "Jesus" "God" "law" "spoke" "walk/ed" "bless/ing/ed" "eat/ate" etc., and so the 65k figure is inflated thus artificially reducing the percent of polysemic words in the Gospels. I'm reminded of similar use of stats employed by Atheists when pointing out how many differences there are among the various Greek MSS, never mentioning that the vast majority of differences are simple scribal/copyist errors, misspellings, duplicate or skipped lines, and only negligible differences have significant impact theologically and those that do usually can be traced fairly well (ie, Johannine Comma) all because there are so many copies of the Greek MSS which serves as a checks and balance system. I think the Greek witnesses are great btw. When I see Atheists using such tactics it comes off as gimmicky similar to bad advertising and flawed research papers used for talking points (ie, propaganda). I have bibleworks and could probably break down all the real numbers regarding unique words vs the list of known and agreed upon polysemic words (if such a comprehensive list exists) but I've never used the program for stats and so would prob take some time for me to figure out how to do it all properly (not to mention which version you're talking about). I'm not sure I'm curious enough to do so, but maybe someday I will.

The other thing is your analogy doesn't quite fit because we're talking about 2 or more (hypothetical) translations diverging on certain words in certain contexts that can't be reconciled until the terms in the (hypothetical) original language are revealed to include multiple definitions from which the diverging translations sprang. The analogy only gives one English text containing words known to have Latin derivatives which have more than one definition in the original Latin instead of 2 English translation that diverge on certain Latin terms with more than one definition that can't be reconciled with one English term until the underlying Latin text is consulted, hence the diverging English translations.

Polysemy is indeed a significant aspect of the texts and shouldn't be underestimated, in fact the biggest star in NT studies, Bart Ehrman, tried to use an example of it in John 3.3 in the GNT to argue for Greek primacy, however he either was ignorant or misleading readers because the same phenomenon exists in the Aramaic text of the same verses but with slightly different meaning, and in my opinion deeper and more in line with John's Gospel's main thrust set forth in the opening lines and key in Jewish thought: In the beginning was the Memra/Miltha.

Peace in Christ
"All that openeth the matrix is mine" -Exodus 34.19a
Shlama Searcher,

I would direct you to the polysemy evidences collected in the study shared at the following link:

<!-- l --><a class="postlink-local" href="">viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4022</a><!-- l -->

The Aramaic Peshitta NT shows exactly the same type of Janus Parallel as the Hebrew. What does the Greek show? Nothing. Why not? Would you dare assert that a translation of a source-text could viably possess more depth than the source-text itself? Is information ever lost or gained in the process of translating from one language to another?

Please refute these examples from the link based on a textual evidence basis. If you cannot, you have some viable evidence for Aramaic Primacy.

Hi Searcher,

Regarding the -n- prefix for the Imperfect .... Apparently you've never heard of (let alone, read) the Xanthos Stele inscription in Turkey from the 8th century BC ?

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m -->

If you can read it, please explain the n-hwy verb used there.

Or the Deir Alla inscription from Jordan (9th century BC)? If you can read that, please explain the n-)nx verb used there.

Please do research for yourself and not rely on dated and incorrect information. The attestation of the -n- prefix (along with the -y-) for the Imperfect is a dialectical variant found in several ancient (and, modern) Aramaic dialects. You absolutely cannot date the Peshitta by its use of the Imperfect -n- vs the -y-.

The inscriptions of Old Syriac you find with the -y- prefix were influenced by Imperial (Literary Standard) Assyrian and Achaemenid Aramaic. Many inscriptions were made to that literary standard.

To date a manuscript simply by the shift of the -n- from -y- 3rd-person Imperfect prefix is rather simplistic, and not very accurate.

Hi searcher,

Don't apologize. I'm at work as well.

You know, all you're really doing is cutting and pasting existing arguments for Greek Primacy. I'd like to engage your own thought, and I would like for the conversation to be concise and limited in scope to one topic. Things get accomplished that way, not with long posts that are all over the place.

Let's discuss your point about dialect. You said (and I'm paraphrasing out of necessity) - that if the Peshitta was written by the Apostles right after the events, then it should be in the exact same dialect of Aramaic that they spoke.

