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[tc-list] RE: The Semitic Origin of the New Testament

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  • Robert D. Haslach
    On the language of Jesus - Mr. Washburn addresses one of the most interesting issues: how did Jesus communicate with people who would not have
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 6, 1972
      On the language of Jesus - Mr. Washburn addresses one of the most
      interesting issues: how did Jesus communicate with people who would not
      have wanted/bothered/needed to learn Aramaic or whatever Galilean dialect
      used at home or down at the fishing boats.
      Since anyone could have walked (I aver) from Philadelphia to Spain and
      obtained food, drink and lodging, using Koine, and Jesus dealt with a
      range of non-natives, I issue the open question to my Koine students -
      did Jesus speak Greek?
      As always, absence of facts and documents does not prove any particular
      point of view.

      Robert Haslach
      Washington, DC
      On Wed, 5 Jan 2000, Dave Washburn wrote:

      > Jim WEst wrote:
      > > >
      > > >Secondly, how can we hope to "establish" a new textual criticism for the
      > > >N.T. based upon a complete dirth of Semitic New Testament manuscripts?
      > >
      > > this is precisely the heart of the problem. there are a few semitic words
      > > in the nt and there is little doubt, at least to me, that jesus spoke
      > > aramaic. but where is the ms evidence for the claim that the nt was written
      > > in some semitic dialect? does anyone know of a single manuscript of any nt
      > > text in aramaic?
      >
      > Agreed. I would go even further and suggest that Jesus also spoke
      > Greek, since we have reports that He spoke to Romans,
      > Syrophonecians and others would likely would not have bothered to
      > learn Aramaic. And aside from the total lack of manuscript
      > evidence, I would also suggest that the Greek of the NT shows no
      > signs of being translation Greek. I second Jim's DOA conclusion.
      >
      >
      > Dave Washburn
      > http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
      > Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth;
      > give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.
      > Psalm 86:11
      >
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      >

      Regards,
      Robert D. Haslach
      Bye


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    • Ronald D. Worden
      It has been a while since I spent much time on this issue. I did do an independent study of the linguistic milieu of first century Israel/Palestine under Dr.
      Message 2 of 11 , Jan 5, 2000
        It has been a while since I spent much time on this issue. I did do
        an independent study of the linguistic milieu of first century
        Israel/Palestine under Dr. Bruce Metzger in doctoral studies at
        Princeton in the late 1960s. I felt then (and still feel) much more
        comfortable with the approach of scholars such as Matthew Black
        (An Aramaic Approach . . .), and J. A. Fitzmyer, for example, who
        seek to examine the Semitic substructure of parts of the New Testament
        but do not postulate original Semitic texts. In Luke-Acts, for example,
        the Semitic idioms and the like are more apparent in the dialogue than
        in Luke's narrative. The narrative does exhibit "Biblical style"
        which echoes the translation Greek of the LXX, "And it came to pass . . ."
        (wayehi = Kai egeneto), for example. It would take a lot of persuading
        (and evidence) to convince me that there is more than just "Jewish
        Greek" in the original New Testament documents.

        Ronald D. Worden
        Houston Graduate School of Theology
        rdworden@...

        -----Original Message-----
        From: James Trimm [mailto:jstrimm@...]
        Sent: Tuesday, January 04, 2000 11:25 PM
        To: TC-List
        Subject: [tc-list] The Semitic Origin of the New Testament


        Since the claim has blatently been made that the Peshitta NT is a
        translation from the Greek NT I would like to point anyone interested to my
        book (THE SEMITIC ORIGIN OF THE NEW TESTAMENT by James Trimm) in which I
        prove that the Aramaic text of the Peshitta could not have been translated
        from our Greek NT.

        This book establishes a Semitic (Hebrew and Aramaic) rather than a Greek
        origin for the New Testament. It takes the reader through an analysis of
        the conditions in first century Judea and the Diaspora while following the
        evolution of the N.T. and analyzes word plays, puns, alliterations and
        misreadings in the Greek text that demonstrate a Hebrew /Aramaic original
        for the New Testament. This book is thorough and packed with footnotes
        establishing a new textual criticism for the N.T. - 77 pgs.

