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_The Peshitta Holy Bible_ translated by David Bauscher
google translate + light editing, hopefully without changing the meaning

Méhat André, book review in _Revue de l'histoire des religions_ [_Review of the history of religions_], vol 209, number 3 (1992), 304-308

Raymond A. Martin, _Syntax Criticism of the Synoptic Gospels_, Lewiston (New York) / Queenstone (Ontario), The Edwin Mellen Press, 1987, 219 p. ("Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity", 10), £69.95.
Id., _Syntax Criticism of Johannine Literature. The Catholic Epistle and the Gospel Passion Accounts_, Lewiston/ Lampeter/ Queenstone, The Edwin Mellen Press, 1989, 185 p. ("Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity", 18), $59.95.

Raymond A. Martin currently teaches at Wartburg Seminary, in Dubuque (Iowa). It is an astonishing fact that the small audience obtained so far by his work on the Semitic substratum of the New Testament. In his last two books, he refers to his earlier publications, of which he summarizes the content. One of the oldest and more accessible was an article from 1964 providing "the syntactic proof of Semitic sources in Act I-XV": ^1 [1: R.A. Martin, "Syntactical Evidence of Aramaic Sources in Acts I-XV"] which had been taken and developed in a small book in 1974^2 [2: R.A. Martin, _Syntactical Evidence of Semitic Sources in Greek Documents_, Scholars' Press Cambridge (Mass.), 1974].

Unlike most authors who had studied one by one the Semitisms of the New Testament, he used a statistical method which is surprising afterwards that it had not been tried before him. He was looking for the frequency of a certain number of facts of language, on the one hand in Greek writers a priori devoid of Semitic influence such as Plutarch or Polybius, and on the other hand in Greek texts translated from Hebrew or Aramaic, mainly the translations of the Septuagint. He thus released criteria from the "original Greek" on the one hand, and from the "Greek of translation" on the other, independent of any literary, historical or doctrinal consideration. In 1974 he identified 17 criteria which, applied to the Acts of the Apostles, had made it possible to establish a clear difference between a first part (chap. I to XV, and not I to XII) and a second, written in "original Greek". The first part presents case frequencies closer to the "Greek of translation", an increase of more than 50% compared to the second, which places it halfway between the pure "original Greek" and the pure "translation Greek". It is enough to rule out the reasons generally advanced to explain the Semitisms of the New Testament: the bilingualism of an author, which is certainly the same in two parts, or the imitation, conscious or unconscious, of the style of the Septuagint which would have produced the same effect in both cases.

The most plausible hypothesis is that the author follows in its first part one or more Semitic sources, which he freely paraphrases (assumption that R.A.M. moves away a little quickly [easily disposes of? doesn't address well? -df]) or that he uses irregularly (_erratic_). Based on the number of verified criteria, the author thought he could isolate 16 unites (_units_) of the first part having, certainly or probably, Semitic sources. Once again, we are surprised that the commentators on Acts have so far ignored these results, even though by chance they cite R.A.M. in their bibliographies.

After a long interval, the author applies the same method to the Synoptic Gospels (1987), then to the Johannine Gospel and to various New Testament writings (1989). Overall the results are quite close to what had been established for the first part of Acts: the frequencies are intermediate between those of translations and those of writings written directly in Greek.

The Gospel of Mark is therefore not, as one might have thought, a pure and simple translation. However, some pericopes have frequencies close to the "original Greek", at home and in the parallel passages of Matthew or Luke (the episode of the Gerasene demoniac, the first multiplication of the loaves, the call of the rich, etc.).

Others have frequencies close to "translation Greek"; the call of the first disciples (Mk 1, 16-20 par.), healing of a paralytic (Mk 2, 1-11 par.), accusation of operating by Beelzeboul (Mk 3, 20-30 par.) certain parables (Mk 4, 13-32), resurrection of the daughter of Jairus (Mk 5, 24-43 par.), second multiplication of the loaves (Mk 8, 1-10 par.), dispute over who is the greatest (Mk 9, 33-37 par.). The other units mostly show intermediate frequencies. These are important facts for history and interpretation of texts.

