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Aramaic Primacy Proof in Revelation? (W-5)
Good day all,

Will someone please help me understand how it is possible for Aramaic Primacists to claim three specific Aramaic primacy proofs from the book of Revelation, when Paul Younan and others conclude that the Western Five were Greek books translated into Aramaic by the SOC?

I've been fascinated with the nine .pdf documents containing primacy proofs (primarily by Christopher Lancaster) and also books by Rafael Lataster and Andrew Roth on Aramaic primacy which list numerous assortments of Aramaic primacy proofs; but I'm hoping that someone can absolve my concerns here.

Unless I'm missing something (and I hope that I am), trying to demonstrate three (3) primacy proofs from a supposedly Greek based document (Revelation) would be like shooting one's own foot. It would seem to provide a terrible stain for AP.

For the sake of brevity, here are the three citations, and please feel free to respond--anyone who is familiar with these below. Again, my question is only this: how can these be valid Aramaic proofs if the Western Five were translated from Greek into Aramaic?

1) Revelation 6:15 - Those who are STRONG or who have POWER?
2) Revelation 2:20 - SUFFER or TOLERATE
3) Revelation 2:20 - BED or COFFIN

Grace and peace,
I can give you a Minority Report for at least some of this.

Revelation 5: (In Parts, for space):

[5] Then one of the elders said to me, "Weep not; lo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals."
[6] And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth;
[9] and they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals,
for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God
from every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
[10] and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on earth."
[11] Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,
[12] saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!"
[13] And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, "To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever!"

Note especially verse 10: "...and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on earth."

To me, this is about as Aramaic as it can get. "...Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David", and, "...I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain." To me, it points to some document that was spliced into what became Revelation. Someone wants to change the meaning to another, changing the direction of the Text, to someone who...ummm...believes himself worthy of being called "Lord and God":

Revelation 4: (In Parts):

[2] At once I was in the Spirit, and lo, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne!
[3] And he who sat there appeared like jasper and carnelian, and round the throne was a rainbow that looked like an emerald.
[4] Round the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clad in white garments, with golden crowns upon their heads.
[6] and before the throne there is as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.
And round the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:
[8] And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all round and within, and day and night they never cease to sing, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!"
[9] And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives for ever and ever,
[10] the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing,
[11] "Worthy art thou, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for thou didst create all things,
and by thy will they existed and were created."

Now, I could be very wrong but I do not believe that this passage has an Aramaic Base. If, however, this is true then we must look at a different Origin for the Non-Aramaic Passages - 'N not necessarily from the Greek.

Dear Charles,

Thank you so much for your in-depth reply, and you may have some great points there; however, I believe that I may have done a poor job of phrasing my question. Please let me try it again:

Why are these three passages (below) being used as Aramaic Primacy proofs (polysemy) when they all come from Western Five (Greek) books? And if anybody would like to see the full explanation given for each one, I will be glad to send it to you. But wouldn't such arguments nullify or at least rob the power of arguing Aramaic primacy from polysemous words?

1) Revelation 6:15 - Those who are STRONG or who have POWER?
2) Revelation 2:20 - SUFFER or TOLERATE
3) Revelation 2:20 - BED or COFFIN

Please accept my apologies. Your Post was worded just fine.

FWIW, I believe the use of "Fig Tree" in verse 13 points to the end of the Julio-Claudians and the Ascension of the Flavians. Verse 14 is ambiguous as to Place of Authorship, perhaps pointing to a rewrite. The use of "Strong" in verse 15 should be examined in light of "The Little Scroll" and the "STRONG angel". Verse 16 carries the always unusual "Fall on us...". The rocks and mountains are to "Fall on us?" Still curious.

Verses 16 - 17 revert to the Type that was Jannaeus, whose followers suffered the Tribulation of living in the mountains for 6 years after the defeat at the hands of Demetrius Eucerus. Janneus ended up as the Conqueror and the Lamb will conquer as well.

Again, I apologize here.

