The main warning of these Special Notices is to reassert we are at WAR. This WAR has been going on now for over 7000 years. The reason I must continue to remind you of this fact is because there are some who not only deny that this WAR exists, but deny who the primary players are supplying all of the funds, and those directing it. This WAR started in Genesis 3:15 and the opponents are the “seed” (children) of the serpent and the “seed” (children) of the woman. This is a WAR with no holds barred by either side. This is not a WAR where one is to pray for the enemy or try to convert him to “Christianity”! Had many of the “Jews” not been “the seed of the serpent” it wouldn’t have been necessary for our Messiah to have spoken in parables. We are told unequivocally in Matthew 13:10-15 that He spoke in parables to them in order to prevent them from becoming converts. Shortly after this parable, He likened the “Jews” to “tares” and labeled them “the children of the wicked one.” In Matthew 13:38 the terms “seed” and “children” are used interchangeably as it says “seed are ... children.” If one will check the word “children”, #5207, in the NT Word Study (on Greek) by Spiros Zodhiates, page 1404, one will find that it means “(A) A male offspring ... (B) In a wider sense it means a descendant, pl. descendants, posterity ...” It might have been speaking figuratively had not the word “seed” been used interchangeably with “children.” In their quest to deny Two Seedline, the anti-seedliners deny this Greek meaning. Further, the word “wicked”, #4190, in that same verse, according to Zodhiates, page 1198, is used with the definite article “ho”, and means: “... the evil one, Satan ...” By denying these Greek meanings, the anti-seedliners deny the very words of Messiah Himself!
Additionally, the word “wicked”, #4190, is used with the definite article “ho” in Matt. 13:19; Eph. 6:16; 1 John 1:13, 14; 3:12; 5:18, and means “Satan” there also. Thus, in 1 John 3:12 where it says: “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one ...”, it means exactly what it says, “Satan.” The book Synonyms of the New Testament by Richard Trench confirms what Zodhiates says about the word “wicked” (Greek #4190) on page 330: “Satan is emphatically ho poneros as the first author of all the mischief in the world.” In his Greek-English NT Lexicon, George Ricker Berry, page 82 describes ho poneros as “... the wicked one. i.e., Satan ...” W. E. Vine in his An Expository Dictionary of NT Words under “wicked” on Matthew 13:38 states: “... and in the following [verse just cited] , where Satan is mentioned as ‘the (or that) evil one’ ...” (Don’t waste your time with Strong’s on this one.) Another way to verify the “wicked” of Matthew 13:38 is speaking of Satan, is to go to Matthew 13:19 where the same Greek word #4190 is used saying: “... then cometh the wicked one ...” Then compare the parallel passage in Luke 8:12 which says: “... then cometh the devil ...” The conclusion then must be: the “seed” or “children” in Matthew 13:38 planted by the “wicked” one are the genetic offspring of Satan! This parenting of the tares is also spelled out in the Aramaic targums. (I might add, if you listen to the anti-seedliners, they will argue the “wheat and tares” of Matthew 13 are just figurative or spiritual; the same position as the so-called “Jew-deo-unchristian” churches!)
ARAMAIC TARGUMS AND THEIR CONTEXT WITH GENESIS 4:1
As I promised in Special Notice #14, I will deal with the Aramaic Targums in greater detail. After years of research on the subject of Two Seedline doctrine, the Aramaic Targums seem to hold the missing ingredient to pull this passage into perspective. Ted R. Weiland, in his booklet Eve, Did She Or Didn’t She? had all this information in front of him, but he rejected it, claiming it was “Babylonian-influenced.” (page 96) This is one of the favorite ploys of the one seedliners (anti-seedliners) in their quest to reject one of the foundational truths of Scripture. Being there is evidence the “Jewish” Masoretic scribes manipulated the Hebrew text by hermeneutics with their Babylonian-cabalistic-mystical thought-system, we are left with the Aramaic Targums as an alternative witness. I will now use a very concise article about targums from the Collier’s Encyclopedia, 1980 edition, volume 4, page 127 under the topic “Bible”. Like many of the references I use, this quotation is informative, but I do not endorse it 100%:
“The Aramaic Targums. During the middle of the first millennium B.C., a Syrian language called Aramaic gradually became the dominant commercial and popular tongue throughout the Middle East. As the Jews adopted this language, they forgot their Hebrew and could understand less and less of the scriptures read to them in the synagogue. Eventually, a translator was needed to render the text into Aramaic as it was read out in Hebrew. The translator was known as a torgeman and his translation as a targum.
