Posts Tagged ‘Aramaic’

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 It was apparently withdrawn as no record exists of it’s sale.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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Guest article – posted with permission from author.


Holy Hebrew!

Is Hebrew a special Holy language (leshon ha Kodesh) that is special and different than all of the other languages? Some Hebrew roots teachers have stated that Hebrew is a language so Holy, that it is impossible to even curse in it. Some have also stated that because of its Holiness, it was the language used to create the world, and most assuredly will be the language of Heaven.

Here is one of the Hebrew roots teachers, who state that Hebrew was the language of creation.


Hebrew: Restoring the Pure Language

Brad takes a fascinating journey into the history of Hebrew, the pure language of Adonai (Tz’fanyah 3:9), the language that created all things. Brad proves through the dynamics of the Hebrew language that this heavenly tongue is the Mother Tongue and is being restored in these last days. This series covers the use of gematria, equidistant letter sequencing, and many other fascinating aspects of Hebrew to show that this language is revived today to be the foundation of bringing Adonai’s people back together to serve Him in one consent. Through the restoration of Hebrew, many long-held, erroneous, religious doctrines are being exposed. The true followers of Y’shua are being revealed and unity is being re-established in the latter days. Brad concludes this series with a lesson on how to research and discover the wonderful truths of Adonai contained in the Hebrew text.


Let’s first take a look at where all the languages originated from, so that we can better understand the origins of the Hebrew language:

Genesis 11
6 And The LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and the lip one to all of them, and this they are beginning to do, and now all which they have purposed to do will not be restrained from them.
7 Come, let Us go down and confuse their language so that they cannot understand one another’s speech.
8 And the LORD scattered them from there, over the face of all the earth. And they stopped building the city.
9 On account of this its name is called Babel, because the LORD confused the language of all the earth there. And the LORD scattered them abroad from there on the face of all the earth.

Hebrew is a language that evolved historically from proto Canaanite/ancient Hebrew, into paleo, middle, and late Hebrew, which finally ended up becoming the Biblical Hebrew (with vowels) that we have today in the Masoretic text. From there modern words were added, which again evolved into the modern Hebrew that is spoken in Israel today.

Because of the history of Hebrew, clearly the Original Ten Declarations were not written in what we consider Hebrew, because of the time frame that they were written. The Ten Declarations were written before the Torah, which is dated approximately 1500-1400 bce. The language of that time was proto Canaanite which has been established through archaeological finds. Proto Canaanite did evolve into what we know as Hebrew, but other languages also evolved from it as well. If the Ten Declarations had been written in Hebrew as we know it, Moses and the children of Israel would have not been able to understand what they said as it is a different alefbet, because Hebrew script, which is a derivative of Proto Canaanite, has been only used since the 9th century bce. It should be noted that proto Canaanite was used by idol worshipping pagan cultures.

Here is how it developed over time:



Proto Hebrew/Aramaic:




A recent archaeological find in King David’s time:


If you take a look at Dead Sea Scrolls Hebrew, it looks different than today’s Masoretic text (1000 years difference). Hebrew didn’t really develop until 900 BCE. The Torah was written in 1500-1400 BCE (2400 years difference. Moses was raised in the court of Pharaoh, and also spoke Akkadian. Moses could read and write proto Canaanite as well, so I am sure he knew what the tablets said.

Also, the difference in writing style and refinement between the oldest Masoretic text known as the Aleppo codex, and the DSS style:


And the Dead Sea Scrolls:


and the Leningrad codex:


Those changes occurred in only 1000 years after Hebrew was established. What

Let’s take a quick look at Biblical Hebrew so that we can examine the “Holy” status of it during Biblical times:

Isaiah 6 (written approx700 bce)
5 Then I said, Woe is me! For I am cut off; for I am a man of unclean lips (H8193), and I live amongst a people of unclean lips (H8193); for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts.
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, snatched with tongs from the altar.
7 And he touched it on my mouth, and said, See, this has touched your lips;
and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is covered.

שׂפת / שׂפה
̂phâh / śepheth
BDB Definition:
1) lip, language, speech, shore, bank, brink, brim, side, edge, border, binding
1a) lip (as body part)
1b) language
1c) edge, shore, bank (of cup, sea, river, etc)
Part of Speech: noun feminine
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: probably from H5595 or H8192 through the idea of termination (compare H5490)
Same Word by TWOT Number: 2278a

Here is another example of how the same word lip or language is used:

Zephaniah 3 (approx 620 bce)
9 For then will
I restore to the people a pure (H1305) language (H8193), that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one accord.

