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Useful but eccentric
on 19 July 2012
This book is based on the eccentric idea that there is a Hebrew, rather than an Aramaic original to the Greek gospels and the authors take up fifty-four pages before they get to the `difficult words' promised in the title. Then they do so rather vaguely. It isn't until the appendix that these are fully explored in any detail and then one saying gets a disproportionate amount of attention: sixteen whole pages.
The authors are clearly very knowledgeable about Aramaic and Hebrew but they perpetuate the mistaken idea the `abba' means `daddy.'
There is a doctrinal bias towards pietism - the `kingdom' is something in our hearts, not our politics; pacifism is a mistake.
I cannot take seriously anyone who quotes approvingly from The Living Bible as an authoritative translation.
However, there are some good things within these pages: some of Jesus's parables are compared with the sayings of other rabbis of his time and Jesus's sayings about almsgiving and the law are explained by studying what they could and could not mean to a First century Jew