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Reply #78: Much of everyone's arguments on the historicity of Jesus is based on supposition, kwassa. [View All]

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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #73
78. Much of everyone's arguments on the historicity of Jesus is based on supposition, kwassa.
Edited on Fri Feb-09-07 09:52 AM by BurtWorm
You may cite as many Biblical scholars as you'd like, but behind every "fact" I've ever encountered about the historical Jesus, there's a "probably" or "appears likely." Supposer, unsuppose thyself!

I'll give you an example of what I'm talking about:

"The pattern appears to be that Aramaic was the common formal and informal language, also used in local commerce, Greek the language of administration and international commerce, and of the Jewish international meetings (like Passover or Pentecost), even in Jerusalem."

Recognize this quote? It's one you cited to support your claim that Judean Jews would use the Septuagint rather than the Hebrew Torah.

Now here's an interesting Internet discourse on the use of Hebrew in the first century, by Deborah Millier of Jerusalem University College (a Christian school based in Jerusalem and Rockford, Illinois--so take the historic supposition about what Jesus might have done with a grain of salt):


12. In Aristeas letter (200-100 B.C.E.) Demetrius is
quoted speaking to the king thus:

Translation is needed .
They are assumed to use Aramaic , but
such is not the case; it is
a different kind

We know that Demetrius, and hence the writer of
Aristeas letter, refer to Hebrew and not Aramaic
because the books in question were from the Hebrew

13. In the countryside of Judea decrees of marriage
were written in Hebrew while in more cosmopolitan
Jerusalem they were composed in Aramaic (Ketubot

14. Traders and Babylonians wanting to communicate
better with Jerusalemites learned Hebrew (Yoma 6:4, B
Pesakhim 116). Presumably they already knew Aramaic.

15. In one telling recorded instance, some students of
Yehudah Ha-Nasi, the compiler of the MISHNA who lived
in Tziporri in the Galilee (c. 200 C.E.), could not
figure out the meaning of a few Hebrew words so they
asked the maid, who explained the words to them (B.
Megillah 18). This lends evidence that Hebrew was
still alive among at least some of the more common
people in the Galilee region at this time.

16. Targumim were not so much translations of the
Bible to explain the lesser-known Hebrew, but
repositories of exegetical traditions. Because of
this they had value to Hebrew speakers (also fluent in
Aramaic), but were always distinguished from the
biblical text itself. The congregational translator
of a targum (itself a kind of translation) reading was
called a METURGEMAN, but the sermons following the
Scripture readings were, in the second temple period,
given in Hebrew. To the common people.

17. The Pharisees utilized Hebrew (not Aramaic) for
their *oral* transmissions of their traditions. They
found popularity (except for details on tithing and a
few other minutia) among the common peopleand were
apparently understood.

18. The structure of the Magnificat (Luk. 1:46-55)
shows that it came from a Hebrew, not Aramaic, source,
and that it is not merely a lukan composition based on
the LXX. If it came from Marys own mouth then she
could compose beautiful Hebrew poetry. If it came
from a later Christian community, then they too were
capable of producing exceptional poetry in Hebrew.
Evidence of a living language.

19. The evidence of Aramaic in the Gospels does not
prove that Hebrew was no longer widely used. In fact,
some words attributed to Aramaic are just as likely to
have been good MH (e.g. ABBA).

20. Jesus many references to someone (himself?) as
the son of man, an obvious allusion to the enigmatic
BAR ENOSH figure in Dan. 7, does not necessarily
signal that he was communicating to the masses in
Aramaic, since he just as easily could have been
teaching in Hebrew (standard rabbinic practice of the
time) and speaking the son of man title in Aramaic.

21. Lukes portrayal of Paul as speaking EBRAIDI no
longer poses a problem if one accepts that Hebrew was
indeed spoken at the time in Judea (Act. 22:2). In
fact, SYRISTI would be the most common way in Greek to
refer to Aramaic.


1) Hebrew certainly was vibrantly alive as a literary
language during the second temple period, particularly
in Judea.

2) Hebrew was also certainly utilized by some among
the scholarly and upper classes, and even among the
less-learned as a spoken language. Again,
particularly in Judea.

3) In the Galilee, Aramaic was probably the most
common tongue to converse in, except when religious
discourse was going on.

<BW: And what language, kwassa, do you think she means to imply was spoken in Galilee when religious discourse was going on?>
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