Aramaic original New Testament theory
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There are six versions of the New Testament in Aramaic languages:
- the Vetus Syra (Old Syriac), a translation from Greek into early Classical Syriac, containing most—but not all—of the text of the 4 Gospels, and represented in the Curetonian Gospels and the Sinaitic Palimpsest
- the Christian Palestinian Aramaic Lectionary fragments represented in such manuscripts as Codex Climaci Rescriptus, Codex Sinaiticus Rescriptus, and later lectionary codices (Vatican sir. 19 [A]; St Catherine’s Monastery B, C, D)
- the Classical Syriac Peshitta, a rendering in Aramaic of the Hebrew (and some Aramaic, e.g. in Daniel and Ezra) Old Testament, plus the New Testament purportedly in its original Aramaic, and still the standard in most Syriac churches
- the Harklean, a strictly literal translation by Thomas of Harqel into Classical Syriac from Greek
- the Assyrian Modern Version, a new translation into Assyrian Neo-Aramaic from the Greek published in 1997 and mainly in use among Protestants
- and a number of other scattered versions in various dialects
The traditional New Testament of the Peshitta has 22 books, lacking the Second Epistle of John, the Third Epistle of John, the Second Epistle of Peter, the Epistle of Jude and the Book of Revelation, which are books of the Antilegomena. Closure of the Church of the East's New Testament Canon occurred before the 'Western Five' books could be incorporated. Its Gospels text also lacks the verses known as Jesus and the woman taken in adultery (John 7:53–8:11) and Luke 22:17–18, but does have the 'long ending of Mark.'
Greek original New Testament hypothesis
The consensus of modern scholars is that the New Testament was written in Greek and that an Aramaic source text was used for portions of the New Testament, especially the gospels. They acknowledge that many individual sayings of Jesus as found in the Greek Gospels may be translations from an Aramaic source referred to as "Q source" (from the German word Quelle), but hold that the Gospels' text in its current form was composed in Greek, and so were the other New Testament writings. Scholars of all stripes have acknowledged the presence of scattered Aramaic expressions, written phonetically and then translated, in the Greek New Testament.
In an 1887 book, John Hancock Pettingell says "The common impression that the entire New Testament was first written in Greek, and that all the copies we now have, in whatever tongue, are copies, or translations of the original manuscripts, when seriously examined, is found to have no certain foundation. And yet this has been taken almost universally for granted. It is probable, that this is true with respect to some, possibly a majority of these books. But it is more than probable, if not quite certain, that some portions of the New Testament, such as the Gospel of Matthew, the Epistles to the Hebrews, and others, which will hereafter be mentioned, were first written in the vernacular Syriac of the Jews, and were afterward translated into Greek; and that other portions, perhaps most of the books, were duplicated, at the time they were written, by their authors, or under their direction,—one copy being furnished to those who were familiar with the Greek, and another to those who knew only the Syriac."
An example of how mainstream scholars have dealt with Aramaic influences within an overall view of the Gospels' original Greek-language development may be found in Martin Hengel's synthesis of studies of the linguistic situation in Palestine during the time of Jesus and the Gospels:
Since non-literary, simple Greek knowledge or competency in multiple languages was relatively widespread in Jewish Palestine including Galilee, and a Greek-speaking community had already developed in Jerusalem shortly after Easter, one can assume that this linguistic transformation [from "the Aramaic native language of Jesus" to "the Greek Gospels"] began very early. ... [M]issionaries, above all 'Hellenists' driven out of Jerusalem, soon preached their message in the Greek language. We find them in Damascus as early as AD 32 or 33. A certain percentage of Jesus' earliest followers were presumably bilingual and could therefore report, at least in simple Greek, what had been heard and seen. This probably applies to Cephas/Peter, Andrew, Philip or John. Mark, too, who was better educated in Jerusalem than the Galilean fishermen, belonged to this milieu. The great number of phonetically correct Aramaisms and his knowledge of the conditions in Jewish Palestine compel us to assume a Palestinian Jewish-Christian author. Also, the author's Aramaic native language is still discernible in the Marcan style.
Aramaic original New Testament hypothesis
The hypothesis that the New Testament text that was read by the Apostles would have preserved the life and sayings of Jesus (as he spoke them in Aramaic – the language of Jesus) before it was translated for those not among them who spoke Greek is not held by the majority of scholars.
