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[tc-list] Lamsa Version

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  • James Trimm
    ... Of course I strongly disagree with that statement as anyone who has read my book THE SEMITIC ORIGIN OF THE NEW TESTAMENT knows. ... Of course I strongly
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 4, 2000
      >>The Peshitta translation was made in the fourth century A.D.

      Of course I strongly disagree with that statement as anyone who has read my

      >>for Christians in the Middle East, especially in Mesopotamia.
      >>Syriac is one of the Semitic languages (along with Akkadian,
      >>Arabic, Hebrew, Phoenician, Aramaic, Ethiopic and others),
      >>and is a later development of Aramaic, one of the languages
      >>spoken by Jesus and the disciples in the first century (Syriac
      >>is related to Aramaic as our 20th century American English
      >>is a development of 17th century Shakespearean English).
      >>Central to the alleged value of the Lamsa version is the
      >>assertion that the Syriac text on which it is based virtually
      >>reproduces the exact original words of Jesus as He would
      >>have spoken them in Aramaic.
      >>While it is true that occasionally the rendering of the
      >>Peshitta helps us understand more clearly the force and
      >>meaning of passages in the NT, it is a "stretch" to affirm that
      >>the Peshitta is closer to the "real" words of Jesus that the
      >>inspired Greek text of the NT.

      Of course I strongly disagree with that statement as anyone who has read my

      >> It should be pointed out that
      >>Lamsa, in general harmony with the Syrian Orthodox
      >>Church, holds to the virtual inspiration and infallibility of the
      >>Peshitta translation, akin to the Greek Orthodox Church's
      >>"canonization" of the Septuagint Greek version of the Old
      >>Testament, the Roman Catholic Church's claims of
      >>infallibility for Jerome's Latin Vulgate translation, and the
      >>modern KJVO movement's claims of infallibility for that
      >>Lamsa himself was long-associated with Victor Paul
      >>Wierwille, the late founder of "The Way, International," an
      >>Ohio-centered cult which is Arian in doctrine (like the
      >>Jehovah's Witnesses, the Way denies the deity of Christ). I
      >>have seen reports that it was Lamsa who influenced
      >>Wierwille to adopt Arianism.
      >>As a translation of the Peshitta into English, the Lamsa
      >>version leaves a great deal to be desired.

      But this is very true.

      >> The rendering is
      >>often inaccurate, and inconsistent, and should not be trusted
      >>implicitly by the English reader as though it faithfully
      >>reproduces in English the Peshitta, though it is correct at I
      >>John 5:7, which is absent from the Peshitta and from
      >>Lamsa's version; at I Timothy 3:16 the Peshitta follows a
      >>Greek reading at odds with the textus receptus and so does
      >>Lamsa's translation. In contrast, Lamsa strangely inserts
      >>Acts 8:37 in his translation, though that verse is not found in
      >>the Peshitta. He blundered badly at John 1:18, giving "the
      >>first-born of God," where the Syriac has "the unique one,
      >>God." A bargeful of such examples could be given.
      >>The Peshitta and the Greek text it was based on are of
      >>interest in the area of New Testament textual criticism (the
      >>Peshitta is reported to be generally, but not always, in
      >>agreement with the Byzantine text, with some very notable
      >>departures). However, since most English readers will
      >>never learn Syriac, some other access, even if indirect, to
      >>the Peshitta must be found, namely through an English
      >>translation of the Peshitta. Unfortunately, Lamsa's version
      >>falls far short of the necessary level of reliability. In my
      >>experience, I have learned that it is never safe to rely on
      >>Lamsa's version for the reading of the text of the Peshitta
      >>without also checking the Syriac directly.
      >>Lamsa's version is not the only English translation of the
      >>Syriac New Testament. In the19th century, a John Murdoch
      >>made an English translation of the Peshitta New Testament,
      >>the 6th edition being published in Boston and London in
      >>1893 (see Bruce M. Metzger, THE EARLY VERSIONS OF
      >>THE NEW TESTAMENT. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977,
      >>p. 52, n. 1). I have not seen this version, but it cannot help
      >>but be more accurate than that of Lamsa.
      >>---Doug Kutilek
      >>Ron Minton
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