Peshitta Aramaic-English is the first translation from Jesus’ language to English. The reason I chose this bible to work from regarding The Revelation Painting was that I noticed the differences in various bibles. The Aramaic Bible is the language of Jesus and his countrymen of 1st century Israel, with a word for word translation into English next to each Aramaic word (depending on the source read).
The first difference which caught my attention was in The Four Horsemen Scene. I had to read it several times to try to understand the underlying messages; Who were the horses? What was the significance of their colors? What does their specific order signify? I started with the white horse. From the New Testament of many bibles read today:
Revelation 6:1-2 “And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.”
From the Aramaic Bible:
1. And I saw as the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four life forms saying in a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”
2. And I looked and there appeared a white filly,* and the one riding on it has a bow, and a wreath was given him, and he emerged* to conquer wherever he may conquer.
As you can see here, there are many discrepancies. The two which stood out as problems in the painting were that what I once believed to be a powerful, muscular, white stallion had now become a young, female “filly”. The second problem was that a crown had now become a wreath…the two are very different especially in the implementation of visual art.
In trying to understand why the horse was originally a filly, I researched the differences and found that a young female horse when used in battle was not only strong and had stamina, it was also quiet. It did not make noise which would alert an enemy of its presence. I found that extremely important since the rider of this filly obviously went to battle; to conquer.
About the wreath, in ancient times it seems a wreath was given as a sign attributed to a trophy of sorts. I imagine the warriors wore the wreath but royalty or upper society wore the crowns as a sign of leadership. There are many articles written regarding the significance of wreaths even today in modern society with roots embedded in ancient times.
Not forgetting the significance of these discrepancies, it was and is my intention in creating The Revelation Painting to make it as accurate as humanly possible. I could not see any other way than to go back in time to the words Jesus supposedly spoke and the first translation was from Aramaic, the language Jesus was supposed to have spoken.
We have to consider as human beings who trust in something as sacred as the bible to manage the way we “run” our lives, if we are believing what someone told us to believe other that Jesus or God himself? Another issue I thought about was those who have studied the priesthood, Theology, and spent years learning…why don’t they read and learn from the Aramaic Bible?
I am but an artist and human being trying to make sense of the world and its religions. I have said that I am not religious but am learning to make my own decisions. Although I have learned much from these 15 years, I have also seen many discrepancies in what I have been taught my entire life about religion. It is difficult for me to have “blind faith” and God knows that, he made me this way.