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Word play in aramaic and syriac - Printable Version

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Re: Word play in aramaic and syriac - Paul Younan - 03-05-2013

memradya Wrote:Shlama'

I'm happy with the answers (a possible pun doesn't mean that it must exist) . But I don't think that Steve agrees with that. I think he will say: why the peshitta is in edessian dialect and not in galilean ? It makes me think about: According to Francis Alichoran , the Peshitta has some tendencies that shows galilee's aramaic and judean's dialect with his hebrew influence.

For the same reason the GNT is in Koine Greek, instead of a Corinthian dialect or an Ephesian Dialect. Eastern Aramaic was by and large the most widespread family of dialects. In order to evangelize, the NT was written in this "Koine Aramaic." Instead of Galilean which only a few locales used.

+Shamasha


Re: Word play in aramaic and syriac - SteveCaruso - 03-05-2013

Paul Younan Wrote:I hope so. You still didn't answer the question. $-y-n-) is unattested to in Galilean. It's purely "Syriac." That's the whole point. (your example of /zr( $lmh bynyhwn/ is irrelevant - $-l-m is a common lexeme in all Aramaic dialects).

The use by James of $-y-n-) is deliberate. How can that be so, if he was writing in Galilean ?

First (a straw man): My example was of the circumlocution /zr( $lm/ (which happens in Jewish dialects), not merely of /$lm/ (which is common in all dialects). It is established and I have demonstrated it. Do you have an example where /$yn/ is used in the fashion you insist upon elsewhere? So far, no.

Second (a non sequitur): Why would James originally used an obscure Syriac pun with when "peace" as simply "peace" works perfectly well in established idiom without any special explanation? There is no problem with the reading as it is that needs to be "fixed" or could be better explained by /$yn/.

An equally valid (and much more likely, imho) conclusion is that a Syriac scribe who was translating James' letter chose that word deliberately and that the Greek (and every other manuscript) is perfectly fine as it is. The question is not a matter of deliberateness, it's a matter of who is most likely to have made the choice. It's not its use by James it's its use in Peshitta James, alone.

Insisting it was Peter's choice without demonstrating that it could only be Peter's choice is nothing but proof by assertion, which is all you have here. Perhaps if the Greek used two separate words for "peace" (where the first "peace" meant "domestic" as opposed "wild" -- which is the essence of /$yn/ -- and missed the meaning of "cultivated land") you'd have the evidence.

Peter, being a Galilean (a fisherman by trade from Bethsaida; quite a long trek south from any Syriac speaking areas at the time), likely wouldn't have used /$yn/ as much as you or I would pun with the word "boot" referring to the trunk of a car, or "flat" referring to an apartment. Your argument, in its very essence, requires Peter to have used a shibboleth outside of his culture in a very specific manner in place of a phrase that is perfectly fine as it is. It's an argument against all likelihood.

Does not compute. <!-- sCool --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/cool1.gif" alt="Cool" title="Cool" /><!-- sCool -->

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Also here's another fun one to discuss about scribal choices from another angle... since we're getting off topic anyways. <!-- s:biggrin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/biggrin.gif" alt=":biggrin:" title="Big Grin" /><!-- s:biggrin: -->

Why does the Peshitta have /w)mr lh (br)yt rbwly dmt)mr mlpn)/ = "And Mary said to him in Hebrew, 'Rabbuli!' which is to say 'Teacher'" in John 20:16?

Rabbuli is not a Hebrew word from the period (in much later Hebrew it means "coxcomb" from a different etymology :-) ). It's a strictly Syriac word, unattested in any other dialect, that means "head shepherd" (sumus pastorum). It does not mean "teacher" like /mlpn/ does.

Every other New Testament text has /rbwny/ (Gk. /rabbouni/ Lat. /rabboni/) which is both Hebrew and Jewish Aramaic (Judean and Galilean; even in Samaritan) and does mean "teacher" (similar roots to "Rabbi").

Why does the Peshitta have a strictly Syriac word, call it Hebrew, and then proceed to mistranslate it?

It cannot be a matter of a Greek translator mis-reading a /l/ for a /n/, as the Peshitta -- not the Greek -- mislabels the word. :-)

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Finally some housekeeping: Sorry about how long it has taken me to respond, I've been quite busy. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

I will eventually catch up with the rest of the comments. <!-- s:bigups: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/bigups.gif" alt=":bigups:" title="Big Ups" /><!-- s:bigups: -->


Re: Word play in aramaic and syriac - Paul Younan - 03-05-2013

Akhi Steve,

Are you seriously suggesting that an Aramaic scribe took the liberty, when translating the alleged Greek from James, to chose "Shayna" for one instance of eyrene, and "Shlama" for the same exact Greek word, a few words later? And, in doing so, coincidentally created not only a pun on "seed" and "cultivated land", but also a Janus Parallelism .. neither of which exists in the alleged Greek source text he was translating?

