Monday, December 12, 2011

Aramaic Polyglott

A polyglot (also spelled polyglott) is a book that contains side-by-side versions of the same text in several different languages. Some editions of the Bible or its parts are polyglots, in which the Hebrew and Greek originals are exhibited along with historical translations. Polyglots are useful for studying the history of the text and its interpretation. The first enterprise of this kind is the famous Hexapla of Origen of Alexandria, in which the Old Testament Scriptures were written in six parallel columns, the first containing the Hebrew text, the second a transliteration of this in Greek letters, the third and fourth the Greek translations by Aquila of Sinope and by Symmachus the Ebionite, the fifth the Septuagint version as revised by Origen, and the sixth the translation by Theodotion. However, as only two languages, Hebrew and Greek, were employed, the work should perhaps be called a diglott rather than a polyglot in the usual sense. After the invention of printing and the revival of philological studies, polyglots became a favourite means of advancing the knowledge of Middle Eastern languages, for which no good references were available, as well as for the study of Scripture. The series began with the Complutensian printed by Axnaldus Guilielmus de Brocario at the expense of Cardinal Ximenes at the university at Alcalá de Henares (Complutum). The first volume of this, containing the New Testament in Greek and Latin, was completed on January 10, 1514. In vols. ii.−v. (finished on July 10, 1517), the Hebrew text of the Old Testament was printed in the first column of each page, followed by the Latin Vulgate and then by the Septuagint version with an interlinear Latin translation. Below these stood the Chaldee, again with a Latin translation. The sixth volume containing an appendix is dated 1515, but the work did not receive the papal sanction until March 1520, and was apparently not issued until 1522. The chief editors were Juan de Vergara, Lopez de Zuniga (Stunica), Nunez de Guzman (Pincianus), Antonio de Librixa (Nebrissensis), and Demetrius Ducas. About half a century after the Complutensian came the Antwerp Polyglot, printed by Christopher Plantin (1569-1572, in eight volumes folio). The principal editor was Arias Montanus, aided by Guido Fabricius Boderianus, Raphelengius, Masius, Lucas of Bruges, and others. This work was under the patronage of Philip II of Spain; it added a new language to those of the Complutensian by including the Syriac
New Testament; and, while the earlier polyglot had only the Targum of Onkelos on the Pentateuch, the Antwerp Bible had also the Targum on the Prophets, and on Esther, Job, Psalms, and the Salomonic writings. Next came Guy Michel Le Jay's Paris Polyglot (1645), which embraces the first printed texts of the Syriac Old Testament (edited by Gabriel Sionita, a Maronite, but the Book of Ruth by Abraham Ecchellensis, also a Maronite) and of the Samaritan Pentateuch and version by Jean Morin (Morinus). It has also an Arabic version, or rather a series of various Arabic versions. The last great polyglot is Brian Walton's (London, 1657), which is much less beautiful than Le Jay's but more complete in various ways, including, among other things, the Syriac of Esther and of several apocryphal books for which it is wanting in the Paris Bible, Persian versions of the Pentateuch and Gospels, and the Psalms and New Testament in Ethiopic. Walton was aided by able scholars and used much new manuscript material. His prolegomena and collections of various readings mark an important advance in biblical criticism. It was in connection with this polyglot that Edmund Castell produced his famous Heptaglott Lexicon (two volumes folio, London, 1669), a monument of industry and erudition even when allowance is made for the fact that for the Arabic he had the great manuscript lexicon compiled and left to the University of Cambridge by William Bedwell. The liberality of Cardinal Ximenes, who is said to have spent half a million ducats on it, removed the Complutensian polyglot from the risks of commerce. The other three editions all brought their promoters to the verge of ruin.

Subsequent polyglots are of little scholarly importance, the best recent texts having been confined to a single language; but at least into the early 20th century many biblical students still used Walton and, if it was available, Le Jay. The numerous polyglot editions of parts of the Bible include the Genoa
psalter of 1516, edited by Agostino Giustiniani, bishop of Nebbio. This is in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Chaldee, and Arabic, and is interesting from the character of the Chaldee text, being the first specimen of Western printing in the Arabic writing system, and from a curious note on Christopher Columbus and the discovery of America on the margin of Psalm xix.

