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What language did Jesus speak?

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by CG Didymus, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    I've been wondering; If Jesus spoke Aramaic or some other dialect, then everything had to be translated into Greek. Add to that the very real possibility that several of the people that heard Jesus speak must have gone off and repeated the stories orally. The sayings of Jesus could have been spread orally in several different languages. I would think that at least some of the stories must have been "creatively" repeated and very different than the original words spoken by Jesus. Now, of course we have the written Gospels based on what is presumed to be the "original" Greek manuscripts. Yet, are even they, merely a translation?
     
  2. Shuddhasattva

    Shuddhasattva New Member

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    Galilean dialect of Aramaic, probably also Koine and maybe Latin & Sanskrit.
     
  3. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    definately the first, the others are questionable.

    Its not likely he was educated at all
     
  4. Shuddhasattva

    Shuddhasattva New Member

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    Studies I've seen say differently, and extrapolate from the knowledge Jesus displayed about some things, that he probably spoke Koine as well, especially living in Alexandria as a small child.
     
  5. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    He could read. He was a Rabbi. He would have spoken Aramaic, Hebrew, and probably Koine Greek. They were quite common.
     
  6. tumbleweed41

    tumbleweed41 Resident Liberal Hippie Staff Member

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    Agreed. This is the most likely considering what we know of him.
     
  7. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    their are no original gospels, everything was written after his death by a different culture, from a different geographic location.

    jesus sayings are possibly preserved with Thomas and Q

    But the rest is roman hellenistic theology

    No they are not a translation, much of the gospels are just copied and layered. The first Gmark is still a roman piece, written for romans, far removed from judaism.

    Gjohn is interesting because it has some older jewish sources as well, but it was compiled and redacted for a little longer then the others. problem is, its not dealing with historical jesus, as much as the johannine communities disagreement with judaism


    all we can gather from this, is he was a traveling teacher of judaism in Galilee, a country boy preaching to small crowds in small villages, after being baptised by JtB. He went to the big city and hated the corruption he witnessed in the jewish governement/temple/treasury, and got violent and was put on a cross.

    not much else can be said with to much certainity, including your questions of language.
     
    Wannabe Yogi likes this.
  8. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    Yes. The gospel stories were most likely orally transmitted in their original form. so they would have been told in any number of languages. The canonical gospels were all written in Greek, possibly translating out of other, spoken languages. Thomas was written in Coptic, and Q -- if it was ever written at all, was likely written in Hebrew or Aramaic.
     
  9. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    26,808
    we dont know if he was literate at all.

    thats a guess

    he was not a typical rabbi either, he didnt start doing anything until after he was baptised, almost by the time he was killed.

    before that he was a displaced handworker, who lived a life below poverty, tektons in first century Galilee, were known to not be carpenters as there was little wood in Nazareth, but it is known that theuy were displaced people who had their land and houses taken by Romans, and sent packing. Thus they had absolutely nothing and were below poverty.

    why do you think they made up the birth legends and placed him being born in a stable with animals and feces. he and his parents were known to be poor
     
  10. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist Staff Member Premium Member

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    Aramaic was a spoken language in Jesus' environment, Hebrew is a primary language in Judaism and the Hebrew scriptures, Greek was a common language throughout the Roman empire, and Latin was an official language. But how did Sanskrit ended up on the list?
     
  11. Shuddhasattva

    Shuddhasattva New Member

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    tekton is more like engineer than carpenter; it involved general experience with construction methods, more generally for larger structures than say, furniture. there's always demand for homes. it's likely, for instance, that Joseph worked at the shipyards in Alexandria
     
  12. Shuddhasattva

    Shuddhasattva New Member

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    I subscribe to the hypothesis that Jesus journeyed once or possibly twice to Gandhara/Kashmir, and possibly further South as well. The language at the time was classical Sanskrit.
     
  13. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    He was a teacher and accepted as a teacher. Of course, we cannot know, but since the gospel accounts are all we have to go on, and they all agree, both in content and in implication, that Jesus could read and write, it is at least probable.
     
  14. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    26,808
    also literacy was on two levels then

    reading was one thing, writing alltogether another.

    he most certainly could not write
     
  15. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    What makes you so certain? He is recorded as bending down and writing in the dust.
     
  16. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    yes

    but not a trained teacher.

    he was a freelancer, who took learning from a outcast who lived outside and ate bugs and wild honey, another poor oppressed disgruntle jew, who were both not happy with judaism as it stood
     
  17. Caladan

    Caladan Agnostic Pantheist Staff Member Premium Member

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    OK fair enough. Can't say I'll personally subscribe to this but I read about stranger theories concerning Jesus and early Christianity, some of which are probably church doctrine. So Kashmir is one theory of many. I was wondering though, what do you consider to be the origins and sources for this hypothesis? are we talking about local traditions in the Kashmir region?
     
  18. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    26,808

    im certain he knew some things, he was pretty bright by all accounts, well I think so because his sayings were that of a intelligent man.

    but no where would someone like this had real training to be able to read, let alone write.


    and the verse your talking about is way to far removed from the actual events to be of any use, for such detailed analysis
     
  19. outhouse

    outhouse Atheistically

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    26,808
    heres Crossan on the topic. Who also has the best anthropologist in the field, in the area working with him. That and Meyers took this stance as well.


    John Dominic Crossan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Crossan suggests Jesus was an illiterate "Jewish Cynic" from a landless peasant background, initially a follower of John the Baptist.[citation needed] Jesus was a healer and man of great wisdom and courage who taught a message of inclusiveness, tolerance, and liberation. "His strategy . . . was the combination of free healing and common eating . . . that negated the hierarchical and patronal normalcies of Jewish religion and Roman power . . . He was neither broker nor mediator but . . . the announcer that neither should exist between humanity and divinity or humanity and itself."[
     
  20. Shuddhasattva

    Shuddhasattva New Member

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    I think the origins are probably lost now - the closest we get is oral traditions in the area, and along the alleged route, and re-recordings as in Chinese, Islamic and Kashmiri histories. Also, the Bhavishya Mahapurana contains a compelling reference.

    For the broader area - Gandhara, etc., the earliest source is Acta Thomae which discusses Thomas at Taxila and states that Jesus was there too, and that they were mistaken for eachother (didymus).

    For me the Beni Israel in the Kashmir vale are also compelling evidence, as well as the 'Throne of Solomon' there. One wonders at the link between the sons of Jacob, the apostles, and the lost tribes in light of the 'great commission.'

    Also, to expand on the OP, prakrit was the day-to-day language in much of Northern India/Pakistan (Gandhara) at the time, with sanskrit being the language of learning & liturgy. If he did go to this region, it would be probable that he spoke both.
     
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