Can I ask you: what Aramaic dialect is the GNT written in ? Jesus' exact Aramaic dialect?

You see where I'm going with this, I'm sure.

Why do you hold the Peshitta to a different standard than you hold th GNT? (Whichever version you consider the "original")

My answer to you on why the NT was penned in an eastern Aramaic dialect, is the same reason you will find Greek Primacists believe it was penned in Koine.

It's because, by multiple orders of magnitude- the eastern dialect was the most populous in number. Everyone (Jew and Gentile) from the Euphrates to India understood and spoke it. It had the widest reach. It still does today. Always has.

What you call "Syriac" is, in fact the "Koine" of Aramaic, back then ... Today, and Tomorrow.

Sure, they could have penned the NT in some obscure "Galilean" dialect - but their Jewish (and, Gentile)brethren in Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Turkey, Mesopotamia and Persia would have a harder time with it.

Your thoughts on this (one, please) point ?

This is a different post, so please only reply to the point in this one. I want to test your knowledge. You seem very knowledgeable if your posts are any indication.

Here is my question (don't Google this, you won't find the answer ... and it would be intellectually dishonest - not that you would do that, just saying)

Why did the -n- prefix to the 3rd-person Imperfect verb evolve from the original Aramaic -y- (specifically, within the "Syriac" milieu) ???

Please, your own thought.


PS - it's ok to say "I don't know." I'll explain it to you, and I think you'll be quite surprised.
The user by the name of "Searcher" has been banned for trolling, he/she was obviously not here to learn anything but insisted on being belligerent, argumentative and just here to copy-and-paste arguments for the GNT that he finds on the internet.

Nipping this one in the bud.

Shlama Paul,

I personally would be very interested to know the answer to that last question you raised, if you don't mind providing it.

Looks like I came back to the party too late! I typed up most of my reply a few days ago but had to save it til I could finish after a run of 12+ hr night shifts at the hospital. Anyways I'd hate for it to go to waste so here it is anyways. If anyone finds flaws in my post I'd appreciate correction, thanks.

Excellent job copying+pasting nearly all your arguments and talking points from websites.

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..and who knows what else since I stopped checking your post after these two.

Just about all the issues you copied over have already been answered before. Shall I just copy+paste several web pages, biblical chapters and postings from others here that answer these things for you to read through?

The websites themselves only parrot assertions with little to no compelling evidence to back them up. Funny how you swallow them anyways while ignoring solid internal primary evidence and first hand accounts pointing away from your position and seem adamant that we do the same. Actually your presence here makes little sense as you clearly have nothing to offer in the way of enlightenment or resolving textual difficulties and uncovering hidden meaning in the bible. Safety in numbers? Political agenda? What would happen to the church of Rome if their basis for authority was exposed as false? What would religious Jews today think if they heard the Gospels and letters from the apostles were actually in Aramaic? They might even dare think about looking at it and find themselves appreciating how it reads like parts of the TNK or their sages and start wondering if they've been mislead by those they trusted. As it is they won't give a second thought to it being even near inspired text simply because they're told it originates in Greek which would be like giving them a nice fat slab of bacon with their morning bagel. Can't have Jews converting now can we? What would that do to the state of Israel? No fighting over land? Peace? Noo! That's for the future world leader to broker isn't it! Why shouldn't Aramaic primacy be suppressed?

One wonders, if you?re not an agent here to derail any progress, do you actually think through what you?re posting here and testing your own side of the argument or are you mindlessly regurgitating what others say? You?re basically illustrating what typically happens in academia which is to simply echo chamber what the chosen Establishment journals and ?scholars? publish creating a self-fulfilling ?consensus? and subsequent talking points (?all scholars agree,? like the secularist refrain ?all scientists agree?) rather than go back to the basics and consult the original sources and check what the evidence shows compared to what is being fed to you. Again, I?m reminded of militant Atheist's organized tactics online with their empty talking points and copy+paste drive-bys -- can't have the common person thinking their on equal footing with kings and priests in the Creator's eyes and part of a plan, noo! they're just soulless apish slaves to the highest authority, the State.

