Your Holiness, Netanyahu Was Right – Jesus Spoke Hebrew!

"Duccio di Buoninsegna 036" by Duccio - The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Duccio_di_Buoninsegna_036.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Duccio_di_Buoninsegna_036.jpg

“Duccio di Buoninsegna 036” by Duccio

The recent tet-à-tet between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Pope Francis has set the blogosphere atwitter. While their exchange was amicable, the prime minister’s correction of the holy father ushered into public discourse a subject more at home in the arcane halls of scholarly deliberation.

What language did Jesus speak?

Their differences of opinion reflect changes taking place among scholars, but which have yet to make their way fully to mainstream, popular understanding. Beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century a mistaken notion took hold that has by-and-large continued to dominate both scholarly and popular opinion.

Today many still assume that by the first century C.E. Hebrew was a dead language, or existed only among sparse pockets of the highly educated – not dissimilar to Medieval Latin.

As a consequence, it is commonly thought that Jesus only knew Aramaic.

Yet, the results of a century of archaeological evidence have challenged this assumption and brought a sea change of understanding regarding the linguistic environment of first-century Judaea.

The inscriptional and literary evidence reflects a reality not unlike what we find with the Dead Sea Scrolls. Of the 700 non-biblical texts from the Qumran library, 120 are in Aramaic and 28 in Greek, while 550 scrolls were written in Hebrew.

Jesus lived in a trilingual land in which Hebrew and Aramaic were widely in use. A relative latecomer, Greek was introduced in the 4th century B.C.E. with the arrival of Alexander the Great and his Hellenistic successors.

By the first century C.E. Aramaic served as the lingua franca of the Near East, and there is little question that Jesus knew and spoke Aramaic. Hebrew, on the other hand, was in more limited use as the language of discourse among the Jewish people.

The New Testament presents Jesus knowledgeable of both written and spoken Hebrew.

He is portrayed reading and teaching from the Bible, and there are clear indications in these accounts that he used the Hebrew Scriptures. In this he was not alone. We have not a single example of a Jewish teacher of the first century in the land of Israel teaching from any other version of the scriptures than Hebrew.

In addition, Jesus is often described speaking in parables. These were delivered orally in popular, non-scholarly settings. They were also in Hebrew. Outside of the Gospels, story-parables of the type associated with Jesus are to be found only in rabbinic literature, and without exception they are all in Hebrew. We have not a single parable in Aramaic, so it seems that according to Jewish custom one did not tell parables in Aramaic. To suggest that Jesus told his parables in Aramaic is to ignore overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Old ideas die hard, and it appears this also to be the case concerning the languages of Jesus. Why scholars and others continue to believe Hebrew was not Jesus’ mother tongue is another question, but it is not for lack of evidence.


[divider scroll_text=”Top”]

Author: R. Steven Notley, Ph.D. (Hebrew University) is Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins, and Director of Graduate Programs in Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins on the New York City Campus of Nyack College.


Source:  http://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/2014/05/judean-lingo/

About the author

Dr. Eli Lizorkin-EyzenbergTo secure your spot in our new course “The Jewish Background of New Testament” - CLICK HERE NOW

You might also be interested in:

Abraham In Egypt (lech Lecha...

By Julia Blum

Lech Lecha – God’s...

By Julia Blum

Join the conversation (69 comments)

Leave a Reply

  1. araxi

    The Jewish name of the Lord is Yeshua which means Yahweh is Salvation
    Like Emmanuel which means God among us….
    When translated into Greek Yeshua became Ιησού.
    Thus the English name Jesus,from Greek Ιησού

  2. gustavo vargas angel

    Prof. Shirokov:
    Your words show me Isa.:7:4, just the same text I quoted, giving me the reason: Emanuel; for more, remember “Oseas bar Nun”, known as Joshua( when he replaced Moses in leading Israel to promised land). Matthew possibly did not know/remember the book of Isaiah(he and Mark wrote the same )excepting very few words at all. However, the main matter is who we know Him as Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, the rest, clouds on the wind. Best regards.