Wow. I see how this works. You can hypothesize a wordplay that doesn't exist in any text of the NT, yet when one is actually found in the text itself that stares you in the face, you can explain it away as the liberty a "Syriac scribe" took while translating from the Greek. Throw around the term "Shibboleth" and basically continue in your cognitive dissonance. IC. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

+Shamasha


Re: Word play in aramaic and syriac - Paul Younan - 03-05-2013

Akhi Steve,

In regards to your other question: it calls it Hebrew because the Hebrews used the word. If I say a word in Urmian Dialect is "parsaya", I don't necessarily mean that it's Persian. I mean that Persian people who speak Urmian Aramaic use that word.

We often refer to each other as Lebanese, Iraqi, Iranian, etc, depending on where we come from. Although we all speak the same language in different dialects and accents. And we all consider ourselves Assyrians.

I've been told many times my language is "Lebanese" because my parents came from Lebanon and their choice of loan words or some Aramaic forms reflect that fact.

With regard to rabbuli, it could easily be explained as a confusion of a lamed and a nun. They can appear similar in their non-final forms, and are very often confused (especially in Estrangelo, and more so in Swadaya). So it could be an early scribal corruption of rabbuni.

+Shamasha


Re: Word play in aramaic and syriac - SteveCaruso - 03-06-2013

Paul Younan Wrote:Are you seriously suggesting that an Aramaic scribe took the liberty, when translating the alleged Greek from James, chose Shayna for one instance of eyrene, and Shlama for the same exact Greek word, a few words later?

Are you saying that scribes do not take liberties? <!-- s:eh: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/eh.gif" alt=":eh:" title="Eh" /><!-- s:eh: --> Especially between languages? <!-- sConfusedatisfied: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/satisfied.gif" alt="Confusedatisfied:" title="Satisfied" /><!-- sConfusedatisfied: --> Come, Paul, you speak more than one language and know far better than that. Maurice Casey spent a number of pages in his "Aramaic Approach to..." series dedicated to examples of how scribes translate things between languages taking such "liberties." You can easily look that up on your own time.

Paul Younan Wrote:And, in doing so, coincidentally created not only a pun on "seed" and "cultivated land", but also a Janus Parallelism that didn't exist in the source text he was translating?

Wow. I see how this works. You can hypothesize a wordplay that doesn't exist in any text of the NT, yet when one is actually found in the text itself that stares you in the face, you can explain it away as the liberty a "Syriac scribe" took while translating from the Greek. Throw around the term "Shibboleth" and basically continue in your cognitive dissonance. IC. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

I have used shibboleth correctly, but everyone nowadays also seems to be throwing around the phrase "Janus Parallelism" like it's some panacea for other textual problems or it's a label of legitimacy. <!-- sConfusedatisfied: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/satisfied.gif" alt="Confusedatisfied:" title="Satisfied" /><!-- sConfusedatisfied: -->

Even if this choice of wording was original, this would not be a Janus Parallelism, it would be a simple doublet pun. Much more boring, I'm afraid. What I propose is even less exciting than that: Plain idiom, as the Greek text has it, verbatim, without any special pleading. It keeps Occam's Razor unbloodied. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

As for any "dissonance," I wholeheartedly invite you to logic map out what I have said and demonstrate which axioms I hold that are contradictory. I've been actively pointing out the fallacies I've been seeing in your reasoning.

Paul Younan Wrote:In regards to your other question: it calls it Hebrew because the Hebrews used the word.

<!-- s:dontgetit: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/dontgetit.gif" alt=":dontgetit:" title="Dont Get It" /><!-- s:dontgetit: --> 100% un-evidenced assertion. The the only place anyone has used this word in this context is in the Peshitta. Not a single "Hebrew" source (linguistic or ethnographic) attests to it anywhere in the entire written record. This is categorically not a "Hebrew" word in any sense, literal, figurative, or equivocal.

So there is only one feasible conclusion: The Peshitta got this one wrong. <!-- s:| --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/neutral.gif" alt=":|" title="Neutral" /><!-- s:| -->

Paul Younan Wrote:With regard to rabbuli, it could easily be explained as a confusion of a lamed and a nun. They can appear similar in their non-final forms. So it could be an early scribal corruption of rabbuni.

