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Luke 18:11

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Luke 18:11

Jun-12-2001 at 01:00 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Shlama Akhay,

This example is interesting in that it contains a Semiticism that is hard to understand in Indo-European languages like Greek. Part of the evidence shown in this post will demonstrate how scribes went to great lengths in some of the Greek manuscripts to rearrange the word order contained in this verse to make it more 'suitable' Greek.

Here is the verse in the Peshitta:

0wh M0q 04yrp whw (And that Pharisee standing was..)
h4pnl Yhwnyb (with himself..)
0wh fcm Nylhw (and he would pray this way..)

In the Greek text the words "by himself" are found right after "standing" (which is translated "stood and") and right before "these things", just as in the Aramaic and how Aramaic would be spoken.

In English it would be "And that Pharisee stood with himself and started praying these things"!!

This is very difficult to understand. In English versions, we usually see this translated as "And that Pharisee stood and started praying these things with himself."

But that is not the word order of the original Aramaic, which idiomatically means "he was alone."

It is clear that Luke originally wrote this the correct way and preserved the idiom, whereas some Greek copyists changed it so that it would make sense in Greek. Because of the difficulty in understanding the phrase, they either moved "with himself" next to "started praying", omitted the words, changed them to "by himself," or omitted "these things."

The Greek manuscripts which preserve the original idiom, even at the expense of the Greek, are A, K, W, X, Delta, Pi, f13, 28, 33, 565, 700, 1010.

The ones that altered it are P75, B, L, T, Theta, Psi, f1, 892, 1241.

We always hear that Luke's Greek is the best in the NT - if so, why would he preserve such a barbaric turn of phrase as this by translating it into literal Greek rather than conform it to usages of the Greek language?

Fk^rwbw 0ml4

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1. RE: Luke 18:11

Jun-14-2001 at 10:23 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #0
Akhi Paul,

>Here is the verse in the
>0wh M0q 04yrp
(And that Pharisee standing
>h4pnl Yhwnyb
>(with himself..)
>0wh fcm Nylhw
>(and he would pray this
>In the Greek text the words
>"by himself" are found right
>after "standing" (which is translated
>"stood and") and right before
>"these things", just as in
>the Aramaic and how Aramaic
>would be spoken.
>In English it would be "And
>that Pharisee stood with himself
>and started praying these things"!!
>It is clear that Luke originally
>wrote this the correct way
>and preserved the idiom, whereas
>some Greek copyists changed it
>so that it would make
>sense in Greek. Because
>of the difficulty in understanding
>the phrase, they either moved
>"with himself" next to "started
>praying", omitted the words, changed
>them to "by himself," or
>omitted "these things."

Word order as we know makes little difference in Gr. Infact the predicate can precede the subject for emphasis.

By the way if we are looking for a smooth Eng translation of the GNT, consider...

'The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed this prayer;'
It is clear in all mss regardless of word order that 'pros eauton' or even 'kath eauton'(as some corrupt mss show) is the object of standing not prayed. As a matter of fact one would think the GNT would, if following PNT, leave the'tauta' (these things) last but it comes before 'pray'.

>We always hear that Luke's Greek
>is the best in the
>NT - if so, why
>would he preserve such a
>barbaric turn of phrase as
>this by translating it into
>literal Greek rather than conform
>it to usages of the
>Greek language?

In fact a point should be made about retaining the idiom of 'with himself' using the word 'naphsha'. If it were a simple translation one would expect to see 'psukhe' somewhere in the phrase.


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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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