[b-hebrew] Hebrew as a Spoken Language vs. Aramaic

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Fri Oct 26 18:17:41 EDT 2007

Dear Dave,

> interpretation of the Aramaic phrases are  mentioned.

Can you develop this a little more for me?  I'm not sure what you're saying.

I am thinking of Mark 5:41 and the raising of Jairus' daughter and the use of
"Talitha Cum."

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <dwashbur at nyx.net>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, October 26, 2007 1:11 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Hebrew as a Spoken Language vs. Aramaic

> On 26 Oct 2007 at 12:39, Bryant J. Williams III wrote:
> > Dear Dave,
> >
> > K. A. Kitchen, Ancient Orient and Old Testament, Chapter 7, "Principles of
> > Linguistic Studies," III: (c), "The Question of Aramaisms," pp. 145-146. See
> > also page 108, footnote 84.
> >
> > In this section of the book he cites or quotes the following: Eissfeldt,
> > Wilson, BASOR 89 (1943), C.H. Gordon, C. Viirolleaud, E.J. Young, J.
> > Aistleitner, M. Dahood, A. Dupont-Sommer, Wiseman, W.F. Albright, E. Forrer,
> > Ebeling, B. Meissner, etc. just to list a few. He further uses the Amarna
> > Letters and Assyrian texts from Tiglath-Pileser I of the prove the point.
> I'll have to see if I can get my hands on that work, because I'm not sure I
can see what the
> Amarna letters or Assyrian texts would have to do with the so-called
> Period.
> > What I think is happening is that when Aramaic became the official language
> > most of the Levant Hebrew was still spoken and used through to the Rabbinic
> > period by the people.
> This is where we disagree.  I think it was used by the religious leaders and
some of the elite,
> but not by the common people except in contexts such as synagogue rites etc.
> > The references to "Hebrew" in the New Testament is
> > commonly understood to refer to Aramaic. I think this is wrong.
> Once again, we disagree.  And I have no problem with that.
>  The
> > interpretation of the Aramaic phrases are  mentioned.
> Can you develop this a little more for me?  I'm not sure what you're saying.
> > The references to Hebrew
> > being spoken, e.g., Paul in the Temple precincts during his arrest, is
> > Hebrew. The Sanhedrin meeting for Jesus' trial would have used Hebrew.
> Perhaps, though I doubt this is certain.  In any case, Jesus probably would
have understood
> it, being somewhat of an unofficial rabbi himself.  As for Paul's address, I
think the jury is
> still out, especially since we know that Aramaic was spoken and even have some
> of transliterated Aramaic, but there's no word in the New Testament for
> An
> > example of one language being used but another used at the same time would
> > Koine Greek during the ascendancy of the Roman Empire from roughly 200 BC to
> > AD. Greek was the official language of the Roman Empire, while Latin was
> > used. By 200 AD, if not earlier, the situation reversing itself, at least in
> > West, while Greek was still used by the Byzantine Greek East.
> But once again, we're not talking about a complete displacement of the people
to a land
> where a different language was spoken and nobody gave a rip what their
> tongue was.  So Greek really isn't analogous.
> > From a closer time
> > period, after the Battle of Hastings, Norman French was used in England by
> > nobility, but it was the Saxon English that was used by the common people.
> > Eventually, although Latin was still used in churches, official decrees,
> > it was English that was understood by almost everyone.
> Same objection.  The English weren't transported back to France where English
wasn't used
> at all.
> > Thus, I can still see
> > very much of Hebrew being understood by all classes of people through the
> > Rabbinic period especially considering that Latin, Greek, Hebrew was used on
> > indictment of Jesus.
> The question there would be, who wrote it?  If the Sanhedrin wrote it, it
might have been
> Hebrew.  But the stories tell us the Roman procurator wrote it and the
Sanhedrin objected to
> it.  Would Pontius Pilate be likely to have known Hebrew?  Considering what we
know about
> the man, he probably thought both languages sounded like gibberish :-) and
couldn't have
> cared less which one actually went on the placard.  I'm assuming he had an
underling do
> the actual work, and can easily see him telling such an underling, "Write it
in Latin and
> Greek and whatever that other noise is that these people make."  So again, it
seems to me
> that the evidence is equivocal, at the very least.
> Dave Washburn
> Why do it right when you can do it again?
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