Bible Believers' Newsletter 799
"We focus on the present Truth – what Jesus is doing now. . ."
Christian greetings in the precious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; we are pleased you could join us in fellowship around God's unchanging Word. Your brother-in-Christ, Anthony Grigor-Scott
Please welcome Brother Lynnford Beachy, contributing author of this week's main article, "The Original Language of the New Testament." Brother Lynnford is Editor of a free newsletter entitled, "Present Truth," a Bible study paper published monthly since 1998 that is designed to share the Good News of God's love to the world. He was delivered by the Lord Jesus from a life of drugs and alcohol in 1991 and has been involved in evangelism and authoring Bible studies since 1993.
Brother Beachy has done considerable research on the Aramaic New Testament, and discovered that the Pashita was translated from Greek. This agrees with contributor Pastor V. S. Herrell who published the Anointed Standard Translation: "It is a fact of scholarship that all of the quotations made by Jesus and His ambassadors [i.e. apostles] were taken from the [Greek] Septuagint".
This Newsletter serves those of like precious faith. Whoever will receive the truth is welcome to feed their soul from the waters of the River of Life. Everything here presented should be confirmed personally in your own Bible.
Your brother-in-Christ, Anthony Grigor-Scott
Evidence indicates the Syrian Government did not launch a Chemical Weapon Attack against its People
We've got serious problems brewing in Syria with a British firm called Britam alleged to be involved in the recent chemical attack in Syria close to Damascus. This is being looked into to ensure this isn't a set up of Britam and a false accusation (youtube.com).
This hacked email coincided with Obama and Netanyahu declaring they would act on Syria. This email was allegedly obtained by a hacker who hacked into Britam based out of Malaysia. One of the e-mails contains a discussion between Britam's Business Development Director David Goulding and Philip Doughty, company founder. In the exchange, it's revealed that there is a plan to unleash chemical weapons in Syria in order to blame it on the Bashar Al Assad regime to justify a direct intervention by US and NATO forces in the country's civil war. The plan, thought up by the government of Qatar according to the e-mail, is "approved by Washington." [It appears the US-funded and armed invaders have gathered and gassed the unsuspecting children].
Phil We've got a new offer. It's about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington. We'll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have. They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record. Frankly, I don't think it's a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion?
Iran has been blamed for the hack into Britam but am cautious on this accusation. The timing here is too critical. The alleged hacked documents look authentic from Britam as linked to the Cyber War News site.
Britam needs to be flushed out on this one if they were involved in this. The ambulances were moved into Syria awhile back. I remember seeing a news article on the purchase of the ambulances allegedly for the "rebels" fighting in Syria. I can't locate the url link to confirm this. Halliburton is involved discovered through this hack connected to Britam. Halliburton remember, moved to Dubai. Halliburton is pushing to have the "red line" crossed on Syria.
It means that if this is true, then the Iranians aren't responsible to frame the west because the email originated from Britam's IP range. Don't confuse the IP range with the location of the server.
August 25, 2013 Interview with Gordon Duff, Senior Editor of Veterans Today: The UN investigation has been entirely compromised. The facility that produced the weapon was in Georgia which has already turned the evidence over to the US. This is an act of desperation driven by the Israel lobby in the United States. Full story: presstv.ir
Doctors Without Borders is fully funded by the very same corporate financier interests behind Wall Street and London's collective foreign policy, including regime change in Syria and neighboring Iran. Doctors Without Borders' own annual report (2010 report can be accessed here), includes as financial donors, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Google, Microsoft, Bloomberg, Mitt Romney's Bain Capital, and a myriad of other corporate-financier interests. Likewise Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International which spent their legitimacy attempting to create a pretext for Western military intervention in Libya. "Doctors" behind Syrian chemical weapons claims are aiding the terrorists.
August 24, 2013 CBS News reports that the US is finalizing plans for war against Syriaand positioning ships to launch cruise missiles against the Syrian governmentbased on the claim that it used chemical weapons against its people. The last time the US blamed the Syrian government for a chemical weapons attack, that claim was debunked. . . .
[ALL experts and News sources on the ground indicate this is ANOTHER false flag, very likely set up by the US or Israel]. . . Last time there was a chemical weapon attack in Syria, Bush administration office Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson said that he thought Israel might have given chemical weapons to the Syrian rebels to frame the government. British MP George Galloway just floated the same theory in regards to the new chemical weapon attack.
Of course, we don't know who carried out the attack, or what weapon was used. But given the well-documented fact that the US has been planning regime change in Syria for 20 years straightand planned to use false ploys for 50 yearsit is worth being skeptical until all of the evidence is in. . . Full story: globalresearch.ca worldtribune.com
June 15, 2013 In an interview with the French TV station LCP, former French minister for Foreign Affairs Roland Dumas said: "I'm going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer minister for foreign affairs, if I would like to participate . . .
Israel's support for Al Qaeda militants in Syria has even been admitted by the mainstream press. For example, Germany's Die Welt newspaper published a report on June 12th on Israel's medical treatment of the Al Qaeda fighters.
