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Re: [Synoptic-L] Lord's Prayer

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic In Response To: Ron Price On: Lord s Prayer [different thread name] From: Bruce RON: I agree with Jack here. The use of debts for sins clearly
    Message 1 of 35 , May 25, 2009
      To: Synoptic
      In Response To: Ron Price
      On: Lord's Prayer [different thread name]
      From: Bruce

      RON: I agree with Jack here. The use of "debts" for "sins" clearly betrays
      the saying's Aramaic and therefore probable early origin. It was only later
      that this saying became associated with ritual. I trace the saying to an
      Aramaic written source dated ca. 45 CE. Its form there shows no late
      characteristics, and can almost certainly be attributed to Jesus.

      BRUCE: My previous question still applies: How late do people think that the
      (or a) primary language of Christian tradition was Aramaic?

      And there are other questions. How can one "trace" a saying to a source
      which only conjecturally exists? The normal language here would seem to be
      "posit an Aramaic source . . ."

      Further, "Aramaic and therefore probable early origin" is a non sequitur. If
      Aramaic was in use as the (or a)primary medium of Christian documents in the
      year 45, half a generation after the death of Jesus, it is perfectly
      possible for new material to have been composed, in that year, in Aramaic.
      In general: The later one imagines Aramaic to have been the (or a) primary
      medium of Christian expression, the fainter grows the claim that everything
      Aramaic must also stem from the Historical Jesus. It is only if Aramaic had
      been Jesus's language, and that of his followers during his lifetime, but
      the church immediately switched to Greek for its written documents, and
      Aramaic was no longer the language of composition for the later tradition,
      that evidence of Aramaicity would also count as evidence of originality.
      This no one seems to suppose. Hence the existence of an Aramaic original,
      supposing that to be conclusively demonstrated, cannot count as evidence of
      early date, let alone an origin in the Historical Jesus.

      [And there are other angles, which I at least have not seen explored. If (1)
      Greek Christian documents were produced as early as 45, as I and some others
      have held, and if (2) Aramaic Christian documents were also produced at that
      date, and as Torrey argued, on down to the end of the century, then we
      really have two traditions of Christian doctrinal development, one in
      Aramaic and a parallel one in Greek. Such an elaborate situation, persisting
      over that many decades, ought to have left SOME kind of trace in the extant
      record. Where is that trace?]


      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • Ron Price
      ... Jack, I can t comment on Matthew s knowledge of Hebrew, but Matthew s retention of debts could have been for other reasons than his lack of understanding
      Message 35 of 35 , Nov 25, 2009
        Jack Kilmon wrote:

        > I am convinced that Matthew was neither Aramaic nor Hebrew competent and
        > used Mark and a Q document in translational Greek. Luke, however, was
        > Aramaic competent and used Mark and an Aramaic Q which he translated
        > himself. This is why Luke explains the Hoybyn/"debts"/"sins" idiom in his
        > version of the LP and Matthew does not.


        I can't comment on Matthew's knowledge of Hebrew, but Matthew's retention of
        "debts" could have been for other reasons than his lack of understanding of
        the Aramaic word. Both Matthew and Luke transliterate and thus retain the
        Aramaic words "mammon" (Mt 6:24 // Lk 16:13) and "saton" (Mt 13:33 // Lk

        Also, Matthew's gospel is widely thought to have been written in Antioch of
        Syria. Wasn't the Syrian dialect of Aramaic the main language of that town?
        Wouldn't it follow that Matthew probably had some understanding of Aramaic?

        Ron Price,

        Derbyshire, UK
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