What version did Jesus use?

Anything related to Biblical Greek that doesn't fit into the other forums.
RandallButh
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Re: What version did Jesus use?

Post by RandallButh » October 5th, 2016, 2:07 am

Ken,
I appreciate the interaction.

Please read the article on EBRAISTI in order to become conversant with the facts and actual data so that we can be "perfectly clear."
The article PDF is on http://www.biblicallanguagecenter.com. It's long but you may enjoy looking at the evidence and history.
E.g., there are some shocking misquotes in the scholarly literature that just keep re-circulating and need to be exposed and put on notice.

On some details in John:
Rabbouni was a Hebrew word, as John said, (first attested outside the NT in the Hebrew Mishnah).
Gabbatha was a name, in Hebrew, as John said, and it did not come from Aramaic (nothing fits clearly), and it appears to be a Latin loan as a name in Hebrew. Note that John did not give the meaning of the name and it certainly doesn't parallel the Greek name.
Beth-esda was a name in Hebrew, as John said. It appears to include a loan word from Greek and the loan word is attested in the Qumran Copper Scroll besides rabbinic lit. Again, John does not give the meaning of the name, though in this case it does fit the context of "5 stoas".
Golgotha is a name that is actually a shared noun in both Hebrew and Aramaic whose meaning was transparent to all. The form of the name is Greek-friendly and like Aramaic, though John says that it was also a name in Hebrew. Please see the article for a discussion on the significance of citation forms and names in a third language.
It is interesting that the two Hebrew names without a meaning in John may have been non-Semitic loan words.

And there is no Syristi in the NT because no NT author named any Aramaic word. However, in the OT, where you find Aramaic words named--it is SYRIAKH, SYRISTI, always. The same is true for Josephus. And Philo never called Aramaic "Hebrew" though he certainly did call Hebrew "Chaldean," and you are correct that Philo relied on the LXX. He may not be a reliable witness on Semitic languages. Nevertheless, he did not call the Aramaic language "Hebrew" nor "Chaldean." Maybe you can look at the howler relating to the pseudepigraphic Aristeas Letter #11 where the Greek clearly says that the language of the Bible and Jerusalem is different from Aramaic (συριακη), but Matthew Black and (Strack)-Billerbeck think that the author was referring to a special dialect of Aramaic as the different language. The torah was Aramaic??????? What kind of freshman exegesis was that? Oh, it was sophomoric. Now I see. How long should that kind of exegesis influence students, new and old alike?

Anyway, enjoy the article.

Jonathan Robie
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Re: What version did Jesus use?

Post by Jonathan Robie » October 5th, 2016, 3:37 pm

RandallButh wrote:Please read the article on EBRAISTI in order to become conversant with the facts and actual data so that we can be "perfectly clear."
The article PDF is on http://www.biblicallanguagecenter.com. It's long but you may enjoy looking at the evidence and history.
Here is a direct link to the article (click on the image):

Screen Shot 2016-10-05 at 3.35.13 PM.png
Screen Shot 2016-10-05 at 3.35.13 PM.png (27.22 KiB) Viewed 607 times
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

tdbenedict
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Joined: June 29th, 2014, 10:48 am

Re: What version did Jesus use?

Post by tdbenedict » October 19th, 2016, 10:00 pm

I've enjoyed reading this thread and had a chance a few days ago to read Randall’s paper, regarding the distinction between Ἑβραϊστὶ and Σύρων .

I was reading St. John Chrysostom’s Homily V on 2 Timothy. In that homily, St. John C. has a discussion on the contrast between Nero and St. Paul, which includes a contrast between Ἑβραϊστὶ and Σύρων. In this excerpt he is describing St. Paul:

Κίλιξ ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἦν· ὅσον δὲ Κιλικίας καὶ
Ῥώμης τὸ μέσον, πάντες ἴσασι· σκυτοτόμος, πένης,
τῆς ἔξωθεν σοφίας ἄπειρος, Ἑβραϊστὶ μόνον εἰδὼς,
γλῶτταν διασυρομένην παρὰ πάντων, καὶ μάλιστα
παρὰ τῶν Ἰταλῶν. Οὐ γὰρ οὕτω τοὺς τὴν βάρβαρον, (35)
οὔτε τὴν Ἑλλάδα, οὔτε ἄλλην τινὰ ἔχοντας γλῶτταν
διασύρουσιν, ὡς τὴν Σύρων· αὕτη δὲ πολλὴν ἔχει
τὴν κοινωνίαν πρὸς ταύτην. Καὶ μὴ θαυμάσῃς ὅτι
ταύτην διέπτυον· εἰ γὰρ τὴν Ἑλλάδα τὴν θαυμα-
στὴν καὶ καλὴν διαπτύουσι, πολλῷ μᾶλλον τὴν (40)
Ἑβραίων.

Migne vol 62, pg 622

“He was a Cilician, and the difference between Rome and Cilicia, all know. He was a tent-maker, a poor man, unskilled in the wisdom of those without, knowing only the Hebrew tongue, a language despised by all, especially by the Italians. For they do not so much despise the barbarian, the Greek, or any other tongue as the Syriac [Σύρων], and this has affinity with the Hebrew. Nor wonder at this, for if they despised the Greek, which is so admirable and beautiful, much more the Hebrew.” Schaff (Oxford Translation).

To me this indicates that even in the time of St. John Chrysostom the distinction between Ἑβραϊστὶ and Σύρων was still understood, even though they were seen as similar. αὕτη δὲ πολλὴν ἔχει τὴν κοινωνίαν πρὸς ταύτην. This seems to add a little support to one of Randall’s subsidiary points that the language distinction was maintained into the Fourth Century. I don't know how well known this quote is; I suspect I am pointing out something well known.

