Friday, March 28, 2008

Jesus' post-Resurrection greeting in Aramaic

28:9a. "Hi!" chairete. ... The word can translate the Hebrew shalom (see at 26:49), but it is not as dignified as the Greek eirene hymin ("Peace be with you") used in Luke's and John's accounts of the Risen One's greetings (Luke 24:36; John 20:19, 26), nor it is anywhere near as august as the Old English [sic] "All hail" used here by the King James Version. The word's closest modern American equivalent, I think, because it is closest to what we most often say in meeting, is the extremely simple "Hi!" This earthiness is wonderful!

- Frederick Dale Bruner, Matthew: A Commentary: The Churchbook, Matthew 13-28

Bruner's excellent rhetorical observations on Christ's post-resurrection greeting (from which my pastor usefully drew an entire Easter sermon last Sunday)--particularly his note about the Hebrew--made me wonder about the Aramaic greeting here, specifically whether it was a cognate of the Hebrew shalom.

Sure enough, Peshitta's interlinear gives the greeting in Matt 28:9 as s-l-m:

Peshitta interlinear

CAL glosses the noun as "peace" and the verb as "to be whole" (not sure about interjectory or salutary use).

So in this greeting I hear a linguistic echo of the new creation order of shalom that the resurrection itself so gloriously established!

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