Re: What language(s) did Jesus speak?

From: Isidoros (
Date: Sun Mar 02 1997 - 19:13:51 EST

Perry L. Stepp wrote:

>> Hello, Jack. I request that you provide argument/proof for the following
>> statements, rather than QED assertions.

To which Jack Kilmon "answered" (by adding even more to his..."QED
assertions", as for example) that:

>Actually, I DO believe that Greek was more pervasive than most opine,
>however, even the Greek Maximalist Hengel concedes that Aramaic was the
>everyday language of the am ha-aretz.

Is that all meant to be taken seriously, as an argument, or proof? And then,
Hengel a Greek Maximalist?? who... conceds?! that... it was "the language
of the am ha-aretz?!! Is that so?! And what would that prove? Like....
conceding that, since Puertorican was the language of those streets
of New York in which lived the hypothetical heroes of West Side Story
in the '60's, the language of the "people" of NYC was... Portorican?)

> Salient to me is that very few Greek loan words appear in the Hebrew
>and Aramaic "grocery list" type of epigraphy of this period (see G.
>Mussies, 1976, Greek in Palestine and the Diaspora, CRINT) and that the
>usage of Greek loan words increased up to the 2nd century CE as Greek
>became more prevalent. I would think, however, that two centuries of
>Greek usage up to the time of Christ had installed a few.

..."grocery list" epigraphy?! (Ti peirasmos!!)

And, absolutely nothing to do with our case.

Or, would you care to explain, Mr. Kilmon: Why do you think Greek as
a "loan" word (and language) in this area, in the first place?!

May we have some PROOF of this?

>As a methodological approach to this exchangem however, just
>what will we be discussing? That Aramaic was or was not the lingua
>franca of Jesus? That he also knew Greek as a second language?

First of all, Pastor Stepp did not ask you to "discuss" (that's an
appropriate word when there are issues upon which one shares
opinion and energy). He asked for "proof", and altogether appropriately,
since you have been perceived to have been making a series of
unsubstantiated assertions in the form of dicta, expecting the good
people of this list to accept them on pure faith.

But, since you are wondering about method, and since I myself am very
much interested (in awe I 'd say) of your assertions, and in the facts
you are about to reveal, let me, please, help, and while addresiing each
and every statement you made in the disscussed post request, where
appropriate, for the proof which is in want.

We'll start with the statements made immediately above:

>(That) Aramaic was (or was not) the lingua franca of Jesus(?)

PROOF, please, and note that these are my parentheses, since,
having seen the above stated by you as fact before, I take the question
- and in the context of this "discussion" - as purely rhetorical.

>(That) he also knew Greek as a second language(?)

PROOF (and, parenthetically speaking, the same.)

And, continuing with the originally questioned text, where after
Adrian Popa on 28 Feb 1997 11:39 Jack Kilmon wrote,

>Jesus spent the majority of his mainly unchronicled life as one of
>the sons of a "builder" with each of the boys probably speciallizing is
>some craft of artificing. [...] in Galilee...

Really?! I 'd have much to "ask" on the above, but that, belonging to
another thread, would only side-track us here from the question of
"language". So:

>Greek was the language of commerce.

A half-truth, if that. Which is meant to ... "mean" what? (Or, was it to
"de-mean"?) That Greek was not the lang of ordinary life? In Galille?


Or, was it not also of the religious life??

PROVE that, too, by the way.

Or that the Greeks were merely *passer-by,* businessman, merchants?

PROOF, kind Jack. We'd be much obliged.

> Almost certainly, he had a working grasp of Greek.

Again, how generous!! "a working grasp..." and "almost crtainly".
And, by ... generocity, I mean, he might not had been *not* certain of that,
at all, or almost certain that he did *not*.

But, PROVE, that he had, merely, "a working grasp of Greek"!!

Or - PROVE - that he did not speak Greek fluently, not to say....
Masterfully!! of which you seem ("almost") certain (?!)

> He is recorded reading the scriptures (in Hebrew)


> His sermons to the "common folk" among whom he moved and spoke
>would have been in Aramaic....


>as would his interchange with his family and friends.


>In short, I would pose that he was trilingual


>but at home in his native Middle Aramaic


>which also was probably ornamented with Greek "loan words."

PROVE - the "probability" of the first clause, and I assume the certainty
of the second.

Looking forward to the learned statement of facts and of evidence.
Thank you


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