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Re: Lamsa Bible

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  • Apu Jose
    Dear John, Lamsa bible which you have mentioned is the said to be the English translation of Peshitto Syriac bible .But as far as I know it is a very poor
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 25, 2009
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      Dear John,

      Lamsa bible which you have mentioned is the said to be the English translation of Peshitto Syriac bible .But as far as I know it is a very poor translation. It is heavily influenced by other translations like the King James Version.Very Rev Kuriakose Cor episcopa Moolayil Achen has got a Photostated copy of this bible.

      Better translation is Murdock's Bible (I guess it is published by Gorgias Press) . Only New Testament is available.I have heard that another translation called NEATSB ( guess it is New English Annotated Syriac Bible ) is being published from London.

      If you can read Syriac , you can get a copy of New Testament from Bible Society of Turkey , Istanbul. If you need the whole bible it is available in Mor Gabriel Dayra (I am not sure of this information.)

      With prayers,
      Apu Jose
      4096
    • Mathew G M
      I have couple of questions about the Peshitta Bible. I don t know Syriac, and hence have to go by translations available. The translations that I am relying on
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 6, 2011
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        I have couple of questions about the Peshitta Bible. I don't know Syriac, and hence have to go by translations available. The translations that I am relying on are:
        1) Lamsa translation
        2) Murdock translation
        3) Vishudha Grandham (Fr. Kaniamparambil)

        My question is with respect to Gospel of St. Matthew 27:46. This verse refers to the words that our Lord Jesus Christ, cried out from the cross.

        Murdock translation of Peshitta (refer to (XXVII : 46 in the link below) says:
        http://www.aramaicpeshitta.com/AramaicNTtools/Murdock/murdock_matthew.htm

        "O God, O God; why hast thou forsaken me ?"

        This is the same as what you find in NIV, KJV etc: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2027:46&version=NKJV

        However when you check Lamsa translation, you find
        http://www.lamsabible.com/Lamsa/1_Matthew/Matthew27.htm

        "Jesus cried out with a loud voice and said, Eli, Eli lmana shabachthani! which means, My God, my God, for this I was kept!"

        In Vishudha Grandham, Kaniyamparambil Achen only gives "Eel Eel Lmono Shabakthon" and does not provide a Malayalam translation.

        So my question to the learned Priests, Bishops and Syriac Scholars is this:
        Did our Lord Jesus Christ say:
        "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me" or did He say
        "My God, My God, for this I was kept."

        The first one, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me" is consistent with the Greek text and is the beginning of Psalm 22.
        http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm%2022&version=NKJV

        It would make sense for our Lord to teach us he is the Messiah even from the cross by referring to Psalm 22 and it is full of prophesies about our Lord; Psalm 22:18 specifically says: "They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots."

        At the same time the second one "My God, My God, for this I was kept." also makes perfect sense, and the whole point of the incarnation was the curcifixtion. So that was why He was kept.

        So which one is the correct Peshitta translation?

        In Christ,
        Mathew G M
        0929

        --- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Michael Poe wrote:
        >
        > Dear brothers and sisters in Yashua Mshiho,Berek Alaha!
        >
        > The Peshitta,which is the original Aramaic Gospels and New Testament ......... There are several good translations in English. The Holy Bible From the Ancient Eastern Text-George Lamsa's translation from the Aramaic of the Peshitta is very good. ..........
        > In Yashua Mshiho,
        > Michael.
        > 4172
      • Dr Thomas Joseph
        George Lamsa s translation is regarded by Syriac Biblical scholars as lacking rigor and generally deficient. His translation of this verse supports this
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 7, 2011
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          George Lamsa's translation is regarded by Syriac Biblical scholars as lacking rigor and generally deficient. His translation of this verse supports this criticism well.

          First, the transliteration of the Aramaic that we find in the English Bibles for Matt. 27:46 and Mark 15:34, ""Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" " is not precise - a. Eli => [e][y][l][y] b. lama => [l][m][n] and c. sabachthani => [sh][b][q][t][n][y]. Here I transliterate the consonants only and deliberately avoid the vowels since the script of that time would not have had vocalization. Our Lord spoke the Palestinian dialect of Aramaic (Syriac, being the Edessan dialect.) Scholars attribute an East Syriac style vocalization (e.g., l-mana instead of l-mono) to the Palestinian Aramaic of Christ's time, although I'm not certain that there is conclusive evidence for that premise. The [y] ending indicating the first person singular possessive (e.g., [e][y][l][y] - _My_ God] or object pronoun suffix {e.g., [sh][b][q][t][n][y] - you forsook _me_) is not pronounced at least in later Syriac (e.g., "Mor" - 'My Lord' ends with a "y" which is not pronounced). I would have to defer to an Aramaic scholar on whether the [y] ending would have been pronounced (e.g., "Eeyly" vs. "Eeyl"- My God) in that period.

