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February 07, 2007

Comments

Mary Kay

I thought "in" the earth only applied to hobbits.

Jay E. Adrian

And Dwarfs, er.. Dwarrows, er.. Dwarves.

Mary Kay

Jay, you're absolutely right. What was I thinking?

Shane

I don't understand myself where these Aramaic translations come from, or at least why they would impact Biblical translations. We're translating it from the inspired Greek, which is really what matters, isn't it? The Aramaic versions are merely the translations from Greek into Aramaic, unless I'm missing something. One reason I ask this question is because I have seen Aramaic translations like the one on that website which seem to (when represented in English) say something completely different from what I see when I open up a Bible. Are these Aramaic translations being done with a bias to some odd theology, or is that just the closest we can render it in Aramaic? If the latter is the case, wouldn't that mean that what Jesus actually said to His desciples was this rather foreign theology?

arthur

Shane, you're going to get into the whole "What language(s) did Jesus speak" issue with your question.

While yes, the Gospels were originally written in Greek (though there is a school of thought that Matthew may have been originally in Aramaic) when speaking to ordinary people in 1st century Judea and Galilee he would have addressed them in Aramaic the everyday language of the people. (I'm not going to tackle the did He speak Greek issue here, though my personal opinion is yes) The Sermon on the Mount and the Lord's Prayer being examples of this kind of discourse.

So the Gospel writers, either having heard the prayer personally or had it reported to them by someone who had, then translated Jesus' original Aramaic into the more cosmopolitan Greek.

Patrick Kinsale

Another question for you all:

Why does the Latin of the text switch from singular to plural for "heaven"? "Qui es in coelis" "In coelo et in terra"?

Slowboy

>>So the Gospel writers, either having heard the prayer personally or had it reported to them by someone who had, then translated Jesus' original Aramaic into the more cosmopolitan Greek<<

I'll repeat Shane's question in another fashion.

The original gospel, in Greek, Aramaic or Urdu would have been inspired by the Holy Spirit thus the words written down would be the "correct" wording for that language. Or, again, the Holy Spirit would handle the translation issues as the writer puts the words to paper. So extrapolating back to Aramaic, though important, is not necessarily "the" way to find an answer.

A side example of this would be the discourse of the Last Supper where, some say, Jesus would have been speaking Hebrew not Aramaic as it was a solemn occasion thus any backtracking to Aramaic would be inaccurate. Possible also that, as Jesus was teaching a formal prayer, that he stated the Our Father in Hebrew originally. Or even let me wildly speculate: Maybe he taught it to the apostles in Hebrew but taught it to Gentile listeners in Latin and the writer was mentally translating backwards from Latin into Aramaic and forward into Greek as he wrote. Anyway though the Holy Spirit covered any translation “errors” that would occur.

Latin: Heavens. No scholar I but I suspect that the word in Latin is plural. Even in English there’s a subtle difference between “the heavens” and heaven.

Shane

Oh, I understand the issue of what did Jesus speak. I suppose my more important question is, why is it whenever I see an Aramaic version of the Our Father with it's english equivalent alongside, the english equivalent is nothing like any verion of the Our Father I've ever seen before? For instance, look at the link Jimmy provided. We have "And leave us serene,
just as we also allowed others serenity," rather than 'forgive us our trespasses," etc.

Shane

Better yet, read the bottom of the page that Jimmy linked to. The author tries to give an explanation of why his version says 'serene' instead of trespasses or such, but in the end, he is appealing to his Aramaic version as though the Greek must be wrong; in other words, he is judging the Greek version on the basis of the Aramaic version! But didn't he just get the Aramaic version by translating it from the Greek in the first place? What's going on here?

Realist

IMHO, the Our Father is the greatest prayer of all time.

It is also one of the most discussed with respect to origins. For those interested in such commentary, see for example:

http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb027.html and

http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb120.html

Josh

@Patrick

The Latin is just following the Greek, which also alternates between the singular and plural of 'ouranos'.

@Shane

This particular version of the Aramaic Our Father was most likely derived from the Peshitta, an ancient Syriac translation of the Bible. Syriac is/was a dialect of Aramaic spoken in what is modern-day Turkey, and a tremendous amount of Christian literature has survived. The Peshitta is important in establishing the text of the New Testament, as it is a very early witness, perhaps as early as the second century. There is a very small group of scholars who argue for Aramaic primacy in the New Testament, and there are various Christian groups and sects that hold the Peshitta to be the original, and the Greek a translation.

Though Jesus may have spoken Greek, and I also think he would have spoken at least some, his native language would probably have been Galilean Aramaic, and as Jimmy pointed out, the "in/on" distinction was probably not even present in Aramaic. Semitic prepositions have a wide semantic range, and prepositions are often very difficult to translate anyway - especially in a text like the New Testament, where the Greek is strongly influenced by Semitic thought patterns and modes of expression.

