[b-hebrew] Aramaic - Abba

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Sat Jul 23 10:35:53 EDT 2005

Dear Peter,

>True, such as that some people when speaking Aramaic may have used 
>the Hebrew word for God. But it is still the Hebrew word, not the 
>Aramaic word, although I accept that the last word in the quotation 
>is Aramaic.
>>... Practically every source I've checked believes that the 
>>non-Greek words in Mark 15:34 are Aramaic, and that includes people 
>>with NT doctorates, Associated Press, CBS, and the Companion Bible. 
Well, there is the problem! People with NT doctorates don't tend to 
know more than basic Hebrew and Aramaic, and so tend to trust what 
they hear from others.

HH: But they like to get things right, and over the centuries much 
detailed work on Mark 15:34 has doubtless been done by people who 
knows Hebrew and Aramaic.

>  But who are the others they are relying on? As for the journalists, 
>you must be joking to cite them as authorities.

HH: No, I'm not, because they have to get their facts straight. So 
they have to go to reputable authorities in matters like this.

>  But the real point here is that you are never going to convince me 
>on any argument by citing modern authorities, rather than giving 
>actual evidence.
>>... The last two words are clearly Aramaic, ...
>The last word is. LAMA looks to me like a perfectly good Hebrew word 
>for "why", although I agree that it can also be Aramaic.

HH: I don't what text you are using, but perhaps it is the same one 
Greenspahn was using. In the fourth edition of UBS at Mark 15:34 it 
is the Aramaic word LEMA, not the Hebrew LAMA, that appears. It is 
also LEMA in the third edition of UBS. However, in the text called 
"The New Testament in the Original Greek according to the Text 
Followed in the Authorized Version," edited by F. H. A. Scrivener, 
originally published by the Cambridge University Press in 1894 and 
1902, and reprinted by the Trinitarian Bible Socity in 1976, the word 
in Mark 15:34 is spelled LAMMA. So there is evidently at least one, 
possibly two, textual variations, but I do not have the Nestle-Aland 
text to look at the issue more closely.

>  In fact LAMA is the very Hebrew word used in the original of Psalm 
>22:2 (v.1 in English), although to confuse matters the Hebrew is ELI 
>not ELOHI.
>>... I'm looking at Frederick Greenspahn's An Introduction to 
>>Aramaic, at chapter 3 (p. 8), and he is confident that the 
>>non-Greek statements in both Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34 are 
>>Aramaic (although he transcribed Mark 15:34 incorrectly, actually 
>>spelling "why" in a more Hebrew way).
>Well, I accept that Greenspahn knows his Aramaic. But does he 
>actually explain how ELWI can be Aramaic? I suppose the Aramaic form 
>could be ELAY and this just might have been pronounced something 
>like ELOY. But this is the kind of argument I was expecting from 
>you, rather than citing endless authorities who simply copy from one 

HH: I already gave that argument by saying there could have been 
dialectal variation.

>  And is the long A in ELAY became omega, why are none of the other 
>long A's in this verse transcribed as omega?

HH: Perhaps it has something to do with the dropped heh in ELWI. The 
OT Aramaic would suggest ELAHIY (Dan 4:5 Aramaic). With some 
dialectal variation and pronunciation of the heh, perhaps a 
transcription could represents it as ELWI. The heh was pronounced 
because it has the mappiq in OT Aramaic.

The main reasoning for me is that we generally speak one language at 
a time, unless a word cannot be represented in one language and must 
be borrowed from another. The other words in this quoted sentence of 
Jesus are Aramaic. So I presume that ELWI is Aramaic too, however 
tinged with a Hebrew pronunciation it may have been.

Of course, the text you were looking at evidently has LAMA, so that 
there would be only one clearly Aramaic word.

					Harold Holmyard

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