re: Aramaic

Replying to David Mealand's note, Robert Gross states:

> >>David M.
> >>
> >>I don't for one moment believe that all the villagers
> >>in Galilee in 31CE spoke Greek to one another all the time
> >>but I am curious to know how those who think Greek was quite so prevalent
> >>explain the Aramaic literature that has survived.  What kind of people do
> >>they think produced it and do they think that when they weren't composing
> >>Aramaic texts they reverted to Greek?
> It actually doesn't require a whole lot special. I would expect that behavior
> in any group where two languages are prevalent, particularly if one was
> "traditional" and the other imported. Some modern examples might be the
> continued production of Yiddish literature among Russian (German, American...)
> Jews. One language will tend to gradually supplant the other, but it may take a
> long time. They may not have spoken Greek all the time, but I've lived in
> several places where dual language speaking and writing was common. Also common
> in that environment is borrowing from the other language(s).
> +Robert M. Gross        + These comments are probably but not   +

Surely there is a major difference between these situations!!!  Jews 
in Russia will have to learn the langage of the "natives", but for 
cultural reasons will want to retain their language of heritage.  But 
Jews in their homeland of 2BCE-1BCE palestine would surely use their 
mother tongue for the vast majority of communication, both verbal and 
written.  They have no need to adapt because the vast majority of 
life's business would be done with their fellows, except 
to communicate with any outsiders with whom they would have to deal 
on a limited basis.

Glenn Wooden
Acadia Divinity College
Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada