4 thoughts on “The Gospel of Luke

  1. Help! I have questions and I need an answer from an Aramaic professional as yourself. I believe that the New Testament was originally written in Greek, but i’m having trouble disproving the Peshitta primacy claim, specifically in the Gospel of Luke. I have been struggling with this for a while. and it gives me anxiety. It is obvious that the epistles were written in Greek, most were written to gentiles. And I have also proven to myself that Revelation, Matthew, Mark, And John are also Greek originals. The only book I’m having trouble proving as being written in Greek is the gospel of Luke and Acts. So my question is this; are there any signs in the Peshitta showing it to be a translation? specifically in the gospel of Luke? Is there Greek syntax in the Peshitta or any other signs? I also have a second question. I have read your blog which demonstrates that the Peshitta was written in a late dialect of Syriac. But I would like more examples on that point, to comfort me. are there more examples you can give proving that it (the Peshitta) was written in a late Syriac Dialect? an answer would be much needed, thanks.

    1. Haru,

      Greek Luke is one of the most elegantly composed books of the Greek NT. It contains the greatest vocabulary and uses classical Greek syntax.

      There are some curious choices in Luke, though, that would discount it being originally in Syriac of any stripe, most of which fall within the hypothetical “Q” material.

      Where Matthew speaks of the Sermon on the *Mount*, Luke speaks of the Sermon on the *Plain.* This is likely due to the fact that the word טור in Galilean (and other Western Aramaic dialects) means both “mountain” or “plain.” However, in Syriac (and all other Eastern dialects) ܜܘܪ only means “mountain,” and we see in Peshitta Luke the word ܦܩܥܬܐ which can only mean “plain” or perhaps “wilderness”. If the underlying source was used directly to compose Peshitta Luke, both accounts would have made use of טור and would have been the Sermon on the Mount. As it stands, Peshitta Luke reproduces the Greek’s rendition, and therefore must be a translation of an intermediate layer removed from the original source material. 🙂


      1. Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it. Hopefully I will see another blog/blogs from you soon, refuting peshitta primacy, especially in the gospel of Luke. People like me need it. And there is no one on the internet refuting it, its crazy.

  2. Hey Steve, i’m back with another comment/question, I hope you don’t mind. I was chatting with a Bible translator today and I asked him about the Peshitta’s syntax, this is what he told me –

    “The syntax of the Peshitta so closely follows the Greek syntax that anyone who studies both can only conclude it came from the Greek. Peshitta Aramaic is not a natural semitic language syntax, but really a Church Aramaic based on the Greek text. Aside from syntax the vocabulary is very Greek.”

    So this is my question Steve, is what he told me true? I hope so. I’m looking for some further validation.

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