Eli Eli Lama Azavtany or Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani?

yahua'sef gs02wmr at panther.Gsu.EDU
Sat Jun 19 13:27:00 EDT 1999

On Sat, 19 Jun 1999, Jim West wrote:
> I dont know about the mandeans- but I do know that they are not the only
> folk who speak aramaic today.  Syrian Christians do to some extent as do
> others.  Syriac texts always use elohey and not alaha or whatever.  
> Dont know about this site either.  Dont know who is the originator or what
> their background or training is.  So I really cant say anything about their
> ideas.
> I guess you will have to decide- Kohler and Baumgartner or a web site.

Thre should be a common standard answer and not all of this mystery. 

Perhaps if you read the website a little further you would learn of the


"Dr. George M. Lamsa, The founder of the Aramaic Bible Society in 1943. He
also translate the Aramaic Bible into an English version called the


George M. Lamsa, a native Assyrian, renowned scholar of the scriptures,
lecturer and author, F.R.S.A. was born August 5, 1892, in a civilization
with customs, manners,
and language almost
identical to those in the time of Jesus. His native tongue was full of
similar idioms and parables,
untouched by the outside world in 1900 years. 

Until World War I, his people living in that part of ancient biblical
lands which today is known as
Kurdistan, in the basin of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, retained the
simple nomadic life, as in the
days of the Patriarchs. Only at the beginning of the 20th century did this
isolated segment of the once
great Assyrian Empire learn of the discovery of America and the
Reformation of Germany.

Likewise, until that same time, this ancient culture of early Christians
was unknown to the western
world, and the Aramaic (Syriac) language was thought to be dead. But in
this so called "Cradle of
Civilization," ancient biblical customs and Semitic culture, cut off from
the world, were preserved.

Lamsa's primary training as a boy was to tend the lambs. But, as the
first-born son in his family,
while yet an infant, he was dedicated to God by his devout mother. Years
after her death, when
Lamsa was 12, her vow was renewed by native tribesmen when an ox was
killed and its blood
rubbed on his head. This vow to God, Lamsa claims, has always been part of
him. "God's Hand," he
affirms, "has been steadfastly on my shoulder, guiding me in His work."

Lamsa's formal studies began under the priests and deacons of the ancient
Church of the East. Later
he graduated with the highest honors ever bestowed from the Archbishop of
Canterbury's Colleges
in Iran and in Turkey, with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Lamsa was
never married, but dedicated
his life to God's Calling."

At the beginning of World War I, when Turkey started invasions, Lamsa left
and went to South
America. Living was hard during those years; he knew only three words in
Spanish -- water, work
and bread. As best he could he existed in the British Merchant Marine for
a time, then worked on
railroads, in mines, and later in printing shops, a trade he had learned
in college.

After arriving in the united States, in his early 20's, Lamsa worked as a
printer by day, and by night
went to school. He later studied at the Episcopal Theological Seminary in
Alexandria, Virginia, and
at Dropsie College in Philadelphia.

It was through his struggles with the idioms of English, during these
years, that Lamsa gradually
launched into his life's work of translating the Scriptures from Aramaic
(Syriac) into English. yet
many years were to pass before the world received his translations. 

First as a lecturer in churches and seminaries, in halls and auditoriums,
before statesmen, theologians,
groups of artists, actors and others, Lamsa received recognition as a
poet-philosopher, and as an
authority on all phases of Eastern civilization.

It was his own inner compulsion, and the urgings of hundreds who heard
him, that drove him
forward, and brought about, after 30 years of labor, research and study,
his translation of the Holy
Bible from a branch of the ancient Aramaic language, used by Christians
from earliest times; it is a
known fact that Jesus and his followers spoke Aramaic.

There were times when he was temporarily stopped in his translations, when
the idioms in the
manuscripts would not be given correct English meaning.

Lamsa relates, "Often I would lie on the bed with the script before my
eyes (he has a photographic
memory which retains chapter after chapter of biblical passages), and
suddenly the translation would
come, the English words would fall into place.

"I discovered that the words in the Bible contain power, that they are
charged with the Holy Spirit.
Everything comes and passes away, but God's Truth endures forever."

It was Lamsa's firm belief that his translations will bring people nearer
to the Word of God, and will
facilitate understanding between east and West."

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