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This is where we come to delve into the biblical text. Theology is not our foremost thought, but we realize it is something that will be dealt with in nearly every conversation. Feel free to use the original languages to make your point (meaning Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic). This is an exegetical discussion area, so please limit topics to purely biblical ones.

This is not the section for debates between theists and atheists. While a theistic viewpoint is not required for discussion in this area, discussion does presuppose a respect for the integrity of the Biblical text (or the willingness to accept such a presupposition for discussion purposes) and a respect for the integrity of the faith of others and a lack of an agenda to undermine the faith of others.

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An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts

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  • John Reece
    replied
    Continued from the 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:
    The Circumstantial Clause

    One of the commonest of Semitic subordinate clauses, characteristic of both Hebrew and Aramaic, is the so-called Circumstantial Clause, by which circumstances are described which are attendant on and necessary to the understanding of the main verb, but subordinate to it. It is introduced in both Hebrew and Aramaic by Waw followed by a noun or pronoun and verb, in that order. Its translation may vary with the requirements of the context, but it is usually best rendered by 'now', 'while', 'when'. An example in Aramaic is Midrash Echa, i. 4, 'Now he was aware (wᵉhuʾ hᵃwa yadhaʿ) of the name of that man, (so) he came and sat by the gate'; id. i. 31,' . . . Ben Batiah walked in front of him, with his garments rent' (umanoi bᵃziʿin).

    ETA: I am finding the transcription of this book to be ― on balance, when weighed against the tedium required of me ― insufficiently rewarding; so, I think that I will
    discontinue the transcription.

    Anyone who wishes to finish reading the entire book can find a copy in a library or a used book store.
    Last edited by John Reece; 11-06-2014, 06:44 PM.

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  • John Reece
    replied
    Continued from the last post above ↑

    Continuation of THE ד CLAUSE section of 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:
    5. Consecutive dᵉ rendered by ἵνα

    In view of the establishment of the 'ecbatic' ἵνα in the Koine, it may appear entirely unnecessary to appeal to Aramaic. But the latter may well have been a contributory factor in the extension of the use of ἵνα even to the extent of taking the place of ὥστε.

    Cases in question in the Gospels all come from dialogue: Mark vi. 2 (D), xi. 28; Luke i. 43; John ix. 2. Mark vi. 2 reads in D: 'And what is the wisdom given to this man, that (ἵνα) even such miracles are done (γίνωνται) by his hand.' It is always possible, of course, to defend the final sense of the ἵνα, but in all of the above cases a final use goes against the natural meaning required by the context.

    To be continued...

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  • John Reece
    replied
    Continued from the last post above ↑

    Continuation of THE ד CLAUSE section of 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:
    4. The Indeclinable and Ambiguous dᵉ

    There is one Synoptic variant where the parallels are capable of explanation in the light of the indeclinable and ambiguous Aramaic particle. It occurs in the passages Mark xiv. 68 (Matthew xxvi. 70; Luke xxii. 57, 60) and Mark xiv. 71 (= Matthew xxvi. 74; Luke xxii. 60). Torrey suggested that Mark's οὔτε οἶδα οὔτε ἐπίσταμαι σὺ τί λέγεις was a mistranslation of an Aramaic which should have been rendered, 'I neither know nor am I acquainted with him of whom you speak': the last clause reads, in Torrey's Aramaic, diʾamar ʾant, where the di is ambiguous. Mark has rendered it by a neuter. In the Lucan parallel, Peter replies οὐκ οἶδα αὐτόν.

    Such a sense suits context and circumstances much more appropriately than the Marcan reading; it is a curious statement for Peter to make, that he did not know nor understand what the serving-maid said. Where there not indications to the contrary elsewhere, one might suspect an attempt to white-wash Peter. Mark is certainly interpreting his tradition, and here wrongly.

    To be continued... (after skipping over 2 paragraphs of critical analyses of examples in John cited by Burney)

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  • John Reece
    replied
    Continued from the last post above ↑

    Continuation of THE ד CLAUSE section of 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:
    3. Temporal dᵉ rendered by ἵνα or ὅτι

    Strictly speaking, dᵉ is not a temporal conjunction, but, as a relative or relating particle after such antecedents as 'time', 'day', 'hour', or adverbs of time, it becomes the equivalent of 'when'. The conjunction dᵉ standing alone without any such antecedent and meaning 'when' is a much rarer use. An example is to be found in Vayyikra Rabba, 10:1 'Antoninus went put to the house of our Rabbi. He found him when he was sitting (dᵉyathebh) with his disciples before him.

