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_The Peshitta Holy Bible_ translated by David Bauscher
Syntactical Evidence of Semitic Sources in Greek Documents
by Raymond A. Martin

"(How) Can We Tell If a Greek Apocryphon or Pseudepigraphon Has Been Translated from Hebrew or Aramaic?" by James R. Davila
_It is very difficult to distinguish translated Hebrew from translated Aramaic, since the vocabulary and grammar of the two languages are so similar_. It is true that there are some points of distinction that may carry over into a translation. Hebrew has a construction involving the infinitive construct with a preposition and this construction is lacking in Aramaic but is often reflected in Greek translations of Hebrew. A Greek translation with examples of this construction would be unlikely to have come from an Aramaic Vorlage. Likewise, R. H. Charles successfully deduced that much of the Book of the Watchers was composed in Aramaic, in part because transliterated words in the Greek translation reflected the long “a” of the emphatic (definite) ending, found in Aramaic but not Hebrew.[9]
9: APOT 2:172-77. However, he incorrectly concluded that chapters 1-5 were composed in Hebrew. Only Aramaic fragments of this material has been found at Qumran.
If we move from retroversion to the comparatively more tractable problem of _establishing translational Semitic interference_ in a Greek text, a strict methodology would need to adhere to the following steps. One needs to look at all possible linguistic and stylistic features (such as vocabulary, morphology, syntax, word order, and poetic elements) for apparent Semitisms – Semitisms that are compatible with the Hebrew and Aramaic of the right time and place. Then one must eliminate all those that are shared with Greek, that appear frequently in the LXX, and that are found in LXX passages used in liturgy and testimonia. If the nonliterary papyri are used for comparison, one should not eliminate apparent Semitisms found in them which are also found in Coptic, since they may be due to Egyptian interference in the Greek. Poetic and stylistic features should be advanced – if at all – only as ancillary evidence. If possible, and it may well not be, one should distinguish Hebrew Semitisms from Aramaic Semitisms.

Finally, one would need to show mistranslations, mishearing of homonyms, or dual translations in the Greek to establish that we are dealing with Semitic interference from a translated original rather than bilingual interference from the composer’s native language. This approach follows, with some nuancing and development, Maloney’s _Semitic Interference in Marcan Syntax_, the most fully methodologically aware treatment of Semitic interference in a Greek text of which I know. If a cumulative case for a high density of Semitisms remains after such an analysis, the probability that the work was translated from Hebrew or Aramaic would be very high.
Meanwhile, even applying Martin’s criteria in a thoroughgoing way to texts in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha would be a significant step forward. Martin has done so with the first five chapters of _1 Maccabees_ and the high level of correspondence of its Greek to the Semitic features makes a persuasive case that it was composed in Hebrew or Aramaic.[13]
13: Martin, _Syntax Criticism_, 142, 168-70, 189-91.

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RE: _The Peshitta Holy Bible_ translated by David Bauscher - by DavidFord - 07-04-2021, 10:57 AM

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