Did you even read the quote from St. Jerome that you posted? He says The Gospel of Matthew had a Hebrew version, and he doesn't say anything about
any other New Testament book, which is exactly what I said.
"....I also was allowed by the Nazarenes who use this volume in the Syrian city of Borea to copy it. In which it is remarked that, wherever the
evangelist...makes use of the testimonies of the Old Scripture, he does not follow the authority of the translators (a.k.a. the Septuagint) but that
of the Hebrew."
Let's define terms: Nazarenes. The Nazarenes were Jews from Nazareth, who also believed in Christ, who was from Nazareth (hence the term, "Jesus
The Nazarenes were some of the earliest converts to Christ, and would have also spoken Aramaic as their primary language, Aramaic being very similar
to Hebrew. After the Second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, these Nazarenes fled to Syria.
Not Greece. Not Rome. Syria.
What Jerome is stating here is that the Nazarenes showed him Matthew's text, and allowed him to copy it. The Nazarenes showed Jerome this text in
the Syrian city of Borea. The Nazarenes remarked to Jerome, at the time, that when Matthew made use of Holy Writ, he never followed the authority of
the Greek Septuagint, but rather the Hebrew. Greek was considered inferior.
The Septuagint is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. Jerome is quite clearly and simply stating that for sacred text, for holy writings, Greek
was never considered primary. Greek was considered a foreign and alien tongue.
Remember, all of these earliest converts were Aramaic-speaking Jews. Christ was an Aramaic-speaking Jew, as were all of the Apostles, and the
earliest converts. St. Paul was not Greek - He was a Jewish Pharisee, and well learned in Mosaic Law, and kept the annual Jewish feasts.
So, yes, here you have the Aramaic-speaking Nazarenes originally from Nazareth, a Jewish sect and follower of Christ who is also from Nazareth, now
living in Syria. Naturally, when these Nazarenes are writing their "Bible", they are using their native tongue. And their native tongue is not
This is what we are referring to as the Syriac tradition. It is what was passed down to the Church of the East, the Maronite Church, the Syriac
Orthodox Church, etc. Today, we call this Aramaic version of the Bible the Peshi-tta. It's not Greek. It's not Latin. It's Aramaic.
I've asked you for scholarly sources for your claim, and all you've come back with is this Roth guy, the word of the church that promotes the
alternate text, and claims of "western bias". Now, I'm pretty sure that the east also has scholars, even New Testament scholars, so why not cite
some of them to shut me up?
You're not listening. Let's try again.
The issue is not about scholars or translators regardless of their affiliation or theological leanings.
The issue is the Peshi-tta Bible text itself, which is written in Aramaic. The general public, including yourself, is welcome to read the Peshi-tta
Bible itself, and interpret the text in any fashion you so choose.
My whole point was that there is an alternative viewpoint that Greek is the primary language of the New Testament, and the evidence for this viewpoint
is the Peshi-tta Bible itself, written in Aramaic, and available for anyone to read, translate, and decipher for themselves, or through any translator
of their choosing.
The Peshi-tta Bible is the standard text for churches in the Syriac tradition, who trace their tradition back to the time of the Apostles. Even
today, the liturgical services in this tradition use ancient Syriac, a dialect of Middle Aramaic that is of direct relation to the Aramaic of Yeshua
So, the issue is not the translator. The issue is not the interpreter, whether he be of Western or Eastern background. We have direct access to the
Aramaic Bible itself -- the Peshi-tta -- which can be read today.
Interpret the Peshi-tta as you deem fit, but your translation will most definitively have marked differences from the Greek translations of the New
Testament available in the Western world, such that meaning, context, and idiomatic expressions have been lost in the Greek translations.