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Peshitta Tanakh question
Shlama all--

Here's something I find curious...

How is it the Peshitta Tanakh version of Genesis 1:1 transliterates the direct object pointer ET (spelling it phonetically as yodh-taw, as opposed to alap-taw)???

I mean, it is obvious to all here that the Peshitta Tanakh is a translation from Hebrew, but why render the direct object pointer when it is not even extant to their language? As far as I am aware--correct me if I am wrong--the direct object pointer is unique to Hebrew.

I think also the Peshitta Tanakh is an incredibly underestimated biblical study tool that can, in many cases, reinforce the Masoretic Text since we know the former is about 2000 years old as opposed to the MT being standardized in the Middle Ages.

What do you all think?

Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth
Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth
Shlama Akhi Andrew,

We believers are reluctantly at odds with the Masoretic text for a number of reasons. Primarily being that by vowel-pointing the text, verses like Tehillim 110:1 can change dramatically and thus nullify Mattityahu 22:44 (Which it does, in the Masoretic text; regarding adonee and adonai.). Vowel-pointing was something the Masorites added 5 to 600 years after the time of Yeshua. Anti-Missionary Rabbi Tovia Singer uses this argument supposing that his readers know nothing about Hebrew. I must admit though, at first he got me off guard since I do not know much about Hebrew.

Secondly, because all of the other available Tanakh texts (Including the Dead Sea Scrolls) contradict the Masoretic text in the reading of numerous verses such as "Pierced" in Tehillim 22. Which is ironically, another argument from Tovia which the answer seeps deeper than the objection itself.

I imagine most people don't want to go so far as to say that non-believing Jews changed the bible; but the verses are too well placed. I don't buy it. The evidence from older manuscripts speak for themselves.
Akhi Rob,

I think we need to define our terms a bit here. First of all, I can invalidate an argument by Tovia Singer FROM the Masoretic Text. The MT versions of Isaiah 11:1-2, 53:1-12 and Zechariah 12:10 are more than adequate to this purpose. It is not the MT then that I am at odds with since it is a standardization of several prominent ancient Hebraic strands that are still visible. The LXX, Aquila's translation, Peshitta Tanakh, Dead Sea Scrolls and Samaritan Pentateuch are all ostensibly jewish sources, as is the Hebrew variant behind the LXX.

In terms though of fair scholarship, even the Jewish Publication Society says:

"If a definitive text of the Hebrew Bible does not exist, the best a publisher can do is produce a defensible text that is sufficiently accurate for the edition's intended purpose."

JPS 1999 Hebrew-English Tanakh, p. xi

If we look at the MT, we can see elipses done by the JPS editors for example, when they admit that Cain's statement (Come let us go out into the field) is preserved in the LXX (and most likely therefore the hebrew variant behind it) but is lacking in the MT proper, they know clearly it cannot be the end all and be all.

With those facts in mind then, what Tovia Singer said in terms of using the MT as if it were more ancient an authority en toto than it is, must be viewed as both spurious and laughable on its face. I seriously doubt that any serious rabbinnic scholar would endore such a blanket and simplistic litmus test. Therefore, this kind of recklessness has nothing to do with the MT as it is, it is instead just bad, prejudiced assumptions.

What I was addressing however was another area entirely. My point is that in the ancient record, in certain places, we get snipets that validate parts of the MT. The Nash Papyrus, ca. 200 BCE, contains a verbatim rendering of the kohenim blessing of Bemidbar 6:25. The DSS version of Isaiah is almost identical to MT Isaiah. But, as you point out, there are differences too. However, bear in mind that tampering like this is surely not limited to a few zealous countermissionaries! We see Christian translators also distort Tanakh text, and even their own NT, like KJV editors going from Greek sources adding italicized words to Colossians 2:16-17, or translating "dogma" as "Torah/law" in Ephesians 2:14. In other cases, Aramaic NAMUSA is misunderstood as "Torah" when it clearly means man-made Pharisaic traditions. We do not then invalidate the NT corpus based on the malfaeasance of a few, neither should we do so with the MT.

Again, in my view, legitamate scholarship without a religious extremist agenda is aware of these issues, and knows when to look at the main text and when it is proper to weigh other ancient testimonies. I also think that problems like this guaranteed that, when my people got another chance to write sacred writings in their Semitic tongue, they were determined to get it aiuthoritatively correct that time, the first time, and the result is our beloved Peshitta text.

Finally, and again without locking in 100% of the masoretic as a silly "proof" against everything else, my point was that Peshitta Tanakh is another key ancient Semitic witness that testifies to the fact that overall we have received a good and solid transmission of Elohim's first message to man.

Hope this helps a bit!

Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth
Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth
Point well taken, akhi! The Peshitta Tanach stands as yet another pillar of the truth, together with the LXX (and no less significant), since it was also translated by the Jews of that time.... who had nothing to gain by tampering with the evidence. It is so unfortunate that the prejudice of men so easily spoils the intentions of God. I have read somewhere that the Jewish (or were they Samaritan?...I can't remember) community who were involved in the original translation of the Tanach into Aramaic eventually became Christians. What a treasure it would be to have the Peshitta Tanach written in the Palestinian script (asshuri) again. Would this not be a help for the seeking Jew? Could this not help to broaden the minds of all seekers of truth? I, personally, would love to have a copy of such a text...if such a Peshitta exists!! If not, wouldn't this be a worthwhile would certainly get things going and quite possibly open up a dialogue with our Jewish cousins. Aren't their teachers misleading them through control of the meaning of the scriptural text? There is nothing worse than being sincere yet wrong. Does anyone else feel the same way about this?

