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View Diary: Where in the Bible? (22 comments)

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  •  that assumes he would have had close contact (0+ / 0-)

    with the Romans and other non Jews.  I am unconvinced that those Jews who did not deal with non Jews on a regular basis had any real facility with Koine Greek.  As far as the Gospels state, we know that Jesus was quintessentially a First Century Jew and not probably interacting in any great degree with the nonJewish population.

    I am amused by claims by various apologists that Jesus not only spoke but also read and wrote in Koine Greek and Latin as well as Classical Hebrew.  Quite an accomplishment for the son of a lowly carpenter.  While there appears to be some debate as to the quality of Greek written by Paul (those texts that can be attributed directly to him), I can only cite my Greek professor of some 40 years ago as he said that Paul, who was an educated man, did not understand the nuances of Greek, such as negation, so that some passages remain in dispute to this day.  To be sure we can assume Paul was more learned than Jesus.

    I would say what is more likely is that a pidgin language developed between the Jewish and nonJewish population whereby they could communicate but would hardly be considered fluent  

    •  but that assumes (0+ / 0-)

      the accuracy of a biblical story . . . that Jesus was the (ignorant) son of a "lowly (ignorant) carpenter".  And that is something that is most definitely not in evidence.

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:36:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  sorry you can't have it both ways (0+ / 0-)

        either the Gospels are accurate or they are not;  perhaps you can offer some sort of historical information which would substantiate that Jesus would have been fluent in several languages, given the insular nature of much of Jewish society in the First Century?  After all, the Sadducees were the Hellenized Jews of the era.  Are you trying to suggest Jesus was a Sadducee?  

    •  Latin, I'll Agree, is a Stretch (1+ / 0-)
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      Dogs are fuzzy

      The brief glimpse we get in Luke of Jesus' boyhood suggests that he had a deep interest in Scriptures and listened to the teachings of the rabbis he encountered whenever he could.  I don't find it implausible that such a boy would learn the language of the Torah as well as the Aramaic he probably spoke in daily life.

      As to knowing Greek, well I suppose that depends on exactly how insular a community he grew up in.  I know little about what First Century Nazareth was like and how much contact it had with nearby Gentile communities.  The (admittedly brief) source I looked up before starting this comment claims that it was located near a major trade route between Egypt and Mesopotamia, which may be relevant or not.

      It's unusual for a child in America to grow up knowing more than one language, but it's pretty much expected for a child in Switzerland.  Jesus was the son of a tradesman, who I suspect did business with all sorts of people and I don't think it's too outlandish to suggest that Jesus encountered folks who spoke Greek.

      As for Latin... well... if we're going to credit him with Divine Omniscience then we can say that Jesus spoke Latin, Aztec and Esperanto, but I think that lies outside the bounds of this discussion.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:57:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  probably not relevant since he was not a son (1+ / 0-)
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        quarkstomper

        of a merchant but of a craftsman.  There is a question as to how much business a devout First Century Jew would have had with Gentiles.  I think examination of the Jewish texts of the era would reveal that Jews were generally exhorted to remain with their own and not to mingle with the non Jewish world.

        the great dispute between Paul and Peter was based on if a Christian were first and foremost a Jew or if a Gentile could be a Christian without first becoming a Jew.

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