        Suggested donation of $15.00 +$2.00 shipping and handling ($3.20 for
        priority mail)

        Mail check or Money order made out to SANJ to:

        SANJ
        Po Box 471
        Hurst, TX 76053
        USA




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      • James Trimm
        ... Yep. And my book tells you exactly what their manuscript numbers are and where they are deposited. It also discusses internal evidence that the text of
        Message 3 of 11 , Jan 5, 2000
          >At 09:34 PM 11/5/99 +0000, you wrote:
          >
          >
          >>
          >>Secondly, how can we hope to "establish" a new textual criticism for the
          >>N.T. based upon a complete dirth of Semitic New Testament manuscripts?
          >
          >this is precisely the heart of the problem. there are a few semitic words
          >in the nt and there is little doubt, at least to me, that jesus spoke
          >aramaic. but where is the ms evidence for the claim that the nt was written
          >in some semitic dialect? does anyone know of a single manuscript of any nt
          >text in aramaic?
          >

          Yep. And my book tells you exactly what their manuscript numbers are and where
          they are deposited. It also discusses internal evidence that the text of
          these manuscripts stands behind our Greek text.

          >
          >> Perhaps I should not speak for the tc-list, but I think one would have a
          >>difficult time convincing New Testament textual critics that we should give
          >>up the pursuit of extant Greek manuscripts as the primary area of emphasis
          >>in this field so that it can be exchanged for an emphasis fully devoid of
          >>hard evidence . . . at least I hope that we would not consider such a swap!
          >
          >its interesting to consider- but taking into account the horrid fact that we
          >have no mss to support the idea, it seems DOA.
          >++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
          >
          >Jim West, ThD
          >jwest@...
          >http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
          >
          >
          >
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        • James Trimm
          We have several Semitic NT manuscripts. The book discusses each of them and gives evidence that they stand behind the Greek. James Trimm ... You are currently
          Message 4 of 11 , Jan 5, 2000
            We have several Semitic NT manuscripts. The book discusses each of them
            and gives evidence that they stand behind the Greek.

            James Trimm

            >This book establishes a Semitic (Hebrew and Aramaic) rather than a Greek
            >origin for the New Testament. It takes the reader through an analysis of
            >the conditions in first century Judea and the Diaspora while following the
            >evolution of the N.T. and analyzes word plays, puns, alliterations and
            >misreadings in the Greek text that demonstrate a Hebrew /Aramaic original
            >for the New Testament. This book is thorough and packed with footnotes
            > establishing a new textual criticism for the N.T. - 77 pgs
            >
            >Although I am not able to comment on Mr. Trimm's book, I would like to take
            >a moment to address briefly a couple of his assertions. First of all, I
            >think it is far wiser to say that one may "theorize" (not "establish") a
            >Semitic origin of the New Testament. Unfortunately, such an assertion
            >falls prey to the same weakness that is inherent within claims for the
            >existence of Q, namely that there is absolutely no extant textual
            >attestation behind these elusive documents. Show us some manuscripts . . .
            >then we may begin speaking about establishment. If we say that we think we
            >can establish a Semitic origin for the "writers" of the N.T., then we have
            >a much sturdier foundation to make such a dogmatic statement.
            >
            >Secondly, how can we hope to "establish" a new textual criticism for the
            >N.T. based upon a complete dirth of Semitic New Testament manuscripts?
            > Perhaps I should not speak for the tc-list, but I think one would have a
            >difficult time convincing New Testament textual critics that we should give
            >up the pursuit of extant Greek manuscripts as the primary area of emphasis
            >in this field so that it can be exchanged for an emphasis fully devoid of
            >hard evidence . . . at least I hope that we would not consider such a swap!
            >However, if Mr. Trimm is able to accomplish all of this in a mere 77 pages,
            >then I would certainly need to read this thorough book for myself.
            >
            >Doug Petrovich
            >Novosibirsk, Russia
            >
            >
            >
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          • Jim West
            ... well i dont want ya to give away all your book s info- but what are the dates of these mss? ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Jim West, ThD
            Message 5 of 11 , Jan 5, 2000
              At 12:30 PM 1/5/00 -0600, you wrote:

              >Yep. And my book tells you exactly what their manuscript numbers are and where
              >they are deposited. It also discusses internal evidence that the text of
              >these manuscripts stands behind our Greek text.

              well i dont want ya to give away all your book's info- but what are the
              dates of these mss?

              ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

              Jim West, ThD
              jwest@...
              http://web.infoave.net/~jwest



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            • James Trimm
              Some of them date back as far as the 4th century. I should add that age is really not a very important factor. Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls,
              Message 6 of 11 , Jan 5, 2000
                Some of them date back as far as the 4th century.

                I should add that age is really not a very important factor.

                Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest Hebrew Tanak
                manuscripts
                only dated to the middle ages. At that time the oldest manuscripts of any
                TANAK books by far were Greek LXX manuscripts dating to the 4th century.
                Yet NO ONE would have argued based on that fact, that the TANAK had first
                been written in Greek and was only later translated into Hebrew.

                James Trimm

                >At 12:30 PM 1/5/00 -0600, you wrote:
                >
                >>Yep. And my book tells you exactly what their manuscript numbers are and
                >>where
                >>they are deposited. It also discusses internal evidence that the text of
                >>these manuscripts stands behind our Greek text.
                >
                >well i dont want ya to give away all your book's info- but what are the
                >dates of these mss?
                >
                >++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                >
                >Jim West, ThD
                >jwest@...
                >http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
                >
                >
                >
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              • Jim West
                ... so nothing really to compare with the papyri as far as age is concerned. ... it is an exceedingly important factor. if you have a copy of the declaration
                Message 7 of 11 , Jan 5, 2000
                  At 05:13 PM 1/5/00 -0600, you wrote:
                  >Some of them date back as far as the 4th century.

                  so nothing really to compare with the papyri as far as age is concerned.

                  >
                  >I should add that age is really not a very important factor.

                  it is an exceedingly important factor. if you have a copy of the
                  declaration of independence that dates to the year 1788, and one that dates
                  to the year 1850, which one will be most important? which will have greater
                  intrinsic value?

                  >
                  >Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest Hebrew Tanak
                  >manuscripts
                  >only dated to the middle ages. At that time the oldest manuscripts of any
                  >TANAK books by far were Greek LXX manuscripts dating to the 4th century.
                  >Yet NO ONE would have argued based on that fact, that the TANAK had first
                  >been written in Greek and was only later translated into Hebrew.

                  in fact that has been argued. not succesfully to be sure, but it has been
                  argued.

                  best,

                  jim

                  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

                  Jim West, ThD
                  jwest@...
                  http://web.infoave.net/~jwest



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                • Dave Washburn
                  ... Agreed. I would go even further and suggest that Jesus also spoke Greek, since we have reports that He spoke to Romans, Syrophonecians and others would
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jan 5, 2000
                    Jim WEst wrote:
                    > >
                    > >Secondly, how can we hope to "establish" a new textual criticism for the
                    > >N.T. based upon a complete dirth of Semitic New Testament manuscripts?
                    >
                    > this is precisely the heart of the problem. there are a few semitic words
                    > in the nt and there is little doubt, at least to me, that jesus spoke
                    > aramaic. but where is the ms evidence for the claim that the nt was written
                    > in some semitic dialect? does anyone know of a single manuscript of any nt
                    > text in aramaic?

                    Agreed. I would go even further and suggest that Jesus also spoke
                    Greek, since we have reports that He spoke to Romans,
                    Syrophonecians and others would likely would not have bothered to
                    learn Aramaic. And aside from the total lack of manuscript
                    evidence, I would also suggest that the Greek of the NT shows no
                    signs of being translation Greek. I second Jim's DOA conclusion.


                    Dave Washburn
                    http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
                    Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth;
                    give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.
                    Psalm 86:11

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                  • Dave Washburn
                    ... I would also wonder about the linguistic flavor of these mss. If the 1850 copy of the Declaration is in French that shows clear signs of having been
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jan 5, 2000
                      Jim West wrote:
                      > At 05:13 PM 1/5/00 -0600, you wrote:
                      > >Some of them date back as far as the 4th century.
                      >
                      > so nothing really to compare with the papyri as far as age is concerned.
                      >
                      > >
                      > >I should add that age is really not a very important factor.
                      >
                      > it is an exceedingly important factor. if you have a copy of the
                      > declaration of independence that dates to the year 1788, and one that dates
                      > to the year 1850, which one will be most important? which will have greater
                      > intrinsic value?

                      I would also wonder about the linguistic flavor of these mss. If the
                      1850 copy of the Declaration is in French that shows clear signs of
                      having been translated from 18th century English, that's a
                      significant factor as well.


                      Dave Washburn
                      http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
                      Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth;
                      give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.
                      Psalm 86:11

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