Hexapla is the term for an edition of the Bible in six versions. Especially it applies to the edition of the Old Testament compiled by Origen of Alexandria, which placed side by side: Hebrew, Secunda – Hebrew transliterated into Greek characters, Aquila of Sinope, Symmachus the Ebionite, A recension of the Septuagint, with (1) interpolations to indicate where the Hebrew is not represented in the Septuagint—these are taken mainly from Theodotion's text and marked with asterisks, and (2) indications, using signs called obeloi (singular: obelus), of where words, phrases, or occasionally larger sections in the Septuagint do not reflect any underlying Hebrew and Theodotion. Origen's eclectic recension of the Septuagint had a significant influence on the Old Testament text in several important manuscripts, such as the Codex Sinaiticus. The original work, which is said to have had about 6000 pages in 50 volumes and which probably only ever existed in a single complete copy, seems to have been stored in the library of the bishops of Caesarea for some centuries, but it was lost in the Muslim invasion of the year 638 at the latest. The subsisting fragments of partial copies have been collected in several editions, for example that of Frederick Field (1875). The fragments are now being re-published (with additional materials discovered since Field's edition) by an international group of Septuagint scholars. This work is being carried out as The Hexapla Project under the auspices of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies and directed by Peter J. Gentry (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), Alison G. Salvesen (Oxford University), and Bas ter Haar Romeny (Leiden University).

Symmachus the Ebionite Symmachus (fl. late 2nd century) was the author of one of the Greek versions of the Old Testament. It was included by Origin in his Hexapla and Tetrapla, which compared various versions of the Old Testament side by side with the Septuagint. Some fragments of Symmachus's version that survive, in what remains of the Hexapla, inspire scholars to remark on the purity and idiomatic elegance of Symmachus' Greek. He was admired by Jerome, who used his work in composing the Vulgate. . Eusebius inferred that Symmachus was an Ebionite (βιωνίτης Σύμμαχος "Symmachus the Ebionite"), but this is now generally thought to be unreliable. The alternative is that he was a Samaritan who converted to Judaism. Epiphanius' account that Symmachus was a Samaritan who having quarrelled with his own people converted to Judaism is now given greater credence, since Symmachus' exegetical writings give no indication of Ebionism. According to Bruce M. Metzger the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures prepared by Symmachus followed a "theory and method ...the opposite of that of Aquila, for his aim was to make an elegant Greek rendering. To judge from the scattered fragments that remain of his translation, Symmachus tended to be paraphrastic in representing the Hebrew original. He preferred idiomatic Greek constructions in contrast to other versions in which the Hebrew constructions are preserved. Thus he usually converted into a Greek participle the first of two finite verbs connected with a copula. He made copious use of a wide range of Greek particles to bring out subtle distinctions of relationship that the Hebrew cannot adequately express. In more than one passage Symmachus had a tendency to soften anthropomorphic expressions of the Hebrew text". However, Symmachus aimed to preserve the meaning of his Hebrew source text by a more literal translation than the Septuagint. According to Eusebius Symmachus also wrote commentaries, then still extant, apparently written to counter the canonical Greek Gospel of Matthew, his Hypomnemata it may be related to the De distinctione præceptorum, mentioned in the catalogue of the Nestorian metropolitan Abdiso Bar Berika (d.1318)
Eusebius also records Origen's statement that he obtained these and others of Symmachus' commentaries on the scriptures from a certain Juliana, who, he says, inherited them from Symmachus himself (Historia Ecclesiae, VI: xvii) Palladius of Galatia (Historia Lausiaca, lxiv) records that he found in a manuscript that was "very ancient" the following entry made by Origen: "This book I found in the house of Juliana, the virgin in Caesarea, when I was hiding there; who said she had received it from Symmachus himself, the interpreter of the Jews". The date of Origen's stay with Juliana was probably 238-41, but Symmachus's version of the Scriptures had already been known to Origen when he wrote his earliest commentaries, ca 228. From the language of many later writers who speak of Symmachus, he must have been a man of great importance among the Ebionites,
for "Symmachians" remained a term applied by Catholics even in the fourth century to the Nazarenes or Ebionites, as we know from the pseudepigraphical imitator of Ambrose, the Ambrosiaster, Prologue to the Epistle to the Galatians, and from Augustine's writings against heretics.

