Archive for August, 2010

Myth: Khaboris Codex Aramaic Peshitta New Testament Manuscript (Khabouris Codex) has come under harsh attack by Greek primacists because they are fearful that the authority of the Greek Scriptures may be undermined. The Khabouris Manuscript proves Aramaic primacy of the NT manuscripts.

A. The Khaburis Codex was from the 12th century or slightly earlier. So it is foolish at best to be suggested to “prove” Aramaic primacy of the NT. It was supposedly based on a claimed second century text which is not in existence. Therefore un-provable.

In 2007 the Khabouris Codex was put up for auction at Sotheby’s in London. It was apparently withdrawn as no record exists of it’s sale. In that listing, which is no longer available it stated:

Lot Details
Sotheby’s – London – 2007 …

Lot 30 : The Khabouris Codex, the New Testament in Syriac, manuscript on vellum…
The Khabouris Codex, the New Testament in Syriac, manuscript on vellum

[Assyria, (probably Nineveh), eleventh or twelfth century] ….written …single column, 29 lines in dark brown ink mainly in an accomplished Estrangelâ script, with pp…in East Adiabene script on leaves added later, diacritical marks in darker brown ink, beginnings of books and rubrics in red, some paragraphs touched in red, some wear and parchment cockled through water damage, some folios at each end difficult to read, and parts of the colophons very damaged, in thick olive-wood boards (front detached, back partially detached and split with old repair)

provenance(1) According to the most popular interpretation of the difficult colophon, this manuscript was copied in Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire, from a now-lost manuscript which may have dated to the second century AD, and bears the authenticating seal and signature of the bishop of Nineveh as a true and accurate copy. Carbon-dating has now shown that this copy was made in the eleventh or twelfth century.(2) Acquired by Norman Malik Yonan of Richmond, Virginia, and sold before his death in 1970 to D. McDougald, and by descent to the present owner.

…text Syriac is a dialect, or group of dialects, of Middle Aramaic, a direct descendant of the language spoken by Christ and his immediate audience. It was an important literary language throughout the Middle East from the second to the eighth century AD, …

…In recent generations the present manuscript has acquired fame as a cultural icon … Its provenance closely associates it with the more well-known Yonan Codex, which was lauded as “Christendom’s most precious document”, offered to the Library of Congress in the mid-1950s for $1,500,000, and driven around all 48 states in a custom-built glass-domed bus named “the Spirit of Galilee” (it was eventually sold in our rooms 24 June 1986, lot 129, and bought by the Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Mi., where it remains today).

That manuscript was named after Mr. Norman Malik Yonan, a Washington based businessman who was of Iranian descent. He was convinced that this codex dated to the third or fourth century AD (since dated by various scholars to the seventh, ninth and even twelfth century) … the Yonan Codex is missing considerable portions of the text, and so Mr. Yonan and an associate, Mr. D. MacDougald, committed their energies to the pursuit of a complete version. According to their own reports (which may be exaggerated or even fabricated) they discovered the present manuscript in a small Assyrian monastery on the River Khabor, a tributary of the River Euphrates, and hence gave their discovery the name the Khabouris Codex. They claimed to have enlisted the support and aid of the abbot in deciphering some of the text, and purchased the codex from the monastery and brought it to America. Mr. Yonan interpreted the worn and damaged colophon of the manuscript and a subsequent inscription to date it between 195 AD and 410 AD; …. doubt was raised by a number of scholars after Yonan’s death in 1970. Correspondence from 1986 shows that the British Library experts had dated it paleolographically to about the twelfth century, and this has now been confirmed by a research team assembled in America in 1995, as well as by carbon dating by the University of Arizona in 1999 (giving the date range 1000-1190 AD). …debate has persisted …

The codex has been used by a number of modern-day Christians for religious-healing or holistic purposes, and soon after 1970 MacDougald himself transcribed from the present manuscript the text of the Beatitudes in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5.3-12), and used these to develop a course of contemplative study named “Emotional Maturity Instruction”, which claimed to significantly improve the mental health of those who contemplated and recited aloud transcriptions of the present manuscript. The course met with some approval and was even used by magistrates in Atlanta in an attempt to quell anti-social prisoners (see B. Metzger, ?The Saga of the Yonan Codex?, B.M. Metzger, 1997, Reminiscences of an Octogenarian, p. 115 for fuller discussion). A revived form of this course is still taught annually by Dr M. Ryce at Heartland, a teaching centre in the Ozark Mountains of Southern Missouri…” 1

The purpose for searching for the codex, was to finding the hidden meaning in the Aramaic of Jesus’ words in order to drive out demons and cure people. In other words, it was believed the words of the text carried special power in Aramaic and could be used not unlike an incantation.

