After all, there seems to be some Aramaic words in the New Testament, and the text itself is written in Koine Greek. It must be remembered that the region in which Jesus grew up was multicultural and multilingual. Under the Roman Empire, many Greek-speaking Gentiles lived around Nazareth, especially jesus on leadership pdf the large city of Sepphoris.
Despite the encroachment of Aramaic, however, it must be remembered that Hebrew was regarded as Lashon Ha-Kodesh, the sacred language of the Jewish people, and the words of the Torah were sacrosanct. Hebrew was used as a common language during the late second Temple period. Undoubtedly Jesus was given a good Jewish education as a boy, even though he was born into a modest household. He learned to read the Hebrew texts of the Bible and was adept at reasoning with the Torah sages of his day.
Jesus’ first disciples were essentially uneducated men who spoke with a distinctive Galilean accent — noted disparagingly in other literature as a corruption of the purer form of Hebrew spoken in Judea. Nonetheless, they attended synagogue with Jesus and lived Torah observant lifestyles. Qumran, known to date from the same general period, reveal an overwhelming preponderance of Hebrew texts. These include everything from commentaries to correspondence, from documents to daily rules. Scholars have discovered that all commentaries on the Scriptures were written in Hebrew — none in Aramaic. The texts found at Herod’s stronghold of Masada are written in Hebrew as well.
In addition, many of the early “church fathers” also acknowledged that the statements of Jesus recorded in the gospels were in Hebrew. Matthew issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect. Jesus is called the very Word of God in John 1:1, a verse that mirrors the Hebrew text of Genesis 1:1. The spoken languages among the Jews of that period were Hebrew, Aramaic, and to an extent Greek. Until recently, it was believed by numerous scholars that the language spoken by Jesus’ disciples was Aramaic.
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