Christian Responses to the AENT
In the first few short weeks after the AENT was published, the majority of Christians responded with beautiful testimonies, here are a few:
- We received the AENT today and cannot put it down. I am humbled and grateful… It is so amazing…my wife and I are reading it together and studying the footnotes and explanations and we end up saying to one another “isn’t this exactly what we thought Y’shua (Jesus) was saying?” It is as if YHWH (The LORD) is teaching us and then it is confirmed based on the writings, not based upon opinion, but with the evidence and witness of scripture. I am overjoyed right now…
- As I have had time to begin to read the AENT, I want to say “THANK YOU” once again for this wonderful blessing that I hold in my hands. It is very obvious to me that YHWH (The LORD) has guided this work from start to publication. And let us all say HalleluYAH!!!
- Oh thank you!! So far I love the way it reads and is set up. My son is chomping at the bit to get here to pick up his copy!! I’ve been reading bits and pieces to him on the phone! There is no way to thank you except to keep you in my prayers at all times!
- The AENT has distilled the Peshitta + FIVE into a perfectly balanced English translation that maintains the Semitic foundations without confusing the reader. Also, he (Roth) has deftly incorporated his rational interpretation of many ideas kicked around in this forum and balanced them with good judgment. The Appendix is an intellectual gold mine.
However many Christians are also asking: Where does the Aramaic text come from? Wasn’t the original New Testament written in Greek? What is the source of your Aramaic text? Where is the original? Some are inquiring about particular verses in the AENT. Some have even suggested that if a verse reads the way “it’s supposed to” they would like to have a copy; if not, they wouldn’t want to read it. Let’s touch on some of the scholarly elements next; however, if you find these too dry for your taste, then please skip to Spiritual Elements.
Where does the Aramaic text come from?
This is such a vital and important question that many pages in the AENT are devoted to providing detailed historical information regarding the chain of custody of Aramaic text, taking the reader back to Y’shua’s (Jesus’) day and then right into the modern era. For the past 1,900 years, the Aramaic New Testament has been in the continuous custody of the Church of the East. There has never been a time since its inception that the Church of the East has used a Greek New Testament as its original; this is discussed within Appendixes in the AENT Bible.
It is very important for Christians to understand that not all Aramaic New Testaments are created equal. There are also “modernized” Aramaic texts that have taken on Greek influence, so much so, that some scholars believe that certain Aramaic texts are translations from Greek. However, the Eastern family of Peshitta texts including the Khabouris Codex retain a very distinct, unified and ancient Aramaic autograph. Roth makes no claims that the Eastern Peshitta is the original autograph; he simply suggests that these are the closest to original texts currently available. Who is to say that more ancient texts are not waiting to be discovered?
Wasn’t the New Testament originally written in Greek?
No, it was written in Aramaic, Paul’s letters were also originally written in Aramaic. The original Apostles communicated among themselves in Hebrew and Aramaic. You will find that the AENT sometimes uses the name Paul (Paulos in Greek), and other times Shaul, depending upon the speaker. Also, the first believers were called Kristyane (Christians) in Acts 11:26, indicating that Greek Christians came to Faith in Messiah shortly after the Gospel was first preached to Jews.
Most Christians already realize that the original root of Christianity is Netzarim (Nazarene) Judaism, yet it is not commonly understood that the teachings of Y’shua (Jesus) were rapidly proliferating to the East as far as southern India, while simultaneously being carried to the West by the Greek language.
What is the source of your Aramaic text?
Andrew Gabriel Roth has collated numerous Aramaic texts that are currently available to the scholarly world; sources that are enumerated within the AENT. However, there is also a vibrant and growing community of Aramaic Primacists who agree with the Church of the East (COE) in its assertion that the original New Testament was written in Aramaic. One member of the COE, Paul Younan, has devoted his life to making Aramaic Primacy available to other Christians. Younan, as the founder of www.Peshitta.org, has brought scholars and bible students together from around the world; these are dedicated and passionate Christians who represent hundreds of denominations. For this community, Aramaic Primacy is a self-evident truth proven through tradition, history, and in-depth study and comparison of Greek and Aramaic. Greek scholars (whose mother tongue is Greek) are among this Aramaic Primacy community. The AENT provides a window to study and compare Aramaic and Greek words and ideas.
Where is the original Aramaic or Hebrew text?
Many believe the future holds the day when the original text will be discovered, but we do not have the original autograph as yet; this is the closest to original. Andrew Gabriel Roth with the help of many others in the Aramaic Primacy community has collated ancient Aramaic texts into one standardized volume, and has footnoted many nuances between texts while explaining his methodology and conclusions. The cumulative amount of time and scholarship invested into the AENT could not be accomplished in one person’s lifetime; and the scholarship within the AENT stands on the shoulders of many other scholars who are mentioned in the footnotes and appendixes.
Many Christians have become scholars in their own right through lifetimes of diligent study and meditation on the Word, and have devoted their lives to return to the “faith which was once delivered.” These independent scholars (and critics) will now enjoy a resource that has been referred to as “an Encyclopedia on the Netzarim (Nazarene) Faith.” Not only does the AENT provide basic teaching tools for the Aramaic language but also many resources to understand the original elements of the Christian faith according to Paul, the ringleader of the sect of the Netzarim (Acts 24:5).
Those who remember back to when they were “baby Christians” can usually remember how idealistic and “on-fire” they were in those early years. You knew you had the answer and felt the power within you to change the world, but over the years your idealism became more “practical.” If you can remember the excitement, then you will also identify with the four testimonies that were provided at the beginning of this article. The spiritual connection that each of us has is the most important element of our faith and belief! If you believe you can or can’t walk on water, you’re right. If you believe you can or can’t heal the sick, you’re right. Increasing our Faith is our goal.
The power of belief and faith is based largely upon what we have been taught and what our teachers believed and how they imparted ideas about faith to us. We all stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us and taught us what we know today. This principle is evident when we discuss our unique spiritual connections to Mashiyach with others. While fools compare themselves with themselves (1 Cor. 10:12), the wise compare themselves to Mashiyach (Messiah); and herein is where the AENT offers many connections to Mashiyach that were lost in Greek translations. This is only one of the many reasons why Aramaic Primacy is important.
The Church is now being called out to take a momentous leap of Faith, to the same Faith of “these words” (Hebrews 12:27) that shook the earth and is now returning to again shake not only the earth, but also heaven. Are you ready?