So are you asserting that there are scribal corruptions in the Peshitta? Then this corruption is legion as it's in every copy. <!-- sSad --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/sad.gif" alt="Sad" title="Sad" /><!-- sSad -->

Additionally, why would any scribe choose to go with /rbwly/ ("chief shepherd") when the clarifying context was right there in the sentence ("teacher")? That would have resolved it immediately if the length of the letter's stem was unclear, even (I conjecture) if the scribe were half-asleep. The transmission of the Peshitta was not this sloppy.

As I said in my previous post: "It cannot be a matter of a Greek translator mis-reading a /l/ for a /n/, as the Peshitta -- not the Greek -- mislabels the word."

Peace,
-Steve


Re: Word play in aramaic and syriac - Paul Younan - 03-06-2013

Akhi Steve, I must be done with this conversation (in love). We will allow our readers to weigh the evidence we've both provided, and decide for themselves. I'm afraid neither one of us is going to see the other side. The reader is intelligent enough to make up their own mind in regards to the wordplays in Matthew and in James (whether real or imagined.)

We come from two different viewpoints and world views, but we do share a common passion for Aramaic. I commend you and encourage you to continue in your work to the glory of God our Father, in whatever language and dialect you do it in. It is much appreciated and treasured by me and, I'm sure, countless others.

+Shamasha


Re: Word play in aramaic and syriac - distazo - 03-06-2013

Steve,

If this is a mechanism, say, the scribes took the Greek, and translated it into something with wordpuns and poetical constructions, how come we do not see this 'mechanism' in the Harklean Syriac? That is a literal translation of the Greek.

Have you ever looked at 1 Timothy 3:16?
(Source: A.G. Roth)
And truly great (w'sherirayt rab)
Is this divine mystery of righteousness; (haw arza hela d'kanota)
It is revealed in the flesh, (d'atgli b'besra)
Justified in the Spirit, (w'atzaddaq b'rokh)
Seen by angels, (w'atkhazi l'malaka)
Preached to the Gentiles, (w'atkeraz beyt ammah)
Believed on in the world, (w'athaymin b'almah)
And received up into glory, (w'astalaq b'shubkha).

This is a beautiful poem. And it also contains a hidden message which is fully fitting the person of Paul.

I simply don't buy it, that a text gets upgraded by simply translating it from Greek
<!-- l --><a class="postlink-local" href="http://www.peshitta.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=138">viewtopic.php?f=9&t=138</a><!-- l -->

1 Timothy 3:16 also fully fits the model of interpretation which is called PRDS
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://paulproblem.faithweb.com/pardes.htm">http://paulproblem.faithweb.com/pardes.htm</a><!-- m -->

Since this is a -non fictive- and realistic aproach to Bible interpretation and we see it practised only in the Peshitta version of 1 Timothy 3:16, we must conclude that it originally was written in Hebrew Aramaic and I dare to speculate further, Paul (born in Tarsis of Cilicia) and Timothy lived in that area where Syriac was spoken for ages (it was also part of the Persian empire) so Paul entrusted this poem to somebody who was capable of understanding this language.


Re: Word play in aramaic and syriac - Thirdwoe - 03-06-2013

Quote:Additionally, why would any scribe choose to go with /rbwly/ ("chief shepherd") when the clarifying context was right there in the sentence ("teacher")? That would have resolved it immediately if the length of the letter's stem was unclear, even (I conjecture) if the scribe were half-asleep. The transmission of the Peshitta was not this sloppy.

Just to note: The Curetonian and the Sinaitic do not have the interpretation of "teacher" in their text, and has "Rabbuli", as does both the Eastern Peshitta and the Western Peshitto.

Shlama,
Chuck


Re: Word play in aramaic and syriac - Burning one - 03-06-2013

Shlama,


i think the Peshitta's rendering here is likely a scribal error perpetuated, tho the valid linguistic interchange between the Semetic Lamed/Nun *might* have played a role in this, possibly.

but let's cut to the chase and look at the Greek witness, and suddenly the Peshitta's minor apparent scribal error pales in comparison: SIX different readings exist there in this part of the verse (note: not scribal error -- readings), which makes it suddenly a bit more problematic in choosing what to render, if the Peshitta is to be disregarded.

if a possible scribal error is the only issue in this verse with the Peshitta, then it should be made known that the ancient Greek copies have far more issues. otherwise, we're straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.

i'll stick with the Peshitta here.


Chayim b'Moshiach,
Jeremy


Re: Word play in aramaic and syriac - Thirdwoe - 03-07-2013

Quote:With regard to rabbuli, it could easily be explained as a confusion of a lamed and a nun. They can appear similar in their non-final forms, and are very often confused (especially in Estrangelo, and more so in Swadaya). So it could be an early scribal corruption of rabbuni.

