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What is the Aramaic Peshitta New Testament?

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This lesson provides a brief overview of the Aramaic Peshitta New Testament. Some people might never have heard of the Aramaic Peshitta, or will know very little about it - whereas others will already have learned about the Peshitta and what it offers to Bible students.

Whatever your background, this video lesson provides a good solid introduction to the Aramaic Peshitta New Testament, and to the idea of a version of the New Testament written in Aramaic.

Remember that this is just an introductory video! We provide many more video lessons which go through the points we make here systematically, point by point, and we establish the facts claimed in this video in many other lessons, all in detail.

That is why it is so important to go through all the videos we provide here, again in again, to establish the points we make, until you understand them fully. This material is critically important to understand for all Bible students!

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NameComment
Stephen SilverWell said. It was exciting and encouraging to hear your intro.
DuaneSir in Hebrews 1:8, ""Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom." What is the equivalent of "O" or does "O" really exist in the aramaic? If so, what is it? Also in Psalms 45:6 ""Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom." Some people who knows hebrew said that the "O" is not in the hebrew text, so the word ""Your throne, O God" is impossible in greek and hebrew text that is why people says "God is thy throne" is the correct and not "Your throne o GOD" can you help me about this sir?
Anthony ApseThere are Two Renditions of Hebrews 1:8, 1) YOUR THRONE O GOD.... 2)GOD IS YOUR THRONE "For me, The right translation is GOD IS YOUR THRONE, becaused all ancient Greek Manuscripts says, (8) "ho thronos sou ho Theos" (the throne of you, the God) (9) "se' ho Theos ho Theos sou" (therefore the God, the God, of you) Hebrews 1:8 “God is your throne forever and ever.”-James Moffatt Hebrews 1:8 “God is your throne forever and ever.”-George Lamsa’s Aramaic Hebrews 1:8 “God is your throne forever and ever.”-American Translation by Goodspeed Hebrews 1:8 "God is your throne forever and ever.”-New World Translation "All" Ancient Greek Manuscripts in Hebrews 1:8 says: “The throne of you, THE GOD (not "O GOD") , to the age of the age." This is SAME AS: “God (Father) is Your (Christ's) throne forever and ever.” Take NOTE: “All” Ancient Greek manuscripts DO NOT have INTERJECTION “O” in “O GOD.” ]] Interjection “O” was added by KJV and other Modern Day Translations Hebrews 1:8 is an Old Testament “QUOTATION” from“Your throne is like God’s throne”--New English Bible (NEB) Ps 45:6-7 “Your throne is from God, forever and ever, the scepter of your kingship a scepter of justice, you love uprightness and detest evil. This is why God, your God, has anointed you with oil of gladness, as none of your rivals.”-New Jerusalem Bible (Catholic Bible Translation) Ps 45:6 “Your throne, O God” or “Your throne is a throne of God”-NRSV (1991) Ps 45:6-7 “Your divine throne is everlasting” Tanakh translation (JPS = Jewish Publication Society) Ps 45:6-7 “Your throne, Elohim, is everlasting.”-Greek Septuagiant translated 200 B.C. Ps 45:6-7 “Your throne is like God’s throne” “Your throne is supreme”-Hebrew translation by Ibn Ezra (Bible commentator/grammarian who lived in Spain 12th century) Ps 45:6-7 “God will establish your throne”-Targum (ARAMAIC) & Saadia Ps 45:6 “Your throne is like God’s throne, eternal, your royal scepter a scepter of righteousness”-New English Bible (Protestant) Ps 45:6 “Your throne is from God, forever and ever.”-New Jerusalem Bible (Catholic Bible) Ps 45:6 “God has enthroned you for all eternity.”-Revised English Bible (Protestant Bible) Ps 45:6 “The kingdom that God has given you will last forever and ever.”-Today’s English Version (Catholic Bible) Ps 45:6 “Your divine throne endures forever.”-Revised Standard Version (Protestant Bible)
Ewan MacLeodThe Ashuri script is most likely to have been the script used in Israel, where the gospel message was first proclaimed, because that was the national script used by Jews at the time. However, copies in Estrangela would have been made almost immediately, because of how geographically widely Estrangela was used. In the Greek New Testament, there are examples of variant readings which can only have come from mis-readings of both the Ashuri and Estrangela scripts, suggesting that Greek was translated from both Ashuri and Estrangela, at different times.
Ashuri or Estrangela scriptHi Ewan, But how was the original new testament inspired? In the Ashuri or Estrangela text? I mean was the Ashuri the original God inspired new testament with the Estrangela being a translation? Thanks for your commited life, Chris
