In A Pickle  

Jesus talks to believers in many languages

Christians' language of love

The words of a mere boy amazed the Jewish teachers.

Although these weren’t just any words and the child was anything but ordinary. At 12, Jesus conversed with them, asking questions and sharing his knowledge of the Holy Scriptures.

And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. He was attentive as the doctors of the law read the verses aloud, which were written and orated in ancient Hebrew. While he spoke and understood Hebrew, his first language was Aramaic. His accent, distinctively Galilean, differed from those originating from Jerusalem. (Luke 2:4. English Standard Version)

Jesus was later known for his charisma, healing skills and blue-collar occupation. He drew people from all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The “son of man” communicated in simple terms even young children could understand and astounded the deep thinkers. In addition, he was fluent in Koine Greek. In his adult ministry, he had many conversations with non-Jewish individuals, speaking to these people only in Greek.

Each language served a function. Aramaic was for everyday dialogue. Hebrew was specifically designated for religious purposes in writing and study. Business, legal matters and international trade were mostly conducted in Greek. In Palestine, they spoke Greek before the time of Christ. Hebrew was the language spoken by the Israelites in Old Testament times. However, in 586 B.C. everything changed when they went into Babylonian captivity, and started speaking Aramaic afterward. Learning it was relatively easy because it is a sister language to Hebrew.

The Babylonian influence surfaced in many terms and phrases found in the New Testament. Seven hundred years after Jesus' crucifixion, Aramaic was still being spoken.

Through trade and takeovers, Aramaic spread far and wide by the seventh century B.C. and it was the dominant language in most of the Middle East. According to archaeologist Yigael Yadin, who studied the Dead Sea Scrolls, Aramaic remained as the status quo until Simon Kokhba’s revolt in the 2nd century CE. Kokhba fought to restore Hebrew as the mother tongue.

Most historians, scientists and social anthropologists widely accepted the official language as Aramaic. The Dead Sea scroll manuscripts were initially written in Aramaic and later in Hebrew. That further bolsters the claim Jesus spoke Aramaic.

Through these three languages, Jesus’ communication had a profound impact on the world. There is power in his name and in his words.

According to Wikipedia, as of September 2023, the Bible had been translated into 736 languages. The New Testament has been translated into an additional 1,658 languages, while other parts or stories of the Bible were converted into another 1,264 languages.

The Bible remains the bestselling book of all time. Forty-five authors, including lawyers, kings, fishermen and tax collectors, had a hand in writing it. They composed the stories over 1,500 years. In essence it took 60 generations of people to write the Bible.

More than 300 predictions about Jesus existed 500 to 1,000 years before his birth, including his birthplace in Bethlehem.

2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans[a] of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. (Micah 5:2. New International Version.)

The fact his birthplace was foretold that far in advance was astronomical—one in 12 quadrillion, five hundred trillionth, 12 thousand trillion, five hundred thousand billionth. Or 1.25e+16. To have even eight of these prophesies to come true is one in 100,000,000,000,000,000. The evidence supporting Jesus Christ's existence is truly mind-boggling.

"The Word was made flesh and resided with us, (and we beheld his glory, as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (John 1:14. King James Version)

Jesus communicated in multiple languages during his time on earth and continues to speak to us today in our own language, in our hearts and through reading the Bible, which has the unique ability to read us as we read it.

During this Christmas season, I hope you will consider the language of love expressed in Galatians 3:28 (New International Version) as you read this column.

"28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. He is no respecter of persons, in that He does not exclude anyone based on race, class, culture, social background or position."

By simply asking in prayer, you can become one with him too.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Doreen Zyderveld-Hagel writes about the humour in every-day life, and gets much of her inspiration from the late Erma Bombeck’s writing style. 

Doreen also has a serious side, shares her views on current events, human-interest stories and sometimes the downright bizarre. 

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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