Was the New Testament written in Hebrew?

A Collection of Evidence Supporting Original Hebrew-Aramaic New Testament

by James Trimm.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1:  Hebraic Roots Version Introduction

Chapter 2:  Hebrew and Aramaic Text Sources

Chapter 3:  Original Ancient Manuscript Order

Chapter 4:  Sacred Name Restored

Chapter 5:  Hebrew and Aramaic ?Languages of the First Century Israel

Chapter 6:  Why Were The Hebrew and Aramaic Manuscripts Used In This Translation

Chapter 7:  Testimony of the “Church Fathers?and Talmudic Rabbis

Chapter 8:  History of the Movement

Chapter 9:  Grammar of the New Testament

Chapter 10:  Mistakes In The Greek New Testament

Chapter 11:  The Pauline Epistles

Chapter 12:  Tanak Quotes In The New Testament

Chapter 13:  Internal Evidence of Originality of the text of the Hebraic and Aramaic Manuscripts

Chapter 14:  More Evidence for Hebrew and Aramaic Manuscripts

Chapter 15:  Synoptic Variance Due To Ambiguity

Chapter 16:  Misunderstood Questions & Conclusion

Conclusion

To find out more about the Hebraic-Roots Version New Testament, the first Messianic translation translated not from the Greek manuscripts, but from the Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts, visit: http://www.hebraicrootsversion.com/

Chapter One:  Hebraic Roots Version Introduction

The Hebraic Roots Version (which began as the Semitic New Testament Project) has been a ten year project to produce a new and accurate translation of the New Testament taken primarily from old Hebrew and Aramaic sources.   The HRV uses Messianic terminology.  Hebraic names are used.  “Yeshua?rather than “Jesus? “Yochanan?rather than “John? Ruach HaKodesh?rather than “Holy Spirit? “Talmidim?rather than “disciples?etc. Also in many other cases theologically neutral terms have been used “immerse?rather than “baptize? “emissaries?rather than “apostles?etc.  Most NT translations are made from the Greek text.  This has been true of every Messianic version of the NT to date.  The HRV is the first Messianic New Testament to be translated from ancient Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts rather than from the Greek.  This translation will seek to understand the text of the New Testament from the languages in which it was originally written. This is important because there are some passages in the NT which do not make sense at all in Greek, but only begin to make sense when we look at them in Hebrew and Aramaic.

Acts 11:27-30

And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all THE WORLD, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the talmidim, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brothers dwelling IN JUDEA. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

Now this doesn't make sense at all, why would those in Antioch send relief to those dwelling IN JUDEA if the famine was to strike all THE WORLD. They would be facing famine themselves.  The Jewish New Testament translates the Greek word as "throughout the Roman Empire" but this has the same problem, since Antioch and Judea were both in the Roman Empire.

The solution lies in the fact that the word for "WORLD" in the Aramaic manuscripts is ERA (Strong's #772) the Aramaic form of the Hebrew word ERETZ (Strong's 776). This word can mean "world" (as in Prov. 19:4)  "earth" (as in Dan. 2:35) or "land" (as in Dan. 9:15) and is often used as a euphemism for "The Land of Israel" (as in Dan. 9:6). Certainly the word here is not meant to mean "world" but "land of Israel."

Mt. 26:6 = Mk. 14:3

And when Y'shua was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, (KJV)

As any Bible student knows, lepers were not permitted to live in the city (see Lev. 13:46).

Stern's JNT attempts to fix the problem by translating:

Stern's JNT has: Yeshua was in Beit-Anyah, at the home of Shim'on, the man who had had the repulsive skin disease.

But in fact the Greek does NOT say that Shim'on HAD BEEN a Leper.  The Greek calls him "Simon the Leper".

Since ancient Hebrew and Aramaic were written without vowels, there was no distinction between the Aramaic words GAR'BA (leper)and GARABA (jar maker or jar merchant). Since in this story a woman pours oil from a jar it is apparent that Simon was a jar merchant or jar maker and not a leper.

 -Mt. 19:12 & Acts 8:26f ....there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake....--Mt. 19:12 NKJV

So he [Phillip] arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship.

 --Acts 8:27 NKJV

In Mt. 19 Stern's JNT translates the same Greek phrase for "eunuch" as "do not marry"; "without desire";  "been castrated" and "renounced marriage" to avoid this problem.  He translates the same Greek word as "eunuch" in Acts 8:27 just as the KJV does.

The man in Acts 8:27 appears to be a proselyte to Judaism since he seems to be making the Torah-required pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Dt. 16:16). The Torah, however, forbids a eunuch both from becoming a proselyte Jew, and from worshiping at the Temple (Dt. 23:1f). This also raises the question of why one would become a eunuch (be castrated) for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. After all eunuchs are excluded from the assembly of Israel.  The word for "eunuch" in the Aramaic manuscripts of both of these passages is M'HAIMNA which can mean "eunuch" but can also mean "believer" or "faithful one" as it clearly means here.  In Mt. 19 it appears as a sort of word play because it also refers to one who is faithful in marriage.

Mt. 19:24 = Mk. 10:25 = Lk. 18:25

...it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.

Stern's JNT has "...it is easier for a camel to pass through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God."

The word for "camel" in the Aramaic manuscripts is GAMLA which can mean "camel" but can also refer to a "large rope," which is certainly the meaning here.

Jn. 12:11 & 15:16

One word that the Greek translators often misunderstood was the Aramaic word 'EZAL which normally means "to go" or "to depart" but is used idiomatically in Aramaic to mean that some action goes forward and that something progresses "more and more".

One case where the Greek translator misunderstood this word and translated to literally is in Jn. 12:11:

Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away (!?!?!?!?), and believed on Jesus. (KJV)

Stern's JNT has:

since it was because of him that large numbers of the Judeans were leaving their leaders and putting their trust in Yeshua.

Note that Stern adds the phrase "their leaders" which does NOT appear in the Greek in an attempt to force the Greek to make some kind of sense.

Now I have translated the Aramaic of this passage as follows:  because many of the Judeans, on account of him, were trusting more and more ('EZAL) in Yeshua.

And Jn. 15:16:  ...that ye should go and bring forth fruit... KJV

...to go and bear fruit... JNT

I have translated from the Aramaic:  ...that you also should bear fruit more and more ('EZAL)

Chapter Two:  Hebrew and Aramaic Text Sources

Hebrew Sources 

DuTillet Matthew - The DuTillet version of Matthew is taken from a Hebrew manuscript of Matthew which was confiscated from Jews in Rome in 1553. On August 12th, 1553, at the petition of Pietro, Cardinal Caraffa, the Inquisitor General, Pope Julius III signed a decree banning the Talmud in Rome. The decree was executed on September 9th (Rosh HaShanna) and anything that looked like the Talmud, that is, anything written in Hebrew characters was confiscated as the Jewish homes and synagogues were ravished. Jean DuTillet, Bishop of Brieu, France was visiting Rome at the time. DuTillet was astounded to take notice of a Hebrew manuscript of Matthew among the other Hebrew manuscripts. DuTillet acquired the manuscript and returned to France, depositing it in the Biblioteque Nationale, Paris. It remains there to this day as Hebrew ms. No. 132.   While most scholars have ignored the DuTillet Hebrew version of Matthew, two scholars, Hugh Schonfield and George Howard, have stated their opinion that this Hebrew text underlies our current Greek text. Schonfield writes:

...certain linguistic proofs... seem to show that the Hebrew text [DuTillet] underlies the Greek, and that certain  renderings in the Greek may be due to a misread Hebrew  original.  (An Old Hebrew Text of St. Matthew's Gospel; 1927, p. 17)

Munster Matthew - The Munster Hebrew Text of Matthew was published in 1537 by Sebastian Munster. Munster claimed to have received his Hebrew text from the Jews. Munster also noted that he received the text "in defective condition, and with many lacunae (holes)" which he himself filled in. Unfortunately Munster did not take steps to preserve his manuscript source which is now lost, and he did not make note of those places where he filled in missing text.

Shem Tob Matthew - The Shem Tob Hebrew version of Matthew was transcribed by Shem Tob Ben Yitzach Ben Shaprut into his apologetic work Even Bohan sometime around 1380 C.E.. While the autograph of Shem Tob's Even Bohan has been lost, several manuscripts dating between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries still exist, complete with the transcribed text of Hebrew Matthew. George Howard writes of Shem Tob's Hebrew Matthew:

...an old substratum to the Hebrew in Shem Tob is a prior  composition, not a translation. The old substratum,  however, has been exposed to a series  of revisions so that the present  text of Shem-Tob represents the original only in an impure form.   (The Gospel of Matthew according to a Primitive Hebrew Text; 1987;p.223)

It might appear from the linguistic and sociological background to early Christianity and the nature of some theological tendencies  in Shem-Tob's Matthew that the Hebrew text served as a model for the Greek. The present writer is, in fact, inclined to that position.   (ibid p. 225)

Shem-Tob's Matthew... does not preserve the original in a pure form. It reflects contamination by Jewish scribes during the  Middle Ages. Considerable parts of the original, however,  appear to remain... (Hebrew Gospel of Matthew; 1995; p. 178)

Aramaic Sources 

The Old Syriac Gospels Another relatively unknown fact to much of Christendom is the existence of two ancient Aramaic manuscripts of the Four Gospels dating back to the Fourth century. The first was discovered by Dr. William Cureton in 1842. It was found in a monastery at the Naton Lakes Valley in Egypt. This manuscript is known as Codex Syrus Curetonianus or, the Cureton and is catalogued as British Museum Add. No. 14451. The second was discovered by Mrs. Agnes Smith Lewis in 1892. It was found at St. Catherines Monastery at the foot of traditional Mount Sinai in Egypt. This manuscript is known as Codex Syrus Sinaiticus or the Syriac Siniatic and is catalogued as Ms. Sinai Syriac No. 30. After making his profound discovery Dr. Cureton studied the Old Syriac text of the manuscript in detail. Cureton concluded that at least the version of Matthew found in the Old Syriac has its basis in the original Semitic text and was not merely a translation from the Greek or Latin. Cureton published his findings to the world saying:

...this Gospel of St. Matthew appears at least to be built upon  the original Aramaic text which was the work of the Apostle himself

 (Remains of a Very Ancient Recension of the Four Gospels in Syriac;1858; p. vi)

The Peshitta New Testament

The Peshitta Bible is an Aramaic version of the Scriptures which is used throughout the Near East. The birth of the Peshitta looms beyond the horizon of antiquity.   Although one tradition has the Tanak portion of the Peshitta being translated at the time of Solomon at the request of Hiram, and another ascribes the translation to a priest named Assa sent by the king of Assyria to Samaria. More likely is that the Peshitta Tanak was prepared at the edict of King Izates II of Abiabene who with his entire family converted to Judaism. Josephus records that at his request, King Izates' five son's went to Jerusalem to study the Jewish language and customs. It was probably at this time that the Peshitta Tanak was born.


The New Testament portion of the Peshitta was added to the Peshitta Tanak in the earliest Christian centuries. It is universally used by Jacobite Syrians; Nestorian Assyrians and Roman Catholic Chaldeans. The Peshitta must predate the Christological debates of the fourth and fifth centuries, since none of these groups would have adopted their rival's version. Thus, this version certainly originated in the pre-Nicean Church of the East. It includes all of the books except 2Peter; 2John; 3John; Jude and Revelation. These books were not canonized by the Church of the East. The Peshitta is not merely a translation from the Greek text, but rather a revision of the Old Syriac, as Arthur Voobus writes:

...the Peshitta is not a translation, but a revision of an Old Syriac version.     (Studies in the History of the Gospel Text in Syriac; 1951; p. 46 see also pp. 54-55).

