Dave published The First Century Aramaic Bible in Plain English (The Torah- The Five Books of Moses) in 2014. He also finished translating the entire Peshitta Old Testament in interlinear form in October, 2017. This is published as a PDF file and also in five printed volumes on Lulu.com A volume of The Major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel) in Plain English has also been published.
Soon the books Joshua through Esther will be published in both interlinear and plain English editions.
Concerning the translation process, Dave makes the following observations:
The Peshitta will never cease to amaze, whether Old or New Testaments. The more I translate and look at this text, the more convinced I am that I am unearthing a 2000 year old buried treasure for the first time, even though George Lamsa translated and then published the entire Peshitta Bible in English in 1933. Lamsa’s work was largely conformed to the Hebrew text of the Massoretic editions used for most Old Testaments since Tyndale’s translation in 1535 up until now. Lamsa also conformed many of his readings to the King James Version while failing to render or even acknowledge the actual Peshitta reading with a note in many places in the Old Testament. Generally, his NT work was better than the OT, though his style and method was quite lax and careless in quite a few places. I will give one example here: John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, a glory like that of the firstborn of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The word translated “firstborn” is aydyxy -“eekheedya” . This word means “only” or “only born” or “only begotten”. Never does it mean “first”. This verse about the nature of Jesus The Messiah, God’s Only Begotten Son has crucial theological information, and yet Lamsa ignores the meaning of this highly significant word in this highly significant verse about the nature of The Christ and substitutes his own interpretation of the word as “first”, which removes Christ’s uniqueness and makes him God’s first son, with others to follow like him. But if this were John’s meaning, or the Spirit’s meaning, the words “yalda qadmaya” (first child) or “bra qadmaya” – (first son) or “buukra” (firstborn) would have done just fine. But Lamsa apparently had a theological ax to grind and used his translation with which to grind it.
Here is a gem I recently found in Isaiah 5:24: The Hebrew text has: “Because they refused the law of Yahweh of hosts, and, the utterance of the Holy One of Israel, they despised.”
The Peshitta has in 5:24 “For they rejected the Law of Lord Jehovah and they angered The Word of The Holy One of Israel.” As in other places in the Torah, the “Memra” –(The Word) is named and spoken of as a person who may become angry. This occurs also in the Psalms 95. Four times Peshitta Deuteronomy says: “You provoked the Word of the mouth of LORD JEHOVAH to wrath and you did not believe him and you have not listened to his voice”, in those or similar words. The Aramaic for “The Word” is “Miltha”; the same is used in the N.T. of Christ in John 1:1,14 and elsewhere in Luke 1:3 and 1 John 1:1 & Revelation 19:13, etc.. The written word is not provoked to wrath; The Living Word is. “The Holy Man Whom you tested”in the Peshitta (Deut. 33:8) is therefore most likely a reference to The Christ, The Eternal Son of God.)
Another gem is found in Isaiah 6:9,10-
The Hebrew text has essentially: “9 ¶ And he said: Go, and say thou to this people, Hear ye, indeed, but understand not; See ye, indeed, but perceive not!
10 Make the heart of this people gross; Make their ears dull, and blind their eyes; That they may not see with their eyes, nor hear with their ears, Nor perceive with their hearts, and turn, and be healed.’
The Peshitta has:
“Hear to hear and you shall not understand, and see to see, and you shall not know, for the heart
of this people has made itself dense, and it has made its ears heavy and has shut its eyes so that it would not see with its eyes
and hear with its ears and would understand in its heart and would return and would be forgiven.”
Quite a difference between the implications of the Hebrew and the Peshitta texts! According to the Hebrew, God essentially makes his people blind and deaf so they cannot be converted and healed.
The Peshitta says that the people hardened and blinded themselves against the truth and God so that they could not return and be forgiven.
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