Language code switching in Daniel

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Mon Dec 31 13:03:02 EST 2001

Sorry, this evidence doesn't add up. Jesus' words are preserved mostly in
Greek, but very probably in translation - there is certainly evidence of a
Semitic background to his words. One case where we can be certain that his
words have been preserved in translation was when he read from the scroll of
Isaiah in Luke 4; unless of course they were using LXX in the synagogue in

There is no record of Jesus speaking to a Roman centurion. The Capernaum
centurion of Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10 was not in the Roman army but in
that of the nominally independent tetrarchy of Herod Antipas; we don't know
his ethnicity, not Jewish, but very likely he spoke Aramaic which was the
local lingua franca. The Syrophoenician woman could equally well have been
an Aramaic speaker. Pilate probably spoke Greek or Latin himself, but he
would have had to have interpreters, so no evidence there. Now very likely
Jesus did speak some Greek, but I don't see any conclusive evidence here.

Peter Kirk

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dave Washburn [mailto:dwashbur at]
> Sent: 31 December 2001 16:33
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: Language code switching in Daniel
> [snip]
> > On another issue, how can one possibly erect a theory of
> inerrancy for the
> > LXX based upon a quotation of Jesus in the NT?  All the direct
> quotations of
> > his words are in Aramaic, non?
> [snip]
> Non.  First of all, the quotation mentioned was in Hebrews, not in
> the gospels.  Second, it's clear that Jesus must have spoken Greek as
> well as Aramaic since we have numerous examples where he spoke to non-
> Jews such as a Roman centurion, a Syrophonecian woman, and the Roman
> procurator.  Where it's clear he spoke Aramaic, the Aramaic words are
> transliterated into Greek characters, and they're only snippets.
> Given the commonness of a mixed audience, it seems more likely that
> he spoke Greek most of the time.  But even assuming otherwise, the
> Hebrews quotation has nothing to do with it.
> Dave Washburn
> This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to
> do with it.
>                   -Emerson

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