US Military Legacy rubs off on Iraqi youth

By Bushra Juhi, Sat. Nov 26, 2011 BAGHDAD (AP) — After more than eight years in Iraq, the departing American military's legacy includes a fledgling democracy, bitter memories of war, and for the nation's youth, rap music, tattoos and slang. In other words, as the Dec. 31 deadline for completing their withdrawal approaches, U.S. troops are leaving behind the good, the bad and what "Lil Czar" Mohammed calls the "punky." Sporting baggy soldiers' camouflage pants, high-top sneakers and a back-turned "N.Y." baseball cap, the chubby 22-year-old was showing off his break-dancing moves on a sunny afternoon in a Baghdad park. A $ sign was shaved into his closely cropped hair. "While others might stop being rappers after the Americans leave, I will go on (rapping) till I reach N.Y.," said Mohammed, who teaches part-time at a primary school. His forearm bore a tattoo of dice above the words "GANG STAR." That was the tattooist's mistake, he said; it was supposed to say "gangsta." Eight million Iraqis — a quarter of the population — have been born since the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, and nearly half the country is under 19, according to Brett McGurk, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and, until recently, senior adviser to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. So after years of watching U.S. soldiers on patrol, it's inevitable that hip-hop styles, tough-guy mannerisms and slangy English patter would catch on with young Iraqis. Calling themselves "punky," or "hustlers," many are donning hoodie sweat shirts, listening to 50 Cent or Eminem and watching "Twilight" vampire movies. They eat hamburgers and pizza and do death-defying Rollerblade runs through speeding traffic. Teens spike their hair or shave it Marine-style. The "Iraq Rap" page on Facebook has 1,480 fans. To many of their fellow Iraqis, the habits appear weird, if not downright offensive. But to the youths, it is a vital part of their pursuit of the American dream as they imagine it to be. "Lil Czar" Mohammed, a Shiite Muslim, says he was introduced to American culture by a Christian friend, Laith, who subsequently had to flee the anti-Christian violence that broke out in Baghdad. "I had nothing to help my friend, he left," he said. "But when I get the money and become a rich boss, I will tell my friend Laith to come back." Meanwhile, he said, he is trying to record a rap song in Arabic and English. "It is about our situation. About no jobs for us." "I love the American soldiers," said Mohammed Adnan, 15, who pastes imitation tattoos on his arm. Adnan lives in the Sadr City, the Baghdad base of followers of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who has threatened violence against U.S. troops if they stay beyond 2011. But, surprisingly, Adnan says the U.S. gangsta look is accepted in his neighborhood. "All young men in Sadr City wear the same clothes when we hang around," he said. "Nobody minds. And we're invited to weddings or celebrations where we perform break-dancing." It all adds up to a taste of the wide world for a society which lived for decades under Saddam Hussein's dictatorship that deprived them of satellite TV, cell phones and the Internet, and then through invasion, terrorism and sectarian killing. Not all Iraqis welcome the culture the Americans brought. Dr. Fawzia A. al-Attia, a sociologist at Baghdad University, says one result is that young Iraqis now reject school uniforms, engage in forbidden love affairs and otherwise rebel against their elders. "There was no strategy to contain this sudden openness," she said. "Teenagers, especially in poor areas where parents are of humble origin and humble education, started to adopt the negative aspects of the American society because they think that by imitating the Americans, they obtain a higher status in society. "These young Iraqi people need to be instructed," she said. "They need to know about the positive aspects of the American society to imitate." Like many Iraqis, high school student Maytham Karim wants to learn English. But the English he hears most often from his peers — and mostly those who listen to American music — is laden with profanity. "The F- and the 'mother' words are used a lot, which is a very negative thing," Karim said. As U.S. forces began closing their bases Iraqis rummaged through their garbage for discarded uniforms, caps and boots to sell to youngsters who pay top dollar to dress like soldiers. Baghdad's tattoo business is also booming. Hassan Hakim's tattoo parlor in affluent Karradah neighborhood is covered with glossy pictures of half-naked men and women showing off their ink, regardless of Islam's strictures on baring the skin. The storefront caused a stir when it opened last summer, but complaints soon died down and the business is thriving. "Iraqi youth are eager in a very unusual way to get tattoo on their bodies, probably because of the American presence here," said Hakim, 32, who is attending graduate school at Baghdad's Fine Arts Academy. "Four years ago, people were concealing their tattoos when in public, but now they use their designs to show off. It is the vogue now." Most of Hakim's customers are Iraqi security guards imitating their American counterparts. They demand tattoos of coffins, skulls, snakes, dragons, bar codes, Gothic letters and crosses. Female customers prefer flowers and butterflies on their shoulders. Also, many young women now dare to wear tight tops and hip-hugging jeans with their hijabs, or head coverings. Some also sport miniature dogs. Showbiz and military chic aside, young Iraqis agree that the American troops opened their minds to the outside world. The wait for a place in an English class, for example, can last months. "I found that all Iraqis want to learn English," said Nawras Mohammed, and using the Internet or watching satellite TV is fine. But users need to be selective, the 24-year-old college graduate said. "The positive and the negative aspects of the American presence," she said, "depend on us."