  3. Colin Slater

    The New Testament repeatedly gives the language used as Hebrew e.g. Acts 22 v 2.
    Surely well educated and well traveled people knew/know what
    language they’re speaking. I’ve long suspected that the church & their theologians don’t believe
    their own Bible. If we are that wrong about something as obvious as this, what
    else are we wrong about?

  4. gustavo vargas angel

    And about the language who Jesus did speak: It is the same if He spoke aramaic, martian. russian, hebrew, spanish, which do matter is He spoke and said: “take your cross each day and come after me” and ” Bigger things than these you shall do if…..”, but many times take the cross and go, is too hard to us, weak human beings, lack of power of will

  5. gustavo vargas angel

    Prof.Shirokov:
    I think, respectfully, that you made a mistake about the name of Jesus, based on Isaiah prophecy on His birth:” And His name shall be Emmanuel which declared is God with us ,and will be known as Jesus, because He will bring salvation to His people”. About that “scholars” I think that they should go to school, and stay there forever

    1. Prof. Peter Shirokov

      Dear gustavo vargas angel, I still fail to see my mistake. Would you please be kind to point it out to me? I am a little confused. Are you saying Jesus’ name is really Immanuel and not Jesus? Is Jesus his nickname? Did I misinterpret your comment? Look at the Greek and Hebrew, not translations (below). According Matt 1:25 (below) Jesus seems to be his actual name and exact equivalent of Hebrew “kara” from Is. 7:4 – “kaleo” is used in Matt 1:25. So I do not see the difference, both translations literally say – “call/called his name” How is one his real name and the other one not… the language is identical.

      and she will call His name Immanuel.(Is 7:14)
      וְקָרָאת שְׁמוֹ עִמָּנוּ אֵל
      καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Εμμανουηλ (LXX)

      and he called His name Jesus (Mat 1:25)
      καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν

  6. araxi

    In Jesus time people mostly spoke Aramaic and Greek (Priests and higher class Jews knew Hebrew)
    I believe Jesus taught in Aramaic.. The NT was written in Greek and used inside some Aramaic words like, Abba, Raka, Taltha kumi, and on the cross: Eloi,Eloi,lama savachtani. Jesus last words were not clear , as He was in pain. But they were Aramaic.

  7. gustavo vargas angel

    Dear Prof. Shirokov:
    Some “scholars” says who Jesus did not know how to read and how to write,but if so, how could He had read from Isaiah in the temple? I think who that “scholars” did get their degrees from a candy or some like that.

    1. Prof. Peter Shirokov

      Ha-ha… I guess some might have. Jesus did read Isaiah though not in the Temple, but in a Synagogue, so he was literate, no doubt. Illiterate people are not addressed as “rabbi” too. Have you considered that it is possible these same scholars believe the NT was written 300 after Jesus and is bogus, thus the claims…

  8. Bill Gaffney

    Finally the JSSR has looked at the syntax, etc of the synoptic gospels. Much of the content reads much more fluently in Hebrew.

    Bill

  9. Bill Gaffney

    Dr Notley is a member of Jerusalem School for Synoptic Research. These are Jewish and Christian scholars who have studied this area, among others, for 50 years.

    I think they would all tell you John and the letters were written in Greek. After all Greek speaking people were Paul’s primary audience.

  10. Bill Gaffney

    I am a believer that the first three gospels are written in Hebrew. Jesus’ audience was Jewish, and as Prof Shirokov has pointed out they all would have memorized the Torah, Psalms and large portions of other books in Hebrew.

    1. Prof. Peter Shirokov

      Bill, I would not (and I am not sure the JSSR would) claim that synoptic gospels were all written in Hebrew. Not that that is not believable, or possible, but we have no tangible proof, no remnants of any manuscripts, even tiniest fragments, even later copies that could be authenticated to show that. All we have is the Hebrew subtext of Greek.

