Aramaic English New Testament

by Andrew Gabriel Roth.

Compiled, Edited & Translated with consultation to both Ancient and Modern Authorities including:  The Khabouris Codex and the 1905 Edition of the Syriac New Testament by the British and Foreign Bible Society

If Y’shua and all the Apostles spoke Hebrew and Aramaic it would be logical to assume they also wrote in their native language. Although the West has developed many religious ideals according to a Greek primacy, Greek was the vehicular not the vernacular language of Y’shuaand his Apostles. Additionally, the West has put much emphasis on the teachings of the Greek based “post-Apostolic” founders of the Church, but the fact is, until now, very few Christians have plumbed the depths of the original teachings and the very Words of Y’shua and his Apostles. The Aramaic English New Testament (AENT) is the most definitive Aramaic to English translation that has come forth in nearly 2,000 years. Not only does this Aramaic based New Testament Bible render the Ancient Aramaic in a way that is easy for every English reader to understand, but it investigates nuances, poetry and hidden codes of the New Testament that until now have only been available to Hebrew and Aramaic scholars.

Regardless if the reader is of Jewish, Messianic or Christian background, the AENT will become an important reference resource. For Jews who do not subscribe to Y’shua as Mashiyach (Ben Yoseph), they will discover a world of provocative ancient Jewish thought that is rarely discussed in Jewish circles. For Messianic Jews there are numerous ancient Aramaic terms and definitions that are presented with Hebrew cognates from the Tanakh (Old Testament) that puts much light on difficult or controversial verses. For Christians there is a wealth of insight and discussion on topics like the Melchisedec priesthood, the Acharit HaYamin (Latter Days), Grace, Trinity, Virgin Birth, Feminine Attributes, Judaizing, Legalism, the Name of Jesus, the origin of Christmas, Easter and Sunday, as well as insights into Spiritual Anointing, the Rapture and much more… discussed in more than 1700 detailed footnotes and 350 pages of appendix materials.

How is this translation different from all others?  It is different because of WHO translated it, WHAT the base Aramaic text is, WHERE it was translated, WHEN it was translated, WHY it was translated and HOW it was translated. In other words, this (Aramaic and English) Bible is VERY DIFFERENT from all others; so much so that some are fearful that it may not be “the way it’s supposed to be…”.

Andrew Gabriel Roth, producer of the AENT, is a … scholar who is one of the world’s foremost Aramaic Primacists. Roth has never been on the payroll of any religious institution, nor has he demonstrated a propensity to bolster either religious tradition or institutions. … (H)eworks closely with Paul Younan, Raphael Lataster, and many others to scrutinize every verse –  indeed every word  –  within its original context and meaning. Roth has invested over a decade into the production of this AENT which clearly reveals the Netzari Faith to an English speaking audience.

The Aramaic text used in the AENT is the most original autograph that modern scholars know of at time of publication – and most scholars agree that it is always best to translate from the oldest, most original text. When Greek New Testaments were going West, Aramaic texts were rapidly proliferating in the East; however, there is a marked contrast between the texts themselves. The Aramaic texts were maintained by scribes who had great reverence for each word, indeed each letter; but the same cannot be said of many Greek translations. No two Greek texts agree to the extent that over 360 Aramaic texts agree within the Peshitta family… The base text is extremely trustworthy and has been reproduced with acute meticulousness for nearly two millennia…

Where a translation is produced is of utmost importance! The AENT was produced within a global community, not in a seminary or under the influence of big business that requires “substantive changes” to the text to win copyright awards. The AENT was translated in a place of unbiased truth and, although the reader may find some verses awkward in flow, there is very good reason for this. The AENT is a side-by-side Interlinear that places English against the Aramaic text line-by-line, where the reader can easily investigate each word and verse to personally judge the accuracy of the translation.

The timing of the AENT could not be more crucial. The Khabouris Codex has been raising awareness of the Eastern Peshitta as the oldest and most original New Testament verses on Earth. It wasn’t until recently (late 1990’s) that many scholars began to investigate the claims of the Aramaic Primacist community. The AENT does not visit age-old arguments of Aramaic primacy, as this has been amply addressed in a proliferation of other publications. The AENT simply provides the reader with access to hundreds of ancient under-standings that until now have been unavailable to most English speakers.