“In time the Aramaic targum became standardized, and finally it was written down. The earliest written targum we have is a manuscript of the Book of Job discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran. It was written about the first century B.C., but most of the other surviving targums were composed later, among the Aramaic-speaking Jews of Babylon. The Aramaic targums generally paraphrase rather than translate literally. They bring in much explanatory material and homily [sermonizing] reflecting the thought of the time. Many Hebrew Bibles of today still carry the Aramaic targum side by side with the Hebrew text.
“The Septuagint, or Greek Version. The Greek version of the Old Testament began as a targum for Jews living in Greek-speaking areas of the Middle East. There were probably isolated Greek translations of the Hebrew scriptures in circulation before the third century B.C. According to tradition, dissatisfaction developed with the unofficial nature of these translations, and an official version was prepared by a committee of 70 or 72 eminent scholars for the library of King Ptolemy Philadelphus (285-247 B.C.) in Alexandria. This translation came to be known as the ‘Version of the Seventy’ — in Latin, the Septuagint. More probably, the Septuagint represents a revised collation of the informal oral synagogue translations into the Greek.
“Jews at first welcomed the Septuagint. With the rise of Christianity, however, it became primarily associated with the Christian Church. The Jews repudiated it and prepared other Greek translations. Most of the quotations of the Old Testament that appear in the New Testament have been made from the Septuagint ... [underlining mine]
“THE HEBREW TEXT AND TEXTUAL CRITICISM:
“All original manuscripts of the Old Testament are at present lost. We possess only late copies in Hebrew or in various ancient versions. The Hebrew texts are the product of generations of scribes and are sometimes quite altered and corrupted. Since many errors have crept into the manuscripts, the task of Old Testament textual criticism is to recover, as nearly as possible, the words that were written in the earliest stage of literary preservation.
“Texts of the Sopherim [scribes]. For several centuries the text of the Old Testament books seems to have remained relatively fluid. The scribes of the early period (c. 500 B.C. to A.D. 100), known as the Early Sopherim, altered the text in many ways, through mistakes of hearing, reading, or writing. Words were misspelled; divisions between words were wrongly made; words, lines, or entire passages were omitted, repeated, or transposed; obscure and offensive words were ‘corrected’; editorial introductions and conclusions were added; double readings were recorded; and marginal notes were later mistaken for parts of the original text and inserted in the wrong spots. All these factors led to highly varied texts ...” [underlining mine]
From this, we can see that the Septuagint was considered a targum. Today, many swear by the KJV targum or the RSV targum. “Targum” simply means a translation. Also, we gather that most of the Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament were taken from the Septuagint targum. By his own personally invented criteria, if targums are “Babylonian-influenced”, as Ted R. Weiland claims, we are going to have to refute all these Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament of our present Bibles. Many today make the claim that some of our Bibles are “God-breathed” and without error. This is entirely true of the original manuscripts, but can hardly apply to later corrupted translations or copies. Can we claim that our translations (targums) are fully “God-breathed”?
COULD MESSIAH HAVE QUOTED FROM A TARGUM?
From the Collier’s Encyclopedia comment above, it might appear that targums were not committed to writing until the “Jews” returned to Babylon, after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. Notice that Collier’s says: “surviving targums.” We will now make a case that our Savior, when He quoted Isaiah 61:1 found in Luke 4:16-23 was in all likelihood reading from a targum. This passage says:
“16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written. 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
If one will consult various commentaries like Jamieson, Fausset & Brown’s Commentary On The Whole Bible or Matthew Poole’s A Commentary On The Holy Bible it will indicate that this passage is taken from the Septuagint. If you will read that passage again, you will notice that everyone in that synagogue without exception, understood every word the Redeemer was saying. So, whatever the language might have been, we are informed in Matthew 26:73 that there was a noticeable difference in accent between Jerusalem and Galilee.
George M. Lamsa’s Gospel Light, introduction, page xxvi: “... The Old Testament translation known as the Septuagint, was made into Greek by Jews for Jews who understood neither Aramaic nor Hebrew. This Greek text of the Scriptures was not used in Palestine where it would not have been understood and where the original texts are in common use. It is worth mentioning that the Greek Septuagint was not accepted or used by Eastern Christians. This is so today. The Eastern Version of the Old Testament is the authorized text of Nestorians, Chaldean Roman Catholics, Jacobites and other Christian groups and in its antiquity and originality are strongly supported by all of them regardless of the theological differences. The Septuagint was rejected partly because it contained the books of the Apocrypha which were not included in the Jewish Canon. This question was debated at the Jewish Council of Jamnia in 90 A.D. and settled in favor of the Palestinian decision. It was only after St. Jerome made the Latin Vulgate in the fourth century A.D. that the Apocrypha was accepted as canonical by the Roman Catholic Church.”
