Interesting Aramaic synonyms

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by BrianT, Dec 29, 2002.

  1. BrianT

    BrianT
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    Hi,

    The "Peshitta", the ancient translation of the Bible into Aramaic in the 2nd century (with several later manuscripts). Aramaic was spoken during the time of Christ, and on occasion even by Christ in scripture. Even most KJV-only supporters (including Ruckman, Waite, Fuller, Riplinger, etc.) accept it as God's word, the Aramaic equivalent of the KJV.

    There are several interesting synonyms in Aramaic that, depending on which meaning of the same word is chosen to be used for translation, result in interesting differences when translated into English. For example:

    - the same written word in Aramaic can mean "ungodly" or "babies". In the KJV, Job 19:18 says "young children despised me". But in the Peshitta, this may also be "the wicked despise me". Same sort of thing in Psalm 144:7 & 11, etc.

    - a minute difference in the penmanship (I cannot see the difference, personally) separates "rimtha" ("dust") from "ramtha" ("height"). In Ezek 32:5, the KJV says "And I will lay thy flesh upon the mountains, and fill the valleys with thy height." But it makes more sense in the Peshitta's "And I will scatter your flesh upn the mountains, and fill the valleys with your dust."

    - most interesting to me personally, is "gamla" which can mean either "rope" or "camel". In the Peshitta in Matt 19:24, if one reads it as containing the "rope" meaning, it makes more sense: "...it is easier for a rope to go through the eye of a needle...".

    I just found these very interesting, and thought it might generate some good discussion. [​IMG]

    [ December 29, 2002, 01:45 PM: Message edited by: BrianT ]
     
  2. Author

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    Indeed interesting, Brian. It would make a lot more sense for the word to be rope instead of camel. I do not see such great flights of fanciful hyerbole among the authors of the NT, with the exception, of course, of Revelation :D .

    So this may indeed be one case where ALL the translations have it wrong (i.e. all that I have use 'camel').

    I am sure that as Biblical and textual archelogy continues, some minor corrections like that will eventually have to be made to the Bible.

    That will upset our KJVonly brothers and sisters, but it will happen. And, indeed, you may have indeed pointed out at least one such.

    Thank you,

    --Ralph
     
  3. Abiyah

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    Clarke, as I understand it, was very KJV, and
    many readers of the KJV refer to him. I looked
    to see what he said regarding this Scripture, then.
    The words in brackets represent his words in
    Greek. He wrote, "Instead of [kamalov], camel, six
    MSS. read [kamilon], cable, a mere gloss inserted
    by some who did not know that the other was a
    proverb among the people of the east.

    "There is an expression similar to this in the
    Koran 'The impious, who in his arrogance shall
    accuse our doctrine of falsity, shall find the gates
    of heaven shut: nor shall he enter there till a camel
    shall pass through the eye of a needle
    .' . . .

    "It was also a mode of expression common
    among the Jews, and signified a thing impossible.
    Hence this proverb: A camel in Media dances in a
    cabe
    ; a measure which held about three pints.
    Again, No man sees a palm tree of gold, nor an
    elephant pass through the eye of a needle
    ." (The
    italics are Clarke's.)

    [ December 29, 2002, 02:53 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  4. Author

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    Thanks, Abiyah... good illumination!

    Perhaps in modern English versions of the Bible, we could upgrade that saying to "an eighteen-wheeler" :D since that is now our equivalent to the camel.

    --Ralph

    [ December 29, 2002, 03:09 PM: Message edited by: Author ]
     
  5. Abiyah

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    Hey! You could translate a new Bible, Author
    Author! Didn't one of the Bible translations in
    the late '60s to early '70s use the word, flashlight,
    in place of lamp?
     
  6. Author

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    I believe it did... and while I was being facetious above :D , I believe modern words should be used in modern translations. But let's keep it realistic. They did not have flashlights in Biblical times. I don't think. That bunny has been going a long time, though.

    --Ralph
     
  7. Abiyah

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    8oD ! ! !
     
  8. Wisdom Seeker

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    I have heard the last one about the difference in "camel" and "rope" and yes, it does indeed make more sense.

    Thank you for the first two in your post... I am always interested in learning new things. (new to me, for clarification)

    May I ask you...what book are you gleaning this wonderful information from? I am thinking about studying the Bible in a different way this year...and this sounds very interesting to me.
     
  9. Wisdom Seeker

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    I always post from the first post in a topic before reading what others have to say about it...that way I keep my response on tract.