Now, granted some of these cultural influences are negative but on the other hand, the Arab world needs to loosen up a little bit. I don't believe in tattoos, but here you have Muslims getting tattoos of crosses-that is awesome. All of this isn't surprising. Many of our soldiers are 18-24 years old.

US Soldier: Removal of Cross is an attack on Christianity By Todd Starnes Fox News, Nov 24, 2011 U.S. soldiers assigned to Camp Marmal in northern Afghanistan said the removal of a cross from an Army chapel has created a "huge controversy" and at least one soldier called it a "direct attack against Christianity and Judaism." A Pentagon spokesman told Fox News & Commentary that the cross was removed after someone complained. He also said the cross violated Army regulations. "Military chapels have to be open to all denominations and as such can't have permanent symbols of one particular religion or another," said Commander Williams Speaks. The chapel is used for general Protestant services and a Baptist church service. There is a smaller chapel used for other services. The camp also has a mosque and a German chapel that is used for Catholic services. Speaks said the cross was erected about a month ago – but when questions were raised the Army unit's chaplain consulted the rules and "realized that taking it down was the appropriate thing to do." Army Regulation 165-1, 12-3k states:"The chapel environment will be religiously neutral when the facility is not being used for scheduled worship. Portable religious symbols, icons, or statues may be used within a chapel during times of religious worship." "Symbols are to be moved or covered when not in use during services. Distinctive religious symbols, such as crosses, crucifixes, the Star of David, Menorah, and other religious symbols will not be affixed or displayed permanently on the chapel interior, exterior, or grounds. Permanent or fixed chapel furnishings, such as the altar, pulpit, lectern, or communion rail will be devoid of distinctive religious symbols." A soldier stationed at Camp Marmal contacted Fox News & Commentary and said soldiers are very upset that the cross was removed. "My personal feeling is that it is a direct attack against Christianity and Judaism," said the soldier who asked not to be identified. "When you look at the regulation and you notice the four items directly quoted are crosses, crucifixes, the Star of David and the Menorah." The Army regulation makes no specific mention of the wheel of Dharma, Pentagram, Pentacle, Star and Crescent or the Yin and Yang symbol, he noted. "There is a huge controversy about the cross removal," the soldier said. "There are several like myself who never knew such a regulation existed and are speaking out about it." However, Speaks said there had been complaints. "I've also heard that there were some that were upset about the cross to begin with," he told Fox News. "Our job as military service members is to abide by the UCMJ and other regulations to ensure that all religious denominations and religious of our service members are treated fairly. And that is accomplished by taking down the Christian symbol? Speaks said it is his understanding that the rule applies not just to that particular camp – but all military chapels. Some conservative leaders said it's proof of an effort underway to sanitize the military and country of Christianity. "What's the purpose of a chapel?" asked Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. "The timing of this – what a way to celebrate Thanksgiving." "There's a sole purpose of a chapel and it's to worship – whether it's Catholic or Protestant. Americans who serve in the military are overwhelmingly Christian." The soldier said the military is not hostile towards religion. Instead, he called it a direct attack from secularists and atheists. "If they are able to erase Christian symbols from the military, then it can be pushed to be erased in the private sector," he said. However, rules are rules, he said – and in spite of his personal beliefs the soldier said he will follow Army regulations. "As a soldier, I will follow the orders," he said. "My fight is not to have the cross put back up," the solider told Fox News. "My fight is to have the regulation changed. My God is bigger than a wooden and I don't need to defend Him."

