May 16, 2017
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Long Article by Marc.D.Roberts. To improve my knowledge.
Context – What is Aramaic?
If you’ve been hanging around churches for as long as I have, you’ve probably heard the word “Aramaic.” It was used often during the time when Mel Gibson released The Passion of the Christ, since most of the movie script was in Aramaic. But that didn’t exactly make “Aramaic” a household word. Before we try to figure out which language(s) Jesus spoke, it would be good to have some basic notion of Aramaic, since it is a leading candidate for the starring role in this drama.
Aramaic is a Semitic language, related to Hebrew, Arabic, and similar languages. According to an expert linguist whom I consulted, Hebrew and Aramaic are related much as French and Spanish or Cantonese and Mandarin. During the time of the Assyrian Empire (8th century BC), Aramaic became used throughout the Ancient Near East as the language of diplomacy. In the time of the Persian Empire (6th-4th century BC), Aramaic was the predominant language of the region. Since Judea was part of the Persian Empire, Jews for whom Hebrew was a primary language began to speak Aramaic, especially those of the upper classes. By the time of Jesus, Aramaic was the most common language in Judea, though Hebrew may have been dominant in certain areas, such as Jerusalem or the Qumran community by the Dead Sea. Greek usage was also widespread in those regions during the first century A.D. Read more of this post