Syrian churches say that their history includes compilation of their canon (which lacked the 'Western Five') extremely early. Comments John Hancock Pettingell, "There is no question, but that scattered manuscripts of the several books of the New Testament, in Greek, were in existence very early, for the Fathers quote from them,—but there is no evidence that any attempt was made to collect them into one code, or canon, till after the Second or Third Century. But it is certain, on the other hand, that the Syrian Churches had their canon long before this collection was made; tradition says, between the years 55 and 60, and that this was done by the Apostle Jude. This canon is known to have contained all the books now included in our New Testament, excepting the Apocalypse, and the brief Epistles of 2d Peter, 2d and 3d John, and Jude. This tradition is strongly corroborated by the fact that these closing portions of our present canon were not then written; and this is a good and sufficient reason why they were not included in the first collection. The abrupt closing of the Book of Acts—for it was evidently written at about that time—that it might be ready for inclusion in this collection, goes to confirm the tradition as to the date of this collection. The Apocalypse and the four short Epistles which were not in readiness to be included at that early date, were afterward received into the Syriac Canon, but not till the sixth century."
The most noteworthy advocate of the "Peshitta-original" hypothesis in the West was George Lamsa of the Aramaic Bible Center. A tiny minority of more recent scholars are backers of the Peshitta-original theory today, whereas the overwhelming majority of scholars consider the Peshitta New Testament to be a translation from a Greek original. For instance Sebastian Brock wrote:
The only complete English translation of the Peshitta is by G. Lamsa. This is unfortunately not always very accurate, and his claims that the Peshitta Gospels represent the Aramaic original underlying the Greek Gospels are entirely without foundation; such views, which are not infrequently found in more popular literature, are rejected by all serious scholars.
(Lamsa and Bauscher did not translate the Old Testament Peshitta's deuterocanonical books, but did translate the remainder of the Peshitta Old Testament, plus the New Testament. Gorgias Press has published translations of many Peshitta Old Testament books, and of the entire Peshitta New Testament.)
E. Jan Wilson writes, "I believe firmly that both Matthew and Luke were derived from Aramaic originals."
Some advocates of the "Peshitta-original" theory also use the term "Aramaic primacy", though this is not used in academic sources. The expression "Aramaic primacy" was used by L. I. Levine, but only as a general expression used to denote the primacy of Aramaic over Hebrew and Greek in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period (i.e. roughly 200 BC – 70 AD). The earliest appearance of the phrase in print is in David Bauscher.
Charles Cutler Torrey, while teaching at Yale, wrote a series of books that presented detailed manuscripturial evidence supporting the Aramaic New Testament, starting with The Translations Made from the Original Aramaic Gospels, and including the widely known Our Translated Gospels.
George Lamsa's translation of the Peshitta New Testament from Syriac into English brought the claims for primacy of the Aramaic New Testament to the West. However, his translation is poorly regarded by most scholars in the field. The Old Syriac Texts, the Sinai palimpsest and the Curetonian Gospels, have also influenced scholars concerning original Aramaic passages. Diatessaronic texts such as the Liege Dutch Harmony, the Pepysian Gospel Harmony, Codex Fuldensis, The Persian Harmony, The Arabic Diatessaron, and the Commentary on the Diatessaron by Ephrem the Syrian have provided recent insights into Aramaic origins. The Coptic Gospel of Thomas and the various versions of the medieval Hebrew Gospel of Matthew also have provided clues to Aramaic foundations in the New Testament especially the gospels. Many 19th Century scholars (H. Holtzmann, Wendt, Jülicher, Wernle, Soden, Wellhausen, Harnack, B. Weiss, Nicolardot, W. Allen, Montefiore, Plummer, and Stanton)[failed verification] theorized that portions of the gospels, especially Matthew, were derived from an Aramaic source normally referred to as Q.[dubious ]
Argument using the Arabic Diatessaron for the old age of the Peshitta
Tatian died in A.D. 175. Reasoning and textual evidence suggest that Tatian started with the 4 Gospels in the Aramaic Peshitta, and interwove Gospel passages into one consolidated harmonized narrative to get his Diatesseron, in the process quoting three-fourths of the 4 Gospels. We presently lack Tatian's Diatessaron in its original Aramaic, but do have it in translation in Arabic, a language related to Aramaic. A large number of parallels exist between the Peshitta's 4 Gospels and what is in the 'Arabic Diatessaron.' Paul Younan says, "It makes perfect sense that a harmony of the Gospels would necessarily require that the distinct 4 Gospels actually existed prior to the harmony. This is common sense. It makes ever more sense that an Aramaic harmony of the Gospels, which Tatian's Diatesseron was, was woven together from the 4 distinct Aramaic Gospels. .... Since the Arabic translation by Ibn al-Tayyib is the only one we know for sure was made directly from the Aramaic, and since it reads like the Peshitta..., and since we know that a harmony necessitates a base of 4 distinct Gospels from which it must be drawn – I submit that Tatian's Aramaic Diatesseron was a harmony of the distinct Gospels in Aramaic we currently find today in the canon of scripture we know as the Peshitta. Occam's Razor is a logical principle which states that one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything. In other words, the simplest explanation is usually the best. The simplest explanation is that Tatian created a harmony of the Peshitta gospels. This harmony existed in Persia until at least the 11th century, when it was translated into Arabic. ....if we are to believe the textual evidence in the Arabic translation... the Peshitta Gospels were the base of the Diatesseron which history attributes to Tatian. And this places the Peshitta Gospels at or before 175 A.D."
