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An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts

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  • An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts

    The beginning of excerpts from the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
    Part I

    THE APPROACH

    CHAPTER I

    PREVIOUS WORK ON THE ARAMAIC OF THE GOSPELS AND ACTS

    In his Worte Jesu, the most elaborate study of the Gospels hitherto undertaken, Gustaf Dalman includes a review of the work prior to and contemporary with his own; his account may be supplemented by Arnold Meyer's Jesu Muttersprache, in which Meyer also undertook to interpret and explain the Gospels from Aramaic originals.

    To be continued...

  • #2
    Please excuse the Driveby, JR, but did you happen to see the discussion between the Pope and Netanyahu about what language Jesus spoke?

    Source: Yahoo News

    "Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew," Netanyahu told Francis, at a public meeting in Jerusalem in which the Israeli leader cited a strong connection between Judaism and Christianity.

    "Aramaic," the pope interjected.

    "He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew," Netanyahu shot back.

    © Copyright Original Source




    Last edited by Cow Poke; 05-31-2014, 04:56 PM.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
      Please excuse the Driveby, JR, but did you happen to see the discussion between the Pope and Netanyahu about what language Jesus spoke?

      Source: Yahoo News

      "Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew," Netanyahu told Francis, at a public meeting in Jerusalem in which the Israeli leader cited a strong connection between Judaism and Christianity.

      "Aramaic," the pope interjected.

      "He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew," Netanyahu shot back.

      © Copyright Original Source




      Yes, I saw it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Continued from post #1 above ↑

        Continuation of excerpts from the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
        Among earlier scholars the two most outstanding names are those of Wellhausen and Nestle. In his Einleitung in die drei ersten Evangelien, the former presented a certain amount of linguistic evidence which led him to think that an Aramaic document had been used by the author of the common source of Matthew and Luke known as Q, and possibly also of Mark. Similar views were held by Nestle, and among others, by Blass, who believed that Acts i-xii was originally composed in Aramaic by Mark, and that Luke was using a translation of this work.

        To be continued...

        Comment


        • #5
          Continuation of excerpts from the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
          The criticism which applies to this earlier work generally, and which was made by Dalman, is that it is defective on the linguistic side: Wellhausen, for instance, made no attempt to illustrate his observations of Aramaic construction or usage from the available sources of Palestinian Aramaic literature.

          To be continued...

          Comment


          • #6
            Continued from last post above ↑

            Continuation of excerpts from the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
            In spite of this serious defect, however, much of the work of these earlier scholars is of permanent value. Not every Aramaism requires to be fully 'documented'; an Aramaic idiom may be so well known that illustrations of it are superfluous. And in other cases examples from the literature are not difficult to produce. In at least two instances of this kind from the work of Wellhausen and Nestle, Dalman did less than justice to the evidence, and the alternative explanations which he offers are much less satisfactory than those which he rejects.

            To be continued...

            Comment


            • #7
              Continued from last post above ↑

              Continuation of excerpts from the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
              Wellhausen's brilliant conjecture that the Synoptic variants καθάρισον (Mt. xxiii. 26) and δότε ἐλεημοσύνην (Lk. xi. 41) go back to dakkau and zakkau respectively, and that in Luke the former 'cleanse', has been wrongly read as the latter, 'give alms', has survived criticism. The objection raised by Dalman, though with obvious hesitation, to the possibility of a confusion between the two words is unreal; and his alternative explanation that Luke is a kind of exposition of Matthew's Greek, the 'cleansing' of the vessels consisting of the distribution of their contents as alms, is forced.

              To be continued...

              Comment


              • #8
                Continued from last post above ↑

                Continuation of excerpts from the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                It may be that δότε ἐλεημοσύνην in Luke is less a mistranslation than a wrong but deliberate interpretation of the Aramaic, made all the more easy, if, as Wellhausen maintained, the two verbs were originally identical in orthography. But the genesis of Luke's reading is quite certainly to be found in a wrong understanding of Aramaic dakko 'cleanse' (dakkau is a Syriac form).

                To be continued...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Missed footnote

                  Continuation of excerpts from the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:

                  I missed a significant footnote at the end of the first sentence in post #7:
                  Wellhausen's brilliant conjecture that the Synoptic variants καθάρισον (Mt. xxiii. 26) and δότε ἐλεημοσύνην (Lk. xi. 41) go back to dakkau and zakkau respectively, and that in Luke the former 'cleanse', has been wrongly read as the latter, 'give alms', has survived criticism.*
                  *.... Both verbs are fully attested for Jewish Palestinian Aramaic in these senses, zakki, 'to give alms', by Dalman himself from the Palestinian Talmud (p. 71, Worte Jesu).