The Crawford Manuscript of Revelation

The Crawford Aramaic version of Revelation is a very rare, little known version. How the manuscript made its way to Europe is unknown. What is known is that the manuscript was purchased by the Earl of Crawford around 1860. In the Earl of Crawford's possession the ms. became catalogued Earl of Crawford's Haigh Hall, Wigan, no. 11. It has since come into the possession of the well-known John Rylands Library of Manchester, England. The manuscript contains a complete Peshitta text supplemented by the extra-Peshitta epistles and this unique version of Revelation. Concerning the variants of this version John Gwyn Writes:

Two or three... are plausible readings; and might well be judged worthy of adoption if there were any ground for supposing the Apocalypse to have been originally written,  or to be based on a document written, in an Aramaic idiom.  (The Apocalypse of St. John in a Syriac Version Hitherto Unknown; 1897; p. lxxix)

And to this we may add to show that there is ground for "supposing the Apocalypse to have been originally written, or to be based on a document written, in an Aramaic idiom.":

 ...the Book of Revelation was written in a Semitic language, and that the Greek translation... is a remarkably close rendering of the original."
(C. C. Torrey; Documents of the Primitive Church 1941; p. 160 )

We come to the conclusion, therefore that the Apocalypse  as a whole is a translation from Hebrew or Aramaic... RBY Scott; The Original Language of the Apocalypse 1928; p. 6

When we turn to the New Testament we find that there are reasons for suspecting a Hebrew or Aramaic  original for the Gospels of Matthew, Mark,  John  and for the apocalypse.  Hugh J. Schonfield; An Old Hebrew Text of St. Matthew's Gospel; 1927; p. vii

Editions used as Source Text for the HRV

For the DuTillet Hebrew text of Matthew I have used:

Des Schentob ben Schaprut hebraeische des Evangeliums Matthaei nach den Druken des S. Munster and J. DuTillet-Mercier; Adolf Herbst, 1879

Biblioteque Nationale, Paris; Hebrew Manuscript No. 132 (on Microfilm)

For the Munster Hebrew Text of Matthew I have used:   Torat HaMashiach: Evangelium se cundum Matthaeum in Lingua Hebraica; Sebastian Munster; 1537

For the Shem Tob Hebrew Text of Matthew I have used:   Hebrew Gospel of Matthew; George Howard; Mercer University Press; 1995

For the Old Syriac Aramaic text of the Four Gospels I have used:  Remains of a Very Ancient Recension of the Four Gospels in Syriac;  Dr. William Cureton; 1858

Evangelion da-Mepharreshe; F. C. Burkitt; 1904

The Old Syriac Gospels or Evangelion da-Mepharreshe; Agnes Smith Lewis; 1910

For the Peshitta Aramaic text I have used:

 (Eastern; "Nestorian" texts)  Codex Khaboris  (I was fortunate enough to have direct access to the  Codex for about a year beginning in July of 1995; and since that time have  had access to photographs)

The New Covenant Aramaic Peshitta Text with Hebrew Translation; The Bible Society in Israel; 1986 (Western "Jacobite" texts)

The New Testament in Syriac; The British and Foreign Bible Society;  1950

Syriac Bible; United Bible Societies; 1979

For the Aramaic of Revelation I have used: The Apocalypse of St. John in a Syriac Version Hitherto Unknown; John Gwynn.  D.D.. D.C.L.; 1897

Chapter Three:  Original Ancient Manuscript Order 

Just as the manuscript order of the books of the Tanak (OT), (followed by Judaism) does not agree with the ordering of the same books in the Christian "Old Testament" as printed today, so also does the manuscript order of the NT differ.   The ancient manuscript order of the books of the "New Testament" has first the "Gospels" then "Acts" followed by the Jewish Epistles (Ya'akov (James); 1 & 2 Kefa (Peter); 1, 2 & 3 Yochanan (John) and Y'hudah (Jude)) followed by the Pauline epistles which are followed by Revelation.

This original order was rearranged by Rome in the Latin Vulgate in which the Pauline epistles were given first place and the Jewish epistles given second place.  This gave Romans a more prominent place in the NT as part of Rome's bid for power.  Thus Rome effectively displaced and replaced the Jews by displacing the Jewish epistles and replacing them with the Pauline Epistles beginning with "Romans".

Up until the 4th Century all of the "Church Fathers" who list the NT books do so by placing the Jewish Epistles (sometimes called the "Catholic (Latin: Universal) Epistles") first, followed by the Pauline Epistles.  The ancient Aramaic manuscripts always follow this order as well.  This is because Rome had no legal authority over those in the Parthean Empire outside its borders, where the Aramaic retained its position as the original, standard text. 

The original manuscript order had an important significance. It agreed with the precept that the message was to the Jews first and then to the Goyim (Gentiles). It also agrees with the concept that Ya'akov, Kefa and Yochanan were emissaries that come BEFORE Paul (Gal. 1:17) and with the concept that Kefa, Ya'akov and Yochanan served as three pillars which lend authority upon which Paul's message was built (Gal. 2:9) and not vice-versa. The reader of the NT was intended to read the "Jewish" epistles FIRST and then to read the Pauline epistles already having understood the Jewish epistles. The NT reader was intended to read Ya'akov's (James') admonition concerning faith and works (Ya'akov 2) as well as Kefa's warnings about Paul being difficult to understand and often twisted (2Kefa 3:15-16) etc. before ever attempting to understand the writings of Paul.

In fact when Westcott and Hort published their critical edition of the Greek NT in 1881 they returned to the original order of the books saying in their introduction:

…We have followed recent editors in abandoning the Hieronymic order familiar in modern Europe through the influence of the Latin Vulgate, in favour of the order most highly recommended by various Greek authority of the fourth century?Introduction to the New Testament in the Original Greek, pp. 320-321)  (obviously I do not agree that the Greek was the original)

So the ancient Aramaic places the Jewish Epistles first, and the Ancient Greek places the Jewish Epistles first and Rome actually rearranged the Scriptures to place the Pauline Epistles beginning with Romans in front and pushed the Jewish Epistles behind them when creating the Latin Vulgate which served as the Roman Catholic Standard text.  This Roman Replacement Rearrangement became adopted by many Greek printed editions, the King James Version, virtually all English versions which followed, and even all Messianic Editions until the HRV.   Even the Jewish New Testament and Complete Jewish Bible (which restores the order of the Tanak books) adopts Rome's replacement rearrangement of scrambled Scriptures.

 (The HRV follows the ancient manuscript order (which agrees also with the order of the ancient Aramaic manuscripts) in placing the "Jewish epistles" immediately after Acts and placing the Pauline Epistles AFTER them.)

Literal Translation

Books appear in the original ancient manuscript order
This is another important feature which makes the HRV unique when compared to other Messianic editions.   Just as the manuscript order of the books of the Tanak (OT), (followed by Judaism) does not agree with the ordering of the same books in the Christian "Old Testament" as printed today, so also does the manuscript order of the NT differ. The ancient manuscript order of the books of the "New Testament" has first the "Gospels" then "Acts" followed by the Jewish Epistles (Ya’akov (James); 1 & 2 Kefa (Peter); 1, 2 & 3 Yochanan (John) and Y'hudah (Jude) followed by the Pauline epistles which are followed by Revelation. This order was rearranged by Rome in the Latin Vulgate in which the Pauline epistles were given first place and the Jewish epistles given second place.

The original manuscript order had an important significance. It agreed with the precept that the message was to the Jews first and then to the Goyim (Gentiles). It also agrees with the concept that Ya'akov, Kefa and Yochanan were emissaries that come BEFORE Paul (Gal. 117) and with the concept that Kefa, Ya'akov and Yochanan served as three pillars which lend authority upon which Paul's message was built (Gal. 29) and not vice-versa. The reader of the NT was intended to read the "Jewish" epistles FIRST and then to read the Pauline epistles already having understood the Jewish epistles. The NT reader was intended to read Ya'akov's (James') admonition concerning faith and works (Ya'akov 2) as well as Kefa's warnings about Paul being difficult to understand and often twisted (1Kefa 315-16) etc. before ever attempting to understand the writings of Paul. The HRV follows the ancient manuscript order (which agrees also with the order of the ancient Aramaic manuscripts) in placing the "Jewish epistles" immediately after Acts and placing the Pauline Epistles AFTER them.

Quotes from TANAK (old testament) appear bold faced and footnoted

Over 1,600 scholarly footnotes citing the original Languages etc. 

Did you know that some Greek manuscripts of Matthew contain column notes which offer alternate readings from "the Jewish version"? The HRV includes these column notes as footnotes.   The HRV also contains many footnotes pointing out ambiguous words which seem to have been misunderstood by the Greek translator; words that seem to have been misread by the Greek translator and wordplays and alliteration in the original Hebrew and Aramaic.   Also some passages in which the HRV translation differs from the traditional translations contain footnotes explaining why the passage should be translated as we have it.   Other footnotes demonstrate how the same Aramaic words have been used in the Talmud.   Finally for some key passages of interest I have included the actual Hebrew or Aramaic text in a footnote.   This sum total of over 1,600 footnotes will sharpen your understanding of the text.

Chapter Four:  Sacred Name Restored 

Regardless of where one stands on the controversial issue of when, if or how the Sacred Name should actually be used, the issue of where it does or does not occur in the NT is an important issue to Messianic Jews of all persuasions.  In his Jewish New Testament David Stern makes note that this is an important issue.  Stern writes:

     In the New Testament the Greek word kurios is frequently ambiguous.  It can mean "sir", "lord" (as in "lord of the manor"), "Lord" (with divine overtones), and "Y-H-V-H" ("Jehovah", God's personal name, for which Judaism substitutes the word "Adonai" and many translations substitute "LORD"). Most translations, by always rendering kurios "Lord", finesse the issue of when it means "YHWH".)  The Jewish New Testament does not?translators should decide the true meaning clearly, rather than transfer vagueness from one language to another. In several places this approach brings into bold relief a key theological issue…namely, whether the concept of Adonai can include Yeshua the Messiah and/or the Holy Spirit. (JNT p. xxiv-xxv) ...the word "Adonai" is used in the B'rit Hadashsah wherever I as the translator, believe "kurios" is the Greek representation of  the tetragrammaton. (CJB p. xxxiv)

Stern makes the important observation that the Greek NT uses Greek KURIOS to mean either Hebrew ADONAI or Hebrew YHWH.  Stern also makes the important observation that distinguishing between these words in the NT has an important impact on key theological issues.  Unfortunately by working from the Greek text Stern can only rely on his opinion as to whether the ambiguous Greek word KURIOS is intended to mean ADONAI or YHWH.  Moreover Stern's translation introduces confusion to the issue in that wherever Stern believes KURIOS means ADONAI he translates it as "Lord" and wherever he believes KURIOS means YHWH he translates it "Adonai".  In recent years, however it has become acceptable for Jewish versions to transliterate the Sacred Name in Bible translations with YHVH or YHWH.  In fact the Jewish Fox translation of the Torah uses YHWH and does the Original Bible Project Version which is widely advocated by Jewish authorities.  Certainly there is no reason therefore that a Messianic edition should not do the same.

In the past, sacred name versions of the New Testament have depended largely on guesswork to determine where Greek KURIOS means YHWH and where it means ADON/ADONAI. This is because as Stern stated, the Greek New Testament (at least as we have it today) does not distinguish between the two, having Greek KURIOS for both YHWH and ADON/ADONAI.

However we know from both the Tosefta and Talmuds (ancient Jewish writings) that certain  New Testament manuscripts contained the name of YHWH in their text (t.Shab. 13:5; b.Shab. 116a; j.Shab. 15c).

Now our Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts preserve for us knowledge of where KUIOS  in the Greek NT was YHWH and where it was ADON/ADONAI. The DuTillet Hebrew manuscript of Matthew repeats the Hebrew letter YUD two or three times encircled as to mark places where the name of YHWH should go. The Shem Tob Hebrew version of Matthew has the Hebrew letter HEY standing alone (and in one place the word HASHEM spelled out) to mark places where the name of YHWH belongs. The Munster Hebrew text of Matthew actually contains the name of YHWH spelled out where it belongs.

