HEBREW LETTER THIRD EDITION
ARAMAIC LETTER FIRST AND SECOND EDITIONS
On the front cover of the Aramaic
English New Testament is the
transcription of the phrase Ktaba qadisha,
or “Set-Apart Scriptures”. This title appears
on manuscripts for both the Peshitta Tanakh and Renewed
From an historical point of view,
as the centuries passed, rival assemblies like the
Church of the East and Syrian Orthodox Church both
altered their scripts so that their manuscripts
could never be confused for one another. However,
as a heading both organizations kept the Estrangela
heading intact as shown here, and both acknowledge
as a consequence, that the Eastern traditions in
terms of calligraphic style and content are indeed
the most ancient.
From ancient times until today the sopherim1
(scribes) who copied from the originals have
laboured (and suffered) to preserve the accuracy of
each manuscript. If the saying is true in any
other context, it is most certainly true here that
we "stand on the shoulders of giants". Through
the ages the scribes have lovingly and carefully
preserved these "Set-Apart Scriptures" so that all
who seek Mashiyach today may learn of and enter into
the Kingdom of Elohim.
It has been said by some that long after the digital
age is over the ancient texts will still live on,
indeed there are possibly hundreds of ancient texts
that have not yet been discovered and perhaps some
are held by those who don't recognize them or regard
their importance to mankind. Nevertheless, we
do in fact have access to "the words of life" in
this generation like never before, and within the
Aramaic English New Testament you will find the
closest to the original New Testament text and
translation that has appeared since the First
Century when it was written.
With a few clicks we can surf the net and view a
proliferation of ancient Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek
texts online, but let's also be mindful of the vast
differences in the presentation of each manuscript.
Within the proliferation of translators and scribes
over the millennia there are very distinct
The Hebrew and Aramaic scribes who viewed their work
as Ktaba qadisha,
or “Set-Apart Scriptures” took great effort to
craft each letter and beautify each page.
As we compare various texts let's also bear it in
mind the relationship the scribe had with his work!
Ancient Eastern Aramaic texts are extremely
consistent because Aramaic scribes modeled their
writing styles after the scribes who wrote Torah
Word by word and line by line Eastern scribes
crafted each letter and gauged how each page would
look when completed, the scribe wanted each page to
look exactly the same as the original. By
copying each line exactly the scribe knew there
would be far less margin of error. Within the
Aramaic English New Testament you will find
footnotes that indicate extremely minor variations
between 360 ancient Aramaic manuscripts, you will
notice an amazing degree of accuracy that spans
nearly 1900 years of the manuscript record.
Let it never be forgotten that the ancient Hebrew
and Aramaic scribes believed that their work was
"Set Apart unto YHWH" even more important to them
than life itself. Over the ages these words of
Shimon Keefa (Peter) have echoed from the desks of
the scribes themselves when he stated:
"My Master, to whom should we go?
You have the words of life that is eternal."
Yochanan (John) 6:68 AENT
Sopherim (scribes) in this context simply
refers to those who have the profession of writing
and copying texts. Y'shua however spoke of
"scribes and Pharisees" who were both political and
religious entities of his day. The scribes
that Y'shua references (as a sect) and the Pharisees
both rejected Y'shua as Mashiyach in favor of their
own man-made religious systems.