[b-greek] Re: Original NT in Greek?

From: Dave Washburn (dwashbur@nyx.net)
Date: Wed Apr 25 2001 - 15:50:26 EDT

> I will speak about Matthew 16 and the Rock imagery.
> > >
> > >Which verses? Mark 16 is unfinished or lost from 16:9 on and appended
> > >with a non-Markan ending (several versions). John 21 is also an appendix
> > >not part of the original.
> > >
> > >Jack
> > >
> > The specific verses and words weren't mentioned, that is what I was
> > asking about (I think you've confused Matthew and Mark here). From what
> > Randall Buth wrote it seems it's about the words 'love' and 'rock', but
> > he also says this WOULD have been possible in Hebrew or Aramaic. Can
> > someone clearly explain exactly what the word-play is and why it 'may'
> > only be possible in Greek?
> Yes, I had Mark on the brain from doing a study of the GoT and the Markan
> parallels.
> Matthew 16:18
> And I also to you say that you are PETER and on this
> I will build my assembly
> The Greek "word play" (something I am not so sure about) is between the
> nickname
> PETROS (stone) and the PETRA (ROCK).

Yes. This has been recognized for centuries.

> In Aramaic, it would have been something like:
> attah KEFA hu we'al KEFA den ebnyeh qehali
> you are a ROCK and on this ROCK I will BUILD (from stone) my assembly
> The word for "build" is from EBEN (build as in a mason) and its root is BANA
> (stone).
> This is, IMO, the intended word play. "You are a rock and on this rock I
> will build an assembly out of ROCK"

I don't see how this is a word play. BANA in both languages
simply means "build," not necessarily specifically out of stone. It's
used in Gen 11:4 of building the Babel tower, where we are told
they made mud bricks because there wasn't any stone. So I don't
see a word play between KEFA and BANA here. A word play of
the type under discussion involves creative use of similar-sounding
words, something that doesn't happen in the suggested
Hebrew/Aramaic rendering of this statement.

> This particular word play works in both Aramaic AND Hebrew (ebeneh eth
> odathi) but
> NOT in Greek. The putative GREEK word play is between PETROS and PETRA
> but my opinion is this is an artifact of difficult translation from Semitic
> to Greek with
> the use of a masculine suffix.

I don't follow you here. What masculine suffix? The two are both
common Greek terms, the one meaning a stone, the other a
boulder (though I agree that by NT times the lines may have been
blurred, as happened with a lot of words).

> The Semitic word play makes a lot more sense to me, particularly when I
> think of
> an Aramaic parallel in the Odes of Solomon (22:12):

I suppose it's everyone's prerogative to say "this makes more
sense to me," so I'll exercise my own and say that the Greek pun
makes much more sense to me than a purported word play
between KEFA and BANA.

> "And the foundation of everything is thy ROCK and upon it thou hast built
> thy kingdom......."
> I am convinced..along with many scholars, that Jesus' native tongue was
> Aramaic

I agree. But we also know Greek was the trade language of the
Roman Empire, Judea and Galilee included.

> but Aramaic or Hebrew, the Semitic construction makes more sense than the
> Greek. This does not mean that Matthew was autographed in Aramaic or Hebrew
> and the Greek is a translation. It merely means that the Greek of Yeshuine
> sayings material
> is translational from his original Semitic voice. Quite frankly, I do not
> think the Matthean
> scribe was competent in either Aramaic or Hebrew.

I tend to disagree about the source. If, as seems likely, most
tradesmen were conversant in both languages, I see no reason that
Jesus couldn't have switched from one to the other to suit his own
purposes. We have direct examples of his speaking Aramaic in
the gospels, so I hardly think there's a question as to whether he
spoke Aramaic. The question revolves around Greek and whether
he and his followers were bilingual.

Dave Washburn
"You just keep thinking, Butch. That's what you're good at."

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