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Justin Adams

Aramaic to English translation proposal.

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Greetings in peace:

I seek the Truth in places not considered 'hallowed ground' by some. So here I will quote a small portion of a site that suggests an Aramaic to English translation will benefit us all greatly.

Victor Alexander has proposed this project. The Translation of the Aramaic NT books into English, with commentaries etc.

"There is no doubt about the significance of the material itself from an American cultural perspective, the US being predominantly a Judeo-Christian culture. However, the Christian theological establishment has decreed that Greek is the "original" language of the NEW TESTAMENT, despite the existence of voluminous proof that the Gospels were written in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke and the language of the Biblical lands at the time. My preliminary consideration of this project presents the obvious fact that of the thousands of poetic verses in the Bible, none rhyme in Greek or any other language and yet all rhyme in Aramaic. Surely to consider this [mere] coincidence is preposterous."

"The most accurate original texts are of course the Galilean Aramaic that Jesus, the disciples and apostles spoke and wrote in. These are the primary texts. They are preserved only by the ancient Church of the East theologians. However, all other English translations are important, since they are the reason why a new, authentic translation is valuable insofar as comparative studies in the humanities are concerned."

Please read all of Victor's Proposal here: [http://www.v-a.com/bible/aramaic.html]

Edited by Justin Adams

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Would it change anything?

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1 hour ago, Justin Adams said:

Greetings in peace:

I seek the Truth in places not considered 'hallowed ground' by some. So here I will quote a small portion of a site that suggests an Aramaic to English translation will benefit us all greatly.

Victor Alexander has proposed this project. The Translation of the Aramaic NT books into English, with commentaries etc.

"There is no doubt about the significance of the material itself from an American cultural perspective, the US being predominantly a Judeo-Christian culture. However, the Christian theological establishment has decreed that Greek is the "original" language of the NEW TESTAMENT, despite the existence of voluminous proof that the Gospels were written in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke and the language of the Biblical lands at the time. My preliminary consideration of this project presents the obvious fact that of the thousands of poetic verses in the Bible, none rhyme in Greek or any other language and yet all rhyme in Aramaic. Surely to consider this [mere] coincidence is preposterous."

"The most accurate original texts are of course the Galilean Aramaic that Jesus, the disciples and apostles spoke and wrote in. These are the primary texts. They are preserved only by the ancient Church of the East theologians. However, all other English translations are important, since they are the reason why a new, authentic translation is valuable insofar as comparative studies in the humanities are concerned."

Please read all of Victor's Proposal here: [http://www.v-a.com/bible/aramaic.html]

A one person translation that is not peer reviewed is a problem for me. One person translations have some value like Williams NT, Young's Literal Translation, et al, but the potential for Biblical error and plain old bias is great.  Take for instance two diametrically opposed members of this forum.  What if they each translated the NT.  Would it be the same, or would their biases show through their translations.  The Original Aramaic Bible in Plain English with Psalms & Proverbs by David Bauscher is already, at least, partially available.

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If you read the proposal, this guy will INCLUDE all NT source texts without any denominational bias. And will have a comprehensive cross reference that includes ALL notations, footnotes and translations and the differences between non-partisan commentaries, and ones that obviously are.

I have seen so much dissension here from people quoting references that seem to need further clarification.
Why not have another source? I have not seen too many quotes directly from the Aramaic root sources.

I find Young's quite informative as well. He says that Yeshua was raised on the second Sabbath... of that week.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”  This statement was given to us BEFORE the NT was completed...as we know it.

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(Please note that buried in this discussion is that assumption that this is the actual form of Aramaic spoken by Jesus and His disciples.  I'm not up on this topic but my understanding is that there are a number of different dialects and forms of it with somewhat large geographical and historical variations.  I don't have the background to evaluate the author's position that the form of Aramaic he is using is indeed the same as used in Galilee by Jesus and His disciples.)

I think that a translation from an old Aramaic text could provide some interesting insights especially if containing a lot of translational and informational footnotes about various words and their range of meanings.  It is likely that a significant part of Jesus' teaching and the disciples in Jerusalem and Judea were done in some form of Aramaic.  Seeing what Aramaic words would have been used in various parables or sayings might give some historical insight on some things.  

