Re: Camel or Rope?

David L. Moore (
Wed, 02 Oct 1996 13:47:19 -0400

Craig Abernethy wrote:
> Thanks to David Moore for his message on Lamsa. May I inquire, isn't it
> also a fact that the Peshitta is written in Syriac, that there is no such
> thing as an "Aramaic NT" in Palestinian Aramaic? Isn't there also a
> gigantic problem with supposing the existence of (an unattested) written
> Aramaic original for the gospels?
> --Craig Abernethy

With the caveat that a formally trained linguist could probably amplify
and refine the following, Syriac is one of the more important dialects of
Eastern Aramaic, others being Mandaean, Eastern Neo-Assyrian and the Aramaic of
the Babylonian Talmud. According to the Encylopedia Britannica, s.v. "Aramaic
language," East Aramaic is still spoken by a few small groups of Jacobite and
Nestorian Christian in the Middle East. Palestinian-Christian Aramaic belonged
to Western Aramaic. The only extant thing I can think of that is written in
the latter is the Targum of Pseudo Jonathan.

Eusebius reports that Matthew originally circulated in "Hebrew"
(supposedly Aramaic). I don't have the citation handy at the moment and must
finish this up quickly, but any good commentary on Matthew should mention it.
Or maybe someone on the list will supply the quote.

Regards to all,

David L. Moore                             Director
Miami, Florida, USA                        Department of Education                     Southeastern Spanish District            of the Assemblies of God