Adopting the hypothesis of the two sources, the author compares according to the same method the synoptic gospels between them. He gets the following results ("Syntax Criticism of the Synoptic Gospels"; p. 127-128):
a) Luke and Matthew attenuate the Semitic characteristics of parallel Markan accounts;
b) Luke and Matthew are more Semitic in the "Q" sections;
c) In its own sections, Luke is much more Semitic than all the rest of the Gospels.

In a new book, R.A.M. analyzes the Fourth Gospel, the four accounts of the Passion and the Resurrection, and the "catholic" epistles. On the Johannine Gospel, his conclusion (p. 80) joins that already formulated by C.F. Burney (_The Aramaic Origin of the Fourth Gospel_, 1922) : the Gospel of John in its present form dates back to a gospel written in Aramaic. It contains units written in "original Greek". But most are close to the "Greek of translation", some very close, for example the speeches after the Last Supper (chap. 14 to 17), but not the discourse on the Bread of Life (chap. 6). Analyses of the stories of the Passion and the Resurrection draw similar conclusions. Wherever the Fourth Gospel is distinguished from the other three, "it is very Semitic according to the syntactic criteria; the Palestinian Aramaic-speaking environment is very apparent". As for the _Epistles of John_, the first two relate to translation Greek, the third from the original Greek. The _Letter of James_, with the exception of a few small "units" (interpolations?) are from Greek for translation; _I Peter_ as a whole belongs clearly in Greek originally, but three sections are in Greek from translation ; _II Peter_ is in Greek originally, but presents a particular style; the whole of _The Epistle of Jude_ is in Greek originally.

These data should in the future be taken into account by all works relating to the New Testament. However criticisms have been made, which R.A.M, does not entirely reject, insofar as they delimit the field on which the syntactic criticism can be exercised. We could add others, for example concerning the presentation: an enormous place is held by tables crammed with numbers, the off-putting character of which can have discouraged more than one reader; too rarely does the author isolate the significant facts to determine their significance. We can also blame him for the deficiencies of its bibliography. Only the 1989 book contains a summary and very incomplete bibliography. It only contains titles of works written or translated into English. The author seems to ignore for example the work of J. Jeremias on the Semitic background of the New Testament, and the little book by J. Carmignac, _Naissance des Evangiles synoptiques_ [_Birth of the Synoptic Gospels_] (Paris, 1984) and its precious notes method.

The very rigor of R.A.M.'s approach could have done it wrong. It would be a reverse error to consider it infallible. The author is the first to mark the limits of his method. (Cf. p. 163-181 of _S.C. of Joh. Lit._: "The Methodology of 'Syntax Criticism' and Criticisms of it"). We will note two here:

1 The statistical method is only fully valid for large numbers. The more short the sections, the more uncertain the results. With the shortest units (up to 4 lines!), we practically come back to ad hoc observations. The author overcomes the difficulty by making the count of the criteria verified among the 17 it uses. This would assume that they are independent of each other and of equal value. But the first eight for example (use of prepositions) are linked between them. And the proportion of the bonds in καί and in δέ is a fact of language that a good translator can be wary of: he can easily correct the effects, or on the contrary use them systematically to "Do Semitic". On the other hand, the number of criteria is not limited ; we could add others.

2 The existence of Semitic sources is not necessarily detected by the "syntactic criticism". The discernment that it operates is exercised only in a meaning. The Semitisms preserved in Greek prove the existence of a Semitic substrate. But their absence or their rarity is not incompatible with the use of an underlying Hebrew or Aramaic text. An example is given by R.A.M. himself: Flavius Josephus declares that he first wrote the _War of the Jews_ in "the language of his fathers"; however, according to the syntactic analysis, the work presents all the characteristics of "original Greek". It could be the same with certain evangelical pericopes, and that, without reaching the perfection of Flavius Josephus and his collaborators, good translators considerably attenuated the Semitic features from their sources.

Either way, the R.A.M. counts establish as hardly contestable the existence of Semitic sources in the bulk of the Gospels and the first half of Acts. That is to say that these writings take us back to Palestinian origins, and therefore older than is usually admitted. A revision is needed of theories which exaggerate the Hellenic part in Christian origins. Is it because they force this revision that R.A.M.'s work has been given so little consideration so far? After his last two books, it is no longer possible to ignore them.

Finally, let us point out that his books and his method can make great service to all who have to deal with writings suspected to be translations of foreign texts, or recognized as such.
André Méhat.