          While Lamsa's transliteration (as well as Kaniamparambil achen's) is accurate if you ignore the vocalization, the translation of [sh][b][q][t][n[y] - "My God, my God, for this I was kept" is questionable. A footnote in Lamsa's translation further explains this as, "This was my destiny."

          The root is [sh][b][q] which means to leave, to leave behind/abandon, to send away/to dismiss, to let loose, to forgive, to forsake, etc. (see the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon - http://cal1.cn.huc.edu/ [search for "$bq"] and J. Payne-Smith's Compendious Syriac Dictionary p. 557.)

          [sh][b][q]t] is the second person singular perfect tense - "You forsook." or "You abandoned me" or "You left me." The [n][y] ending indicates the first person singular object pronoun suffix (e.g., as in kathban(y) - "He wrote me".) [l][m][n] is the interrogative. So, the KJV, NIV, Murdoch, etc., have translated [sh][b][q][t][n[y] more accurately than Lamsa.

          And as you have rightly pointed out, the same verse appears in Psalms 22:1.

          My general advise is to use Lamsa with a great deal of caution.

          Regards,
          Thomas
          ---
          Thomas Joseph, Ph.D.
          Tech. Editor, Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies [ http://bethmardutho.cua.edu/Hugoye/ ]
          Web Master, Syriac Orthodox Resources [ http://sor.cua.edu/ ]
          ID: 0202

          --- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Mathew G M wrote:
          >
          > I have couple of questions about the Peshitta Bible. I don't know Syriac, and hence have to go by translations available. The translations that I am relying on are:
          > 1) Lamsa translation
          > 2) Murdock translation
          > 3) Vishudha Grandham (Fr. Kaniamparambil)
          >
          > My question is with respect to Gospel of St. Matthew 27:46. This verse refers to the words that our Lord Jesus Christ, cried out from the cross.
          >
          > Murdock translation of Peshitta (refer to (XXVII : 46 in the link below) says:
          > http://www.aramaicpeshitta.com/AramaicNTtools/Murdock/murdock_matthew.htm
          >
        • Mathew G M
          Dear Dr.Thomas Joseph, Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. It s very helpful. To the doubt that you expressed regarding would the pronoucing
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 8, 2011
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            Dear Dr.Thomas Joseph,

            Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. It's very helpful.

            To the doubt that you expressed regarding would the pronoucing at that time be Eeyl or Eeyly, I have to guess it must have been the latter. This is because the people that were there, suspected that Jesus was calling on Elijah or Eli. If it was pronounced as Eeyl, they would not have confused it with the prophet Eli, right ?

            It would be great if future editions of Vishudha Gandham will include the Malayalam translation in Matthew 27:46. Hopefully Moolayil Achen or someone responsible for the publishing of Vishudha Grandham will take note.

            In Christ,
            Mathew G M

            --- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Dr Thomas Joseph wrote:
            >
            > George Lamsa's translation is regarded by Syriac Biblical scholars as lacking rigor and generally deficient. His translation of this verse supports this criticism well.
            >
          • Georgey Thomas
            Dear Mr. Mathew, I do not know how far this will help you as I also did not study this very carefully. But found that the author has taken time to explain the
            Message 5 of 5 , Jul 9, 2011
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              Dear Mr. Mathew,

              I do not know how far this will help you as I also did not study this very carefully. But found that the author has taken time to explain the meaning of each word. This made me think it might help you in your studies.

              That was a wonderful observation. Let us hope this will help you in your research.
              Georgey
              3084

              Eloi, Eloi Lama Sabachthani
              Mark 15:34 records some of the last words of Jesus as he was on the cross. They have been used to support the claim that Jesus spoke Aramaic and not Hebrew. "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, `Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' which is translated, `My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'" These words closely parallel the words in Psalm 22:1 in both the original Hebrew and in the Aramaic Targumim, though His words, as recorded in Mark 15:34 match neither exactly. Many scholars have glossed over this utterance as Aramaic without even really taking the time to see if it indeed is.

              The table below lists Jesus' phrase according to Mark and Matthew and then gives the text from Psalm 22:1 in the Hebrew original, the Targum (Aramaic) and then the Christian Syriac version (Syriac and Aramaic are basically the same). Notice that none of the aforementioned texts is exactly the same. Matthew's version is exactly the same for the first three words: Eli Eli, lama but then differs with sabachthani. The Targum of Ps 22:1 has shabachtani like in Mark and Matthew but then differs on the following: Eli Elahi instead of Eli Eli, and metul ma instead of lama. While these are similar in meaning, it must be conceded that they are significantly different to merit investigation. The Syriac version is the closest but again, it is not an exact match since lama is written lamna. It must not be overlooked, however, that the Syriac version was written as a translation to the New Testament and thus cannot be used conclusively to prove one way or the other the exact words of Jesus. The rest of the table lists the different ways of saying God in Hebrew and Aramaic (Syriac).

              Table 3 Eloi, Eloi Lama Sabaktani

              To read more: -
              http://www.thefirstsixdays.com/LanguageofJesus/EloiLamaShabachtani.htm
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