This is not a new issue but it is probably the first time this issue has received such public exposure. For over twenty years the army has had chapels religiously "neutral" after and in between services. I think this is actually an absurd and a bad idea. The reason that this is done is because of a lawsuit from the early 1980s.

UN: Syrian Forces Commit Crimes Against Humanity , Nov 28, 2011 AP A U.N. investigation released Monday accused Syrian forces of killing and torturing children and other crimes against humanity over the past eight months as President Bashar Assad's regime tried to crush an unprecedented uprising. The investigation added to mounting international pressure on Assad. On Sunday, the Arab League approved sweeping sanctions to push his embattled regime to end the violence against mostly unarmed protesters. The report by a U.N. Human Rights Council panel, released in Geneva, found that at least 256 children were killed by government forces between mid-March and early November, with some of them tortured to death. "Torture was applied equally to adults and children," said the report. "Numerous testimonies indicated that boys were subjected to sexual torture in places of detention in front of adult men." The report was compiled by a panel of independent experts who were not allowed into Syria. But the commission said that it interviewed 223 victims and witnesses, including defectors from Syria's security forces, since September. It said that men and boys were sexually tortured at military detention facilities, and a 2-year-old girl was shot to death just to prevent her from growing up to be a demonstrator. The panel said government forces were given "shoot to kill" orders to crush demonstrations. Some troops "shot indiscriminately at unarmed protesters," while snipers targeted others in the upper body or head. The full list of alleged crimes committed by Syrian forces included "murder, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence," said panel chairman Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, a Brazilian professor. "We have a very solid body of evidence." Syrian officials have not commented directly on the report. The report and the sanctions are the latest in a growing wave of international measures pressuring Damascus to end its crackdown. Syria reacted sharply to the sanctions, betraying a deep concern over the economic impact. Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Syria had withdrawn 95 percent of its assets in Arab countries. Economy Minister Mohammed Nidal al-Shaar said once the sanctions take hold, "sources of foreign currency would be affected." The comment reflected concern that Arab investment in Syria will fall off and transfers from Syrians living in other Arab will also drop. Al-Moallem called the sanctions "economic warfare," and said Syria had means to retaliate."Sanctions are a two-way street," he warned in a televised news conference. "We don't want to threaten anyone, but we will defend the interests of our people." Nevertheless, he tried to play down the impact, insisting Syria is self-sufficient. "There is absolutely no concern our people will go hungry or cold," he said. The sanctions include cutting off transactions with Syria's central bank, and are expected to squeeze an ailing economy that already is under sanctions by the U.S. and the European Union. "We've always said that global sanctions, without Arab sanctions, will not be as effective," said Said Hirsh, Mideast economist with Capital Economics in London. Some 60 percent of Syria's exports go to Arab countries. Analysts concede that the sanctions' effectiveness will hinge largely on whether Arab countries enforce them. Iraq and Lebanon, which abstained from the Arab League vote, may continue to be markets for Syrian goods, in defiance of the sanctions. Syria shares long borders with both countries and moving goods in and out would be easy. Still, there is no question the uprising is eviscerating the economy. Hirsh said forecasts indicate Syria's economy will contract by 5 percent this year and could shrink by another 10 percent in 2012 if sanctions are enforced and the Assad regime stays in power. The economic troubles threaten the business community and prosperous