  11. Celine Leduc

    My field is religion not theology and it is about history and philosophy.
    Jesus is a Latin name not his real name, some scholars think his name was Joshua other Emmanuel. The debate about his divinity only came about when Constantine converted and made Christianity the official religion of Rome. He also said Latin was the language of GOD.

    1. Prof. Peter Shirokov

      Celine, you are right his real name was Yeshua from Hebrew Yasha, “to save”. Most people here would agree with you on this. Jesus is an English adaptation, not Latin. Ancient Latin does not have a “J” and adapted the name directly from Greek Iesous by dropping the diphthong “ou” and shortening the vowel to Iesus.

  12. Raúl Avalos

    Estoy de acuerdo que la biblia cristiana esta repleta de parábolas, dudo firmemente que todo lo escrito sea “palabra de Dios” solo escribieron los hombres que siguieron a Cristo, . Soy Cristiano pero no creo en nuestra biblia ni en la iglesia de Roma, investigo todo lo que esta a mi alcance al respecto. Agradezco esta conexión con el profesor Eli.

  13. Sonia Ann Azzopardi

    It seems that in the time of Jesus the language was a bit of a stew of languages, the sign above the cross was written in 3, Greek, Latin and Hebrew, Jesus also spoke Aramaic. So it makes perfect sense to me that Jesus was a linguist and could speak according to what crowd was around Him. He was the Word so He can pick n choose as He pleases 🙂

  14. Birdie Cutair

    Thank you so much. I’ve always thought that Jesus spoke Hebrew (and Aramaic) so that I think the early New Testament writings, at least Jesus’ sayings should originally be in Hebrew.

  15. Philomena Pound

    Matthew 27:46 Ηλί, Ἠλί, λιμὰ σαβαχθανί
    Mark 15:34 Ελωΐ, Ἐλωΐ, λιμὰ σαβαχθανί
    Psalm 22:2 אֵלִי אֵלִי לָמָה עֲזַבְתָּנִי
    σαβαχθανί is a transliteration of the Aramaic verb שבק not the Hebrew עזב so Jesus in his death agony cried out in Aramaic. Jesus would of course have known and read the Scriptures in Hebrew but his mother tongue? Unlikely.

    1. Prof. Peter Shirokov

      Excellent point, Philomena! Thanks for supplying the actual text. What I see is a mixture here what I am completely comfortable with. The Psalm uses Heb. azav and shabak is Aram. – no doubt. But why one quote has Eloi and another Eli? Curious. This does not prove that Jesus’ language of preference was Aramaic, but great point to take into account!

      1. Philomena Pound

        The difference in the Greek vowels can be explained by transliteration of the same Aramaic verse by different writers – presumably whose first language was Greek. Aramaic is all over the Gospels eg John 2:18 Απεκρίθησαν ….. καὶ εἶπαν Similar phrases corresponding to the Aramaic phrase Daniel 2:5 עָנֵ֤ה ….. וְאָמַ֣ר are all over the place .

        1. Prof. Peter Shirokov

          I agree, Philomena. Hebrew and Aramaic seem to have a lot in common grammatically and vocab. wise. Transliteration into Greek is certainly to blame… The passages you cited seem especially troubling. I wonder if you have a theory how Elahi can be mistakenly transliterated to Eloi? Seems like even the worst skills would not butcher it that bad.

          1. Philomena Pound

            Eloi could be the result of the author of Mark not realising that he was transcribing Aramaic and believing that the Hebrew holem was the correct reading. He or members of his circle would probably have heard the Torah read in the synagogue and would know that the Hebrew word for God is Elohim.

    2. Dr. Eli.Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Understanding the passage you brought up is complicated by the fact that both Eli and Eloi as well as Liama are both Hebrew words as to what last (Aramaic) word is doing in that (phrase I do not know, but I can tell you that in Israel today there are many of loan words from Arabic that are now HEBREW! Such as Phalafel, Shewarma, Sababa, Hamsa, etc

      1. Philomena Pound

        Eli is undoubtedly Hebrew. However Eloi most probably originates from the Aramaic Elaha with the Hebrew holem replacing the Aramaic qamets. An expected amendment by a native Greek speaker in the Dispersion with no knowledge of Aramaic and familiar with the Hebrew Torah readings in the Synagogue. Lema retains the Aramaic shewa and not the Hebrew qamets in both Gospels. There is no evidence that sabachthani was a loan word from Aramaic to Hebrew – it is more likely that Eli was a loan word from Hebrew to Aramaic – El and Elaha coming from the same root.

