[b-greek] Fwd: Re: Hebrew or Greek? 2

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Sat Apr 21 2001 - 10:06:37 EDT

I was asked to forward the following to the list for Al Lukaszweski:

Subject: Re: [b-greek] Re: Hebrew or Greek? 2
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 02:51:20 +0100
From: "A. Lukaszewski" <all1@st-and.ac.uk>
To: Dave Washburn <dwashbur@nyx.net>


While I fully concur with you that the Gospels were not written
originally in Hebrew,
I would like to offer a citation that might clarify the lingua franca
issue in
first-century Palestine and to ask a question concerning your sources.

With respect to Hebrew as a living language in the first-century, you
might take a
look at Rendsburgs' "Diglossia in Ancient Hebrew" (ASOR, 1986?). He
demonstrates, I
think, quite well that Hebrew was a living language and not reserved
strictly for
religious purposes.

Further, what evidence do you have of "virtually everyone" being
bilingual? And to
what extent do you anticipate that they were bilingual?

Al Lukaszewski
University of St Andrews
St Andrews, Scotland

Dave Washburn wrote:

> > The NT was written by people whose mother tongue was Hebrew.
> Aramaic, actually. Hebrew was the language of the Scriptures and
> the Synagogue, but despite attempts to prove otherwise, it appears
> to have been a strictly religious language. The lingua franca of
> Judea and Galilee was Aramaic, though with the Romans
> occupying and all the trade with other nations, virtually everyone
> was bilingual in Greek as well (Greek was the trade language of the
> Roman Empire - do we suppose that Pilate and the centurions etc.
> bothered to learn Aramaic?). Every so often somebody comes up
> with a theory about the NT - or at least the gospels - being written
> in Hebrew; it makes ripples for a while, then fades back into
> obscurity where it belongs.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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