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the title of son of man,
Greek Primacist Joseph Fitzmyer wrote

Aramaic speaking Christians of later periods certanily understood it in that sense; s uiov tou anqrwpou was translated into Syriac and Christian Palestinian Aramaic as bereh de(>)nasa (pesitta, Mark 2:10) or >ebreh degabra (CPA, Luke 6:5) Here we are dealing with a stage of the Aramaic language in which there was no longer a difference of meaning between
Sn rb and 'Sn rb
,and in order to express the determination of the arthrous Greek phrase the prospective pronominal suffix with the following de-phrase was employed.

I'm wondering if anyone here can enlighten this take on the 'son of man' origins through their aramaic knowledge. It appears that Fitzmeyer believes that Mark 2:10 proves the peshitta to be a later aramaic translation of the greek.

Fitzmyer preceeds this quote with the following,

"whether it stems from an aramaic phrase that he himself used, either of himself or of someone else, may be and will continue to be debated, because it is a question to which in the long run only a speculative answer can be given."
Does anyone have more than a speculative answer, i suspect so!! <!-- s:onfire: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/onfire.gif" alt=":onfire:" title="On Fire" /><!-- s:onfire: -->
Shlama Zion,

Joseph Fitzmyer neglects to account for two verses in The NT where The Peshitta uses Barah d'enasha and the Greek has the anarthrous (no def. articles) "uios anthropou" . Those verses are John 5:27 and Hebrews 2:6. Where did the Peshitta get the full form Barah d'enasha in those places ?

This sort of disparity is better explained by Peshitta primacy
than Greek primacy. There are many other examples I could show in Aramaic-Greek word comparisons in which the Greek NT, as in The LXX, has less info. than the corresponding Aramaic text; For instance , in the Gospel of Luke, The Critical Greek text has 88 occurences of the name Ihsous (Jesus), while The Peshitta has 175 !
Did a translator double the number he found in The Greek text, or did a translator drop 50% he found in the Aramaic original ? Which is more likely- to add 100% of these names into a translation or to drop 50% in a translation where the grammatical sense is not altered ?
I have found many such examples, though not as extreme as this.
The LXX demonstrates the same relationship toward The Hebrew OT as The Greek NT bears toward the Peshitta NT .

"Bar Nasha" has the same meaning as "Bar Nash". One is the emphatic form and the other an absolute; both mean "a man". When has it ever been otherwise ? Joseph seems to have made a dogmatic conclusion based on what he admits is speculation. The facts can as easily (better, in my opinion) be explained by viewing the Greek as a translation of The Peshitta.

Burktha w'shlama,

Dave Bauscher
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Thanks Dave!

I'm just a new convert so thanks for the in depth analysis. It seems that most of the writings that assume Greek Primacy, don't ever do so explicity. I've been using my alumni card at the u of waterloo library and fitzmyer is the perfect example. He writes a book called 'the semitic background of the new testament', but never actually gives any explanation as to why he assumes the nt was originally penned in greek, and not in the language it would have been spoken, aramaic. He is only looking for his aramaic studies to enlighten his greek but couldn't possibly even consider that his aramaic studies should replace his greek. This I believe shows the depth to which the assumption of greek primacy has been made by the western theological tradition. According to my seminary NT professor, fitzmyer is the cutting edge of aramaic research, and yet even I, an amateur student of hebrew, aramaic, and greek can see that the far easier explanations come when you assume aramaic primacy, not greek. Not to mention the fact that the linguistic and interpretive dance and juggle act you have to do to maintain greek primacy is silly and ludicrous at times.


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