The Old  Syriac, Peshitta and Crawford Aramaic manuscripts of NT books also distinguish between YHWH and ADON/ADONAI.   As a rule the Aramaic Peshitta Tanak (Old Testament) renders EL/ELOAH/ELOHIM with ALAHA; ADONAI/ADON with MAR and YHWH with MARYA.  For Example:  Psalm 110:1a Hebrew:  ADANAI said to my ADON?/span>

               Psalm 110:1a Aramaic: MARYA said to my MAR?/span>

This pattern continues through the Aramaic NT as well.  These Aramaic manuscripts have  Aramaic MARYA for YHWH and Aramaic MAR (or MARI or MARAN) for ADON/ADONAI.   We have objective manuscript evidence to support placement of the sacred name into the NT text, the era of guesswork is over. 

The Hebraic Roots Version is the first "Sacred Name" NT to use such objective manuscript evidence to place the sacred name to the New Testament.

Wherever the Sacred Name is indicated the HRV has YHWH.  Wherever ADONAI is indicated the HRV has ADONAI.  Wherever ADON is indicated the HRV had "Master".  Wherever EL is indicated the HRV has EL.  Wherever ELOAH is indicated (or where the Aramaic has ALAHA) the HRV has ELOAH.  Wherever ELOHIM is indicated the HRV has ELOHIM.

Sacred Name appears based on manuscript evidence

The major Messianic editions of the NT have not included the sacred name. However even in some rabbinic circles it has become accepted and helpful to include the sacred name translated with the four consonants YHWH or YHVW (for example the Fox translation). Moreover the majority of NT versions (Messianic or otherwise) which have included the Sacred name have done so only by way of guesswork. since the Greek NT does not distinguish "Lord" from "YHWH". However the HRV includes the sacred name throughout the NT based on real manuscript evidence found in the Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts which distinguish ADONAI/Lord from YHWH.

We know from both the Tosefta and Talmuds (ancient Jewish writings) that certain (Hebrew and Aramaic?) New Testament manuscripts contained the name of YHWH in their text (t.Shab. 13:5; b.Shab. 116a; j.Shab. 15c). Now our Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts preserve for us knowledge of where "Lord" in the NT was YHWH and where it was ADON/ADONAI.

The DuTillet Hebrew manuscript of Matthew repeats the Hebrew letter YUD two or three times in a circle so as to mark places where the name of YHWH should go. The Shem Tob Hebrew version of Matthew has the Hebrew letter HEY standing alone (and in one place the word HASHEM spelled out) to mark places where the name of YHWH belongs. The Munster Hebrew text of Matthew actually contains the name off YHWH spelled out where it belongs. The Old Syriac, Peshitta and Crawford Aramaic manuscripts of NT books also distinguish between YHWH and ADON/ADONAI. These Aramaic manuscripts have Aramaic MARYA for YHWH and Aramaic MAR (or MARI or MARAN) for ADON/ADONAI. Now we have objective manuscript evidence to support placement of the sacred name into the NT text, the era of guesswork is over.

Chapter Five: Hebrew and Aramaic ?Languages of the First Century Israel

Languages of The First Century Israel 

The Middle East, through all of its political turmoil, has in  fact been dominated by a single master from the earliest ages until the present day.  The Semitic tongue has dominated the Middle East from ancient times, until the modern day.  Aramaic dominated the three great Empires, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian.  It endured until the seventh century, when under the Islamic nation it was displaced by a cognate Semitic language, Arabic.  Even  today some few Syrians, Assyrians and Chaldeans speak Aramaic as their native tongue, including three villages north of Damascus .

The Jewish people, through all of their persecutions, sufferings and wanderings have never lost sight of their Semitic

heritage, nor their Semitic tongue.  Hebrew, a Semitic tongue closely related to Aramaic, served as their language until the great

dispersion when a cognate language, Aramaic, began to replace it.  Hebrew, however continued to be used for religious literature, and is today the spoken language in Israel.

The Babylonian Exile 

Some scholars have proposed that the Jews lost their Hebrew language, replacing it with Aramaic during the Babylonian captivity.   The error of this position becomes obvious.  The Jewish people had spent 400 years in captivity in Egypt  yet they did not stop speaking Hebrew and begin speaking Egyptian, why should they exchange Hebrew for Aramaic after only seventy years  in Babylonian captivity?  Upon return from the Babylonian captivity it was realized that a small minority could not speak "the language of Judah"   so drastic measures were taken to abolish these marriages and maintain the purity of the Jewish people and language   One final evidence rests in the fact that the post-captivity books (Zech., Hag., Mal., Neh., Ezra, and Ester)  are written in Hebrew rather than Aramaic.

Hellenization 

Some scholars have also suggested that under the Helene Empire Jews lost their Semitic language and in their rush to

hellenize, began speaking Greek.  The books of the Maccabees do record an attempt by Antiochus Epiphanies to forcibly Hellenize the

Jewish people.   In response, the Jews formed an army led by Judas Maccabee   This army defeated the Greeks and eradicated Hellenism .   This military victory is still celebrated today as Chanukkah, the feast of the dedication of the Temple  a holiday that even Yeshua seems to have observed at the Temple at Jerusalem in the first century .  Those who claim that the Jews were Hellenized and began speaking Greek at this time seem to deny the historical fact of the Maccabean success.

During the first century, Hebrew remained the language of the Jews living in Judah and to a lesser extent in Galilee.  Aramaic remained a secondary language and the language of commerce.  Jews at this time did not speak Greek, in fact one tradition had it that it was better to feed ones children swine than to teach them the Greek language.  It was only with the permission of authorities that a young official could learn Greek, and then, solely for the purpose of political discourse on the National level.  The Greek language was completely inaccessible and undesirable to the vast majority of Jews in Israel in the 1st century.70a Any gauge of Greek language outside of Israel cannot, nor can any evidence hundreds of years removed from the 1st century, alter the fact that the Jews of Israel in the 1st century did not know Greek.

The Testimony of Josephus 

The first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37-c.100 C.E.) testifies to the fact that Hebrew was the language of first century Jews.  Moreover, he testifies that Hebrew, and not Greek, was the language of his place and time.  Josephus gives us the only first hand account of the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E.  According to Josephus, the Romans had to have him translate the call to the Jews to surrender into "their own language" (Wars 5:9:2) .  Josephus gives us a point-blank statement regarding the language of his people during his time:

I have also taken a great deal of pains to obtain the learning  

of the Greeks, and understanding the elements of the Greek

language although I have so long accustomed myself to speak

our own language, that I cannot pronounce Greek with

sufficient exactness: for our nation does not encourage those

that learn the languages of many nations. (Ant. 20:11:2)

Thus, Josephus makes it clear that first century Jews could not even speak or understand Greek, but spoke "their own language."

Archaeology

Confirmation of Josephus's claims has been found by  Archaeologists.  The Bar Kokhba coins are one example.  These coins were struck by Jews during the Bar Kokhba revolt (c. 132 C.E.).  All of these coins bear only Hebrew inscriptions.  Countless other inscriptions found at excavations of the Temple Mount, Masada and various Jewish tombs, have revealed first century Hebrew inscriptions

Even more profound evidence that Hebrew was a living language during the first century may be found in ancient Documents from about  that time, which have been discovered in Israel.  These include the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Bar Kokhba letters. 

The Dead Sea Scrolls consist of over 40,000 fragments of more than 500 scrolls dating from 250 B.C.E . to 70 C.E..  Theses Scrolls are primarily in Hebrew and Aramaic.  A large number of the "secular scrolls" (those which are not Bible manuscripts) are in Hebrew.

The Bar Kokhba letters are letters between Simon Bar Kokhba and his army, written during the Jewish revolt of 132 C.E.. These letters were discovered by Yigdale Yadin in 1961 and are almost all written in Hebrew and Aramaic.  Two of the letters are written in Greek, both were written by men with Greek names to Bar Kokhba.  One of the two Greek letters actually apologizes for writing to Bar Kokhba in Greek, saying "the letter is written in Greek, as we have no one who knows Hebrew here." 

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bar Kokhba letters not only include first and second century Hebrew documents, but give an even more significant evidence in the dialect of that Hebrew.

 The dialect of these documents was not the Biblical Hebrew of the Tenach (Old Testament), nor was it the Mishnaic Hebrew of the Mishna (c. 220 C.E.).  The Hebrew of these documents is colloquial, it is a fluid living language in a state of flux somewhere in the evolutionary process from Biblical to Mishnaic Hebrew.  Moreover, the Hebrew of  the Bar Kokhba letters represents Galilean Hebrew (Bar Kokhba was a Galilean) , while the Dead Sea Scrolls give us an example of Judean Hebrew.  Comparing the documents shows a living distinction of geographic dialect as well, a sure sign that Hebrew was not a dead language.

Final evidence that first century Jews conversed in Hebrew and Aramaic can be found in other documents of the period, and even later.  These include: the Roll Concerning Fasts  in Aramaic (66-70 C.E.),  The Letter of Gamaliel  in Aramaic (c. 30 - 110 C.E.), Wars of the Jews  by Josephus in Hebrew (c. 75 C.E.), the Mishna  in Hebrew (c. 220 C.E.) and the Gemara  in Aramaic (c. 500 C.E.)

Chapter Six:  Why were the Hebrew and Aramaic Manuscripts used in this translation

Scholars on the Language of the New Testament 

Having thus demonstrated that Hebrew and Aramaic were languages of Jews living in Israel in the first century, we shall now go on to demonstrate that the New Testament was first written in these languages.  Although Stern uses the UBS Greek New Testament text and NOT the Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts as the source for his Jewish New Testament version (Which also appears in THE COMPLETE JEWISH BIBLE) (JNT p. xxii; CJB p. xxxi) he also admits:

    “Nevertheless, there is good reason to think that several books of the New Testament either  were written in Hebrew or Aramaic, or drew upon source materials in those languages; this case has been made by one scholar or another for all four Gospels, Acts, Revelation and several of the General Letters.... In fact, some phrases in the New Testament manuscripts make sense unless one reaches through the Greek to the underlying Hebrew expressions. ?/span>

(David Stern; Complete Jewish Bible p. xxxi) (an almost identical statement appears in JNT p. xvii)

(It should be noted that Stern also indicates his belief, with which I do not agree, that the Pauline Epistles were composed in Greek).

Stern is absolutely correct in the above statement.  A number of noted scholars have argued that at least portions of the New Testament were originally penned in a Semitic tongue.  The following is just some of what these scholars have written on the topic:

When we turn to the New Testament we find that there are reasons for suspecting a Hebrew or Aramaic original for the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, John and for the apocalypse.  - Hugh J. Schonfield; An Old Hebrew Text of St. Matthew's Gospel; 1927; p. vii

The material of our Four Gospels is all Palestinian, and the language in which it was originally written is Aramaic, then the principle language of the land... -C. C. Torrey; Our Translated Gospels; 1936 p. ix

The pioneer in this study of Aramaic and Greek relationships was Charles Cutler Torrey (1863-1956),... His work however fell short of completeness; as a pioneering effort, in the nature of the case, some of his work has to be revised and supplemented.  His main contention of translation, however, is undeniably correct...

The translation into Greek from Aramaic must have been made from a written record, including the Fourth Gospel.  The language was Eastern Aramaic, as the material itself revealed, most strikingly through a comparison of parallel passages...

One group [of scholars], which originated in the nineteenth century and persists to the present day [1979], contends that the Gospels were written in Greek...

Another group of scholars, among them C. C. Torrey ... comes out flatly with the proposition that the Four Gospels... including Acts up to 15:35 are translated directly from Aramaic and from a written Aramaic text....