Having said this, I do have some caveats about this particular translation and some of the claims raised.  I did a Bing search and managed to catch links to a number of pages (from a few years ago) on the v-a.com site.

Here is one quote which I do not think misrepresents the author's views.  (Note that Eashoa Msheekha is the Aramaic form of Jesus Messiah transliterated into English.)

My translations of the Scriptures are not just another version of the Bible; my translations are the only authentic translations of the original Scriptures. Throughout my translation project, I have noticed that every verse of the Western Bibles contains at least one word that has been mistranslated. I am surprised that when people read my translations they do not notice that their Bibles contain errors in every verse. Even more surprising is that the pastors who preach sermons based on the Greek, Latin and English language translations of the words of Eashoa Msheekha and all the prophets before Him, that they do not notice they are preaching misleading ideas, ideas that were not intended by Eashoa Msheekha or the prophets. But in the minds of the American pastors the sermons that they preach seem to be brilliant, inspiring and true to the Scriptures.

This is a rather serious and strong claim that a single group has sole possession of the authentic scriptures and correct doctrine and that all English translations have errors in every verse.  As far as I can tell, he also denies that the Hebrew OT is the authentic original and that only Ancient Aramaic scriptures should be the source for both the OT and NT.  Here's another quotation from the site.  (Again, note that some titles and names such as Milta, Maryah, and Allaha are transliterated from Aramaic to English.)  This and other statements indicate that he rejects the Hebrew OT as being the original scriptures.

There are many essential words that are deliberately distorted to mislead people into thinking that the Old Testament was recorded in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. They did it to destroy the connection between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Their ultimate goal was to deny that Eashoa Msheekha is the Milta (Manifestation) of Maryah Allaha (Lord God) who spoke to humanity from the very beginning of creation. They wanted to drive a linguistic wedge between Eashoa Msheekha and Maryah Allaha, so they adopted two languages as the source of the Scriptures. The Hebrew language that evolved into the denial of Eashoa as the Msheekha prophesied by the Old Testament, and the Greek language that evolved into the denial that Eashoa Msheekha was the Milta of Maryah Allaha.

I think that a strong historical case can be made that at least some of the earliest writings of the church were in some form of Aramaic (along with other languages as the disciples spread the gospel to many different peoples).  However, it is an extremely unusual claim that the Hebrew OT is not authentic.  It is also quite a claim that Paul wrote to largely Greek-speaking gentile believers in Aramaic (which they are unlikely to have known) rather than Greek.  In addition, the claim that the Hebrew OT was used to deny Jesus was Messiah and that the Greek NT was used to deny Jesus' Incarnation seems rather far fetched to me given that these are core tenets of Christianity and strongly held by those using Hebrew and Greek based text traditions.

He further goes on to claim that the Ancient Aramaic Church with the Ancient Aramaic scriptures seem to be the only keepers of authentic Christianity.

Adherence to the Ancient Aramaic Scriptures makes it possible for the correct interpretation of the Scriptures and the continuation of apostleship. In order to receive the gifts of apostleship, which only Eashoa Msheekha can bestow on His followers, according to their measure of faith and based on His teachings in the language He spoke, it is necessary to accept the authenticity of the Ancient Aramaic Scriptures. The Ancient Aramaic Church presents its members with a true translation of the Scriptures into English.

The age of apostleship cannot be extended to those people who believe in the primacy of the Greek and Latin Scriptures. Too many inconsistencies and contradictions have already risen before the myriad of churches using the Greek and Latin derivatives of names and doctrines that can never be quite correctly stated. This is the significance of the AAC. Your support is necessary so the translation project can proceed and meet its publishing goals.

I think that these are rather extravagant claims that are not backed up historically. 

