What Language Did Jesus Speak?

The language Jesus spoke has been a source of debate for centuries. Most religious scholars and historians agree with Pope Francis that the historical Jesus principally spoke a Galilean dialect of Aramaic.

Aramaic is an ancient Semitic language that originated in the Middle East. It is closely related to Hebrew and is the language of the ancient Assyrians, Babylonians, and Chaldeans. Through trade, invasions and conquest, the Aramaic language had spread far afield by the 7th century B.C., and would become the lingua franca in much of the Middle East.

In the New Testament, Jesus is often quoted as speaking in Aramaic. For example, in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is quoted as saying “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which translates to “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” in English. In the Gospel of John, Jesus is quoted as saying “Talitha cumi” which translates to “Little girl, I say to you, arise” in English.

In addition to Aramaic, Jesus may have also spoken Hebrew and Greek. Hebrew was the language of the Jewish people during the time of Jesus, and Greek was the language of the Roman Empire. The New Testament is written in Greek, and some scholars believe that Jesus spoke Greek as well as Aramaic.

It is also possible that Jesus spoke other languages. He may have spoken the language of the local people in the region, which would have included languages such as Arabic, Coptic, and Syriac.

In conclusion, the language Jesus spoke is a source of debate among religious scholars and historians. Most agree that Jesus spoke a Galilean dialect of Aramaic, and he may have also spoken Hebrew and Greek. It is also possible that he spoke other languages as well.

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