My own researches have led me to consider Torrey's position valid and convincing that the Gospels as a whole were translated from Aramaic into Greek. - Frank Zimmerman; The Aramaic Origin of tthe Four Gospels; KTAV; 1979

Thus it was that the writer turned seriously to tackle the question of the original language of the Fourth Gospel; and quickly convincing himself that the theory of an original Aramaic  document was no chimera, but a fact which was capable of the fullest verification...-Charles Fox Burney; The Aramaic Origin of the Fourth Gospel; 1922; p. 3

..this [Old Syriac] Gospel of St. Matthew appears at least to be built upon the original  Aramaic text which was the work of the Apostle himself. - William Cureton; Remains of a Very Ancient Recension of the Four Gospels in Syriac; 1858; p. vi)

...the Book of Revelation was written in a Semitic language, and that the Greek translation... is a remarkably close rendering of the original." - C. C. Torrey;  Documents of the Primitive Church 1941; p. 160

We come to the conclusion, therefore that the Apocalypse as a whole is a translation from  Hebrew or Aramaic...

- R. B. Y.  Scott; The Original Language of the Apocalypse 1928; p. 6

The question of the Luke/Acts tradition holds particular interest to us.  This is because the common wisdom has been to portray Luke as a Greek speaking, Greek writing Gentile who wrote his account to the Gentiles.  The reality of the matter is (whether Luke himself knew Greek or not) that Luke was most certainly written in a Semitic language.  as Charles Cutler Torrey states:

In regard to Lk. it remains to be said, that of all the Four Gospels it is the one which gives by far the plainest and most constant evidence of being a translation.  -C.C. Torrey; Our Translated Gospels  p. lix

Chapter Seven:  Testimony of the "Church Fathers" and Talmudic Rabbis 

Testimony Of The Church Fathers 

All of the "Church Fathers", both East and West, testified to the Semitic origin of at least the Book of Matthew, as the following quotes demonstrate:

Papias (150-170 C.E.)  Matthew composed the words in the Hebrew dialect, and each translated as he was able.  (quoted by Eusebius Eccl. Hist. 3:39)

Ireneus (170 C.E.) Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect.  (Irenaeus; Against Heresies 3:1)

Origen (c. 210 C.E.) The first [Gospel] is written according to Matthew, the same that was once a tax collector,  but afterwards an emissary of Yeshua the Messiah, who having published it for the Jewish believers, wrote it in Hebrew. (quoted by Eusebius; Eccl. Hist. 6:25)

Eusebius (c. 315 C.E.) Matthew also, having first proclaimed the Gospel in Hebrew, when on the point of going also to the other nations, committed it to writing in his native tongue, and thus supplied the want of his presence to them by his writings.  (Eusebius; Eccl. Hist. 3:24)

Pantaenus... penetrated as far as India, where it is reported that he found the Gospel  according to Matthew, which had been delivered before his arrival to some who had the knowledge of Messiah, to whom Bartholomew, one of the emissaries, as it is said, had proclaimed, and left them the writing of Matthew in Hebrew letters.

(Eusebius; Eccl. Hist. 5:10)

Epiphanius (370 C.E.)  They [the Nazarenes] have the Gospel according to Matthew quite complete in Hebrew, for this Gospel is certainly still preserved among them as it was first written, in Hebrew letters.  (Epiphanius; Panarion 29:9:4)

Jerome (382 C.E.)  “Matthew, who is also Levi, and from a tax collector came to be an emissary first of all  evangelists composed a Gospel of Messiah in Judea in the Hebrew language and letters, for the benefit of those of the circumcision who had believed, who translated it into Greek is not sufficiently ascertained.  Furthermore, the Hebrew itself is preserved to this day in the library at Caesarea, which the martyr Pamphilus so diligently collected.  I also was allowed by the Nazarenes who use this volume in the Syrian city of Borea to copy it.  In which is to be remarked that, wherever the evangelist... makes use of the testimonies

of the Old Scripture, he does not follow the authority of the seventy translators [the Greek Septuagint], but that of the Hebrew." (Lives of Illustrious Men 3)

"Pantaenus found that Bartholomew, one of the twelve emissaries, had there [India] preached the advent of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah according to the Gospel of Matthew, which was  written in Hebrew letters, and which, on returning to Alexandria, he brought with him."  (De Vir. 3:36)

Isho'dad (850 C.E.) His [Matthew's] book was in existence in Caesarea of Palestine, and everyone acknowledges that he wrote it with his hands in Hebrew?Isho'dad Commentary on the Gospels)

Other "church fathers" have testified to the Semitic origin of at least one of Paul's epistles.   These "church fathers" claim that Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews was translated into Greek from a Hebrew original,  as the following quotes demonstrate:

Clement of Alexandria (150 - 212 C.E.)  In the work called Hypotyposes, to sum up the matter briefly he [Clement of Alexandria] has given  us abridged accounts of all the canonical Scriptures,... the Epistle to the Hebrews he asserts  was written by Paul, to the Hebrews, in the Hebrew tongue; but that it was carefully translated

by Luke, and published among the Greeks.  (Clement of Alexandria; Hypotyposes; referred to by  Eusebius in Eccl. Hist. 6:14:2)

Eusebius (315 C.E.)  For as Paul had addressed the Hebrews in the language of his country; some say that the evangelist Luke, others that Clement, translated the epistle. (Eusebius; Eccl. Hist. 3:38:2-3)

Jerome  (382)  “He (Paul) being a Hebrew wrote in Hebrew, that is, his own tongue and most fluently while things  which were eloquently written in Hebrew were more eloquently turned into Greek  (Lives of Illustrious Men, Book 5)

It should be noted that these church fathers did not always agree that the other books of the New Testament were written in Hebrew.  Epiphanius for example, believed "that only Matthew put the setting forth of the preaching of the Gospel into the New Testament in the Hebrew language and letters." (Epiphanius; Pan. 30:3)  Epiphanius does, however, tell us that the Jewish believers would disagree with him, and point out the existence of Hebrew copies of John and Acts in a "Gaza" or "treasury" [Genizah?] in Tiberius, Israel. (Epipnanius; Pan. 30:3, 6)  Epiphanius believed these versions to be mere "translations" (Epiphanius; Pan. 30:3, 6, 12) but admitted that the Jewish believers would disagree with him.  The truth in this matter is clear, if Greek had replaced Hebrew as the language of Jews as early as the first century, then why would fourth century Jews have any need for Hebrew translations.  The very existence of Hebrew manuscripts of these books in fourth century Israel testifies to their originality, not to mention the fact that the Jewish believers regarded them as authentic.

Testimony Of The Talmudic Rabbis 

In addition to the statements made by the early Christian church fathers, the ancient Jewish Rabbis also hint of a Hebrew original for the Gospels.  Both the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds and the Tosefta relate a debate among Rabbinic Jews over the method of destruction of manuscripts of New Testament books (t.Shab. 13:5; b.Shab. 116a; j.Shab. 15c) .  Specifically mentioned is a book called by them as  ALEF-VAV-NUN-GIMEL-LAMED-YUD-VAV-NUN (see end note) (or "Gospels").  The question which arose was how to handle the destruction of these manuscripts since they contained the actual name of God.  It is of course, well known that the Greek New Testament manuscripts do not contain the Name but use the Greek titles "God" and "Lord" as substitutes.  This is because the Name is not traditionally translated into other languages, but instead is (unfortunately) translated "Lord", just as we have it in most English Bibles today, and just as we find in our late manuscripts of the Septuagint.  The manuscripts these Rabbi's were discussing must have represented the original Hebrew text from which the Greek was translated.

ENDNOTE - (b.Shab. 116a) The word ALEF-VAV-NUN-GIMEL-LAMED-YUD-VAV-NUN is part of the title of the Old Syriac manuscripts, and is also used in some passages of the Peshitta (such as Mk. 1:1) and may be a loan word from the Greek word for "Gospel" and  in Hebrew and in Aramaic may mean "a powerful scroll."  The exact same spelling is used both in the Talmud, the Old Syriac and the Peshitta.

Chapter Eight: History of the Movement 

History of the Movement 

That the New Testament, like the Old Testament, was originally written in Hebrew and Aramaic is further verified by the history of the early believers in Yeshua as the Messiah.  The first believers in Yeshua were a Jewish sect known as "Nazarenes".  Sometime later the first Gentile believers in Yeshua called "Christians" appeared  .  This first congregation of Gentile Christians formed in Antioch, the capital of Syria, where some of the people spoke Greek and almost all spoke Aramaic, which is also called "Syriac".  Then in 70 C.E., there was a mass exodus of the Nazarenes from their center at Jerusalem to Pella.  Eventually, they established communities in Beroea, Decapolis, Bashanitis and Perea.   These Nazarenes used Hebrew Scriptures  and in the fourth century Jerome traveled to Borea to copy their Hebrew Matthew.   As a result, while at least the book of Matthew was first written in Hebrew, very early on Aramaic and Greek New Testament books were needed. 

The Eastward Spread

In addition to these factors we must also consider the Eastern spread of Christianity.  We have heard much about the so called "Westward spread of Christianity" but little is written of the equally profound Eastward movement. While Paul made missionary journeys from his headquarters in Antioch Syria, into the Western world, most of the emissaries (apostles) traveled eastward.  Bartholomew traveled eastward through Assyria into Armenia, then back down through Assyria, Babylon, Parthia (Persia) and down into India where he was flayed alive with knives. Thaddeus taught in Edessa (a city of northern Syria) Assyria and Persia, dying a martyr by arrows either in Persia or at Ararat.  Thomas taught in Parthia, Persia and India.  He was martyred with a spear at Mt. St. Thomas near Madras in India. To this very day a group of Christians in India are called "St. Thomas Christians.  Finally Kefa (Peter) traveled to  Babylon and even wrote one of his letters from there.  That the emissaries brought Semitic New Testament Scriptures eastward with them is affirmed to us by the Church fathers.  Eusebius writes:

Pantaenus... penetrated as far as India, where it is reported that he found the Gospel according to Matthew, which had been delivered before his arrival to some who had the knowledge of Messiah, to whom Bartholomew one of the emissaries, as it is said, had preached, and left them the writing of Matthew in Hebrew letters.

And as Jerome writes:  …Pantaenus found that Bartholomew, one of the twelve emissaries, had there [in India] preached the advent of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah according to the Gospel of Matthew, which was written in Hebrew letters...

This entire region of the Near East stretching from Israel through Syria, Assyria, Babylon, Persia (Parthia) and down into India, became known as the "Church of the East."  At its high point the Church of the East stretched as far east as China!  By the fifth and sixth Centuries Christological debates had split the Church of the East into two major factions, Nestorians and Jacobites.  Today, the Church of the East has been split into even more groups:   Nestorians , Jacobites , Chaldean Roman Catholics, and Maronites.  All of whom continue to use an Aramaic New Testament text.

When the Roman Catholic Portuguese invaded India in 1498 they encountered over a hundred churches belonging to the St. Thomas Christians along the coast of Malabar.  These St. Thomas Christians, according to tradition, had been there since the first century.  They had married clergymen, did not adore images or pray to or through saints, nor did they believe in purgatory.  Most importantly they maintained use of the Aramaic New Testament which they claimed had been in use at Antioch.

The Westward Spread 

Now while many of the emissaries were spreading the Messianic movement eastward, Paul was taking the movement into the Western world.  From his headquarters at Antioch, the capitol of Syria, Paul conducted several missionary journeys into Europe.  At this time there came a need for Greek versions of New Testament books. 

As time progressed several events occurred which resulted in a great rise of anti-Semitism in the West.  This began when the Jews revolted against the Roman Empire in 70 C.E.  A second revolt by Jews in Egypt occurred in 116 C.E..  Things were further complicated by the Bar Kokhba revolt of 132 C.E.. In the Roman Empire anti-Semitism became very popular, and even patriotic.  In the West, Gentile Christianity sought to distance itself from Judaism and Jewish customs.  The Greek text began to be favored over the Semitic text and many Semitic writings were subsequently destroyed.

