[B-Greek] A claim that Christ's teachings were delivered in Greek

Paul E. Baronowsky paulb2 at insightbb.com
Tue Aug 24 16:44:36 EDT 2010

On 10-08-24 2:16 PM, "Blue Meeksbay"<bluemeeksbay at yahoo.com>  wrote:
> Since some have been discussing the languages used in the New
> Testament, I thought this might be of interest to some. Is anyone
> familiar with it?  It was written by Alexander Roberts, DD (of
> Ante-Nicene Church Fathers fame. He was co-editor with Philip
> Schaff). He was also the Professor of Humanities at St. Andrews
> University.  He apparently believed most of Christ's teachings were
> delivered in Greek!

 > On 8/24/2010 1:26 PM, Ken Penner wrote:
 > I tend to associate the view you mention with Stan Porter "Did Jesus
 > Ever Teach in Greek?" Tyndale Bulletin, 44 (1993), 199.

I must say at the outset that I am probably a "fool rushing in..." here. 
I have no credentials which would support my comment. My advanced 
education and traning was in physical science (chemistry). My natural 
instinct to follow both St. Paul and St. John in their admonition "πάντα 
δὲ δοκιμάζετε" (PANTA DE DOKIMAZETE) was a cause, not a result, of my 
having chosen to study a physical science.

I have read somewhere - sorry, I cannot cite a reference offhand - that 
the Galilee was the most Hellenized of the Jewish territories at the 
time of Jesus. So, it does not seem to me impossible that Jesus taught 
in Greek. However, one Biblical clue leads me to think that in his early 
childhood, the spoken language in his immediate environment was Aramaic.

I wonder what a professional psychologist would have to say about the 
recorded words that Jesus spoke in the moments just before his death: 
"Ηλι ηλι λεμα σαβαχθανι" (HLI HLI LEMA SABAXQANI), a transliteration of 
spoken Aramaic into Greek, which Matthew then translates into Greek as: 
"Θεέ μου θεέ μου, ἱνατί με ἐγκατέλιπες;" (QEE MOU QEE MOU, hINATI ME 

Is it not significant that at that critical moment (I forbear using the 
pun "crucial") that Jesus spoke his last words in Aramaic?

Of course, I recognize that this may have no bearing on the language 
with which he taught. Did either A. Roberts or S. Porter make a comment 
on the last words of Jesus being in Aramaic?

Best Wishes,
Paul Baronowsky
Evansville, IN

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