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Re: [GTh] Re: JS uses KJV Controversy

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  • William Arnal
    ... Fair enough, albeit arguably from start to finish. ... Likewise, fair enough. But both Steve and the Odes are exceptions. Of course. ... I LIKE it. Bill
    Message 1 of 12 , May 3 2:47 PM
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      At 08:54 PM 5/3/01 -0000, smithand44@... wrote:

      >Just as an aside, isn't the Odes of Solomon arguably Christian,
      >arguably 1C and arguably in its original language (Syriac)?

      Fair enough, albeit "arguably" from start to finish.

      >I know this is an exception, but Stevan Davies, for whom I have
      >really the highest regard, doesn't seem to be very at home in Greek
      >and seems to know no Coptic.

      Likewise, fair enough. But both Steve and the Odes are exceptions. Of course.

      >But it's a lovely image, the Jesus
      >Seminar all poring over their leatherbound copies of the King James
      >Version...

      I LIKE it.

      Bill

      __________________________________
      William Arnal william.arnal@...
      Religion/Classics New York University

      please note my slightly revised e-mail address
    • Jon Zuck
      ... I disagree. Even if it;s true that there are no first century Christian documents in Semitic languages, (this may not be the case) this is only
      Message 2 of 12 , May 6 8:13 AM
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        I wrote that the primary limitations of JS scholarship are:

        >>1. failure to think in the languages of the time, and
        >>2. failure to think in the culture of the time.

        >Since there are NO extant first century Christian documents written in any
        >semitic language, this is really irrelevant.

        I disagree. Even if it;s true that there are no first century Christian
        documents in Semitic languages, (this may not be the case) this is only
        irrelevant if one believes that the text of the manuscript one is looking at
        provides all that's necessary.

        Semitic language (and hence thought) is very different from Indo-European
        language and thought. Many things which make virtually no sense in the
        Greek gospels are easily illuminated when the probable Aramaic or Hebrew
        words are substituted. For instance, "easier for a camel to go through the
        eye of a needle," was probably "easier for a rope to go through the eye of
        a needle." The written Aramaic words for rope and camel are extremely
        similar.

        I am not an Aramaic scholar, but I want to learn the language, and I found
        that the five years I spent in a Messianic (Jewish Christian) synagogue and
        learning Jewish thought, concepts, and usage, did more for clarifying the
        gospels for me than all the scholarly literature I have ever read, before or
        since.

        Others have commented on the Odes of Solomon as a Semitic 1C writing.
        However, the nearly forgotten Church of the East has always claimed that its
        Aramaic New Testament is actually the original, and that Greek texts are
        translations.
        ---
        Shalom v'Tovah,
        Jon Zuck
        Web URL: http://surf.to/frimmin

        It is more important to love much than to think much.
        Always do that which most impels you to love.
        --St. Teresa of Avila
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "William Arnal" <wea1@...>
        To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>; <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2001 5:47 PM
        Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: JS uses KJV Controversy


        >
        > At 08:54 PM 5/3/01 -0000, smithand44@... wrote:
        >
        > >Just as an aside, isn't the Odes of Solomon arguably Christian,
        > >arguably 1C and arguably in its original language (Syriac)?
        >
        > Fair enough, albeit "arguably" from start to finish.
        >
        > >I know this is an exception, but Stevan Davies, for whom I have
        > >really the highest regard, doesn't seem to be very at home in Greek
        > >and seems to know no Coptic.
        >
        > Likewise, fair enough. But both Steve and the Odes are exceptions. Of
        course.
        >
        > >But it's a lovely image, the Jesus
        > >Seminar all poring over their leatherbound copies of the King James
        > >Version...
        >
        > I LIKE it.
        >
        > Bill
        >
        > __________________________________
        > William Arnal william.arnal@...
        > Religion/Classics New York University
        >
        > please note my slightly revised e-mail address
        >
        >
        > -------------------------------------------------
        > To post to gthomas, send email to gthomas@egroups.com
        > To unsubscribe, send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@egroups.com
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
      • William Arnal
        ... Well, at least it is PRIMARY. It strikes me as foolish to insist that one know language x in order to really understand documents written in language
        Message 3 of 12 , May 6 9:24 AM
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          At 11:13 AM 5/6/01 -0400, Jon Zuck wrote:

          >I disagree. Even if it;s true that there are no first century Christian
          >documents in Semitic languages, (this may not be the case) this is only
          >irrelevant if one believes that the text of the manuscript one is looking at
          >provides all that's necessary.