Israel planned this war of annihilation years ago in accordance with the Yinon Plan, which advocates balkanization of all states that pose a threat to Israel. The Zionist entity is using Britain and France to goad the reluctant Obama administration into sending more American troops to their death in Syria on behalf of Tel Aviv. . .
Full story: globalresearch.ca
Comment: The City of London is manipulating Australia, through its agent [Prime Minister] Kevin Rudd, longtime intelligence operative closely tied into MI6, so that Australia's position as incoming president of the UN Security Council is used to escalate, rather than resolve, the conflict in Syria.
The Anglo-Americans are targeting Syria as a proxy for their strategic targeting of Russia and China, including with nuclear weapons, which has created dangerous preconditions for another world war. They have cynically manipulated the so-called Arab Spring to turn virtually the entire Middle East into a theatre of war, prompting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to comment last September that he hoped the Arab Spring didn't turn into a "nuclear winter." The Anglo-Americans have even betrayed the American, British and Australian soldiers who have fought and died in Afghanistan fighting the al-Qaeda terrorist network [to enable Rothschild to run oil and gas pipelines from the Caspian], by unleashing the very same [CIA] al-Qaeda jihadists to target the regimes in Libya, then Syria and now the transitional government in Egypt, all funded by Britain's [Jewish-ruled] terrorist-sponsoring client-state Saudi Arabia.
Cast your mind back to August 2008 and the perfidy of Israeli and US involvement in Georgia's attack on the innocent Russian people of Ossetia. See here.
Christian Zionism, the Tragedy and the Turning
February, 2013 American's economy is war-based and those who plan it depend upon Christians for the support of those wars. Christian Zionists by whatever name are the primary enablers of those wars, of the sanctions against other states, and of the occasional occupation of Muslim states and acts of war against other countries. Why do 'Christians' support war when Jesus demanded peace? Because they have been conditioned to think Islam is anathema to them. Celebrity Christian Zionists allow themselves to be used as propagandists against Islam in governments including Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Somalia, Bosnia, Iran, Sudan, and more. . .
Tragedy and Turning also explains how the meanings of Bible text were manufactured and distorted in the footnotes of the [false and misleading] Scofield Reference Bible and bibles that have followed it. These distortions have been used to support the preposterous claim that today's political "Israel" owns the land where Abraham is believed to have lived 3000 years ago. . . Full story: vimeo.com
Comment: Now you know why Brother Branham said, "This America is the prostitute of the nations. That's exactly what she is, and she's going to be worse than ever now. She's coming to her end. The Bible speaks of her doom, tells how she's going to be: America: lowdown, rotten, filthy, no good. That's exactly right. She's been a great nation. She's carried the Gospel Message. What makes her the way she is? Because she's turned down the Gospel message and rejected the truth. She's horrible. She's got it coming; don't worry. I seen it in the vision as THUS SAITH THE LORD. It's coming. She's going to pay for her sins" (Revelation Chapter 4, Part III, p. 661:87).
Larry Summers and the Secret 'End-Game' Memo
August 22, 2013 The Treasury official playing the bankers' secret End Game was Larry Summers. Today, Summers is Barack Obama's leading choice for Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, the world's central bank. If the confidential memo is authentic, then Summers shouldn't be serving on the Fed, he should be serving hard time in some dungeon reserved for the criminally insane of the finance world.
The memo is authentic.
To get that confirmation, I would have to fly to Geneva and wangle a meeting with the Secretary General of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy. I did. Lamy, the Generalissimo of Globalization, told me, "The WTO was not created as some dark cabal of multinationals secretly cooking plots against the people . . . We don't have cigar-smoking, rich, crazy bankers negotiating."
Then I showed him the memo. It begins with Summers' flunky, Timothy Geithner, reminding his boss to call the then most powerful CEOs on the planet and get them to order their lobbyist armies to march: "As we enter the end-game of the WTO financial services negotiations, I believe it would be a good idea for you to touch base with the CEOs . . ." To avoid Summers having to call his office to get the phone numbers (which, under US law, would have to appear on public logs), Geithner listed their private lines. And here they are . . .
The year was 1997. US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin was pushing hard to de-regulate banks. That required, first, repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act to dismantle the barrier between commercial banks and investment banks. It was like replacing bank vaults with roulette wheels.
Second, the banks wanted the right to play a new high-risk game: "derivatives trading." JP Morgan alone would soon carry $88 trillion of these pseudo-securities on its books as "assets."
Deputy Treasury Secretary Summers (soon to replace Rubin as Secretary) body-blocked any attempt to control derivatives. But what was the use of turning US banks into derivatives casinos if money would flee to nations with safer banking laws?
The answer conceived by the Big Bank Five: eliminate controls on banks in every nation on the planetin one single move. It was as brilliant as it was insanely dangerous.
How could they pull off this mad caper? The bankers' and Summers' game was to use the Financial Services Agreement, an abstruse and benign addendum to the international trade agreements policed by the World Trade Organization. Until the bankers began their play, the WTO agreements dealt simply with trade in goods–that is, my cars for your bananas. The new rules ginned-up by Summers and the banks would force all nations to accept trade in "bads"toxic assets like financial derivatives.
Until the bankers' re-draft of the FSA, each nation controlled and chartered the banks within their own borders. The new rules of the game would force every nation to open their markets to Citibank, JP Morgan and their derivatives "products."
