RE: Simon of Bethany

From: Perry L. Stepp (
Date: Tue May 05 1998 - 13:47:27 EDT

(hesitantly, not wanting to start a debate on this topic, yet feeling the
need to speak up lest someone get the wrong impression):

> From: Jack Kilmon []
> Bill Ross wrote:
> > Where does Aramaic come in here? Isn't this plain old Textus
> > Receptus koine Greek?

> These people were not named by their parents in plain old Textus
> ReceptusKoine Greek nor was it their native tongue. . The sources for the
> synopticists were in Aramaic and there are plenty of examples of Aramaic
> to Greek mistranslations in the NT.

I'm not interested in debating the merits of Jack's assertions--I don't have
time, and this isn't the forum. However, I must quibble with the scope of
his language.

Jack's view is certainly held by some, and resorted to in varying
degrees--Raymond Martin, George Howard, the late Matthew Black, et. al. have
pursued similar lines of thought--but the majority of NT scholars do not
appeal to this possibility with any regularity or depend on it greatly.
*Some* (certainly not all, most likely not the majority) of the sources of
the synoptics were in Aramaic. The majority consensus is that Jesus and
citizens of his milieu spoke Greek, Aramaic, and probably some
Hebrew--people debate the degree of fluency in each, respectively.

Similarly, most of the "plenty of" examples of Aramaic to Greek
mistranslations Jack refers to are still under debate. There is no majority
consensus in favor of Jack's position on most (one could justifiably say
"any") of these. For example: the "leper/jar maker" possibility is an
interesting avenue for inquiry, even a possible solution for some questions,
but it's certainly not "an assured result of NT scholarship."


Perry L. Stepp

Pastor, DeSoto Christian Church, DeSoto TX
Ph.D. Candidate in New Testament, Baylor University
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                         --Mark Twain, on Jane Austen


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