More than a little odd is St. John C.’s contention that Paul only knew Hebrew. This makes no sense, especially in light of the fact that St. John C.’s is one of, if not the, foremost ancient interpreter of Paul. I personally attribute this to St. John C.’s letting himself get a little out of hand while preaching and overemphasizing how poor and little St. Paul was in comparison to Nero. (The Homilies are understood to be transcriptions of sermons, which St. John C. may or may not have had time to correct after delivery.) My impression is that overreaching happens quite a bit, particularly when St. John C.’s is warmed up and in the exhorting mood.
Tim Benedict

RandallButh
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Re: What version did Jesus use?

Post by RandallButh » October 20th, 2016, 1:10 am

Thank you for bringing up this quote.
There are some puzzles in it, so before comment
let me reformat and punctuate for more transparency
and propose some alterations to the Shaaf translation:

Κίλιξ ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἦν·
(ὅσον δὲ Κιλικίας καὶ Ῥώμης τὸ μέσον πάντες ἴσασι)·
σκυτοτόμος, πένης,
τῆς ἔξωθεν σοφίας ἄπειρος, Ἑβραϊστὶ μόνον εἰδὼς,
γλῶτταν διασυρομένην παρὰ πάντων, καὶ μάλιστα παρὰ τῶν Ἰταλῶν.
Οὐ γὰρ οὕτω τοὺς τὴν βάρβαρον (οὔτε τὴν Ἑλλάδα, οὔτε ἄλλην τινὰ) ἔχοντας γλῶτταν διασύρουσιν, ὡς τὴν Σύρων·
αὕτη δὲ πολλὴν ἔχει τὴν κοινωνίαν πρὸς ταύτην.
Καὶ μὴ θαυμάσῃς ὅτι ταύτην διέπτυον·
εἰ γὰρ τὴν Ἑλλάδα τὴν θαυμαστὴν καὶ καλὴν διαπτύουσι,
πολλῷ μᾶλλον τὴν Ἑβραίων.

“He was a Cilician,
(and everyone knows how great is what lies between Rome and Cilicia [=the difference]).
He was a leatherworker, a poor man,
unskilled in external wisdom, knowing only [the wisdom] in the Hebrew tongue,
a language despised by all, especially by the Italians.
For they do not thus despise those speaking a foreign language (whether Greek or any other tongue) as the language of Syrians,
and this [Syriac/Aramaic] has much in common with this [Hebrew].
And do not wonder that they despise this language [metaphor changed from 'whistle at' to 'spit at'],
for if they despise the Greek, which is so admirable and beautiful, much more the language of Hebrews.”

I agree that it would have made no sense to say that Paul only knew Hebrew, since he wrote his letters in Greek and he certainly knew Syriac/Aramaic besides Hebrew.
So I interpret the phrase Ἑβραϊστὶ μόνον εἰδὼς as claiming that Paul only knew wisdom that was taught in Hebrew, not the wisdom taught in Greek.
At least such is what the preacher claimed.
In reality Paul had studied Greek wisdom and literature under Gamaliel, (it was a characteristic of Gamliel's school)
though he did not write in a pompous, sophistic style and only rarely alluded to Greek literature.

So yes, the distinction of Hebrew and Aramaic was still known, as well as their closeness,
even though the Aristeas letter 500 years earlier mentioned that
many non-Jewish Greek speakers were unaware of Hebrew itself (and even more they did not call Syriac/Aramaic "Hebrew")..

tdbenedict
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Joined: June 29th, 2014, 10:48 am

Re: What version did Jesus use?

Post by tdbenedict » October 21st, 2017, 1:01 am

Another interesting St. John Chrysostom text, from his Homilies on St. Matthew:

καὶ λέγει· Ἠλὶ, Ἠλὶ,
λιμὰ σαβαχθανὶ, ἵνα μέχρις ἐσχάτης ἀναπνοῆς
ἴδωσιν ὅτι τιμᾷ τὸν Πατέρα, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἀντίθεος.
Διὸ καὶ προφητικὴν ἀφῆκέ τινα φωνὴν, μέχρις ἐσχά-
της ὥρας μαρτυρῶν τῇ Παλαιᾷ· καὶ οὐχ ἁπλῶς προ- (15)
φητικὴν, ἀλλὰ καὶ Ἑβραϊκὴν φωνὴν, ὥστε αὐτοῖς γε-
νέσθαι γνώριμον καὶ κατάδηλον
·

ΟΜΙΛΙΑ ΠΗ
Migne Vol 58. pg 776 ln 10-20.

"and he says "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani", in order that until his last breath he may show that he honors the father and is not anti-God. Therefore he gives a kind of prophetic utterance, until the last hour bearing witness to the Old Testament. And not merely prophetic utterance, but a Hebrew utterance, so that to the [surrounding people] it is expressed and clear." [My rough translation]

Interesting (at least to me) that Chrysostom labels "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani" as Hebrew and that Hebrew is clear to bystanders. As pointed out in previous post, it seems that Chrysostom differentiated between Hebrew and Aramaic.
Tim Benedict

RandallButh
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Joined: May 13th, 2011, 4:01 am

Re: What version did Jesus use?

Post by RandallButh » October 21st, 2017, 7:52 pm

Yes, Mt 27:46 is Hebrew (Mk 15:34 is Aramaic). You may want to see the article in the blogs at www.biblicallanguagecenter.com on HLEI HKEI ... for a full discussion.

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