The internet is a great place if you like conspiracy theories. If you dig around enough you can find all sorts of explanations for JFK’s death, the Apollo moon landings and what have you. Because I have automatic searches running that identify any sites that are talking about Bible translation, I’m forever running up against Bible translation conspiracy theories – yes such things exist. I normally don’t want to give these sites the oxygen of publicity but sometimes it is worth mentioning them for a couple of reasons; firstly, so that people are warned that these are not serious sites and secondly so that people more knowledgable than I can do a thorough job of demolishing their arguments.
Today I was alerted to the Aramaic Disciples New Testament (it probably isn’t worth following the link). This site makes the following startling claim:
Jesus the Messiah spoke in the Galilean dialect of the Ancient Aramaic language. This is the language in which the disciples and the apostles preached the Gospel and the scribes recorded the Scriptures. The New Testament has been preserved in this sacred, scribal language since the Apostolic Age. The whole Bible was originated in this language. The translation that you find on this website is made from the original Ancient Aramaic Scriptures directly into English, bypassing the errors of translation introduced in the Greek Original, the Latin Vulgate and all the Western translations made from them. The Disciples New Testament is the best translation of the authentic and original Scriptures that the Apostles compiled.
To do the site justice, the first sentence is accurate, though it basically goes downhill from there! The disciples probably preached in Aramaic when they were in Israel, but the idea of Paul preaching to an Athenian crowd in anything other than Greek is just a joke. Likewise, why would the Greek speaking Paul have written to the Greek speaking Philippians or Corinthians in anything other than Greek? Just because the author of this website says that the Scriptures were written in Aramaic does not overthrow thousands of years of study and scholarship. Actually, the author underlines this himself when he talks about the ‘Greek Original’. If the Greek is the original, then the Aramaic certainly isn’t.
Despite my brief comments here, some people might find the talk about Aramaic scriptures persuasive, but the great thing about conspiracy theorists is that they can’t stop digging, even when they are in a hole.
I always wondered why the Western churches did not contact me regarding my translation, why the Bible publishers in the US and abroad did not ask to publish my translation, and why the scholars of the Bible did not offer to debate me on behalf of their versions of the Bibles and their esoteric theological doctrines. However, it is clear now why they did not. As the US has elected Obama President and officially abandoned Christianity, why would, for example, the US churches bother debating anyone regarding the authenticity of their religious beliefs?
So, the election of President Obama means that America (with its proud history of the seperation of Church and State) has no officially abandoned Christianity and this means that Bible publishers do not want to enter into a debate about the original language of Scripture! There are so many leaps of logic here that it is hard to follow.
This post has probably been longer than the subject deserves; but it has one main lesson. Just because someone says they know about the Bible, doesn’t mean they do. Check your sources!