The Original Gospels: an English Translation from the Old Syriac manuscripts, the Latin Codex Vercellensis and the most Ancient Greek Papyri

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Mark A Dumdei
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The ORIGINAL GOSPELS presents a very literal English translation of each of the four Gospels from the most ancient manuscripts. Although this translation is literal, it uses a modern English vocabulary, grammar and syntax. There is an introductory chapter on the life and times of Jesus in first century Palestine. It draws upon selections from such ancient writers and historians as Josephus, Philo of Alexandria, Tacitus, Suetonius, Dio, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the ancient Talmud. This historical background sets the stage for what unfolds in the gospels. All of the ancient theologians agreed that Matthew originally wrote in the native tongue of Palestine - Aramaic (also known as Syriac). This book translates the oldest Aramaic manuscripts directly into English. It includes numerous footnotes with alternate definitions of key Aramaic words, to help the reader fully appreciate what Jesus said and did - these Aramaic words have been transliterated into English characters to give the reader an idea of how they were pronounced. Many ancient and medieval sources claimed that MARK was written in Latin at Rome, rather than Greek. The very best Old Latin manuscript, the Codex Vercellensis, which has NEVER been previously translated into English, is now available for the first time! Lost portions of the Vercelli book have been replaced with readings from closely related Old Latin manuscripts, including the nearly identical Codex Sangallensis (n). The reader will discover that the Old Latin version lacks the difficult readings that plagued the Greek text, such as Mark 3:21, which said that the followers of Jesus thought He was out of his mind. LUKE and JOHN were indeed written in Greek, but only in the last 50 years have second century manuscripts been found. Unlike other manuscripts, these copies are nearly complete. Luke has been translated from Papyri 4 and 75, and John from Papyrus 66. The lacunae from these manuscripts have been filled in from the Codex Vaticanus, a 4th century text. Disputed and latter-day corrupted readings have been appended in separate sections at the end of each Gospel along with notations as to which of the other ancient manuscripts support them. Like the text of Matthew, the reader does not need to know Latin or Greek to appreciate the translation of Mark, Luke and John. This book was designed for pastors, teachers and students who desire to have a deeper understanding of what Jesus said and did according to the four evangelists.