And all 156 nations in the WTO would have to smash down their own Glass-Steagall divisions between commercial savings banks and the investment banks that gamble with derivatives. The job of turning the FSA into the bankers' battering ram was given to Geithner, who was named Ambassador to the World Trade Organization. . . Full story: vice.com
Comment: The modus operandi of the bankster's scam is identical to that of Judaeo-Communism in the USSR, and of the reviving Roman Empire of the EU. See "Former Soviet Dissident wars about an European Union Dictatorship!"
Gun Crime 'Out of Control' Despite Strict Australia Laws
August 21, 2013 According to the Ballina Shire Advocate, "Over 9,000 guns have been taken off New South Wales (NSW) streets and 3,352 people have charged" during previous operations in the last twelve months alone. NSW police commissioner Andrew Scipione explained: "There is no single source of gun violence. . . guns have fallen into the hands of organized crime, outlaw motorcycle gangs, mid-level crime groups and petty thieves and the lines are often blurred."
Not ironically, Australia implemented a massive purge of guns in 1996, which included bans on "assault weapons" and other semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. They also did forced buybacks and then entered into a strict licensing and registration agreement where certain single-shot rifles and similar firearms could be owned but only if the owner provided justification for the possession of such a weapon.
Yet 17 years after the implementation of gun control schemes that are very similar in many ways to those being pushed by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the NSW Police Department is launching a new operation to rein in gun violence.
The lesson: criminals do not pay attention to gun bans. They never have and they never will. Full story: breitbart.com
Comment: An article from The Forward notes that the Jewish community has taken the lead in gun control and that part of it is hostility toward the gun culture of White America that is especially apparent in rural White America. [Except in Israel] Jews "instinctively recoil" from this culture ("After [the false flag black op in] Newtown Jews lead renewed push on guns").
Jewish organizations pride themselves on gun control stances that date back to the early days of the debate, following the assassination of [plagiarist and adulterer Michael King a.k.a.] Martin Luther King Jr. and of President Kennedy [allegedly a MOSSAD-CIA sting]. Most played a supportive role in passing legislation then limiting access to weapons, and have since reaffirmed their commitment to reducing the availability of guns.
One reason for broad Jewish support of gun control, Mariaschin said, has to do with the community's sense of security, "which perhaps leads us to feel that the possession of assault weapons is completely unneeded" [outside Israel] (theoccidentalobserver.net".
Rabbi Eric Yoffie, former head of the Reform movement, listed in a recent Haaretz article several reasons for Jews siding with supporters of gun control: the community's affiliation with the Democratic Party; the fact that Jews are urban people and detached from the culture of hunting or gun ownership, and suspicion toward the NRA, which is "associated in the minds of many Jews with extremist positions that frighten Jews and from which they instinctively recoil."
Bradley Manning nominated for Nobel Prize
August 24, 2013 An international petition with well over 100,000 signatories urging the Norwegian Nobel Committee (NNC) to bestow the coveted Nobel Peace Prize to Pfc. Bradley Manningrecently convicted of several charges related to his stealing classified documentswill be turned over to the NNC in Oslo, Norway, on Monday, a US-based activist group announced.
Norman Solomon, the co-founder of RootsAction.org, is expected to deliver the petition to the office of the Nobel Committee and a committee member confirmed he will officially receive it, according to Roots Action.
A winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, who was honored in 1976, has formally nominated Manning for the honor. . . "This group [Roots Action] is well received by the Nobel people because they all share the same left-wing, new-world-order philosophy" . . . Full story: newswithviews.com
Antiracism without Race may be Quite Complicated!
August 18, 2013 Q: The French government has recently decided on the removal of the word 'race' from all official documents. Removing the word in order to eradicate the evil, is this not, spot on, some magical thinking? Moreover, if there are no races, how can there be any racism? And in passing, how can there be any antiracism at all? Antiracism without race, well, this may be quite complicated!
A: Don't you worry. If the French Republic indeed claims not to recognize any longer "the existence of any alleged race," it nonetheless declares that it "condemns racism." Indeed, what will be more difficult to justify is the indictment for "incitement to racial hatred," that is to say, the incitement to hate something that does not exist in the first place. From now on it will also be more difficult to justify the defense of miscegenation, since from now on this notion will refer to a mixture of imaginary entities, or the promotion of "diversity," having in mind that "we do not recognize any race diversity" (François Hollande, March 12, 2012). Finally, given that people insist on seeing and recognizing the "races" around them, somebody will really need to convince them that they are victims of optical illusions. Good luck to all those wishing to take on this task! . . . Full story: theoccidentalobserver.net
The Original Language of the New Testament
by Lynnford Beachy
The Institute for Scripture Research and their kindred spirits feel free to "modify" the Greek New Testament because they believe it was not written in Greek, but in Hebrew or Aramaic, and that whoever translated the New Testament into Greek made mistakes. They feel free to correct these mistakes, yet they have no Hebrew or Aramaic originals to examine to see if those who supposedly translated the New Testament into Greek produced a faithful translation. That is why they have modified the New Testament as "seemed appropriate." If errors needed to be corrected, the best they could do was just guess what should be fixed as seemed appropriate to them.
