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

In my searches over the internet in the past few months, I have come across many websites that deal with Aramaic. Some good, some REALLY good, some bad, and some REALLY bad. Here, I'll index them, and rate them so that you can have an idea about how I see things (and then, go and investigate on your own to see for yourself :-) ). My ratings are strictly based upon the content concerning the Aramaic language, not doctrine or beliefs. If I feel that there is something of note in that category, I will make note of it in the description section.

The ratings are:

Only the best! Highly recommended.
Great resource with no noticed notable problems.
Has some noteable problems.
Lies, misleading information, etc.


When sites have problems, (a bad or horrible rating) I may have a contact status with it:

(no reply)
I have attempted to make contact with the webmaster / author.
After a considerable amount of time, the webmaster / author has not replied.
After establishing contact, the webmaster / author has refused to correct the errors discussed.
After establishing contact, the webmaster / author as agreed to correct the errors discussed.


And now, THE LIST!:


Answering Christianity
(no reply)
Answering Christinaity (a site about Islam) made claims that the word for God in Aramaic (Élaha) is identical to the word for God in Arabic (Alah). Indeed, the word Alah did evolve from Élaha, but through some misuse of Lexicons the author tries to reassign the vowels of the word, making it closer to the Arabic than it actually is. Unfortunately, the point is not valid. The author also tries to pass off the Absolute Construct as "slang Aramaic" and makes many references to "slang Aramaic" (for which there is no source, "slang Aramaic" as the author puts it does not exist). A very misleading page in terms of Aramaic use.


Aramaic Bible, The
An impressive undertaking to translate the Aramaic Scriptures idiomatically with many footnotes! In order to access the entire project so far, however, you need to pay a fee (which I, personally, think is worth it). What I've read of the Author's work is solid as can be.


Aramaic Write
A nifty word processor that writes in English, Hebrew, Serta, Estrangela, and Arabic. :-)


Aramaic Bible Society, The
Based on the work of George Lamsa, I found this site a bit disturbing on a theological level, for it claims to be Christian, yet endorses Islam (but that is not the reason for the rating). It is associated with and endorses Metamind Publications Bookstore (which is listed here, check it out for reasons) as well as the poor textual criticism of Lamsa (Lamsa lied about several important aspects of Old Syriac manuscripts to promote his views of Peshitta primacy). A lot of Lamsa's work, however is important and enlightening, so I reccommend it for a good read. Unfortunately, The Aramaic Bible Society has turned it all commericialist, seemingly trying to print what it can while it can. (I really feel bad about saying this, and I'm not joshing around.)


Assyrian Aramaic Language Website, The
This is an ALL INCLUSIVE tutorial to the Assyrian dialect of Aramaic (one of the modern dialects still spoken today) when it is finished, it will be akin to an Aramaic textbook, online for free. Each word in Aramaic it teaches (or mentions) is linked to a sound file to teach you proper pronounciation, each lesson builds on the last, and there are exercises galore! (THIS is what I want MY Aramaic Primer to look like!) In a phrase: Freakin' awesome!


Assyrian/Syriac Fonts
A pretty extensive list of all sorts of ancient language fonts (mostly Aramaic and Syriac here). They're from various sources, and I haven't checked them all out yet, but the ones I have downloaded so far are awesome :-)



CAL Database, The
The CAL, or Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon, Database is a MUST for Aramaic scholars and students alike. It has a Lexicon with God knows how many entries in dozens of dialects. You can browse dozens of ancient Aramaic manuscripts in electronic format (They have a copy of the Old Syriac Gospels!). The Hebrew letters that they use are in Unicode format, while they offer their Estrangela Syriac font (CALSyriac) free for download. They also have a way to search for words in English to Aramaic, and Aramaic to English. Impressive beyond all other Lexicons!


Learn Assyrian by Robert Oshana
This was the first website that I was exposed to when I was learning about the language. It's a good resource for learning the Modern Assyrian dialect of Aramaic still spoken today. Although the romanization system that Mr. Oshana uses is a bit difficult to catch at the beginning, after a while it becomes second nature. :-) There is an extensive vocabulary section, a section dedicated to Aramaic songs, and a nifty screensaver. If you're just starting to learn the language, this is a must see :-)



Metamind Publications Bookstore
(no reply)
Looking through this site thuroughly, although I did find some interesting (and good) Aramaic resources, but talking a look at the Aramaic translations done by the author, I can only conclude that he or she does not have a firm grasp on the language. Such things as translating "rukha" ( which means "spirit" or "breath") as "is in" and "meskena" (which means "poor ones" in the Beatitudes) as "those whose home," I feel that this is not a reliable site for translational information. I have contacted the Webmaster, and I am awaiting his/her reply to a lengthy email, discussing his/her translation of the Beatitudes. (Update: The webmaster never reipled)


P by Paul Younan
Mr. Younan has done an amazing job with this site. He has a comprehensive Grammar, complete with lessons, the entire Eastern Peshitta online, some books (the Gospels and Acts currently) in a well-done PDF interlinnear translation, and all the rest in .doc format. He provides the font that he uses for his lessons, as well as a good history on the Church of the East, a messageboard, and a link to a Peshitta lexical concordance. This is an EXCELLENT site. HIGHLY recommended!



SANJ by James Scott Trimm
SANJ (The Society for the Advancement of Nazarene Judaism) is an excellent Aramaic resource. Here, the author, James Trimm, has completed a translation of the Bible known as the HRV (Hebrew Roots Version) that was compiled from Hebrew and Aramaic sources (Massoretic, Old Syriac, and Peshitta), only translating from Greek where no Aramaic manuscript exists. Mr. Trimm is also publishing (from this site) a free ebook containing much of the textual criticism he has done over the past years. If you're a real Aramaic freak like me, you'll love the Discussion Groups via email :-) This is an EXCELLENT site. HIGHLY recommended!
















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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