Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Andrew Gabriel Roth's Aramaic English New Testament (AENT)

The Aramaic English New Testament (AENT) is translated from the Eastern Peshitta by Andrew Gabriel Roth. It is a more literal translation than Lamsa or Bauscher's and also less interpretive. Roth also makes a distinction between Mar and MarYah by translating Mar as "Master" and MarYah as "Master YHWH". The Semitic names are retained (ex. Jesus is Y'shua, Simon Peter is Shimon Keefa, John is Yochanan). The Aramaic word "Alaha" (God) is translated into the more familiar Hebrew term "Elohim". There are a couple of places, but not very many, where Roth delves into interpretation. Usually when you see bias in his translation, it is pro-Torah observance for Gentiles and Jews alike. This really only effects his translation in one place that I can think of.

Colossians 2:16, Aramaic English New Testament- "Let no (pagan) therefore judge you about food and drink, or about the distinctions of festivals and new moons and Shabbats."

In a footnote on this verse, Roth states, "The Body of Mashiyach must not be concerned with the judgements of those who are outside the Malchut Elohim [Kingdom of God], that is, those who don't know Torah or Mashiyach. It is clear, given the location of this audience and the fact that Rav Shaul always references Jews directly, that Shaul is addressing the local talk of the pagans whose religion dominates this region."

Unfortunately, the context screams that Paul is talking about the judgments the unbelieving Jews were making against the Body of Christ. When Paul deals with stuff like this, he is usually stating that the Jews should not force the Law of Moses onto the Gentiles. Roth's commentary is interesting and he mainly handles his theology in that. His translation is mainly his own edition of the Paul Younan Interlinear of the Peshitta (Matthew 1-Acts 15) and James Murdock's New Testament translation of the Peshitto (Acts 15-Revelations 22). He includes some of Younan's footnotes in his commentary section as well. When Murdock uses the Western reading of the Aramaic, Roth replaces it with the Eastern reading.

Acts 2:38, Murdock New Testament- "Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit hath established you bishops; that ye feed the church of God, which he hath acquired by his blood."

Acts 2:38, Aramaic English New Testament- "Take great care of yourselves, and of all the flock over which the Ruach haKodesh has established you as overseers for; that you feed the assembly of Mashiyach, which He has acquired by His blood."

Roth's translation also includes the Aramaic text he used (a combination of the Eastern Peshitta, Khabouris Codex, and the 1901 Critical Edition Peshitta) in Hebrew lettering (which is only different from the Estrangelo font used in the Peshitta and Peshitto in looks because the alphabets are the same). The left side has the English translation while the right side has the Aramaic text he used. There is also an extensive appendix in the back of the book that causes this New Testament to look almost the size of an average Bible. The AENT is my favorite of the three Peshitta/Peshitto translations I own right now (including this, the Aramaic New Testament in Plain English by David Bauscher and the Holy Bible From the Ancient Eastern Text by George Lamsa).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Wa_bJDloPI - A video review on Youtube that I did on the AENT.