All of this liberty to modify the New Testament is based on the assumption that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic. But this is only an assumption, because there is no proof that the New Testament was originally written in any other language but Greek. All of the over 5,000 fragments of New Testament manuscripts that exist today are written entirely in Greek. There is not a single fragment of a Hebrew or Aramaic New Testament manuscript anywhere. Scholars debate whether Matthew was originally written in Aramaic or Greek, or if Matthew wrote an Aramaic version as well as a Greek version of his Gospel. Regardless of which view on this is correct, the only manuscripts of Matthew's Gospel in existence today are all written in Greek.
The New Testament consists of 27 documents . . . concerning matters of belief and practice in Christian communities throughout the Mediterranean world. Although some have argued that Aramaic originals lie behind some of these documents (especially the Gospel of Matthew and the Epistle to the Hebrews), all have been handed down in Greek, very likely the language in which they were composed (Encarta Encyclopedia, article: "Bible").
When Christ was here the Biblical Hebrew language was a dead language—it was not a spoken language.
The language in which most of the Old Testament was written dates, as a living language, from the 12th to the 2nd century BC, at the latest. From about the 3rd century BC the Jews in Palestine came to use Aramaic in both speech and secular writings. Jews outside Palestine spoke in the language of the countries in which they had settled (Encarta Encyclopedia, article: "Hebrew Language").
By the time Christ walked this earth as a man, the Greek language had become so widespread that it was a common spoken language in public, as well as the language of literature and commerce throughout the Middle East, including Palestine, where Jesus ministered.
With the conquests of Alexander the Great and the extension of Macedonian rule in the 4th century BC, a shift of population from Greece proper to the Greek settlements in the Middle East occurred. In this period, known as the Hellenistic, the Attic dialect, spoken by the educated classes as well as by the merchants and many emigrants, became the language common to all the Middle East. As the Greeks mixed with other peoples, linguistic changes took place, Attic became the foundation of a new form of Greek, Koine, which spread throughout all areas of Greek influence. Koine was the language of the court and of literature and commerce throughout the Hellenistic empires (Encarta Encyclopedia, article: "Greek Language").
When Christ was here Koine Greek, the language of all New Testament manuscripts, was a the primary spoken language of the common people, as well as the written language of commerce and literature, even in Jerusalem. At that time, Greek was widely used, much as how English is used today. English is quickly becoming a universal language, taught in schools throughout the world. English "is the official language of many nations in the Commonwealth of Nations and is widely understood and used in all of them. It is spoken in more parts of the world than any other language and by more people than any other tongue except Chinese" (Encarta Encyclopedia, article: "English Language"). Throughout the Middle East the Greek language was used in a similar way. It was a language that allowed people of various mother tongues to communicate using a common language. To be successful in business it was necessary to know the Greek language.
Galilee of the Gentiles
Jesus was "a Galilaean" (Luke 23:6) who grew up in "Nazareth of Galilee" (Matthew 21:11) [and neither Jesus nor any of His disciples was a Jew]. After Jesus began His ministry He spent much of His time ministering in Galilee, which was called, "Galilee of the Gentiles" (Matthew 4:15). This was populated by a large number of Greek-speaking people, who did not know how to speak Hebrew or Aramaic. About three hundred years earlier the Greek language was becoming so widely used that the Jews translated the Scriptures into Greek (called the Septuagint or LXX). The Septuagint was used widely in synagogues throughout the Middle East. It was used in the synagogue in Nazareth, where Jesus had been raised.
Right after Jesus began His ministry, "He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto Him the Book of the prophet Esaias [Isaiah]. And when He had opened the Book, He found the place where it was written, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.' And He closed the Book, and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down" (Luke 4:16-20).
Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1-2. He was reading from the Greek Septuagint. We know this because the phrase "recovering of sight to the blind" is not in the [counterfeit Masoretic text of the] Hebrew Old Testament [in our English Bibles], but it is in the Greek Septuagint. Since Nazareth was in Galilee of the Gentiles, it is understandable why they would use the Greek Scriptures to allow the numerous Greek-speaking Jews to understand its reading. Jews who only spoke Greek were numerous in Galilee, but some even lived in Jerusalem. In the early days of the Christian church in Jerusalem, "there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration" (Acts 6:1). A Grecian was "one who imitates the manners and customs or the worship of the Greeks, and uses the Greek tongue. Used in the New Testament of Jews born in foreign lands and speaking Greek" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon).
The disciples were called "men of Galilee" (Acts 1:11). Many of them were fisherman who worked on the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 4:18). They sold their fish in Galilee, and must have been able to speak Greek to communicate with their buyers. In the Book of John we read, "And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: the same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus" (John 12:20-22). The disciples were able to communicate with these Greek believers who attended the feast.
Teach all nations
Just before Jesus left His disciples, He commissioned them, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations" (Matthew 28:19). He also instructed them, saying, "ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Jesus designed that the gospel would be preached in all nations. The Jews had mostly kept to themselves and rarely ministered unto those of other nations. The gospel of Christ was not to be thus constrained to the Hebrew people. It was to go to all nations, and the most widely used language of that area in those days was the Greek language. It would have been foolish to lock up the gospel writings in a dead language such as Hebrew, or a language with limited use, such as Aramaic. Jesus charged the disciples to go unto all nations, and we can be certain that they spoke to those nations in a language they could understand. In most places surrounding Israel, Greek was the language to use to reach them because it was the universal language of that time.
