The original Hebrew of the book of Baruch has been lost, however in my recent work on the Hebraic Roots Version of the Apocrypha I have found evidence that the Aramaic Peshitta text of Baruch was translated directly from the original Hebrew of Baruch and not from the Greek translation. This is important because Aramaic is a cognate language to Hebrew sharing much of the vocabulary and much of the same grammar. Thus the Aramaic gives us a far better idea of the original Hebrew than the Greek text does.
How have I determined the Aramaic was translated from the lost Hebrew and not the Greek?
In the Greek text Baruch 1:8 references the 10th of Sivan however the Aramaic has not "Sivan" but "Nisan". Certainly had the Aramaic been translated from the Greek, it would have "Sivan" in 1:8 and not "Nisan".
This, however, does not tell us which reading is more original, we have no idea from this evidence alone when and where the change was made, we only know that the two texts do not agree, and that the Aramaic is therefore not simply a translation from the Greek.
There is however another reading, which gives us some more insight on the origin of the Aramaic text of Baruch. In 1:4 the Greek references the river "Sud" in Babylon, however there is no such known river. However the Aramaic references not a river "Sud" but a river called "Tzur". Now ancient non-Biblical texts discovered in 1952 refer to a river named "Tzur" in a similar context.
Now the scribal error whereby "d" and "r" are misread for one another is a very common Scribal error in Hebrew and Aramaic (in which the letters are very similar in appearance) and not in Greek (in which they do not look alike).
So here we have a Scribal Error which must have originated in the Hebrew or Aramaic and in which the Aramaic appears to have the original reading.
Now since the Aramaic was not translated from the Greek, and since it contains a reading that had to have originated in the original Hebrew, we have in the Aramaic of Baruch a much better witness to the original Hebrew text of Baruch that we have in the Greek.
Now as many of you also know this ministry is in a budget shortfall this month and we really need to raise between $500 and $1,000 in the next few days in order to get caught up.
So here is what we are going to do, in honor of the coming Fall Feasts, I will be putting the finishing touches on my new translation of the book of Baruch, taken from the surviving Aramaic and Greek sources so that I can share this amazing book with you. The Aramaic of this book has never been translated into English before. This amazing book not only contains an important prophecy of the last days restoration, but it also includes a little known Messianic prophecy which foretells that the Torah incarnate would come and dwell among us!
Here is what I am prepared to do, I am asking you all to help us raise the funds we need to get caught up. As I write this, the Paypal counter is at $805. If everyone chips in and moves that paypal counter up to $1,805 by the end of this month, I will post this translation of Barukh for everyone free. However even if we do not hit that $1,805 mark I will make the new translation of Barukh from the Aramaic and Greek available in e-copy to everyone that donated or donates at least $30.00 in the month of September.
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