        1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

          Especially, your last point highlights the issue :-). “There is no evidence that sabachthani was a loan word from Aramaic to Hebrew – it is more likely that Eli was a loan word from Hebrew to Aramaic – El and Elaha coming from the same root.”

          What is more likely or less likely is debatable to say the list. NT in many places says that the words were spoken in HEBREW, so the burden of proof is NOT on those that agree with Greek NT about its Hebrew statements, but on those who think that when NT says something was in Hebrew, it was really in Aramaic (or a Hebrew dialect of Aramaic as a variation of the same).

          Anyone interested in an informed layman presentation of the argument for Hebrew (along with Aramaic and Greek) as a spoke language in the time of Jesus to listen to this YouTube video – http://youtu.be/L5IGUmK4670

          1. Philomena Pound

            In the New Testament Εβραϊστὶ and its derivatives only occurs 14 times in total and in the Gospels only five times and then only in the Fourth Gospel. Εβραϊστὶ can be translated as Hebrew or Aramaic – Hebrew having adopted the Aramaic script following the return of the Exiles. Only in four cases is the term Hebrew used to refer to language being spoken John 20:16 which says that Mary addressed Jesus in Hebrew as “Rabboni” and on three occasions in Acts when Paul is said to have spoken in Hebrew – Paul of course came from Tarsus, was a Roman citizen and may not have spoken Aramaic.

          2. Philomena Pound

            The reference in Matthew 26:73 to Peter’s accent is also interesting as it is known that different Aramaic dialects were spoken in Judea and Galilee – unfortunately almost nothing of the Aramaic dialect that was spoken in Galilee at that time survives.

        2. Prof. Peter Shirokov

          Philomena, I am aware that people believe that Εβραϊστὶ is Aramaic, not Hebrew. I am not sure I can agree. I was under the impression that Aramaic had its own name – Suristi and that is what is used when references are made to it, not Hebraisti. There are references to Aramaic in LXX and period literature like Josephus. He in fact speaks of both Hebraisti and Suristi and differentiates between them. This is a just a generation after Jesus.

          Please see pages 63–66 that I find interesting
          http://books.google.com/books?id=wZ1LAQAAQBAJ&lpg=PA64&ots=VQSIbADLJY&dq=suristi%20aramaic&pg=PA63#v=onepage&q=suristi%20aramaic&f=false

          1. Philomena Pound

            I’m working on a paper which will propose that parts of the Fourth Gospel are a direct translation from an Aramaic source. It won’t be ready for at least a couple of months I’m afraid so I can’t carry the discussion forward yet. If anyone’s still interested when it’s ready I’ll make it available – unless the evidence makes me change my mind of course!!!!!!

          2. Philomena Pound

            I have spent the last couple of days looking at the scrolls as part of my research – El Elyon is the most common designation for God in the Aramaic scrolls so I’m going back on my previous statement that Eli is definitely from a Hebrew source.

          3. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

            BS”D

            Shalom!

            According to Rudolph Meyer, and for his argument is attractive, Εβραϊστὶ is Aramaic and Έβραϊδι διαλεκτο is Hebrew as is possible to verify from quotes into Gospel… “whose name in Εβραϊστὶ is… Gabatá’, gulgaltá’, Avadón, &c., and indeed, the title put on the cross, was in Εβραϊστὶ, Greek and Latin.

          4. Philomena Pound

            And also Eric many of the words in John which are referred to as Εβραϊστὶ are Aramaic – Bethesda, Gabbatha and Golgotha all have the Aramaic definite article, Rabboni appears to be Aramaic, bar meaning son of which occurs in several names in the Gospels is Aramaic – the Hebrew would be ben. Jesus probably spoke in more than one language – he could even have spoken in Greek particularly when he was in Jersusalem and looking to reach a wider audience but Aramaic is certainly very well attested in the Gospels and Cephas is a very heavy hint that the mother tongue of Jesus and Peter was Aramaic.