God called Paul to especially minister to Gentiles—most of whom did not know Hebrew or Aramaic. He was "the apostle of the Gentiles" (Romans 11:13). Most of the places he visited on his missionary journeys were Greek-speaking nations. Greek was their mother tongue, and they did not know any other language. In most of these places, there were Jewish synagogues, attended by Greek-speaking Jews who did not know Hebrew or Aramaic. Jews by birth, as well as Greeks, attended these synagogues. Corinth was located in Greece and was a Greek-speaking city. When Paul was in Corinth "he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks" (Acts 18:4). The Bible records Paul's experiences in converting the Jews and Greeks in a similar way in just about every area he visited. Greeks were a large part of his audience wherever he went. When he wrote letters to these people we can be certain that he wrote to them in a language they could understand, the Greek language. Much of the New Testament is made up of letters from Paul to the Churches in Greek-speaking lands, some in Greece itself, such as Thessalonica, Corinth, and Philippi. It would have been unthinkable for Paul to have written his letters to Greece in a language they could not understand.
Paul spoke Greek
We know that Paul could speak Greek [and that he was certainly no Jew Philippians 3:4-8]. After a mob had almost killed him and he was being led into a castle by Roman soldiers, "he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek? Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers" (Acts 21:37, 38)? The chief captain was surprised that Paul could speak Greek because he mistook him for a particular Egyptian who did not know Greek. Paul continued to talk with the chief captain in Greek—he knew the language well.
After the chief captain gave Paul permission to speak to the people, "Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue [Aramaic], saying, Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you. And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence . . ." (Acts 21:40-22:2).
When Paul began to speak, the crowd was pleasantly surprised when he spoke Hebrew. This was not biblical Hebrew, for that had not been spoken for many years, but he spoke the language of the Hebrew people at that time, which was Aramaic. "They would have understood Paul's Koiné Greek, but they much preferred the Aramaic" (Robertson's New Testament Word Pictures on Acts 22:2). This shows that Aramaic was not always spoken in public, even in Jerusalem where this took place. It also shows that the general population could speak and understand a language other than Aramaic, and this certainly was Greek.
One of Paul's most faithful companions and co-laborers was a Greek. Paul wrote, "Titus, who was with me, being a Greek" (Galatians 2:3). Another man whom Paul worked closely with was "a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria" (Acts 18:24). Apollos was the name of a pagan Greek god. Alexandria was the chief city of Egypt, founded by Alexander the Great. Apollos had a Greek background, and he was one of the chief workers in the early New Testament church. Paul said, "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase" (I Corinthians 3:6). The Greek language was a big part of the ministry of the early church. If they had limited their writings to Hebrew or Aramaic they would have left much of the early church without the ability to understand them. There was no need for these early Christians to learn Hebrew or Aramaic, for they had had the Scriptures in their own language, Greek, for more than 300 years. Greek was the language used more than any other in that area at that time. It was used in literature, in courts, in commerce, and in virtually every other aspect of everyday life for hundreds of years prior to the New Testament writings.
Josephus was a Jewish priest who was born in AD37 or 38 and died sometime after AD100. He made it his life's work to translate historical records of the Jewish people from Hebrew into Greek so they could be read by a much larger audience than if they were kept in the Hebrew language. Josephus wrote, "I intended to do no more than translate the Hebrew books into the Greek language, and promised them to explain those facts, without adding anything to them of my own, or taking anything away from there" (The Antiquities of the Jews, by Flavius Josephus, Book X, Chapter 10).
The works of Josephus were all composed in the Greek language, with the exception of his first draft of the "Jewish War" which was in Aramaic. His principal purpose was to communicate to the Greco-Roman world the knowledge of the history of his people, whom he defends and glorifies in every possible way (New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. VI, page 235).
At the time of Josephus (which was also the time when the New Testament was written), writings in the Hebrew language were not suitable to reach the majority of people, especially if they were designed to reach people outside of the Roman Province of Judea. The fact that Josephus saw the great need to rescue what he deemed precious works from a dead language and translate them into Greek so their influence could be prolonged and expanded proves that Greek was a much more common language than Hebrew at that time. The Books of the New Testament were written during this same time, and it would have been foolish to write them in Hebrew or Aramaic when their intended purpose was to reach as many as possible with the Gospel.
For those who claim there was an original Hebrew or Aramaic New Testament, the closest they can come is the Aramaic Peshitta. George Lamsa translated the Peshitta into English, and claims that the New Testament was originally written in Aramaic, and that the Peshitta is a copy of the original New Testament. This is the closest that anyone can come to having an original Hebrew or Aramaic New Testament, but it was actually translated from Greek, which we will see in a moment.
Let us take time to examine the New Testament itself to see if there is any internal evidence to reveal the original language in which it was written.
