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The Model for the Messianic Community
Scholars Who Support a Hebrew Origin
for the Apostolic Scriptures
A number of competent scholars contend that the Apostolic Scriptures (so-called “New Testament”) were first written in Hebrew (or Aramaic, a sister language), basing their assertion on valid grounds.
“The writers were Hebrews; and thus, while the language is Greek, the thoughts and idioms are Hebrew … If the Greek of the New Testament be regarded as an inspired translation from Hebrew or Aramaic originals, most of the various readings would be accounted for and understood.” Dr. E. W. Bullinger, Companion Bible (app. 94).
“… we must not forget that Christianity grew out of Judaism … The Pauline epistles were letters written by Paul to small [Messianic Jewish] congregations in Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome. These early [believers] were mostly Jews of the dispersion, men and women of Hebrew origin … The Epistles were translated into Greek for the use of converts who spoke Greek.” [George Lamsa, Holy Bible from the Peshitta, p. xi]
Following is a listing of some linguistic and Biblical authorities who maintain or support a belief in a Hebrew origin of the Apostolic Scriptures:
Black, Matthew. An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 3rd edition, 1991, entirety.
Bivin, D. and Blizzard, R. B. Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers; Revised edition, 1995, entirety.
Bullinger, E. W. The Companion Bible, Appendix 95. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications; 1993.
Burkitt, F. Crawford. The Earliest Sources for the Life of Jesus. New York: Gordon Press Publishers, pp. 25, 29.
Burney, C. F. The Aramaic Origin of the Fourth Gospel. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1922, entirety.
Epiphanius. Panarion 29:9:4 on Matthew.
Eusebius. Ecclesiastical History, III 24:6 and 39:18; V8:2; VI 25:4.
Gibbon, Edward. History of Christianity. N. Stratford, NH: Ayer Co Pub, 1972, two footnotes on p. 185.
Grant, Frederick C. Roman Hellenism and the New Testament. NY: Scriber and Sons 1962 , p. 14.
Howard, George. “The Tetragram and the New Testament,” Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 96/1 (1977), 63-83.
__________. Hebrew Gospel of Matthew. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press; Revised edition, 1998 entirety.
Lamsa, George. The Holy Bible from Ancient Eastern Manuscripts. New York: HarperCollins, 1982, pp. ix-xii.
Loisy, Alfred Firmin. The Birth of the Christian Religion and the Origin of the New Testament, New York: Univ. Books, Inc., 1962, pp. 66, 68.
Rabinowitz, Isaac. “Ephphata,” Journal of Semitic Studies, vol. XVI, 1971, pp. 151-156.
Renan, Ernest. The Life of Jesus. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1991, pp. 90, 92.
Schonfield, Hugh J. An Old Hebrew Text of St. Matthew’s Gospel, Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1927, p. 7.
Schweitzer, Albert. The Quest of the Historical Jesus, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001, p. 275.
Scott, R.B.Y. The Original Language of the Apocalypse, 1928, entirety.
Torrey, Charles Cutler. Documents of the Primitive Church. New York/London: Harper, 1941, entirety.
________. Our Translated Gospels. NY: Harper & Bros, 1936 entirety.
Trimm, James Scott. The Semitic Origin of the New Testament. Hurst, TX: Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism, entirety.
Wilcox, Max. The Semitisms of Acts. Oxford: Clarendon, 1965, entirety, particularly pp 56-86.
Zimmerman, Frank. The Aramaic Origin of the Four Gospels, Jersey City, NJ: KTAV Publishing House, April 1978, entirety.
156. Source: “Hebrew/Aramaic Origin of the New Testament: Textual analysis and scholarship supporting an original Hebrew New Testament.” on the Internet at ynca.com/Mini Studies/HebrewAramaic.htm; also at RemnantOfYHWH.com/Hebrew Origin NT.htm, et al. Unnamed author. That this list is from a “Sacred Name” source should not significantly decrease the reliability of the list itself. [RETURN]