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_The Peshitta Holy Bible_ translated by David Bauscher
_The Original Language of the Apocalypse_ by Robert Balgarnie Young Scott (1928), 25pp.

The Greek of the Apocalypse is notoriously difficult. As early as the third century, Dionysius of Alexandria says of the author that "his dialect and language are not correct Greek; he makes use of barbarous constructions and sometimes of actual solecisms". "The solecisms are patent. The Hebraistic colouring is evident" comments Moffatt in ILNT, p. 501. A.T. Robertson says that the great number of violations of concord cannot be explained by exceptional parallels elsewhere. After twenty-five years study of the book, Charles comes to the conclusion that the author has "created a Greek that is absolutely his own".

This phenomenon may be explained, in whole or in part, in one or more of the following six ways:
1. Translation from Aramaic.
2. Translation from Hebrew.
3. Reminiscence of the LXX, conscious or unconscious.
4. Deliberate use of O.T. and apocalyptic phraseology.
5. Parallels from current ... [koine] Greek.
6. The author was writing in Greek, but thinking in Aramaic or Hebrew.

Of these, nos. 3 and 4 may operate to some extent, but they cannot begin to explain grammatical peculiarities which run throughout the book. No. 5 reduces the number of passages where the use of a Semitic idiom can be claimed with certainty, but the parallels are exceptional, and no literary work can be pointed out in which such apparent idioms are as frequent, extensive and characteristic as in the Apocalypse.

Charles' own explanation is that the author writes in Greek but thinks in Hebrew. This may be questioned from the following stand-points. An author who is so imperfectly acquainted with Greek would be unlikely to choose it as a medium of literary expression. Again, if he were thinking in one language and writing in another, his thoughts would be expressed in the language of everyday speech, which at this period was not Hebrew but Aramaic.^1 [1: cf. G.F. Moore: Judaism, vol. i, p. 302] Moreover, Charles himself finds this hypothesis insufficient and is forced to postulate translation from Semitic sources, as, for example, in cap. 12. But the idioms of cap. 12 are found elsewhere in places where the use of sources is not suggested. Finally, the transliterations and mistranslations later to be noted are inexplicable on the theory that the Apocalypse was composed in Greek.

Charles unconsciously gives away his case when he says: "the chief Hebraisms in the Apocalypse... are sufficient to prove that it is more Hebraic than the LXX itself". There is only one thing that is more Hebraic than a translation from Hebrew, and that is a translation that is more literal and not so well done.

We come to the conclusion, therefore, that the Apocalypse as a whole is a translation from Hebrew or Aramaic, while leaving room for the possibility of minor editorial alterations after it was in a Greek form. A number of the constructions found are common to both languages, but while there are none which are exclusively Aramaic, there are a number which are exclusively Hebrew. The book is evidently a Hebrew apocalypse translated into Greek to secure its admittance to the New Testament.
In the evidence which follows, it will be found that in a very few cases the present writer's results differ from those of Charles in ICC, in a number of cases they coincide, and in a still greater number the evidence submitted is new. The observation of the Hebraic character of the Greek has been carried, by fuller investigation, to the logical conclusion that the Apocalypse is actually a translation. No other hypothesis seem adequate to explain all the phenomena. The strongest evidence is that of transliterations and mistranslations, and if one of these be admitted, the probability in favour of the others is enormously increased. While it must be admitted that, in the nature of the case the demonstration comes short of certainty, it is the belief of the present writer that this explanation covers the facts of the case more satisfactorily than any other.


If one may be permitted to imitate the oft-quoted words of Driver on the date of Daniel in LOT, it might be fair to say that the mistranslations of the Apocalypse demand, the idioms support, and the general considerations permit the conclusion that in this book we have a Hebrew apocalypse translated into Greek. Charles himself has not been far from this conclusion, and one wonders how, in justice to the evidence he has adduced, he could stop short of it. Indeed he argues in one place that Cap. 12 is a translation, only to withdraw this later, apparently because he sees that it will involve the translation of the whole book. This is more than he is prepared to admit. As a matter of fact, both idioms and mistranslations are widely distributed, and occur in the chapters of Revelation in approximately the following numbers:
I, 16; II, 33; III, 25; IV, 7; V, 14;
VI, 18; VII, 16; VIII, 15; IX, 14; X, 18;
XI, 25; XII, 26; XIII, 27; XIV, 17; XV, 8;
XVI, 16; XVII, 20; XVIII, 14; XIX, 22; XX, 9;
XXI, 14; XXII, 10.

