Monday, April 24, 2017

"God is a Spirit" - Original Aramaic Document and Synoptic Gospels

A Mountainous Area Northwest of Tokyo

Original Aramaic Document and Synoptic Gospels

It is said that Gospels according to Luke and Matthew were written based on the Gospel according to Mark.  But all these three Gospels were included in the New Testament as synoptic Gospels.

But what does it mean: "based on the Gospel according to Mark?"

I think rather it is more plausible that all these three Gospels were written by translation of one original document written in Aramaic, the language widely used in Palestine in the era of the mission by Christ Jesus.  Therefore, the differences among these three Gospels are ascribed to difference in interpretation.

For example, the scene that the tomb of Christ Jesus was found to have been opened and some angels were met with by some women is described as follows in each synoptic Gospel:
Mark 16:1-8They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified...  
Luke 24:1-10
And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen...  
Matthew 28:1-8And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel said to the women...     
The original document must include ambiguous expressions about the situation when the women got to the tomb and saw mysterious angles and what the angels said to them.  So, each Gospel writer used his imagination to set up his unique version.

Accordingly, the early-Christian church authority could not decide what was more authentic among the three, since the original Aramaic document must have been lost after these Gospels were written.

As long as all the synoptic Gospels were based on interpretation of the same original document and they were written by those who were close to Paul and Peter, the later early-Christian authority could not choose one of them but had to accept them all together.

The fact that there were only three synoptic Gospels must mean that only limited people had been allowed to read the original Aramaic document.  It must have been a big secret for Paul or Peter.

But the bigger mystery remains about who had written the original Aramaic document.

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Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.