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Question from Guestbook.....

Jul-19-2001 at 09:46 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

This is more of a question: Gospel translations make Jesus say: "Talitha Kumi" My question is, was the vocalization of this phrase recopied from the Greek? If so, why doesn't Jesus in his Western Aramaic dialect say "Talitho Kumi"? Is this a sign that the Greek text may have been translated from an Eastern Aramaic dialect? Is the word "talitha" pronounced with the "o" in Galilean Aramaic or only in the Western pronounciation of Eastern Aramaic? Don't mean to confuse you.

No problem - it's a very good question.

There is much confusion regarding this "Western" vs. "Eastern" Aramaic issue. The fact is, the Western vocalizations did not emerge until after the Christological controversies of the 5th century A.D., when the two communities separated and an alternate Western vocalization of the "Alap" emerged.

Prior to this, the "Alap" was always pronounced as an "A." The modern Eastern dialects more accurately preserve this original pronunciation.

For more information and confirmation that the Eastern vocalization is the original - see "A Bird's Eye View of the Syriac Language and Literature" (Courtesy of Gouden Hoorn publication, Vol. 5, Issue 1 - Summer 1997) by Dr. Edip Aydin - himself a speaker of Western Aramaic/Syriac.

Here is a quote from his article:

"EASTERN AND WESTERN PRONUNCIATION

Written Syriac today is almost the same in morphology as the classical Syriac of the fourth century. While the language remained the same, there emerged two dialectical pronunciations of Syriac, usually known as the Eastern and the Western. The Eastern, which is more archaic, is used by the members of the Church of the East. The Western on the other hand, is mainly used by Syrian Orthodox and the Maronites. A clear difference between the Eastern and the Western consists in the pronunciation of original a: the Eastern pronunciation preserves it (e.g. bayta 'house'), while the Western alters it to o (bayto)."

Hope this helps!

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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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