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221Re: [SORForum] The Syriac NT & Mat. 19:25

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  • George Kiraz
    Mar 30, 2002
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      Here are some brief answers.
      1. While Christ spoke in Aramaic, and his teachings may have been written in one form or another in Aramaic, any such writing (if it ever existed) is lost. The form of the Syriac Gospels (as we know it now) is a translation from the Greek. There are some scholars that argue for an Aramaic origin, but that is not certain.
      2. The Syrian Orthodox Church does not have an official view on interpretation. The issue of the camel vs. robe also exists in Greek variant forms: kamilos (cable) vs. camhlos (camel), both of which are cited in manuscripts. There is an article about this by Paul Haupt in American Journal of Philology, vol. 45 (1924) pp. 238-241.
      George Kiraz
      George A. Kiraz, Ph.D.
      Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute
      Read Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies: http://syrcom.cua.edu/Hugoye
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2002 5:46 AM
      Subject: [SORForum] The Syriac NT & Mat. 19:25

      Dear Brethren,

      As I read from the link http://sor.cua.edu/Bible/index.html I would like to ask as follows:

      1. I need lightening of these sentences:

      The words of Christ were first transmitted in his native language, the Palestinian dialect of Aramaic, either orally or in a written form. It is from this Aramaic tradition that the Greek Gospels were derived. The Syriac New Testament as we know it today is an early translation of the Greek text back into Syriac, the Aramaic dialect of Edessa (Modern Urfa in Southeast Turkey).

      If the words of Christ were first transmitted in His native language, either orally or in a written form the the result is the Greek Gospels were derived, so why the Syriac New Testament is an early translation of the Greek text?

      2. When I read these one as well:

      In many instances the Syriac language offers interesting interpretations of Biblical verses. An understanding of Syriac homonyms, for example, help us clarify the reading in Matthew 19:25 (also Mark 10:25 and Luke 128:25), when Jesus tells us how much easier it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. The Syriac word corresponding to camel is gamlo which means 'camel.' However, gamlo has other meanings as well, one of which is given by the Syriac lexicographer Bar Bahlul (10th century) in his Syriac dictionary: "gamlo is a thick rope which is used to bind ships." Considering that Jesus was speaking to fishermen, this meaning of gamlo seems more appropriate.

      According to Syriac Orthodox Church's view which one we should keep the interpretations of this verse wheter as a 'camel' or a ' thick rope' ?

      Thank you.

      Rudolf Luhukay

        Rudolf A.Luhukay

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