Re: Did Jesus teach in Greek?

On 18 Mar 1994 David.Wigtil@mailgw.er.doe.gov wrote:

>      Aramaic Sayings:  Whatever speech Jesus may have had at his
> command, his audience, almost exclusively indigenous to Palestine, would
> be put at greatest ease in the indigenous tongue.  Repeatedly the NT
> quotes Jesus and those around him in Aramaic for particularly memorable
> statements: "Amen amen," "Ephphatha," "Talitha koum(i)," "Korban," "Eloi
> eloi (eli eli) lema sebakhthani," "Rabbi/Rabbouni."  These phrases are
> all dramatic moments, not merely Aramaic loanwords in a local version
> of Greek, and this fact makes them more likely echoes of original
> sayings rather than sporadic loans.

I'm not sure I follow this part of your argument.  Are you distinguishing
between loanwords and words, phrases or sentences that would normally have
been used in a code-switching situation?  Such phrases as the above
occurring at "dramatic moments" are, it seems to me, more likely to be
accounted for by your sociolinguistic explanation of code-switching (use
of different languages in different sociolinguistic contexts by
multilingual people) than by positing that Jesus' teaching was regularly
done in Aramaic.  The existence of Aramaic at _non-dramatic_ moments would
seem to support the latter explanation.

Philip Graber
Emory University