In the early 1960’s two Americans, Drs. Norman Malik Yonan and Dan MacDougald, Jr., set out to locate an intact Aramaic New Testament. Their hope was to uncover the meaning behind Y’Shua’s Aramaic words, by which he was able to “drive out demons” and cure mental illness. Because the Yonan (Family) Codex (c. 400-700 CE) was amended and incomplete, they were interested to see if finding a more intact version of the New Testament could be enlightening…

they ended up actually purchasing the manuscript and bringing it back to America, where, for some years, a team of Aramaic-speaking scholars from the Yonan Codex Foundation labored to decipher and translate from the ancient script. …due to the newly revealed concepts from the original Aramaic. The Teachings of Y’Shua came fully alive, with new meaning and importance. As His Teachings became clearer, Dr. Dan MacDougald, Jr., an attorney in Georgia, developed a course of study, Emotional Maturity Instruction, based on the elemental Teachings of Y’Shua found in Aramaic. Over a period of years, this course proved to make significant improvements in the mental health of those who took it, including many in the penal and mental health systems. An updated version of this course, now called Laws of Living, was co-authored by Dr. MacDougald and dr. michael ryce. This course continues to be taught, annually, by dr. ryce at Heartland, his teaching center in the Ozark Mountains of Southern Missouri. The work of the original Yonan Codex Foundation ended prior to the completion of translation…” 2

Dr Ryce has several websites in which he promotes the Khaboris codex. In one website is an advertisement for Dr Ryce.

“Authorized Wizard Training> Bee-ing Attraction> What Love Has to do with Business and Marketing > The Healing Power of Forgiveness.”

“dr. michael ryce is the founder and director of  HeartLand, His book,
Why is This Happening to me AGAIN?!  is an international best seller.”

“dr. michael ryce is the founder and director of HeartLand, www.whyagain.com a self-healing center in the Ozark mountains. He is a world renowned lecturer and teacher on health and healing, with doctorates in Naturopathic Medicine and in Holistic Philosophy.”
“The focus of his studies has combined bodymind principles, physics and ancient Aramaic studies into a unique body of pioneering work in the fields of self-healing, healing through relationships, anger and grief resolution, world peace and the inner process of Forgiveness.”

“In 2001 dr. ryce was appointed director of the Khaburis Manuscript foundation and is currently editing translation work from the Manuscript and writing a new book based on the Khaburis, The End Of Suffering, Ressurecting The Original Aramaic Jesus. The Khaburis Manuscript is the oldest known copy of the New Testament in its native, written language, Aramaic.”3

Ryce’s Heartland website, is called whyagain.com, with information on his activities, seminars and information on the Khabouris codex. He stated,

“The Khabouris Manuscript was removed from QCC (without our prior knowledge) and was taken to London for auction by Sotheby’s back in June 2007. The sale was not completed at that time; however, we have lost track of where the actual Manuscript is now located. ” 4

One more quote concerning the Khaboris Codex:

“The Khaburis Codex ( alternate spelling Khaboris , Khabouris) is a late and unremarkable Syriac manuscript of the New Testament. The Khaburis Codex is the complete Peshitta New Testament containing 22 books, in comparison to the Western New Testament Canon which contains 27 books. The missing books are II Peter, II John, III John, Jude and Revelation. It has been carbon-dated to the twelfth century, which is confirmed by palaeography” 5

An example of the Kharboris codex–John 1:1-5

Chapter 1

1:1 IN the beginning was the Word,* and the Word himself was with Aloha, and Aloha was the Word himself.

1:2 This was in the beginning with Aloha.

1:3 Every thing by his hand was made; and without him also was not one thing made that was made.

1:4 In him was life, and the life is the light of the sons of man;

1:5 and the Light himself in the darkness shineth, and the darkness perceived him not.

Chapter 2

V. 2:1 AND on the third day there was a feast in Kotna, a city of Galila; and the mother of Jeshu was there:

2:2 and Jeshu and his disciples were called to the feast.

2:3 And the wine failed, and his mother saith to him, to Jeshu, They have no wine.

2:4 Jeshu saith to her, What (is it) to me and to thee, woman? Not yet hath come mine hour.

2:5 His mother saith to the servitors, Whatever he telleth you, do.

2:6 Now there were six waterpots of stone set there, unto the purification of the Jihudoyee, which contained each two quarantals * or three.

2:7 Jeshu saith to them, Fill these water-pots with waters; and they filled them to the top.

2:8-a He saith …..

2:8 He saith to them, Draw now, and carry to the chief of the guests. And they carried. 6

It should be noted that James Trimm of HRV fame along with the Don Hargis accessed the Khaboris as a resource although it is unclear what use it would have been to him since he is not fluent in the original languages. His HRV is discussed in the Scripture section as well.



2. http://www.aramaicpeshitta.com/AramaicNTtools/Khabouris/intro.htm

3 http://www.perfectcustomers.com/Public/AlansAlley/PowerofForgiveness/index.cfm

4. http://www.whyagain.com/khabouris.php

5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khaboris_Codex

6 John Wesley Etheridge http://www.aramaicpeshitta.com/AramaicNTtools/khabouris.htm

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