Yeshua (WAS: Peter)

JoatSimeon at JoatSimeon at
Fri Apr 27 06:45:27 UTC 2001

In a message dated 4/26/01 11:52:06 PM Mountain Daylight Time,
gordonbr at writes:

> Reminds me of another thing I've wondered for quite a while.  What
> languages is it likely that Yeshua spoke?

-- Undoubtedly Aramaic as his native tongue; it had replaced Hebrew as the
spoken language by that time.  He'd have learned some Hebrew for liturgical
purposes -- the two are very closely related, anyway.

Quite possibly he could speak Greek; there were important Greek-speaking
towns and cities throughout the region in the early 1st century, and Greek
was the lingua franca and administrative language of the area, and had been
since Alexander's conquests several hundred years before.  It would be more
likely for a Galilean to speak Greek than someone from the Judean hills, too.

A town-dwelling, literate Jew in Galilee in that period would be certain to
have Aramaic and Hebrew, and very likely to have some koine Greek.  A peasant
might well be an Aramaic monoglot.  A Jew from, say, Alexandria might have
Greek as his first language.

Latin is a much more remote possibility.  All educated Romans (Pontius
Pilate, for example) would be fully fluent in Greek and Greek would be the
usual language they'd use with someone whose native tongue was Aramaic.

More information about the Indo-european mailing list