Dr. George M. Lamsa (1892-1975)
George M. Lamsa (August 5, 1892 – September 22, 1975) was an Assyrian author born in Mar Bishu in Eastern Turkey. As a native Aramaic speaker, he translated the Aramaic Peshitta (literally "straight, simple") Old and New Testaments into English, and published many other religious books.
Dr. Lamsa was the founder of the Aramaic Bible Society in 1943.
From the back cover of the book:
"This is the Bible translation from the language Jesus spoke. It is unique. Again and again the sacred writings have been enriched and made luminous by Dr. Lamsa 's faithful translation of the idioms from his own native tongue. Not a new Bible but a new translation of distinction."
The translator grew up in the Middle East speaking Aramaic, steeped in a culture with customs, manners, and language almost identical to those in the time of Jesus. These resources are all brought to bear on his life's work of translating the Aramaic Scriptures - called the Peshitta - into English.
Lamsa labored to eliminate errors that crept in through intermediary translations of the testaments into Latin and Greek. He corrected crucial mistranslations due to the confusion of letters and words by translators who approached the complexities of Aramaic grammar without the abilities of a native speaker. Thus Matthew 6:13, which the King James Version translates
is rendered in the Lamsa translation
Again, Matthew 19:24, which the King James Version translates as
Lamsa corrects to
The result is fresh, direct, and vigorous language; new clarity to confusing or contradictory passages; and a unique feel for idiom, image, and message fully in keeping with the spirit of the Old and New Testaments.
"The Peshitta is the only text through which we can ascertain the ancient Bible text," Lamsa asserts. Arguably, his translation of The Holy Bible is the most authoritative English rendering of the word and meaning of the original Aramaic text; as such it is of inestimable importance to readers of the Bible everywhere.