Re: What language(s) did Jesus speak?

From: Perry L. Stepp (
Date: Mon Mar 03 1997 - 21:42:52 EST

Hey, Jack. It's me again.

> Further evidence to me that Aramaic was the vernacular is:
> The Greek-speaking Luke when explaining the Aramaic
> heqel dema (Field of Blood) used by "all the dwellers of Jerusalem"

Are you really going to press the "all" here? Besides, this assertion (and
the one that followed) do nothing to prove that Greek wasn't widely spoken,
they only show that Aramaic was.

> The Greek-speking Titus sends Josephus to Jerusalem to
> speak to them IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE. JW v.ix.ii

> Meier (A Marginal Jew,Vol 1, 260), citing Sevenster (Do You
> Know Greek, 75) states:
> "We are not surprised, therefore, to learn that Josephus had
> originally
> composed the Jewish War in his native tongue (probably Aramaic) and then
> employed "collaborators" (synergois) to translate the work into Greek."

You might check with a classicist to see what the status quaestionis is on
this particular point. The few I've talked to are loath to trust Josephus
very far on this point.

Grace and peace,


Pastor, DeSoto Christian Church, DeSoto TX
Ph.D. candidate, Baylor University

"A system of morality which is based on relative emotional
values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception
which has nothing sound in it and nothing true."
                                Phaedo 69b

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:08 EDT