The Hebraic Roots Bible makes the claim,

The original New Testament was not written in Greek, but Aramaic.

I thought that only the Gospel of Matthew might have been written in Aramaic, and that the rest of the NT was originally written in Greek.

There is also the strange claim that the name Yahshua (Jesus) appears in the Old Testament:

There are also almost 100 scriptures in the Tanach (Old Testament) that personify our Savior’s name. Due to the fact that most translations do not use our Savior’s original Hebrew name they totally miss this fact.

This is impossible because the Old Testament was written before Jesus was famous. Perhaps the word in these passages that the Hebraic Roots Bible translates as Yahshua should be translated as a simple word, not a name, as it is in other translations.

  • 3
    Googling peshitta brought me to this wikipedia article which does state that such is not the "mainstream" view. Given such quick partial results, I suspect someone will take the time to provide a real answer sometime soon(ish).
    – user3331
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 12:10
  • 1
    The Old Testament was not just written before Jesus of Nazareth was famous - but rather it was written 600 years before Jesus of Nazaerth was born! That said, Yehoshua was a popular name even at the time of Moses - 1440 or 1250BC... Commented May 13, 2013 at 14:05
  • 3

2 Answers 2


There are several evidences that New Testament was written in Aramaic. First century Israel spoke Aramaic. Not Greek. Jewish Historian and Priest Josephus tells us that Greek wasn't spoken in first century Israel and also "the extreme rarity" in terms of a Jew knowing Greek.

Josephus wrote:

"I have also taken a great deal of pains to obtain the learning of the Greeks, and understand the elements of the Greek language, although I have so long accustomed myself to speak our own tongue, that I cannot pronounce Greek with sufficient exactness; for our nation does not encourage those that learn the languages of many nations, and so adorn their discourses with the smoothness of their periods; because they look upon this sort of accomplishment as common, not only to all sorts of free-men, but to as many of the servants as please to learn them. But they give him the testimony of being a wise man who is fully acquainted with our laws, and is able to interpret their meaning; on which account, as there have been many who have done their endeavors with great patience to obtain this learning, there have yet hardly been so many as two or three that have succeeded therein, who were immediately well rewarded for their pains." - Antiquities of Jews XX, XI (AD 93).

Jewish Wars (Book 1, Preface, Paragraph 1): I have proposed to myself, for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books into the Greek tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our country, and sent to the Upper Barbarians. Joseph, the son of Matthias, by birth a Hebrew, a priest also, and one who at first fought against the Romans myself, and was forced to be present at what was done afterwards, [am the author of this work]."

In New Testament Bible, there are several names with "Bar". They are "Bar"tholomew, "Bar"abbas, "Bar"nabbas, Joseph "Bar"sabbas, Judas "Bar"sabbas, "Bar"Timaeus, Simon "Bar" Jonah, and "Bar" Jesus.

Aramaic word "Bar" means Son.

Jewish Wars Book 5, Chapter 4, Paragraph 2 - This new-built part of the city was called "Bezetha," in our language, which, if interpreted in the Grecian language, may be called "the New City."

"tha" at the end of "Bezetha" is the Aramaic definite article on a feminine noun in an emphatic state (Source - Book "Introduction to Syriac" by Wheeler Thackston, Page 44).

In Acts 1:19, Field of Blood was known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem in their own language as Akeldama which is the transliteration of Aramaic words "Khqel Dama."

Greek NT manuscripts contains several textual variations. According to Greek Scholar Herman C. Hoskier in his book "Codex B and it Allies" (1914) volume 2, there are 3,036 textual variations between Greek NT manuscript "Codex Sinaiticus" and Greek NT manuscript "Codex Vaticanus" in the text of the Gospels alone, enumerated as follows: Matthew: 656, Mark: 567, Luke: 791, John: 1022.

Many of the textual variations and confusions in Greek NT manuscripts are corrected by Aramaic New Testament known as Eastern Aramaic Peshitta. Here are 2 major examples. I want to write more. But it will be too long.

1) Romans 5:7-8 (Translated from Greek NT) - "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; though for the good man perhaps some one would even dare to die; but God renders his love for us conspicuous in this, that, we being yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Notice the word "righteous." This is confusing, because righteous and good are synonyms.

I believe H T Anderson's English translation of Greek NT manuscript Codex Sinaiticus (4th century AD) is one of the easiest to access on Internet.

Here is Aramaic Peshitta translation of Romans 5:7-8.

Romans 5:7-8 (Etheridge Translation) - "for hardly for the wicked one dieth; for on account of the good one may perhaps dare to die. Nevertheless Aloha hath manifested his love for us, in that, when we were sinners, the Meshiha for us died."

Unlike Greek NT which says "righteous", Aramaic Peshitta says "Wicked." Why is that?

This error in Greek NT happened due to a horrible mistranslation from Aramaic Peshitta which is explained in the below 5 minute youtube video.


2) 1 Corinthians 13:3

1 Corinthians 13:3 (KJV) says: “And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

The ISV of 1 Corinthians 13:3 says: “Even if I give away all that I have and surrender my body so that I may boast but have no love, I get nothing out of it.”