Matthew 1:23: "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His Name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." Matthew quoted from Isaiah 7:14, where it says, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel." Notice that the phrase, "which being interpreted is, God with us," is not found in Isaiah 7:14. Matthew saw it necessary to interpret the Hebrew name, Immanuel, because he knew that his readers would not understand what the word means. This would not have been necessary if his intended audience knew Hebrew. This proves that Matthew did not write in Hebrew. (It is possible that he wrote an Aramaic version in addition to the Greek version available to us today, as noted at the beginning of this article, even though there is not even a single fragment of such a document in existence today).
The Aramaic Peshitta also includes the phrase, "which being interpreted is, God with us," just like the Greek. Lamsa's translation of it says, "Behold, a virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His Name Immanuel, which is interpreted, Our God is with us." Perhaps in the Aramaic version it was necessary to translate the Hebrew name Emmanuel into Aramaic, but it is unlikely because the languages are so similar. But the next verse leaves no doubt.
Mark 7:34, "And looking up to heaven, He sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened." The word "Ephphatha" is an Aramaic word. Mark saw it necessary to translate this word so his readers would understand it. If Mark had originally written in Aramaic, he would not have explained, "which means, Be opened." This proves that Aramaic was not the language of Mark's Gospel. Lamsa's translation of the Aramaic Peshitta says, "And he looked up to heaven and sighed, and he said to him, Ethpatakh, which means, Be opened." The Aramaic Peshitta was translated from Greek manuscripts. The original New Testament was written in Greek, as we will see demonstrated over and over again in the New Testament.
Mark 15:22, "And they bring Him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull." The word "Golgotha" is an Aramaic word. Again, Mark saw it necessary to translate an Aramaic word so his readers would understand it. If Mark had originally written in Aramaic, he would not have included the phrase, "a place which is interpreted The Skull," his readers would have already known what this Aramaic word means, and it would be useless for Mark to have interpreted it for them. Lamsa's translation of the Aramaic Peshitta says, "And they brought him to Golgotha, a place which is interpreted The Skull." This proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Aramaic Peshitta was translated from the Greek manuscripts. We can be certain that Aramaic was not the original language of the New Testament.
Mark 15:34, "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Here is another Aramaic phrase which Mark translated for his readers to understand. Lamsa's translation of the Peshitta says, "And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying Eli, Eli, lemana, shabakthani! which means, My God, my God, for this I was spared!" All that was said of Mark 15:22 is equally true of this verse, confirming the fact that Mark wrote his Gospel in Greek, not Aramaic. Here are a few more examples of evidence substantiating this fact.
Mark 5:41, "And He took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi [Aramaic]; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise".
Mark 7:11, "But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban [Aramaic], that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free".
John 1:38, "Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto Him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master), where dwellest thou?" The Hebrew word "Rabbi" was a very common word among the Jews—even a small Jewish child would know the meaning of this word. Yet, John saw the necessity of translating this word into the language of his Gospel, Greek, so that his readers would understand its meaning. He would not have translated such a common word if he was writing in Hebrew or Aramaic. John was writing in Greek.
John 1:41, "He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ." John was expecting people to read his Gospel who were not familiar with common Hebrew words, such as Messiah. John saw it necessary to translate common Hebrew words into the language of his Gospel so his readers would understand it. He wrote in Greek so that he could be understood by the common people throughout the Middle East. Here are a few more verses to substantiate this fact:
John 1:42, "And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, He said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas [Aramaic], which is by interpretation, A stone".
John 9:7, "And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam [Hebrew], (which is by interpretation, Sent). He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing".
Acts 1:19, "It was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood." Here again is an Aramaic word that was translated by Luke so that his readers could understand. James Murdock's translation of the Peshitta says, "And this was known to all that dwelt at Jerusalem; so that the field was called, in the language of the country, Aceldama, which is interpreted Field of Blood." It is certain that Luke did not write the Book of Acts in Aramaic, or he would not have translated this Aramaic word for his readers. Luke wrote his Gospel and the Book of Acts in the Greek language so that they could be read by Theophilus, the Greek man whom he had specifically written them for. (See Luke 1:3 and Acts 1:1). Here are some more examples:
Acts 4:36, "And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas [Aramaic], (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation), a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus".
Acts 9:36, "Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha [Aramaic], which by interpretation is called Dorcas [Greek]: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did".
Revelation 9:11, "And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon".
We have noted a large amount of internal evidence in the New Testament that clearly demonstrates the fact that the intended audience included many who were unfamiliar with common Hebrew and Aramaic words. Therefore when the writers allowed some of these words to be used in their writings they interpreted them into Greek so their audience would understand them. Yet, there is more evidence, as we will see in a moment.
Not only did the writers of the New Testament see it necessary to translate common Hebrew or Aramaic words into the language of their audience, they also saw it necessary to explain certain Jewish practices that would not have been necessary if the intended audience had been limited to Aramaic-speaking Jews. Let us notice a few examples.
John 6:4, "And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh." To the Jews, the Passover was one of the most well-known events of the year. John expected that many of his readers would not know what the Passover is, so he saw it necessary to explain that the Passover is "a feast of the Jews." This would be useless if he had written his Gospel for Jewish people.
