Re: Satan Re: [Slate] American Religious fervor, by the numbers

Rodent of Unusual Size (Ken.Coar@Golux.Com)
Wed, 07 Jul 1999 06:42:12 -0400 wrote:
> > > PS The language in which the original Bible was written
> > > was aramaic.
> > why do you say this? Very little of it is written in Aramaic.
> I assume the root of this idea is the claim that Jesus spoke Aramaic. I am
> not qualified to judge whether that claim is plausible in terms of time and
> geography, but I have certainly seen it in multiple places.

Likewise, though any scholar or otherwise learned person
of the time -- and a rabbi is usually accounted as one or
the other :-) -- would almost certainly be multilingual.
In the location and circumstances, Hebrew is a virtual
certainty; at a semi-educated guess I would follow those
with Aramaic (the language of the region), Greek (the
language of scholars), and proto-Latin (the language of
the conquerors). A smattering of Persian is also
likely, though quite possibly no more than the usual
'Fourteen Words Thou Shalt Not Say in the Temple.'

All my own supposition, of course.

> However, as you are right to point out, this claim has no
> relationship to the languages in which the OT and NT
> were written.

The most common assertions I've heard/seen are that the
Pentateuch (OT) was scribed in Hebrew, since it was
recorded by the Jews, and that the New Testament
arrived in writing as Greek, being recorded by learned
Gentiles. The translations since cause problems at each
successive remove; I'm sure most everyone is familiar
with the argument that the meaning of the commandment
is 'thou shalt not murder' rather than 'kill,' and
that the original expression was 'sooner shall a
camel's-hair rope pass through the eye of a needle,
than a rich man enter the gates of Heaven.' Big
differences, both of them -- and only indicative.

So much for semi-pedagogic holding-forth in the wee hours..
No brickbats, please; if you *must* throw something,
slices of French toast would be nice.

#ken    P-)}

Ken Coar <http://Web.Golux.Com/coar/> Apache Software Foundation <> "Apache Server for Dummies" <http://Web.Golux.Com/coar/ASFD/>