The Peshitta (Aramaic New Testament)

My previous post made mention of an Aramaic New Testament.  This has turned out to be an interesting side trip in my studies.  The assertion I mentioned is that the original gospels were written in Aramaic rather than Greek.   However, regardless of whether Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John actually wrote in Greek, it is important to note that the actual verbal sayings of Jesus to his disciples were almost certainly in Aramaic.  So the “original Greek texts” that we refer to so often in modern times can only be translations at best.  It seems to me that reading a transliteration of the New Testament in Aramaic would be the closest we English speakers can get to receiving the actual words of Christ.

Some years ago I was given a copy of the The Peshitta on CD ROM.  The Peshitta is the official Bible of the Church of the East.  The name Peshitta in Aramaic means “Straight”, in other words, the original and pure New Testament.  The Church of the East believes that the Peshitta is the only authentic and pure text which contains the books in the New Testament that were written in Aramaic, the Language of Mshikha (the Messiah) and His Disciples.

In reference to the originality of the Peshitta, the words of His Holiness Mar Eshai Shimun, Catholicos Patriarch of the Church of the East, are summarized as follows:

“With reference to….the originality of the Peshitta text, as the Patriarch and Head of the Holy Apostolic and Catholic Church of the East, we wish to state, that the Church of the East received the scriptures from the hands of the blessed Apostles themselves in the Aramaic original, the language spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and that the Peshitta is the text of the Church of the East which has come down from the Biblical times without any change or revision.”

The above information is from an excellent web site:  http://www.peshitta.org/.  This website includes the full Aramaic text of the four gospels plus Acts, along with an interlinear English translation.  I keep finding new things to study much more rapidly than I can keep up!

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