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 Post subject: Syriac / Aramaic Gospels
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:42 pm 
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Four Gospels: Aramaic or Greek?

I am currently reading Acharya S' book, "The Christ Conspiracy", and I am not finished reading it yet but, so far, if I read it correctly, I got the impression the author was trying to make the argument that the Four Gospels might be forgeries. To support this argument, Acharya explains that the current Four Gospels in the New Testament appeared about the same time the Church was established into the middle or late second century. That much, I pretty much agree but, she mentioned that the four Gospels first appear in Greek and not Aramaic or Hebrew. In my opinion, if the original Four Gospels first were written in Greek would take some credibility away from these Four Gospels and concur with idea that they are outright forgeries. The problem with that is, I have taken a quick peek at Wikipedia and it appears that the Four Gospels were in fact written in Aramaic after all. I mean, we have the Lord's prayer translated from Aramaic which, in my opinion, supports and alternative interpretation of Christian rather than the contemporary widely believed and accepted version of what Christianity is and is about.

My question is, were the Gospels of the New Testament, Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John, first written in Greek or Aramaic? Do we have any copies or at least fragments of these Gospels in Aramaic? It seems anyone who tries to say they were first written in Greek is mistaken. So to bother but, if anyone could help me out or clarify, I would greatly appreciate it, thank you."

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:43 pm 
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Acharya's response:
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Thank you for reading my book "The Christ Conspiracy" and for your interest in the subject.

The four canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - "canonical" meaning that they are found in the New Testament - are not translations but were originally written in Greek. This conclusion is accepted by the mainstream, and no scholarship has proved otherwise. These gospels clearly emerge in the literary record during the last quarter of the second century. They originally did not have the titles "Gospel According to Matthew," etc., attached to them, and they are quite obviously not written by the people pretended to be their authors.

There are some Syriac/Aramaic gospels, revised as part of the later "Peshito" or "Peshitta" Bible," that are later than the Greek ones. While certain Syriac gospels have been dated to earlier than the Peshito, that text itself is dated to no earlier than the fifth century. There is a debate as to whether or not the Syriac gospels were translated from the Greek or possibly Jerome's Latin Vulgate, or if they were originally in Syriac/Aramaic. Again, the canonical gospels, however, are not translations but were originally written in Greek, and are accepted by mainstream authorities and "competent scholars" to have predated any Aramaic/Syriac texts.

Nevertheless, there was a "Gospel of Matthew" in HEBREW, which some have claimed was "Aramaic." However, this gospel was composed of SAYINGS only - the "Logia Iesou," i.e., the "Sayings of Jesus," or the "Logia Kuriakou," i.e., the "Sayings of the Lord." These represent a collection of wisdom sayings that could have been - and were, in my opinion - not said by one person named "Jesus" but by a variety of individuals over a long period of time, found in the sacred traditions of several cultures, including the Egyptian. The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew was NOT the basis of the canonical Greek Gospel of Matthew, except as it may have been used for any sayings found in the latter. Again, the canonical Gospel of Matthew is not a translation but was originally written in Greek.

Since it was in Syria, at Antioch, that much of the Christian effort was created, it is not surprising that we would find gospels in Syriac/Aramaic. We also find the gospels in Coptic/Egyptian or Arabic; yet, these are certainly not the originals but were created for the Egyptian worshippers. The same occurred with the Syriac gospels. They were not the products of direct Aramaic-speaking disciples of a historical Jesus. The confusion, of course, will come with the notion that Jesus was a real person and spoke Aramaic. Undoubtedly some of the Logia/Sayings were in Aramaic, as they were in other languages, such as Hebrew and, it is my contention, Egyptian. The actual creators of Christianity took the sayings from a variety of cultures, including the Syrian and Israelitish. Aramaic was spoken, for example, by the Samaritan creators of the New Testament, while the Judean contributors to the effort spoke Hebrew, and the Jews in Egypt spoke Greek. We would therefore expect to see aspects of the Christian creation in all three languages, and indeed we do.

None of this discussion means that the canonical gospels were originally in Aramaic/Syriac, as products of direct disciples of a historical Jesus who spoke Aramaic. To repeat, the canonical gospels are not translations and were originally in Greek.

Acharya S

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:46 pm 
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Yes, the 4 Gospels as we have them do not enter the historical or literary records until around 180CE when Irenaeus wrote "Against Heresies." After that, the author titles Mark, Matthew, Luke & John became more & more popular. Until then, nobody ever mentioned these by name because they did not exist as we have them. There were "sayings" but they were mentioned anonymously.

Even around 150CE when Justin Martyr made his first apology (inadvertently admitting the pre-xian pagan concepts existed before Christianity) he did not mention the 4 Gospels by name because they STILL did not exist as we have them. He & others mentioned the "sayings" which weren't the same. The Gospels as we have them were re-worked with many additions & edits.
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I have taken a quick peek at Wikipedia and it appears that the Four Gospels were in fact written in Aramaic after all.

What wiki article was this? They were translated into Aramaic but they weren't the originals.

Peshitta
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peshitta

New Testament apocrypha
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Testament_apocrypha

The Original Aramaic New Testament
http://aramaicnt.com

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The Mythicist Position
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
Stellar House Publishing at Youtube


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