In searching for Aramaic Bible resources, I came across the following website. I’ll go ahead and link, because I don’t have a problem with opposing religious views–even rather silly ones.
The authors of this website believe that the King James Bible is the “most reliable” transmission of “God’s Word,” and that Lamsa’s translation is not derived from ancient Aramaic. Rather, they believe that he simply added his “occultic” (sic) ideas into the text of the KJV. I have been unhappy with Lamsa’s retention of the KJV style of language, and specific words, for other reasons; openness to this sort of criticism hadn’t really occurred to me. Of course, the authors of this website drew this conclusion because the Lamsa Bible is approved by my newly-adopted Unity Christian Church, whom they hold to be “occultists” as well.
Of course, Lamsa’s Bible is also endorsed by Oral Roberts’ Bible Study, and these folks think that the Roman Catholic Church “suppressed” the truth of the KJV…
Be that as it may, George A. Lamsa was a native Aramaic speaker and middle-eastern Christian whose new (1933) translation of the Bible really clarifies a lot of things that got muddled as the ancient manuscripts passed through Greek and Latin and into English. He–and his surviving student, Rocco E. Errico–has also published books that assist in understanding Aramaic and middle-eastern idioms. Errico has even written an introductory text for Aramaic, so that one can read the original texts without relying on anyone’s translation.