By 325 C.E. anti-Semitism and the priority given in the West to the Greek Scriptures had solidified.  Constantine invaded Rome, making himself emperor.  Constantine proclaimed Christianity to be the Catholic (universal) religion, thus making Christianity the enforced state religion of the Roman Empire.  Before this occurred one could be killed for being a Christian, afterwards one could be killed for not being a "Christian."  Constantine, who was an anti-Semite, called the council of Nicea in 325 C.E. to standardize Christianity.  Jews were excluded from the meeting.  Jewish practices were officially banned and the Greek translations officially replaced the original Semitic Scriptures.

Having alienated the Jewish Nazarenes in 325 at the Council of Nicea, subsequent councils alienated the Assyrians and Syrians over Christological debates.  The Nestorian Assyrians were alienated in 431 C.E. at the Council of Ephesus while the Jacobite Syrians were alienated in 451 C.E. at the Council of Chalcedon.  The division between the Semitic peoples of the Near East, and the Roman Catholic Church grew ever steeper.

With the rise of Islam in the Near East the Near Eastern Christians were even further separated from their European counterparts in the West.  Relations between the Christian West and the Islamic Near East were non-existent.

As time progressed, in the West the Roman Catholic Church began to suppress the Scriptures in Europe.  Those who would try to make the Scriptures available to the common man were often burned alive.  Such suppression was impossible in the Near East, where the Scriptures were already in Aramaic, the common language of the people.  When the Protestant reformation emerged, claiming the Greek New Testament as the original, it was a time when most Europeans were not even aware that an Aramaic version existed.

In was in this atmosphere, in 1516 that the first printed edition of the Greek New Testament was published in Europe.  This edition, published by Erasmus, would become known as the Textus Receptus, and serve as the standard Greek text until the 19th Century.  The first edition of this work was based solely on six manuscripts, while later editions used only ten. None of these manuscripts were complete, and only one was even particularly old, dating to the tenth century. Since none of his manuscripts were complete, Erasmus was forced to invent many of his Greek portions of Revelation by translating from the Latin Vulgate into Greek.  It was this poor edition which served as the evidence by which the West would embrace the Greek as the original.  This edition would later serve as the basis for the King James Version.

Chapter Nine:  Grammar of the New Testament 

It has long been recognized that the New Testament is written in very poor Greek grammar, but very good Semitic grammar.  Many sentences are inverted with a verb > noun format characteristic of  Semitic languages.  Furthermore, there are several occurrences of the redundant "and".  A number of scholars have shown in detail the Semitic grammar imbedded in the Greek New Testament books. (For example: Our Translated Gospels By Charles Cutler Torrey; Documents of the Primitive Church by Charles Cutler Torrey; An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts by Matthew Black; The Aramaic Origin of the Fourth Gospel by Charles Fox Burney; The Aramaic Origin of the Four Gospels by Frank Zimmerman and Semitisms of the Book of Acts by Max Wilcox).

In addition to the evidence for Semitic grammar imbedded in the Greek New Testament, the fact that serious grammatical errors are found in the Greek New Testament books may be added.  Speaking of the Greek of Revelation, Charles Cutler Torrey states that it "...swarms with major offenses against Greek grammar."  He calls it "linguistic anarchy", and says, "The grammatical monstrosities of the book, in their number and variety and especially in their startling character, stand alone in the history of literature."   Torrey gives ten examples listed below:

1. Rev. 1:4 "Grace to you, and peace, from he who is and who was and who is to come" (all nom. case) 

2. Rev. 1:15 "His legs were like burnished brass (neut. gender dative case) as in a furnace purified" (Fem. gender sing. no., gen. case)

3. Rev.  11:3 "My witness (nom.) shall prophesy for many days clothed (accus.) in sackcloth."

4. Rev. 14:14 "I saw on the cloud one seated like unto a Son of Man (accus.) having (nom.) upon his head a golden crown."

5. Rev. 14:19 "He harvested the vintage of the earth, and cast it into the winepress (fem), the great [winepress] (mas.) of the wrath of God?/span>

6. Rev. 17:4 "A golden cup filled with abominations (gen.) and with unclean things" (accus.)

7. Rev. 19:20 "The lake of blazing (fem.) fire (neut.).

8. Rev. 20:2 "And he seized the dragon (accus.), the old serpent (nom.) who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him."

9. Rev. 21:9 "Seven angels holding seven bowls (accus.) filled (gen.) with the seven last plagues."

10. Rev. 22:5 "They have no need of lamplight (gen.) nor of sunlight  (accus.)."

(Documents of the Primitive Church; Charles Cutler Torey; Harper and Bothers, New York; 1941; p. 156-158)

Chapter Ten:  Mistakes in the Greek New Testament 

In addition to grammatical errors in the Greek New Testament, there are also a number of "blunders" in the text which prove that the present Greek text is not inerrant.  One of the mistakes in the Greek New Testament may be found in Matthew 23:35 where Zechariah the son of Jehoidai (2Chron. 24:20-21; b.San. 96; j.Ta'anit 69) mistakenly appears as Zechariah the son of Berechiah (Zech. 1:1).  This error was not to be found in the ancient Hebrew copy which Jerome held.   Jerome writes of Hebrew Matthew: "In the Gospel which the Nazarenes use, for 'Son of Barachias' I find 'of Joiada' written" (Jerome; Com on Mt. 23:35)

Another mistake in the Greek New Testament is to be found in Matthew 27:9 which quotes Zech. 11:12-13 but falsely credits the quote to Jeremiah .  The Shem Tob Hebrew correctly attributes the quote to Zechariah, while the Aramaic (Old Syriac and Peshitta) simply attribute the quote to "the prophet."

Yet another apparent mistake in the Greek text of the New Testament is the name "Cainan" in Luke 3:36.  In this passage the name appears but not in the corresponding Masoretic genealogies in Gen. 10:24; 11:12 and 1Chron. 1:18, 24. (The name does appear in the LXX in Gen. 11:12 but not in the other passages where it would appear if it were a true reading) The Old Syriac does not contain this reading, but reads "Elam" a name which appears in the Masoretic genealogy of Gen. 10:22 and 1Chron. 1:17 as a brother, who apparently is inserted into this family line based on Deut. 25:5-6. 

In Mk. 2:26 the Greek NT wrongly informs us that "Abitar" was High Priest at the time King David was given the show bread.  In fact Ahimelech the father of Abitar was High Priest at the time (1Sam. 21:1; 22:20).  However the Aramaic Old Syriac reading of Mk. 2:26 does not contain this error.

One of the more compelling evidences for the Semitic New Testament may be found in the genealogy of Yeshua as given in Matthew 1.  There is a well known mistake in the Greek text of this passage.  While the text itself claims to give three lists of fourteen_names (Mt. 1:17), the Greek text contains only 13 names in the last list:

 14 names from Abraham to David: 

 1. Abraham

 2. Isaac

 3. Jacob

 4. Judas

 5. Phares

 6. Esrom

 7. Aram

 8. Aminadab

 9. Naasson

 10. Salmon

 11. Boaz

 12. Obed

 13. Jesse

 14. David

 14 names from David to the carrying away to Babylon

 1. Solomon

 2. Roboam

 3.  Abia

 4. Asa

 5. Jehosaphat

 6. Joram

 7. Ozias

 8. Joatham

 9. Achaz

 10. Ezekias

 11. Manases

 12 Amon

 13. Josias

 14. Jehonias (carrying away to Babylon)

 13 names from carrying away to Babylon to Messiah 

 1. Salathiel

 2. Zorobabel

 3. Abiud

 4. Eliakim

 5. Azur

 6. Sadoc

 7. Achim

 8.  Eliud

 9. Eleazar

 10. Matthan

 11. Jacob

 12. Joseph

 13. Yeshua/Jesus

Now the DuTillet Hebrew manuscript of Matthew contains the missing Name "Abner" which occurs between Abiud and Eliakim in the DuTillet Hebrew text of Mt. 1:13.  In Hebrew and Aramaic "d" and "r" look very much alike and are often misread for each other.  In this case a scribe must have looked back up to his source manuscript and picked back up with the wrong name, thus omitting "Abner" from the list.  The Greek text must have come from a Hebrew or Aramaic copy which lacked the name "Abner."  There is amazingly clear evidence for this.  The Old Syriac Aramaic version of Matthew was lost from the fourth century until its rediscovery in the 19th century. This ancient Aramaic text has "Aviur" where the Greek has "Aviud" thus catching the error in a sort of "freeze frame" and demonstrating the reliability of the reading in the Hebrew. 

Semitic Idiomatic Expressions 

Another evidence for a Semitic background for the New Testament is the abundance of Semitic idiomatic expressions in the New Testament text.  Idiomatic expressions are phrases whose literal meanings are nonsense, but which have special meanings in a particular language.  For example, the English phrase "in a pickle" has nothing to do with pickles, but means to be in trouble.  When translated into Aramaic it is meaningless.

Several Semitic idiomatic expressions appear in the New Testament, the following are only a few:

?"good eye" meaning "generous" and "bad eye" meaning "stingy" (Mt.6:22-23; 20:15; Lk. 11:34)  

?"bind" meaning "prohibit" and "loose" meaning "permit" (Mt. 16:19; 18:18)

?"destroy the Law" meaning to teach a precept of the Law incorrectly, and "fulfill [the Law]" meaning to teach its precepts correctly (Mt. 5:17).

?Use of the word "word" to mean "matter" or "thing" (1Cor. 12:8)

?Use of the word "Heaven" as a euphemism for "God" 

(Mt. 5:3; 21:25, Lk. 15:18; Jn. 3:27)

?Idiomatic use of the word "face" (Lk. 9:51-52)

?The phrase "cast out your name as evil" (Lk. 6:22) is a poor translation of "cast out your evil name" meaning to defame someone.

?"Lay these sayings in your ears" (Lk. 9:44)  means to listen carefully.

Chapter Eleven:  The Pauline Epistles 

The common wisdom of textual origins has always been that the Pauline Epistles were first written in Greek.  This position is held by many, despite the fact that two "church fathers" admitted the Semitic origin of at least one of Paul's Epistles and one (Jerome) admits to the Semitic origin of most, if not all, of Paul's Epistles .  Still, Paul is generally seen as a Hellenist Jew from Tarsus who Hellenized the Gospel.  So strong has this image of Paul been instilled in Western scholarship that even those who have argued for a Semitic origin for significant portions of the New Testament have rarely ventured to challenge the Greek origin of the Pauline Epistles. 

For example David Stern, in his Jewish New Testament/Complete Jewish Bible (which is translated from the Greek), admits that "there is good reason to think that several of the books of the New Testament either were written in Hebrew or Aramaic, or drew upon source materials in those languages..." (CJB p. xxxi) but he then goes on to say "Sha'ul (Paul) whose letters were composed in Greek, clearly drew on his native Jewish and Hebraic thought-forms when he wrote." (ibid).

In this and future chapters, I intend to show that Paul did in fact draw on his native Jewish and Hebraic though forms, including his native languages of Hebrew and Aramaic and that he did NOT write in Greek.

Now we have already quoted some Church Fathers as indicating that Paul wrote at least some of his material in Hebrew or Aramaic.  In this chapter , I intend to reinforce that point and open the door for the internal evidence for a Hebraic-Aramaic for the entire NT (including Paul's Letters) which will be presented in future chapters.

Paul and Tarsus 

In addressing the issue of the Pauline Epistles, we must first examine the background of Tarsus.  Was Tarsus a Greek speaking city?  Would Paul have learned Greek there?  Tarsus probably began as a Hittite city-state.  Around 850 B.C.E. Tarsus became part of the great Assyrian Empire.  When the Assyrian Empire was conquered by the Babylonian Empire around 605 B.C.E. Tarsus became a part of that Empire as well.  Then, in 540 B.C.E. The Babylonian Empire, including Tarsus, was incorporated into the Persian Empire.  Aramaic was the chief language of all three of these great Empires.  By the first century Aramaic remained a primary language of Tarsus.  Coins struck at Tarsus and recovered by archaeologists have Aramaic inscriptions on them.