_Mark as Contributive Amanuensis of 1 Peter?_ by Jongyoon Moon"Greek+style+of+the+parallel+narratives+of+the+passion+and+resurrection+in+the+four+Gospels.+"
I got what's below from a PDF that's from a version of that book, and I reformatted the table:

In his 1989 monograph, _Syntax Criticism of Johannine Literature, the Catholic Epistles, and the Gospel Passion Accounts_, [Raymond A.] Martin analyzes the Greek style of the parallel narratives of the passion and resurrection in the four Gospels. He defines the accounts of the passion and resurrection as Mark 11:1-16:8, Matt 21:1-28:20, Luke 19:28-24:53, and John 12:1-21:25, respectively.

Figure 11. Net Frequencies in Original Greek Documents of More Than 50 Lines

No. of Lines
Original Greek 17 16 15 11 10 9 4
Translation Greek -3 -4 -7
325 Plutarch – Selections 16
192 Polybius – Bks I, II 15
138 Epictetus – Bks III, IV 17
349 Bks I, II 9
487 Bks I, II, III, IV 11
215 Josephus – Selections 16
630 Papyri – Selections 17
495 II Maccabees 2:13-6:31 17
251 Philo – On Creation I-VIII 9
447 Mark 11:1-16:8 4
718 Matt 21:1-28:20 -4
524 Luke 19:28-24:53 -7
732 John 12-21 -3

(Source: Martin, _Syntax Criticism of Johannine Literature, the Catholic Epistles, and the Gospel Passion Accounts_, 44 with modifications)
On the grounds of his syntactical analysis, Martin indicates that “somewhat surprising is the fact that the net frequencies of both Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts are much more Semitic, falling into clearly translation Greek area!”^3 [3: Ibid., 45. ....]

"(How) Can We Tell If a Greek Apocryphon or Pseudepigraphon Has Been Translated from Hebrew or Aramaic?" by James R. Davila
[endnote] 4. _Syntactical Evidence of Semitic Sources in Greek Documents_ (Cambridge, Mass.: Society of Biblical Literature, 1974); idem, _Syntax Criticism of the Synoptic Gospels_ (Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity 10; Lewiston, New York/Queenston, Ontario: Edwin Mellen, 1987).
The criteria are presented in detail in chapter 1 of _Syntatical Evidence_ on pp. 5-43 and are, briefly,
the relative frequency of eight prepositions in relationship to the preposition en;
the comparative frequencies of _kai_ and _de_ in coordinating independent clauses;
the separation of the Greek definite article from its substantive;
a tendency to place genitives after the substantive on which they depend;
a greater frequency of dependent genitive personal pronouns;
a tendency to omit the article on a substantive with a dependent genitive personal pronoun;
a tendency to place attributive adjectives after the word they qualify;
less frequent use of attributive adjectives;
less frequent use of adverbial participles;
and less frequent use of the dative case without a preposition.

_Classifying the Aramaic Texts from Qumran: A Statistical Analysis of Linguistic Features_ (Library of Second Temple Studies) by John Starr (2017), 350pp., on 303-305
In particular, the four texts that contained excerpts from the biblical books of Daniel and Ezra clustered together quite separate from the other texts. .... It was during this stage, also using cluster analysis, that a further discreet group of texts were identified that had features in common with the Targums. .... For the Aramaic texts found at Qumran, Latent Class Analysis confirmed that there were six quite distinct text-type groups (not five or seven) and that they described relationships between the texts well. ....

Formal statistical analysis showed that nearly all the remaining unclassified texts could be assigned to a text-type group with over 90 per cent probability. The pattern of six distinct text types explaining the relationship between the Aramaic texts found at Qumran held up remarkably. ....

There were three main textual aspects of this characterization: date (early, mid, late), place (Eastern or Western) and literary style ('typical' or not). ....
First, there are six distinct text types present in diverse styles both in terms of date and geographical affinity so that it is no longer possible to speak of 'Qumran Aramaic' without considerable qualification. Second, texts can be classified according to whether they display an 'official', mainstream style, with proportionally fewer 'unofficial' style texts coming from Cave 4. This raises the real possibility that Cave 4 texts form a distinct entity or library.

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RE: _The Peshitta Holy Bible_ translated by David Bauscher - by DavidFord - 07-06-2021, 11:42 AM

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