Aramaic: (n) a Semitic language, a Syrian dialect which was used as a lingua franca in the Near East from the 6th century BC. It gradually replaced Hebrew as the language of the Jews in those areas and was itself supplanted by Arabic in the 7th century AD.
Sometimes choosing to pursue what reaches people causes you to be rejected by the upper crust smart-asses.
When we look at the life of Jesus through the prism of his choices instead of a religious aspect–considering his divinity–we learn much more about the man than we do by merely tagging him as Savior.
He spoke Aramaic.
It was not the popular choice for those who deemed themselves to be intellectual. All of the religious leaders of the day favored Hebrew. Matter of fact, it was a class distinction. The rich and prosperous considered Aramaic to be guttural and beneath their silver “tongues of plenty.”
So immediately, when Jesus spoke in Aramaic, it was assumed that he was stupid, backwoods and uneducated.
It is the same sensation that many white folks might express when they hear a black minister using Ebonics. We are infested with a need to be superior. It is the opposite of the Golden Rule–“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”–which was the central theme of the ministry of Jesus. So it would be a bit contradictory to talk to the common folk about commonality while using an uncommon tongue.
Interesting thing, though–by the time Christianity spread across Mesopotamia, Hebrew had been replaced by Aramaic. And much to the chagrin of many evangelicals, speaking Aramaic was also Jesus’ way of separating himself from the Jews and including himself with all of Arabia.
So be careful when you make Jesus a Jew or when you project onto him a theologian’s demeanor.
He was the Son of Man, who spoke the language of men who had sons who worked hard … and he dared to be considered ignorant in doing so.
Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) — J.R. Practix