When I was a child I had a dream – to live in a stone hut in the middle of the woods translating heavy volumes of Greek philosophy. Since then I’ve apparently opted for an alternative path. But – similar passions reside. Though not my original Greek love, after studying a couple texts by the Sufi mystic Neil Douglas-Klotz, I now wish I could learn Aramaic by osmosis. By osmosis because I am resigned to my lack of initiative for approaching said task in earnest.
Jesus’ native tongue renders a far more open interpretation to Jesus’ spiritual teachings than the commonly accepted English rendition supplied by the King James version.
If you’re interested in gaining a broadening and enlightening scope, take a look at Douglas-Klotz’ book The Hidden Gospel: http://abwoon.org/the-hidden-gospel/.
The opening line of what is known commonly to English speakers as the Lord’s Prayer reads: Abwoon d’bashmaya in Aramaic.
Being true to Jesus’ native tongue, the opening line ‘Our Father’, as expressed in the Aramaic language and worldview, has many angles and perspectives the speaker and/or reader can come into it from, depending on their own particular life situations. These are a few of the possible interpretations according to Douglas-Klotz:
O Thou, the One from whom breath enters being in all radiant forms;
O Parent of the universe, from your deep interior comes the next wave of shining life;
O fruitful, nurturing Life-giver! Your sound rings everywhere throughout the cosmos;
Father-Mother who births Unity, You vibrate life into form in each new instant.
Imagine the depth and breadth of possibility for Christian spirituality if it was common practice to interpret Jesus’ thusly.