Saturday, September 10, 2011

Aramaic of Jesus

Most scholars believe that Jesus spoke Aramaic with some Hebrew, and possibly Greek. Generally, scholars believe that the towns of Nazareth and Capernaum where Jesus lived were Aramaic-speaking communities, that he was knowledgeable enough in Hebrew to discuss the Hebrew Bible, and that he might have known some Greek through commerce as a carpenter in nearby Sepphoris. Accordingly, Jesus is believed to have addressed primarily Aramaic-speaking audiences. The following verses are evidence of the Aramaic language being a commonly used language of the Jews: John 5:2; 19:20; Acts 21:40; 22:2; 26:14; Revelation 9:11.

This article explores Aramaic reconstructions of phrases in the New Testament as attributed to Jesus (Hebrew-Aramaic: Eashoa' "the Life-Giver" Msheekha "the Anointed One") – Eashoa' Msheekha: The Anointed Life-Giver The Hebrew יְהוֹשׁוּעַ Yĕhowshuwa` (Joshua or Jehoshua = "Jehovah is salvation" or "YHVH is salvation"), and New Testament figures.

It is generally accepted that Jesus was born a Jew, and grew up in a Jewish family in Roman-controlled Palestine. For over a half-millennium, the colloquial language for Palestinian Jews was Aramaic, stemming from the Babylonian exile and invading Assyrian empire. Golgotha, the place where Jesus was crucified, is Aramaic (Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17) For some Jews Hebrew remained a colloquial language, until the end of the 3rd century AD.

Nearly all of the Jewish scriptures were written in Hebrew, making it likely that a Jew who knew the Jewish scriptures also knew at least some Hebrew (especially as Hebrew and Aramaic are fairly kindred).

There were also the Targums, Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Bible, in Galilee or Judea in the days of Jesus during the Early Roman Period. The use of Targums in the synagogue did not become customary until the 3rd century, after the use of spoken Hebrew declined in the aftermath of the catastrophic Bar Kochba Revolt.


No comments:




Blog Archive

Desiring God Blog

Youth for Christ International