John 7:2, "Now the Jews' feast of Tabernacles was at hand." If John were writing primarily to Jews he would not have had to inform his audience that the feast of Tabernacles was "the Jews' feast." He would have simply said, "the feast of Tabernacles was at hand".
Luke 23:51, "(The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them); he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God." It is very unlikely for Luke to inform his readers that Arimathaea was "a city of the Jews" if he expected the majority of his readers to be Aramaic-speaking Jews, who would already be familiar with this fact.
Luke 22:1, "Now the feast of Unleavened Bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover." Luke saw it necessary to explain to his readers that "the feast of unleavened bread" is also called "the Passover." If he was intending his readers to be Aramaic-speaking Jews he would not have had to explain something that is common knowledge among the Jews.
John 19:40, "Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury." Here, John saw it necessary to explain this burial practice that was peculiar to the Jews, something that would not have been done if his audience had been restricted to Aramaic-speaking Jews.
Mark 7:2-3, "And when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders." Mark wrote his Gospel for people who would not know that the Jews have a tradition that prohibits them from eating unless they wash their hands often. It would not be necessary to explain this practice to Jewish people, for they would have been taught this since childhood. Mark was writing to Greek-speaking people.
John 2:6, "And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece." In John's account of this event it was necessary to mention the six waterpots of stone that were setting there at the wedding feast. Realizing that his readers would not understand why these waterpots were there, John explained that they were there because of "the manner of the purifying of the Jews." John knew that Jewish people would know why they were there, but since he was also expecting a large number of non-Jews to read his Gospel, he saw the need for explaining this oddity to his audience.
Septuagint in the New Testament
About 300 years before Christ came to this earth, in response to the growing popularity of the Greek language and the increasing number of Jews who could not read Hebrew, a group of Jewish scholars translated the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek. This translation is commonly called the Septuagint, or LXX. It became very popular, and by the time Christ came here it was widely used, because it was written in a common language understood by many. When Christ was here He often quoted from the Septuagint as opposed to the Hebrew Old Testament. (See Matthew 13:14, 15; 21:16; Luke 4:18, 19). Many of the New Testament writers used the Septuagint when quoting Old Testament Scriptures. R. Grant Jones did an extensive study on the usage of the Septuagint in the New Testament. He concluded, "The New Testament authors show a clear preference for the Septuagint over [Hebrew] Masoretic readings." Jones catalogued every time an Old Testament text was quoted in the New, and listed 78 times where New Testament writers chose the Septuagint reading of a text when it differed from the Hebrew reading. Jones only cited six places where the New Testament writers chose the Hebrew reading over the Septuagint rendering.
This evidence makes it clear that the main source book for Old Testament texts used by New Testament writers was the Greek Septuagint. This would be very unlikely if they had written the New Testament in Hebrew or Aramaic. They were writing to Greek people in the Greek language, and it was much easier for them, when quoting from the Old Testament, to use the Greek version rather than the Hebrew. This way they did not have to translate the Hebrew verses every time they wanted to quote the Old Testament. This also demonstrates that the Greek Septuagint was a widely used version of the Old Testament in the days of Christ and His apostles.
No Hebrew manuscripts
Today there is not a single fragment of a New Testament Hebrew manuscript, while there are over 5,000 fragments of Greek New Testament manuscripts. Some scholars claim that there were several New Testament fragments found among the Dead Sea Scrolls (all dating before AD70). All of these fragments were written in Greek. (For more information on this point, please read the book, The Original Language of the New Testament was Greek, by Gary Mink). There are several Hebrew and Aramaic portions of the New Testament that date back to the early Christian church, but they have all been translated from Greek, as we noted earlier regarding the Peshitta. Most of the above-mentioned peculiar Greek text evidence is found in the Aramaic New Testament, because the Peshitta was translated from Greek.
The authors of a prominent sacred-name Bible, The Scriptures, are forced to acknowledge that no Hebrew or Aramaic original manuscripts exist today. They state:
"We extend an ongoing invitation to any who can give input that will improve future editions of The Scriptures, especially in regard to the matter of Semitic [Hebrew or Aramaic] originals." They continue, "Since the originals are no longer extant [in existence], there was no alternative but to make use of the existing Greek manuscripts. . . We cannot therefore claim that our text represents a translation of any particular underlying text. As a modus operandi then, we have started out using the Textus Receptus, modifying our rendering as seemed appropriate . . ." Did you catch that? The prominent leaders of the sacred-name movement do not have what they consider an original New Testament. All they have is Greek, which they distrust, and they feel it necessary to "modify [its] rendering as seemed appropriate" (Preface to The Scriptures, page xvi).
The fact that no Hebrew or Aramaic New Testament manuscripts exist today, while over 5,000 Greek New Testament manuscripts exist, is compelling evidence that there never was an original Hebrew or Aramaic New Testament. The New Testament was written in Greek.
