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Strictly Speaking.....

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Paul Younanmoderator

 
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Strictly Speaking.....

Jan-30-2002 at 09:46 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

...we have no way of knowing, for sure, that the scribe of the OS really meant "her purification" and NOT "his purification."

Allow me to explain. The manuscript known as the "Sinaitic Palimpset" is one of two manuscripts that are collectively known as the "Old Syriac" family. The other manuscript is called the "Cureton" - after the man who discovered it. The Sinaitic is labeled SYR(s) while the Cureton is labeled SYR(c). The Peshitta is labeled SYR(p). The reason the SYR(s) is called a "Palimpset", for those not familiar with that term, is because it's written over an already existing text, which in this case is not a biblical text. To conserve paper , the scribe simply "erased", or more accurately, "scratched" the old text off and wrote his text on top of it.

Now, Luke 2:22 is lost in SYR(c) - the verse is missing in that manuscript. SYR(s) is old - so old, in fact, that it does not have any accent marks above or below the final "Heh" letter which signifies gender in the 3rd-person Emphatic Possessive Pronoun suffix. If you reference the grammar on this website under "Possessive Pronouns" - you'll notice on Table 1 that the possesive suffix for 3rd-person does not distinguish between the masculine and the feminine. Both suffixes are simply a h . The pronunciation when read, however, was different.

In later manuscripts - a dot was used in addition to that final "Heh" letter to distinguish between masculine and feminine. But SYR(s) does not contain that accent mark.

OK - now that I've filled in the background - let me just say that there is no linguistic basis for presuming that the SYR(s) scribe did not, in fact, mean "the days of his purification".

I recently emailed a friend and colleague of mine, Dr. George Kiraz, PhD., who also happens to be a native speaker. His opinion on this matter is as follows - I've included his comments from his email below:

SYR(s): has "his (not her) purification". SYR(p) has "their purification" where their is a pronominal suffix (i.e., d-tadkhith-hun).

SYR(s) has "t-tadkhit-H". The suffix H of course can be his or her; there is not dot because SYR(s) is a very old manuscript, and dots were not used on top of it to indicated "his" or "her". The context of the verse is clear; it is talking about the baby Jesus.

SYR(c) is lost in this verse, so we don't know what it has.

I think it is "his".

George A. Kiraz, Ph.D.
Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute
http://www.BethMardutho.org

I know this just throws a monkey-wrench into this very heated debate - but James, your presumption that SYR(s) reads "her purification" is circumstantial at best and cannot be proven - it could just as well read "his purification" - linguistically speaking, of course.

It could, strictly linguistically speaking, go either way.

In my opinion, the scribe responsible for the SYR(s), being the sloppy fella he was anyway (remember Yukhanan 16:13 & Mattai's 3 extra generations?), thought that since verse 21 was speaking of the infant's period of purification leading to the circumcision, he thought he was correcting the "their days of purification" by saying "the days of his purification."

James - your reading of the SYR(s) is not the only way to read it.

Fk^rwbw 0ml4

Peshitta.org

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1. RE: Strictly Speaking.....

Jan-30-2002 at 12:14 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #0
 

With all due respect of Kiraz he does not translate the text in light of a knowledge of Torah.

Also the marks you speak of on later maunscripts were clearly NOT in the original texts as we all agree. Luke did not write any such marks.

Now despite a lot of large red fonts from the oposition I have clearly shown the follwoing facts:

1. When a mother gives birth to a male child she undergoes seven "days of her seperation" (niddah) followed by 33 "days of her purification.

2. The newborn is only unclean during her seven days of seperation and NOT (as a rule) during her 33 days of purification.

3. Only during her seven "days of seperation" does the woman tranfer her uncleanness to others, not during her "days of purification."

4. An unclean male is not "in days of purification" just because he is unclean.
(the same is true of a female. For exa,ple during the first seven days the woman is unclean but she is "in days of seperation" and NOT in "days of purification". The same is true when she minstrates, she is in seperation, not days of purification. This establishes that "days of purification" does not simply refer to a time of uncleanness in general.

5. A male in its first seven days, or a male who has otherwise been exposed to a woman in her "days of seperation" IS unclean but is NOT in "days of purifictaion".

6. Therefore the reading "days of their purification" in Luke 2:22 is unexpected as David Stern writes in his Jewish New Testament Commentary:

Their purification. Only Miriam was ritually impure, so the plural is unexpected.

Other commentators have noticed this as a difficult passage.

Now my opponants have accused me of making up this problem and insist that it does not exist. Yet as I have shown it is well known and documented by others before me as a problem in the text. I did NOT make it up.

