Wednesday, September 13, 2006


11th century book in Syriac Serto.Aramaic is a Semitic language with a 3,000-year history. It has been the language of administration of empires and the language of divine worship. It is the original language of large sections of the biblical books of Daniel and Ezra, and is the main language of the Talmud. Aramaic is believed to have been the native language of Jesus. In the following passage, spoken by Jesus while being crucified, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani" is Aramaic. Matthew 27:46 has a direct parallel in Psalm 22 (written nearly 1000 years before the birth of Jesus):

About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama
sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
-Matthew 27:46

Even at the point of death Jesus quotes scripture.

Modern Aramaic is spoken today as a first language by numerous, scattered communities, most significantly by Assyrians. The language is considered to be endangered.


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