The Arabic Diatessaron has been translated into English, Latin, French, and German.
Argument from geographical details for the old age of the Peshitta
Advocates of the Aramaic being written first, and then translated into Greek, have pointed out the geographical details present in the Peshitta, but lacking in Greek mss.; those advocates ask what's the best explanation for the presence of those geographical details in the Peshitta, but lacking in Greek mss.
Johann David Michaelis states:
In the Curæ, in Act. Apost. § vi. p. 73, 74. I have taken notice of certain traces in the Syriac version, which lead to the supposition of its having been made by a native Jew. To the reasons alleged in that treatise, which I submit to the determination of my readers, I will add, that the Syriac translator appears to have been so well acquainted with Palestine, that he must at least have visited that country, for he has frequently restored geographical names in the Greek Testament to their true Oriental orthography. Capernaum is written in the Syriac Testament ... , that is, the village of Nahum; Bethania, is written ... ; Bethphage is written ... , which perfectly corresponds to its situation, for ... , in Arabic, signifies 'a valley between two opposite mountains,' an etymology which alone removes a contradiction which was supposed to exist between the New Testament and the Talmud ; and Bethesda, John v. 2. is written ... , which is probably conformable to the derivation, whether we translate it 'place of favour,' or 'place of the conflux of waters.' The Syriac version therefore is the surest, and indeed the only guide, in discovering the etymology of geographical names, for the Arabic versions are too modern, and in other translations it was impossible to preserve the orthography of the East.
William Norton states:
— In the names of places, the Peshito shows the same independence of the Greek. ....in Acts xxi. 7, the Gk. has, Ptolemais; the Syriac has, Acu.
Mr. Jer. Jones, in his work on the Canon, 1798, contends that the use of the name Acu, for Ptolemais, is a decisive proof that the Peshito must have been made not far in time from A.D. 70, when Jerusalem was destroyed. (vol. i. p. 103.) He says that the most ancient name of this place among the Israelites was Aco, or Acco, Judges i. 31; that this name was afterwards changed to Ptolemais; that some say it had its new name from Ptolemy Philadelphus, about 250 B.C. He says it is certain that the old name Aco, was antiquated and out of use in the time of the Romans, and that the use of the old name Acu, in the Peshito, can be accounted for in no other way, but by supposing that the persons for whom the version was made were more acquainted with it, than with the new name Ptolemais; that upon any other supposition it would have been absurd for him to have used Acu. He says, that until the destruction of Jerusalem, one may suppose that the Jews may have retained the old name Aco still, out of fondness for its antiquity; but, he says,
"how they, or any other part of Syria, could, after the Roman conquest, call it by a name different from the Romans, seems to me impossible to conceive. . . To suppose, therefore, that this translation, in which we meet with this old name, instead of the new one, was made at any great distance of time after the destruction of Jerusalem, is to suppose the translator to have substituted an antiquated name known to but few, for a name well known to all" (pp. 104, 105.)Mr. Jones says that a similar proof that the Peshito cannot have been made much after A.D. 70, is found in the fact that the Peshito often calls the Gentiles, as the Jews were accustomed to do, profane persons, where the Greek calls them the nations, that is, the Gentiles. The Peshito calls them profane, in Matt. vi. 7; x. 5; xviii. 17; Mark vii. 26; John vii. 35; Acts xviii. 4, 17; 1 Cor. v. 1; x. 20, 27; xii. 2; 1 Pet. iv. 3. The expression is used, therefore, throughout the Peshito. Mr. Jones says, that it shows that the writer was a Jew, for no other person would have called all the world profane; and that after the destruction of the temple, all Hebrew Christians must have seen that other nations were not to be reckoned unclean and profane in the Jewish sense, and that therefore this version must have been made either before, or soon after, A.D. 70. (On Canon, Vol. i., pp. 106–110.)