Thank you once again <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

Hey man. You mentioned on another post, ?I've become a bit perturbed that no one could answer my legitimate question here (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3956)?.

Personally I think those three examples you gave are not particularly compelling one way or the other for the Aramaic or Greek.

Instead of those three examples, you can find better examples from David Bauscher. He spent about 20-years reading Greek, and then around ten reading Aramaic before he translated the Book of Revelation word-for-word in the context of Aramaic primacy. For example, here is how he covers the Greek variance in Revelation 13:1:
  • ?The majority and Critical Greek has ?names? ? [omicron-nu-omicron-mu-alpha-tau-alpha]. The Aramaic Shma is singular. Whoever penned the original Crawford Aramaic text was highly expert in the language; if he was translating from Greek, he would have known easily the difference between the singular Greek [omicron-nu-omicron-mu-alpha] and the plural [omicron-nu-omicron-mu-alpha-tau-alpha] only 3 old Greek mss. & the Textus Receptus Greek mss. Have the singular [omicron-nu-omicron-mu-alpha] ?name?. The fact that the Crawford has Shma (?name?) mitigates strongly against a Greek original behind it; if it were a translation of Greek, it would have Shmha (?names?) or Shmhyn (?names?), as does the Harklean Syriac version ? (Shmha), unless one would argue the Crawford was translated from the Textus Receptus Greek text, since it agrees with that text alone in two readings in this verse: ?I stood? and ?names?. But that would be difficult to maintain since the TR disagrees with the Crawford in quite a few major readings in Revelation. Even in this verse, the word order of the two texts differs for ?ten horns and seven heads?.?

And here is how Bauscher covers the Greek variance in Revelation 14:20:
  • ?Greek mss. have ?a thousand, six hundred stadia?; the Greek ms. Aleph (a, 4th cent.) has [chi-iota-lambda-iota-omicron-iota delta-iota-alpha-kappa-omicron-sigma-iota-omicron-iota] - ?a thousand two hundred?, as does the Philoxenian Syriac Version (early 6th cent.)? If the Aramaic is the original, how did most Greek mss. get 600 instead of 200? Ah, but the Aramaic wmaThyn is 600 and 200! How? The Aramaic language uses letters for numbers as well as words. wmaThyn can mean ?and two hundred? (which it most likely does) or it can be interpreted as ?(hundreds) maThyn (six) w since w ? (waw) is also used for the number six. The Greek interpretation may have been influenced by the Hebrew form for ?hundreds? ? mawTh; The correct Aramaic form would be maa. The more accurate use of this method would actually give ? ?six ?two hundreds? which is exactly what the Sinaiticus has! (Greek does not have a six ?two hundreds). So the 4th Century Greek Sinaiticus bears witness to the Aramaic text of Revelation (The only Greek ms. With 1200 stadia in this place) as does The Majority Greek Text with its subtle but sloppy use of Gematria to obtain 1600 stadia.?

And for the Greek variance in Revelation 22:13
  • ?The Greek mss. are split (approx.. 100 each group) between ?The First and the Last and the Beginning and The End? & ?The Beginning and The End and The First and Last?. What is truly interesting is that the Aramaic words in the Crawford text qdmya waKhrya wShwrya w Shwlma ? the last four words in the verse all have double meanings. qdmya can mean ?First? or ?Beginning?; aKhrya can be ?The last? or ?The end?. Shwrya can be ?Beginning?, ?Origin?, ?Introduction? and Shwlma is ?End?, ?Completion?, ?Consummation?. It is easily conceivable that a Greek translator and a later reviser or translator using the same Aramaic text would translate these words differently, thus producing the two major Greek readings here.?

It?s evidence, it adds up. But if the Father wanted Aramaic primacy to be self-evident anywhere, it would be. For example, the first words of Revelation would be something like ?This book was originally written in Aramaic by Yahshua?s apostle John?. And for that matter, the Torah would be written in preserved Hebrew right in the big blue sky for all to obey. But no, that?s not our world. Our world is one of perspective and lost history because it is what helps us grow, and what we deserve.

