Bible Translation Project Report
Through the process of translation, I gathered that the original Greek translations and to some extent the original Latin translations from the Ancient Aramaic were better than the ones attempted after the Middle Ages. The early Greek translators spoke the Ancient Aramaic language well, so the "Greek Original" was a pretty good translation as translations go. However, as the Roman Church took over and drove the Church of the East out of Urhai, toward the Persian Empire, the process of changing the Scriptures began. There were no longer any native Aramaic speaking theologians left to deal with.
When Islam started in the 7th Century, the Church of the East came under further persecution. However, there was a difference between the persecution from the West and the persecution from Islam. Islam wasn't interested in the Bible. They were interested in taking over the lands. The Roman Church was interested in controlling the Christian doctrines.
Ironically, the Greeks sided with the Church of the East, and the Church of the East was branded "Nestorian," after Nestorus, the bishop of Constantinople who sided with them. Nestorus was a big supporter of the Church of the East interpretation of Scriptures, so this was an attempt to insult the Church of the East. By calling them Nestorian, they were saying that the Church of the East followed a Greek. It was the other way around, but it was a moot point as far as the Aramaic speaking Christians were concerned.
Toward the end of the first millennium, Europe began to sink into the Dark Ages. Personally, I think, it was as a result of the power struggle over the control of the Church in Europe. The whole message of Jesus Christ was lost. One calamity followed another. There was the Inquisition, the growing number of sects and all kinds of heresies. There were the plagues and poverty. All this led to almost total ignorance about the origins of Scriptures.
During this period, however, the Church of the East was making giant strides. The Ashurai people who carried the torch of the Church had embarked on a great missionary effort. They spread Christianity to India and the far reaches of China. There are historical monuments in China still today that attest to the missionary zeal of this Church. Yet all the achievements of the Church of the East are being still denied by the Western Churches to this day.
As the Ashurai nation had no country since the fall of Nineveh in 612 BC, they were the perfect candidates for the evangelization of the East. Their last king, Agbar, was healed of leprosy by two of the disciples of Jesus. The Ashurai nation became Christian in the 1st Century, followed by Armenians and Chaldeans. By the 12th Century, they were the greatest Church in Christendom.
The Church of the East was under constant persecution for centuries, but this was a blessing in disguise as they didn't have the time or the motive to change the Scriptures. They continued to copy the original Ancient Aramaic Scriptures from the Apostolic Age verbatim without even updating the language. After several centuries, because of the constant persecutions and genocides, there were no scholars of the language left to be called theologians. The Ashurai never translated the Scriptures into their modern vernacular.
By the end of the Middle Ages in Europe, there was a movement to translate the Scriptures into English and German. The invention of the printing press had led to the wide dissemination of the Bible for the first time and people everywhere began reading and interpreting it. Much of the Reformation was the result of this movement. I believe that the Age of Enlightenment was also the result of this renewed interest in the Scriptures.
In England, William Tyndale began translating the Ancient Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek and Latin Texts of the Scriptures into English for the first time. He was burned at the stake by the Catholic Church for doing it, but he did manage to almost complete the whole Bible translation. His work emerged in the King James Version of 1611. William Tyndale became the saint of the Anglican Church.
In the forward to the original King James Version translation of the Bible, the translators admit to certain errors that were bound to occur considering the difficulty of the undertaking. Still the King James Version is the most elegant English language translation. William Tyndale was a master of the Ancient Aramaic; however, he was conforming the Greek original and the Latin Vulgate together with the original Ancient Aramaic and Hebrew.
Even the New American Bible translators utilized some of the King James Version language in their official English translation of the Catholic Bible.
Another master of the Ancient Aramaic language was Martin Luther. Luther wrote the German grammar based on the Ancient Aramaic. One of the characteristics that the German language shares with the Ancient Aramaic is the verb at the end of the sentence. Martin Luther also harmonized the various versions of Scriptures. He was a Catholic after all, like Tyndale. They simply knew very little if anything about the Church of the East and the original Ancient Aramaic Scriptures still in use in the East.
Even today most people are surprised to hear that there are people in the world who speak the Aramaic language. Modern Aramaic, of course, is not the same as Ancient Aramaic. All languages evolve in 2000 years.
There is another name for Ancient Aramaic. The Jewish scholars of Scriptures today talk of the "Ashuri" language and they call the sacred language of the Torah "Ashurit." The modern Hebrew writing is called "Ktav Ashuri," or Ashurai Writing. This is the language in which the Ten Commandments were written and the only sacred language of the Old Testament according to most Jewish scholars. There are hundreds of pages on the Internet that a scholar can research by simply doing a search for "Ashuri, Ashurit, Ashuris, Ktav Ashurit, Ksav Ashuris."
Today, for the first time, we're seeing an explosion of knowledge regarding the origins of Scriptures. The Ancient Aramaic is the technical term for this great, sacred language of Scriptures. It is the original and only scribal language, the language that Jesus spoke with the Galilean accent. The Galileans were originally from Nineveh. They had settled there from the time of the Patriarch Abraham. The language of Nineveh was of course the Ashurai language. Nineveh was the capital of Ashur. The Ashurai language in its Galilean dialect is the key to this translation of the Bible.
This is an ongoing translation. Soon I'll be finished with the New Testament and I'll start with the Old Testament. May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you all.
-- Victor Alexander May 6, 2001