[b-hebrew] Aramaic - Abba

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Fri Jul 22 20:34:21 EDT 2005

Very good system of reasoning. It is clear that the composer decided 
to translate abba in this way. But is also clear that it was normal 
to address your parent as 'pater'. I don't know anyone who says 'Hi 
Father how are you doing today?'. While it is clear that the level 
of formality wouldn't allow for a translation of 'daddy', which only 
tends to be used by chidren, a translation of dad seems viable.
I used to think that literal translations were the best. But then 
when I learned some modern languages and spent some time in other 
countries I learned that it was far more important to translate the 
situation and the customary way of speaking rather than the 
individual words themselves. The dominance of the term Dad in the 
English language over its counterpart Father gives a strong argument 
for translating 'ab' as Dad. Saying that Abraham was 'Isaac's Dad' seems 
to be much more natural language than the traditional 'Father of Isaac'.
If I went around saying things like 'the father of my friend' instead of 
'my mate's Dad' it would be considered an awfully strange way of speaking.

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org on behalf of Martin Shields
Sent: Sat 7/23/2005 1:20 AM
To: Yigal Levin
Cc: b-hebrew
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Aramaic - Abba
ISTM that the only information available is what is written in the  
text: that Jesus said "Abba" and that the author of the gospel felt  
that ho pater was the appropriate Greek translation for the term.  
Given that the Greek is relatively formal and that there were  
"informal" alternatives, it seems reasonable to infer that "Abba" was  
used more formally than informally, and thus that "dad" or even  
"daddy" are not appropriate English translations of the term.

Thanks to Vince Medina, however, for pointing out Barr's article. I  
will endeavour to read it.

As for the Hebrew/Aramaic issue, my immediate impression is that the  
Greek Abba (????) would represent Aramaic ???. What Hebrew  
could Abba represent?

Martin Shields,
Sydney, Australia.

On 23/07/2005, at 2:10 AM, Yigal Levin wrote:

> Okay, then, assuming that Mark records the tradition faithfully, the
> question is whether Jesus would have been using Aramaic or Hebrew, and
> whether the form ABBA at that time would have been more formal or  
> less. Or,
> on the other hand, what Mark intended by putting the word Abba in  
> Jesus'
> mouth. I really don't think that we have enough information to go on.

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