Regardless of the language of Tarsus, there is also great question as to if Paul was actually brought up in Tarsus or just incidentally born there.  The key text in question is Acts 22:3:  “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our father's Torah and was zealous toward God as you all are today.?span style=""> 

Paul sees his birth at Tarsus as irrelevant and points to his being "brought up" in Jerusalem.  Much argument has been given by scholars to this term "brought up" as it appears here.  Some have argued that it refers only to Paul's adolescent years.  A key, however, to the usage of the term may be found in a somewhat parallel passage in Acts 7:20-23:  “At this time Moses was born, and was well pleasing to God; and he was brought up in his father's  house for three months.  And when he was set out, Pharaoh's daughter took him away and brought him up as her own son.  And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians...?/span>

Note the sequence; "born" (Greek = gennao; Aramaic = ityiled); "brought up" (Greek = anatrepho; Aramaic = itrabi); "learned/taught" (Greek = paideuo; Aramaic = itr'di).  Through this parallel sequence which presumably was idiomatic in the language, we can see that Paul was born at Tarsus, raised in Jerusalem, and then taught.  Paul's entire context is that his being raised in Jerusalem is his primary upbringing, and that he was merely born at Tarsus.

Was Paul a Hellenist? 

The claim that Paul was a Hellenistic is also a misunderstanding that should be dealt with.  As we have already seen, Paul was born at Tarsus, a city where Aramaic was spoken.  Whatever Hellenistic influences may have been at Tarsus, Paul seems to have left there at a very early age and been "brought up" in Jerusalem.  Paul describes himself as a "Hebrew" (2Cor. 11:2) and a "Hebrew of Hebrews" (Phil. 3:5), and "of the tribe of Benjamin" (Rom. 11:1).  It is important to realize how the term "Hebrew" was used in the first century.  The term Hebrew was not used as a genealogical term, but as a cultural/linguistic term.  An example of this can be found in Acts 6:1 were a dispute arises between the "Hebrews" and the "Hellenistic."  Most scholars agree that the "Hellenistic" here are Hellenist Jews.  No evangelistic efforts had yet been made toward non-Jews (Acts 11:19) much less Greeks (see Acts 16:6-10).  In Acts 6:1 a clear contrast is made between Hellenists and Hebrews which are clearly non-Hellenists.  Hellenists were not called Hebrews, a term reserved for non-Hellenist Jews.  When Paul calls himself a "Hebrew" he is claiming to be a non-Hellenist, and when he calls himself a "Hebrew of Hebrews" he is claiming to be strongly non-Hellenist.  This would explain why Paul disputed against the Hellenists and why they attempted to kill him (Acts. 9:29) and why he escaped to Tarsus (Acts 9:30).  If there was no non-Hellenist Jewish population in Tarsus, this would have been a very bad move. 

Paul's Pharisee background gives us further reason to doubt that he was in any way a Hellenist.  Paul claimed to be a "Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee"  (Acts 23:6) meaning that he was at least a second generation Pharisee.  The Aramaic text, as well as some Greek mss. have "Pharisee the son of Pharisees," a Semitic idiomatic expression meaning a third generation Pharisee.  If Paul were a second or third generation Pharisee, it would be difficult to accept that he had been raised up as a Hellenist.  Pharisees were staunchly opposed to Hellenism.  Paul's claim to be a second or third generation Pharisee is further amplified by his claim to have  been a student of Gamliel (Acts 22:3).  Gamliel was the grandson of Hillel and the head of the school of Hillel.  He was so well respected that the Mishna states that upon his death "the glory of the Torah ceased, and purity and modesty died."   The truth of Paul's claim to have studied under Gamliel is witnessed by Paul's constant use of Hillelian Hermeneutics.  Paul makes extensive use, for example, of the first rule of Hillel.  It is an unlikely proposition that a Hellenist would have studied under Gamliel at the school of Hillel, then the center of Pharisaic Judaism.

The Audience and Purpose of the Pauline Epistles 

Paul's audience is another element which must be considered when tracing the origins of his Epistles.  Paul's Epistles were addressed to various congregations in the Diaspora.  These congregations were mixed groups made up of a core group of Jews and a complimentary group of Gentiles.  The Thessalonian congregation was just such an assembly (Acts 17:1-4) as were the Corinthians .  It is known that Aramaic remained a language of Jews living in the Diaspora, and in fact Jewish Aramaic inscriptions have been found at Rome, Pompei and even England.  If Paul wrote his Epistle's in Hebrew or Aramaic to a core group of Jews at each congregation who then passed the message on to their Gentile counterparts then this might give some added dimension to Paul's phrase "to the Jew first and then to the Greek"  (Rom. 1:16; 2:9-10).  It would also shed more light on the passage which Paul writes:

What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! To them first, were committed the Words of God. - Rom. 3:1-2

It is clear that Paul did not write his letters in the native tongues of the cities to which he wrote.  Certainly no one would argue for a Latin original of Romans.

One final issue which must be discussed regarding the origin of Paul's Epistles, is their intended purpose.  It appears that Paul intended the purpose of his Epistles to be:

               1) To be read in the Congregations (Col. 4:16; 1Thes. 5:27)

               2) To have doctrinal authority (1Cor. 14:37)

All Synagogue liturgy during the Second Temple era, was in Hebrew and Aramaic Paul would not have written material which he intended to be read in the congregations in any other language.  Moreover all religious writings of Jews which claimed halachic (doctrinal) authority, were written in Hebrew or Aramaic.  Paul could not have expected that his Epistles would be accepted as having the authority he claimed for them, without having written them in Hebrew or Aramaic. 

Semitic Style of Paul's Epistles 

Another factor which should be considered in determining the origin of the Pauline Epistles is the Semitic style of the text.  This Semitic style can be seen through Paul's use of Semitic poetry, Semitic idioms, Hillelian hermeneutics and Semitic terms.  These factors neutralize the claim that Paul was a Hellenist writing in Greek with Hellenistic ideas and style.  Paul's use of Semitic poetry also points to a Semitic background for his epistles.  The following are just a few examples of Paul's use of the Semitic poetic device known as parallelism:

Behold, you are called a Jew, and rest in the Law and make your boast in God, and know his will and approve the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the Law and are confident that you yourself are a guide of the blind a light of them which are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish a teacher of babes which has the form of knowledge and of the truth in the Law

You  therefore which teach another,  teach you not yourself? You that proclaim a man should not steal, do you steal? You that say a man should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?  You that abhor idols, do you commit blasphemy?  You that makes your boast of the Law, through breaking the Law, dishonor you God?               (Rom. 2:17-23)

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which works all in all. (1Cor. 12:4-6)

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I have become as  sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could move mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing. (1Cor. 13:1-3)

Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness  with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? and what concord has Messiah  with B'lial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? and what agreement has the Temple of God with idols? (2Cor. 6:14-16a)

Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole  armour of God that you may be able to stand against the whiles of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Therefore, take unto you the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of  righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the goodnews of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take up the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph. 6:10-17)

Paul clearly writes using Semitic idiomatic expressions. Paul uses the term "word" to refer to some matter or thing (1Cor. 12:8)  Paul also uses the Semitic form of magnification by following a noun with its plural form.  This is used in the Teach (Old Testament) in such terms as "Holy of Holies."  Paul uses this idiom in such phrases as "Hebrew of Hebrews" (Phil. 3:5);   "King of kings" and "Lord of lords" (1Tim. 6:15).

Paul was born in Tarsus, an Aramaic speaking city, and raised up in Jerusalem as a staunch non-Hellenist. He wrote his Epistles to core groups of Jews at various congregations in the Diaspora to hold doctrinal authority and to be used as liturgy.  There can be little doubt that he wrote these Epistles in Hebrew or Aramaic and they were later translated into Greek.  

Chapter Twelve:  Tanak Quotes In The New Testament 

It has often been claimed by the Hellenists, that the several quotes in the Greek New Testament which agree with the LXX prove the Greek origin of the New Testament.  This argument is faulty however,

for two important reasons.

First of all, the premise of this argument presumes the conclusion to be true.  It is only in the Greek New Testament that such neat agreements with the LXX occur.  Hebrew Matthew (Shem Tob and DuTillet) tends to agree with the Masoretic Text,  While the Aramaic versions of New Testament books (Old Syriac Gospels, Peshitta New Testament and Crawford Revelation) tend to agree in many places with the Peshitta Old Testament. 

In fact the 4th century "Church Father" Jerome essentially admitted that the Greek translators had inserted the LXX readings into the Greek NT.  As previously written, Jerome wrote:

"Matthew, who is also Levi, and from a tax collector came to be an emissary first of all  evangelists composed a Gospel of Messiah in Judea in the Hebrew language and letters, for the benefit of those of the circumcision who had believed, who translated it into Greek is not sufficiently ascertained. Furthermore, the Hebrew itself is preserved to this day in the library at Caesarea, which the martyr Pamphilus so diligently collected.  I also was allowed by the Nazarenes who use this volume in the Syrian city of Borea to copy it.  In which is to be remarked that, wherever the evangelist... makes use of the testimonies of the Old Scripture, he does not follow the authority of the seventy translators [the Greek Septuagint], but that of the Hebrew."

 Here Jerome effectively admits that the Tanak quotes in the original Hebrew of Matthew did NOT agree with the LXX but that the Greek translator had ALTERED the Tanak quotes as they appear in the Greek to agree with the LXX.  The Hellenists have been caught red handed!  As this installment continues you will se that there is evidence of this, not just in the book of Matthew but in every portion of the New Testament, even in the Pauline letters.

The second fault with this argument is that recent discoveries in the Dead Sea Scrolls have produced first century Hebrew mss. of Old Testament books which in places agree with the LXX against the current Hebrew Text (the Masoretic text) and at times agree with the Peshitta Old Testament against the Masoretic text or the LXX.  Thus many, but not all agreements of the New Testament with the LXX may be due to these first century Old Testament texts which contained such agreements.

An examination of four sample Old Testament quotes as they appear in the Aramaic New Testament will demonstrate two important facts.  First, the Aramaic text of the Old Syriac and Peshitta New Testament could not have been translated from the Greek New Testament.  Second, the Aramaic New Testament, as we have it today has been altered in some places so as to agree with the Greek. 

Heb. 10:5-7 = Ps. 40:7-9 (6-8):  With sacrifices and offerings You are not pleased but You have clothed me with a body and burnt offerings which are for sins You have not asked for.  Then I said, Behold I come, in the beginning of the book it is written concerning me I will do your will, Eloah. (from Aramaic)

Here the phrase "But You have clothed me with a body" best agrees with the LXX which has "You have prepared a body for me," a radical departure from the Masoretic Text which has "Ears You have cut/dug for me."  but agreeing with the Zohar which alludes to the passage saying "Your eyes behold me ere I was clothed in a body and all things are written in your book".  However the phrase "In the beginning of the book..."  is a unique reading from the Peshitta Old Testament.  The Hebrew has "In the roll of the book..." while the LXX has "In the volume of the book..."   agreeing with the Greek of Hebrews.

Thus, this quote in the Peshitta version of Hebrews is a hybrid text sometimes agreeing with the LXX against the Masoretic Text and Peshitta Old Testament, and sometimes agreeing with the Peshitta Old Testament against both the LXX and the Masoretic Text.  In fact this hybrid nature looks just like what such a quote might be expected to look like, in light of the hybrid texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  This quote could not contain agreements with both the LXX and the Peshitta Old Testament if it were translated from the Greek New Testament.  If this passage were translated from the Greek it would either have agreed with the LXX only as does the Greek, or inserted the standard Peshitta reading as a substitute.  This quote therefore, is not a translation from Greek nor a substitute inserted from the Peshitta Old Testament but is a reading which originated apart from the Greek text.

