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Semitic Critical Edition Project

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  • James Trimm
    The Semitic Critical Edition Project. As many of you may know Semitic Primacy, the concept that the New Testament was originally written, not in Greek, but in
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 3, 2003
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      The Semitic Critical Edition Project.


      As many of you may know Semitic Primacy, the concept that the New
      Testament was originally written, not in Greek, but in Hebrew and
      Aramaic, has made much headway in the Messianic movement (and
      beyond) in recent years. Support for this concept has grown in the
      movement to the point that two opposing theories have developed:
      Peshitta Primacy and Old Syriac Primacy. Interestingly these two
      theories closely parallel a similar controversy in Greek Primacy
      between the "Received Text" and the "Critical Text".

      Essentially the same controversy exists now in the realm of Semitic
      Primacy. The "Received Text" in our case is the Aramaic Peshitta
      Text. The "Critical Text", in our case, is an eclectic text, which
      seeks the readings which are most likely to be the original
      readings , from the various witnesses which have come to us
      (including the Peshitta).

      As many of you may know, I personally favor the "Critical Text"
      theory. In fact I am the one that initially framed this theory
      within Semitic Primacy. I base this theory on the following facts:

      1. The Peshitta can be demonstrated to be a revision of the Old
      Syriac.
      (see http://www.nazarene.net/textcrit.htm )

      2. The Greek Western text type is the oldest, most primitive
      type of Greek
      Text (filled with Semitisms and Aramaic Grammar not found in the
      other text types) while the Alexandrian and Byzantine text types are
      revised toward
      smoother, more idiomatic Greek. (For detailed documentation on this
      fact see the latest issue of G'MIRA (Vol. 1, No. 1) at
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GMIRA )
      (also see http://www.nazarene.net/textcrit.htm )

      3. The Old Syriac agrees closely with the Western Type text.
      While the Peshitta
      tends to agree with the less Semitic, Byzantine type text.
      (see http://www.nazarene.net/textcrit.htm )

      I am now pleased to announce that a project has begun to create a
      critical edition of the Aramaic Gospels. I am serving as chief
      editor of a committee of Aramaicists and Text Critics who are going
      through the witnesses of the Aramaic Gospels word by word and using
      objective principles of textual criticism to select the readings
      which are most likely to be the original readings when the witnesses
      differ. The result will be a critical text which will approach the
      original Aramaic text as closely as possible (placing the other
      readings in footnotes). I cannot tell you how important this
      project is. There is a desperate need for a single flowing critical
      text, which reflects the original as closely as possible.
      Included in this committee is one scholar who maintains (currently)
      that the Peshitta best preserves the original text. This is
      intentional because we want to make absolutely sure that Peshitta
      readings get every possible fair consideration despite the general
      opinion of the majority that the Peshitta itself in general has been
      revised toward agreement with the Greek Byzantine text.

      James Trimm
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