Ignoring history you say? Josephus (a very important historian btw) makes abundantly clear that writings by Jews during NT times would most definitely have been in Aramaic not Greek. Most Greek influence was shunned by Jews especially after the Maccabean revolt and was rarely used fluently among Jews (like a Paul or Philo) with the exception of a minority called ?Hellenized-Jews? ? as it?s said, the exception establishes the rule. The rabbis would lament that the scriptures were translated into Greek. The highly educated Josephus himself wrote his works in Aramaic and admits it was difficult to learn to translate into the foreign and unaccustomed language (Greek). This would not be the case if Greek really was the lingua franca of Jewish communities that we are always assured it was in NT time by Western NT scholars. The Roman commander posted in Jerusalem seems surprised when Paul was able to address him in Greek: As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the commander, ?May I say something to you?? And he said, ?Do you know Greek? Acts 21.37 (NAS). This would not be the case if Greek really was the lingua franca of Jewish communities that we are always assured it was in NT time. Then Paul turns to the crowd (his "brethren," Jews and Israelites, etc) and speaks in Aramaic: Paul, standing on the stairs, motioned to the people with his hand; and when there was a great hush, he spoke to them in the Hebrew dialect, saying, ?Brethren and fathers, hear my defense which I now offer to you.? And when they heard that he was addressing them in the Hebrew dialect, they became even more quiet" Acts 21.40-22.2 (NAS). Keep in mind the crowd was made up of mainly Jews and Israelites from surrounding countries! That speaks volumes! This would not be the case if these communities spread around the empire had forgotten the Hebrew tongue, Aramaic, which was still preserved particularly in the synagogues throughout the nations which Paul went to first in each foreign city he went to preach to; OT application of the term "goyim" ("nations," "Gentiles") was a generic term used also to refer to descendants of Israelites/Jews (cf. Gen 48.19). The biblical text itself is really all you need to counter underlying assumptions of Greek primacists if you actually believe and trust what it says, showing that Greek primacists really don't trust the text. ?If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?" John 3.12 (NAS).

I?ll also let Josephus shred the Greek primacist argument in his own way:

?Antiquity of the Jews?
1:7 but because this work surrounded a great deal? in process of time, as usually happens to such as undertake great things, I grew weary and went on slowly, it being a large subject, and a difficult thing to translate our history into a foreign, and to us unaccustomed, language.

1:129 for such names are pronounced here after the manner of the Greeks, to please my readers; for our own country language does not so pronounce them;

20:262 And I am so bold as to say, now I have so completely perfected the work I proposed to myself to do, that no other person, whether he were a Jew or foreigner, had he ever so great an inclination to it, could so accurately deliver these accounts to the Greeks as is done in these books.

20:263 For those of my own nation freely acknowledge that I far exceed them in the learning belonging to Jews: I have also taken a great deal of pains to obtain the learning of the Greeks, and understand the elements of the Greek language, although I have so long accustomed myself to speak our own tongue, that I cannot pronounce Greek with sufficient exactness;

20:264 for our nation does not encourage those who learn the languages of many nations,
In Against Apion, Josephus also shows that ?Antiquity? was originally written in his own national tongue and only subsequently translated into Greek (with great effort as stated above):

1:1 My books of the ?Antiquity of the Jews? ? Those Antiquities contain the history of five thousand years, and are taken out of our sacred books; but are translated by me into the Greek tongue.

1:50 Afterward I got leisure at Rome; and when all my materials were prepared for that work, I made use of some persons to assist me in learning the Greek tongue.

Jewish War preface:

?I have proposed to myself, for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books into the Greek tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our country?

After the exile to Babylon, the lingua franca among the Jews who returned to the land (and stayed in Babylon) was Aramaic. This is why they always used the Aramaic Targumim, Talmuds, Mishna, and Midrash through NT times and beyond. Even the Hebrew bible relies much on Aramaic after the exile and tells how Ezra translated the Hebrew bible for the Jews during readings, where the Aramaic Targum tradition begins. It was a strong tradition and still practiced today; Greek had no place in the synagogue.