          5. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

            Philomena, please, listen carefully to the video I posted in the comments above. It deals with the aramaic definite article (take it from a specialist in Syriac) and how in the case of NT words you are reffing to there is another option to understand it. Please, watch it and ONLY then reply to more of this discussion.

          6. Philomena Pound

            Any why do you assume Eli that I havn’t already listened to it carefully? There are undoubtedly other options – there always are. It doesn’t mean though that I’m bound to agree with them. I have yet to hear a convincing argument that Jesus spoke Hebrew as his first language. I don’t expect however that everyone will agree with my point of view on any subject – not just this one. I always welcome an open and lively debate based on sound scholarship. Under the circumstances I think it is probably best if I don’t make any further contributions to your forum.

          7. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

            The burden of proof is on those who seek to show that when NT says “Hebrew”, it means Aramaic. Is it possible that you correct in your assertions? Of course! But what I think this discussion did convincingly showed is this: The traditional persuasion that Jesus spoke Aramaic and not Hebrew, is far from a proven fact. About your participation in this forum. You are welcome to participate as you wish :-). Its just since you were complaining that you had not chance to debate me in our class , I thought that you would not pass by this opportunity :-).

    3. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

      BS”D

      Shalom!!

      I said this on other post but here is opportune. Gospel was writen in both language Hebrew and Aramaic for different purposes, ’cause Aramaic is more theological and hebrew more popular. It’s clear the poor people didn’t speak aramaic, for they never went to Babylon. So that, we can find some words in aramaic for Theological purposes into a hebrew text, e.g. גולגלתא Gulgaltá’ meaning “Skull” but into Academic language is the name of the Self-nullification of God, self-humilliation of God. So that maybe was remarked. To say Psal 22 in aramaic has a theological purpose, leading to its Midrash… Shalom!

  16. Cathy Arvin

    Another thought to think about. In scripture it says that G-d is going to turn us back to a pure language. What language would that be? I believe the earth was formed and made by the Word of G-d and that the pure language is Hebrew. The biblical hebrew, not the modern. I also believe we will be all going back to it!

    1. Lois

      Do you think that it is possible that the pure language refers to those who have undivided hearts, like Jesus said of Nathanial, that he was without guile? It is not obvious to me that the passage using the term pure language means original Hebrew. After all, the prophets’
      main complaint about Israel constantly was there hearts being adulterous, ie. following after other gods.

  17. Cathy Arvin

    It amazes me how many people don’t read and understand the scriptures for themsleves. From the idiums used and just knowing that all the authors where Jewish. I believe that the gospels and letters where all written in Hebrew and translated over to Greek. I think people who are blinded, partially or fully can’t see the truth of things.

  18. Robert

    http://www.yaiy.org/literature/HebrewOrigionalLang.html
    http://www.yaiy.org/literature/HebrewAramaic.html
    http://www.yaiy.org/literature/NewGreek.html

    Notice above comments so I thought I could help to add inputs on Netanyahu’s claim on which language our Mashiach Yahshua spoke. Indeed it was, is and will be Hebrew, maybe Aramaic were used by Ishmaelites/Edomites, hm?

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      As we contend that Jesus spoke Hebrew (alongside of Greek and Aramaic… and probably some Latin), I invite you to read my article that argues that NT was written in Judeo-Greek – http://iibsblogs.wpengine.com/new-testament-originally-written-hebrew/

  19. Elias Ndlovu

    Interesting debate about what language Jesus spoke or read or wrote or even thought in!Another similar question is “What language shall we speak in heaven?”Any answers?

    1. Cathy Arvin

      Hebrew! He is going to turn us back to a pure language. He had the scriptures written in Hebrew. I Believe Biblical Hebrew is the pure language we will speak. It is the language that created everything!!! (Just my opinion!)