          Well, at least it is PRIMARY. It strikes me as foolish to insist that one
          know language "x" in order to "really understand" documents written in
          language "y."

          >Semitic language (and hence thought) is very different from Indo-European
          >language and thought. Many things which make virtually no sense in the
          >Greek gospels are easily illuminated when the probable Aramaic or Hebrew
          >words are substituted. For instance, "easier for a camel to go through the
          >eye of a needle," was probably "easier for a rope to go through the eye of
          >a needle." The written Aramaic words for rope and camel are extremely
          >similar.

          Well, although Jack is fond of this process, I'm rather dubious about it. In
          any case, the issue here, as Jack said, is restricting oneself to
          reconstructions of the words of the historical Jesus, rather than trying to
          understand the gospels through this process. The Gospels are written in
          Greek. If one is to understand them, their Greek must be understood. If Mark
          had meant "rope," he would have said "rope."

          I also would have thought that this weird reified (and racialized?) notion
          of "semitic thought" went out of vogue with the 19th century. My pork-chop
          eating Jewish-Israeli friend (or did I just mention her on XTalk, and not on
          this list), who speaks Hebrew when she's at home, thinks about the same as I do.

          >I am not an Aramaic scholar, but I want to learn the language, and I found
          >that the five years I spent in a Messianic (Jewish Christian) synagogue and
          >learning Jewish thought, concepts, and usage, did more for clarifying the
          >gospels for me than all the scholarly literature I have ever read, before or
          >since.

          I'm sure that hanging out with Southern Baptists would clarify them too. The
          point is, is the clarification in question historical? I see no reason to
          think that MODERN, 20th and 21st cetury messianic Jews provide a great
          pipeline into the thinking and concepts and behavior of people who lived
          2000 years ago, and in another culture and place. This only works, again, if
          you reify "the Jewish mind," and imagine that it -- unlike everyone ELSE's
          mind -- has remained ever the same.

          >Others have commented on the Odes of Solomon as a Semitic 1C writing.
          >However, the nearly forgotten Church of the East has always claimed that its
          >Aramaic New Testament is actually the original, and that Greek texts are
          >translations.

          This claim is simply wrong.

          Bill
          __________________________________
          William Arnal william.arnal@...
          Religion/Classics New York University

          please note my slightly revised e-mail address
        • Rick Hubbard
          Bill Wrote: This claim is simply wrong. Thank You and Amen. Rick Hubbard
          Message 4 of 12 , May 6 10:23 AM
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            Bill Wrote:

            "This claim is simply wrong."

            Thank You and Amen.

            Rick Hubbard
          • Jack Kilmon
            ... From: Jon Zuck To: Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2001 8:13 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: JS uses KJV Controversy ... any
            Message 5 of 12 , May 6 10:47 AM
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              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Jon Zuck" <frimmin@...>
              To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2001 8:13 AM
              Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: JS uses KJV Controversy


              > I wrote that the primary limitations of JS scholarship are:
              >
              > >>1. failure to think in the languages of the time, and
              > >>2. failure to think in the culture of the time.
              >
              > >Since there are NO extant first century Christian documents written in
              any
              > >semitic language, this is really irrelevant.
              >
              > I disagree. Even if it;s true that there are no first century Christian
              > documents in Semitic languages, (this may not be the case) this is only
              > irrelevant if one believes that the text of the manuscript one is looking
              at
              > provides all that's necessary.
              >
              > Semitic language (and hence thought) is very different from Indo-European
              > language and thought. Many things which make virtually no sense in the
              > Greek gospels are easily illuminated when the probable Aramaic or Hebrew
              > words are substituted. For instance, "easier for a camel to go through
              the
              > eye of a needle," was probably "easier for a rope to go through the eye
              of
              > a needle." The written Aramaic words for rope and camel are extremely
              > similar.
              >
              > I am not an Aramaic scholar, but I want to learn the language, and I found
              > that the five years I spent in a Messianic (Jewish Christian) synagogue
              and
              > learning Jewish thought, concepts, and usage, did more for clarifying the
              > gospels for me than all the scholarly literature I have ever read, before
              or
              > since.
              >
              > Others have commented on the Odes of Solomon as a Semitic 1C writing.
              > However, the nearly forgotten Church of the East has always claimed that
              its
              > Aramaic New Testament is actually the original, and that Greek texts are
              > translations.
              > ---