We must take into account that Lamsa is biased somewhat toward the Aramaic, as that was the language of his native origin. It would appear the Almighty used the language barrier between the Aramaic and Greek to separate the Gospel message away from the non-Israelite “Jews” toward the “lost sheep of the House of Israel.” The “Jews” continue to this very day to use Aramaic targums, while Greek was used as a vehicle to spread the Gospel to the true Israelite peoples. But, that is no reason we should reject Aramaic targums as a viable witness. Also, just because the “Jews” rejected the books of the Apocrypha, is no reason we should reject them too. It is obvious, if we should take time to study them, why they would reject them. I could point out several passages, but that is not the topic before us.
STRINGENT RULES FOR TARGUMS
The Encyclopedia Britannica, Ninth Edition (1894), volume 23, page 68: “Former Use of the Targum in Public.— The following rules had to be observed in reading of the Scriptures at the synagogal service: I. As regards the Law (Pentateuch). (1) The private person called to the Law (which chiefly contains halakhic matter) read one verse of it, which the official methurgeman or turgeman (translator) immediately paraphrased; (2) whilst the reader of the law was not allowed to take his eye off the written scroll, the methurgeman was forbidden, not merely to read out of a written Targum, but even to look into the sacred text: (3) each of these had to wait till the other had quite finished the reading and translation respectively; (4) one was not allowed to raise his voice in a louder key than the other; (5) a certain number of passages, although allowed to be read, were not allowed to be translated; these were: (a) such as might reflect unfavorably on a father of a tribe, or on an eminent teacher ... (b) such as might encourage the ignorant to think that there was some truth in idolatry; (c) such as might offend decency ...; (d) such as were fixed by the Lord Himself to be read in Hebrew only (as sacerdotal benediction, Num. 6:24-26); (6) the translator was neither allowed to give a literal translation nor to add anything that had no foundation in the Divine word; he had to give the spirit of the letter.
“II. As regards the Prophets. (1) The person called to read the Prophets (which chiefly contain agadic matter) might read three verses, of which the translator, who might be the reader himself, sought to render the meaning to the best of his ability; (2) the translator was allowed both to read out of a Targum volume and to look also into the book containing the prophetic texts; (3) if the reader and the translator were two different persons they observed the third rule given above for the case of reading the Law; (4) here also certain passages were not allowed to be translated: (a) such as reflected on great men of the Israelite nation; (b) such as offend decency; (5) any one sufficiently intelligent might read, and of course paraphrase the portion from the Prophets ...”
This brings us to a very crucial and vitally important cornerstone of all Scripture. The following passages from Aramaic targums were cited by a Scott Stinson in an article entitled “The Serpent and Eve” in The Vision, July 1998, vol. 2, #8, pages 28-29:
Targum of Jonathan to Genesis 4:1: “And Adam knew his wife Eve, who was pregnant by the Angel Sammael, and she conceived and bare Cain; and he was like the heavenly beings, and not like earthly beings, and she said, I have acquired a man, the Angel of the Lord.”
Palestinian Targum to Genesis 4:1: “And Adam knew his wife Eve, who had desired the Angel; and she conceived, and bare Cain; and she said, I have acquired a man, the angel of the Lord ...”
In another Rabbinic work: Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer, 21: “And she saw that his likeness was not of earthly beings, but of the heavenly beings, and she prophesied and said: I have gotten a man from the Lord.”
It would appear from those references that the problem with Genesis 4:1 is an omission of some of the words of the Hebrew text. I will now quote Genesis 4:1 from the King James Version and I will add the potentially needed words in italics from the Targum of Jonathan so it will make some sense:
“And Adam knew his wife Eve, who was pregnant by Sammael, and she conceived and bare Cain, and he was like the heavenly beings, and not like earthly beings, and she said, I have gotten a man from the angel of the Lord.”