Quote:So are you asserting that there are scribal corruptions in the Peshitta? Then this corruption is legion as it's in every copy.

Quote:i think the Peshitta's rendering here is likely a scribal error perpetuated, tho the valid linguistic interchange between the Semetic Lamed/Nun *might* have played a role in this, possibly.

If this is indeed a "scribal error", and it's seen in every Aramaic NT of the Peshitta and Peshitto versions of it, and others such as the Curetonian and the Sinaitic, which some claim to be from an older textual family than the Eastern Peshitta, then I find that to be an amazing thing! No one caught it, after so many centuries? No one changed it out to be correct? Just one letter? It boggles the mind.

I wished we could look at all the Manuscripts to see if it were true. Steve, you said they all show this, but how do you know that they all have it this way? Have you checked them all...and if so, tell me how please.

Shlama,
Chuck


Re: Word play in aramaic and syriac - Paul Younan - 03-07-2013

Shlama Akhi Chuck

People have actually noticed it (Steve didn't discover this). Ishodad of Merv (one of our bishops in the 11th century) faulted a "lazy copyist" for the error in his commentary.

How it happened (this is purely hypothetical) could have gone something like this:

78 AD: the Edessene copy at the church in Baghdad contained the Nun. And it lacked the gloss.

After 78 AD: someone copied the passage, misread the Nun for a Lamed. Still no gloss.

Even later after 78 AD: someone noticed the strange Lamed, thought it was a quirky way Jews talked in their Hebraic dialect, and added the gloss.

All copies descend from this unfortunate mistake. That's one possible explanation.

Again, I have no idea or way to prove the hypothesis above.

But no one, certainly not me, has ever suggested that Peshitta copies are free from copyist error. We see them a lot less frequently than in the Greek copies, that is certain. Our claim has always been that it has remained unrevised since its reception from the apostles. Copyist errors happen in every case, Hebrew OT, GNT, ANT, etc.

But there's no doubt that the Peshitta copies we have have the least amount of copyist errors, especially within the eastern copies.

The key to this is the root "rab", and it's obviously understood to mean teacher/master. Hence the gloss correctly reflects the right meaning. This is a very insignificant error, all things considered.

This copyist error, if true as Ishodad of Merv asserted, must have occurred very early on, in order to have propagated throughout all the copies (even he noticed it in the 11th century.)

+Shamasha


Re: Word play in aramaic and syriac - Burning one - 03-07-2013

Shlama,


that RABBULI is a problem is a red herring. the problem lay with the Greek, which can't decide how to render the term, thus the bazillion* variants there.


*i might have slightly exaggerated in the variant count.


Chayim b'Moshiach,
Jeremy


Re: Word play in aramaic and syriac - Paul Younan - 03-07-2013

Burning one Wrote:Shlama,


that RABBULI is a problem is a red herring. the problem lay with the Greek, which can't decide how to render the term, thus the bazillion* variants there.


*i might have slightly exaggerated in the variant count.


Chayim b'Moshiach,
Jeremy

Shlama Akhi Jeremy

That may very well be the case. I'm simply playing devils advocate and assuming Ishodad of Merv was correct in his assessment that this was a lazy copyist.

+Shamasha


Re: Word play in aramaic and syriac - Thirdwoe - 03-07-2013

Shamasha Paul, one thing it shows me, erorr or not...is the extreme conservation that all the scribes show here, that they wouldn't fix it for all these centuries, holding the text to such a high regard. The Greek copies seem to be endlessly fixed and altered, where no two Manuscripts are seen to be alike...even down to the late 1800s with W&H's edition, which looks like no single Greek copy/text before it...and which most of the modern Greek/English tranies come from.


Re: Word play in aramaic and syriac - Burning one - 03-07-2013

Paul Younan Wrote:
Burning one Wrote:Shlama,


that RABBULI is a problem is a red herring. the problem lay with the Greek, which can't decide how to render the term, thus the bazillion* variants there.


*i might have slightly exaggerated in the variant count.


Chayim b'Moshiach,
Jeremy

Shlama Akhi Jeremy

That may very well be the case. I'm simply playing devils advocate and assuming Ishodad of Merv was correct in his assessment that this was a lazy copyist.

+Shamasha


Shlama akhi,


devil's advocate OOORRRRRR are we to treat this in a similar manner to the Jewish tradition of looking at every Hebrew "misspelling" in the Tanakh as a hint to something the Spirit is trying to convey? just a thought, but i've actually benefited from commentary on certain nuances / anomalies in the Hebrew text, so perhaps someone should take that route for the Eastern Peshitta....


Chayim b'Moshiach,
Jeremy