Hebrew or Aramaic?

Bible commentators and academics are in the habit of describing the native language spoken by Jesus and His contemporaries as Aramaic or Syro-Chaldaic.  Those who wish to show their academic credentials will do the same.  This is servile copying of academia.

The New Testament repeatedly calls it Hebrew Lk 23:38, Jn 5:2, Jn 19:13,17,20, Act 21:40, Act 22:2, Act 26:14, Rev 9:11 and Rev 16:16.  So why do biblical scholars and preachers not do the same?

The different names of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses draws attention to the variety of words for the same thing in different cultures.  Some biblical critics, in their attempt to discredit the Gospels, draw attention to the different terms used for the Sea of Galilee and its surrounding cities in Roman writings, as if Roman authors have more authority than local usage, overlooking the simple fact that different people use different terms for the same thing. The Roman ‘academics’ called it by one term and the locals by another. Who should we follow? Servile academia?

Thus there is no need for biblical terminology to succumb to academic terminology, and biblical exegesis will be more accurate by using biblical terminology.

Jesus said: ‘You are deceived, not knowing the scriptures’ Mat 22:29.

Scripture is quite clear that Jesus and the Jews in His time spoke Hebrew, although academics copy each other and call it Aramaic.

Aramaic was a Hebrew dialect developed among Hebrew-speaking Jews in foreign lands, probably beginning among Hebrew traders. Aramaic words are found in various places in the Old Testament, particularly those books relating to the Jews in exile, although it is found before the Babylonian exile, even in king Solomon’s time, demonstrating its earlier development. Similarly Yiddish is a Hebrew dialect developed among Jews outside the land of Israel.

Related items:

21 Oct 2017: The language battle

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