In our world, a scholar can make a case for Revelation in Greek if he wants, or even Egyptian (seriously, it?s be done). For example, with every one point of wordplay evidence you find two of conjecture. I wouldn?t be surprised to see a 400-page book claiming that Satan himself is the author! Ultimately it comes down to faith. And in matters of faith that are reconciled in public forums, tradition frequently receives the spotlight.

But in the meantime, you'll find there is both logic and evidence behind theories for an Aramaic original?

Some of the key Aramaic primacy points from Bauscher?s interlinear (2011 edition):
  • ? Greek variances explained by the Aramaic. Examples: 1:5 (?and releases?); 1:8 (?tav?); 1:14 (?of Laodiceans?); 12:3 (?of fire?); 13:1 (?name?); 14:20 (?one thousand two hundred?); 16:14 (?demon?); 22:13 (?the First, and the Last, and the Origin, and the Fulfillment?)
    ? Greek mistranslations made transparent by the Aramaic original : 1:12 (?to know?); 1:13 (?ephod?); 9:11 (?Abdu?); 18:7 (?exalted herself?)
    ? Greek exegesis: 1:11 (adds ?in Asia?); 1:13 (adds reference to Antipas); 6:16 (adds plural reference); 8:8 (?angel?)
    ? Aramaic harmony with the old testament: 3:7 (?who opens?), 11:4 (?of the whole?); 19:2 (?blood from her hand?)

He also covers Greek & Aramaic script variations, semiticisms, wordplay, and poetry.

And he observes quite logically, ?Laodicea, Colossae, and Hierapolis were destroyed by an earthquake in AD 66. Laodicea was not rebuilt until 120 years later by Marcus Aurelius. This little know fact is extensively documented by Bishop Lightfoot in his commentary on Colossians and Philemon, pp 274-300. This says volumes about the date for the Book of Revelation, does it not? It must have been written before AD 66, else there had been no Laodicea left to which John could write! Tacitus, the Roman historian wrote that Laodicea ?without any relief from us, recovered itself from its own resources.? Tacitus wrote this in the early second century. Another source says that Laodicea ?lay in ruins for quite a period of time? until the Roman emperor Hadrian, at the beginning of the second century (reigned AD 117-138) revived it after he visited the place.? It was almost totally rebuilt during the reign (AD 188-217) of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (Nicknamed Caracalla).? There was apparently no major rebuilding of Laodicea before the second century and it is highly unlikely that this destruction should go unmentioned if a letter to its church were written after AD 66 to a place in ruins and which furthermore boasts, ?I am rich and affluent and have need of nothing? (v. 17). It is amazing that modern Bible commentators seem to be completely ignorant of this historical information, dating the writing of Revelation at AD 95 ? an absurdly late date.? For dating, see also Bauscher?s Historical introduction at pp. 578-79.

Like Bauscher, I have also found evidence of Aramaic primacy in Revelation:
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Is all this evidence compelling? Maybe. In a personal way for me, yes -- the best evidence is the way that Alha weaves synchronicity through your life, to tell you the story of yourself in relation to Yahshua. I think that?s one way we learn to hear the shepherd?s voice.

I believe Revelation comes from the Father, through Yahshua, and should be recognized first in that primary context. Whatever Babylonian language in which the message was first written to us Babylonians would just be sub-context. The Father can encode more meaning into the eye of a needle (in any language and at any time) than Intel can squeeze into a sewing machine factory - so Babylonian language primacy is academic.

The real primacy is the language of the heart. For example, imagine there were six men who read the admonition to Pergamus. Five of them read it in Greek and two in Aramaic. Three of these men heard the message in their hearts and repented. Now, who worked the Father?s will? The answer reveals we all share the same definition of primacy.
Ta'oma, will you respond to anything in that last post above? I would like to hear your thoughts on them.

As you may know, there are some who believe that Revelation was originally written in Aramaic, though not sent to The Church of the East in the 1st century as the other books they received were. The fact that they didn't get a copy, doesn't mean that the book wasn't written in Aramaic originally.


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