1Peter 1:24-25 = Isaiah 40:6-8:  Because of this all flesh is grass and all its beauty like a flower of the field the grass dries up and the flower withers and the Word of our Eloah abides forever  (from Aramaic)

Here the line "And all its beauty like a flower of the field" agrees with the Peshitta Old Testament and Masoretic Text against the LXX and Greek New Testament which has "and all the glory of man like the flower of grass."  In fact this quote agrees with the Peshitta Old Testament exactly except for the omission of Isaiah 40:7 which agrees with the LXX.  Like the previous example, it could not have been translated from the Greek text.

Acts 8:32-33 = Isaiah 53:7-8:  Like a lamb he was led to the slaughter, and like a sheep before its shearer is silent, even thus he did not open his mouth.  In his humiliation he was led from prison and from judgment, and who will declare his generation? because his life has been taken from the earth/land  (from the Aramaic)

In the first two lines the words "lamb" and "sheep" are reversed in the LXX and Greek Acts but not here, where they agree with the Masoretic Text and the Peshitta Old Testament.  "from prison" agrees with the Masoretic Text and the Peshitta Old Testament against the LXX, but "In his humiliation" agrees with the LXX against both.  The final line contains a special problem.  In this line the Peshitta Acts agrees with the LXX and Greek Acts, but this passage could not have merely come from a variant Hebrew text.  In this passage the Masoretic Text and the Peshitta Old Testament agree against the LXX with "He was cut off out of the land of the living."   An examination of the two versions makes it clear that the LXX translator misunderstood the Hebrew grammar here and took the word "life/living" to be a direct object rather than a modifier.  Thus this phrase could only have come from the LXX.  It is apparent however, because of the agreements with the Masoretic Text and Peshitta Old Testament against the LXX in the preceding lines, that this quote could not have been translated from the Greek.  Thus, we may conclude that the Peshitta New Testament has been revised in places to agree with the Greek text, as our last example will further demonstrate.

  Mt. 4:4 = Deut. 8:3:  Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word which comes from the mouth of YHWH.

The word "God" here in the Greek of Mt. 4:4 and even the Peshitta Aramaic of Mt. 4:4 agrees with the LXX against both the Masoretic Text and the Peshitta Old Testament.  It might first appear that this passage was merely translated from the Greek of Matthew.  However, a look at the Old Syriac version, which is recognized by most scholars as the ancestor of the Peshitta has MARYA (which the Aramaic consistently uses for YHWH) in agreement with the Masoretic Text and the Peshitta Old Testament against the LXX. Also the manuscripts of Hebrew Matthew also have YHWH.  Thus, it is clear that the Peshitta was revised here to agree with the LXX and the more primitive text of the Old Syriac retains the original, unrevised reading.

Zech. 12:10 = Jn. 19:37:                 ...they shall look upon me whom they have pierced... (Zech. 12:10) ...they shall look upon him whom they have pierced... (Jn. 19:37)

The origin for this variance between the New Testament and the Old appears to originate in the Aramaic versions. This is easier to show with Hebraic-Aramaic fonts but I will attempt to demonstrate it without them.  The original Hebrew of this passage (in Zech. 12:10) employs a Hebrew word that cannot be translated into any language including Aramaic.  The Hebrew word is ET (alef-tav).  This word is a special preposition which points to the next word as the direct object receiving the action of the verb.  If we show the invisible word ET in the text it would look like this:   ...they shall look upon me {ET} whom they have pierced...

Now the Aramaic translator of the Aramaic Peshitta Tanak version of  Zech 12:10 striving for a word for word translation, translated the untranslatable ET with an Aramaic word meaning "at-him" (attempting to convey the idea of a pointer to the direct object).  The result is that the Aramaic Peshitta Tanak has:

 ...they shall look upon me at-him whom they have pierced...

Now when the quote appears in Yochanan it appears to have passed through another change.  The Aramaic of Jn. 19:17 agrees with the Aramaic of Zech 12:10 except for the word meaning "upon-me" which is omitted.  Apparently a later scribe found the phrase "upon-me at-him" to be redundant and dropped the phrase "upon-me" from the quote.  Thus both the Aramaic and the Greek of Jn. 19:37 have "at him" and not "upon me" in their quotations of Zech. 12:10. 

This change from "upon me" to "at him" can CLEARLY be demonstrated to have occurred in the Aramaic tradition and then to have been TRANSLATED into Greek.   From the above examples it is clear that Old Testament quotes as they appear in the Aramaic New Testament demonstrate that the Peshitta New Testament could not have been simply translated from Greek as the Hellenists claim.

Chapter Thirteen:  Internal Evidence of Originality of the text of the Hebraic and Aramaic Manuscripts 

The first item of internal evidence we shall examine will be cases of ambiguous Hebrew and Aramaic words which the Greek translator seems to have mistranslated.  This type of mistranslation is very common and a clear evidence that a document has been translated.  The reason this occurs is that a translator often works much like a typist, translating word for word without actually comprehending the context of the words.  This often, but not always results in the translator choosing the most common meaning of an ambiguous word despite the fact that another meaning was intended.  This problem is compounded when translating from Hebrew and Aramaic which anciently had no vowels, thus increasing the number of ambiguous words.

Examples: 

In Mt. 3:1-2 (and many other passages) we read a proclamation by Yochanan, Yeshua and the Talmidim that the "Kingdom" is "Near at Hand".  Yet it has been 2,000 years and the Kingdom is still not here.  Were they all false prophets?  Of course not.  The word that appears here in the Hebrew is KARAVAH which can refer either to something that is "near" or to something that is "offered".  Yeshua is proclaiming that the Kingdom has been OFFERED. 

In Mt. 5:5 Ps. 37:11 is quoted but the Greek translator misunderstands ERETZ to mean "earth" rather than "Land".

In Mt. 5:32 the Greek tells us that if a man puts away his wife for a reason other than adultery MAKES HER AN ADULTRESS (!?!?!?!?)  The Hebrew and Aramaic are ambiguous here and are better understood to mean "does adultery with her" meaning that his past activity with her will retroactively be counted to HIM (not her) as adulterous.

In Mt. 13:18 the Greek refers to the "Parable of the Sower" however the parable in question is primarily about the "seed" and not the "Sower".  In Hebrew the two words are spelled the same and only the unwritten vowels differ.  Thus the Greek translator misrendered "Parable of the Sower" for "Parable of the Seed".

In Mt. 15:22 the Greek mentions a Canaanite woman (?!?!?!?!?) long after the Canaanites had disappeared.  In fact the Hebrew word for a "Canaanite" can also mean "merchant" (for example see the KJV Hosea 12:7).  The Greek translator did not realize that this woman was a merchant ant took the more common meaning of the word.

In Mt. 19:12 the Greek has: " ....there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake...." --Mt. 19:12 NKJV  A rather bizzar statement in light of the Torah perspective on eunuchs (Dt. 23:1f).  The word here in Aramaic is M'HAIMNA which can mean Eunuch but which can also mean a "faithful one" or a "believer" and is the word used to refer to one who is faithful to a spouse. Clearly the Greek translator did not understand the usage of M'HAIMNA in this passage.

Mt. 19:24 = Mk. 10:25 = Lk. 18:25

...it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.?span style="">  The word for "camel" in the Aramaic manuscripts is GAMLA which most often means "camel" but can also refer to a "large rope," which is certainly the meaning here.

In Mt. 21:43 the Greek tells us that the Kingdom would be given to another "nation" however the Hebrew and Aramaic is better understood to mean that the Kingdom would be given to another "people" (a future generation)

Mt. 26:9 = Mk. 14:3

And when Y'shua was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,

As any Bible student knows, lepers were not permitted to live in the city (see Lev. 13:46). Since ancient Hebrew and Aramaic were written without vowels, there was no distinction between the Aramaic words GAR'BA (leper) and GARABA (jar maker or jar merchant). Since in this story a woman pours oil from a jar it is apparent that Simon was a jar merchant or jar maker and not a leper.

Mt. 26:41=Mk. 14:38 the Greek translator has misunderstood the ambiguous Aramaic word to mean "watch" but it is better understood to mean "awake".

Mk. 9:15 The Greek translator thought that the crowd was "amazed" but the Aramaic would better be translated in this context as "excited".

Mk. 10:12 in the Greek refers to a woman who divorces her husband.  Jewish Law did not allow a woman to divorce her husband.  The Ambiguous Aramaic is better understood to refer to a woman being divorced BY her husband.

Lk. 2:1  The Aramaic word `ERA (Hebrew: ERETZ) was misunderstood by the Greek translator to mean "earth" but should be understood as "Land"

Luke 8:27 the Aramaic could mean "city" or "province".  Based on vs. 34 the meaning is clearly "province" but the Greek translator misunderstood it to mean "city"

Luke 10:4 the Greek translator misunderstood the Ambiguous Aramaic to mean "and greet no man" but it is better understood as "and join no man"

Lk. 12:49 the Ambiguous Aramaic could mean "what do I desire if" as the Greek translator misunderstood it, but is better understood as "How I wish that"

Lk. 16: 8 the ambiguous Aramaic could mean "wise, crafty or clever" the Greek translator thought it meant "wise" but here it means "crafty"

Lk. 16:16 the ambiguous Aramaic has literally "and all to it are violent" which the Greek takes to mean "everyone enters it violently" but which really means that "everyone treats it with violence".  (compare Mt. 11:12)

Jn. 8:56 in the Greek says that Avraham "rejoiced" to see the days of Messiah but in context the Aramaic is better understood to say that Avraham "longed" to see the days of Messiah.

One word that the Greek translators often misunderstood was the Aramaic word `EZAL which normally means "to go" or "to depart" but is used idiomatically in Aramaic to mean that some action goes forward and that something progresses "more and more".One case where the Greek translator misunderstood this word and translated to literally is in Jn. 12:11:

Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away (!?!?!?!?), and believed on Jesus. (KJV)

Now I have translated the Aramaic of this passage as follows:

because many of the Judeans, on account of him, were trusting more and more (`EZAL) in Yeshua.

And Jn. 15:16:

...that ye should go and bring forth fruit...KJV

I have translated from the Aramaic:

...that you also should bear fruit more and more (`EZAL)...

In Acts 8:27

So he [Phillip] arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship. --Acts 8:27 NKJV

The man in Acts 8:27 appears to be a proselyte to Judaism since he seems to be making the Torah-required pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Dt. 16:16). The Torah, however, forbids a eunuch both from becoming a proselyte Jew, and from worshiping at the Temple (Dt. 23:1f). This also raises the question of why one would become a eunuch (be castrated) for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. After all eunuchs are excluded from the assembly of Israel.  The word for "eunuch" in the Aramaic manuscripts of both of theses passages is M'HAIMNA which can mean "eunuch" but can also mean "believer" or "faithful one" as it clearly means here.

Acts 11:27-30

And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all THE WORLD, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the talmidim, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brothers dwelling IN JUDEA. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

Now this doesn't make sense at all, why would those in Antioch send relief to those dwelling IN JUDEA if the famine was to strike all THE WORLD. They would be facing famine themselves.  The solution lies in the fact that the word for "WORLD" in the Aramaic manuscripts is `ERA (Strong's #772) the Aramaic form of the Hebrew word ERETZ (Strong's 776). This word can mean "world" (as in Prov. 19:4)  "earth" (as in Dan. 2:35) or "land" (as in Dan. 9:15) and is often used as a euphemism for "The Land of Israel" (as in Dan. 9:6). Certainly the word here is not meant to mean "world" but "land of Israel."

In Rom. 1:24  & 28 the ambiguous Aramaic is misunderstood by the Greek to mean "delivered"  in context it is better understood as "released".

In Rom. 5:8 The ambiguous Aramaic is understood by the Greek as "innocent" when in fact here it means "victory".  In 8:37 the same ambiguous word is misunderstood by the Greek to mean "victory" but there it means "innocent". 

In Hebrews 7:12, 18 the Ambiguous Aramaic word SHUKHLAFA is misunderstood by the Greek translator to mean "change" but here it means "renewal".