One person speculated that Luke was writing history in his own words and was not using this phrase as Moses had. However Luke 2:22 specifies that the "days of ... purification" were "ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF MOSES" so we can safely consult the Torah to understand the usage of the term.

In the face of undeniable facts my oponants have resorted to attacking my flank. They have attempted to discredit my argument by quoting statements that I made apart from the context in which they were made and then attempted to show that the statement was not true.

The first of these occurred when someone posted that the "days of their purification" might refer to the infant as well since he was going to the Temple for the redemption of the firstborn ritual. I pointed out that the firstborn is not being redeemed because he was unclean. That the firstborn is not unclean (at least not at that point in time) he is KODESH (holy; Temple property) and is being purchased back from the Temple. The phase "the firstborn is not unclean" was isolated from its context (I have added a staement in () to accent this point) and quoted by itself as if I was stating a unversal truth about the firstborn's entire life. It was then pointed out that the firstborn is unclean during his first seven days (as any male newborn is) and that my statement was false. My statem,ent however only refered to the "days of purification" and the purpose of the Temple ritual. At no point during the 33 "days of purification" (which start on the 8th day of the child's life) is the child, as a rule, unclean. (remember his mother does not tranfer uncleanness during days of purification, only during days of seperation) neither is he undergoing a purification ritual at the Temple.

The second case in which I was quoted out of context in this way was when my oponants seemed to be mistakenly taking the phrase "days of purification" as if it was a term referring to any kind of ritual uncleaness and specificly to the ritual uncleanness undergone when one is exposed to the woman while she is in her "days of seperation". In my response I tried to make the point that this was not true and said that a man who is unclean is not in "days of purification." This is a true statement but was quoted as if I had said "a man who is unclean is NEVER in days of purification". I was imply making the point that the two things "uncleanness" and "days of purification" are not the same thing and uncleaness does not always precipitate "days of purification". In fact during her her first seven days the woman after childbirth is unclean but she is NOT in "days of purification" she is in fact in "days of seperation". The fact is that a person who is unclean MAY be in "days of seperation" or MAY be in "days of purification" or MAY not be in EITHER of those conditions. Specificly in context of our disussion a man (or woman) exposed to a woman who is in her "days of seperation" DOES become unclean but is NOT in "days of purification" and a newborn male is unclean for the first seven days but is also NOT in "days of purification". Now there are OTHER cases (which have nothing to do with the context of this discussion) in which a man CAN be in "days of purification" (for example if he had just been cured from Leperusy). But this is irrelevant to our discussion.

So despite a lot of large red fonts from the oposition the facts are clear:

Luke states that the "days of ...purification" were "according to the Law of Moses" and when we consult the "Law of Moses" we see that Miriam would have been completing what the Torah callse quote: "days of HER purificatin" and since the child and father would NOT be in "days of purification" even if they had become unclean through contact with Miriam in her days of seperation, we find that Stern is correct and that the reading "days of THEIR purification" is "unexpected" since only Miriam would be in "days of purification".

All of this leaves us with the undeniable fact that the Old Syriac which can be read "days of his purification" or "days of her purification" should be read, as Luke himself instructs us "according to the Law of Moses", as "days of HER purification" as we also read in the Torah (Lev. 12:4).

All of this also leaves us with the undeniable fact that, again if we follow Luke and read this "according to the Law of Moses", that the Old Syriac reading "days of HER purification" is accorate according to the Law of Moses (Lev. 12:4) while "days of their purification" (Peshitta and Greek) is NOT.

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2. RE: Strictly Speaking.....

Jan-30-2002 at 12:49 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #1
 
Shlama Akhi James,

We are not going to agree on this at all. To bring up my objections to your claim would be useless since it's not going to convince you. As always, the people on the forum are weighing the evidence and so far not a single one has bought your argument - not even Dr. (real) George Kiraz.

My point in posting this information was so that people here would also realize that SYR(s) could read either "her" or "his." I don't mean to hash all this up again.

For the record - I don't know which way the scribe meant it. I do know one thing for certain - we'll never know for certain.

I think the fatal error (among many) you are making with this is that you're automatically assuming that the scribe of the SYR(s) didn't change this to mean "his."

In other words, you are using as your argument "Luke would not have written 'his'" and then automatically ascribing the same intelligence to the scribe of the SYR(s).

I've already demonstrated where the scribe of the SYR(s) is a bumbling idiot (Mattai's geneaological record & Yukhanan 16:13.) Everyone saw it and everyone agreed with me that the scribe of the SYR(s) is a bumbling idiot.

Why do you trust him here? Or is it that you pick and choose your preferred readings from a variety of sources ?

