Christianity--Church History/bible language

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Question
Mr. Gade:

I have heard that Jesus spoke Aramaic.  Is this true?  If so, then why is the old testament refered to as the Hebrew bible?
And if it was written in Hebrew by Jews, then why did Jesus being a Jew, speak in Aramaic?

Thank you for any information!

Answer
Leah,

Both the Hebrew and the Aramaic languages are Semitic (descendents of Shem)languages. Hebrew is one of the the oldest known languages and most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. The Old Testament refers to it as "Jewish" or the "language of Canaan".  This is the language that Abraham learned when he when he went to Canaan at God's calling. It didn't change much from the time of Moses and the one thousand years till the Babylonian exile of the Jewish nation.

During the following 80 some years of slavery during the "exile" in countries which spoke Aramaic  that language became theirs. It became so strongly theirs that when they returned to their homeland they desired that the Bible be translated into Aramaic for them to to be able  read it.

Both languages being Semitic, Aramaic is almost like a dialect of the Hebrew, or something like Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese being all from Latin have similarities with each other. Thus, the common language of Jesus' time was Aramaic. By the way,  in Hebrew the name of Joshua and Jesus is the same: pronounced "Jeshua" meaning ("God saves"). I write this only to show the change of pronunciation.

I hope this helps but please write again if you need more information.

God's grace be with you,

Dean.

Christianity--Church History

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Dean Gade

Expertise

I have knowledge of various writings of: the Ante-Nicene and Post-Nicene fathers. The history of the Bible`s origin. The original language of the New Testament. The history of the Old Testament and the changes in the church in the New Testament.

Experience

I am a college and seminary graduate( BA., BTh. MDiv.)who studied the history of Christianity during the eight years of study in those institutions as well as study in order to teach and write courses on church history.

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