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Aramaic Poetry.

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Paul Younanmoderator

 
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Aramaic Poetry.

Mar-26-2001 at 11:42 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Shlama Brethren,

I wanted to write briefly about one of the most important, yet least understood aspects of historical poetry in general.

In the West, we have been accustomed to thinking of poetry (as Akhi Andrew has stated), as almost Shakespearean in character.

Much of what the West has come to regard as beautiful poetry is modeled after the style and prose of Greek poetry.

When we come to try and understand Semitic poetry, there are some very distinct features which are quite alien to the Western ideal.

This is by no means meant to be a exhaustive treatment of this subject, since it really would take an entire book to explain it sufficiently.

But, I shall try my hardest within a few paragraphs to give a satisfactory background.

In Greek, there are some very special laws that have to be followed, and long or short syllables must follow each other, according to a very strict order, to form a verse.

In Semitic languages, on the other hand, the nature and number of syllables are not determined, and the poetic unit is *not* the verse, but the *strophe*, which requires, throughout the poem, a regular number of
*stiches*, grouped together according to a harmonious parallelism.

In other words, the Semitic poetry is concerned with a rhyming "thought", whereas in Western poetry, it is a question merely of rhyming the sound of the last syllable, and with equal dictions, etc.

A perfect example of this Semitic poetry is Zakharyah's canticle (3 strophes, with 7 stiches each). For a really fantastic Semitic poet who demonstrates this very clearly, check out St. Ephraem (4th century Assyrian deacon), his poems are all over the web, and he is the Aramaic poet "par
excellence".

If the poems of *any* of the Gospels had been composed (or thought) in Greek, they would have to depend on the laws of Greek poetry; but this is not the case at all. The Benedictus, the Magnificat, the Lord's Prayer, Zacharyah's Canticle, the Prologue of Yukhanan......none of these respect
the Greek laws of poetry; rather the opposite, they are constructed according to the rules of Semitic poetry.


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Iakov
 
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1. RE: Aramaic Poetry.

Mar-26-2001 at 03:23 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #0
 
Akhi Paul,

Of course Semtic Poetry. Maran Ishoa was a Galilean-Jew.

Shlama,
Iakov.

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2. RE: Aramaic Poetry.

Mar-26-2001 at 03:28 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #1
 
Then read it in Aramaic and forget about the translation }>

By the way.....which Greek is the original?


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3. RE: Aramaic Poetry.

Mar-26-2001 at 03:31 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #2
 
Akhi Paul,

Which PNT is original OS or Peshita?

Shlama,
Iakov.

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4. RE: Aramaic Poetry.

Mar-26-2001 at 03:35 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #3
 
Akhi Iakov,

The Peshitta.

The OS is represented by two torn-up manuscripts found in a Greek monastery, which don't even agree with each other. They're fakes. The result of a Byzantine attempt to create a standard text, based on Greek manuscripts, for it's Aramaic-speaking population.

They rejected it, and so do I.

Now, please answer my question - out of the thousands of variants in the various families of Greek texts, which one is the original reading?

Western, Alexandrian or Byzantine?

When you talk about Greek originality, I would like to know which one you consider to be the 'original.'


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Iakov
 
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5. RE: Aramaic Poetry.

Mar-26-2001 at 04:59 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #4
 
>Akhi Iakov,
>
>The Peshitta.
>
>The OS is represented by two
>torn-up manuscripts found in a
>Greek monastery, which don't even
>agree with each other.
>They're fakes. The result
>of a Byzantine attempt to
>create a standard text, based
>on Greek manuscripts, for it's
>Aramaic-speaking population.
>
>They rejected it, and so do
>I.

But doesn't Dr. Trimm argue for OS?
>
>Now, please answer my question -
>out of the thousands of
>variants in the various families
>of Greek texts, which one
>is the original reading?
>
>Western, Alexandrian or Byzantine?

Western as W & H established there are more A & B but extraneous errors are repetitious. That is to say more doesn't mean better it just means the error was duplicated over & OVER AGAIN. iN FACT aKHI pAUL i HAVE INFORMATION THAT SOME gREEK MSS FROM DSS (oops sorry about the caps, I have a cut on my pinky that is causing me trouble) actually verifying info on Christian MSS e.g. John. Can Dr. Trimm clarify or verify anything on this? I understand the info on DSS has not been as forthcoming as scholars would like.
>
>When you talk about Greek originality,
>I would like to know
>which one you consider to
>be the 'original.'

That is a valid question. You are correct the GNT was not as carefully passed on as I understand the Peshita was. In my reading it appears that extraordinary care was taken in the preservation of the text.

That is not to say that the GNT was passed on without regard to authenticity. However there were scribal & even editorial errors in the A & B. In fact some commentators may refer to OS in consideration of the GNT text.

My GNT of Choice is the Nestle-Aland 2nd Ed.
Shlama,
Iakov.

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6. RE: Aramaic Poetry.

Mar-26-2001 at 05:04 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #5
 
Shlama Akhi Iakov,

Yes, Dr. Trimm holds to the primacy of the OS for the Gospels, which is something the academics disagree with. He does agree with them, however, that the OS is the predecessor to the Peshitta.

My position is that, as our varying traditions state - the Peshitta is the original. All churches of the Middle East hold the Peshitta to be superior to the OS or any other version, Aramaic or Greek.

Dr. Trimm and I are both Aramaic primacists, but we disagree on the 'source' of the primacy. Dr. Trimm references the OS as well as the Peshitta, I only consider the Peshitta.

Thanks for the clarification on the Greek text.

I don't know much about DSS, as most people do not, unfortunately. Perhaps Dr. Trimm will be able to fill us in on anything he may know.

Keep a bandage on that!


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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

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