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

dwashbur at nyx.net dwashbur at nyx.net
Sat Oct 27 23:25:22 EDT 2007



On 26 Oct 2007 at 15:17, Bryant J. Williams III wrote:

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

Or "ephphatha" in Mark 7:34.  How do you see that relating to the Hebrew/Aramaic 
question?

Thanks,
Dave

> 
> ----- 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,
> R.D.
> > > 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,
> E.
> > > 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
> Intertestamental
> > Period.
> >
> > > What I think is happening is that when Aramaic became the official language
> of
> > > 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
> actually
> > > 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
> examples
> > of transliterated Aramaic, but there's no word in the New Testament for
> "Aramaic."
> >
> > An
> > > example of one language being used but another used at the same time would
> be
> > > Koine Greek during the ascendancy of the Roman Empire from roughly 200 BC to
> 200
> > > AD. Greek was the official language of the Roman Empire, while Latin was
> still
> > > used. By 200 AD, if not earlier, the situation reversing itself, at least in
> the
> > > 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
> previously-native
> > 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
> the
> > > nobility, but it was the Saxon English that was used by the common people.
> > > Eventually, although Latin was still used in churches, official decrees,
> etc.,
> > > 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
> the
> > > 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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Dave Washburn
Why do it right when you can do it again?



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