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Lamsa and the Gnostic Connection

John Collins6/18/2012 10:02:00 AMRev. Branham also studied the Lamsa translation and even claimed to know the translator. The problem? Branham considered Lamsa to be a great man, and believed him with all his heart.

I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Lamsa, today, the translator of the Lamsa translation of the Bible. And such a privilege... You know, I would rather you'd give me a little rosebud, right now, than a whole wreath after I'm gone. I think maybe he'd think the same thing. I certainly can prescribe to his translation, for meeting him and finding such a lovely spirit of a real true Christian believer. God bless his gallant soul. I don't know as I've ever met any more spiritual man than Dr. Lamsa. May the Lord richly bless him.

He claimed that Lamsa told him the pyramid sign was the sign of God, which could have led to Branham believing that the pyramid was a 'bible' of old.

Moses' sign, that he saw, was God in cosmic light. And then when He did that...
And does anybody know the old Hebrew sign, even before there was a Bible written? Was a triangle shape, or an oval shape of a cosmic light, exactly right, the Logos. Now, Doctor Lamsa has that in his Bible, on the cover on the outside.

When that great man, Doctor Lamsa, the translation of the Lamsa Bible, when he said that morning when I told him that, I said--I said, "What's that sign?"
He said, "That's God's ancient sign in the Hebrew: God, one God in three attributes."
I said, "Such as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?"
He stopped, and he set his cup of coffee down; he looked at me. Gene, believe you was there, Leo. Said, "You believe that?"
I said, "With all my heart."
60-0515E ADOPTION.1

Did you ever see the Lamsa translation of the Bible, the old... The--the old Hebrew sign of--of God is a triangle Light; more or less, something like that, that the three attributes of God, in one Godhead. And this triangled Light, the three in One, being one God, was a--a sign to the Hebrew, of God, Light.

I said, "No, sir. I am not the Oneness. I believe in God being the Almighty God, and the three attributes are only three offices that the one God lived in."
He said, "Bless your heart." He said, "Someday you'll pour your blood upon the earth for that," but said, "prophets always die for their cause."
And I said, "So let it be, if it pleases my Lord." The translation of the Lamsa Bible...
60-0515E ADOPTION.1

Branham not only respected Lamsa, the feeling was mutual. They shared a similar belief system, and it involved mysticism and Gnosticism.

There's no such a thing as three persons in one God." And if that isn't Brother Lamsa, Doctor Lamsa, the translator of the Lamsa Bible, which is a bosom friend to Eisenhower and all the great diplomats of the world, and everything else, throwed his arms around me, said, "Someday they'll shoot you for that." But said, "Remember, all those people die for a cause."

The other night when I met Dr. Lamsa, of the Lamsa Bible, he said, "What's the matter with these American people?"
Said, "I don't know." Seventy percent of the Bible is vision, yet they can't believe.

Branham also used the Lamsa ideas to embellish his story about the cloud formation.

Now, in the heavens above. Did you notice I'm looking on this, the--the Light on the picture there out of the Life Magazine, that the brother that lives here in this home has put on his wall, that triangle of Light.

I just happened to run across my mind. If any of you have the Lamsa Bible translation, if you'll notice over the cover of it, is a triune, trinitarian light, a three-cornered light like a halo. And when Dr. Lamsa, a friend, my personal friend, was translating the Bible, that is the old Hebrew symbol of God in the true trinitarian way that He is; not three Gods, but three manifestations of the same God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Light is one complete circle of Light in a triangle shape, which means that God will dwell in three offices, the Fatherhood, Sonship, and Holy Ghost dispensation, all the same God.
64-0112 SHALOM

In Branham's book, An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, Lamsa is praised in the very first chapter.

Now not only is what I have just said true, but let us go a step further. Today we have some students who claim that the original manuscripts were written in the Aramaic which was the language of Jesus and the people of His day. It is claimed by them that the people did not speak and write in the Greek as is so commonly supposed. And the fact is our historians are divided on that. For example, Dr. Schonfield, a most brilliant student has from research proved to his satisfaction that the New Testament was written in the vernacular of the Greek speaking people of that day. He builds up a fine case for his beliefs, based on the various documents at his disposal. But on the other hand we have another renowned student, Dr. Lamsa, who is convinced that the New Testament was written in the Aramaic and he has none other than the brilliant historian, Toynbee, to back up his contention that the Aramaic, and NOT THE GREEK was the language of the people, so it seems possible that the New Testament was first written in the Aramaic.

However, before we get too concerned about this, let us read both the King James version and the translation by Dr. Lamsa. To our gratification we find the words in both amazingly the same so that there is no difference actually in content or doctrine. We may even conclude that God has allowed these newly discovered manuscripts and recent publications of already known scripts to come before us to prove the authenticity of what we already had. And we find that though translators may fight each other, scripts do not.

The George Lamsa translation is from the Aramaic language, and he believed the original texts were Aramaic and later changed to Greek. There is no evidence to support this.

Paul studied under Gamaliel who was the grandson of Hillel. Paul was well versed in the Greek language and philosophy. He did not speak to roman rulers in Aramaic.

In 250 B.C., the Hebrew Scriptures were translated to Greek. The New Testament is written in Koine Greek (common Greek), and Greek is the dominant language in the New Testament.

George Lamsa was a man who studied the psychic phenomenon, which made for a good fit for Branham's studies. He also denied the Trinity, which is why his translation is popular among various cult followings. He had a Gnostic view of the Holy Spirit, believing that it was more of an influence or power.

Like most cult leaders, Lamsa believed that he had the only divine interpretation of the scriptures, and that this original truth was required.

Note some of the differences between the King James Version and Lamsa:

Mathew 24:7

King James Bible : Jesus says: "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
Lamsa Bible: Jesus says: "My God, My God, for this I was spared [kept in some versions]!"

Ephesians 6:12

King James Version Bible, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Lamsa: "For your conflict is not only with flesh and blood, but also with the angels, and with powers, with the rulers of this world of darkness, and with the evil spirits under the heaven".

Mathew 19:24

King James Version Bible "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle..."
Lamsa: "It is easier for a rope to go through the eye of a needle"

Luke 14:25

NIV: "If any one comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters, yes even his own life, he can not be My disciple".

Lamsa: "He who comes to Me and does not put aside his father and his mother and his brothers and his sisters and his wife and his children and even his own life can not be a disciple to me".