I am not heated about this in any real sense. I am sorry for
conveying that impression. It just seems to me that we are doing an
injustice to the Palestinian setting of the Gospels if we argue that
everyone knew Greek, at some level, and Jesus would have spoken in
Greek to communicate to the masses. Aramaic continued to be used in
that area as the Palestinian Targums indicate and as the Qumran
evidence indicates. As for the inscriptions that are in Greek, the
masses do commission inscriptions, the elite do. And, just as on the
coins and tomb stones of many countries, there are languages that are
not those of the people (e.g., Latin on Canadian and British coins),
the language on such things as tombstones and coins may not mean a
Again, I do not dispute that Greek was known by some. Palestine was
Hellenized and there is evidence of that. But, as pointed out
several times now, aside from the elite, Greek was a lingua franca
needed for commerce and government, not for the common things of
life. Porter will have to have some very conclusive and
widespread evidence to show that the masses used Greek in the way
that has been argued on this list.
I will have to read Porter's article for his details,
but the discussion is not new. There was one about a similar matter
(or the same?) on IOUDAIOS some time back in which the various pieces
of the argument for Greek were taken apart.
Glenn Wooden (a calm one, at that!)
> >>Glenn Wooden
> >>I would still disagree.
> It seems to me that I am missing something or seriously misinterpreting your
> notes - this issue appears to be very important to you and it's merely an
> interesting side question to me. If you could elaborate on why it is so
> significant I might have a better feel for the topic.
> If I've misunderstood, I apologize but the discussion seems to be getting warm
> and I don't know why.
> +Robert M. Gross