Argument from bad Greek grammar in Revelation to it not being originally Greek
Torrey opines that Revelation was originally in Aramaic, and points to grammatical monstrosities as evidence that it was not originally written in Greek:
For the Apocalyptist the language of the New Dispensation of the Christian Church was Aramaic only. It is most significant that the numerous hymns and doxologies sung or recited by the saints and angels in heaven, in chapter after chapter of the book, are composed in Aramaic (wherever it is possible to decide), not in Hebrew; though the writer could have used either language. ....
There is excellent reason, however, for one conclusion he [R.H. Charles] reaches—expressed in similar words by many before him—namely, that "the linguistic character of the Apocalypse is absolutely unique." The grammatical monstrosities of the book, in their number and variety and especially in their startling character, stand alone in the history of literature. It is only in the Greek that they are apparent, for it is the form, not the sense, that is affected. A few of the more striking solecisms are exhibited here in English translation, so that any reader may see their nature.
1:4. “Grace to you, and peace, from he who is and who was and who is to come” (all nom. case). 1:15. “His legs were like burnished brass (neut. gend., dative case) as in a furnace purified (fem. gend., sing. no., gen. case)” 11:3. “My witnesses (nom.) shall prophesy for many days clothed (accus.) in sackcloth.” 14:14. “I saw on the cloud one seated like unto a son-of-man (accus.), having (nom.) upon his head a golden crown.” 14:19. “He harvested the vintage of the earth, and cast it into the winepress (fem.), the great [winepress] (masc.) of the wrath of God.” 17:4. “A golden cup filled with abominations (gen.) and with unclean things (accus.).” 19:20. “The lake of blazing fire (“fire,” neut.; “blazing,” fem.). 20:2. “And he seized the dragon (accus.), the old serpent (nom.), who is the Devil and Satan and bound him.” 21:9. “Seven angels, holding the seven bowls (accus.) filled (gen.) with the seven last plagues.” 22:5. “They have no need of lamplight (gen.) nor of sunlight (accus.).”
This apparent linguistic anarchy has no explanation on the Greek side. It is hardly surprising that to some readers it should have seemed open defiance of grammar, to others a symptom of mental aberration. Nevertheless there is method to it all. The more grotesque these barbarisms, the more certain it is that they are not due to lack of acquaintance with Greek.
An argument that at least one of the Greek books of the New Testament have been translated out of the Aramaic comes from a textual analysis of those attributed to the Apostle John. Their variation in writing style is so considerable, that it would preclude them having been written in Greek by the same author. St Dionysius of Alexandria lent support to this argument, when pointing out how John's style of writing differs so markedly between his Gospel and Revelation. He concluded that the sophisticated writer of the former could not have written the clumsy Greek of the latter. Thus, the only way for John to have been the author of Revelation is for it to have been penned by a translator. However, Dionysius himself left open the possibility that it was written in Greek "by a holy and inspired writer" other than John.
Some have argued that the Aramaic gospels are older than the Greek gospels, and that the Aramaic NT wasn't derived from the Greek NT. William Norton commented in 1889:
"Faust Nairon, a Maronite, is often referred to by J. S. Asseman as a writer of eminence. He was one of the two editors of the edition of the Peshito Syriac Version, printed by the side of an Arabic Version of the N. T., in 1703, by command of the Roman Congregation De propaganda fide, for the use of the Maronites. He also wrote the preface. In this he said, (p. 2.) 'The Syriac text excels in antiquity all other texts. By it very many places which in these are obscure, may be made plain.' He proceeds to endeavour to prove that the Syriac text is more ancient than the Greek text of the Gospels. He mentions the common opinion that the Syriac Gospels were translated from the Greek, and says that there are better reasons for concluding that the Greek Gospels were translated from the Syriac. [....] F. Nairon says in proof that THE PESHITO, AS A WHOLE, IS NOT A MERE TRANSLATION OF THE GREEK COPIES, that the number of books in it is different from that of the Greek text, which has 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude, and Revelation. That the order of books is also different from their order in most Greek copies; for James, 1 Peter, and 1 John, follow the Acts; and that the Greek text has passages which the Peshito has not."
