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Will Not Taste Death Before They See
Matthew 16:27-28

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Posted by Steve Caruso , updated Tuesday, August 20, 2002 8:29 AM

I was enjoying an evening of surfing through my favorite Christian messageboard (The CARM Forums) when I came accross this interesting post concerning the 2nd Comming:

FrankMinow
Member since Jul-7-02
56 posts
Jul-20-02,06:40PM(PST)

"Jesus lied, he was dumb, 2000 year-old disciples, or, no 2nd coming"

"For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done. "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." (Matthew 16:27-28, RSV)

Most Christians today assert that this must be interpreted in the light of the next chapter, since in Matthew Mark and Luke, this particular event is followed by the story of the Mt. Of Transfiguration. Therefore Jesus didnt mean that some standing there would remain alive until they saw the coming of the son of man in his kingdom, but that he meant that some standing there would remain alive until they had seen a PREVIEW of the coming of the son of man into his kingdom.

I list a few faults with the preview-interpretation:

1) Yes, in all three Synoptics, this saying of Jesus is indeed followed by the transfiguration story. But the transfiguration is not the closest antecendent to the disputed phrase see the son of man coming in his kingdom in verse 28, verse 27 is rather closer, and it says:

"For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done. "

If the Christian wishes to say that the preview interpretation of 16:28 is a contextually justified interpretation, when the preview-interpretation requires the use of a different story line, which the gospels authors all say took place 6 or more days later, then how attractive do they find verse 27, which was stated by Jesus about 3 seconds before verse 28?

Does verse 27 have a closer contextual affinity with verse 28, all stated within not more than 10 seconds, in the same speech, on the same day? Or, does verse 27 have closer affinity with an event that took place 6 days later, in a completely different story?

Second, the word come and coming in both verses is the same greek word erchomai. Surely, if they were different words in the greek, those who advocate the preview interpretation would have trumpted that fact from the rooftops in their effort to prove that verse 27 and verse 28 are not to be interpreted in context. I wouldnt climb up there if I were you.

Third, be honest with yourself: Do you insist that the temporary transfiguration of Jesus more than 6 days later is the proper contextual interpretation of Matthew 16:28, because you honestly believed that this story seemed to match up more perfectly in context than 16:27 or, did you insist on the transfiguration preview interpretation because to take Matthew 16:27-28 at face value in the context of the same speech in which they were given, results in some conclusions that are very opposed to your belief in a perfect bible?

I think you can't stand the thought that Jesus taught wrongly, or that, because he hasn't come back yet, there are some disciples who were standing there who STILL, TO THIS DAY, HAVE NOT TASTED DEATH.

If you disagree with me, please demonstrate that verse 27 should not be used to interpret the next verse.

Please also tell me whether your 'preview' interpretation was based on your refusal to believe the bible could have one error, or if it was based on your best scholarly judgement of what part of the context applies the most.

 

So I thought to myself that it was worth a look into the Aramaic of the scriptures, and I found some rather startling evidence:

 

The Thadman *****
Member since Mar-5-02
336 posts, 16 feedbacks, 24 points

Jul-20-02,09:33PM(PST)

1. "Tricky translational error:"
In response to message #0

To take things from an angle that seems to be little traveled in your research, let's take a peek at the original Aramaic that the Greek was based on. From the Curetonian, Matthew 16:28:

To take things from an angle that seems to be little traveled in your research, let's take a peek at the original Aramaic that the Greek was based on. From the Curetonian, Matthew 16:28:

"mreen mr-na le-khoon d-eet anasha men haleyn de-qeemeen harka. d-La negh'moon mootha. 'Dma d-n-khzoon l-Breh d-nasha. Kd ta b-Mlhootheh oo-b-shoobkha."

"He said, 'I say to you (all), there is a person from these who will be raised up here. Who will not taste death. To such a degree that he will be seen as the Son of Man. Then he will be in the Kingdom and in glory.'"

"He said, (mreen) 'I say (mr-na) to you (all) (le-khoon), there is a person (d-eet anasha) from (men) these (haleyn) who will be raised up (de-qeemeen) here (harka). Who will not (d-La) taste (negh'moon) death (mootha). To such a degree that ('Dma) he will be seen (d-n-khzoon) as the Son (l-Breh) of Man (d-nasha). Then (Kd) he will be (ta) in the Kingdom (b-Mlhootheh) and in glory. (oo-b-shoobkha)'"


I tried to hash together an interlinear on the fly for you. :-)


Onto the significance of this passage. It REALLY demonstrates Semetic thought structure to an amazing degree.

FIRST: Note the periods, and how the text was devided up.

SECOND: Note that it was in the singular rather than the plural. (Translational error #1) 'Seems that the translator (when he translated it to Greek) was using an unmarked manuscript. (Singular and plural in Aramaic are spelled identically, and were noted by placing two dots (seyame dots) over a word in a "marked" manuscript or by vowels (another set of marked manuscript) ).

THIRD: The word that was translated in Greek to be "to stand" comes from the Aramaic "be raised up." (Translational error #2) It can mean "to stand" but in the sense of the english "left standing" (ie, He's not going down :-) ).

The "there" at the end of the sentence refers back to the "person from these" making it "'I say to you (all), there is a person from these here'" or "Someone from those present."

FOURTH: Greek thought just does not follow the way that Semetic thought does. Translational error #3 is in the word "d-n-khzoon."

The Greek translates it as "They will see." It would be correct... if the proclitic dalath ("d") wasn't there and it was in the plural. :-)

The dalath acts closest to the english "who" or "whom," flipping the verb into the passive, making it refer to this who or whom. "He will be seen" not "he will see." This makes the proclitic lmd act as an "as." (lmd usually acts as an "unto" and is tacked on the beginning of the direct objects of transitive verbs (I believe that's the proper class). ie, "I kick the ball" would be "be'agh (kick) -na (I) l-boondqa (unto the ball)."

CONCLUSION: The Greek goofed things WAAAAAY up. I'm adding a new section to my website on this, since you have brought it to my attention. (Thanks, man!) :-)

http://AramaicNT.tripod.com

Our Messiah was talking about His resurrection, not someone present (er.. well other than Himself of course :-) ).

So to answer your statement Jesus did not lie, he was not dumb, there are no 2000 year-old disciples, but there still may be a 2nd Coming.

Hope this helps!

Shlama d-laha l-at! Men "Freak-akh d-Aramaeet," :-)
(The Peace of the Lord be with you! From your "Aramaic Freak," :-) )

-The Thadman

Proof that a good chunk of the New Testament was written in Aramaic, not Greek!

Like me? Hate me? Rate me :-)

Disclaimer: Everything I say is Copyright 2002 Steve Caruso, and can be distributed freely. Thank you.

Well, here's the new section :-)

Yet another example of what has been lost in the Greek over time.

Everything © 2002 Steve Caruso unless otherwise noted.
Please feel free to use this for private or public use, just send me an email first! :-)


 


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