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[tc-list] Re: [b-aramaic] Lamsa Version

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  • James Trimm
    ... The venomous anti-cult christians made this false charge against Lamsa long ago. They simply have not done their homework. I quote Lamsa: The main object
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 4, 2000
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      >Lamsa does not deny the deity of
      >christ. Can you show me in his works where this is evident?
      >

      The venomous anti-cult christians made this false charge against Lamsa
      long ago. They simply have not done their homework. I quote Lamsa:

      The main object of John's teaching was
      to prove the divinity of Christ. This is
      the reason that he started his Gospel:
      "The Word [meaning Christ] was in the
      beginning and that very Word was with
      God, and God was that Word.
      (New Testament Origin; George M. Lamsa; 1947; p. 72)

      >
      >>From: James Trimm <jstrimm@...>
      >>Reply-To: b-aramaic@...
      >>To: b-aramaic@...
      >>Subject: [b-aramaic] [tc-list] Lamsa Version
      >>Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2000 17:33:43 -0600 (CST)
      >>
      >>
      >> >>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
      >>book THE SEMITIC ORIGIN OF THE NEW TESTAMENT knows.
      >>
      >> >>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
      >>book THE SEMITIC ORIGIN OF THE NEW TESTAMENT knows.
      >>
      >> >> 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
      >> >>version.
      >> >>
      >> >>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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      >> >
      >> >
      >> >
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