Josephus actually lived in the time and area we?re talking about, unlike the biblical ?scholars? 2000 years later who must ignore and invert what he said as a foundation to build their house of cards on because they know better than he who was actually there and concerned himself with the matter. The Jews and Israelites traditionally read from the Hebrew bible along side the Aramaic Targumim in the synagogues throughout the empire. Many different languages were spoken throughout the empire, not just Greek, that?s why on the Pentecost following Yeshua's ascent the bible records that the apostles spoke many different languages surprising the Israelites who had come from different countries, yet they were addressed in the Hebrew tongue by Paul.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. They were amazed and astonished, saying, ?Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? ?And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? ?Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs?we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.? And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, ?What does this mean?? But others were mocking and saying, ?They are full of sweet wine.? Acts 2.5-13

Why would they be speaking so many different languages throughout the empire if Greek had universally taken over? It may have been the international business language, more so in some regions than others, but apparently the other daily languages didn't die out as the passage in Acts shows.

Why don't Greek primacists address any of these issues? They have bigger and more numerous problems to face down than Aramaic primacists. So who?s the one ignoring history? The Greek primacist must shrug off all these historical facts because they annihilate their argument and overturns their superstructure of bogus scholarship over the ages. God makes the wisdom of this world into foolishness with things that are hidden.

In addition to history, I see you still don?t understand how bad your analogy is. At least have a clue about what you're talking about if you're going to act arrogant. Capiche?

Your reply shows that you don?t even really understand polysemy even though you can provide a definition, especially when you compare it to derived words (English from Latin) which has zero to do with what we're talking about. Another factor your 'stat' misses is that we?re not talking about all polysemic terms in the Peshitta, rather only polysemic terms in Aramaic where their translations are split between/among different definitions due to the related context being ambiguous to some degree (at least to the translator). But I suppose finer points like these are falling on deaf ears if we can?t get past the more elementary points. I won?t be wasting my time further on it so enjoy delving deeper into fantasies of how you (or someone else) calculated a great 'proof' with some irrelevant pseudo statistical analysis. Such tricks might work on gullible Greek primacists but good luck pulling the wool over on those who prayerfully attempt to do their own homework and critical thinking (see above reference to Ehrman).
"All that openeth the matrix is mine" -Exodus 34.19a
I will give this another 7 days.
gregoryfl Wrote:Shlama Paul,

I personally would be very interested to know the answer to that last question you raised, if you don't mind providing it.


Hi Ronen,

I will give you the answer, eventually, but as I like to do ... I want to help you (anyone reading) along your own conclusion after giving you more evidence and clues.

The next bit of info, that not many people are aware of. Click on the "Trilinear Targums" link and open Mishlei (Proverbs). This document contains the original Hebrew, the Aramaic Targum and the English translation.

Scroll down to 1:5 and you will notice that, like the Hebrew original - the "shma" (hear) is prefixed in the 3rd-Person Imperfect singular masculine with the original Semitic -y- (y-shma) ... "will hear". The Imperfect is, by definition, not completed action. Original Semitic way, with the -y- prefix, which can be found all over this Targum.

Next scroll down to 9:8 and you will notice that in this one verse...twice, un-like the Hebrew original, the 3rd-Person Imperfect singular masculine verbs for "hate" and "love" are prefixed not with the original Semitic -y-, but with the later -n-. "n-snyk" ("will hate you") and "n-rxmk" ("will love you").

And so forth and so on it goes in this Targum, alternating in the Aramaic between the original Semitic -y- for the Imperfect 3rd-s masc., and the later -n-. A man will find (y-find or n-find, your choice) many examples of both, scattered everywhere.

Why do you suppose that is? Surely, this Targum is not in the "Syriac" dialect. And it definitely wasn't written in Edessa.


Note: these verses read much different than the Peshitta, which some have argued falsely in the past was the basis for this Targum.

Remember, "Searcher" in his cut-and-paste jihad attack of the forum, claimed (plagiarized) that this "shift" to -n- occurred in "Syriac" after the 3rd-century AD. Which makes it kinda hard to explain why 8-9th century BC inscriptions from Jordan and northern Turkey also had the -n-, doesn't it ?
Thank you, aux. It's refreshing to hear/read people in their own thoughts and wording. Almost two decades into this forum, I can almost recall from memory and immediately identify any cut-and-paste jobs.

People must think we don't know how to use Google ourselves. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->


PS - and your points are spot-on.

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