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But I Thought the New Testament Was Written in Greek?

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In the West, the idea that the New Testament was written in Greek (and Greek only) is so entrenched into our thinking and way of understanding, that the very idea that the New Testament could have been written in Aramaic (or that there even exists a version of the New Testament in Aramaic) will, at first, be a very new and controversial idea. And when we hear new ideas for the first time, especially ones which are a challenge to our current belief and understanding, we generally react with alarm, disbelief, scorn, and scepticism.

And so, when Bible students hear for the first time that there exists a version of the New Testament written in Aramaic, many people will refuse to listen. But whatever your current beliefs, we urge you to keep going and listen to the evidence. Watch these videos, take notes, read the Interactive Lessons which we provide (where you will get full information with all the detail) and watch the video lessons. Do this over and over again until you have absorbed all the evidence which we provide, and have understood the material.

Finding the Aramaic Peshitta is one of the most wonderful gifts you can ever receive.

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NameComment
GailThank you for your good advise on this. This website offers much in the way of teaching into the deeper meanings, however, are these English translations available with an agenda such as the KJV had? Do we need the Lexicons in Aramaic or are they available in English as well? I understand no language is completely understood unless spoken in context (thus many English words explain the Greek in the Concordance) leaving one open to others understanding of the Scriptures. Without preconceived ideas, is there such a book? Can we understand Aramaic to English by reading it directly?
GailI'm wondering if there is an English translation to the Peshitta that can be found as accurate to read in English. Original Aramaic seems important to read, but if one can't read Greek, one cannot compare one to the other, so is there access to English translations from Aramaic and a book of original Aramaic words used to define the original words as Youngs and Strongs do today?
Ewan MacLeodFeel free to leave comments or questions on this lesson about the New Testament!
Don CuniffWhat English translation of the Aramaic Peshita is the most faithful to the message.
Ewan MacLeodHi Ben, As we discuss in the lessons about the terrible destruction of A.D. 70 and the Bar Kokhba Revolt in A.D. 135 (see the lessons on the History & Background of Aramaic), the destructions of everything to do with Jews at those times (in Israel) was likely to be total (outside of what is found of the Dead Sea Scrolls). Therefore, expecting any Hebrew or Aramaic manuscripts to be found in Israel is very unlikely. Nevertheless, outside of Israel the Aramaic Peshitta New Testament manuscripts go back just as far as Greek New Testaments. We will cover this topic more fully in lessons coming soon...
Ben BaumanWhat is the earliest copy or fragment of an Aramaic New Testament manuscript? This seems to be a minority view among textual scholars.
Ewan MacLeodGail, There are several good English translations of the Aramaic Peshitta NT. See, for instance, Murdock's Translation in the Shop (on this website). I provide it as a free download. Lexicons of the Aramaic NT are available, but they need you to be able to read Aramaic (hence this website!)
Ewan MacLeodHi Don, A number of good modern Aramaic Peshitta translations are available, such as the Andrew Roth's AENT (Aramaic English New Testament), Rev. David Bauscher's Plain English translation, Janet Magiera's translations, and the older Lamsa Bible. The ones going back to the 1800s are a bit dated now. I like them all, for different reasons.
Ewan MacLeodGail, The good thing about the Aramaic Peshitta, and nearly all the works associated with it, is that all resources are remarkably free of doctrinal bias. In contrast, churches in the west have used both Greek and Latin as the battleground for their doctrinal beliefs, and the texts have suffered as a result. Centuries of schisms in the west have resulted in immense numbers of textual variations, compared with only a handful of equivalents in the Aramaic Peshitta. Wait until you see the video lessons I'm producing of the hundreds of manuscripts of the Aramaic Peshitta NT, going back to the 4th century, which I have steadily been obtaining from the British Library, through God's grace :-)