Norton later adds (on p. xlvii):
Persons familiar with the Peshito admit the truth of Faust Nairon's remark, that the Peshito does really sometimes "make clear, things difficult or doubtful in the Greek." (Introduction, p. 9.)
Bishop Walton quotes with approval the remark of De Dieu, that "the true meaning of phrases which often occur in the N. T., can scarcely be sought from any other source than the Syriac." (Polyg. Prol. xiii. 19.)
J. D. Michaelis says, "the Syriac Version leads us sometimes to just and beautiful explanations, where other help is insufficient." (Marsh's Michaelis, vol. ii. p. 44.)'
Norton mentions (on lix–lx) additional scholars who had high regard for the Aramaic, and gives a fuller exposition of Michaelis:
Jacob Martini was Professor of Theology in the University of Wittenberg, and wrote a preface to the N. T. Peshito-Syriac, in which he said, "It is a version, but of all, it is the first and most ancient. . . It is a version, but made either by one of the Evangelists, or at least, of those who . . . had the Apostles themselves present, whom they could consult and hear, respecting many of the more obscure places. To this only, therefore, when some obscurity or difficulty occurs in Greek copies, can we safely go. This only, when doubt arises respecting the meaning or translation of any passage, can be consulted with safety and freedom from error. By this only, the Greek Text is truly illustrated, and rightly understood." (See Gutbier's Preface to his Syriac N. T., 1663, p. 26.) J. D. Michaelis, in his Introduction to the N. T., 1787, chap, vii., sec. 4., says, "The Syriac Testament has been my constant study." In sec. 8., he says, "The Peshito is the very best translation of the Greek Testament that I have ever read. Of all the Syriac authors with which I am acquainted, not excepting Ephraem and Bar Hebraeus, its language is the most elegant and pure. . . . It has no marks of the stiffness of a translation, but is written with the ease and fluency of an original." "What is not to be regarded as a blemish, it differs frequently from the modern modes of explanation; but I know of no version that is so free from error, and none that I consult with so much confidence in cases of difficulty and doubt. I have never met with a single instance where the Greek is so interpreted, as to betray a weakness and ignorance in the translator; and though in many other translations the original is rendered in so extraordinary a manner as almost to excite a smile, the Syriac version must be ever read with profound veneration." "The affinity of the Syriac to the dialect of Palestine is so great, as to justify, in some respects, the assertion that the Syriac translator has recorded the actions and speeches of Christ in the very language in which he spoke." "The Syriac New Testament is written in the same language [as that of Christ], but in a different dialect, ... in the purest Mesopotamian.".... Professor Wichelhaus, 1850, dwells much on the worth of the Peshito. He calls it, "The most ancient witness, a version most accurate, untouched and untarnished, ever transcribed and preserved by the Syrians with the greatest care." (p. 236.) He did not see why, with some few exceptions, it should not be "most like to the autographs of the Apostles." (p. 264.)
- The text of the New Testament: an introduction to the critical ... Page 194 Kurt Aland, Barbara Aland – 1995 "It contains twenty-two New Testament books, lacking the shorter Catholic letters (2–3 John, 2 Peter, Jude) and Revelation (as well as the Pericope Adulterae [John 7:53–8:11[ and Luke 22:17–18)."