Again, if anyone has heard of the Peshitta Tanach written in the Asshuri (square) script (hopefully with vowel pointing), can you let me know where I might find one (or more)? Thanks!

knowledge without understanding is just more clutter in the mind but with the framework of love one can build (edify) with it.
Shlama Akhi Andrew,

The closest I have seen to 'yath' in the Aramaic N. T. is [font=Estrangelo (V1.1)]ty0[/font]. The word and its derivatives start from #723 and end with #760 in the Lexical Concordance. Word #761 is very interesting because it implies substance or essence. It's only used in one place and that's Hebrews 1:3. I'm trying to go from memory but I thought Akhan Paul translated that something like "portrait of his essence"
On page 3 of Old Testament Light, Lamsa states "The Aramaic word yathmeans "essence," "being," "existence," and "substance"; Hebrew is eth. The Greek is ousia, and English "it," implying the origin or substance of a thing.
According to the Eastern text, God first created the essence of the heaven and of the earth, and the physical or the material form and order came later. This indicates that the essence of heaven and earth existed from the very beginning. God was always manifested through his spiritual creations, out of which the terrestrial creations came into being. etc., etc.,

He may be on track or off track here...I'm not sure but I sure thought #761--'aithotheh' was a very interesting word in Hebrews 1:3 and the only one of its kind to mean 'essence' or 'substance.'

Well...I tried to give some input, didn't I? <!-- s:lookround: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/lookround.gif" alt=":lookround:" title="Look Round" /><!-- s:lookround: -->

Shlama w'Burkate, Larry Kelsey
Quote:However, bear in mind that tampering like this is surely not limited to a few zealous countermissionaries!

I'm not exactly sure what your meaning here mister Roth. There was some sort of conspiracy I'm unaware of here??????

I have a copy of The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible. This is a very important book to have for comparison purposes of the OT. The authors of it purposely italicised words that were not in the MT and did comparisons of it between the DSS and LXX, etc. Footnotes abound in this edition.

There was no "conspiracy" to supplant words to mean something else in any of the scripture books, as people had suspected, this was well presented by the authors. Every single mistake can be easily explained by copy error and oversite on the scribes part throughout the ages. Oh, there are plenty of mistakes, no dought, but there are not words twisted and replaced to mean something esle.

The DSS did more to validate the Hebrew scriptures that were passed down to us and show the unique variants of the LXX.
Shlama Akhi Andrew,

I am also puzzled by the dir. object pointer eth being represented
in The Peshitta OT. Here's the Cal Lexicon entry:

Quote:CAL Outline Lexicon: GENERAL yt
yt N yt)
1 Syr essence
2 Syr w suff = refl pron
3 Syr sign of dir obj
LS2 311
LS2 V: yAtA)
abs. voc: yAt

yt p
1 BibArDan,Palestinian,CPA,Sam accusative particle
2 Palestinian demonstrative pronoun

Smith's Syriac Dictionary has
Quote::"Archaism used like Heb. eth as sign of accusative . "
It is used in conjunction with personal pronoun enclitics as well. Apparently it occurs throughout The Peshitta OT hundreds of times.

I agree that the Peshitta is a much overlooked source in OT textual criticism. From the articles I have read on Hugoye, The OT Peshitta text seems very close to the Massoretic Hebrew text, but could be used to correct changes in The Divine name in many places, etc.
I have found a chapter subscript introducing Psalms 23 which seems to indicate a very early Christian translator of The Psalms. Many of these subscriptions seem clearly Christian in character. The translation I did for the one in Psalms 23 characterizes the Psalm as "a spiritual introduction of the new Christian peoples".

I think this study is worthy of our interest and may yield quite a large payoff.
I am more and more impressed with how God has preserved His holy word for more than three millenia and has left abundant testimony to its Divine origin and sacred characteristics.

[font=Estrangelo (V1.1)]Fwxrwb[/font]

Dave B
Shlama achiy Dave,

Could you give me more particulars on that Dead Sea scroll bible that you have. Sounds very interesting, especially the comparisons with the LXX and MSS. The main text, I presume would be in the Palestinian script? Your help is appreciated.

knowledge without understanding is just more clutter in the mind but with the framework of love one can build (edify) with it.
Sure thing.

The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible
Translated and with commentary by Martin Abegg, Jr., Peter Flint & Eugene Ulrich. HarperSanFransisco

This book compares all the translated biblecal DSS scrolls/fragments to the 3 "Old Bibles." These are the Masoretic family of texts, The Septuagint family of texts, and the Samaritan Penateuch.

The variants and differences of the DSS to the 3 families are italicised with footnotes at the bottom of each page. This allows any Spirit-filled Christian to compare their particular bible against a text that is appr 1000 years older than anything out there. It also gives the lay person the ability to see into the variants amongst these 3 families and understand more about their particular translation they use, and what translations utilized what sections.

All the differences are plainly shown, and simplistic explanations given throughout the book. The different languages for each text are also explained. For example, quite a few of the texts were written in the Paleo-Hebrew, and the authors tell the reader exactly which ones were as they go through each book.

All and all, an amazing work for anyone who wishes find out for themselves just what was what. As a part in the bookcover says: "The scrolls confirm that the text of the Old Testament as it was handed down through the ages is largely correct. Yet they also reveal numerous differences."

I recommend it for everyone!
Thanks Dave,

knowledge without understanding is just more clutter in the mind but with the framework of love one can build (edify) with it.

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