What language did Jesus speak?

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The following two articles by Shmuel Safrai are the most essential reading on this question: "Spoken Languages in the Time of Jesus" and "Literary Languages in the Time of Jesus."

Revised: 17-Aug-2012

The following two articles by Shmuel Safrai are essential reading on this question: “Spoken Languages in the Time of Jesus” and “Literary Languages in the Time of Jesus.”

JS2Even more important for the language question will be the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research’s seminal volume, Volume 2 of their series with Brill Publishers: The Linguistic Background of the Synoptic Gospels: Jerusalem Studies in the Synoptic Gospels, Volume 2 (ed. R. Steven Notley and Randall Buth; Leiden: Brill, forthcoming).

Note the extremely valuable article by the Hebrew University’s Steven Fassberg: Steven E. Fassberg, “Which Semitic Language Did Jesus and Other Contemporary Jews Speak?” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 74 [April 2012]: 263-280.


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