Having said that, I think any insights a study of the Aramaic tradition of scripture would yield are of some value for understanding the historical context of scripture.  I'm just not entirely convinced that this one person with rather strong theological views about the primacy of Aramaic and the doctrinal purity of a single denomination will produce a work free from bias.   I'm also not sure if this form of Aramaic is indeed that spoken by Jesus and the disciples or if this is an extravagant claim for this language.  I've got a friend who has made an academic career out of studying Greek NT manuscripts.  I'll try to remember to run this by her the next time I see her and see what she thinks.  

Speaking for myself, I'm going to continue to read the greek NT and the Septuagint as my primary sources and continue with learning Hebrew so hopefully within about 3 to 5 years I'll be reading the OT in Hebrew.  Perhaps some day I might read the English translations of various Aramaic text traditions, but for now that's a low priority for me.

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The first question is how close you can get to the original author, instead of the original language. The original author is God. If you can't get to God as close as those ancient Christians and as those before the invention of Internet, then you may have to think twice to see if the project is needed. The good or bad of the translation will completely depend on how close you are with God. It has almost nothing about how good the language is used. 

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On 10/2/2017 at 1:45 PM, Justin Adams said:

Greetings in peace:

I seek the Truth in places not considered 'hallowed ground' by some. So here I will quote a small portion of a site that suggests an Aramaic to English translation will benefit us all greatly.

Victor Alexander has proposed this project. The Translation of the Aramaic NT books into English, with commentaries etc.

"There is no doubt about the significance of the material itself from an American cultural perspective, the US being predominantly a Judeo-Christian culture. However, the Christian theological establishment has decreed that Greek is the "original" language of the NEW TESTAMENT, despite the existence of voluminous proof that the Gospels were written in Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke and the language of the Biblical lands at the time. My preliminary consideration of this project presents the obvious fact that of the thousands of poetic verses in the Bible, none rhyme in Greek or any other language and yet all rhyme in Aramaic. Surely to consider this [mere] coincidence is preposterous."

"The most accurate original texts are of course the Galilean Aramaic that Jesus, the disciples and apostles spoke and wrote in. These are the primary texts. They are preserved only by the ancient Church of the East theologians. However, all other English translations are important, since they are the reason why a new, authentic translation is valuable insofar as comparative studies in the humanities are concerned."

Please read all of Victor's Proposal here: [http://www.v-a.com/bible/aramaic.html]

Always ask the Lord for guidance in everything you do and do it for His glory. I do believe that the original gospels were written in Aramaic. The sad part is that the tools and dictionaries are hard to come by. The Holy Spirit will always show you the truth and give you wonderful understanding for things that are of the truth. Then it will make a profound difference. The vast majority of Christians today wouldn't believe the truth if God Himself were to tell them. They're so rock solid in dogma and traditions, anyone that doesn't believe like them is a heretic. Hmmm... they have become pharisees. And Jesus told the pharisees that although they knew the truth, they wouldn't enter in nor allow others to enter into the truth. WOW! That sounds like a lot of people on this site. Keep up the search. Remember ask and you shall received, seek and you shall find, knock and it will be opened unto you - God's acronym A.S.K. I love it! Furthermore, R.F.O. is a Request For Offer!

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I've read Aramaic translations before ocasionally they do make a big difference.    here's  an example Romans 5:7  

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.

reads more logically in Aramaic translations as "Very Rarely will anyone die for a unrighteous person, though for a righteous person someone might dare to die."   This sort of thing actually is easily explained if Aramaic was the original source language the words look almost identical except for one letter and the letters fro righteous and unrighteous are very similar to each other.    If you are interested in this sort of thing you should check out some old web/ message boards like.

http://peshitta.org/

 
  
Edited by Addai
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Another insight from George Lamsa's work (which is admittedly flawed in some areas).     One of the old chestnuts comes about the saying about "It's Easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to go to heaven".      The word for camel, in Aramaic is something like "gamla"   and that word also means "rope" (There is less vocabulary in that language where words often have to do double duty etc.)   Anyway that passage you  might have guessed was rendered as "It is easier for a rope to go through an eye of the needle than a rich man to go heaven".    In theory a rope can be pruned down to the size of a single thread that can go through the eye of an needle, so it is suggested that the passage is a statement about people's willingness to part with such things for the sake of the kingdom of God.

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