Greek New Testament : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Can any of you theologians tell me why the new testament was written in greek ? I find this interesting because according to some commentaries, the book of Matthew was written by Matthew primarily for a Jewish audience. Therefore, one would think that he would have written it in hebrew . I notice that the words "Eli Eli lama sabacthani" which are aramaic words appear in the gospels. I would appreciate any insight that any of you seminarians have on my question.


Jazz Man

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2000


The Gospels were written in aramaic. They were translated into Greek. Scholars theorize that the translation was done to reach Gentile audiences in a language that was more common outside of Biblical lands (present day North Africa).

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2000

Although I'm not a seminarian, I can take a crack at it. The Old Testament had been maintained for years in Hebrew. SOmewhere after the time of Alexander, a group of translators was established (I believe in Alexandria, Egypt). Therir purpose was to convert the texzt to the Lingua Franca of the time, Greek. There were about 70 of them, so the translators and te translation are erefereed to as the Septuaguint (latin for 70).

After Rome become the dominant culture, the Eastern part of the empire was communicating still in Greek. At the time of the church's establishment you are only about 70 years pasto Julius Caesar and the beginnings of the empire. This is why in some movies you will see the sign above Jesus's head on the cross written in three languages: Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.

Greek and Latin were the languages of commerce, law, and culture during this period. In addition to our translations, which are based on the Greek, the Catholic church uses the Vulgate, which is based on Latin.

As for the passage you cite, the translation is given in context. it refers back to the 22nd Psalm. (By the way, it's Hebrew, not Aramaic: I checked the text of Psalm 22). This Psalm is interesting because it foreshadows crucifixion before it became the method of choice for execution. I believe that even in His agony, Jesus was teaching those at the foot of the cross about Him, and how He was fulfilling scripture even unto death.

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2000

The original documents must have been Hebrew with later version in Aramaic ... otherwise Palin's discovery about the 7 qudrant of the New Testament and Old Testament will not hold water pertaining to its Spiritually Inspired significance

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2000

Biblical translation and interpretation is a very spesialized discipline in theological studies and it must have been the case since Old Testament times. For some reason or the other, Jews unlearned Ancient Hebrew.

Neh.8v8 " They gave an ORAL TRANSLATION of God's Law and EXPLAINED IT so that the people could UNDERSTAND IT" (Good News Bible).

Hence, there is no translation without interpretation (explanation).Translators were inclined to explain difficult passages. If a certain town mentioned in his source was no longer known to his readers, the translator would probably explain where the place was situated. Where difficult words were used, the translator would substitute an easier word for the difficult word.

What we have today(the Bible)is a translation of a translation of a translation....... and an interpretation of an interpretation....... Although I am not giving an adequate response to Jazz Man's question (I'm no theologian)I merely wish to illustrate how complicated it is in reading the Bible without having some understanding of the origin of the text and its readers for whom it was intended.

This does not mean that I deny the role of the Holy Spirit in the understanding of the Bible. The Holy Spirit is the Confirmer of the message of the Bible but to place more emphasis on this view at the expense of academic reading, leads to irresponsible interpretations.

-- Anonymous, November 17, 2000

Thank you all for your responses. However, I would like for Clive J. Pillay to explain his response to my question in more detail. sincerely,

Jazz Man

-- Anonymous, November 20, 2000

Yes I think we would all like to hear an in deph explanation of Mr. Pillay. Who is Palin? What was his discovery? What were his sources? Is his information based on Scholary research?

-- Anonymous, November 20, 2000

A little book I have not available anymore, but prepared to part with some copies of its pages.

He did not believe in God and set out to prove that the Bible is just another story book. In the end he made a startling discovery. If you took every verse in the Old testament then it would be divisible by 7 every time. ( assuming you know of course that their text and numerals were the same). It turned out however that the last verse of the Old Testament could not be divided by 7. He did the same with the New Testament and came to the same conclusion except for the 1st verse in the New Testament. Something ? (or Somebody) made him to add the last verse of the Old Testament and the first verse of the New Testament together and HOLA !! it could be divided by 7

-- Anonymous, November 24, 2000

That "discovery" has been debunked several times. It was tried by computer also. The math works for several books including the phone book, Cinderella, and most other books. Be careful of your sources. This one is false.

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000

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