[b-hebrew] Aramaic - Abba

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Fri Jul 22 17:13:53 EDT 2005

Yeah! You're absolutely right. I'm just working from things I have 
heard or read from past lecturers etc. and just taken it for granted 
that these things are true. I would be very interested in hearing 
the primary sources that touch on this matter. Another possibility is 
that the hebrew spoken by the hebrews of the first century had been 
affected by the exile 6 centuries before and for this reason bears 
similarities to what we refer to as Aramaic. Personally, I have 
always found it difficult to accept that Israel could so easily lose 
touch with Hebrew when their whole religion, culture, laws etc. was 
based on texts written in hebrew. 
Another thing to take into account is that Yeshua and his crew were 
from Galilee and were noted for their 'dialect'. Although, I've never 
been sure if this is referring to their accent and pronunciation or 
a country bumpkin version of hebrew and whether this explains the 
words we view as aramaic.
One thing that does seem certain is that Greek was much stronger than 
Latin despite the strong Roman control of the present world. As we see 
that most of the Christian writings were in Greek and not Latin (including 
Paul's epistle to the Romans).

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken Penner [mailto:pennerkm at mcmaster.ca]
Sent: Fri 7/22/2005 7:57 PM
To: Read, James C
Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: RE: [b-hebrew] Aramaic - Abba
Hi James,
There must be more to your argument, which as it stands appears to be:

Aramaic was sometimes used by Jews in the Second Temple period.
Therefore "Aramaic had firmly supplanted the Hebrew language in everyday
use" in the first century.

It seems to me that three languages were in use in first century Judaea, so
demonstrating the use of one does not demonstrate its dominance over the
others. But it would be helpful to consider which  kinds of evidence could
we appeal to in order to show which (if any) of the three was dominant for
everyday use.

Ken Penner

> Of the top of my head the fact that large portions of Daniel 
> are written in Aramaic show that this shift had began. Also 
> Jesus use of Aramaic shows it was either used in his day or 
> he was just using loanwords. And finally, aren't some of the 
> apocryphal writings after the exile written in a strain of 
> Aramaic? (I haven't read them and so I'm just going of secondary 
> sources)

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