[b-hebrew] Aramaic - Abba

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Fri Jul 22 14:27:17 EDT 2005

I think it is possible to find books which support just 
about every thought in the world conceivable. But it is clear 
from the ancient writings what their opinions were on these 
things, whether a person accepts them as authentic or not.
Putting magic overtones on the declaration which was clearly 
directed to the El $aDai of the hebrew bible is ludicrous at 
best and can only be entertained by lovers of controversy.

I can't remember my sources but I thought it was quite plain 
that in this period Aramaic had firmly supplanted the Hebrew 
language in everyday use. This is a change which commenced with 
the exile of the Jehudans in Babylonia and in the days of Ye$ua 
had already taken a firm root. The fact that the text remains 
in Aramiac amongst Greek text is a matter of prose style and 
effect. At such an emotional moment in the story the use of 
direct quotation in the original language the words were spoken 
gives the story a greater effect of realism because the reader 
is taken to the scene exactly how it happened. It is clear (to 
me) that this was the desired effect of the author and NOT to 
promote magical practises which would contradict the entire efforts 
of the composers of such material.

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org on behalf of Jim West
Sent: Fri 7/22/2005 7:05 PM
To: Peter Kirk; b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Aramaic - Abba
You are clearly mistaken from a purely historical point of view.  You 
should read Marvin Meyer's Ancient Christian Magic.  Further, it is no 
attack on the faith to tell the truth.  That for some people prayer is 
"magical" is utterly indisputable.  Utterly. 


Peter Kirk wrote:

> On 22/07/2005 18:45, Jim West wrote:
>> ... If some early Christians believed in magic (and some clearly 
>> did!)... and prayer is the most "magical" of all vocalizations.
> I know this is well off topic, but I can't allow this attack on the 
> Christian faith to pass without comment. Christian prayer is not 
> magic. The early Christians clearly distanced themselves from magic, 
> as is clear in Acts 8 and 19. The two have nothing in common. 
> Christians, along with most other religious believers, believed and 
> still believe that (at least in some circumstances) a personal God 
> acts when asked to in prayer. That is quite different from magic which 
> is a belief in some kind of impersonal supernatural force.

D. Jim West

Biblical Studies Resources -  http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
Biblical Theology Weblog -  http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com

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