Josephus: First Century Jews Didn’t Know Greek
James Scott Trimm
While many Greek primacists claim that Yeshua and his disciples spoke and wrote in Greek. However the first century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37-c.100 C.E.) testifies to the fact that Hebrew and not Greek was the language of first century Jews. Josephus gives us the only first hand account of the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. According to him, the Romans had to have Josephus translate the call to the Jews to surrender into “their own language” (Wars 5:9:2).
Josephus gives us a very clear statement regarding the language of his people during his time:
I have also taken a great deal of pains to obtain the learning of the Greeks, and understanding the elements of the Greek language although I have so long accustomed myself to speak our own language, that I cannot pronounce Greek with sufficient exactness: for our nation does not encourage those that learn the languages of many nations.
Thus, Josephus makes it clear that first century Jews could not even speak or understand Greek, but spoke “their own language.”
Certainly getting back to the "New Testament Church" means getting back to the Jewish roots of the original Jewish believers in Yeshua as Messiah.
If we are to truly return to these Jewish roots then we must seek to better understand what the "New Testament" actually says in the languages in which it was written. The books known as the “New Testament” were originally written in Hebrew and Aramaic and were later translated into Greek, Latin and other European languages. We are, for the first time, making the original Hebrew and Aramaic source texts of the books of the Ketuvim Netzarim (the so-called “New Testament”) available online in interlinear format, keyed to Strong’s word numbers. The purpose of this project is to make this material easy for everyone to use, not only with Strong’s Concordance, but with many other books that are also keyed to these same word numbers. Visit our new website for this ongoing project by clicking here.
Many passages in the New Testament do not make sense at all in Greek, but only begin to make sense in Hebrew and Aramaic.
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Help support work like our new project to put all of the Hebrew and Aramaic NT manuscript texts up on the internet in interlinear format keyed to Strong's Word Numbers. We started posting this material just recently, and will continue posting more every few days as the work continues. Click here to see it
And our project to put the original Hebrew of the Book of the Jasher (see Josh. 10:13 & 2Sam. 1:18) up on the internet in interlinear format keyed to Strong's Word Numbers. We started posting this material just recently, and will continue posting more every few days as the work continues. Click here to see it
And our project to put the original Hebrew of the Books of the Apocrypha up on the internet in interlinear format keyed to Strong's Word Numbers. We will start posting this material very soon, and will continue posting more every few days as the work continues. Click here to see it
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