    2. Pat Whiteman

      Good question, the answer is the Spirit tongue, understood by everyone in their own tongue, at Pentacost (Not unknown as widely taught). Paul was also the minister to the Gentiles and probably spoke and wrote many languages to perform that ministry, hence the gift of tongues. Great subject Dr. Eli, one that could correct a lot of bad doctrine.

    3. Ruth Cockram

      Elias , I am sure in Heaven we have love language can be understood to everyone and nothing to worry about….it’s meaningless discussion. Been honest with you it’s more better to understand what we should do to live according to God will, instead thinking about what language speaks, don’t you brother…Shalom!

      1. Tony Cook

        Sorry Ruth that’s not how I see it. I think Jesus’ mission was aimed at bringing understanding to our world. Maybe this talk will shed light on what it is God wants us to learn from that time. E.g. to focus on what it would have been like for him back then. We’re inclined to just go along with the churchified thumbnail version of his life and in doing that we may be cutting ourselves off from a clear understanding of God’s purpose.
        I meet many people who are living lives of quiet despair right now, and they don’t need to be. Jesus came so that we could appreciate what we have here and now, without waiting til after we die to be “rewarded”. So question everything I say. No offence Ruth

  20. Stephen Beals

    On the question of the language of parables, is there not a difference between what was written and what was spoken? If he was preaching to the crowds, would he not have spoken in a language they would understand? Or could the scriptural assertions to his disciples that they could understand and other listeners could not be a reference to language?

    1. Prof. Peter Shirokov

      This is the point exactly! If the parable of the vineyard (Mat 20 )is based on the familiar text of Is 5 known to my audience from the synagogue worship in Hebrew why should I translate it into a (non-original) language like Greek or Aramaic and preach it in translation? Not very logical or practical.

  21. Timothy

    Was the book of Isaiah ever written in Aramaic? Jesus read from that book in the temple and declared it fulfilled so he had to have known, read , understood and spake the Hebrew language! Case closed unless they can produce an Aramaic copy in that timeline …just my two cents!

  22. Brad Thompson

    I have never questioned whether or not Jesus taught in Hebrew or not. I always assumed he did. I agree that although the question seems like a topic for university advanced studies, the answer does matter. Trying to understand scripture from the point of view of the culture it was rooted in is important. This web site it proof of that I think.

    1. Prof. Peter Shirokov

      Brad, unfortunately most scholars embrace another theory, that Jesus spoke mostly Aramaic, some Greek and a little Hebrew (since it was dead already). And this is what this blog post is about, rethinking the previous theories in light of new evidence. Sometimes tradition dies hard…

  23. Todd Maloney

    Solid theory I think. I would estimate 70-80% of His speech was Hebrew. His mission was to the lost sheep of Israel and His main focus. A software program analyzing the pattern might be able to substantiate the theory quite well. It would be a reverse engineering so to speak of the translation from Greek back to Hebrew or other language.

  24. Todd Maloney

    I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Shirokov. If we could know with certainty the audience He was addressing, we could infer the native language used. For instance, the Samaritan woman. However, the multitude of over 5,000 begs the question as to the majority makeup. We must know as much as possible about the sitz em leben to fully understand the text but at what point are we slicing bologna with a laser? Will it actually change the flavor of the sandwich? (tongue in cheek of course) I am sure He spoke Hebrew to a Hebrew speaking audience, Aramaic to an Aramaic audience and so forth. Identifying with certainty is the difficulty.

    1. Prof. Peter Shirokov

      Todd, I have a theory… It seams reasonable to me that Jesus would speak Hebrew when teaching, because of the abundant amount of direct quotes and allusions to Torah and Prophets which were usually memorized verbatim in Hebrew (original) not Aramaic (translation) in Synagogues. Sure people knew both, but they memorized the verses in Hebrew.

      1. Lois

        If they memorized in Hebrew, why is it that I have heard that most NT quotations from the OT quote from the Septuagint? Which is in Greek.

