Your personal benefits with aramaic and the syriac peshitta
I am seriously considering to learn aramaic but I´m not yet sure which benefits I have with it. I need some subjective inspiration.
Do you think it was worth to effort so much time and energy into learning that language? In other words, would you do it again?
Do you still have usage for aramaic and the peshitta or is it already shelved?
Can you tell me something about how your thinking of scripture has changed when you read/study the peshitta?
I am grateful if you would take the time to think about that and write a few lines.
Thx in advance,
PS. I should add that I don´t know hebrew yet. I will learn it at my seminary in the near future.
I think the greater benefit of learning Aramaic is that it would yield the ability to read and interpret/understand the Aramaic Targums (paraphrases) of the Old Testament. The Aramaic Targums give us a window into how Jewish scholars understood the Hebrew Bible before Jesus. As an example, Isaiah 52:12 reads "Behold My servant shall prosper ..." The Aramaic Targum on the verse reads "Behold My servant the Messiah shall prosper ..." This reveals that the ancient Jewish interpreters regarded Isaiah 53 (52:12-15 is the prologue) as a messianic passage.
But I would encourage you to take and master Hebrew first.
Yes, one thing is being able to read the Targumin, then the Peshitta. Both included in the BibleWorks Base package. Aramaic is a different kind of thinking than the Greek language. You can read the Language of the Lord Jesus and understand the substratum of the Greek New Testament. Then there are the parts of the Old Testament (Esra, Daniel) written in Aramaic.
Mastering Aramaic first will help you learning Hebrew. I like to compare both languages.
Everybody interested in the Peshitta should buy the morphologically tagged Version for BibleWorks. There is even a dictionary included and transcripts as well. I like it very much and want to thank BibleWorks for this gread Add-on for a fair price. Reading the Peshitta is much more fun with it.
Yours in Christ
Thx for your answers, Irving and Peter. I just decided against the language for now...