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Did Jews speak Greek?

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Throughout this website, we have seen evidence that Aramaic was the normal, everyday, spoken language amongst Jews in Israel in the first century A.D., and therefore that Aramaic would have been the language normally spoken by Jesus and the disciples, and hence the most appropriate language for the New Testament to be written in.

However, it is a widely-held belief that Greek was the lingua franca, or common language, all throughout the Middle East, and that Jesus would therefore have spoken Greek, hence the New Testament being written in Greek.

Because this is such a widely-held belief, and one which directly challenges the use of Aramaic, in this lesson we examine the use of Greek in the first century. In particular, we are interested in what language Jews in Israel spoke.

We find that, while there certainly were pockets of Greek-speaking Jews - referred to as the Grecian Jews - these hellenised Jews were an affront to traditional (religious) Jews, especially since the suffering (and victory!) of the Maccabean revolt was still close to the heart of Jews in Israel.

Greek, then, was certainly not universally spoken amongst Jews!

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H2dkINr8bpI don't think influence upon seulacr and mainstream academics is a particularly useful measuring stick, since the great majority of seulacr and mainstream academics are spiritually blind and dead. Would we down-rate the works of Bach because they don't have much influence on deaf scholars?Jesus himself said, Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him (John 5:23). We can love and respect and pray for the scholars who reject Jesus, but it's foolish to value their opinions on spiritual things. Is my position narrow? Yes, but is it narrower than Jesus?
Ewan MacLeodFeel free to leave comments or questions on this lesson about whether Jews spoke Greek!
ronIt never made sense to me to be told that Greek was the main language of the first century AD. Even though all the "experts" said so. Where are fishermen in the backwards village of Nazareth and Galilee going to learn Greek? What would they need it for?