How well does Aramaic explain Jesus’ sayings on healing on the Sabbath?
Did Jesus Call God “Abba”?
In the past, some scholars have relied on the evidence of Jesus’ use of the word “Abba” to draw far-reaching conclusions about Jesus, the language he spoke, and his relationship to Judaism. As part of their ongoing research for the LOY project, David Bivin and Joshua Tilton revisited the evidence for Jesus’ use of “Abba” as an address to God. Tilton summarizes their findings here.
David Flusser on the Historical Jesus: An Interview with Roy Blizzard
On the occasion of what would have been Prof. David Flusser’s 98th birthday (Sept. 15), we are pleased to share footage of an interview with Flusser on the historical Jesus that has recently come to light. The interview was conducted by Dr. Roy Blizzard as part of a television series entitled The Quest: In Search of the Jewish Jesus. In the interview Flusser discusses the language of Jesus, the importance of studying ancient Judaism of the Second Temple period for the understanding of Jesus’ message, and Jesus’ high self-awareness.
Evidence for Hebrew Roots of Matthew 1:21
The oldest known manuscripts of the New Testament were written in Greek, but by comparing Matt. 1:21 in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek with the knowledge of the naming formula so common in the Hebrew Bible, we see that this verse only makes sense in Hebrew. Since the naming formula depends on a wordplay that does not work in Greek or Aramaic, Matt. 1:21, or the oral tradition behind it, had to be in Hebrew.
The Pope, the Prime Minister, and the Jerusalem School
During his recent tour of the Holy Land, Pope Francis shared his views on the language of Jesus with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Jerusalem School scholars weigh in on the debate.
LOY Excursus: Greek Transliterations of Hebrew, Aramaic and Hebrew/Aramaic Words in the Synoptic Gospels
One of the clues that the Synoptic Gospels descended from a Hebrew Life of Yeshua is the number of foreign words that were transliterated into Greek from either Hebrew or Aramaic (it is often impossible to distinguish Hebrew from Aramaic in Greek transliteration).
The Hebrew Life of Jesus
Despite the popularity of the modern suggestion that the Synoptic Gospels are the end result of several decades of oral transmission, the internal evidence indicates that this is not the case. Dozens of pericopae in Matthew and Luke translate to Hebrew so easily and so idiomatically that we must conclude that the Synoptic Gospels are the result of literary transmission.
A New Two-source Solution to the Synoptic Problem
Shortly after Robert L. Lindsey’s eureka moment (“Luke is first!”) on February 14, 1962, and at Professor David Flusser’s urging, Lindsey submitted the following article to the editors of Novum Testamentum. The article was published in the journal’s November 1963 issue as “A Modified Two-Document Theory of the Synoptic Dependence and Interdependence,” Novum Testamentum, Vol. 6, Fasc. 4 (November 1963): 239-263. Lauren S. Asperschlager, David N. Bivin and Joshua N. Tilton have updated and emended the article to bring it in line with the modifications Lindsey made to his hypothesis over the following 30 years. Pieter Lechner has created the tables and graphics.
Hebraisms in the New Testament
The text of the New Testament contains many Semitic elements, some of which are Hebraisms. The Synoptic Gospels show evidence for the existence of wordplays and idioms that are typical of Hebrew.
Hebrew or Aramaic? Some Evidence from Inscriptions
The fundamental assumptions of the past of Jesus’ mother tongue are again and again repeated today while their frame of reference has changed dramatically.
Hebrew as a Spoken Language in First-century Israel
Hebrew was a living language in first-century Israel, part of a multilingual environment (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek).
The New International Jesus
Inaccuracy in translating either through ignorance or because of an obscure manuscript reading is to be expected, but to skew wittingly due to academic bias or religious tendentiousness smirches the reputation of a venerable profession.
Jesus’ Yoke and Burden
It appears that the original context for Jesus’ “Comfort for the Heavy-Laden” saying has been lost; however, passages in the apocrypha indicate that Jesus was speaking of Torah study and the rigors of first-century discipleship.
Call No Man “Father”
The word abba (אַבָּא), which literally means “the father” in Aramaic, but also can mean “our father” or “my father,” was brought into Hebrew and used in the endearing sense of “daddy.”
Selected Examples of Rewriting in Mark’s Account of Jesus’ Last Week
It has been noted that in instances where Mark’s editorial hand restructured his story, Luke has preserved a more primitive form of the account, a form that is independent of Mark’s influence. Gospel scholars need to properly evaluate Mark’s editorial style and acknowledge that frequently a theological agenda influenced his rewriting.
Let the One Who Has Ears to Hear, “Hear!”
Gospel parables are probably the most widely identifiable teaching form of Jesus. However, readers seldom recognize Jesus’ sophisticated skill as a first-century Jewish parabolist. Indeed, many Christians are unaware that his use of story parables is one of the strongest links between Jesus and contemporary Jewish piety. His parables also demonstrate that Jesus taught in Hebrew.
Jesus and the Son of Man
One of the most elusive titles Jesus used is “the Son of Man.”
The Qumran Targum of Job as a Window into Second Temple Judaism: A Response to Randall Buth’s “Where Is the Aramaic Bible at Qumran? Scripture Use in the Land of Israel”
How does one explain the sparseness of the Qumran targumic corpus?