Q: What is the purpose of this project?
A: To provide a learning resource for people who are interested in the language of Jesus and his disciples (namely Galilean Aramaic).
The first part of this is an interlinear retro-translation of the Bible where direct quotes are presented in their original languages in a way for readers to recite a reasonable approximation of what they would have sounded like without prior knowledge. This is primarily intended as a liturgical resource.
The second part of this entails classes and other resources (both in print and on the web) so that readers can obtain knowledge about Biblical languages through self-guided study and more formal learning programs.
Q: What is your methodology?
A: That is covered in the Methodology section.
Q: Do you use the Peshitta New Testament?
A: Where the Peshitta New Testament will be consulted as a resource, it is written in a dialect (Classical Syriac) which quite different from Galilean Aramaic in both grammar and vocabulary.
Q: Aren’t retro-translations speculative?
A: All translations of ancient texts are speculative in some manner. In order to approximate the dialect that Jesus and his early followers spoke, educated choices will have to be made about what words and constructs to use. We do not think that this project will be perfect or authoritative (as that is not it’s goal), rather we hope that the translations are accurate enough to give the average reader an appreciation of the languages it represents.