[B-Greek] How many languages in Acts 21-22?

Randall Buth randallbuth at gmail.com
Thu Aug 19 03:15:47 EDT 2010


On Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 2:12 AM, George F Somsel <gfsomsel at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Would you care to explain that?
>
> george
> gfsomsel


Sure.
Scholarship has longed wondered about how much Hebrew Philo might have known.
But with Josephus we have his explicit testimony of being an expert in
the fine points of the law (Life 9 [bragging], 198 [incidental]). Even
allowing for bragging, that includes more than a trivial knowledge of
Hebrew. Plus, as Yehoshua Grintz showed in JBL 1960, Josephus'
writings are consistent with Josephus knowing Hebrew, Aramaic, and
Greek, all three well. Josephus never mixed up Aramaic and Hebrew. See
Grintz for details. And calling a Hebraism as 'in the patriarchal
language' is certainly consistent with Hebrew.
(The only questionable "mixup" in language names in all the LXX,
Josephus, or NT, is "John", where three times he calls place names
Hebrew while their philological etymology is Aramaic. Which on face
value says that John considered those names as part of the Hebrew
language, not specifically Aramaic. Can Americans say that "Ian" is
English and means 'beloved'? [It's Scottish.] Anyway, the whole
history of EBRAISTI possibly meaning SYRISTI boils down to those three
names in John, which even if gratuitously granted, would not deprive
other Greek speakers of correctly using EBRAISTI.)

But this gets us back to the thread itself, which was a discussion of
the events and references in Acts 21-22. Isn't the plain reading of
the text a situation of Aramaic to Greek to Hebrew? According to the
text and the language data of Acts. John's use should be in a
different thread if you wish.

ERRWSO
IWANHS

>> The following deals with sociolinguistics of Greek in Jerusalem,
>> at least relating to a vocab item illustrating EBRAISTI
>> and SYRISTI. I don't remember the full sequence being discussed
>> on the list.
>>
>> In Acts 21:30-22:23 we have
>> a. 30-31 a near riot in the temple, presumably with speech
>> b. 33-34 a first enquiry, presumably including Paul and the Romans,
>> c. 37      a Greek conversation, as a surprise to the Roman chiliarch
>> d. 40-22:2      a Ebraisti speech, presumably in a different language
>>                   than when they were dealing with him as a mob.
>> e. 22:24 now the chiliarch wants to know what was being said in the
>>               speech
>>
>> 'C' would point to 'a' and 'b' not being in Greek. Many/(most?) Romans
>> soldiers, after all, in the Eastern provinces would be able to speak
>> Aramaic.
>> Then in 'd', the very mention of the language and of getting quieter
>> would seem to point to the language being different from the language
>> of 'a' and 'b' above.
>> 'E' then implies that communication during the speech was not as
>> clear as in 'a' and 'b'.
>>
>> Can this Ebraisti in this context be anything else than Hebrew?
>>
>> Counting the languages in the passage:
>> 'a-b' Aramaic,
>> 'c' Greek,
>> 'd' Hebrew.
>> 'e' Unspecified, perhaps Greek, as things become more official
>> within the Roman legal process.
>>
>> Comments? Problems?
>> If there is no problem with the above, there may be a problem in
>> BDAG and most common discussions on the situation.
>>
>> (Josephus War 5.268-274 records warning speech based on a
>> Hebrew wordplay and a special Hebrew speech by Josephus,
>> who distinguished Aramaic and Hebrew in his writings, in 6:96.
>> I mention these not to displace any language but to include the
>> third language that seems to disappear in NT discussions outside
>> circles comfortable with Mishnaic Hebrew.)
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Randall Buth, PhD
>> www.biblicalulpan.org
>> randallbuth at gmail.com
>> Biblical Language Center
>> Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life
>> ---
>> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek
>> B-Greek mailing list
>> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org
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>>
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Randall Buth, PhD
> www.biblicalulpan.org
> randallbuth at gmail.com
> Biblical Language Center
> Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life
>
>



-- 
Randall Buth, PhD
www.biblicalulpan.org
randallbuth at gmail.com
Biblical Language Center
Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life



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