[b-hebrew] Aramaic - Abba

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Fri Jul 22 14:32:44 EDT 2005

On Friday 22 July 2005 10:27, Peter Kirk wrote:
> On 22/07/2005 17:10, Yigal Levin wrote:
> >Okay, then, assuming that Mark records the tradition faithfully, the
> >question is whether Jesus would have been using Aramaic or Hebrew, and
> >whether the form ABBA at that time would have been more formal or less.
> > Or, on the other hand, what Mark intended by putting the word Abba in
> > Jesus' mouth. I really don't think that we have enough information to go
> > on.
> Well, there are several apparently Aramaic words recorded in
> transliteration in Mark's gospel, e.g. TALIQA in 5:41 and SABACQANI in
> 15:34 (Q = theta, C = chi), and an apparently Hebrew one, ELWI = Elohi
> in 15:34 (W = omega). Translations into Greek are given for all of them,
> just as for "Abba". One interpretation is that Jesus was always speaking
> Aramaic. Another is that Jesus was normally speaking Hebrew which was
> translated into Greek, and the few Aramaic words preserved are preserved
> to show their distinctively Aramaic nature.

Another possibility is that he spoke Greek a fair bit of the time, since it 
was the trade language of the empire.  We have several recorded examples of 
him talking with Romans, at least one Phoenician, and so forth, so it seems 
very possible that he spoke Greek at least in his public speeches etc. and 
that the Aramaic words and phrases are rendered into Greek because he didn't 
use Aramaic all that much, relatively speaking.

Dave Washburn
"Well, if I'd wanted a safe life, I guess I wouldn't have 
married a man who studies rocks." - Betty Armstrong (Fay Masterson)

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