    I wonder why you would say that K.J.V. only people would not find this interesting? I only use the K.J.V. and I don't find it offensive but completely compelling. Who would find knowledge and education offensive...and what on earth for? Well...maybe I'm an exception to the generic statement you made. I don't mind being the exception actually...it kind of bugs me to be lumped in with anything unfavorable in anyone elses opinon. ;)
     
  10. BrianT

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    I have a copy of George Lamsa's translation of the Bible, which is an English translation of the Peshitta (the ancient Aramaic translation, "The Authorized Bible of the Church of the East"). In the front of my copy (which looks different from the one I link to below), there is a small chapter called "Words Resembling One Another" after the preface and introduction, that contains 3 pages of such similarities. All in all, it is an very interesting Bible, and there are some very interesting readings as you go through the Bible.

    amazon.com has a copy for less than $25 (search for "0060649232", which is the ISBN), although you may find it cheaper by searching the net.

    [ January 01, 2003, 02:50 PM: Message edited by: BrianT ]
     
  11. Wisdom Seeker

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    Thank you very much. [​IMG]
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    Just want to say a word of appreciation for bringing this topic up for discussion. Many will wave around a certain translation and then think you are cussing when you say "Peshitta".

    Since many of the original NT source documents were in Aramaic, it might not be looked at so much as a "translation" as simply another "edition".
     
  13. BrianT

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    I have collected both quotes from KJV-only authors praising the Peshitta as God's word and/or equivalent to the KJV, as well as instances where readings in the Peshitta match more closely to "modern versions" instead of the KJV. Is anyone interested in seeing them?
     
  14. Refreshed

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    Sure!
     
  15. BrianT

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    OK, this information is a "work in progress" and I have not yet been able to verify all the quote references personally, although the ones I did not personally verify come from a friend who is exceedingly thorough in his research, so I trust them. So forgive any mistakes in page numbers in the references. [​IMG]

    The verse comparisons come from personally comparing the KJV, Lamsa's translation of the Peshitta, and the NIV and/or NASB. There are occasionally textual variations within the Peshitta manuscripts themselves, and I have not yet done an exhaustive comparison of those, I have simply used Lamsa so far.

    Anyway, the quotes:
    - "It is generally admitted that the Bible was translated from the original languages into Syrian about 150 A.D. This version is known as the Peshitto (the correct or simple). This Bible even today generally follows the Received Text [quoting F.J.A. Hort, Introduction, p. 143]." - David Otis Fuller, Which Bible?
    - "It is well known that the Peshitto is mainly in agreement with the traditional text. What therefore proves one, virtually proves the order. If, as Dr. Hort admits, the traditional text prevailed at Antioch from the middle of the fourth century, is it not more probable that it should have been made without a record of history, and that in a part of the world which has been always alien to change." - Dean John Burgon
    - "The Peshitta Syriac version, (150 A.D., the second century)... was based on the Received Text." - D.A. Waite, Defending the King James Bible, p. 45.
    - "...the Peshitta...manuscripts (now numbering over 259) are in line with the Received Text. ...the Syrian version may have been written with direct access to the original autographs themselves (based on Ruckman)." - Jack Moorman, Modern Bibles - The Dark Secret, Foundation Magazine, Sept-Oct. 1992, p. 30; Forever Settled, p. 116.
    - "The Peshitta Syriac version and the Gothic version also belong to the Traditional family of New Testament documents. And the New Testament quotations of Chrysostom and the other Fathers of Antioch in Asia Minor seem generally to agree with the Traditional Text." - Edward F. Hills, The King James Bible Defended, Des Moines, IA, Christian Research Press, 1993, 1956, p. 121.
    - "True to the meaning of its name (straight or rule), the Peshitta set the standard because of its early composition [A.D. 145] and strong agreement with the Greek Text underlying the King James Bible..." - William P. Grady, Final Authority: A Christian's Guide to the King James Version, Shererville, IN, Grady Publications, 1993, p. 34.
    - "...the Peshitta Syriac (now dated much earlier than the fifth century) agrees with the KJV." - Gail Riplinger, New Age Bible Versions, p. 488.
    - "The orthodox view of Bible-believing scholars for 1700 years was that the Peshitta was written early in the second century. Since it agrees over and over again with the King James' readings..." - Peter Ruckman, The Christian's Handbook of Biblical Scholarship, Bible Baptist Bookstore, 1988, p. 94.
    "[[the Peshitta] contained the O.T. as it stands in the A. V. 1611, and the New Testament as it stands in the A. V. 1611" - Peter Ruckman, Handbook of Manuscript Evidences, p. 79.
    - "If you translate from the Peshitta into English, what you'll have in your hands is a King James Bible" - Bill Bradley, To All Generations, p. 52.
    - The KJV is "in harmony" with the Peshitta - Mickey Winter, KJV On Trial, p. 16.
    - The Peshitta was "virtually the same Bible" as our English KJV - Donald Clarke, Bible Version Manual, pp. 19-20.

    The verse comparisons:
    Here is just some of the verse comparisons I did. I have more to add later, but this is a good start. Since I can't get tables to format properly on this forum, I made a webpage: http://www.tegart.com/brian/bible/kjvonly/peshitta_compare.html

    [ January 03, 2003, 03:58 PM: Message edited by: BrianT ]
     

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