BDB Definition:
1) to purify, select, polish, choose, purge, cleanse or make bright, test or prove
1a) (Qal)
1a1) to purge, purge out, purify
1a2) to choose, select
1a3) to cleanse, make shining, polish
1a4) to test, prove
1b) (Niphal) to purify oneself
1c) (Piel) to purify
1d) (Hiphil)
1d1) to purify
1d2) to polish arrows
1e) (Hithpael)
1e1) to purify oneself
1e2) to show oneself pure, just, kind
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: a primitive root
Same Word by TWOT Number: 288

Since we know that Isaiah spoke and wrote in Hebrew, and he himself said that he is a man of unclean lips (speech), and since God stated in Zephaniah, which is a book that was written after Isaiah that he will restore a pure language, then it is obvious by the text that Biblical Hebrew is not a pure language currently, nor was it at the time of Isaiah.

Secondly, we need to examine the fact that there are parts of various books in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that are written partially in Aramaic (Daniel, Ezra, Jeremiah, Genesis). Aramaic is a language that came out of Canaan, where the people worshipped idols, and was also spoken in pagan Babylon during the captivity. If Hebrew is a Holy language, then why would God mix the language used by a pagan cultures with Hebrew in the Scriptures? In the book of Daniel, in the portion where the Aramaic begins, it opens like this:

Daniel 2
4 And the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic: O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will reveal the meaning.

In the passages directly following the opening, we find Aramaic words such as Melecha (H4430), Shamaya (H8065), Elahh (H426), and others throughout the text. The Aramaic continues until to the end of chapter seven, spanning almost five chapters. It should be noted that Abraham came from Ur of the Chaldees, and then in obedience he left his pagan culture, and crossed over into the land that God had promised him which became Israel.

Nehemiah 9
7 You are the LORD the God who chose Abram, and brought him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and appointed his name, Abraham.

Many Hebrew roots teachers have stated that the only way one can really effectively understand the Old Testament Scriptures, is by learning to read and understand them in the Hebrew language. Currently, English is spoken (sometimes as a second language) by a much larger percentage of the six billion people in the world today, than the five million people world wide who currently speak Hebrew. This works out statistically to be a negligable percentage of the worlds population that speaks and understands Hebrew. Would God have been so short sighted as to write His word into Hebrew, which for the most part was a dead language until resurrected in the last half of the nineteenth century as modern Hebrew, if it could not be accurately translated and comprehended in other languages such as English? This should be something for us all to consider seriously.

Going forward into the NT, it should be noted that Jesus spoke Aramaic on the cross, and in some other passages found in the New Testament. He most likely conversed in Greek or even possibly Latin with Pilate at His

trial. Jesus also spoke in a Hebraic language (some scholars say Aramaic) to Paul on the road to Damascus in the book of Acts. Paul, who wrote thirteen or fourteen books of the New Testament spoke Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin (Roman citizen), and because he lived in Tarsus at an early age, he possibly would have spoken a local dialect which would probably be related to modern Turkish, and possibly even a few more dialects of other languages that he learned in his travels.

Next, we should examine the use of languages in first century Judea. Listed below (parenthesis) are a few of the possible languages spoken in those regions at that time. Please keep in mind that the list is by no means comprehensive:

Acts 2 (written approx 63 ce)
1 And in the fulfilling of the day of Pentecost, they were all with one mind in the same place.
2 And suddenly a sound came out of the heaven, as being borne along by a violent wind! And it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And tongues as of fire appeared to them, being distributed, and it sat on each one of them.
4 And they were all filled of the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave ability to them to speak.
5 And Jews were living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation of those under the heaven.
6 But this sound occurring, the multitude came together and were confounded, because they each heard them speaking in his own dialect.
7 And all were amazed and marveled, saying to one another, Behold, are not all these, those speaking, Galileans?
8 And how do we hear each in our own dialect in which we were born,
9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites (Persian), and those living in Mesopotamia (Turkish dialect, Syrian, Persian, Akkadian), both Judea (Hebrew,Aramaic,Greek) and Cappadocia, Pontusand Asia (Turkish dialect, Greek)
10 both Phrygia and Pamphylia (Turkish dialect,Greek), Egypt (Arabic dialect, Greek), and the regions of Libya over against Cyrene (Latin,Greek,Aramaic), and the temporarily residing Romans (Latin,Greek), both Jews and proselytes,
11 Cretans (Greek, Aramaic) and Arabians (Arabic dialect, Greek); in our own languages we hear them speaking the great deeds of God?

Would God through His Holy Spirit allow the apostles to speak, in what some Hebrew roots teachers have claimed to be pagan languages, if they truly were according to Gods standards? If this was the case, wouldn’t it have been easier for the apostles to speak only in Hebrew, and then for God to miraculously have all of the different people who spoke the many other languages, be able to understand what the apostles said in the “Holy language” of Hebrew? Instead the apostles spoke, and praised God in what some have taught are unclean pagan languages that they claim no self respecting Jew would ever speak.