This will not give an exact idea of the frequency of Hebraisms, owing to the variation in the length of chapters, but it will show that they are to be found elsewhere than where sources have been suspected on account of subject matter.

While arguing that the whole book has been translated from Hebrew, the writer does not deny the probability that, in common with most apocalypses, it is composite in origin. There are undeniable distinctions of style and usage between different parts of the book, but the strata seem to be in the Hebrew and not in the Greek.

Finally it must be said that the argument will not appeal with equal force to those who know Hebrew and those who do not. The one will dispute individual points and disprove thereby for himself the whole. The other, with a sense for Hebrew and translation Greek, will _feel_ a force to the argument of which the first is not aware. It is like the argument for religion, which does not depend entirely on statistics.

Semiticism: seeming-command verb + "and" + verb = If x, then y.

"this do, and live" = 'If you do this, then you will continue to live'
Genesis 42:18 (King James)
And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; _for_ I fear God:

'surrender, and eat of your vines' = 'If you surrender, then you will eat of your vines'
Isaiah 36:16
(King James) Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make _an agreement_ with me _by_ a present, and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern;
(NET Bible) Don't listen to Hezekiah!' For this is what the king of Assyria says, 'Send me a token of your submission and surrender to me. Then each of you may eat from his own vine and fig tree and drink water from his own cistern,

"go and see" = 'If you go, you will see' [Mk 6:38]
"come and see" = 'If you come, you will see' [Jn 1:46, Rev 6:1]

Do you think Mark 6:38 originally had:
"go see"?
"go and see"?

Mark 6:38
Berean Literal Bible
And He says to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go, see."
And having known, they say, "Five, and two fish."
Literal Standard Version
And He says to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see”;
and having known, they say, “Five, and two fishes.”
Young's Literal Translation
And he saith to them, 'How many loaves have ye? go and see;'
and having known, they say, 'Five, and two fishes.'

Mark 6:38
Westcott and Hort / {NA28 variants}
.... ὑπάγετε ἴδετε ....
RP Byzantine Majority Text 2005
.... Ὑπάγετε καὶ ἴδετε ....
Greek Orthodox Church 1904
.... ὑπάγετε καὶ ἴδετε ....
Stephanus Textus Receptus 1550
.... ὑπάγετε καὶ ἴδετε ....

John 1:46 (Berean Literal)
And Nathanael said to him, "Is any good thing able to be out of Nazareth?"
Philip says to him, "Come and see."

John 1:46
Westcott and Hort / {NA28 variants}
.... Ἔρχου καὶ ἴδε.
RP Byzantine Majority Text 2005
.... Ἔρχου καὶ ἴδε.
Stephanus Textus Receptus 1550
.... Ἔρχου καὶ ἴδε

Do you think Revelation 6:1 originally had:
" Ἔρχου"/ "Come"?
" Ἔρχου καὶ ἴδε"/ "Come and see"?
" Ἔρχου καὶ βλέπε"/ "Come and look"?
"Come and see/look"? (the Crawford ms. contains that)

Revelation 6:1
Westcott and Hort / {NA28 variants}
.... Ἔρχου.
RP Byzantine Majority Text 2005
.... Ἔρχου καὶ ἴδε.
Stephanus Textus Receptus 1550
.... Ἔρχου καὶ βλέπε

hat tip:
_The Apocalypse and Semitic Syntax_ (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series, Series Number 52) by Steven Thompson (1985), 155pp., 94-95

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RE: _The Peshitta Holy Bible_ translated by David Bauscher - by DavidFord - 05-29-2021, 03:04 PM

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