              ***************************************************************

              I agree that Aramaic retroversion is a valuable tool in understanding the
              vox
              Iesu in the many cases where translational Greek does not transmit the
              idiom.
              The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, for example, was translated from a Greek
              text and continued the translation of <Gr>MISEI to <ME/Cop>MECTE for
              "hate" in GoT55 as in the Lukan parallel 14:26. The Aramaic idiom for
              <Aram>snh was "to set aside." Did Jesus ask his followers to HATE their
              families to follow him or to "SET ASIDE" their families? What makes more
              sense?

              I also agree that textual criticism, NT studies and HJ studies fail,
              generally,
              to use this valuable tool that comes closest to the lips of Jesus. I am the
              most outspoken proponent for the "follow the Aramaic" method but let us
              be clear that, like all tools, it must be wielded with caution. The claims
              of Messianic congregations that the NT works were originally written in
              Aramaic or (for whatever reason) in Hebrew amount to not much more
              than theologically chauvinistic wishful thinking that is not supportable
              from
              a textual or linguistic standpoint. The same holds true for those Eastern
              Orthodox Churches who would like to claim that their Syriac versions
              were original. It is easily demonstrated that the old Syriac and Peshitta
              versions of the NT are translations from Western and Byzantine GREEK
              text types.

              Aramaic retroversion is a valuable tool *only* for the study of the verba
              Iesu..along with, of course, some of the other parameters for determining
              the authenticity of sayings materials attributable to Jesus. Once a saying
              is determined to most likely be genuinely Yeshuine, there is another aspect
              that comes into play in Aramaic studies that is not useful in studying the
              Greek translation......culture. A working knowledge of Aramaic idiom
              helps to put the translator into the 1st century Judean/Palestinian culture
              and the mind/thought of Jesus. The GoT consists primarily of sayings
              of Jesus and sayings later invented to be from Jesus, hence the
              Aramaic appeal is particularly useful.

              shlama amkon w'tawbutha d'maran yeshua masheeha am kulkon

              Jack
            • Jon Zuck
              Jack and Bill, Jack, thanks for your further insight. I m absolutely with you on the value of Semitic language to understand the Semitic sayings of Christ. I
              Message 6 of 12 , May 6 12:13 PM
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                Jack and Bill,

                Jack, thanks for your further insight. I'm absolutely with you on the value
                of Semitic language to understand the Semitic sayings of Christ.

                I also agree that the Church of the East's claim is probably wishful
                thinking, yet Bill, I think that an out-of-hand dismissal "That claim is
                simply wrong," is a tad absolutish. I can easily imagine however that the
                apostles may have written at least "rough drafts" in Aramaic. I find it
                also conceivable that some NT letters or Gospel fragments may have had
                "first editions" in Aramaic since in many early Christian communities,
                Jewish Christians were prominent, and Greek was not the first language of
                any of the apostles.

                One point I would like to clarify, is that the Church of the East doesn't
                make its striking (some would say "ridiculous") claim for the Syriac
                Peshitta, which was of course translated from the Greek, but for its
                *Aramaic* NT. Apparently these two manuscripts are frequently confused with
                each other, even within that Church. Supposedly it is actually being
                translated into English for the first time by Victor Alexander. (Lamsa's
                famous translation was probably from the Syriac, not the Aramaic, and
                Alexander had a page on his website (not there now) describing how he almost
                made the same mistake.)

                At any rate, I would like to see a fluent translation of the East's Aramaic
                NT (not the Peshitta). Alexander's translation www.v-a.com/bible/ is the
                most awkward I've ever seen, but also the most tantalizing, as it leaves me
                wanting to see the job well done; almost everywhere it just seems to make
                more sense.

