Re: Holy Spirit *Summing-up the Syriac Issue*

From: Mr. Timothy T. Dickens (
Date: Tue May 28 1996 - 21:39:05 EDT

Brother Tim: I feel the issue of the Language of a manuscript
has been stretched far enough. Please allow me to wrap it up with
one comment, before everyone on this Net looses interest in the

The vast majority of Christians are the readers of the Old and
New Testaments in ENGLISH. A text which has been translated
from Greek into Latin and then re-translated into English; or
translated from the modern (other than Koine) Greek.

How do *you* suppose, brother Tim, the use of an English
manuscript in any way help these hundreds of million readers?

PLEASE, let's dwell on other issues connected with the subject
of the "Holy Spirit", viz., "another paraclete",
"arrival in future and subject to the departure", "scholars who
have suggested differently from the traditional identification",

God Bless You

TTD: Brother Akbar,

        Thank you for you fine response! It seems that we have
started a great deal of controversy about Greek grammar and noun
gender among the individuals. I will send you
a copy of the discussion that a noteworthy individual, Karen Pitts
<> posted to me. I think you also
should have this information.

        Regarding the use of Syrian manuscripts (or any other
manuscripts) for understanding the Greek New Testament, I feel that
it is important for me to close with a few words on this subject,
and I hope you will understand why I feel as passionate as I do
regarding the use of manuscripts for the study of the Greek New

        As I stated earlier, Brother Akbar, the NT was written in
Greek, not Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Spanish, or Japanese; thus our
attention should be to try and understand the language the NT was
written in: Koine Greek. If we come across a NT manuscript,
written in ANOTHER language (Syriac, for example) that is helpful in
recovering what the Greek possibly said (since we have none of the
original Greek manuscripts), then we use those manuscripts
understanding the limitations of Syriac (or any other) language.

        This is precisely my point. The Syriac manuscript to which
you are referring is first of all, NOT older that certain
manuscripts for the gospel of John, or of the NT for that matter.
The Agnes/Bensley Syriac manuscript that you feel is so important is
from the 4th century; there are Greek manuscripts earlier than her
discovery that should be consulted first.

        The Greek manuscripts that comprise the NT ALL indicate that
the word 'Holy' was part of the original Greek manuscript tradition.
Why should I override the trustworthy Greek witnesses for a Syriac
manuscript that itself may seemingly be in question? I want you to
know Brother Akbar that I do not have any qualms mentioning the
various problems with biblical texts: historical, textual,
grammatical and ect, but again, I see no evidence to warrant that
the Greek of John 14:26 is in question. I must stand by the

        Finally before I end, I want you to think of the situation in
the following way. Imagine if I was propagating a certain type of
heretical teaching about Mohammed using the Qu'ran. As you begin to
understand my argument, you realize that I am basing my new and
profound teaching about Mohammed on a Spanish translation of the
Qu'ran. You call this to my attention, but to no effect. My mind
is steadily reading the Spanish translation, seeing it as equal to
the Arabic that was revealed to Mohammed. All what you say to me is
no avail, because all I want to see is the Spanish. Now I ask you
would my teaching about Mohammed be fairly based on the Qu'ran? Is
it really (academically) fair to say this or that about Mohammed,
based on a translation FROM Arabic? Personally, I do not think this
to be fair, and never would I do anything of the sort. If I need
information about Mohammed or anything else in the Qu'ran I will
either learn Arabic or ask someone who does know Arabic (like my
        I hope you will begin to see my point about using an Syriac
manuscript from the 4th century to figure out what John in the 1st.
century originally wrote.

With lots of warm Peace and Love,


Timothy T. Dickens
Smyrna, GA Home School

Simon Peter said to them, 'Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life,' Jesus said, 'I myself shall make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling male. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of Heave

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:43 EDT