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The Lords Prayer in Aramaic

I came across this a year or two back and was quite concerned that it was being purveyed as a translation when it quite clearly is not. Now my Hebrew is not extensive but enough that when combined with training in linguistics and biblical interpretation I can tell when a 'midrash' is being offered. [PS inserted here. Since I wrote this originally and noting that this post gets a lot of hits, I have continued to research and would like to encourage readers to visit more recent posts here and here and I tend to add thinngs from time to time to a Squidoo Lens dedicated to the topic of Aramaic Lord's prayer]

Anyway, see for yourself the discrepancy between the quantity in the original and the English (as far as I can tell, the orthography is vaguely german, so 'j' is a 'y' sound etc.)
The Prayer To Our Father
(in the original Aramaic)
"Oh Thou, from whom the breath of life comes,
who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.
Nethkadasch schmach
May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.
Your Heavenly Domain approaches.
Nehwe tzevjinach aikana d'bwaschmaja af b'arha.
Let Your will come true - in the universe (all that vibrates)
just as on earth (that is material and dense).
Hawvlan lachma d'soonkanan jaomana.
Give us bread (understanding, assistance) for our daily need,
Waschboklan chaubein wachtahan aikana
daf chnan schwoken l'chaijaban.
detach the ropes of faults that bind us, (Karma)
like we let go the guilt of others.
Wela tachlan l'nesjuna
Let us not be lost in superficial things (materialism, common temptations),
ela patzan min bischa.
but let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose.
Metol dilachie malkutha wahaila wateschbuchta l'ahlam almein.
From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act,
the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age.
Sealed in trust, faith and truth.
(I confirm with my entire being)

What is actually going on here is that a version of the Lord's prayer which was used by Aramaic speakers (Syriac?) has been taken and 'translated' in a dynamic equivalence sort of way and some further work done on it in terms of expanding some of the words or phrases to offer an interpretive gloss in terms that seem palatable to a 'new age' sort of take on things.

The interesting thing is the way a spurious 'authority' is gained for a philosophical framework which is probably not really consonant with Jesus's but using Jesus' words. That Jesus' authority is sought is probably significant. It is also worth noting what terms are fairly comprehensively reinterpreted and how. There are clues here for how we might begin to translate the gospel into new spirituality terms.

I would highlight the desire to use a 'vibration' metaphysic, the use of 'karma', the aligning of God's will with a sense of our true purpose and imagery that takes readily to artistic metaphor.

The page has some other translation which bear some study alongside this one. I actually quite like this one, definitely not a translation but a really nice reflection:
O Birther! Father- Mother of the Cosmos
Focus your light within us - make it useful.
Create your reign of unity now-
through our fiery hearts and willing hands
Help us love beyond our ideals
and sprout acts of compassion for all creatures.
Animate the earth within us: we then
feel the Wisdom underneath supporting all.
Untangle the knots within
so that we can mend our hearts' simple ties to each other.
Don't let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back from our true purpose.
Out of you, the astonishing fire,
Returning light and sound to the cosmos.

PS. I would have to say that it translates Jesus' thoughts into a thought frame that is not his originally and which therefore may appear to have him endorse views of life, the universe and everything that he may not recognise as [at all?] consonant with his message in important ways.

On a positive note, we can see John in the Gospel that bears his name translating the thought-forms into a more Hellenistic thoughtframe in a way that could serve as a model for what this 'translation' seems to be attempting to do.

Just to illustrate my contention about 'overtranslation'; "Abwon" is ab, a common Semitic root for "father", the 'won' corresponds to the Hebrew 'nu' meaning 'our'. Simple, there is no real justification to translate ""Oh Thou, from whom the breath of life comes," than there would be to translate the French "notre Pere" in that way, or the German "Unser Vater" likewise, or "padre nuestro", or "Ein Tad", or "Pater noster" ... to do more than translate as "our Father" is to engage in a kind of ideological sleight of hand and it would be somewhat dishonest to knowingly pass it off as if it were a simple translation of the "=our father" sort which is the way that it was presented to me. It is a commentary, someone's view of how the word[s] might be rendered in terms of a particular preunderstanding of spiritual life that is not directly attributable to Jesus. Is it faithful? That's another issue. But by passing it off and passing it on as if it were a simple translation that question is being avoided and implicitly answered in a way that really deserves more scrutiny.

If the so-called translation was distributed as a commentary or a meditation on the Aramaic in the light of a perspective informed by the Philosophia Perennis, for example, I would not cavil. But...

For further thought on the Lord's prayer try this site and the book that goes with it and/or the lead from this comment. Also here and here for a bit on the midrash aspect.
And an ongoing collection of Aramaic translations and comments on translation related issues.
For a copy of "Praying the Pattern" ...

See also later comment.
If you fancy the Aramaic of the prayer on a tee-shirt or a mug ...
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