- Norton, William (1889). A Translation, in English Daily Used, of the Peshito-Syriac Text, and of the Received Greek Text, of Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, and 1 John, With an Introduction on the Peshito-Syriac Text, and the Revised Greek Text of 1881. London: W. K. Bloom.Introduction, pages l–li: "In the names of places, the Peshito shows the same independence of the Greek. . . . . in Acts xxi. 7, the Gk. has, Ptolemais; the Syriac has, Acu. Mr. Jer. Jones, in his work on the Canon, 1798, contends that the use of the name Acu, for Ptolemais, is a decisive proof that the Peshito must have been made not far in time from A.D. 70, when Jerusalem was destroyed. (vol. i. p. 103. ) He says that the most ancient name of this place among the Israelites was Aco, or Acco, Judges i. 31; that this name was afterwards changed to Ptolemais; that some say it had its new name from Ptolemy Philadelphus, about 250 B.C. He says it is certain that the old name Aco, was antiquated and out of use in the time of the Romans, and that the use of the old name Acu, in the Peshito, can be accounted for in no other way, but by supposing that the persons for whom the version was made were more acquainted with it, than with the new name Ptolemais; that upon any other supposition it would have been absurd for him to have used Acu. He says, that until the destruction of Jerusalem, one may suppose that the Jews may have retained the old name Aco still, out of fondness for its antiquity; but, he says, "how they, or any other part of Syria, could, after the Roman conquest, call it by a name different from the Romans, seems to me impossible to conceive. . . To suppose, therefore, that this translation, in which we meet with this old name, instead of the new one, was made at any great distance of time after the destruction of Jerusalem, is to suppose the translator to have substituted an antiquated name known to but few, for a name well known to all" (pp. 104, 105.) Mr. Jones says that a similar proof that the Peshito cannot have been made much after A.D. 70, is found in the fact that the Peshito often calls the Gentiles, as the Jews were accustomed to do, profane persons, where the Greek calls them the nations, that is, the Gentiles. The Peshito calls them profane, in Matt. vi. 7; x. 5; xviii.17; Mark vii. 26; John vii. 35; Acts xviii.4, 17; 1 Cor. v. 1; x. 20, 27; xii. 2; 1 Pet. iv.3. The expression is used, therefore, throughout the Peshito. Mr. Jones says, that it shows that the writer was a Jew, for no other person would have called all the world profane; and that after the destruction of the temple, all Hebrew Christians must have seen that other nations were not to be reckoned unclean and profane in the Jewish sense, and that therefore this version must have been made either before, or soon after, A.D. 70." (On Canon, Vol. i., pp. 106–110.)
- Pettingell, John Hancock (1887). "The Gospel of Life in the Syriac New Testament". Views and Reviews in Eschatology: A Collection of Letters, Essays, and Other Papers Concerning the Life and Death to Come. p. 48.
- Martin Hengel. 2005. "Eye-witness Memory and the Writing of the Gospels: Form Criticism, Community Tradition and the Authority of the Authors." In The Written Gospel, ed. by Markus Bockmuehl and Donald A. Hagner. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 89f.
- Assemane, Giuseppe Simone (J.S.). "Bibliotheca Orientalis (2nd Vol.) De Scriptoribus Syris Monophysitis". digitale-sammlungen.ulb.uni-bonn.de. p. 486. Retrieved 2019-10-20.
- Michaelis, Johann David (1793). Introduction to the New Testament, tr., and augmented with notes (and a Dissertation on the origin and composition of the three first gospels) by H. Marsh. 4 vols. [in 6 pt.].
- Norton, William (1889). A Translation, in English Daily Used, of the Peshito-Syriac Text, and of the Received Greek Text, of Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, and 1 John: With an Introduction on the Peshito-Syriac Text, and the Revised Greek Text of 1881. W.K. Bloom.
This sacred book was finished on Wed., the 18th day of the month Conun, in the year 389.
- Taylor, Robert; Smith, John Pye (1828). Syntagma of the evidences of the Christian religion. Being a vindication of the Manifesto of the Christian evidence society, against the assaults of the Christian instruction society through their deputy J.P.S. [in An answer to a printed paper entitled Manifesto &c.]. Repr. p. 32.
This sacred book was finished on Wed., the 18th day of the month Conun, in the year 389.
- Pettingell, John Hancock (1887). "The Gospel of Life in the Syriac New Testament". Views and Reviews in Eschatology: A Collection of Letters, Essays, and Other Papers Concerning the Life and Death to Come. pp. 53–54.
- Brock, Sebastian P (2006), The Bible in the Syriac tradition, p. 58. See also Raymond Brown et al., eds., "The Jerome Biblical Commentary" (London, 1970), 69:88 (article "Texts and Versions"), pg. 575: "Claims that the Syr[iac] Gospels are the form in which Jesus spoke his teaching—claims often made by people who have every reason to know better—are without foundation."
- xli of his The Old Syriac Gospels: Studies and Comparative Translations (vol. 1, Matthew and Mark) (2003), 381pp.