    To be continued... (after skipping over 4 paragraphs of critical analyses of examples in John cited by Burney)

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  • John Reece
    replied
    Continued from the last post above ↑

    Continuation of THE ד CLAUSE section of 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:
    2. Relative dᵉ rendered by ἵνα

    The frequent use (and misuse) of ἵνα in the Gospels, especially in the Gospel of St. John, has been attributed by Burney to the influence of Aramaic. The extension of the use of ἵνα in the Koine, even to the extent of usurping ὥστε, goes a long way to explaining Johannine usage, but the excessive use of ἵνα in John is unparalleled; for statistics, see Burney.

    To be continued... (after skipping over 5 paragraphs of analyses of examples)
    Last edited by John Reece; 11-03-2014, 07:39 AM.

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  • John Reece
    replied
    Continued from the last post above ↑

    Continuation of THE ד CLAUSE section of 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:
    1. Relative dᵉ rendered by ὅτι

    (iii) Without Synoptic or Textual Attestation

    A much more convincing example of this kind of mistranslation was observed by Wellhausen in Luke ix. 31, ἔλεγον τὴν ἔξοδον αὐτοῦ ἣν ἤμελλεν πληροῦν ἐν Ἰερουσαλήμ. Wellhausen maintained that the correct rendering of the Aramaic should have been ὅτι. Even with ὅτι, however, the construction of the sentence is an unusually clumsy one in Greek and certainly not normal. Wellhausen's observation might have commended itself more widely had he underlined more the emphatic hyperbaton, the accusative after the main verb in the subordinate clause, removed to its present position solely for sake of emphasis: 'They were saying that he was about to accomplish his departure (demise) in Jerusalem.'

    To be continued...

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  • John Reece
    replied
    Continued from the last post above ↑

    Continuation of THE ד CLAUSE section of 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:
    1. Relative dᵉ rendered by ὅτι

    (iii) Without Synoptic or Textual Attestation

    Burney cited John i. 4 as an example of the opposite kind of mistranslation, the Aramaic conjunctive dᵉ rendered by a relative. Burney's Aramaic for ὃ γέγονεν ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν is dahᵃwa beh ḥayyin, 'Because in Him was life'. There is, however, no equivalent here of the Greek ἦν. To represent it in Aramaic by hᵃwa, as we are bound to do, unless some good reason can be given for its presence in the Greek and absence in the Aramaic, gives an Aramaic which can only be rendered, 'That which was in Him was life'. Schaeder accounted for the ἦν as an addition made by the Greek translator of the Aramaic once the initial mistake had been made of taking the dᵉ conjunction as a relative. The explanation fails to convince, though it is less drastic than the proposal of Bultmann to remove ὃ γέγονεν as a gloss. The Greek writer or translator of the Prologue clearly means 'That which was in Him was life'. But the original Aramaic may nevertheless have been 'Because in Him was (hᵃwa) life': γέγονεν and ἦν look very like alternative renderings of the Aramaic verb, combined, by the Greek writer, in an entirely new and individual interpretation.

    To be continued...
    Last edited by John Reece; 10-31-2014, 07:34 PM.

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  • John Reece
    replied
    Continued from the last post above ↑

    Continuation of THE ד CLAUSE section of 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. Relative dᵉ rendered by ὅτι

    (iii) Without Synoptic or Textual Attestation

    The most convincing of the remaining examples is John i. 16, ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ πληρώματος αὐτοῦ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἐλάβομεν, which Burney would render: 'Full of grace and truth was He of Whose fullness we have all received'; in an original Aramaic the dᵉ in this clause would be most naturally understood as a relative.

    To be continued...

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  • John Reece
    replied
    Continued from the last post above ↑

    (After skipping past 5 paragraph of citations in papyrus fragments, examples from the Fourth Gospel, and Acts:) Continuation of THE ד CLAUSE section of 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. Relative dᵉ rendered by ὅτι

    (ii) With Textual Variants

    Wilcox has argued for an Aramaic ד clause of purpose underlying Act xiii. 28b (D) ἵνα εἰς ἀναίρεσιν, viz. דלקטלא, 'in order to put to death', the infinitive being translated as a noun. The conjecture is a plausible and defensible one: the only objection which may be made is that this Aramaic infinitive of purpose seems to be very rare: it has not so far been attested in the Targumic Aramaic. The more regular and natural Aramaic original here would be בדיל לקטליה 'in order to put him to death', and this was perhaps the text translated by D.

    To be continued...

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  • John Reece
    replied
    Continued from the last post above ↑

    Continuation of THE ד CLAUSE section of 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. Relative dᵉ rendered by ὅτι

    (ii) With Textual Variants

    The text of John v. 39 in WH reads ἐραυνᾶτε τὰς γραφάς, ὅτι ὑμεῖς δοκεῖτε ἐν αὐταῖς ζωὴν αἰώνιον ἔχειν καὶ ἐκεῖναί εἰσιν αἱ μαρτυροῦσαι περὶ ἐμοῦ. One Old Latin manuscript, b, has a double rendering of the verse: its main clause agrees with the Greek (ἐραυνᾶτε, scrutate, is an imperative), but there are two versions of the subordinate clause: (1) quoniam putatis vis in ipsis vital aeteram habere, a literal equivalent of the Greek; (2) the second form alone appears in several other Old Latin texts (a, e, ff2, q) and in both forms in the Armenian versions.

