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Re: [XTalk] Gibson's "Passion" Latin or Greek?

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  • Jim West
    ... Probably. That Jesus and Pilate converse in latin in the movie is simply amazing. (in the sense of unbelieveable). Jim +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Dr
    Message 1 of 27 , Feb 28, 2004
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      At 02:38 PM 2/28/04 +0000, you wrote:

      >Shouldn't it have been in Greek and not Latin to correspond to how it
      >really would have been?

      Probably. That Jesus and Pilate converse in latin in the movie is simply
      amazing. (in the sense of unbelieveable).

      Jim

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Dr Jim West
      Pastor, Petros Baptist Church
      http://biblical-studies.org -- Biblical Studies Resources
      http://biblical-studies.blogspot.com -- Biblical Studies Resources Weblog


      "The way many young theologues are dissociating themselves from the church
      is highly displeasing to me. It is also utterly unrealistic". Gerhard von Rad
    • Patrick Narkinsky
      ... I also was surprised to hear Jesus speaking Latin. If we set aside supernatural explanations, it seems grossly improbable that Jesus could speak Latin
      Message 2 of 27 , Feb 28, 2004
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        On Feb 28, 2004, at 9:38 AM, Steve wrote:

        > Shouldn't it have been in Greek and not Latin to correspond to how it
        > really would have been?

        I also was surprised to hear Jesus speaking Latin. If we set aside
        supernatural explanations, it seems grossly improbable that Jesus could
        speak Latin (and even more improbable that he would have needed to do
        so with Pilate.)

        On a similar note - can anyone comment as to whether the Roman soldiers
        should have spoken Latin among themselves? Wasn't Greek more or less
        the Lingua Franca in the Roman Army (at least in the east) at this
        time?

        Patrick Narkinsky

        --
        Patrick Narkinsky - patrick@...
      • David C. Hindley
        ... really would have been?
        Message 3 of 27 , Feb 28, 2004
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          Steve Allison asks:

          >>Shouldn't it have been in Greek and not Latin to correspond to how it
          really would have been?<<

          Catholic Traditionalists apparently assume that everything Roman was
          conducted in Latin. The same reasoning I would have expected with regard to
          the Jewish people. If one were to ask the average traditionalist what
          language the Jews spoke in Jesus' time, they'd probably say "Hebrew." That
          is why I expected Hebrew. That Gibson chose Aramaic is an indication that he
          was at least aware, and likely agreed, that Aramaic was the common language
          of Jews in Judaea. However, that little factoid has only become commonly
          known in the last century or so, on the basis of modern scholarship.

          FWIW, I think the Jewish aristocracy, as opposed to the rural Jewish
          population, could probably speak, read and write in both Hebrew and Aramaic.
          Their interrogation of Jesus would likely have taken place in Aramaic, maybe
          with some Hebrew words mixed in.

          I would think that most educated Romans could read, write and speak both
          Latin and Greek, at least the Attic dialect. Those active in the south and
          eastern Mediterranean would understand the koine dialect but probably not be
          inclined to speak it. Most all of the cities of the region that they would
          be living in were of Greek origin. I seriously doubt they would have
          understood Aramaic.

          However, Pilate would likely have had translators on hand for any
          interrogations, maybe using some of the auxiliary soldiers in his command,
          who were recruited mainly from the rural population of Samaria and Syria
          (and thus bilingual in Aramaic and some Greek). Roman officers drawn from
          the rank and file soldiers (i.e., Centurions) were probably also capable of
          some conversational Latin, and could read military or legal dispatches, but
          likely could only write it phonetically.

          Jesus would likely have spoken and perhaps even could read/write Aramaic. I
          would not be surprised if he could comprehend Hebrew, at least enough to
          listen to or recite passages of Hebrew scripture, and less likely could
          read/write it (but it is similar to Aramaic in many regards, so it could
          certainly be possible). I also think Jesus could probably carry on a labored
          conversation in Greek, maybe even read & write it a bit, if only for
          business transactions (similar to Pilate's soldiers). I doubt very much he
          had any significant knowledge of Latin, except to say "yes, sir" and "no,
          sir."

          Since the only common language between Jesus and Pilate was Greek, I'd think
          that would be the most likely language for any exchange between them (if
          historical).

          Respectfully,

          Dave Hindley
          Cleveland, Ohio, USA
        • Jeffrey B. Gibson
          ... Depends on from where the troops were recruited. But I think it s safe to say -- after reading the discussion in Schurer on the make up of the cohorts and
          Message 4 of 27 , Feb 28, 2004
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            Patrick Narkinsky wrote:

            > On Feb 28, 2004, at 9:38 AM, Steve wrote:
            >
            > > Shouldn't it have been in Greek and not Latin to correspond to how
            > it
            > > really would have been?
            >
            > I also was surprised to hear Jesus speaking Latin. If we set aside
            > supernatural explanations, it seems grossly improbable that Jesus
            > could
            > speak Latin (and even more improbable that he would have needed to do
            > so with Pilate.)
            >
            > On a similar note - can anyone comment as to whether the Roman
            > soldiers
            > should have spoken Latin among themselves? Wasn't Greek more or less
            > the Lingua Franca in the Roman Army (at least in the east) at this
            > time?

            Depends on from where the troops were recruited. But I think it's safe
            to say -- after reading the discussion in Schurer on the make up of the
            cohorts and the Legions in Syria Palestine up through the Jewish war --
            that the soldiers in the Antonia would have been speaking Greek, as they
            were auxiliaries from Syria.

            Yours,

            Jeffrey

            --

            Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)

            1500 W. Pratt Blvd. #1
            Chicago, IL 60626

            jgibson000@...



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • David C. Hindley
            ... make up of the cohorts and the Legions in Syria Palestine up through the Jewish war -- that the soldiers in the Antonia would have been speaking Greek, as
            Message 5 of 27 , Feb 28, 2004
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              Jeffrey B. Gibson says:

              >>I think it's safe to say -- after reading the discussion in Schurer on the
              make up of the
              cohorts and the Legions in Syria Palestine up through the Jewish war -- that
              the soldiers in the Antonia would have been speaking Greek, as theywere
              auxiliaries from Syria.<<

              Rostovtzeff says that very few recruits came from the cities themselves,
              with the bulk of the recruits coming from the rural areas that "belonged" to
              the Greek cities, and that these rurals tended to speak the local dialects.

              I'd think, like our hypothetical Jesus, that they would know enough Greek to
              conduct their business with the landlords or city officials from whom they
              or their relatives leased the land they had farmed, or sold or bought grain
              and handicrafts to and from, etc.

              The common Auxiliary soldier serving in Judaea would thus speak some dialect
              of Aramaic fluently, koine Greek conversationally or haltingly, and would
              not speak Latin much at all except for knowing a few vulgar military related
              technical terms.

              The non commissioned officers (centurions) would know enough to read
              military dispatches and maybe converse a bit with his higher level native
              Roman commanders, but surviving military dispatches from Gaul, etc, suggest
              that they wrote a vulgar phonetic dialect. Even among Roman citizens there
              were class differences, and many legions recruited among the local
              population. And that was in the west where Latin prevailed, although Greek
              was very commonly used there as the language of business, so recruits would
              probably know it a bit. Latin surely had to be much less commonly used in
              the east.

              Respectfully,

              Dave Hindley
              Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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