Versions that say burned or a variation thereof: ALT, AMP, ASV, BBE, CEV*, DARBY, Douay- Rheims, ESV*, Geneva, GodsWord, Holman, KJ21, KJV, LITV, MKJV, MSG, NASB*, NIV*, NIVUK, NKJV*, RSV, TEV, WE (Worldwide English), Webster, Weymouth, WYC (Wycliffe), YLT (Young’s Literal Translation).

The versions marked by an asterisk, *, have footnotes that mention that early mss (manuscripts) have boast or a variation thereof, rather than burn. It is noteworthy that the Alexandrian NU Text says boast also.

Versions that say boast or a variation thereof: ISV, NLT (New Living Translation), Rotherham.

The reading (kauchswmai, “I might boast”) is in Greek manuscripts like Ì46 Í A B 048 33 1739*.

The competing reading, (kauqhsomai, “I will burn”), is found in Greek manuscripts such as C D F G L 81 1175 1881* and a host of patristic writers. A few other Byzantine Greek readings include: (kauqhswmai) (“I might burn”) and καυθη∋ (“it might be burned”) read by 1505.

Now, it just so happens that the Aramaic root yqd can mean “to burn”, but can also mean “to boast”. It is clear that the disagreement in the Greek texts points to the Aramaic original.

Here is the verse from Aramaic Peshitta, translated by Aramaic scholar Paul Younan:

“And if I give all my possessions to feed {the poor,} and if I surrender my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”

You may ask why would Apostle Paul write to Jews & Gentiles in Aramaic in Greek or Turkish regions? Through Josephus, we know that Jews knowing Greek were extremely rare in first century AD.

We also know that Jews took their Aramaic language wherever they went. In Acts 21, when Jews who came from Asia (Turkish regions) saw Paul at temple of Jerusalem, they called "Men of Israel" for help in Aramaic. Asia refers to Turkish region in first century AD. Here is the link to the map - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1stMithritadicwar89BC.png

You can get more information from the below video and also through video description below the video.


Here is another difference between Greek NT manuscripts and Aramaic NT manuscripts.

In Acts 16:1 and Galatians 2:3 (of Greek NT manuscripts) point out that many of the important early Christians were Greek, such as Timothy and Titus.

But Acts 16:1 and Galatians 2:3 of Aramaic NT (Aramaic Peshitta) tell us that they were Arameans. Arameans are Aramaic speaking Gentiles in Syria. Greeks called Arameans "Syrians." This was mentioned by Greek Historian and Geographer Strabo (64 BC- 23 AD) in his book Geography.

That is why Laban the Aramean (in Genesis 31:24 of Hebrew Masoretic Text) is called Laban the Syrian (in Genesis 31:24 of Septuagint), "Aram" and "Arameans" (in 2 Samuel 8:6 of Hebrew Masoretic Text) are called "Syria" and "Syrians" (in 2 Samuel 8:6 of Septuagint).

That is why NIV translates "Aramean language" in (2 Kings 18:26 of Hebrew Masoretic Text) as "Aramaic" and Douay Rheims Bible translates "Syrian language" in 2 Kings 18:26 of Septuagint and "Syriace" in 2 Kings 18:26 of Latin Vulgate as Syriac.

But you may ask how is it possible that Jesus could not have spoken Greek since we see a Greek woman born in Syrian Phoenicia begging Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter in Mark 7:26?

In Greek NT manuscripts, we read that the woman is Greek. But in Aramaic Peshitta, it says the woman was heathen.

Mark 7:26 (Greek NT and NIV Translation of Greek NT) - "The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.”

But in Mark 7:26 of Aramaic NT says this - "But the woman was a heathen, from Phoenicia in Syria; and she besought him to cast out the demon from her daughter.”

I want to write more informations. But the post is too long already.

  • Great supporting details!
    – Steve
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 13:59
  • Steve, if you want more details, then I recommend peshitta.org. There are members there who can help you with more information.
    – konwayk
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 16:38

The hypothesis of an Aramaic original for the New Testament holds that the original text of the New Testament was not written in Greek, as held by the majority of scholars, but in the Aramaic language, which was the primary language of Jesus and his Twelve Apostles.

A traditional view Papias probably held early in the second century is that Matthew was written in Aramaic. Irenaeus around 180 CE also stated that Matthew's Gospel was written in either Hebrew or Aramaic ("their own language"):

(Against Heresies 3.1.1): ... Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church.

However, modern scholarship has shown the second-century Church Fathers to be quite wrong about the authorship of Matthew, since a synoptic reading of the gospels shows rather conclusively that much of the material in Matthew was copied from Mark in the Greek language. It has also been shown that some of the passages in John's Gospel could only have been written in Greek, for example the references to agape love and philia love in John 21:15-17.

Paul was a Jew of the diaspora, and diaspora Jews used Greek in their everyday lives, with many of them unfamiliar with the Aramaic (or Hebrew) of Palestinian Jews. The development of the Septuagint is evidence of this language difference. Whether writing for gentiles or for Jews of the diaspora, Paul wrote in the Greek Koine.

If John was originally written in Greek, then the three Johannine epistles can be expected to have been written in Greek. The Book of Revelation was written on the Greek island of Patmos and appears to be addressed to churches in Greek-speaking Asia Minor, so naturally it was written in Greek.

Apart from the testimony of the Church Fathers, writing in the second century, there is no reliable evidence that any part of the New Testament was written in either Aramaic or Hebrew.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .