Aramaic and the Sayings of Jesus

Once again, this came only to me:
David John Marotta, Medical Center Computing, Stacey Hall
Univ of Virginia (804) 982-3718 wrk INTERNET: djm5g@virginia.edu
Box 512 Med Cntr (804) 924-5261 msg   BITNET: djm5g@virginia
C'ville VA 22908 (804) 296-7209 fax   IBM US: usuvarg8
*** Forwarding note from SMTP    --DMT03    12/15/93 14:44 ***
Received: from virginia.edu by DMT03.mcc.Virginia.EDU (IBM VM SMTP V2R2)
   with TCP; Wed, 15 Dec 93 14:44:00 EDT
Received: from rata.vuw.ac.nz by uvaarpa.virginia.edu id aa24478;
          15 Dec 93 14:44 EST
Received: from matai.vuw.ac.nz by rata.vuw.ac.nz with SMTP id AA24532
  (5.65c/IDA-1.4.4 for <NT-GREEK-REQUEST@VIRGINIA.EDU>); Thu, 16 Dec 1993
08:43:55 +1300
Received: by matai.vuw.ac.nz (MX V3.3 VAX) id 18641; Thu, 16 Dec 1993 08:43:52
Sender: Jeff.Simmonds@vuw.ac.nz
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1993 08:43:52 +1300
From: Jeff.Simmonds@vuw.ac.nz
To: NT-GREEK-REQUEST@virginia.edu
Message-Id: <00977178.258D0B16.18641@matai.vuw.ac.nz>
Subject: Aramaic and the Sayings of Jesus

     I am interested in the study of Aramaic as a
background for the sayings of Jesus.
     I have one question which I hope some Aramaic
scholar may be able to answer. As far as I can
see, there is no future tense in Aramaic, only
an imperfect. This would suggest that sayings in
Greek which are in the future tense were originally
spoken by Jesus in the imperfect tense, if one makes
the assumption that Aramaic was his language.
     If this is so, can we be sure that Jesus was
speaking of a future event, given that the imperfect
tense can refer to present, incompleted action, and
to past events which show continued and incompleted
     For instance, Jesus speaks of the Son of Man
who WILL suffer at the hands of the Pharisees and
WILL be handed over to the Gentiles. But what would
this saying be like in Aramaic?
     Is it possible that this saying may have meant
that the Son of Man IS suffering at the hands of the
Pharisees, or even WAS suffering (and still continues
to suffer)?
     I am not interested in a THEOLOGICAL answer (that
Jesus, as the Son of Man was not suffering when he
made the statement), but an answer based on
the grammar of the language.
     Any comments?

     Jeff Simmonds
     Dept Religious Studies
     Victoria University of Wellington