Did Jesus Speak Greek?

Posted in: Ancient Near East Today, ASOR

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By: G. Scott Gleaves

Did Jesus and his disciples speak and teach in Greek? What languages were spoken in first century Palestine? If so, does the New Testament preserve their actual communications?

These questions have generated rich debate through the years. It has been the general consensus among scholars that to recover the real Jesus of history it is necessary to uncover the Aramaic behind the Greek. For example, the late British scholar Maurice Casey stated, “If therefore we wish to recover the Jesus of History, we must see whether we can reconstruct his sayings, and the earliest accounts of his doings, in their original Aramaic.

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