12
Feb
10

The Lord’s Prayer In Jesus’ Language

I found this site awhile back, and this recitation, in particular, has been interesting to me.  I was a Classical Studies minor in college, and ancient history has always pulled me in. Many of us read the classics, including the Bible and New Testament, but we often forget that the original writers and subjects spoke a very different language.

Jesus spoke Aramaic. He likely also had a working tongue in Greek and Hebrew, as both were spoken throughout Judea. One of the things that time and translations does, is to occasionally shift meanings and nuances of phrases. The New Testament was written in Aramaic, then Greek, then Latin, then to English (and many other languages. Thus there is always the chance for some small discrepancy to creep in unless the translator is a gifted linguist.

Anyway, here is the Lord’s Prayer, in both Aramaic, and an English translation.

Galilean transliteration of the Lord’s Prayer

Avvon d-bish-maiya, nith-qaddash shim-mukh.
Tih-teh mal-chootukh. Nih-weh çiw-yanukh:
ei-chana d’bish-maiya: ap b’ar-ah.
Haw lan lakh-ma d’soonqa-nan yoo-mana.
O’shwooq lan kho-bein:
ei-chana d’ap kh’nan shwiq-qan l’khaya-ween.
Oo’la te-ellan l’niss-yoona:
il-la paç-çan min beesha.
Mid-til de-di-lukh hai mal-choota
oo khai-la oo tush-bookh-ta
l’alam al-mein. Aa-meen.

——————————

Matthew 6:9-13

“(Therefore, this is how you shall pray:)
Our heavenly Father, hallowed is your name.
Your Kingdom is come. Your will is done,
As in heaven so also on earth.
Give us the bread for our daily need.
And leave us serene,
just as we also allowed others serenity.
And do not pass us through trial,
except separate us from the evil one.
For yours is the Kingdom,
the Power and the Glory
To the end of the universe, of all the universes.” Amen!

————————————-

Best of all, visit the site and listen to the spoken Aramaic in an mp3 format.

Aramaic Lord’s Prayer

The Lord's Prayer In Aramaic

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10 Responses to “The Lord’s Prayer In Jesus’ Language”


  1. February 14, 2010 at 06:09

    One of my favorite classes was one about Ancient Civilizations. The teacher, a classics scholar from Egypt, took us through Aramaic and the Lord’s Prayer. I still remember the lessons he taught us. Isn’t it interesting how this:

    “And leave us serene,
    just as we also allowed others serenity.
    And do not pass us through trial,
    except separate us from the evil one.”

    is slightly altered by turning it into this:

    “And forgive us our trespasses,
    as we forgive those who trespass against us.
    And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil. ”

    I notice this because one is more internal. Serenity speaks to a frame of mind, a way of being. Trespassing seems slightly different. There’s a physicality here that belies the idea of serenity. There’s more and one could explicate this as one does the finest poetry. Thanks for sharing this. And also thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I really do appreciate what you’ve said.

  2. February 14, 2010 at 17:06

    Kanani,

    It also relates to how Jesus spoke of the “Kingdom of God” being within each of us. According to the Gnostic Gospels, Jesus taught that we can each learn, through diligence and attention to His teachings, how to release our soul from the material body at the time of our physical death, transmogrifying to the state as He appeared to the disciples after His crucifixion. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene speaks of this, and it is to our eternal sorrow that a good portion of that tome is lost.

    I am always interested in how languages morph in meaning through translation. How, for example, in English, the 5th Commandment reads ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill”. However, in Aramaic and Greek and Latin, it is translated as “Thou Shalt Not Murder”.

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by. The front porch light’s always on over here. 🙂

  3. 3 SCOTT the BADGER
    February 14, 2010 at 23:31

    Many modern translations of the Bible use Thou Shalt Not Murder. That is how the Lutheran Church I grew up in sees it.

    I don’t think I have enough joints in my tounge to speak Aramaic.

  4. 4 J.M. Heinrichs
    February 18, 2010 at 10:57

    In the time of King James, the words ‘slay’ and ‘kill’ held the respective meanings we have for ‘kill’ and ‘murder’.
    Which explains how David ‘slew’ Goliath, but later ordered Uriah to be ‘killed’.

    Cheers

  5. April 13, 2011 at 07:01

    The words of the Lord’s Prayer in the Aramaic are so beautiful. To speak the language, even read it, would be so prayerful and humbling to me. I noticed the changes in the words and found the explanations interesting. Thank you for showing me the various differences in the texts. If I can obtain a Messianic Bible would that be profittable? I consider you the person that would know.
    Thanks John
    Yisraela

  6. April 13, 2011 at 07:32

    I see Yisraela wrote to the wrong person: me. 🙂 She found your link, as did I, as associated with this page. You may find it interesting:

    http://lcgscribe.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/photos-of-the-aramaic-peshitta-hebrew-new-testament/

    This is an edition printed in Hebrew characters in the case of both languages – the Aramaic is not in the Jacobite or other script (which is a good thing for me).

    I must respond to several prior comments. First, Jesus NEVER SAID that “the Kingdom of God is WITHIN you”. He was speaking to the Pharisees at the time, who he plainly called some very bad and perfectly true things, not least “sons of the Devil”. He said rather that “the Kingdom of God is AMONG you”, or as the Moffat translation paraphrases it, “now in your midst”. Jesus was the King of that coming Kingdom and was standing among those who spoke to him. He consistently taught that the Kingdom of God was a real goverment, to rule over real people on a real earth as a real political and religious system, that He would be King over it, and that we can become a part of it. You cannot use one potentially ambiguous verse to overthrow the dozens and dozens of crystal-clear verses on that subject. (And those verses agree with the rest of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, on what the Kingdom of God is and shall be…)

    Second, without going into all the details of the Hebrew, there are at least four different words lying behind the English translations “to slay” and “to kill” – in the account of David vs. Goliath, two from the same root but different stems (“to kill” and “to make sure he was dead”, as it were). in the Ten Commandments the word used can me contextually “to murder” (and so the Greek New Testament translates it) or “to commit manslaughter” (some verses in the Torah so use it). I have not begun to scratch the surface, as I’ve said.

    Unfortunately for the classical scholar from Egypt, the Greek text indicates the second, not the first option for the Lord’s Prayer: forgiveness, not serenity. The Aramaic Peshitta has been translated into Hebrew and one can easily check both side by side (thanks to the Bible Society in Israel). Again, both agree with the Greek.

    (1 John 4:1 RSV) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    And they will deceive you if you don’t treat the Word of God as if it were the Holy of Holies of the Temple and avoid “independent exegesis” on the one hand and argument from authority on the other at all costs.

  7. April 14, 2011 at 04:43

    Please excuse my ending up commenting on the wrong post. I started out on someone else’s and ended up here thinking it was the right person.
    It confused me a little as I found it a little odd that he would break down the Lord’s Prayer that way. And didn’t feel serenity would be appropriate given what is being said prayerfully.
    Anyway, it was my mistake commenting here. I saw his site and then ended up on yours and made comments based on that. Sorry.
    Yisraela

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