James - be completely honest - and this is not an attack on your work - but I trust you'll be completely honest in your answer to the following question (no large red font):

There is not one single manuscript that reads the way the HRV does, is there? Just like there is not a single manuscript that reads the way the standardized Greek text reads - there is not ONE manuscript you can point to that reads the way your HRV does.

What you do is pick and choose. Just like the Greeks. That's your specialty. That way, you can make the scriptures say anything you want them to - especially in light of your agenda.

Your work is a "one-man show" that's not subject to scientific peer review. No one (not even someone who speaks the language) can question your conclusions. It should not be called "Hebraic Roots Version" - it should be called "The Gospel according to James."

Think about it this way: (We real Semites prefer to drive home a point with parables)

Your HRV version is like a chicken mcnugget from mcdonalds - figuratively speaking of course. It's not the real thing. It's not a whole breast of chicken. It could have come from hundreds of chickens for all we know. No hen ever walked around with 2 mcnuggets hanging off of her.

That what you (and the Greek scholars) do. You pick and choose what you like and toss away what you don't like. It all becomes subjective - which is very dangerous in the hands of a non-speaker such as yourself who seems so inexperienced and uneducated in the very basics of the Aramaic language.

And just who gave you the credentials and authority to do such things is left up to the reader to figure out. The result of this one-man show is a nice, fat, golden-brown chicken mcnugget.

For me however - I prefer a whole chicken - no processed stuff from multiple sources, thanks.

Fk^rwbw 0ml4

Peshitta.org

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3. RE: Strictly Speaking.....

Jan-30-2002 at 01:22 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #2
 

Paul,

If your asking if the HRV is based on an eccelectic text, yes that is the case.

My approach is this: The autograph's are lost. We have a number of witnesses as to what the Autographs's said. Among these are the DuTille, Shem Tob and Munster Hebrew texts of Matthew, the two Old Syriac Aramaic texts (which have many variants) the Peshitta NT, Crawford Revelation and yes, even the major Greek NT text types.

I propose an approcah of NT Textual Criticism that acknowledges the Hebraic-Aramaic origin of the NT books. Such an approach does NOT assume that any one of these witnesses reads exactly as the autograph did, but they all present evidence to how the autograph read, which must be weighed.

My original plan was to write a book on textual criticism, then produce a critical edition with a textual commentary (which explores varuious readings and explores their virtues). Then procu ce a translation. This process would take decades. I found that MANY people did not want to wait that long, in fact many older people might not live that long, to get their first layman's view of my work. Now I STILL intend to follow through with that process if I live long enough.

I have some other important expository works I plan to publish first such as commentaries.

However I may get the Textual Criticism book out in the near future and include expainations for why I personally weight each of the witnesses as I do.

In the meantime we do have one united cause: Killing the Greek dragon!

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4. RE: Strictly Speaking.....

Jan-30-2002 at 01:41 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

In reply to message #3
 
Shlama Akhi James,

Yes - we do have one common objective - to demonstrate the non-Greek origin of the New Testament.

While your approach has its limited advantages - realize that it fundamentally and completely differs from my own and that of the hundreds of millions of believers who came before me over the centuries who relied on only the Peshitta.

I realize that you don't think the Peshitta is an autograph. I don't - either. If it was, this would be a slam-dunk case and the Aramaic scriptures would be heralded from Rome to Mozambique and everywhere else in the world. If we found one with DNA that linked it to the authors the story would be over.

But unfortunately, it's not.

I know what you believe - you believe that the original scriptures are lost. Not just the manuscripts themselves - no. You believe that the authentic reading has been lost. We don't have God's Word with us anymore - at least one that's not altered. Your goal is to reconstruct and you think that's the best approach. You think you can do this safely without altering the Word of God.

I don't. My tradition doesn't. And I'll be frank with you - I trust my tradition and my Patriarch and my people's history over you in a heartbeat. Over you and all the Greek scholars who say that the Aramaic of the Peshitta isn't the original.

I know some may call that having blinders on. Believe me - I don't have blinders on. My conclusion is not just based on tradition - I actually can see it in the text and I can prove it. To us it is the truth and we don't see any reason to question it. Luke 2:22 certainly doesn't come close to giving me shivers.

Matthew's geneaology for instance. I believe one day the definitive proof will be found - and the mistake could have only happened one way. And the Peshitta HAS to be, if not an autograph - the closest thing we have to an autograph. And it's supported by centuries of tradition and hundreds of manuscripts that do not differ in reading.

I don't agree with a mix-and-match approach. We cannot effectively work together if you do. It fundamentally conflicts with everything I believe.

But that doesn't mean that every once in a while our thoughts can't converge - even in a friendly manner.

In the meantime - we can do this with the thorn of the geneaological record. Please respond to my post.

Fk^rwbw 0ml4

Peshitta.org

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