[b-hebrew] Aramaic - Abba

Jim West jwest at highland.net
Fri Jul 22 13:45:05 EDT 2005

Harold R Holmyard III wrote:

>HH: One thought that occurs to me is that Jesus elsewhere in the 
>gospels seems to speak Aramaic rather than Hebrew where there are 
>speech fragments in a language other than Greek. That suggests ABBA 
>was Aramaic, and thus according to what has been said would have 
>meant "father." If that is the case, then the Greek NT translation of 
>ABBA as "father" would make sense.

This of course assumes that we have ipsissima verba instead of 
redactional activity.  It could very well be the case that the gospel 
tradents were passing on what had become almost "magical" words.  If 
some early Christians believed in magic (and some clearly did!)- and if 
they believed Jesus spoke Aramaic (or Hebrew), it makes sense that they 
would try to imitate him in this respect.  Note that the very places 
where aramaisms/hebraisms are preserved in the gospel traditions its 
where prayers are being uttered- and prayer is the most "magical" of all 

In other words, the search which leads to the words of Jesus, or what 
Jesus "said" may be nothing but a search for what some of his followers 
said in imitation of him (or at least so they hoped).

D. Jim West

Biblical Studies Resources -  http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
Biblical Theology Weblog -  http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list