We must consider why the AENT has come forth now, for such a time as this. For those who are actively monitoring world events and comparing them to prophetic demarcations there can be little doubt that humankind is traveling into the Acharit HaYamim or the Latter Days. In addition to many prophetic insights that are revealed in the body of this translation, there are also very specific Appendixes that deal with the Prophetic calendar.  Roth has done a masterful job on “Wheel of Stars” which investigates the very Ancient Hebrew calendar and accurately brings it right into our modern day. For those who are thinking about the implications of Mashiyach Ben David coming to Earth in the near future, the conclusions are sobering, to say the least.

The methodology of how a translator works is key to the end result.  Roth references every available Aramaic text known to the scholarly world and provides hundreds of detailed footnotes that discuss many variations. Not only does Roth discuss the choice of words of various translators but also his decision-making process, which opens the door for the reader to understand the complexities of making a translation…

Finally, the serious Bible student has access to the original ancient writings as reference sources for further personal and group study!  And for those who are simply curious about how this New Testament Bible is different from all others, they will not be disappointed. The AENT offers something for every believer who is preparing for the return of Mashiyach.

Editor’s Notes: There is much to commend this translation. However, it should be noted that the author and translator – Andrew Gabriel Roth – does have certain theological agendas. He calls himself a Netzari, which is a Hebraic way of saying a “Nazarene,” that is, someone who identifies with Yeshua. This New Testament is something of a “Sacred Name” translation, in that the author refuses to use terms like “God” or “Lord.” Instead, he uses terms like “YHWH” and “Elohim.” I have no problem with using terms like “YHWH” and “Elohim,” and using the terms myself. However, I do not believe it is wrong to use terms like God or Lord. Also, he uses the term “master” instead of “lord.” What’s the difference? They mean the same thing! However, unlike many Sacred Name Bibles, he uses the term “Y’shua” for the Messiah, which I like.

The Aramaic is on the right side, facing an English translation on the left side, with over 700 pages devoted the Aramaic and its English translation. It isn’t a true interlinear. However, it is easy to compare the English translation to the Aramaic. The Aramaic contains the nikud (vowel pointings), making for easier reading. It also uses a Modern Hebrew font. Anyone who reads Hebrew can easily read this volume, even if not understanding what is being said. In addition, there is a suffix of over 300 pages in which the author provides much useful information, along with a large dose of his own theology.

I am not expert enough in reading Aramaic to know how accurate his English translation is, although it does seem to be a rather literal translation, which I prefer. (I am not a fan of “dynamic” translations, nor do I like paraphrases.) Overall, despite these criticisms, I feel that this is a useful book. It is very attractively bound, with a gorgeous brown cover, high quality paper, and very professionally printed with highly readable fonts in both Aramaic and English. It comes also with a generous supply of footnotes (often containing the author’s personal theology). Unfortunately, it doesn’t contain many cross-references, such as a good cross-referenced study Bible would have.

I was particularly pleased with the translation and footnote on Revelation 22:14: “Blessed are they who do His Mitzvot (commandments), that they may have a right to the tree of life…” Most modern translations read something like the New American Standard: “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they might have the right to the tree of life…” The King James Version got this one right: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life…” Curiously, some Messianic Jewish translations delete the reference about doing the mitzvot (commandments). For instance, the new Tree of Life Messianic translation of Rev. 22:14 reads, “How fortunate are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life…”   I wrote to those on the translation committee regarding this error, and received no response.

The footnote in the Aramaic English New Testament on this verse is very helpful: “Very important! Y’shua is talking, so these are YHWH’s Mitzvot (commandments), not his. This is also the original reading in Revelation. The “wash their robes” line was substituted later, as a way to downplay the obvious pro-Torah message at the end of the New Testament. This is, in effect, the last speech Y’shua gives to the world. There are actually two ancient Greek witnesses that are split on the matter, and one may have arisen as a scribal error to the other between plunonies tasstolas (wash their robes) and poiountes tas entolas (do his commandments).”      RAC