                Bill, perhaps I should have said "mindset," "viewpoint," "culture,"
                "tradition." Substitute whatever's more appropriate for "thought."
                (the reversion technique to uncover Zuckish thought!) :-)
                ---
                Shalom v'Tovah,
                Jon Zuck
                Web URL: http://surf.to/frimmin

                It is more important to love much than to think much.
                Always do that which most impels you to love.
                --St. Teresa of Avila

                >
                > I agree that Aramaic retroversion is a valuable tool in understanding the
                > vox
                > Iesu in the many cases where translational Greek does not transmit the
                > idiom.
                > The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, for example, was translated from a Greek
                > text and continued the translation of <Gr>MISEI to <ME/Cop>MECTE for
                > "hate" in GoT55 as in the Lukan parallel 14:26. The Aramaic idiom for
                > <Aram>snh was "to set aside." Did Jesus ask his followers to HATE their
                > families to follow him or to "SET ASIDE" their families? What makes more
                > sense?
                >
                > I also agree that textual criticism, NT studies and HJ studies fail,
                > generally,
                > to use this valuable tool that comes closest to the lips of Jesus. I am
                the
                > most outspoken proponent for the "follow the Aramaic" method but let us
                > be clear that, like all tools, it must be wielded with caution. The
                claims
                > of Messianic congregations that the NT works were originally written in
                > Aramaic or (for whatever reason) in Hebrew amount to not much more
                > than theologically chauvinistic wishful thinking that is not supportable
                > from
                > a textual or linguistic standpoint. The same holds true for those Eastern
                > Orthodox Churches who would like to claim that their Syriac versions
                > were original. It is easily demonstrated that the old Syriac and Peshitta
                > versions of the NT are translations from Western and Byzantine GREEK
                > text types.
                >
                > Aramaic retroversion is a valuable tool *only* for the study of the verba
                > Iesu..along with, of course, some of the other parameters for determining
                > the authenticity of sayings materials attributable to Jesus. Once a
                saying
                > is determined to most likely be genuinely Yeshuine, there is another
                aspect
                > that comes into play in Aramaic studies that is not useful in studying the
                > Greek translation......culture. A working knowledge of Aramaic idiom
                > helps to put the translator into the 1st century Judean/Palestinian
                culture
                > and the mind/thought of Jesus. The GoT consists primarily of sayings
                > of Jesus and sayings later invented to be from Jesus, hence the
                > Aramaic appeal is particularly useful.
                >
                > shlama amkon w'tawbutha d'maran yeshua masheeha am kulkon
                >
                > Jack
                >
                >
                > -------------------------------------------------
                > To post to gthomas, send email to gthomas@egroups.com
                > To unsubscribe, send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >
              • William Arnal
                ... We don t know WHAT the first language of the apostles was. And we have no reason to think they wrote the gospels. So this reasoning doesn t work.
                Message 7 of 12 , May 6 12:23 PM
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                  At 03:13 PM 5/6/01 -0400, Jon Zuck wrote:

                  >I also agree that the Church of the East's claim is probably wishful
                  >thinking, yet Bill, I think that an out-of-hand dismissal "That claim is
                  >simply wrong," is a tad absolutish. I can easily imagine however that the
                  >apostles may have written at least "rough drafts" in Aramaic. I find it
                  >also conceivable that some NT letters or Gospel fragments may have had
                  >"first editions" in Aramaic since in many early Christian communities,
                  >Jewish Christians were prominent, and Greek was not the first language of
                  >any of the apostles.

                  We don't know WHAT the first language of the apostles was. And we have no
                  reason to think they wrote the gospels. So this reasoning doesn't work.
                  Linguistically, the gospels do not show evidence of translation from semitic
                  originals. They just don't.

                  Bill
                  __________________________________
                  William Arnal william.arnal@...
                  Religion/Classics New York University

                  please note my slightly revised e-mail address
                • Jim Bauer
                  ... From: Jon Zuck To: Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2001 9:13 AM Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: JS uses KJV Controversy ... its
                  Message 8 of 12 , May 6 5:18 PM
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                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: "Jon Zuck" <frimmin@...>
                    To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2001 9:13 AM
                    Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: JS uses KJV Controversy


                    > However, the nearly forgotten Church of the East has always claimed that
                    its
                    > Aramaic New Testament is actually the original, and that Greek texts are
                    > translations.