Once we become aware there is a discrepancy both in the Massoretic and Septuagint texts as opposed to the Aramaic targums on Genesis 4:1, certain comments by various Biblical scholars start to make sense. Many of the best Hebrew scholars confirm there is a problem with Genesis 4:1! The Interpreter’s Bible, a twelve volume collaborative work of 36 “consulting editors” plus 124 other “contributors” makes the following observation on this verse, vol. 1, page 517:
“Cain seems originally to have been the ancestor of the Kenites ... The meaning of the name is ‘metalworker’ or ‘smith’; here, however, it is represented as a derivation of a word meaning ‘acquire’, ‘get’ — one of the popular etymologies frequent in Genesis — hence the mother’s words I have gotten a man. « From the Lord (KJV) is a rendering, following the LXX and Vulg., of ’eth Yahweh, which is literally, ‘with Yahweh’, and so unintelligible here (the help of [RSV] is not in the Hebrew). It seems probable that ’eth should be ’oth — so, ‘the mark of Yahweh’ — and that the words are a gloss ...” [emphasis mine]
Another scholar: Clarke’s Commentary, volume 1, page 58, suggests a contextual problem with Genesis 4:1 as opposed to 1 John 3:12, and being aware the meaning of the Greek word “wicked” in this instance means “Satan” says the following:
“... Unless she had been under Divine inspiration she could not have called her son (even supposing him to be the promised seed) Jehovah; and that she was not under such an influence her mistake sufficiently proves, for Cain, so far [remote] from being the Messiah, was of the wicked one; I John 3:12 ...”
To show you that Aramaic was one of the languages spoken for that geographic area at the time of our Messiah, I will now quote from The World Book Encyclopedia, © 1981, volume 1, page 551: “ARAMAIC ..., is an ancient Semitic language that was spoken throughout the Near East from about 700 B.C. to A. D. 700. Jesus spoke an Aramaic dialect. It was the popular tongue of Palestine at the time He lived. The books of Ezra and Daniel were written partly in the western dialect of Aramaic. Arabic finally took the place of Aramaic, except in a few isolated villages.”
Let’s now observe from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, page 167, how some scholars believe some passages in the New Testament are influenced by targums:
“Some New Testament writers indicate knowledge of targumic interpretations in their quotations from the Old Testament. For example, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay’ (Rom. 12:19; Heb. 10:30) is a quotation from Deuteronomy 32:35; but it conforms neither to the Hebrew text nor to the Greek text of the Septuagint. This particular phrase comes from the Targum. Again, the words of Ephesians 4:8, ‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men,’ are taken from Psalm 68:18. But the Hebrew and Septuagint texts speak of the receiving of gifts. Only the Targum on this text mentions the giving of gifts.” If there were no targums in written form at that time, how could the New Testament writers have quoted from them?
Perhaps one of the more striking observations is made in a book entitled Introduction To The Old Testament by R. K. Harrison, pages 225 and 231. Here are two excerpts: “Quite aside from other considerations, there are numerous traces in the LXX of the influence of the Aramaic targums, making the problem of the agreements between the Samaritan Pentateuch and the LXX one of considerable complexity ... it can be shown that many of the quotations in the New Testament writings were derived originally from an Aramaic source or sources, or perhaps even from oral translations, from memory, or from private translations ...”
With this evidence, we can see that the Septuagint was affected by Aramaic targums — the very same targums which Ted R. Weiland claims are “Babylonian- influenced.” If, then, the Aramaic targums are unreliable, then, too, is the Septuagint. Further, if the Septuagint is unreliable, so, too, are our present-day translations of the New Testament where they cite the Old Testament! In addition to this, there is a footnote at the end of chapter 42 of Job in the Septuagint which says this in part: “This is translated out of a book in the Syrian language ...” [Some designate Aramaic as Syrian.] If this is true, according to Weiland’s criteria, that makes the book of Job also “Babylonian-influenced.” As a targum of Job written in Aramaic was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, is confirmation the footnote at the end of Job in the Septuagint is probably correct, although we must reject the statement from the same footnote implying that Job was an Edomite who took an Arabian woman.
THE NEED FOR A PARAPHRASE (TARGUM)
When written material is translated from one language into another, some things cannot be expressed well in the secondary vocabulary. Thus, for a comprehensive understanding of the original language, sometimes, an extensive paraphrase is required in the latter. This is particularly true when translating from Hebrew. In other words, without a paraphrase, much of the original meaning of the primary thought would be hopelessly lost. Therefore, it would have been impossible to translate the Hebrew into the Aramaic without paraphrasing to some degree. To have translated on a literal word for word basis would have left much of the meaning of the text wanting.
There is much more that could be presented concerning the Aramaic language in the Bible, but this will have to suffice for now. The subject is referred to as early as Genesis 31:46-47, where Jacob used a different name for a rock pile than Laban. Most think that Laban spoke in Aramaic and that Jacob spoke in Canaanite. As Laban had gone into paganism, I would rather believe he was the one that spoke in Canaanite and Jacob spoke in Aramaic. (I will cite evidence concerning this later.)
With this, I would conclude that it is preposterous to repudiate all evidence found in the Aramaic targums as being “Babylonian-influenced.” Where is the old admonition that we should “study to show ourselves approved”?