                  To be continued...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Continued from last post above ↑

                    Continuation of excerpts from the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                    To Nestle's explanation that Luke's 'cities' in his form of Matthew's parable of the Talents (Lk. xix. 17 f.) has arisen as a result of a misunderstanding of ככרין 'talents' (כרכין being 'cities'), Dalman objected that karᵉkha is not the usual word for 'city' in Palestinian Aramaic.* There is, it is true, a more general word corresponding to πόλις, namely mᵉdhinta; but both for larger and smaller 'cities', and especially for the fortified towns of Palestine, for which πόλις is employed in both LXX and New Testament, karᵉkha is the usual word; in the Pseudo-Jonathan Targum of Num. xxiv. 19, karᵉkha is used of Rome.
                    *Worte Jesu, p. 53. The suggestion was made by Nestle in the Theologische Literaturzeitung for 1895, No. 22; it is repeated in his Philologica Sacra, p. 22, and endorsed by Meyer, op. cit., p. 137

                    To be continued...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Continued from last post above ↑

                      Continuation of excerpts from the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                      An observation of Nestle in his Philologica Sacra, unnoticed by Dalman, is worth recalling. Nestle cited from a privately circulated essay of Field (of the Hexapla) on the 'First Recorded Utterance of Jesus Christ' the latter's claim that ἐν τοῖς τοῦ πατρός μου in Lk. ii. 49 mistranslated Hebrew beth ʾabhi; this 'original Hebrew' of Luke should have been rendered ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾀ τοῦ πατρός μου: the LXX's rendering of beth occasionally by the neuter plural of the definite article, e.g. Gen xli. 51, Esther v.10, vi. 12, vii. 9, Job xviii. 19, was adduced in support of the conjecture, and Irenaeus's version of Jn. xiv. 2, ἐν τοῖς τοῦ πατρός μου, for the Greek text of John ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ τοῦ πατρός μου, was cited as a case of the opposite mistranslation.

                      To be continued...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Continued from last post above ↑

                        Continuation of excerpts from the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                        What Field claimed for Hebrew holds also for Aramaic: Aramaic beth ʾabba is ambiguous and may be rendered in either way; F. C. Burkitt actually renders the Old Syriac translation of ἐν τοῖς τοῦ πατρός μου in Lk. ii. 49, namely beth ʾabh(i), by 'at my Father's house'; this is a legitimate rendering of the Syriac, if it were not a translation of Lk. ii. 49; Burkitt's wrong translation, however, illustrates the ambiguity of Aramaic.

                        To be continued...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Continued from last post above ↑

                          Continuation of excerpts from the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                          Since Wellhausen and Nestle, and partly contemporaneous with their work, the studies of Dalman represent the most important contribution which has been made to the subject. Dalman rejected all theories of written Aramaic sources as unproven, and believed that it was in the Words of Jesus only that we had the right to assume an ultimate Aramaic original. Whether he was justified in so confining the range of his study remains to be considered. In his investigation of the Words of Jesus the exegetical interest is foremost: Dalman is less concerned to consider or estimate the extent of Aramaic influence on the language of the Gospels; he selected a number of the main conceptions, such as 'the kingdom of God', 'the World', 'the Father in Heaven', and sought to elucidate them in the light of their Jewish antecedents and parallels. The Words of Jesus which are discussed under these headings are themselves considered in their Jewish Aramaic form and context. The branch of Palestinian Aramaic to which Dalman attached most importance for his reconstruction of the Words of Jesus was the Aramaic of the Jewish Targums to the Pentateuch and the Prophets.

                          To be continued...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Continued from last post above ↑

                            Continuation of excerpts from the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                            Since Dalman, C. C. Torrey and C. F. Burney are the best known names; each attempted to prove the existence of Aramaic originals, the latter to the Fourth Gospel; Burney, in a subsequent work, undertook a study of the poetry of Jesus. Torrey goes so far as to claim in his first larger work [The Four Gospels] that Aramaic originals lie behind all four Gospels, and, on the basis of this view and of numerous conjectural reconstructions of Aramaic, has produced a new translation of Aramaic originals. Most of his examples of mistranslation, however, and several of Burney's, are open to grave objection. Torrey's attempt at a new translation of the Gospels before any adequate presentation of the philological evidence was premature. His second larger study [Our Translated Gospels], in which the evidence of language is presented more fully, would have been of greater value had it been undertaken for the Aramaic scholar, and not for 'popular' reading by those who are unacquainted with Aramaic or have no more that a slight working knowledge; the evidence is often over-simplified and incomplete.

                            To be continued...
                            Last edited by John Reece; 06-12-2014, 09:22 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Continued from last post above ↑

                              Continuation of excerpts from the out-of-print third edition of An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts (Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1967), by Matthew Black:
                              Burney's main approach was in this respect the right one; even if he failed to prove his theory of an Aramaic original for the whole of John; he investigated the grammar and syntax of the Gospel in the light of our knowledge of the Aramaic language.

                              To be continued...

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