Revelation and James originally in Hebrew?

Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by Rexlion, Apr 11, 2022.

  1. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,666
    Likes Received:
    1,844
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    There's a family of Jewish Christians named Van Rensburg who say they have reason to believe that the originals (autographs) of Revelation and James were written in Hebrew. I found their explanation interesting, so I'm posting it in case anyone else would be interested. Here's a video explanation, and here's a page containing their reasoning along with their English translations from Hebrew of those letters. Also, this is their main website.
     
    Erasmus and Br. Thomas like this.
  2. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,037
    Likes Received:
    1,068
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican
    There may be a valid point but they didn't make it. The chief aim of that piece was to put forth Hebrew as a superior liturgical language- quite likely the very language of heaven. I checked out, just as I do when the Romans start making the same claims for Latin.
     
  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,666
    Likes Received:
    1,844
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    I never got that impression; I thought the chief aim was to explain the linguistic reasoning in favor of Hebrew autographs. But yours is an interesting takeaway. Are you saying that they're advocating the use of Hebrew in Christian worship, similar to the RC use of Latin for many centuries?

    Yes, they do seem very focused on the Hebrew language; I passed it off as 'majoring in their strengths' since they seem to know that language well.
     
  4. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,653
    Likes Received:
    923
    Religion:
    ACNA
    Their introduction was so poor that I stopped after a page or two. I also came away with the same impression as Shane R, that they think that the language in Heaven was Hebrew.
     
  5. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,037
    Likes Received:
    1,068
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican
    I was under the impression the authors were Jewish scholars. As such, I don't think they much care how Christian worship is conducted. What I quickly picked up on was their insistence that the Hebrew language is somehow superior in communicating theology and for prayer. This set off a lot of alarm bells in my head, because some of the Romans get ridiculous really fast putting forward Latin in the same manner.

    Their 3 propositions on pg. 15 were enough to make me unenthusiastic about where the writing was going. None of them are logically necessary. Straw men and non-sequiturs galore. Starting off on that foot and then immediately coming in with a Zionist bias lost my interest.
     
    Rexlion likes this.
  6. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,666
    Likes Received:
    1,844
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    I see. Well, what I found interesting was the linguistic evidence they introduced to support the proposition that Revelation, James, and Jude were originally written in Hebrew. Now I that I think on it, I recall that skipping right past that questionable stuff and scrolling down further to reach the part that intrigued me. Thanks for pointing it out.

    As one old, folksy preacher used to say, "Best if we eat the hay and spit out the sticks."
     
  7. Niblo

    Niblo Member

    Posts:
    31
    Likes Received:
    20
    Country:
    Wales
    Religion:
    Islam
    Nah....Everyone knows that the very language of Heaven is Welsh
     
    Invictus likes this.
  8. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,037
    Likes Received:
    1,068
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Anglican
    My old gran, who I shared a birthday with for 30 years, was fairly certain the language of heaven was not Norwegian. :D
     
    Niblo likes this.
  9. Niblo

    Niblo Member

    Posts:
    31
    Likes Received:
    20
    Country:
    Wales
    Religion:
    Islam
    She was right! :D
     
  10. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    586
    Likes Received:
    276
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    Welsh- one of only three languages West of Rome that were spoken in the Roman Empire and still are.
    As a prize there is a free "like" to the person who can name the other two.:)
     
    Niblo likes this.
  11. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    1,653
    Likes Received:
    923
    Religion:
    ACNA
    Basque and some of the Breton language would be my guess.
     
    AnglicanAgnostic and Niblo like this.
  12. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    2,369
    Pig Latin??
     
  13. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    586
    Likes Received:
    276
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    I'll give you this it's as close as you can get without being absolutely right. Breton wasn't spoken in the Roman Empire as it was transfered to Brittany around 600 AD but it descends from Cornish which was. Cornish like Hebrew is a revived language though only about 2000 people speak it.
     
    Invictus likes this.
  14. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    498
    Likes Received:
    472
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Surely Gaelic (Scots or Irish) is still functionally the same language as it was in Rome, at least to the same extent Basque is, right? To be a pedant I would also point out Greek was certainly spoken west of Rome.
     
  15. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    586
    Likes Received:
    276
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    Right! but you are still wrong as Gaelic wasn't spoken in the Roman Empire. Ireland Scotland and The Isle of Man weren't part of the Roman Empire.
     
  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,666
    Likes Received:
    1,844
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    Isn't it ironic that we cannot gain empirical evidence about that empire? :hmm:

    Language and words can be funny things. :laugh:
     
  17. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    498
    Likes Received:
    472
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Parts of Scotland were. The Antonine Wall is north of both Glasgow and Edinburgh. And naturally the northern English Celts spoke a form of Gaelic (called P-Celtic, usually), not Brittonic (that being the southern languages like Welsh, Cornish, Breton, etc.). England only separated from Scotland and Ireland culturally and linguistically when the Anglo Saxons invaded. Before then they're all Britons, there are no Scottish and English. The Picts were not different from the Britons, they were just Britons that the Romans hadn't conquered yet.
     
  18. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    586
    Likes Received:
    276
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    You need to mind your "Ps" and "Qs" :D. P Celtic is Welsh, Cornish and Breton. Q Celtic is Scottish and Irish Gaelic and Manx. In Roman Scotland the locals probably spoke Cumbric a P Celtic language that only became extinct about 1200AD or Pictish which is thought to have been a P Celtic language. Q Celtic ( Scottish Gaelic) was only introduced to Scotland from Ireland about 300 AD and was probably spread by conquest so probably didn't enter the Roman Empire to any appreciable extent by the time the Roman empire exited Britain in 410 AD.
    I take your point though that parts of Scotland were at times part of the Empire.
     
    Niblo likes this.
  19. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,816
    Likes Received:
    1,290
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    There seems to be bits missing from this Hebrew version of Revelation though. Revelation 3:20-22 in The Jewish New Testament Bible says: "Here, I'm standing at the door, knocking. If someone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he will eat with me. I will let him who wins the victory sit with me on my throne, just as I myself won the victory and sat down with my Father on his throne. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic Communities."

    The text given for these verses in the Van Rensburg version is: "Look, I stand before the door and knock on it, and if one will hear my voice and open the door, to this one I will come. Whosoever overcomes, him I will give to sit with me by my throne, like I overcame and sat down with my Father by his
    throne. Whosoever has ears must hear what the Ruach says.’” Compare this to the RSV.

    We realise that translations from one language to another can lose nuanced meaning on the way but either "to this one I will come" has been considerably added to, to get "and eat with him, and he will eat with me." or the whole dining experience promised by Christ to believers, has been left out of the English translation of Van Rensburg's version. Either way Revelation 22:18-19 might be relevant, even immanent, for someone, somewhere. :sick:
    .
     
  20. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,666
    Likes Received:
    1,844
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    I understand. Any discrepancies or variations are owing to the fact that the Van Rensburgs are translating to English from a specific, particular Hebrew manuscript which they chose because of linguistic clues that suggest the manuscript is not itself a translation from another language (such as Greek or Latin). FWIW. Therefore, if any errors were made by a copyist that resulted in leaving off a word or phrase (such as what you noticed), they will be perpetuated in the Van Rensburg translation into English. But on the other hand, if one assumes that other MSS are translations from Hebrew into Greek or Latin and then into English, it is also possible that the extra word or phrase could have been inserted by whomever translated the Hebrew into Greek or Latin, due to incompatibility between those languages or misunderstanding of the Hebrew or whatever. In other words, the Van Rensburgs as native Hebrew speakers are making a judgment call that differs from the judgment calls of scholars who did not speak Hebrew natively.