Q&A: Aramaic Bible Better?

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Question: Since Christ spoke Aramaic, isn't Lamsa's Bible translated from Aramaic better?

Answer: George Lamsa wrote the Lamsa Bible in the 1940s based upon, he claimed, an Aramaic text of the scriptures the Peshitta. His approach offered a strong appeal, for he contended that Christians could understand Christ's teachings much better from "His own language," rather than from Greek texts.

That presumes that Christ did not know Greek and that there is an authentic Aramaic text. But Christ very likely spoke Greek for the purpose of business if not routinely, having grown up in "Galilee of the Gentiles." The Syro-Phoenician woman would have spoken Greek to Him (Mark 7:26). He took a preaching tour through the Greek area of Decapolis and likely spoke Greek there. The Jews of Jerusalem did not doubt that He spoke Greek (John 7:35). And we find that Greeks came to Him to ask questions (John 12:20-23), indicating again that He likely spoke Greek. That's not to say Christ did not speak Aramaic, for He certainly did. However, it challenges Lamsa's implication that we're disadvantaged by using Greek texts.

It would be wonderful to have an Aramaic text to compare with the Greek, but it has never been established that an authentic text exists. Lamsa failed to produce any Aramaic text for other scholars to inspect. It is generally assumed that his claim to have translated the Scriptures from an Aramaic text is fraudulent. One authority goes so far as to say that Lamsa was simply out to make money. Kubo and Specht's So Many Versions? 20th Century English Versions of the Bible comments: "George M. Lamsa's translation purports to be produced from original Aramaic services.' Lamsa's original claims for his work are generally questioned. The Peshitta is not to be identified with the original Aramaic'" (The Bibletexts Online Bible Commentary, www.bibletexts.com). UN

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  • nowruleny1

    I don’t know exactly where to ask this question but I would like to know - are black peoples if at all Israelites or gentiles - don’t know if I spelled it right either

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