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Palestinian Aramaic and Syriac
Hi All,

I'm new to this forum...I'm glad I found it, though! <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

Could someone please tell me what the differences, if any, are between the language Jesus spoke and the language of the Peshitta? Could a speaker of Palestianian Aramaic in the First Century understand a speaker of Eastern Syriac or vice-versa? Are the differences (if they exist) in pronounciation, spelling, vocabulary, grammer, syntax or what? Would the difference be more like the difference between modern British English and American English, or more like the difference between modern Dutch and German?

Thanks for your replies, in advance.

In Christ,

Hi Daniel,

They were very similiar, if not identical. We know this because even the Aramaic words and phrases which were preserved in the Greek versions are perfectly understood by speakers of "Eastern Syriac" (another word for the Aramaic spoken by Christians and Jews of Mesopotamia.)

There may have been regional peculiarities. I say "may" because there is no way of knowing, except for the few phrases preserved in the independent Greek texts, how exactly the dialect in Galilee/Judea worked. We know Galilean and Judean were sufficiently distinct, at least in pronunciation, because of the incident with Peter at the trial and how his speech was "recognized."

It may have been very similiar to the differences between New York and Louisiana English today.

Here are some resources to check for see some of the American "dialects":

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And here is a map of the general dialects in the United States today:

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+Shamasha Paul bar-Shimun de'Beth-Younan
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The Talmudists say (Talmud Bavli Eruvin, fol. 53. 1, 2), that "the men of Judah, who were careful of their language, their law (oral law) was confirmed in their hands; the men of Galilee, who were not careful of their language, their law (oral law) was not confirmed in their hands--the men of Galilee, who do not attend to language, what is reported of them? a Galilean went and said to them, A certain Galilean once went about enquiring, ?who has amar??, they said to him foolish Galilean, do you mean "Chamor" to ride upon, or "Chamar" to drink, or "Hamar" for clothing, or "Immar" for hiding for slaughter?

By which instances it appears, that a Galilean pronounced "Chamor", an ass, and "Chamar", wine, and "Hamar", wool, and "Immar", a lamb, all one, and the same way, without any distinction; so that it was difficult to know which of these he meant. Shimon Kefa using this dialect, was known to be a Galilean: just as the Ephraimites were known by their pronouncing Shibboleth, Sibboleth.

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