                    I'm at a loss to understand what you mean by the "Church of the East"?
                    Greek Orthodoxy? Why would they insist that something made in another
                    language would be the "original?" For example in the RCC, which spoke
                    Latin, the Latin Vulgate was used as the canonical scriptures. However the
                    Greek translations would probably be a better source because they were one
                    step closer to the original, Aramaic or otherwise as the source.

                    Or is it some other group, seeing as how you claim the sect has been nearly
                    forgotten, especially when Greek Orthodoxy was and still is a major world
                    religion? If this is true could you supply some links or other sources on
                    the subject?

                    Jim Bauer
                    > ---
                    > Shalom v'Tovah,
                    > Jon Zuck
                    > Web URL: http://surf.to/frimmin
                    >
                    > It is more important to love much than to think much.
                    > Always do that which most impels you to love.
                    > --St. Teresa of Avila
                    > ----- Original Message -----
                    > From: "William Arnal" <wea1@...>
                    > To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>; <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                    > Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2001 5:47 PM
                    > Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: JS uses KJV Controversy
                    >
                    >
                    > >
                    > > At 08:54 PM 5/3/01 -0000, smithand44@... wrote:
                    > >
                    > > >Just as an aside, isn't the Odes of Solomon arguably Christian,
                    > > >arguably 1C and arguably in its original language (Syriac)?
                    > >
                    > > Fair enough, albeit "arguably" from start to finish.
                    > >
                    > > >I know this is an exception, but Stevan Davies, for whom I have
                    > > >really the highest regard, doesn't seem to be very at home in Greek
                    > > >and seems to know no Coptic.
                    > >
                    > > Likewise, fair enough. But both Steve and the Odes are exceptions. Of
                    > course.
                    > >
                    > > >But it's a lovely image, the Jesus
                    > > >Seminar all poring over their leatherbound copies of the King James
                    > > >Version...
                    > >
                    > > I LIKE it.
                    > >
                    > > Bill
                    > >
                    > > __________________________________
                    > > William Arnal william.arnal@...
                    > > Religion/Classics New York University
                    > >
                    > > please note my slightly revised e-mail address
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > -------------------------------------------------
                    > > To post to gthomas, send email to gthomas@egroups.com
                    > > To unsubscribe, send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                    > >
                    > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    > -------------------------------------------------
                    > To post to gthomas, send email to gthomas@egroups.com
                    > To unsubscribe, send a blank email to gthomas-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                    >
                    > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    >
                  • George Brooks
                    Jack, Could you make one clarification? You write: You are referring to the St. Catherine s texts and they have been translated but they are Syriac
                    Message 9 of 12 , May 6 6:25 PM
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                      Jack,

                      Could you make one clarification?

                      You write:

                      "You are referring to the St. Catherine's texts and they have
                      been translated but they are Syriac (Christian-Aramaic) and
                      are derived from a Caesarean text. They are not what Alexander
                      calls "The Original Language of Jesus." Jesus spoke the Galilean
                      dialect of western middle Aramaic. The texts to which you
                      refer and which are claimed by the Eastern Churches as
                      "original" are in Christian-Palestinian Aramaic which is
                      late EASTERN Aramaic (Syriac)."

                      And then you add:

                      "The New Testament works were composed in Greek for Greek
                      speaking audiences. NO New Testament work was ever "originally"
                      composed in Aramaic."

                      Jack,
                      Since I'm new to this thread and this work, I just want to
                      make sure I understand you exactly.

                      Does this mean that the St. Catherine texts are translations
                      from GREEK into Aramaic? I would assume this is what you
                      meant. But I wanted to make sure.

                      Thanks.

                      George
                    • Jon Zuck
                      Jack, Once again thanks for clarifying the CoE claim. Can you tell me where to find a trans. of the St. Catharine stuff? ... Let me clarify what I mean by
                      Message 10 of 12 , May 6 7:39 PM
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                        Jack,

                        Once again thanks for clarifying the CoE claim. Can you tell me where to
                        find a trans. of the St. Catharine stuff?

                        >>. I can easily imagine however that the
                        > > apostles may have written at least "rough drafts" in Aramaic.

                        > The New Testament works were composed in Greek for Greek speaking
                        > audiences. NO New Testament work was ever "originally" composed in
                        > Aramaic.

