Category Archives: Aramaic Blog

Pope Francis Suggests “Change” to Lord’s Prayer

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/08/569385769/pope-francis-suggests-changing-the-words-to-lord-s-prayer

So I’ve been asked a lot about this lately – especially because of my own attempts at understanding the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic – and my initial reactions were mixed. However, after my mind settled I did realize that this suggestion had genuine merit.

Context:

For those of you who are only casually familiar with what this is all about, Pope Francis made a suggestion about the traditional rendition of the Lord’s Prayer, specifically the phrase “lead us not into temptation.”

His argument was that, “It is not He that pushes me into temptation and then sees how I fall. […] A father does not do this. A father quickly helps those who are provoked into Satan’s temptation.”

His proposed solution was to alter the translation to, “Do not let us enter into temptation.

The Language in Question:

The Greek, on its face, doesn’t seem to quite support this, using the word εἰσφέρω, which is usually rendered as “to lead into” or “bring into.” However, it is this word that is often used to translate the Aramaic verb עלל /’alal/ – and it is this verb that we see used in Aramaic renderings of the Lord’s Prayer (the Peshitta, the Old Syriac, and the Christian Palestinian Aramaic New Testament), as well as other similar petitions in other Jewish prayers.

Where it can mean and is extensively used to express “to bring in” the primary meaning of עלל, is “to enter.”

Because of this עלל is the verb I chose for my own reconstruction of the Lord’s Prayer, however even in doing so, the form I chose was assuming that the Greek had chosen the appropriate nuance.

The Conclusion:

Do not let us enter into temptation” in my own opinion, is – when the original languages are taken into consideration – an appropriate translation of the Lord’s Prayer, and could quite possibly express the original intention of the petition.

Peace,
-Steve

Quick Bug Fix on AramaicNT.org

A worm-eaten Arabic manuscript.
I found a bug!… erm… A lot of them…. well, crap.

So I noticed that the blogger redirects weren’t working properly anymore for some reason – bringing folks from the old URLs to the home page and leaving them there without any clue as to where to find the articles they were after.

That should be fixed now. 🙂

Peace,
-Steve

So Where Have I Been?

So yeah, the past year has been a bit all over the place, and I have not really had the time to properly update AramaicNT.org. I’ve been dealing with a new house, a new son (Ozzie, our 4th kid), and a new tenure-track position in the Computer Science Department at Raritan Valley. Exciting stuff. 🙂

Now that some of that is settling (although we’re still not quite unpacked despite being here for a few months…) I’m hoping to focus some more on some Aramaic-related things, such as:

  • My Galilean Aramaic grammar that I’ve been working on for God-knows-how-long. GlossaHouse has expressed interest in publishing it – provided I can force myself to finish it without endless just-one-more-revision-itis.
  • Getting the third series of Aramaic Lord’s Prayer Bracelets off the ground. My sister and I are having this series cast by Danforth Pewter so we can keep up with demand, and for those who want something more rugged than fine pewter, some other options in stainless steel and leather are being spearheaded by my other half.
  • Considering options for some Aramaic-related multimedia and research projects with students over at RVCC (lexical databasing for Galilean, interactive learning tools, etc.).

So you’ll hopefully see some more of me on here soon. 🙂

Peace,
-Steve