I am not familiar with Galilean Aramaic, as I currently study Syriac and have not begun to study other Aramaic dialects, but the version Jimmy links to is instantly recognizable as the Lord's Prayer. I would take issue with the author's translation of certain terms, if he is indeed attempting to be literal.

Esau

IMHO, the Our Father is the greatest prayer of all time.

It is also one of the most discussed with respect to origins. For those interested in such commentary, see for example:

http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb027.html and

http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb120.html

Posted by: Realist | Feb 7, 2007 2:54:34 PM


For Our New Visitors, Kindly Ignore the 'Crossan' Crap that is represented by Realist

Esau

IMHO, the Our Father is the greatest prayer of all time.

It is also one of the most discussed with respect to origins. For those interested in such commentary, see for example:

http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb027.html and

http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb120.html

Posted by: Realist | Feb 7, 2007 2:54:34 PM


For Our New Visitors, Kindly Ignore the 'Crossan' Crap that is represented by Realist

Esau

Ugh!

Hate Double-Posts!

Some Day

Sed the the Mass no?
Or is it?
Got to give it thought and consultation.

StubbleSpark

I am overall very impressed with prepositions in English as they seem to carry a degree of exactitude that does not exist in the Asian languages I know.

But I would also like to point out that usage differs even among native English speakers. For example, in America we say "My house is ON Akin Street" whereas in England they say "My house is IN Akin Street."

Kooky, huh?

Realist

The Lord's Prayer
in the Ancient Aramaic language

http://www.v-a.com/bible/prayer.html
(with sound)

Galilean transliteration of the Lord's Prayer

Avvon d-bish-maiya, nith-qaddash shim-mukh.
Tih-teh mal-chootukh. Nih-weh çiw-yanukh:
ei-chana d'bish-maiya: ap b'ar-ah.
Haw lan lakh-ma d'soonqa-nan yoo-mana.
O'shwooq lan kho-bein:
ei-chana d'ap kh'nan shwiq-qan l'khaya-ween.
Oo'la te-ellan l'niss-yoona:
il-la paç-çan min beesha.
Mid-til de-di-lukh hai mal-choota
oo khai-la oo tush-bookh-ta
l'alam al-mein. Aa-meen.

Matthew 6:9-13

"Therefore, this is how you shall pray:
Our heavenly Father, hallowed is your name.
Your Kingdom is come. Your will is done,
As in heaven so also ON earth.
Give us the bread for our daily need.
And leave us serene,
just as we also allowed others serenity.
And do not pass us through trial,
except separate us from the evil one.
For yours is the Kingdom,
the Power and the Glory
To the end of the universe, of all the universes." Amen!

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

If I remember from my on again/off again attempts to teach myself Latin, the Latin preposition "in" is sometimes better translated "on." For instance, the sentence "The boy is on the horse" would be: "Puer in equuo est" (something like that). "In equuo" means "on (the) horse," not "in the horse" (which we might be tempted to think at first, based on English usage of the preposition "in").

If the same goes for Greek or Aramaic, then their equivalent of the phrase "in earth" would be "on earth" for us. Don't know if that helps at all....

In Jesu et Maria,

Bender

Perhaps the problem is not the use of "in," but the use of "earth" instead of "the world." We commonly say that we are "in the world" but not of the world -- we don't say "in the earth, but not of the earth."

The word "earth" is not from either Greek or Latin origin. If the Lord's Prayer used "the world" instead of "earth" (and I don't see any reason not to, from an English translation perspective) then the use of "in" would make perfect sense.

Augustine

Those Aramaic translations are nothing but speculations and the most glaring sign is that they include the final doxology that all know came into being thanks to a side note by a medieval copier.

FWIW, my mother tongue, Portuguese, has many fewer prepositions than English and the same preposition is used in both cases.

Rex Kochanski

Serenity? Perhaps Our Lord was a Joss Whedon science fiction movie fan? ;)

More seriously: is it plausible that there is no Aramaic equivalent to "debts" or "trespasses"? Many of Jesus' parables are focused on the importance of forgiveness, and make no kind of sense that I can see with respect to serenity. I mean, what about that fella who grabs his fellow-servant by the throat and demands: "Be serene!" ;)

Mark

I've had to unlearn the KJV English myself--I was taught "Our Father which art in Heaven ... in Earth as it is in Heaven ... as we forgive them that trespass against us...".

Some of the BCP/KVJ English is gorgeous, and I'm glad a lot of Catholics would like to get the liturgical English a bit less bland, but at the same time some of it was completely unnecessary/optional.

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

>>>Serenity? Perhaps Our Lord was a Joss Whedon science fiction movie fan? ;)

have no place
I can be
since I found Serenity
but you can't take the sky from me.... :-)

In Jesu et Maria,

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