Was Jesus a Multilinguist?
I have just been reading articles by Christian authors on what language Jesus spoke, and I have come away thinking that an illiterate Galilean spoke Aramaic, Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. With Greek being the lingua franca of the period around the eastern Mediterranean/Lavant area. Yet, Jesus according to the New Testament (NT) states that the Jews were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?” John 7:15-16 The answer Jesus said was: My teaching is not my own, it comes from the one who sent me. So, we can extrapolate from that, that Jesus was supposedly reading Hebrew, as the festival was in Jerusalem. Yet, if we are to believe Jesus in John 7, once his teachings were over, Jesus reverted to his native language—Aramaic or more precisely Syriac-Aramaic. Which was the language of Galilee, Samaria, and large parts of Judaea. From the 3rd or 4th-century CE, Hebrew was the sole language of the scriptures until 1881 when the Hebrew language was revived. Hebrew decline immensely after the Bar Kokhba revolt (132-136) and was extinct in Palestine by the 4th-century. There is no evidence in the New Testament (NT) of Jesus speaking foreign languages.
However, we know that people spoke Greek, and other languages in the large metropolitan cities. One Christian writer stated that Jesus spoke Greek when conversing with Pontius Pilate! Well, he would, would not he, as the manuscript (MS) was written in Greek. Pontius Pilate was a Roman who spoke Latin, and his administration was in Latin. Most large cities in the north, such as Sepphoris had different languages. Sepphoris is six kilometres northwest of Nazareth, yet there is no evidence of Jesus going there. No mention of the city of Sepphoris in the New Testament or the Old Testament. Although the site had already been occupied for centuries, Sepphoris’ real blooming began when Herod Antipas succeeded his father, Herod the Great, around 4 B.CE. Before being deposed and exiled in A.D. 29, Herod renamed it “Autocratoris” and set about to turn it into what the Jewish historian Josephus calls “the ornament of the Galilee.”
By the time of the Babylonian captivity, the ancient language of the Babylonians, Akkad—Aramaic, replaced Akkadian (2500-500 BCE). (Akkad was an East Semitic language, now extinct, spoken in ancient Mesopotamia (Akkad, Assyria, Isin, Larsa and Babylonia) from the third millennium BCE until its gradual replacement by Akkadian-influenced Akkad, Assyria, Isin, Larsa and Babylonia) from the third millennium BCE until its gradual replacement by Akkadian-influenced Old Aramaic among Mesopotamians by the 8th century BCE.
The returning exile Jews from Babylon spoke Aramaic and hasten the demise of Hebrew language. Although the likes of Ezra, the scribe would have still been proficient at Hebrew: Upon arrival in the Land of Israel, Ezra was shocked and grieved to find that the spiritual standards of his brethren had sunk to a dangerous low. They had fallen under the influence of the powerful Samaritans and other native tribes, had intermarried with them freely, and a young generation was growing up which was unaware of the great spiritual heritage of Israel. The children did not even know their own Hebrew tongue.
The Hebrew tongue had disappeared from what was then the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria and Galilee) from 721 BCE, when the Assyrians conquered the kingdom. Whose king then brought foreigner to replace the exiled Israelites who disappeared to the four corners of the Assyrian empire.2 Kings 17:24 Which was probably the time that Aramaic speakers were introduced, into what is today northern Israel?
As I mentioned, scholars stated that Jesus spoke several languages, some I have covered above, with Latin being another language Jesus spoke, which was news to me! With nothing in the NT to agree with the fact stated. The Christian scholar got his information from the Titulus Crucis, a mythological piece of wood that was nailed to the cross that Jesus was crucified on! All this information the scholar took from the early Greek manuscripts (MSS). Yet, there is no evidence whatsoever to agree with these Christian authors. What do you say on Jesus being some sort of Polyglot or whatever?
Article URL : https://breakingnewsandreligion.online/discuss/