Re: What Language ?

From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Thu Mar 06 1997 - 16:37:38 EST

At 4:27 PM -0600 3/5/97, Sam Johnson wrote:
>Forgive me for sounding simple but this is where I really struggle with
>b-greek. If Jesus possessed all the gifts then He could speak any
> If Jesus is the wisest man that ever lived He knew it would be to His
>benefit to learn Greek or any other language.
> If Jesus is the smartest man that ever lived then He would have learned
>whatever language was required and He would have spoken it CORRECTLY.
> If Jesus is the creator of the World then he invented all languages. I
>do not think He would have any trouble speaking any language or dialect.
> If Jesus is God then ..........................
> Sometimes we sound like the scribes and Pharisees and all we do is
>quote he said-she said. Lets agree to disagree and to remember that
>someday "every knee will bow".

[In my response below UPPER CASE = emphasis, not shouting.]


Many on this list do ASSUME that Jesus "possessed all the gifts", "was the
wisest man", "the smartest man", etc., but in a discussion of the evidence,
we try to set these assumptions aside and ask, "what does the evidence we
have at our disposal in the greek text support?" It is an exercise in
dealing with the Greek, not a statement of our theology.

You might think of it like this: What can we demonstrate about the
language(s) Jesus spoke that would convince even a person who did not share
our faith perspective? If I were discussing this issue with a Hindu
neighbor or one of several atheists I know, what evidence could I produce
that would convince them of my view regarding the language(s) Jesus spoke.
They certainly would not accept any argument which started with, "Well,
Jesus was the smartest man who ever lived. . ." and even less one which
started with "Jesus is God, so he invented all languages."

Micheal W. Palmer
Religion & Philosophy
Meredith College

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