In Rev. 2:22 the Ambiguous Aramaic is understood in the Greek to mean "bed" but here it means "coffin".

Rev. 5:5 the ambiguous Aramaic is understood by the Greek to mean "congured" but is better understood to mean "to be worthy of"

Rev, 10:1 the ambiguous Aramaic is misunderstood by the Greek to mean "feet" but here it clearly means "legs".

In Rev. 15:1 the ambiguous Aramaic is misunderstood by the Greek to mean "because in them is filled up" but here it means "in which is completed"

In Rev. 15:2 the Greek misunderstands the Aramaic to mean "victorious" when it is better understood as "innocent"

Chapter Fourteen:  More Evidence for Hebrew and Aramaic Manuscripts

In previous chapters we demonstrated that the language of the place and time of the writing of the NT was Hebrew and Aramaic; that many of the "Church Fathers" testified to the Hebrew and/or Aramaic origin of at least portions of the NT; that many scholars over the years have argued for a Hebrew or Aramaic origin for large portions of the NT; that Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts have come down to us; that the Tanak quotations as they appear in these versions prove that they were not just translated from the Greek NT and that there are many cases where the Greek translator seems to have mistranslated ambiguous Hebrew and Aramaic words.

In this chapter we will look at a similar type of evidence.  In the cases we shall look at the Greek translator mistranslated not because a Hebrew/Aramaic word was ambiguous, but because I misread the word as a look-alike word (this is even easier to do in a language with no written vowels.  Alternative this same type of error can occur because a scribal error has occurred within the Hebrew and Aramaic text BEFORE it was translated into Greek.

The following are just a few examples:

Mt. 3:10  hey-alef (behold) was misread as hey-shin-alef (and now also)

Mt. 4:12  alef-samek-vav-resh (imprisoned) was misread as mem-samek-resh (delivered up)

Mt. 4:24  Here is a unique case where a word was misunderstood in dictation so that "HaAm" (the people) was misunderstood as "Aram" (Syria).

Mt. 5:29  nun-alef-zayin-lamed (should cast) was misread as nun-pe-lamed-alef (should fall)

Mt. 8:21  alef-chet-dalet (one) was misread as alef-chet-resh (another)

Mt. 11:28  in the Greek says that the Prophets prophesied "until John" (?!?!?!?)  The Hebrew word for "until" is AYIN-DALET but the Hebrew word in the Shem Tob Hebrew here is AYIN-LAMED (concerning) and since Yeshua has just quoted from the prophets about Yochanan (John) it is clear that the prophets prophesied CONCERNING Yochanan and that the Greek translator misread and though that they prophesied UNTIL Yochanan.  (if the top of a lamed flaked off it could easily be mistaken for a dalet).

Mt. 14:20  vav-nun-shin-alef-resh-vav (and there were left over) was misread as vav-nun-shin-alef-vav (and they took up)

Mt. 16:7  gimel-samek-bet-vav (carried) was misread as nun-samek-bet-nun (taken)

Mt. 17:12,   yud-quf-bet-lamed (shall receive) was misread as yud-samek-bet-lamed (shall suffer)

Mt. 18:16a  ayin-dalet (witness) was misread as alin-vav-dalet (yet) (see Deut. 19:15 for proof)

Mt. 18:21  quf-resh-alef (called) misread as quf-resh-bet (came)

Mt. 20:11  chet-zayin-vav (seen) misread as alef-chet-zayin-vav (received)

Mt. 21:24  mem-lamed-tav-dalet-alef   hey-dalet-alef (this word) misread as mem-lamed-tav-dalet-alef   chet-dalet-alef (one thing)

Mt. 22:34  nun-vav-samek-dalet-vav (they took council together) misread as nun-vav-ayin-dalet-vav (they gathered themselves)

Mt. 22:37  chet-yud-lamed-kaf (your strength/might) was misread as hey-vav-nun-kaf (your mind) (these look alike in Hebrew script) (see Deut. 6:5 for PROOF)

Lk. 2:30  chet-nun-nun-kaf (your mercy) misread as chet-yud-yud-kaf (your salvation)

Lk. 20:46  bet-alef-samek-tet-vav-alef (in the porches) misread as bet-alef-samek-tet-lamed-alef (in robes)

Lk. 24:32  yud-quf-yud-resh (heavy) misread as yud-quf-yud-dalet (burning)

Jn. 4:52  tav-shin-ayin (ninth) misread as shin-bet-ayin (seventh)

Rom. 5:7  In the Greek says that scarcely would one die for a RIGHTEOUS man. resh-shin-yud-ayin-alef (wicked) was misread as some form of yud-shin-resh (upright/righteous)

1Cor. 7:5  tav-gimel-lamed-zayin-vav-lamed (deprive) was misread as either tav-gimel-lamed-bet-vav-lamed or tav-gimel-gimel-zayin-vav-nun (defraud).

Rev. 6:14  alef-tav-pe-shin-resh (melted) was misread as alef-tav-pey-resh-shin (departed) (see Is. 34:3-4; Nah. 1:5-6; Mic. 1:4; Ps. 97:5 for proof)

Rev. 13:3  alef-tav-dalet-bet-resh-tav (raised/resurrected) misread as alef-tav-dalet-mem-dalet-tav (healed) .  One must be resurrected after a fatal wound not simply healed.

Chapter Fifteen:  Synoptic Variance Due To Ambiguity 

SYNOPTIC VARIANCE DUE TO AMBIGUITY 

Mt. 4:19=Mk. 1:17 = Lk. 5:10  A single Aramaic word is translated by the Greek variously as "catch" or "fish".

Mt. 11:8  = Lk. 7:25 The Greek translates the same ambiguous Hebrew and Aramaic phrase as "in King's Houses" in Matt. But as "among Kings" in Luke.

Mt. 11:27  = Luke 10:22   The Greek translates the same Aramaic phrase as "and no one knows who a son is" and as "and no one knows who is the Son" .

Mt. 12:50  and equivalents  The Greek translator renders the same Hebrew/Aramaic variously as "brothers of me" and "my brothers"

Mt. 16:26  = Mk. 8:36 = Lk. 9:25  The ambiguous Aramaic word NAFSHA is variously translated as "life" or "self".

Mt. 27:15  = Lk. 23:17 The same Aramaic word is translated "necessary" and "accustomed" by the Greek translators.

SYNOPTIC VARIANCE DUE TO MISREAD WORDS

(or due to scribal errors which occurred in Aramaic BEFORE the Greek translation)

Luke 19:17, 19 = Mt. 25:25, 28 variance between "coins" (kaf-kaf-resh-yud-nun) and "cities" (kaf-resh-kaf-yud-nun)

Mt. 8:16  = Mk. 1:32 = Lk. 4:20 variance between evening (resh-mem-shin-alef) and "sun" (shin-mem-shin-alef).

Mt. 16:6  = Mk. 8:15  "beware" (alef-zayin-dalet-hey-resh-vav) and "take heed" (chet-zayin-vav-chet-resh-vav)

Mt. 22:22  = Lk. 20:26 "they left"  (shin-bet-quf-vav)  "they were silent" (shin-tav-quf-vav)

Mt. 28:1 = Mk. 16:1 -  Mk. 16:1 has that Sabbath had "passed" (Aramaic ayin-bet-resh-tav) Mt. 28:1 has "late/evening" of the Sabbath (Hebrew: ayin-resh-bet)

Chapter Sixteen:  Misunderstood Questions and Conclusion 

MISUNDERSTOOD QUESTIONS 

In Hebrew and in Aramaic there is no interrogative clause as we know it in English. The only way to determine whether a phrase is a statement or a question in Hebrew and Aramaic is through the inflection of the voice.  The result is that on some occasions the Greek translator mistook questions for statements.

In Jn. 6:32 we read in the Greek that Moshe did NOT give the people bread from heaven.  In reality this should be understood as a question "did not Moshe,,,?"

In the Greek of Jn. 11:49 Caiphas boldly tells the Pharisees that they don't know anything.  In the HRV this is understood as a question "Don't you know anything?"

PUNS, WORDPLAYS AND ALLITERATION 

The Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts are full of dozens of cases of puns, wordplays and alliteration, all of which point to the Hebraic-Aramaic origin of the books.  There are dozens of cases footnoted in the HRV, here we will look at just one example in the writings of Paul.

Eph. 2:19 translated literally from the Aramaic reads:  “Therefore, you are not strangers nor foreigners, but you are sons of the province of the set-apart ones and sons of the House of Eloah.?/span>

Here the Peshitta has the Aramaic idiom "sons of the House of Eloah" where the Greek reads "of the household of God." 

"sons of the House of..." is a Semitic idiomatic expression meaning "of the household of..."

"House of Eloah" is a Semitic euphemism for the Temple.

Also the Aramaic word for sons "ab-nay" is a wordplay for the Aramaic word for build in 2:20 "b'na" and the Aramaic word for building "benyana" in 2:20-21 both from the Aramaic root "'abna" (stone).  A similar wordplay appears in the Hebrew and Aramaic versions of Mt. 3:9.

Paul transitions from the idea of "sons of the House of Eloah" (heirs) in 2:19 to stones of the House of Eloah (members of the Temple) in 2:20-21.  This transition of thought is deeply steeped in the Aramaic idiom "sons of the house of" the Aramaic euphemism for the Temple (House of Eloah) and the Aramaic wordplay between "sons" and "stones."

This transition of thought is clearly dependent on the Aramaic text of Ephesians as found in the Peshitta.  It does not work in the Greek text at all.  This is not only clear evidence for the Semitic origin of the book, but a great help in following Paul's train of thought as well. 

JOHNIAN VARIATION 

Some modern scholars have argued that the same John did not write both the Gospel of John and the Revelation of John.  Although they use common unique phrases such as "water of life"/"living water" and "lamb" the Greek versions use differing Greek words for many of these Greek words and phrases.  However in the Aramaic text the vocabulary is the same

CONCLUSION 

The New Testament, like the Tanak was originally written in Hebrew and Aramaic, the native languages of first century Jews and Syrians.  The native tongue of both Jerusalem and Antioch.  This is testified to by many of the ancient "Church Fathers" as well as many modern scholars.  Even Paul, who was an anti-Hellenist wrote in Hebrew and Aramaic to core groups of Jewish leaders at local assemblies throughout the world who then translated them into Greek, Latin etc. for the populace.  Contrary to popular myth there are in fact old and ancient Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts and the oldest complete Aramaic manuscripts is about the same age as the oldest Greek manuscript.  Moreover there is a plethora of internal evidence demonstration the originality of the Hebrew and Aramaic over the Greek.  The Tanak quotes as they appear in the Hebrew and Aramaic NT mss. Demonstrate that these texts could not have simply been translated from the Greek NT.  Moreover there are many instances where the Greek translator seems to have mistranslated ambiguous Hebrew/Aramaic words or misread them.  Many cases of Synoptic and Johnian Variation can be traced back to these issues.  There are also many cases where the Greek translator seems to have mistaken a question for a statement (a common translation error when translating Hebrew and/or Aramaic into other languages.  Finally the Hebrew and Aramaic are filled with puns, wordplays and alliteration again demonstrating that they are the result of composition rather than translation from Greek

The testimony from the church fathers.

Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, c. 150 A.D. said: "Matthew put down the words of the Lord in the Hebrew language, and others have translated them, each as best he could." Irenaeus (120-202 A.D.) Bishop of Lions, France. "Matthew, indeed, produced his Gospel written among the Hebrews in their own dialect." Origen (c. 225 A.D.) said: "The first Gospel composed in the Hebrew language, was writ- ten by Matthew..for those who came to faith from Judaism." Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea (c. 325 A.D.) "Matthew had first preached to the Hebrews, and when he was about to go to others also, he transmitted his Gospel in writing in his native language" (Ecclesiastical History III 24, 6).

And, also, Ephiphanius, Jerome, translator of the Scripture into Latin, the so-called called Vulgata version, say the same.