                        Let me clarify what I mean by "original." I'm primarily concerned with
                        meaning rather than document reconstruction. I'm not thinking about any
                        complete document, CoE or otherwise, that could be considered to be
                        word-for-word the direct product of Jesus' lips or an apostle's pen. I'm
                        thinking not about final composition, but about crib notes and rough drafts,
                        not the physical letters that were mailed to Colossus or Thessalonika, or
                        the final editions of the gospels. I'm thinking that if I were writing to a
                        mostly Spanish audience in Juarez, I would probably write my thoughts out in
                        my mother tongue, and then translate it into Spanish (probably with the help
                        of a friend,) and throw away my English rough draft! And yet, if you
                        *really* wanted to get inside my head, the discarded English would be a more
                        reliable guide, since it was truly the *original.*

                        (We definitely agree on the usefulness of Semitic retroversion for this.)

                        > The problem here, Jon, is that none of the NT works are written by any of
                        > the
                        > immediate followers and contemporaries of Jesus. None of them, also, with
                        > an arguable exception by some for Mark, were even Judean..or Galilean.
                        > The closest we may get...with an interpretation of Papias..is that one
                        > literate
                        > disciple (Matthew?) may have written an Aramaic anthology of "Jesus
                        saids.."
                        > that may have eventually been translated to Greek and used as source
                        > material
                        > by the hagiographers.

                        I've heard this stated before, but I'm skeptical. How can we know if we have
                        only one Semitic 1st C document to draw on? It's as if saying that although
                        we don't know what Galilean or Judean writing was like, but we know that
                        this isn't it. How can that certainty be possible? Returning to my example,
                        it's like saying, I know Jon Zuck is an American of English-German ancestry
                        who lives in Virginia, and this is in Spanish, to a Mexican audience, so he
                        couldn't have written it. Forgetting the fact that I learned a little
                        Spanish when I lived in El Paso, Texas, and know many people who speak,
                        read, and write it well.

                        There was a tremendous amount of cross-cultural influences going on; that is
                        one of the perennial subjects of the list--Galilean hillbillies, Samaritan
                        heretics, Judean stalwarts, Hellenistic syncretists, Roman rulers, Greek
                        merchants, Phonecian craftsmen, pilgrimaging Jews from all over the eastern
                        part of the Empire, and soldiers who came from even further afield; bringing
                        possible influences by Mithraism and Zoroastrianism in Persia, Gnosticism
                        here and there, and even possibly Buddhist influences from Alexandria and
                        trade with Buddhist India, (some of Prince Ashoka's inscriptions throughout
                        India are in: ARAMAIC. There was also a Buddhist monastery in Alexandria in
                        the first century). Combine this with traveling to spread the good news,
                        and a need to translate stuff into a Greek lingua franca--

                        With all this, if there were *rough drafts* before our present copies, (and
                        how could there not have been, given the complexity of the final documents!)
                        how can we possibly say that we know who did or didn't write the drafts we
                        have never seen in a language that we might not be sure about?

                        How different is the Galilean dialect of Western Middle Aramaic from Syriac
                        Eastern Aramaic? Is it like the difference between British and American
                        English, or something greater? Or perhaps like the difference between my
                        attempt at intellectual writing on this list, and my joke e-mails to my
                        friends?
                        ---
                        Shalom v'Tovah,
                        Jon Zuck
                        Web URL: http://surf.to/frimmin

                        It is more important to love much than to think much.
                        Always do that which most impels you to love.
                        --St. Teresa of Avila
                      • Jack Kilmon
                        ... From: Jon Zuck To: Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2001 12:13 PM Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: JS uses KJV Controversy ...
                        Message 11 of 12 , May 6 7:53 PM
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                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Jon Zuck" <frimmin@...>
                          To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2001 12:13 PM
                          Subject: Re: [GTh] Re: JS uses KJV Controversy


                          > Jack and Bill,
                          >
                          > Jack, thanks for your further insight. I'm absolutely with you on the
                          value
                          > of Semitic language to understand the Semitic sayings of Christ.
                          >
                          > I also agree that the Church of the East's claim is probably wishful
                          > thinking, yet Bill, I think that an out-of-hand dismissal "That claim is
                          > simply wrong," is a tad absolutish. I can easily imagine however that the
                          > apostles may have written at least "rough drafts" in Aramaic.

