Was Paul a Tallit-Maker?
Many times over the last 15 years, I have heard the assertion that the Apostle Paul (Rav. Sha'ul) was not a tent-maker, as most Bibles render it. Rather, he was a tallit-maker. This assertion is even popularized in some Hebrew Roots Bible versions and HR-flavored commentaries. Indeed, so common is the acceptance of this belief, that few even question it. But one should be compelled to ask…why? Why does one need Paul to be a tallit-maker? Does it render him somehow more Jewish? Does it, in some way, make him any more of an Apostle? What do we gain by claiming this understanding? I'll let those questions hang there for a moment, while addressing the issue at hand.
Within the Torah-Observant community, it is not at all uncommon to hear someone say, "Well the New Testament was originally written in Aramaic, so that's why there looks like there is a contradiction…but the Aramaic clears it all up." While this is certainly not the only rationale behind the premise of Aramaic Primacy, it is one of the most common in our circles. In this article, we'll give a fair examination of the Aramaic Primacist position, and go a little deeper than many of it proponents seem to go.
J. A. Brown