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

From: Jack Kilmon (jkilmon@historian.net)
Date: Wed Apr 25 2001 - 20:03:58 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave Washburn" <dwashbur@nyx.net>
To: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek@franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2001 12:50 PM
Subject: [b-greek] Re: Original NT in Greek?

> Jack,
> > I will speak about Matthew 16 and the Rock imagery.
> >
> > > >
> > > >Which verses? Mark 16 is unfinished or lost from 16:9 on and
> > > >with a non-Markan ending (several versions). John 21 is also an
> > > >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
> > > Randall Buth wrote it seems it's about the words 'love' and 'rock',
> > > 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
> > parallels.
> >
> > Matthew 16:18
> >
> > And I also to you say that you are PETER and on this
> > ROCK
> > 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
> > (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.

In this case, the Aramaic ebnyeh, from )bn, is related to the Hebrew
"stone" and to become petrified...see Deut. 28:63. Paronomasia is
but one form of word play, as is assonance, alliteration, rhyme...all
effectively used in poetic Aramaic.

> > 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
> > 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).

Mark writes that Jesus surnamed Simon Peter. If Matthew is embellishing
or filling in from another oral tradition, he is writing that "your NAME is
(Petros) and upon this rock (petra)....etc. I think the original discourse
have been more like John 1:42 where Petros is Cephas. In other words, there
was no original word play but I still see a correspondence between Kefa
and Ebnyeh.

> > 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.

No, between k)f) and )bnyh

> > "And the foundation of everything is thy ROCK and upon it thou hast
> > 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.

Absolutely, and Jesus wasn't a dummy. I am sure he knew Greek.

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

Some of them had to be..but isn't irrelevent if he delivered this "renaming"
in Aramaic (as John suggests) rather than Greek?


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