[B-Greek] Inscriptions

Kevin Riley klriley at alphalink.com.au
Tue Aug 31 20:47:25 EDT 2010

  I am afraid, at least from my brief research, that the answer to the 
question of who spoke which language where is found scattered through a 
number of books.  Aramaic was the lingua franca of much of the middle 
east before Arabic rose to prominence and Greek did not replace it in 
most of that area.  You need to think in terms of di/triglossia for most 
of the region.  Aramaic was the liturgical language for the Christian 
churches in Palestine, Syria, Iraq and much of what is now Turkey.  From 
memory also in Iran, but I may have that wrong.  Outside the 
historically Greek areas, saying the eastern part of the Roman Empire 
was Greek speaking is somewhat analogous to saying that India is English 

Kevin Riley

On 25/08/2010 11:45 AM, Eddie Mishoe wrote:
> Is there any well-researched book that informs us about the main spoken language of the empire in various places based on the preponderance of inscriptions? Since Paul's churches in the West and East are both written in Greek, can we assume that Greek was the lingua franca of all parts of the empire?
> Why all the speculation about what was the main language spoken in various parts. Was not even the church in Jerusalem Greek-speaking? I'm not sure how important it would be for the non-Jew to speak Aramaic, since Greek would be the medium of exchange, presumably.
> Any interesting articles on the Net would be helpful. Does not Stanley Porter contend that Greek was basically spoken throughout the empire?
> Eddie Mishoe
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