Is Sabbath plural or singular in Aramaic?

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 Keith EMail KeithView member profileCheck IP address of this member "Is Sabbath plural or singular in Aramaic?"
Jul-07-2002 at 06:35 PM (GMT3)
OK Larry- you're not the only one who can play this game. The game of "How many mistakes can Zorba make before we admit Aramaic primacy?"

Zorba apparently didn't understand that the Aramaic word for "sabbath" is singular rather than plural. In Matthew 12:1, 12:5, 12:10-12; Mark 1:21, 2:23-24, 3:2, 3:4, and 6:2, he translated this word as plural rather than suingular. Mark 1:21 in the PNT is in fact plural but in the OS it is singular- contextually it doesn't make much difference whether this verse should be translated as sabbaths or sabbath. However, in the other verses it does matter whether it is singular or plural. In all cases it should be singular, but Zorba missed it.

I own 33 different English translations of the Bible and each, even my favorite (NASB), mistranslate this word from Greek to English. It should be translated sabbaths but since this doesn't make sense the translators have mistranslated the verses. Deliberately? I hope not.

One thing is clear whether deliberate or not, they missed it altogether. Even W. E. Vine in his landmark "An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words" admits as much. Under the definition of sabbath he says "the plural form, was transliterated from the Aramaic word, which was mistaken for a plural..."

What do you guys think? Thanks.

Keith

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 Table of contents

RE: Is Sabbath plural or singular i...
Paul Younan Jul-07-2002 at 06:56 PM (1)
RE: Is Sabbath plural or singular i...
Iakov Jul-08-2002 at 02:29 AM (3)
RE: Is Sabbath plural or singular i...
Paul Younan Jul-08-2002 at 07:51 AM (4)
Touchdown!
Larry_Kelsey Jul-07-2002 at 09:14 PM (2)
RE: Touchdown!
Paul Younan Jul-08-2002 at 08:01 AM (5)

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 Paul Younan EMail Paul YounanCheck IP address of this member 1. "RE: Is Sabbath plural or singular in Aramaic?"
Jul-07-2002 at 06:56 PM (GMT3)
Shlama Akhi Keith,

Thanks for the wonderful post.

Before the 6th century, there were no vowel, or other, markings written. So both singular and plural would be spelled Fb4

After the 6th century, singular "Sabbath" would be written as:

Fb4 (pronounced "Shab-tha")

...while plural "Sabbaths" would be written as:

F^b4 (pronounced "Shab-ath-eh")

Notice the only difference between the two is the Syame (plural) dots above the letter Beth.

Obviously, if as we contend the Greeks translated the Aramaic Gospels into Greek at a very early stage (perhaps even done by the Apostles themselves or their immediate successors) - then it would make sense that they would have made mistakes because of the singular/plural problem, prior to the invention of the Syame dots which were not around until after the 6th century.


Fk^rwbw 0ml4

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 Iakov EMail IakovView member profileCheck IP address of this member 3. "RE: Is Sabbath plural or singular in Aramaic?"
Jul-08-2002 at 02:29 AM (GMT3)
Shlama Akhi Paul,


>Before the 6th century, there were
>no vowel, or other, markings
>written. So both singular
>and plural would be spelled
>Fb4

In fact Akh Paul the translator alternates between singular and plural showing the confusion with the Aramaic emphatic state singular (although it has singular meaning).

Matt 12:1
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them.

Gr. sabbasin -plural, dative.

Matt 12:2
When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."

Gr. sabbatw
- singular,dative.

Mark 2:23,24 parallels Matt. 12 and is plural both times. The other synoptic parallel Luke 6:1&2 is the reverse of Matthew 12, vs 1 is singular and v 2 is plural.

There is no doubt the translators were confused with the emphatic state in this pericope.

Shlama,
Iakov

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 Paul Younan EMail Paul YounanCheck IP address of this member 4. "RE: Is Sabbath plural or singular in Aramaic?"
Jul-08-2002 at 07:51 AM (GMT3)
Shlama Akhi Iakov,

It's really an annoying feature of Aramaic. I can't believe that it took till the 6th-7th centuries for someone to come up with this brilliant idea of somehow differentiating between the singular and the plural.

Or, not having vowels. Ancient Akkadian had 'em - no problem with singular/plural, either.

It's strange - as time went on, rather than progressing - these writings systems digressed.

It's not just translators who got confused. The only way to tell was from memory or context - and sometimes both memory and context were lacking.

Fk^rwbw 0ml4

Peshitta.org

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 Larry_Kelsey EMail Larry_KelseyView member profileCheck IP address of this member 2. "Touchdown!"
Jul-07-2002 at 09:14 PM (GMT3)
Shlama akhi Keith,

Wow! Nice goin' Keith! All 33 of your Greek-to-English translations blew it, huh? W. E. Vine openly admitting the problem really raises my eyebrows! I thought that guy was pure, Grade A, dyed-in-the-wool Greek primacist 'plum down to the soles of his feet!' Learn somethin' new every day! By the way, didn't Dean Dana or one of the guys touch base on the entire singular/plural issue as a whole? Maybe the 'sabbath' mistakes have a bunch of 'kissin' cousins.' Let's see now...who can we call that's smart enough to invent a software program that will find every word that should be translated plural but was translated singular (or vice versa)? I know! How about that world-renowned software engineer from Chicago that we all know and love! Shhh! He might be listening. He just answered your post! He can't be too far away! You know what they say about those Semites! They're sneaky rascals sometimes!

Shlama w'Burkate, Larry Kelsey

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 Paul Younan EMail Paul YounanCheck IP address of this member 5. "RE: Touchdown!"
Jul-08-2002 at 08:01 AM (GMT3)
>Let's see now...who
>can we call that's smart
>enough to invent a software
>program that will find every
>word that should be translated
>plural but was translated singular
>(or vice versa)? I know!
>How about that world-renowned software
>engineer from Chicago that we
>all know and love! Shhh!
>He might be listening. He
>just answered your post! He
>can't be too far away!
>You know what they say
>about those Semites! They're sneaky
>rascals sometimes!

We got BIG noses, too. I fasted the whole time Donna was pregnant so that Kaylen would not inherit that most prominent of Semitic traits.


Fk^rwbw 0ml4

Peshitta.org

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