merchant classes that are key to propping up the regime. An influential bloc, the business leaders have long traded political freedoms for economic privileges. The opposition has tried to rally these largely silent, but hugely important, sectors of society. But Assad's opponents have failed so far to galvanize support in Damascus and Aleppo -- the two economic centers in Syria. Sunday's sanctions, however, could chip away at their resolve. Syria has seen the bloodiest crackdown against the Arab Spring's eruption of protests, with at least 3,500 people killed since March. Deaths in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen have numbered in the hundreds. Libya's toll is unknown and likely higher than Syria's, but the conflict there differed because it descended early on into an outright civil war between two armed sides. Since the revolt began, the regime has blamed the bloodshed on terrorists acting out a foreign conspiracy to divide and undermine Syria. Until recently, most of the bloodshed appeared to be caused by security forces firing on mainly peaceful protests. But lately, there have been growing reports of army defectors and armed civilians fighting Assad's forces -- a development that some say plays into the regime's hands by giving government troops a pretext to crack down with overwhelming force. The U.N. Security Council was likely to discuss the Arab League sanctions Monday, but no formal action was on the agenda, according to Germany's U.N. Ambassador Peter Wittig. Last month, Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed Security Council resolution condemning the bloodshed in Syria, arguing that NATO misused a previous U.N. mandate authorizing use of force in Libya. Syria is depending on the strong support from Russia and China to withstand the sanctions and growing isolation. Violence continued Monday, with activists reporting at least 10 Syrians killed, including seven in the restive Homs province. The toll was impossible to verify because Syria has banned most foreign journalists and prevented independent reporting. The armed and political wings of the Syrian opposition also took a step Monday toward increasing their cooperation. A delegation from the opposition Syrian National Council headed by its leader Burhan Ghalioun meeting with the Turkey-based leader of the so-called Free Syrian Army, a group of army defectors who have recently been fighting back Assad's forces. The SNC said the two sides agreed to form a joint committee tasked with coordinating movements on the ground. The Syrian opposition has struggled to overcome infighting and disagreements over the country's future in order to present a unified, credible alternative to Assad. If the groups coalesce, they could persuade more Syrians to abandon the regime.


"Saving the Bill of Rights" This book chronicles how the Leftists in America are striving to do away with the Bill of Rights. "American Nations" America seems to be more disunited that every. The country is polarized and split between the Left and conservatives. How can we be a people when we have nothing in common? This book shows the history behind the disunited states. "Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem" a very interesting book that shows that Columbus viewed his explorations as part of the Crusade against Islam. Website: "The Desert Tabernacle"

Obama: Troubling Developments: On Thanksgiving, Mr. Obama deliberately refused to acknowledge God in his Thanksgiving address to the nation. This is startling because Thanksgiving is a holiday set aside to thank God for his blessing. It is odd how he advances radical secularism in the United States (anti-Christianism) and yet advances political Islam abroad. In early December, Obama tied foreign aid to a countries "gay rights" policy. So, if a country doesn't have laws favoring homosexuals-they will not receive US aid. Now, think about this. Our government has said for years that its hands are tied regarding the issue of persecution of Christians. We would like to help, but there is nothing we can do-so they say. But, we are so serious about homosexuality that we will refuse to help those in need-unless they support the "gay agenda."

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