[b-hebrew] Discovering the language of Jesus

Rolf Furuli furuli at online.no
Mon Oct 2 17:24:38 EDT 2006

Dear Sujata,

Are Sierra Nevada and Los Angeles English words? There can be little doubt
that both Aramaic and Hebrew were spoken in Palestine in the first half of
the first century C.E. But there is some uncerntainty whether Hebrew was the 
language of
the people and Aramaic the language of the leaders, vice versa, or whether
one of the languages dominated a particular part of the country. The Aramaic
words of the New Testament cannot help us answer the mentioned questions. If
I translate a book from English into Norwegian and I find some French words
there, I probably will not translate them, since the original text is
English, and these French words have some particular effect. In contrast
with the few Aramaic words in the New Testament, which tell us little, there
is something else that may be more important. In Acts 21:40; 22:2, and 26:14
we learn that Paul addressed the crowd in the *Hebrew* language and that God
addressed Paul in the same language. Aramaic names are sometimes in the New
Testament called "Hebrew" But that is understandable if the main language
was Hebrew, since many foreign words are incorporated in any language,
particularly proper names. Some claim that hEBRAIS in Acts IS Aramaic (see
NIV), but I have never seen real evidence in favor of that. 2 Kings 18:27
distinguisches between YHWDYT and ARMYT, and Josephus make a clear
distinction between Hebrew and Aramaic. On the basis of Paul´s words I take
side with those who believe that Hebrew was the language of the people in 
the first century

Best regards,

Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "sujata" <shevaroys at yahoo.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, October 02, 2006 8:49 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Discovering the language of Jesus

> Is Talitha Cumi Aramaic? Wasn't Jesus, King of the Jews written in Aramaic
> as well?
>  Sujata
> Oun Kwon <kwonbbl at gmail.com> wrote:
>  What was it in the nonbiblical DSS material? Was it mostly in Aramaic?
> Thanks,
> Oun.
>> Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2006 18:46:14 +0100
>> From: "Chris and Nel"
>> Subject: [b-hebrew] Discovering the language of Jesus
>> Dear Oun,
>> I am not able to answer the question about Jesus, but I would like to
>> 'donate' some balance to the idea that all the jews coming back from
>> babylon
>> spoke Aramaic, this reasoning propagated by many, is entirely
>> unjustified.
>> Nehemiah 13:24 is but a small, indicative clue to the practicality of the
>> situation. I believe that common sense and modern history can teach us
>> that
>> many Jews would have retained their native dialects and passed them on.
>> Some would have abandoned their children's language to the language of
>> Babylonia. My own children have not been allowed to forget their native
>> language in spite of living in an English speaking environment. I have
>> heard
>> and read it so many times that the Jews spoke aramaic after Babylon --
>> and I
>> find it a simplistic view of a complex environment. Nehemiah 13:24 does
>> in
>> no way deny that jews may well be conversing in aramaic, the business
>> community, to converse with their neighbours etc, but it also presents an
>> unexpected portrayal of Practical daily life that I am thankful was
>> inserted
>> into the scripture.
>> Chris Watts
> _______________________________________________

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