                          The problem here, Jon, is that none of the NT works are written by any of
                          the
                          immediate followers and contemporaries of Jesus. None of them, also, with
                          an arguable exception by some for Mark, were even Judean..or Galilean.
                          The closest we may get...with an interpretation of Papias..is that one
                          literate
                          disciple (Matthew?) may have written an Aramaic anthology of "Jesus saids.."
                          that may have eventually been translated to Greek and used as source
                          material
                          by the hagiographers.


                          > I find it
                          > also conceivable that some NT letters or Gospel fragments may have had
                          > "first editions" in Aramaic since in many early Christian communities,
                          > Jewish Christians were prominent, and Greek was not the first language of
                          > any of the apostles.

                          The NT epistolary was meant for Christians in the Hellenistic diaspora and I
                          cannot think of a single one that displays a prominent Aramaic interference
                          in its Greek.

                          >
                          > One point I would like to clarify, is that the Church of the East doesn't
                          > make its striking (some would say "ridiculous") claim for the Syriac
                          > Peshitta, which was of course translated from the Greek, but for its
                          > *Aramaic* NT. Apparently these two manuscripts are frequently confused
                          with
                          > each other, even within that Church. Supposedly it is actually being
                          > translated into English for the first time by Victor Alexander. (Lamsa's
                          > famous translation was probably from the Syriac, not the Aramaic, and
                          > Alexander had a page on his website (not there now) describing how he
                          almost
                          > made the same mistake.)

                          I know of no Western Aramaic New Testament that is as early as the Greek
                          texts.
                          The Christian-Aramaic texts found at St. Catherines are also Syriac and
                          although
                          Syriac texts appear to have existed very early (2nd century), the ones
                          extant are
                          all identifiable with Greek text-type families, Caesarean, Byzantine,
                          Western) like
                          those translated by Muller-Kessler and Sokoloff.

                          >
                          > At any rate, I would like to see a fluent translation of the East's
                          Aramaic
                          > NT (not the Peshitta).

                          You are referring to the St. Catherine's texts and they have been translated
                          but they are Syriac (Christian-Aramaic) and are derived from a Caesarean
                          text. They are not what Alexander calls "The Original Language of Jesus."
                          Jesus spoke the Galilean dialect of western middle Aramaic. The texts to
                          which you refer and which are claimed by the Eastern Churches as
                          "original" are in Christian-Palestinian Aramaic which is late EASTERN
                          Aramaic (Syriac).


                          Alexander's translation www.v-a.com/bible/ is the
                          > most awkward I've ever seen, but also the most tantalizing, as it leaves
                          me
                          > wanting to see the job well done; almost everywhere it just seems to make
                          > more sense.

                          Where the use of Syriac results in a very similar or identical retroversion
                          to
                          the Western Aramaic of Jesus, it is true..there are some "eye-openers." It
                          is also interesting that 2 or 3 Greek variant readings converge to one
                          reading
                          in Aramaic in some cases.

                          The New Testament works were composed in Greek for Greek speaking
                          audiences. NO New Testament work was ever "originally" composed in
                          Aramaic.

                          Jack
                        • Jack Kilmon
                          ... From: George Brooks To: Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2001 6:25 PM Subject: [GTh] Re: JS uses KJV
                          Message 12 of 12 , May 6 10:47 PM
                          • 0 Attachment
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "George Brooks" <george.x.brooks@...>
                            To: <gthomas@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2001 6:25 PM
                            Subject: [GTh] Re: JS uses KJV Controversy


                            > Jack,
                            >
                            > Could you make one clarification?
                            > "The New Testament works were composed in Greek for Greek
                            > speaking audiences. NO New Testament work was ever "originally"
                            > composed in Aramaic."
                            >
                            > Jack,
                            > Since I'm new to this thread and this work, I just want to
                            > make sure I understand you exactly.
                            >
                            > Does this mean that the St. Catherine texts are translations
                            > from GREEK into Aramaic? I would assume this is what you
                            > meant. But I wanted to make sure.


                            All extant witnesses to the New Testament are either in Greek or
                            translated from the Greek texts to Syriac, Latin, Arabic, Armenian,
                            etc. The Aramaic interference in NT Greek..in some books...are
                            a result of sayings materials or source materials used by the
                            Hagiographer who was composing in GREEK.

                            Jack
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