        1. Wolf Paul

          @Lois, because the NT is written in Greek, to a wider audience than just Judean Jews, and it would thus be a bit strange if interspersed with the Greek narrative there were quotations in Hebrew — not to mention that most readers would not be able to understand them. Septuagint was THE Greek translation of the OT – what else to quote?

          1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

            Wolf, I agree with you on the conclusion I disagree on the premise. I think that something written in Koino Judeo-Greek does not presuppose (necessarily) a wider (none Jewish) audience, though of course it is open to it. Israelte Samaritans after all just like Israelite Jews had a Greek version of Samaritan Torah (Samaritikon).

            Something else to interact with http://iibsblogs.wpengine.com/new-testament-originally-written-hebrew/

        2. Prof. Peter Shirokov

          There is a good reason for that…the writers themselves (we are talking about Gospels not entire NT). Some quotes are direct LXX, many are not quotes at all, but keyword allusions (gospels), a third group are rough translations and paraphrases of original.

          1. Brad Thompson

            I noticed this over the weekend during my bible studies. In Luke 1:46-48 Miryam says, “My soul magnifies Adonai; and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior, who has taken notice of his servant-girl in her humble position” This seems like a key word allusion to 1 Samuel 1:11 and 1 Samuel 2:1.

          2. Brad Thompson

            Also, in Luke 1:49,50 Miryam says, ““The Mighty One has done great things for me! Indeed, his name is holy; and in every generation he has mercy on those who fear him.” This appears to be a paraphrase of Psalms 103:17; 111:9

          3. Brad Thompson

            The interesting thing is when you go back and read 1 Samuel 1:11, 2:1 and Psalms 103:17, 111:9 in context you get a more complete picture. I.E. Psalms 103 suggests two conditions; to those who keep His covenant and remember and do His precepts.

        3. Prof. Peter Shirokov

          As a writer (Matthew or John) who write to a broader intended audience in Greek (not to the ones who were actually there and herd it in Hebrew) why not take the already existing translation of the Hebrew text? Most people who write books today do not translate their bib. quotes themselves (though they can) but use NIV, ESV, RSV. Same logic. 🙂

  25. Prof. Peter Shirokov

    Dear truthmatters, no one argues that the manuscripts are in Greek. Question which the author raises is not which language Matthew or John wrote in, but which language did Jesus teach in before they wrote. I would request that do refrain from making off color remarks about people groups (Jews, Catholics, or Protestant) on this blog.

  26. truthmatters

    First the new testament was written in the common language of the day Greek .Also Jesus being God in the flesh He knew Greek and all languages .Jesus could speak any language . Next who cares about what the Pope said .Catholics fail to really comprehend Jesus went to the cross in our place .He did this to offer us the free gift of forgiveness and a

  27. Todd Maloney

    While I understand the academic debate regarding evidence of what languages Jesus actually spoke, it seems a little odd to me. We affirm Jesus’ divinity and recognize His power to heal, to walk on water, calm the storm and raise the dead. It stands to reason He would have had the power to use any language He chose, especially those in His day.

    1. Prof. Peter Shirokov

      Yes, Todd. Point taken… Jesus could have spoken Russian if he wanted. It makes a difference for those of us who seek to not just hear/read but also truly understand his words. If most of his teachings were actually uttered in Hebrew it makes a difference how we study them. Reverse translation from Greek then becomes helpful, for example.

    2. Harry

      I see the answer to what language speak? Any one he wanted to at any time he wanted.

    3. Tony Cook

      Todd I see the answer to that as: In his humamity Jesus didn’t know any language other than the one he learnt from hearing growing up, same as we’ve done. It makes sense to me that Jesus’ access to divine powers was blocked by his humaness, while he was living in this m-p (material-physical) world per medium of his m-p body. If not then to say he was fully human does not make sense.
      The question then arises, how did he perform those miracles? An answer that occurs to me is that those events might have been genuine miracles performed by God – God breaking into this m-p world as God has been seen to do from time to time.
      Please let me know how you feel about that, I’d value your input.