I truly hate writing harsh-sounding comments like this on anybody's work. I wish I could only write positive things about everyone in this world. But unfortunately it's often not possible. I was sincerely looking forward to studying Andrew Gabriel Roth's Aramaic English New Testament (AENT). A purported translation of the bible from Aramaic manuscripts (mainly from the Khaboris Codex). Unfortunately I was very disappointed. This comment is being written after studying with his translation only about 5 days:
There's just no real nice way to say this; But Andrew Gabriel Roth's translation of the New Testament from the Aramaic is offensive. Being replete with erroneous, amateurish, and heretical commentaries throughout. In several places in his translation I've already found him attacking all and every Greek manuscript and translation thereof in existence. Andrew Roth sounds just like many Jehovah's Witnesses I've encountered over the years. He teaches that the concept of an eternal hell is a false pagan teaching. He only explains his position amateurishly on a few of the verses regarding eternal suffering being taught in scripture. He doesn't comment on the story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16. Or scripture in Revelation 19 and 20 about the lake of fire and the "smoke of their torment ascending forever and ever."
Instead Roth targets 2 Peter 2:4 where Peter uses the Greek word Tartarus ("Tartaros" Strong's Greek 5020.) which was a word adapted by Peter (or his scribe) describing an actual place Yeshua created for his enemies. "Tartarus" describes hell in a way people could understand in ancient Greece. Does it matter that the word was also allegedly used by Plato in 400 BC? I don't think so. Was Peter to somehow create a brand new word for this place he was describing? No, because a compatible version of the word was already in existence. According to Roth, the Aramaic translation there says "fiery regions". So its hard to actually follow Roth's logic as far as his deduction that there is no eternal hell/suffering. The scribe who wrote the manuscript in Greek adapted "Tarturus" in this instance. The only usage of this Greek word in the whole New Testament. Yet, Roth somehow wants to use this example in an attempt to debunk the teaching of eternal hell and the Greek manuscripts in general. All the while, by insinuation, exalting his translation as "the only" good translation. This tactic is very similar to what the #KJVOnly cult (sect) does.
When someone states they don't believe in hell they are also stating they do not believe the gospel or the written word of God. The good news is Christ SAVED us from an eternity in hell. Why else would He have suffered everything He did? Andrew Gabriel Roth's translation is "another gospel" Paul warned about in Galatians chapter 1.
“I tell you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear the One who, after you have been killed, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him! ” — Luke 12:4-5
If there is no hell, what exactly did Messiah or "Mashiyach" (the Christos) save us from? A quick extinguishing of our existences? Yeshua (Jesus) suffered the death He did for that? Of course not. The very idea of that is absurd. Roth attempts to diminish the immensity of the perilous situation humanity is in and therefore, in ignorance teaches an extremely unsound doctrine of no punishment to the evildoers in this world. If we only face a "disintegration" in the end then what does any of this matter? "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." (Isaiah 22:13; 1 Corinthians 15:32b 33). “Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
Every single person in this world who lives to the age of accountability will at one time encounter the TERROR of the LORD. Either in this life so we can be saved, or we will face this TERROR upon death and judgment if we rejected Yeshua HaMachiach (Jesus the Messiah). No one will face the terror or dread of having our lives simply "extinguished". Because there is no terror in that!
Our spirits within us are the real us. Either we will be joined to God's Spirit or we are chaff (Matt 3:12). Either we are grafted into the True Vine or we are a branch to be gathered to be thrown into the exact place where the rich man ended up (as described in Luke 16:20-25), and then finally thrown into the lake of fire where the smoke of "their" (or our) torment will ascend forever and ever (or, for an "age" that has NO definitive end given to us by God through His written LOGOS). THAT is the destiny to those who reject Yeshua and God's love and His suffering on the cross for us. THAT is what God considers ADEQUATE punishment for such a crime as that.
Roth does not and cannot discern the true peril man is in and so how could he (or anyone who believes this) therefore understand the urgent command to Yeshua's disciples to die out to our own will every day so that Yeshua and the Father by His Spirit may live through us and reach out to souls and snatch them from the fires of hell?
Andrew also takes issue with the generic Greek word "kurios" (Strong's Greek: 2962.) which can simply be translated as "sir". Lexicons will define Kurios as, "he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord." So of course the Greek word "Kurios" is proper when referring to Yehoshua or Jesus or Joshua. After all, He is THE genuine article when it comes to being LORD, Owner of everything. But Roth somehow doesn't understand how such a word could be referring to Yeshua. Yeshua, deserves to be referred to as "sir" "master" or "lord" above anyone who ever walked this earth. Andrew teaches one should say God's name "Yah-weh" while inhaling on the first part "Yah" and exhaling "weh". I find this teaching to be something not at all required by God and not found ANYWHERE in the Old or New Covenants. I also found at least one verified omission of an important word in his translation. AGR omitted the word "tachos" (Strong's Greek 5034. "quickly") which is used in Rev 1:1. AGR DOES translate that word there. But that word is an important word used for studying context of scripture. AGR omits the word "tachos" in Acts 25:4. God Almighty warns us sternly about omitting even one word or adding to His Word at the very end of Revelation and several other places throughout His Word.
All these discrepancies after looking as his translation for a few days! I can't imagine what else is in there.
I really wanted to love his translation. I was excited to purchase it. But I found so many erroneous teachings right away that I had to find a place to put this comment. Its sad. Its sad because Andrew and I are both from Long Island so I wanted very much to love him and his work. I can love Andrew, but I can't love what he has done to God's Word.
The thing about the Greek manuscripts is that anyone can study every single word and learn for themselves what God through the text is telling us. With Andrew's translation we must mainly rely on his word. But it is very difficult to "prove all things" with Andrew's translation. And that's just sad because the Greek language is an incredible and beautiful language and I feel like I have been given access to the Tree of Life through studying all the Greek words underneath the substandard English translation.
This is what happens when someone who hasn't actually experienced Yeshua or the fear of the LORD, but try to teach on the topic anyway. There are many "Roths" in this world unfortunately. The LORD warned us of them many times. I could write a lot more but I tend to try and cut things short. But much can be said about Roth's doctrines he espouses in his translation.
And I am not judging AGR and not myself like some kind of hypocrite. I am very busy every day studying scripture to apply to myself. To better myself and improve my walk with God Almighty. To remove the beam or log from my own eye. I do this with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. This is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it. I must love my neighbor as myself. Love is preferring something over another. Loving God is preferring His will and His Word and desires over everyone's wills, including our own. If we are doing this, then, and only then can we Love our neighbor as ourselves. I am not perfect, but I strive for it even as our Lord exhorted, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48 Amen and amen.
May the grace and peace of our God be with you all in and through Yeshua, our wonderful Savior, the Messiah and KING
You can be saved!
God loves the people in the world so much that He came down to die for us. If God is opening your heart to His message and you feel convicted for your sins which have separated you from a holy God and you feel the need to be forgiven, then say this prayer. This is how I was powerfully converted to the Christ in 1997!
Say, "My Lord and my God, have mercy on me, a sinner. I believe Jesus the Christ died on the cross and shed His precious blood for the forgiveness of all my sins. I believe Jesus raised from the dead and ascended into heaven and is now on the right-hand side of God listening to this prayer. I open up the door of my heart and I invite You in, Lord Jesus. Thank you, God, for saving my soul and I vow to serve you with all my heart which is the first and greatest commandment. Amen."