About the Peshitta

About the Peshitta
by servant@nazareneisrael.org

Shalom, Nazarenes.

Please find below and attached a short explanation about the Aramaic Peshitta. As always, the formatting may be better in the attachment.

From time to time, people ask me about the Aramaic Peshitta. In the Nazarene Israel study I show how the Church Fathers tell us the Renewed Covenant manuscripts were originally inspired in Hebrew. I have no doubt of that, and so I began looking at the Aramaic Peshitta to determine if it could perhaps be either the originally inspired text, or perhaps a translation from Hebrew originals. Originally I was very favorable towards the Peshitta, and wanted it to be the inspired text. However, over a number of years of investigation I have come to realize that the Peshitta is most likely a top-quality backwards translation from the Greek translations (of the lost Hebrew originals) into Aramaic.

With all due respect to those who believe otherwise, it seems to me that there are certain issues with the Peshitta which can only arise due to it being a backwards-translation from the Greek. Without delving into an exhaustive study there are certain ‘Hellenisms’ that crop up throughout the text that would not likely appear in a truly Semitically-inspired text.

For one example, the Apostle Shaul is not Shaul, but Paulos (a Greek name). Another is the Peshitta’s use of the word of ‘Eucharistia’ (Eucharist) for bread.


Acts 2:42
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of the Eucharist, and in prayers.


PEH Acts 2:42 ואמינין הוו ביולפנא דשׁליחא ומשׁתותפין הוו בצלותא ובקציא דאוכרסטיא׃

Please also carefully consider Mark 15:34, where the Peshitta quotes Yeshua (who spoke Aramaic), and translates His Aramaic speech into Aramaic text.


Mark 15:34
34 And at the ninth hour Yeshua cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lamna sabachthani?” which is translated, “Elohi, Elohi, lamna sabachthani?”


a[q !y[v [vtbw PEH Mark 15:34
lya rmaw amr alqb [wvy
hytyad yntqbv anml lya
`yntqbv anml yhla yhla

An Aramaic original would not translate Aramaic into Aramaic: it would simply record what was said.

There is also the Islamic Bismallah (666/Mark of the Beast) that shows up in the most ancient Greek texts, which is of extreme doctrinal significance. However, the Peshitta merely spells out “six hundred and sixty six.”

I still plan to continue studying the Peshitta, and I still consider it to be a very valuable manuscript worthy of serious study. Whoever translated it into Aramaic did a top-quality job, to the point that Semitic poetry was reconstructed. This indicates a very high quality scribe. However, due to the difficulties described above I no longer believe it can be the inspired original manuscripts.

For those interested in checking out the Peshitta, a very high quality version is found at http://www.aent.org. Please do not purchase it on the Shabbat.

Sukkot Shalom,


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