"My Words shall not pass away"
Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My Words shall not pass away" (Luke 21:33). If the words of Jesus were originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic and no Hebrew or Aramaic manuscripts exist today, then Christ's Words have passed away. But Jesus said this will not happen. Today, the only original record of Christ's Words are in Greek. Those who maintain that the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic feel free to "modify [its] rendering as seemed appropriate." This is a serious problem, friends. When a man comes to the point that he feels free to modify the only record of Christ's Words in existence, he has a real problem. Jesus said, "I am Alpha and Omega [Greek letters] . . . If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this Book: And if any man shall take away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this Book" (Revelation 22:13, 18-19).
There are clearly some serious dangers in the sacred-name movement of today, most notably in the rejection of the only New Testament we have, the Greek New Testament. It is completely contrary to the Bible and historical facts, to insist on using a particular Name for God or His Son, to the exclusion of every other Name or Title, such as God, Lord, Christ, etc. A sad tendency among those who take such extreme positions is that they refuse to fellowship with those who do not use the Name of God the same way as they do. This is understandable. If a person believes that when someone uses words such as God, Lord, Christ, Jesus, etc., a pagan deity is being worshiped, it makes sense to avoid fellowship with those whom they think are worshiping false gods. Yet, as we have clearly seen, this claim is completely unfounded, with absolutely no valid proof for this assertion. Too often people hear or read something that seems to make sense and they jump on the bandwagon without checking out all the facts first. Then many others follow their example, until a doctrine without Biblical or factual foundation gains quite a large following of people blindly following others and unwilling to examine the evidence for themselves to see if it is true. This has been done, to a large extent, in the sacred-name movement.
Another danger is that it can turn a person's religion into making the right sounds with his lips. They say you must call Jesus, Yeshua, or something similar. This makes it very difficult for many people in the world who do not have a SH sound in their language. For us it is no problem because SH is such a common sound in English, but this is not the case in all languages. Remember the Ephraimites could not say Shibboleth; instead, they said Sibboleth because they could not pronounce the SH sound. "Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand" (Judges 12:6). God is not so particular that He would destroy us if we do not pronounce His Name correctly.
[The Bible is quite clear that among English-speaking believers God's compound redemptive Name is Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:43; Matthew 28:19; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38-39, 4:12; Colossians 3:17, etc.,) and that He changes His Name, office, title or dispensation claim according to His work. For instance, Prophet, Priest and King, or Son of Man, Son of God, Son of Man, and Son of David].
Please take the time to study things out for yourself and let the Bible speak to you just as it is written. Take time to pray and seek God for wisdom, for without that we will all be led astray. Get to know God on a very personal level. Jesus said, "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:17)
Keep looking up, for your redemption draweth nigh.
Comment: Some of the comments in [square brackets] such as the above have been added by Bible Believers' Church.
As you will have learned from this paper, the language of the Bible has been changed. A well-planned and well-financed world-wide publicity through every available media by well-organized groups of so-called or self-styled "Jews" for over three centuries has created a "secondary meaning" for the word "Jew" which has completely "blacked out" the original and correct meaning of the word "Jew". Brother Branham said "The word, Jews, does not describe the religion of the Jewish people. It refers only to the people [residents] of Judah [Judeans] and has the same precise meaning if I were to say I am Irish born. These people were saying that they were actually Jews [Judahites], real Jews ["of the stock of Israel" (Philippians 3:5)] by birth. They were liars. They were not Jews by birth and they weren't Jews by religion. If all this is true, what were they? They were a deceived people who were already part of the church. They belonged to the false vine" (An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, p. 120). And "I believe the key to interpreting exactly what each of these wonderfully descriptive phrases means is found in Revelation 3:9. . . because it deals with the [self-styled or so-called] Jews who have always called themselves the children of God to the exclusion of everyone else. They crucified and killed the Lord Jesus Christ. Their terrible deed brought their blood upon their own heads for centuries. All because they refused Jesus as their Messiah, which indeed He was" (ibid. p. 291:2).
"The word Jew is a middle English shortening of the Latin Judaeus. The modern word Jew, however, implies a racial and philosophically atheist group of people, whereas both the Greek Word Ioudaios and the Latin word Judaeus were geographical terms in reference to the inhabitants of Judea [regardless of race or religion]" (V.S. Herrell, Anointed Standard Translation, Appendix, p. 754).
It is important that our new subscribers and new readers understand that the modern word "Jew" did not appear in the 1611 King James Authorized Version of the Bible. Neither did it appear in any or in any Bible version in any language prior to the late eighteenth Century, and this new word has a meaning contrary to the two words it has replaced. Almost all so-called Jews are a non-Semitic people with no history in the Meddle East.
The Greek word aggelos means "a messenger, envoy" . . . Past this we find that the word was originally of Iranian origin, for there exists a Persian word in Greek, aggareuo, which means a mounted courier or messenger. What we do not find in any of the definitions is any implication of a mystical or supernatural meaning, which the English word angel clearly garners. Angel is in fact a transliteration of the Greek word via Latin. Thus, since angel now carries the meaning of a supernatural being it was viewed as necessary that the literal meaning of aggelos be restored (V.S. Herrell, Anointed Standard Translation, Appendix, p. 755). Brother Branham has clarified this important point also. nl798.htm
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Brother Grigor-Scott is a non-denominational minister who has ministered full-time since 1981, primarily to other ministers and their congregations overseas. He pastors Bible Believers' tiny congregation, and is available to teach in your church.