- Judaism and Hellenism in antiquity: conflict or confluence, 1998, p. 82
- The Original Aramaic Gospels in Plain English (2007), p.59.
- Torrey, Charles Cutler (1912). The Translations made from the Original Aramaic Gospels. New York: Macmillan Co. ISBN 9781293971314.
- Torrey, Charles Cutler (1933). The Four Gospels: a new translation. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers.
- Herbert G May (October 1958). "Review of The Holy Bible from Ancient Eastern Manuscripts, Containing the Old and New Testaments Translated from the Peshitta, The Authorized Bible of the Church of the East". Journal of Bible and Religion. 26 (4): 326–327. JSTOR 1460599.]
- P.A.H. de Boer (April 1958). "Review of The Holy Bible from Ancient Eastern Manuscripts by G. M. Lamsa". Vetus Testamentum. 8 (2): 223. doi:10.2307/1516092. JSTOR 1516092.
- Jacquier, Jacque Eugène. "Gospel of St. Matthew." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 10. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911.
- Latin: Tatiani Evangeliorum Harmoniae Arabice nunc primum ex duplici codice edidit et translatione latina; A. Ciasca (1888). French: Diatessaron De Tatien by Tatian; A. S. Marmardji (1935). German: Tatians Diatessaron aus dem Arabischen (1926). English: Aramaic to Arabic to Latin to English: The earliest life of Christ ever compiled from the four Gospels : being the Diatessaron of Tatian; J. Hamlyn Hill (1894). English: Aramaic to Arabic to English: The Ante-Nicene Fathers : translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325, volume 9 The Diatessaron of Tatian, Hope W. Hogg (1897)
- Michaelis, Johann David (1802). Introduction to the New Testament, tr., and augmented with notes (and a Dissertation on the origin and composition of the three first gospels) by H. Marsh. 4 vols. [in 6 pt.]. 4 vols. [in 5 pt.]. Vol. 2, part 1 (2nd ed.). pp. 43–44.
- Torrey, Charles C. (1958). "The Apocalypse of John: Introduction, Excerpts, and a New Translation". The Preterist Archive of Realized Eschatology. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
- Eusebius, The History of the Church. VII, 24:1–27
- Norton, William (1889). A translation, in English daily used, of the Peshito-Syriac text, and of the received Greek text, of Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, and 1 John : with an introduction on the Peshito-Syriac text, and the revised Greek text of 1881. Boston University School of Theology. London : W.K. Bloom. pp. xli–xlii, xliv.
- Charles Cutler Torrey, Our Translated Gospels: Some of the Evidence (1936), 108, 113-114
- Ben-Hayyim, Z. (1957–1977), The Literary and Oral Tradition of Hebrew and Aramaic amongst the Samaritans, Jerusalem Academy of the Hebrew Language
- Black, M. (1967), An Aramaic Approach to the Gospels and Acts. 3rd Ed., Hendrickson Publishers
- Burney, C. F. (1922), The Aramaic Origin of the Fourth Gospel, Oxford at the Clarendon Press
- Casey, M. (1998), The Aramaic Sources of Marks' Gospel, Cambridge University Press
- Casey, M. (2002), An Aramaic Approach to Q, Cambridge University Press
- Fitzmyer, J. (1997), The Semitic Background of the New Testament, Eerdmans Publishing
- Lamsa, G. (1976), New Testament Origin, Aramaic Bible Center
- Torrey, C. (1941), Documents of the Primitive Church, Harper & Brothers
- Zimmermann, F. (1979), The Aramaic Origin of the Four Gospels, Ktav Publishing House
- Dukhrana.com — site contains the transcription of the Khaboris Codex plus Etheridge, Murdock, Lamsa, Younan's interlinear translation of Matthew – Acts 16, translations into Dutch and Afrikaans, and an interlinear study tool.
- Lamsa – OT and Lamsa – NT — Lamsa's translation of the Peshitta's Old Testament and New Testament
- aramaicdb.lightofword.org — site contains Magiera and Murdock, and an interlinear study tool
- Was the New Testament Really Written in Greek? — a book arguing for Aramaic primacy
- The Composition and Date of Acts (1916) by Charles Cutler Torrey
- Our Translated Gospels: Some of the Evidence (1936) by Charles Cutler Torrey
- The Origin of the Gospel According to St. John (1923) by James A. Montgomery