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Hebraisms in the Original Renewed Covenant

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Was the Renewed Covenant originally written in Aramaic, Greek, or Hebrew?

 

First of all, let us say that the issue of the Renewed Covenant (New Testament) being written in Greek or Aramaic was non-existent prior to the Fourth or Fifth Century A.D. It has been a rather modern theory.

 

SEE INSIDE a few pages

 

Why is it important to ascertain in which language the Renewed Covenant was written? Because every language possesses an inner structure, a specific flavor, and idioms of its own, and brings with it a cultural background. All of these elements shape the way of thinking of its native speakers.

In addition, a language’s idioms are only fully comprehended in that language and in no other. To translate a language’s idioms directly into another language only makes it absurd and reveals the foreign origin of it For instance. What does “taking my hair” mean in English? Nothing at all, since it is from an idiom in Spanish: “tomar el pelo.” It is similar in meaning to the English idiom: “to pull one’s leg.” In order to translate it dynamically, one must first know that its origin is Spanish and to learn its meaning. Only then may one try to find an equivalent idiom in English, as we just did.

On the other hand, what would happen if we assumed “taking my hair” was taken from French? We would be at a loss to find in French anything such as “prenez les cheveaux.” We would conclude, erroneously, that the original came from a poor French translation, or some other mistaken assumption. This is exactly what happened with the Renewed Covenant language, as we shall try to prove.

Our premise is that the Renewed Covenant’s original language was neither Greek nor Aramaic, as popular wisdom goes, but Hebrew, the same Hebrew in which the Tanakh (Old/First Testament/Covenant) was written. It is only natural that it should be Hebrew, since we are dealing with the same country, only in a latter period of its history. Furthermore, Yeshua was living in Judea, surrounded by Jewish disciples, who had as their sacred text, a Tanakh written almost entirely in Hebrew. (Six chapters in Daniel are in Aramaic.)

Is there any proof that the original language was Hebrew, and not Greek or Aramaic? Yes, there most definitely is. There are two kinds of proofs: internal and external. There are four kinds of internal proofs and five types of external proofs. In this book, we focus on the best internal proof: the hundreds of hebraisms contained in the Renewed Covenant.

The question is: What external and internal proofs does the “Aramaic theory” have? The answer, quite un-believably is: Very few! There are a few, isolated, loaned words in Aramaic present in the Renewed Covenant, which are far outweighed by its Hebrew words. It is the same as if I would go about claiming that in Paraguay, the country in South America in which I live, English is the main language because we say “weekend,” “sandwich,” and “O.K.”!

“Aramaisms” were exaggerated and still are, as the noted Jewish lexicographer Moses Segal states, “Aramaic influence on the Mishnaic Hebrew vocabulary has been exaggerated. ... It has been the fashion among writers on the subject to brand as an Aramaism any infrequent Hebrew word. ... Most of the ‘Aramaisms’ are as native in Hebrew as they are in Aramaic” (Moses Segal,  A Grammar of Mishnaic Hebrew, page 8).

If one wishes to understand more precisely, and with any real depth, the language of Yeshua and His disciples, one should read His words either in the original language, or try to reconstruct it from the language one has at hand.

 

Examples of Hebraisms in the Gospel of John:

John 2:1 (NIV) "And on the third day a wedding took place...." 

Since "on the third day" (the literal Greek translated from the Hebrew) does not make sense, it should be translated according to our Jewish culture (which does not name, but numbers the days of the week): "on the third day/be yom shlishih/on a Tuesday..."   "And on a Tuesday a wedding took place...."

 

John 2:4 (KJV) ..."Woman, what have I to do with thee?"

This doesn’t really make much sense in English in the context. In Hebrew, it does: "Mah li ve lakh?" ("What I and you?") In English it would be: "What have you and I (to do with this), woman?" This is an obvious Hebraism. In what other language can you say that much with only four words?

 

There are hundreds and hundreds of Hebraisms like these from every book in the Brit Khadasha listed verse by verse in this new book.

 

About the author:

Messianic Renewed Rebbe (Rabbi) Julio Dam and his wife, Sarita, the Rebbetzin, are both Jewish by blood on both parental sides.

Before he knew Yeshua, the author emigrated to Israel in 1961 from Montevideo, Uruguay, South America. He met Sarita in Hertzliah, Israel. She was born in Asunción and emigrated from Paraguay to Israel in 1962. They got married that same year. They learned Hebrew and lived four more years in Israel before going back to Paraguay. They are still happily married and blessed by Elohim. Baruch Hu! (Blessed be He!)

They lived three years in Cuernavaca and Mexico City in the seventies. They received Yeshua as Adon (Master) and Savior in February 1981, together with their sons. In 1987 Rebbe Dam became the spiritual leader of a Messianic Renewed synagogue, BE-it Sha-LOM “House of Peace” (peace after spiritual warfare) in Asuncion, Paraguay, where all its members are Jewish by faith, and some are also Jewish by blood, who believe in the Elohim of Israel and the Messiah of Israel.  

By the grace of Elohim, Rebbe Dam has opened Beit Shalom Messianic Renewed synagogues in Ayolas, Paraguay; Obera and Corrientes, Argentina; and offers spiritual covering to six Beit Shalom synagogues all over Mexico: in Mexico City, Apizaco, Colima, Yauquemecan, Ciudad Guzman, and Culiacan (Sinaloa); and also one in Paris, France.

Rebbe Dam speaks six languages, among them, Hebrew, Italian, French, Yiddish (the language of the Jews in exile), and is completely bilingual in Spanish and English, besides having taught himself to read Greek.

He has published many books. Besides this one and the 700-page study Spanish translation of the Renewed Covenant in two volumes in 2012, he has also published in Spanish: “How to be a friend of Elohim” 2013, “Coming Back to Our Roots” 2013, and “Answering questions about Messianism” in 2014, plus five other books which are out of print.

All the books mentioned are available on his website, www.beitshalom.org, where you can also find the weekly parashah in Spanish and German, a bi-monthly article, Rebbetzin Sarita´s Carta de Aliento/Letter of Encouragement, and articles in Spanish, English, and German, all of which are free.

Rebbe Dam offers seminars on the following topics: “What is Messianic Renewed Judaism and its differences with Messianic Judaism and Christianity”; “The truth about the Pseudo-Mashiakh (“anti-Christ”); “How to have an intimate relationship with Elohim”; “Advanced weapons of spiritual warfare and deliverance”; “What is real prophecy and how to handle it”; “The ten mental gridlocks”; and “Hebrew as a tool to better understand the Renewed Covenant.” He has spoken on these themes in Caracas, Venezuela (on five different occasions); in Los Angeles, New York, Mexico (on six occasions); Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Neuquen, Argentina (twice), and monthly in Obera and Corrientes, Argentina.

His email is: jdam@beitshalom.org.

 

 

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Product Code: Hebraisms01

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