Some Hebrew roots teachers have circulated the “myth” that the Jews of that day believed it was better to eat swine flesh, than to speak Greek. I guess the apostles never got the memo on that, nor did the Holy Spirit, or maybe there was a shortage of swine flesh at that time, because as they were being led by the Holy Spirit, they spoke Greek as one of the many languages. This is detailed in the passage recorded in Acts. Keeping in mind, that since Greek was established as the common language, and the language of trade since the rule of Alexander almost four centuries before the time of Christ in 332 BCE, that many others throughout the Roman empire also spoke and understood Greek as well.

Various Hebrew roots teachers have emphatically stated that the New Testament was definitely written in Hebrew or Aramaic, because no self respecting Jew would have written it in Greek. How does that stand up in light of what we have reviewed thus far? Also how could this statement have any validity, seeing as how the first five books of the Hebrew OT was translated into Greek two centuries before Christ by Jewish scribes?

In conclusion, it would appear that those striving to keep Hebrew as the pure, Holy Heavenly language that true followers of the Messiah need to read and speak, need to re-examine their teachings. The Hebrew posturing that is being touted as “truth” falls completely short of historical documentation and factual evidence. One more Hebrew Roots “myth” ………. busted (smile)

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My connections in Hebrew Roots give me lots of exposure to issues within that whole venue that disturb me. I get emails sent to me by people that make me shake my head in amazement at how far people will go to follow their particular “teacher”, completely assured that there is no malice intended.

Yesterday, an email was forwarded to me promoting a “Netzarim Yeshiva”. As I am real familiar with this particular teacher, who also calls himself a Rabbi [no smicha which is an “ordination” in Judaism], it did not surprise me that he is still trying to peddle himself off as a “scholar”. The pathetic thing is that this man has no credentials to offer a “Rabbinate” [Masters and Doctorate] in anything. He has no doctorate himself, other than one from a diploma mill, and not a BS or MA as a prerequisite. This information is well known fact and documented publically as a false degree. Yet, several years later, his Yeshiva still pops back up again on the internet, year after year, [under different names] to unsuspecting victims.

Not only does this man not have any degrees, he has no education in the Semitic languages that he proposes to “teach”. He is self-taught, but cannot hold a conversation in either Hebrew or Aramaic. He is quite simply, a fraud.

This online Yeshiva will cost you $125 per month and at the end, you will have nothing but a worthless piece of paper. I wonder, with that much money at stake, how one will feel when they produce this document to further a “real education” and get laughed out of the admissions office. It’s pretty tragic, huh?

I am curious why people don’t research a person like this before they put down their hard earned cash. Today, scams are a zillion a minute on the internet [especially Messianic Yeshivas > think fraud]. It puzzles me that people trust a man, but with a click of the mouse on google, they would discover exactly what kind of charlatan is picking their pocket.

Caveat emptor ………


“A Yeshiva [Talmudic Academe]  is an institution unique to classical Judaism for Torah study, the study of Talmud, Rabbinic literature and Responsa [Rabbinic literature in a different form].  Yeshivot are usually associated with Orthodox Judaism, and generally cater to boys or men, although many modern Orthodox yeshivot also educate girls, though often in separate classrooms and sometimes with somewhat different curricula. A roughly equivalent women’s institution is the midrasha.

The term yeshiva gedola (“senior/great yeshiva”) usually refers to post-high school institutions, and yeshiva ketana (“junior/small yeshiva”) can refer to institutions catering to boys of elementary as well as of high school age. The term “yeshiva” is also used sometimes as a generic name for any school that teaches Torah, Mishnah and Talmud, to any age group.”


Obviously,  Messianic “Yeshivas” have lifted the name of a Jewish institution that has been around for centuries having to do with Judaism.  The Talmudic umbrella under which Yeshivas were created is a separate and distinct religion from New Testament adherence.

Why do Messianics call an institution to teach their errant theologies a Yeshiva, which by it’s very foundation is anti- Jesus Christ, and think it’s applicable to them?

Why do Messianics continue to offend the very ones they think they need to make “jealous” for the gospel?


I have had inquiries as to whom I am referring in the commentary portion.  Although my intent is to expose the teaching and agendas of those in Hebrew Roots so that people can be aware of what is being promoted within that venue, I believe it is also important to expose individuals that are schilling their brand of  “truth”.  The commentary is based on an email that was forwarded to me was originally from James Trimm.

Whether or not you are familiar with him, he is a blemish on Hebrew Roots that needs to be exposed.  Here are some links to give you a full picture of his unBiblical behavior and doctrines:

Follow the links at the end of this article for more info – there are 27 articles in all – Vicky has done an extensive documented presentation:


more indepth information:


the plagiaism issue with proof in textual comparisons:


the scam involving his adultery [he openly admitted by email to his followers] and the break up of Trimm’s beit din:


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