- the new version "is more amazing than the Dead Sea Scrolls."
- it's "a literal translation."
- the Old Testament is from "the original Hebrew manuscripts."
- the New Testament is from the "original Aramaic."
Amazing because there are no original Hebrew manuscripts. The earliest available are the Dead Sea Scrolls. What we do have is copies of copies and, as those self-same DSS demonstrate, there's obvious development of the Hebrew Bible with variants floating around back in the BCE.
Amazing because the New Testament was written in Greek, not Aramaic. Those few Aramaic phrases that do appear stick out like a sore thumb. There are a few scholars, somewhere south of the academic consensus, who imagine substantial chunks of the Gospels do go back to an Aramaic source - Maurice Casey is among the best known. But Casey himself would, I suspect, have an apoplectic fit if any of his students made the claim that the full NT - or even the complete Gospels - hark back to Aramaic, or worse, that the Peshitta is anything other than a translation.
Given that any 'Aramaic' re-envisioning of the New Testament is an exercise in speculative and creative reinterpretation, it is equally amazing that this could be touted as "a literal translation." A literal translation of what?
Amazing also that this whole project seems to be largely the work of one bloke, Don Esposito, "senior elder of the Congregation of YHWH Jerusalem." Don seems to think that the Peshitta pre-dates the Greek New Testament. That's a truly novel approach. Don's qualifications?
I will say upfront that I am neither a Hebrew or Aramaic scholar, and don’t claim to be one.Now let's think. Don isn't a Hebrew or Aramaic scholar, by which I take it that he knows next to nothing about these languages. Yet...
Oh well, that's all right then.I have fervently prayed and asked our Heavenly Father for guidance throughout the year and a half that I have been working on this project. I can also tell you that many times while doing this work I felt the spirit of YAHWEH directing and guiding me to the finished work of this translation.
My conclusion is that this isn't a literal translation and, given Mr Esposito's lack of familiarity with the languages, not even a translation as such. Mr Esposito seems to me to be one very confused chap. If you want an English translation of the Peshitta with a modicum of credibility, George Lamsa's Holy Bible: From the Ancient Eastern Text is still readily available.
Not that this isn't a labor of love; I'm sure it is. Not that Mr Esposito is trying to make a fast buck out of the naivete of his flock - he provides a free PDF download of his version. But as a serious Bible translation it ranks right down there with Fred Coulter's. Well, maybe below Fred's - he at least reads Greek.