5906Re: [John_Lit] getting on with the business of John
- Jan 21, 2011--------------------------------------------------
From: "Mardaga, Hellen" <MARDAGA@...>
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 12:39 PM
Subject: RE: [John_Lit] getting on with the business of John
> Dear Mark, Jack, etc….Hi Hellen:
> I am surprised to read the following statement:
> Peter would say to a group of people in Lydda,
>> Cappadocia, etc... איכא דאן נהוא פגרא תמן נתכנשׁון נשׁרא׃" Yeshua
>> amar......'aika den d'hawa pagra, thamman yitkanuon nishrea'" Now I am
>> confident this indeed goes to the lips of the HISTORICAL Jesus because
>> will notice it is a 2-4 beat rhyme. Vintage Jesus-speak. Then Peter, I
>> am sure, paused while Mark translated the Aramaic to Greek, " ὅπου γὰρ
>> ᾖ τὸ πτῶμα ἐκεῖ συναχθήσονται οἱ ἀετοί "
>> and the crowd nodded to each other as they heard "wherever their is a
>> carcass, there also will gather the vultures."
> The 2-4 beat rhyme you are referring to (and I think you have the book
> “The Poetry of Our Lord” in mind) is a common stylistic feature. I do not
> see how you can simply “deduct” from this phenomenon that “the historical
> Jesus” said such a thing. I think you are overlooking some important
> aspects of rhetoric:
> - a feature may be common in a book – several books (e.g.
> parallelism is found both in John and in the Synoptics) but is that
> necessary a proof that because a word of Jesus is structured as a
> parallelism he literally “spoke” that way?
Sorry it took me a while. Sometimes recreational computer time comes
Concentrating on Aramaic reconstructions of first layer sayings and
aphorisms of Jesus I find the typical orality devices, of course. Assonance,
paronomasia, alliteration rhyme and meter that indicate to me an individual
in a manner that would not occur if the language of delivery would have been
anything other than Aramaic.
> - We do not even clearly know which language Jesus spoke.Judean Aramaic. To me it is not even debatable anymore. There is a ton of
evidence in the only real footprints of the historical Jesus we have, his
Translational Greek is recognizable by the lexical and syntactic
interference and in this case that interference is Aramaic.
> He could have spoken some Greek, maybe Aramaic, read Hebrew….but that isI am sure he had "get by Greek" having grown up in Galilee surrounded by
> it. We can only “assume” what he might have said
Hellenism and trade. He spoke Aramaic. Those are the only transliterated
words placed on his lips including the cry from the cross. Whether or not
he was competent in Hebrew is hard to assess. The reading of the Isaiah
scroll at the synagogue at Luke 4:21 is special "L" material from the last
decade of the 1st century and almost certainly not genuine to Jesus.
Otherwise we have no indications he knew, read or spoke Hebrew and we do
have indications he was familiar with Targums.
Jesus grew up in Palestine (not even assuming the Galilee) in the first
third of the 1st century. As such, he grew up in an Aramaic speaking country
so it is more than an assumption to me that he spoke Aramaic as his mother
Even our Gospel of John has an Aramaic sub-structure, in fact the strongest
of the Gospels.
> - What about the whole notion of orality? Oral tradition?That is the most unlikely possibility, IMO, since Mark wrote his Gospel in
> Parallelism, rhyme, repetition, amplification are not only used in written
> texts but they also serve a listening audience. It could be that Mark
> composed the words of Jesus (since he is translating them [!] as you
> suggest) as a 2-4 beath rhyme (!) exactly to serve the listening audience
> and to help them remember the content of the gospel easier by mnemotechnic
his "second language Greek" where the Aramaic mnemonic apparati would be
lost just as was idiom in many cases. They do not appear until the Aramaic
is reconstructed. In the cry from the cross, first penned...er...reeded..by
Mark from his notebook, he chose to preserve it as it was spoken and there
is no better indication of Judean Aramaic.
The "cry from the cross" bothers some people and there are apologists from
Syriac churches (Jesus did not speak Syriac) who manufacture all forms of
creative "translations." The cry from the cross is clear Aramaic and
definitively "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
I think Mark was correct in his transliteration since the Western Aramaic
(Judean) would have a qamets qatan instead of qamets gadhol for the lamed in
alaha. Easterm (Syriac) would be alef (pattah)-lamed (qamets gadhol)-heh
(hiriq qatan)-yod, hence aLAhy. Western (Judean) would be alef-lamed
(qamets qatan)-heh (hiriq qatan)-yod, hence aLOhy, hence Mark's
transliteration as ELWI Ελωι ελωι λαμμᾶ σαβαχθανι . Judean Aramaic
aLOhy, aLOhy LAma shevawqTAny?
"God of me, God of me, why have forsaken you me?"
Some say there a problem with the absence of a smooth breathing for the
transliterated ELWI? I don't think so. There was no such thing in the
first century and the original Markan autograph would have had an uncial
In Aramaic speaking Palestine of the 1st century, Jesus would not have heard
Psalm 22 in Hebrew. He would have heard it from the synagogue lector reading
the Aramaic Targum of Psalm 22.
אלהי אלהי מטול מה שׁבקתני
Just one of hundreds of indicators that I have noticed is the rendering of
the name of Jesus' buddy אֶלְעָזָר in Hebrew el'azar. It has come down to
us from Jesus' own Galilean pronunciation as l'azar with the dropped aleph
and transliterated into Greek as Λάζαρος and in the Vulgate as Lazarus.
If Jeremias, Black, Fitzmyer and Casey are not compelling on this issue,
then no one can be, certainly not a mere amateur such as myself.
Is it cold in DC?
San Antonio, TX
> Dr. Hellen Mardaga
> Assistant Professor of New Testament
> The Catholic University of America
> Caldwel Hall 419
> 620 Michigan Av.
> 20064 Washington DC
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