DavidMr. MacLeod. It is very gratifying so see someone show such love and dedication to our language! God bless you. I have one comment pertaining to the pronunciation of the word "Peshitta." In the masculine form it is pronounced like "psheedta," with my using the "dt" to represent the ninth letter, "dtet." In the feminine, as in the title of the Bible, the pronunciation is "pshid-ta," with a short "i" sound, rather than a long one. Pronouncing it the way it is in the online tutorials in identical to a not-too-flattering word, hence my 'nitpicking' for a more lucid pronunciation :) Thanks very much for all your hard work.
Ashuri or Estrangela scriptHi there! Was the original new testament inspired in the Ashuri script or the Estrangela? Thanks for your response!!!
konway87Excellent video, Ewan. Peshitta Primacist William Norton of North Devon tried to point out Peshitta NT is the original NT in 1889 through his books. But he never got the recognition he deserved. Through your wonderful website, I hope people will learn that NT was originally written in Aramaic and Aramaic was the language of Jesus and first century Israel. In South India, Peshitta OT and Peshitta NT are still preserved and Indians like me consider Peshitta OT and Peshitta NT as the greatest treasures.
Anthony ApseThere are "TWO" renditions of Acts 20:28 in "Ancient Greek Manuscripts" & "modern day translations" WHY? This is the "Answer" Acts 20:28 “church of the Lord”-James Moffatt translation Acts 20:28 “church of the Lord”-New English Bible (NEB) Acts 20:28 “church of the Lord”-Revised English Bible (REB) Acts 20:28 “church of the Lord”-American Standard Version (ASV) Acts 20:28 George Lamsa’s Eastern Text “Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the “church of Christ” (Aramaic: “edta da meshiha”) which he purchased with his blood.” Excerpt from Bible Scholars: Acts 20:28 “church of God”-“from Greek Manuscripts Codex Sinaiticus & Vaticanus-possibly 2 of 50 translations ordered copied by Emperor Constantine in mid-3rd century after Christ was declared God in the Council of Nicea, Turkey in 325 A.D.-according to church historian, Eusebius. Translations may have anti-Arius sentiments. Arius, a 3rd century presbyter preached Christ is a creature. “ Excerpt from Bible Scholars: Acts 20:28 “church of the Lord”-“from ancient Greek manuscripts Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis, P47 (papyrus) and MAJORITY of ancient Greek manuscripts.” Acts 20:28 “all” ancient Greek manuscripts ends-“…which he purchased with his own blood” If we will follow the translation “church of God”- GREEK GRAMMARIANS interpret this as God HAVING BLOOD.? God HAS NO BLOOD: John 4:24 “God is spirit” and I Tim 1:17 the only God is “immortal” & “invisible.” I John 1:7 “but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the BLOOD OF JESUS his (God’s) SON cleanses us from all sin”. It was the blood, not of God, but of his Son (Christ) that was poured out.
Anthony ApseThere are Two Renditions of Hebrews 1:8, 1) YOUR THRONE O GOD.... 2)GOD IS YOUR THRONE "For me, The right translation is GOD IS YOUR THRONE, becaused all ancient Greek Manuscripts says, (8) "ho thronos sou ho Theos" (the throne of you, the God) (9) "se' ho Theos ho Theos sou" (therefore the God, the God, of you) Hebrews 1:8 “God is your throne forever and ever.”-James Moffatt Hebrews 1:8 “God is your throne forever and ever.”-George Lamsa’s Aramaic Hebrews 1:8 “God is your throne forever and ever.”-American Translation by Goodspeed Hebrews 1:8 "God is your throne forever and ever.”-New World Translation "All" Ancient Greek Manuscripts in Hebrews 1:8 says: “The throne of you, THE GOD (not "O GOD") , to the age of the age." This is SAME AS: “God (Father) is Your (Christ's) throne forever and ever.” Take NOTE: “All” Ancient Greek manuscripts DO NOT have INTERJECTION “O” in “O GOD.” ]] Interjection “O” was added by KJV and other Modern Day Translations Hebrews 1:8 is an Old Testament “QUOTATION” from“Your throne is like God’s throne”--New English Bible (NEB) Ps 45:6-7 “Your throne is from God, forever and ever, the scepter of your kingship a scepter of justice, you love uprightness and detest evil. This is why God, your God, has anointed you with oil of gladness, as none of your rivals.”-New Jerusalem Bible (Catholic Bible Translation) Ps 45:6 “Your throne, O God” or “Your throne is a throne of God”-NRSV (1991) Ps 45:6-7 “Your divine throne is everlasting” Tanakh translation (JPS = Jewish Publication Society) Ps 45:6-7 “Your throne, Elohim, is everlasting.”-Greek Septuagiant translated 200 B.C. Ps 45:6-7 “Your throne is like God’s throne” “Your throne is supreme”-Hebrew translation by Ibn Ezra (Bible commentator/grammarian who lived in Spain 12th century) Ps 45:6-7 “God will establish your throne”-Targum (ARAMAIC) & Saadia Ps 45:6 “Your throne is like God’s throne, eternal, your royal scepter a scepter of righteousness”-New English Bible (Protestant) Ps 45:6 “Your throne is from God, forever and ever.”-New Jerusalem Bible (Catholic Bible) Ps 45:6 “God has enthroned you for all eternity.”-Revised English Bible (Protestant Bible) Ps 45:6 “The kingdom that God has given you will last forever and ever.”-Today’s English Version (Catholic Bible) Ps 45:6 “Your divine throne endures forever.”-Revised Standard Version (Protestant Bible)
