Re: What language(s) did Jesus speak?

From: Isidoros (
Date: Mon Feb 10 1997 - 11:33:07 EST

Not to try to dissuade any list member from taking the well meant advice of
Jim Oxford, nor to take issue with it being recommended by Edward Hobbs--
rather in symphony with him that such an issue may not be settled on this,
or any other, List--but, then, pray I, will you forgive me if, taking distance
from the positions expressed here of the learned man Mr. Hobbs is, I ask:

if Edward Hobbs means that this issue is not to be discussed here (some
questions have after all being legitimately raised) then, why does he go on

(i) to quote of the cited, and recommened, work, and at that "substantively"?
(ii) opine on the work, moreover said "objectively" ("I speak as a specialist")
(iii) add at the end Prof. Meier's qualifications which, though professionally
should be respectable highly, have nothing to do with with the issue, per se.
Scripta are writ, and one makes up one's mind as he/she so deems correct.

To express opinion is a priviledge and a right (a duty at times, indeed) one
which certainly Mr. Hobbs is willing to excercise widely, for not only does
JP Meier is said to air opinions, but so does Mr. Hobbs, "coming down" to it,
as also quoted to be the case with Meier, who, says Hobbs, "DOES come
down," to it, and it seems to me very much lowly at that. If the text
excerpted (and as given again below) is representative, I should say that
the gentleman may speak in tongues, and this time without even divine any
intervention. [Dear Jack: facts, factual docummented attestations only,
if you are prone-- am not--to argue out the issue and, please, no
"historicizing". Documented facts, only. Thank you.] So, Meier concludes:

>". the most probable opinion, viz., that Jesus regularly and
>perhaps exclusively taught in Aramaic, his Greek being of a practical,
>business type, and perhaps rudimentary to boot. In a quadrilingual country,
>Jesus may indeed have been a trilingual Jew; but he was probably not a
>trilingual teacher." (p. 268)

Does text like "his Greek being of a ... business type, and perhaps
rudimentary to boot..." promisses much? Does so the "... a business"?
or, the "perhaps"? "rudimentary"? or "to boot"??

Or, should one not question that in the " In a quadrilingual country, Jesus
may indeed have been a trilingual Jew"? and not wonder, in all seriousness,
how does Mr. Meier define and delimit the "one" and then that one "country,"
and if, by the emphatic "indeed." he indeed does not mean to assuage
ascription to the Deity being "trilingual," rather than to being, perhaps...

Or, lastly, must one be content at Edward Hobbs seconding motion for us
to read "the extremely well-balanced, and thoroughly fair, discussion
of the issue in...", or vest in the "I am specialist" proclamation to all it?!

So far as I am concerned, this is too important an issue to pick "up" from
having it being just... "(brought) down!"

>Many thanks to Jim Oxford for reminding us of this resource.
>Edward Hobbs

No special thanks to Mr. Oxford, not anyway from me (though his reference
to that book was brief and cited scholasticly altogether properly, thank you)
but perhaps for the sheer colleagial labor put in, and for the goodwill, for
which, of course, gratitude, to both.

The Ionic Centre, Athens

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