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Re: an Aramaic Approach the the Synoptic Gospels

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  • Jack Kilmon
    ... There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus common tongue was Aramaic. The evidence is too overwhelming. I will try to pick this article up today. ...
    Message 1 of 3 , May 14, 1999
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      "Brian E. Wilson" wrote:
      > The June 1999 edition of "The Expository Times" (volume 110 number 9)
      > pages 273-278 will include an article by Dr Maurice Casey of the
      > University of Nottingham, UK, on "An Aramaic Approach to the Synoptic
      > Gospels". He seems to me to follow the view of Geza Vermes that Jesus
      > spoke and taught in Galilean Aramaic.

      There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus' common tongue was Aramaic.
      The evidence is too overwhelming. I will try to pick this article
      up today.

      > He states that the publication of
      > all the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls permits us to do far more work on the
      > Aramaic sources of the Synoptic Gospels than was previously possible. He
      > writes of a reconstruction of the Aramaic text of parts of Mark. He has
      > been writing a book on an Aramaic approach to "Q". He notes that there
      > are Hebraisms in the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls.

      I'll have to read the article to comment definitively on these points.
      I don't think it can be shown that GMark was originally written in
      Aramaic but it is likely that Mark was an Aramaic speaker who wrote
      his gospel in a near-patois Greek but did use Aramaic sources (either
      oral or written) for some of the "Jesus said.." material. I think
      whether or not any of the narrative may have come from an Aramaic
      source has much to do with how far back we can push the terminus
      a quo for authorship.

      My own opinion, which is radical, is that there was indeed an
      Aramaic "proto-John" and that the first edition Mark was actually
      in response to proto-John. In this case, the first edition would
      have been directed to the same Aramaic speaking audience. Although
      I have been working on reconstructing the Aramaic proto-John,
      still imbedded in translational Greek in the larger compositional
      Greek 4G, I have not examined Mark in this manner...yet.

      > I wonder whether the Dead Sea Scrolls in Aramaic will provide new light
      > on the synoptic gospels. Presumably the Aramaic written in the scrolls
      > found near Qumran gives us a good idea of the Aramaic spoken in Galilee
      > in the time of Jesus. Presumably also the occurrence of Hebraisms in the
      > Aramaic of that time implies that Hebraisms (for instance in Luke) do
      > not necessarily point to a Hebrew source.

      My overall impression is that there was little influence on 1st century
      Aramaic by Hebrew, yet Qumran Hebrew has a considerable Aramaic
      I think the "Hebraisms" of Luke...notably the first 2 chapters (later
      appended) were so-called by their semitic structure and more accurately
      "Aramaisms." My take on Luke is that he was competent in Aramaic since
      he goes out of his way on several occasions to accurately translate to
      Greek Aramaic idiom...which Matthew does not.

      I don't know what the Aramaic of the DSS can tell us of the Galilean
      dialect of middle Aramaic and I would suspect that Judean Aramaic was
      "purer" without the Hellenistic as well as Eastern Aramaic influence
      in the Galilee. How I see the Aramaic texts helping us with some
      synoptic issues is in shared vorlage and concepts. We see some of this
      more blatantly in 4G.

      I'll try to pick up The Expository Times today and mayhaps comment



      taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

      Jack Kilmon

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