Geroge M. Lamsa was a native Aramaic speaker born in the Middle East. He translated the Aramaic Peshitta Bible, which means "simple" or "straight," into English. Without going into arguments of manuscript primacy, Aramaic was indeed spoken broadly in the first century across the entire Levant region. The Jewish community of Jesus' day certainly utilized it alongside Hebrew and Greek.
Some claim that Peshitta preserves some of the most original wordings of Jesus' teachings, while others remain skeptical. Still, any Semitic presentation of biblical ideas, even translated into English, could be valuable in interpreting the nuances of the ancient texts. This makes the Aramaic Peshitta manuscripts preserved by Eastern churches particularly interesting to biblical scholars.
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