    To be continued...

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  • John Reece
    replied
    Continued from the last post above ↑

    Continuation of THE ד CLAUSE section of 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. Relative dᵉ rendered by ὅτι

    (ii) With Textual Variants

    Matthew vi. 5, καὶ ὅταν προσεύχησθε, οὐκ ἔσεσθε ὡς οἱ ὑποκριταί, ὅτι φιλοῦσιν, is given in the Vulgate as 'non eritis sicut hypocritae qui amant . . . ' The Arabic Tatian also reads a relative, but no importance can be attached to it, for it may be no more than the translator's interpretation of the ambiguous Syriac dᵉ in the Peshiṭta. But it is worthy of note that a Semitic translator, confronted with dᵉ in this connection, does not hesitate to render it as a relative. Both readings are defensible.

    To be continued...

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  • John Reece
    replied
    Continued from the last post above ↑

    Continuation of THE ד CLAUSE section of 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. Relative dᵉ rendered by ὅτι

    (ii) With Textual Variants

    While an underlying dᵉ clause is clearly the explanation of Mark's Greek and the Old Latin variant, the former is again not necessarily to be regarded as a mistranslation and the latter the correct rendering. It is true that the Old Latin gives the more natural sense of the Aramaic. But the Marcan Greek is a possible, if artificial and forced, interpretation of the clause; the translator may have been influenced by the desire to give a Greek equivalent of every word found in his Aramaic.

    To be continued...

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  • John Reece
    replied
    Continued from the last post above ↑

    Continuation of THE ד CLAUSE section of 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. Relative dᵉ rendered by ὅτι

    (ii) With Textual Variants

    Moulton accepted Wellhausen's explanation of Mark iv. 41 (dialogue), τίς ἄρα οὗτός ἐστιν ὅτι καὶ ὁ ἄνεμος καὶ ἡ θάλασσα ὑπακούει αὐτῷ; (cf. Mt. viii. 27; Lk. viii. 25). Wellhausen had suggested that ὅτι had been employed as a translation of dᵉ to avoid an un-Greek ῷ . . . αὐτῷ. Both scholars failed to note the important variant reading of the Old Latin (ff2, i. q), 'cui et ventus et mare obaudiunt'. The Old Latin assumes that the Latin translator is himself here correcting and altering.

    To be continued...

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  • John Reece
    replied
    Continued from the last post above ↑

    Continuation of THE ד CLAUSE section of 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. Relative dᵉ rendered by ὅτι

    (i) With Synoptic Variants

    In Mark ix. 38 (dialogue) a clause ὃς οὐκ ἀκολουγεῖ ἡμῖν (μεθʾ ἡμῶν), omitted by Bא, is inserted by D (after δαιμόνια) along with A and a few other Uncials of the Byzantine text; the relative has also the support of the Old Latin. The Bא text has the clause in the form ὅτι οὐκ ἠκολούθει ἡμῖν, which differs only slightly from the parallel in Luke ix. 49, ὅτι οὐκ ἀκολουθεῖ μεθ᾿ ἡμῶν. The Synoptic variants, the Marcan relative and the Lucan conjunction, go back to the same Aramaic, dᵉla ʾathe bathrenan. Not only is the dᵉ ambiguous and capable of being rendered by either relative or conjunction, but the tense of the Aramaic verb may be represented by either a present or an imperfect. The observation supports the authenticity of the relative clause in Mark, and indeed it is difficult to account for that clause unless it is Marcan. It may be the true Marcan clause, representing the Greek rendering of the Aramaic of Mark's source; the clause in the Bא text of Mark may be a harmonization with Luke, this form of the clause being Luke's received translation of the ambiguous Aramaic. There is, however, no reason why both clauses should not be Marcan, and Luke's clause derive from no other source than a Greek Mark.

    To be continued...

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  • John Reece
    replied
    Continued from the last post above ↑

    Continuation of THE ד CLAUSE section of 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. Relative dᵉ rendered by ὅτι

    (i) With Synoptic Variants

    Burney pointed out that an ambiguous Aramaic dᵉ could account for the Synoptic variants ὅτι βλέπουσιν and οἱ βλέποντες in Matthew xiii. 16 and Luke x. 23 respectively. The Lucan version gives the more natural and probably original meaning of the saying in Aramaic. But Matthew need not be regarded as 'mistranslation'. It may represent a deliberate interpretation of the Aramaic designed to emphasize that it was because the disciples' eyes were open to see, as contrasted with the blindness of the crowds, that they merited the Lord's blessing.

    To be continued...
    Last edited by John Reece; 10-23-2014, 08:08 AM.

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