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  #1  
Old Mar 4, '09, 8:26 pm
surritter surritter is offline
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Default Peter, Rock, and Kepha: Do nouns have gender in Aramaic?

I've been defending the Catholic interpretation of Matt. 16:18-19 to a Protestant friend, and he asked me a specific question that has me stumped.

My defense was based on what I learned from Karl Keating's tract about "Peter the Rock" but mostly from Tim Staples treatment of the subject at http://www.envoymagazine.com/backiss...sandbolts.html.

I don't intend for this thread to delve into all the language nuances of petra/petros and kepha etc. -- I already know that stuff (and it's been discussed here). But in Tim Staples' piece, he made a statement that my friend is challenging me to back up. Specifically, when describing the Aramaic kepha, Tim wrote that "In Aramaic, nouns do not have gender as they do in Greek."

My friend disagrees that Aramaic nouns lack gender, and wonders what Aramaic lexicon I am using. (I haven't let on that it's not me but Mr. Staples that supplies my arguments!)

So does anyone know of a lexicon or a specific book on Aramaic that supports Tim's claim?
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  #2  
Old Mar 5, '09, 7:39 am
Luvs2Learn Luvs2Learn is offline
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Default Re: Peter, Rock, and Kepha: Do nouns have gender in Aramaic?

I don't know of a specific Lexicon that supports Tims claim however, The Orthodox Study bible, which is used by the Eastern Orthodox church(Hense, Greeks, Antochians , etc..) who had the access to the original Greek translations actually states that 16:18Peter/rock is a play on the word "rock" in both Aramaic and Greek (petros/petra). This rock refers not to Peter per se, but to "the faith of his confession" (JohnChr).
So they are basically saying that Simon Peter was called the Rock, Cephas.

Note this study bible does not point out "small pebble" . If this was the intention of the translation don't you think the Orthodox study bible would note that. They after all dispute the Papal authority and would make that distinction if it was so. they do not make that distinction. and they also do not disput the ancestrial rights of Apostolic succession.

I don't know if this will help you out, but I came across it in reading and thought it was very interesting.
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  #3  
Old Mar 5, '09, 9:08 am
mlchance mlchance is offline
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Default Re: Peter, Rock, and Kepha: Do nouns have gender in Aramaic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by surritter View Post
...when describing the Aramaic kepha, Tim wrote that "In Aramaic, nouns do not have gender as they do in Greek."
A point that bears repeating is that a noun's gender in Greek (as well as Latin) doesn't mean that the noun in question is of that gender. For example, the Latin word pencillus is masculine, but that doesn't mean pencils are male.

-- Mark L. Chance.
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  #4  
Old Mar 5, '09, 10:28 am
Le Cracquere Le Cracquere is offline
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Default Re: Peter, Rock, and Kepha: Do nouns have gender in Aramaic?

I gather that in all its multiform dialects, Aramaic was a fairly typical Semitic language--like Hebrew and Arabic (as well as Spanish and French), it has two grammatical genders: masculine and feminine. These "genders" have no necessary correlation with the referent's sex--a noun that's grammatically feminine might be used to describe a man, and a grammatically masculine noun a woman. (As Mark Twain famously pointed out of German, "in that language, a young lady has no gender, but a turnip does.")
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  #5  
Old Mar 5, '09, 1:49 pm
Nita Nita is offline
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Default Re: Peter, Rock, and Kepha: Do nouns have gender in Aramaic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by surritter View Post
I've been defending the Catholic interpretation of Matt. 16:18-19 to a Protestant friend, and he asked me a specific question that has me stumped.

My defense was based on what I learned from Karl Keating's tract about "Peter the Rock" but mostly from Tim Staples treatment of the subject at http://www.envoymagazine.com/backiss...sandbolts.html.

I don't intend for this thread to delve into all the language nuances of petra/petros and kepha etc. -- I already know that stuff (and it's been discussed here). But in Tim Staples' piece, he made a statement that my friend is challenging me to back up. Specifically, when describing the Aramaic kepha, Tim wrote that "In Aramaic, nouns do not have gender as they do in Greek."

My friend disagrees that Aramaic nouns lack gender, and wonders what Aramaic lexicon I am using. (I haven't let on that it's not me but Mr. Staples that supplies my arguments!)

So does anyone know of a lexicon or a specific book on Aramaic that supports Tim's claim?
Perhaps Tim meant that in Aramaic, nouns cannot have a neuter gender as they do in Greek. The Aramaic only has two genders, not three like the Greek.
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  #6  
Old Mar 5, '09, 2:07 pm
Nita Nita is offline
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Default Re: Peter, Rock, and Kepha: Do nouns have gender in Aramaic?

I just checked out the website you gave where Tim Staples says:
"... In Aramaic, nouns do not have gender as they do in Greek, so Jesus actually said, and St. Matthew first recorded, 'You are Kephas and on this kephas I will build My Church.' "

It's easy to see how his words could be understood as saying Aramaic doesn't have gender for their nouns - but I don't think that is what he means. Rather, I think he means it to be understood in this sense: "In Aramaic, nouns do not have (the same) gender as they do in Greek."

That's a very good article. I found the paragraphs regarding the Greek "taute" and "kai" very informative.
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  #7  
Old Mar 5, '09, 2:36 pm
Le Cracquere Le Cracquere is offline
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Default Re: Peter, Rock, and Kepha: Do nouns have gender in Aramaic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nita View Post
I just checked out the website you gave where Tim Staples says:
"... In Aramaic, nouns do not have gender as they do in Greek, so Jesus actually said, and St. Matthew first recorded, 'You are Kephas and on this kephas I will build My Church.' "

It's easy to see how his words could be understood as saying Aramaic doesn't have gender for their nouns - but I don't think that is what he means. Rather, I think he means it to be understood in this sense: "In Aramaic, nouns do not have (the same) gender as they do in Greek."

That's a very good article. I found the paragraphs regarding the Greek "taute" and "kai" very informative.
Yeah, Greek (like German, Old English, and Latin) has three grammatical genders--masculine, feminine, and neuter, the last of which is not an option in Semitic languages.
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  #8  
Old Mar 5, '09, 9:19 pm
surritter surritter is offline
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Red face Re: Peter, Rock, and Kepha: Do nouns have gender in Aramaic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nita View Post
I just checked out the website you gave where Tim Staples says:
"... In Aramaic, nouns do not have gender as they do in Greek, so Jesus actually said, and St. Matthew first recorded, 'You are Kephas and on this kephas I will build My Church.' "

It's easy to see how his words could be understood as saying Aramaic doesn't have gender for their nouns - but I don't think that is what he means. Rather, I think he means it to be understood in this sense: "In Aramaic, nouns do not have (the same) gender as they do in Greek."

That's a very good article. I found the paragraphs regarding the Greek "taute" and "kai" very informative.
Excellent, Nita! This is exactly what I was missing in my reading of the text. I can now tweak my answer and hopefully save some face with my Protestant friend.
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  #9  
Old Mar 6, '09, 4:58 am
Nita Nita is offline
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Default Re: Peter, Rock, and Kepha: Do nouns have gender in Aramaic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by surritter View Post
Excellent, Nita! This is exactly what I was missing in my reading of the text. I can now tweak my answer and hopefully save some face with my Protestant friend.
It's best to be honest and straight forward. Eg. Tell the person you don't know Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek yourself, and had misinterpreted a statement made by someone who does have some knowledge of those languages.
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