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Why does Hebrew and Greek appear in Pilatos' sign?
DrawCloser Wrote:
Burning one Wrote:a possibility i've pondered for the "Hebrew" on the sign is that it actually means "Aramaic." the reason being that oft-times in the Gospels when the text calls something "Hebrew," the word used (like a proper name of a person or place) is distinctly Aramaic - not what we think of as Hebrew. this tells us immediately that the word Hebrew could indeed stand in for Aramaic, at least to the minds of the 1st century believers.

For real? The "Hebrew" words in the gospel are Aramaic ones? <!-- sHuh --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/huh.gif" alt="Huh" title="Huh" /><!-- sHuh -->

List of "in Hebrew" ones I found:

Beth-khesda, Gafiftha, Gogultha, Rabbuli. (Greek Bethesda, Gabbatha, Golgotha, Rabboni)

Can you please verify these, both the Peshitto and the Greek transliterations?



yes, these would be Aramaic, though "Rabbuli" is highly likely as a scribal error for "Rabbuni."

as you performed your search, did you notice that every time "Hebrew" is used in the Gospels as a language referent it actually means "Aramaic," except for the sign on the cross? that is the one time the term "Hebrew" is not followed by an explicit place-name/word to verify it as actually Aramaic.

BBBBBUUUUTTTTT, notice also that the words called "Hebrew" but really Aramaic are all listed in the book of John, and chapter 19 has two explicit ones, where chapter 20 has one explicit reference. couched in between these is 19:20, the "Hebrew" on the sign. so, every other reference to "Hebrew" in John is clarified to be Aramaic by the word specified, without contest, except this one. should that help to color our interpretation of the actual Semitic language on the sign?

if one were to go simply by the evidence of every other instance where John mentioned "Hebrew," then it may actually have been written in Aramaic, and the title that he claims it to have had could perhaps literally be the statement he gives in the Aramaic of John 19:19. perhaps the problem is not a real problem at all; perhaps it is us who have created a problem when there isn't one. perhaps the only difference is that he gives the Aramaic phrase first, and afterwards calls it "Hebrew." based on all his other mentions of "Hebrew" in John, this would be consistent. however, since it doesn't explicitly say so, we are left to ponder. i am one to stick to the facts and teach the text itself, but i think looking at it this way merits a ponder, at the least. my gut feeling for a long time has been that it was likely just like John 19:19 said, especially knowing that the site was near pedestrian traffic, to be seen my multitudes, and even though Hebrew was alive to an extent, it would have made so much more sense for it to be actually in Aramaic, since the timing was also bringing traffic from afar for the festival of Passover/Unleavened Bread, who themselves would have been more likely to read Aramaic than Hebrew at a glance. if we're going to maintain Aramaic as the lingua franca of the Middle East, this would make the most sense in my book.

Chayim b'Moshiach,

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Re: Why does Hebrew and Greek appear in Pilatos' sign? - by Burning one - 04-12-2013, 04:19 AM

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