DuaneHi Ewan, I just want to ask the about Bible Lamsa Translation by Jorge Lamsa - http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-93SjAAAO5SU/Tpbnf8S6_OI/AAAAAAAAAKs/cKS9pK61tj8/s1600/Lamsa.jpg It is right that some people claimed that the Acts 20:28 should be based on Aramaic and not greek text? The greek text says, "Church of GOD" while in Lamsa translation it is stated as "Church of Christ". What can you say about this translation? Also can you help me to understand this text? - http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hjf0Ks0aLaE/TeSNbAoJsXI/AAAAAAAAAAY/VXdsWyOTei0/s1600/New+Picture+%25285%2529.png How could i pronounce and understand that? Thank you.
Ewan MacLeodHi Duane, I personally do not use the George Lamsa translation because although he knew Aramaic well, he did have some non-Biblical ideas (such as reincarnation) which occasionally come across in his translation. There are now, however, some very good modern translations of the Aramaic New Testament, such as Andrew Roth's Aramaic-English New Testament (aent.org) or Rev. David Bauscher's translation (aramaicnt.com) or Janet Magiera's translations (www.lightofword.org). As to whether it is "church of God" or "church of Messiah (Christ)", there are differences in different manuscripts. The Eastern Peshitta manuscripts (considered better quality) have "church of Messiah" whereas other (Western) Peshitta manuscripts and Greek manuscripts generally, have "church of God". I tend to favour the Eastern manuscripts, but others will differ. The link to the picture shows the verses Acts 20:27-28 (end of v.27 and most of v.28) in the Estrangela script. Lessons showing how to read and write the Estrangela script, every letter in turn, are now available to subscribers, so you will be able to read this if you follow the lessons!
Ewan MacLeodHi Duane, Going back to Hebrews 1:8 which is quoting from Psalm 45:6, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever." Your question is asking can Hebrew and Aramaic express the "O God"? Both Greek and Latin have what is called a "vocative" case, which is a special form of a word which is used when directly addressing someone, such as "O God". Hebrew and Aramaic do not have a form of the word for this case, because they do not need it. You can obviously still address God directly (as in "O God") but in Hebrew and Aramaic you do not need a special form of the word. For example, in Biblical Aramaic, it is common to address the king with a phrase such as "O King, live for ever..." Translating these passages as "Your throne, O God..." makes sense, and is what the Hebrew and Aramaic are saying. Generations of translators have translated it this way. The translation "God is thy throne" does not really make sense to me... Note that Greek and Latin are both VERY complicated languages compared with Hebrew and Aramaic! Hebrew and Aramaic do not really have (or need) the many different forms of nouns that Greek and Latin have - such as nominative, accusative, vocative, dative, ablative, etc. It is much simpler with Hebrew and Aramaic. They are holy languages - simple, direct, honest and accurate! No complications :-)
Acts 20:28Hi Ewan, Are you familiar with E.W.Bulingers book on figures of speech in the Bible. I have seen that this particular verse(Acts20:28) could possibly be a figure of speech called anthropopatheia which is when a certain attribute (human or non human) is attributed to God. Do you know of any verses that "may" support this? It is my understanding that a figure of speech when utilized by God in the bible is used for emphatic expression and is not to be taken lightly but rather is "as though" God were writing in bold letters to express and emphasize His point being made. Would you agree with this?
Ewan MacLeodBoth the Ashuri and Estrangela scripts were used almost certainly right from the start, with Ashuri in Israel and Estrangela outside of Israel - Estrangela covered a very wide area. There are examples in the Peshitta where mistakes in Greek can only have come from mis-reading Ashuri letters - but others where Estrangela letters were mis-read. And so, as manuscripts were copied and re-copied in different scripts, both Ashuri and Estrangela were used.
Ewan MacLeodFeel free to leave comments or questions on this introductory lesson about the Aramaic Peshitta!
Anthony Apse*About King Solomon*. Psa 45:1 My heart overflows with a goodly theme; I address my verses to the KING; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. (RSV) *And God says to Solomon* Psa 45:6 Your divine throne endures for ever and ever. Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity; (RSV) *and these is the testimony about KING Solomon*... 1Ch 29:23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as KING instead of David his father; and he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him. (RSV) The Meaning of "THRONE" is defined as the POWER of a king,..." Source: yourdictionary.com "The power, dignity, or rank of such a personage;..." source: thefreedictionary.com Christ shall be seated on the right hand of the POWER of God, (not on the right hand of the Chair of God) Luk 22:69 But from now on the Son of man shall be seated at the right hand of the "POWER" of God." (RSV)