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Re: [Synoptic-L] Hebrew parables

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  • John C. Poirier
    Thanks, Randall, for your long and thoughtful post. Please understand: I do indeed think that the fact that all of thousands of rabbinic story parables are in
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 10 5:34 AM
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      Thanks, Randall, for your long and thoughtful post.

      Please understand: I do indeed think that the fact that all of thousands
      of rabbinic story parables are in Hebrew is an impressive fact. I don't
      think that every one of them was originally said in Aramaic: certainly
      many of them are late enough that their provenance is the rabbinic
      academy, where, in most cases, Hebrew would have been the language of
      instruction. The ones that need explaining (on my theory) are the ones
      that belong more to a pharisaic than a truly rabbinic provenance.
      Perhaps that still leaves hundreds for my "conspiracy theory"--I don't
      know and I don't have my books with me at the moment.

      But for the sake of argument, let's say that my "conspiracy theory" is
      wrong and even the earliest of the story parables were originally said
      in Hebrew. The question then is "Why?" Since you and Steve both admit
      that these parables are often imbedded in Aramaic material, and seem to
      imply that that material is also early, and that many early aphorisms
      make it through in Aramaic, then it follows that the hebraicity of these
      parables cannot be used as a simple index of the linguistic situation of
      the time, but requires a special explanation. What is that explanation?
      Assuming that a plausible explanation can be had, we can perhaps then
      posit that Jesus' parables would also have been said in Hebrew, but the
      fact that a special explanation was needed implies that we cannot then
      extrapolate from the (reconstructed) language of Jesus' parables to the
      language of Jesus' general teaching.


      John C. Poirier
      Middletown, Ohio



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    • Ron Price
      ... Randall, If I have understood your distinction correctly, it is very similar to the distinction which I have made (based on the 3ST) between aphorisms in
      Message 2 of 11 , Feb 10 1:35 PM
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        Randall Buth wrote:

        > More importantly, we have aphorisms that are preserved in Hebrew and
        > in Aramaic. The Aramaic ones are called "matla", (=mashal, that's
        > "parable" to the Greek audience), yet they are preserved in Aramaic and
        > not translated into Hebrew. Thus, some Aramaic parables are preserved,
        > but there are no Aramaic story parables!

        Randall,

        If I have understood your distinction correctly, it is very similar to the
        distinction which I have made (based on the 3ST) between aphorisms in the
        early sayings source, many of which go back to Jesus, and long parables not
        in the early sayings source which in my opinion do not go back to Jesus. If
        Jesus taught in aphorism/parables and not in "story parables", then this
        would appear to remove a major objection to the idea that Jesus taught in
        Aramaic. Perhaps the earliest evidence for this idea comes in the Greek
        words GEENNA, MAMWNAS and SATON, which apparently derive from Aramaic (or is
        this also silly?) and which occur within aphorism/parables that probably go
        back to Jesus.

        Ron Price

        Derbyshire, UK


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