I 'm confused. Aramaic, Amharic,Armenian.

Is Aramaic Amharic or Armenian?

Of course not. They are all separate languages.

There is quite a lot of people out there that mistake Amharic or Armenian for Aramaic just because their name has three same letters 'Arm' and it sounds more or less the similar to them.

Semitic languages.

Aramaic and Amharic

Aramaic and Amharic are distant relatives both belonging to the Semitic language family. They belong to different branches of the family. 

Semitic languages were/are Hebrew, Phoenician,Arabic,Tigrinya and Maltese.

Aramaic is an Eastern Semitic language first spoken in Upper Mesopotamia while Amharic is a south Semitic language which first appeared in the area of modern day Ethiopia.

Amharic is called አማርኛ Amarenna, sounding like Aramaic.

Aramaic originated in what is nowadays northern Iraq, Northwestern Syria and Southeastern Turkey. It became a major language and spread all over the so-called Fertile Crescent and the native for many peoples like the Jews besides the Arameans who first spoke it.

Read also When did the Jews shift to Aramaic?

A dialect of Aramaic, Galilean Aramaic is believed to have been the native language of Jesus Christ.

Aramaic is still spoken to this day in pockets in the Middle East in various countries and in the West by the diaspora. These are the Neo-Aramaic languages like Assyrian Neo-Aramaic which has the biggest number of Speakers their estimate ranging from half to one million.

All Semitic languages share a common ancestor and a similar common shared vocabulary. And that is as close as Aramaic and Amharic get.

Semitic languages belong to a bigger language family called Afro-asiatic. Ancient Egyptian and its' descendant Coptic were Afro-asiatic languages.

Armenian and Aramaic

Armenian has no connection to Aramaic whatsoever. It originated in the Caucasus and it is an Indo-european language as opposed to Aramaic which is a Semitic one.

The only similarity they have between them is that their name sounds similar in English.

Medieval Armenia.

So,no Aramaic is not Armenian nor Amharic. They are all different.


Is Syriac and Aramaic the same?

In short, the answer is yes but sometimes no.

Syriac is Aramaic.

Syriac is just a phase in the long history of Aramaic languages.

Arameans are thought to first have appeared in the region between northern Levant and the Tigris river at about 1200 BC. 

There they formed various Aramaic speaking kingdoms like the kingdom of Aram.

The first written Aramaic is dated to about 1000BC. This was is called Old Aramaic or Ancient Aramaic and was written in the Phoenician alphabet.

From Phoenician sprung the Aramaic alphabet.

At about 200AD new regional dialects of Aramaic rose to prominence.

These were Syriac Aramaic dialects. The alphabet for Syriac was different from earlier Aramaic. It was more cursive and probably styled upon Byzantine Greek minuscule.

So,yes Syriac is Aramaic. It is to what some dialects of Old Aramaic evolved to.

Syriac and Aramaic.

Sometimes the term Aramaic is used separately to refer only to Old Aramaic not including the Syriac phase. 

And this why you will sometimes see reference to the Aramaic language and Syriac language as separate.


When did Jews shift to Aramaic?

The Egyptians fearing the expansion of the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar moved their armies north to Assyria. They faced their enemies at Carchemish were they were defeated in 605BC.


After their victory the Babylonians  besieged Jerusalem which resulted in Jehoiakim-king of Judah paying tribute to the Neo-Babylonian empire and young nobility of the kingdom of Judah (Bēyt Dāwīḏ in Aramaic) being transferred and kept hostages in Babylon.

Battle of Carchemish.

But in 603BC Nebuchadnezzar's army was defeated by the Egyptians ruled by Nechu II and as a result Jehoiakim revolted against his Babylonian overlords refusing to pay tribute.

Nebuchadnezzar waisted no time and moved against Jerusalem again which was captured and utterly destroyed.

The Jewish nobility and many others were forcibly exiled to Babylon. There they were forced to learn Aramaic the common language of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

Destruction of Jerusalem.
Exile to Babylon.

In 539BC the Achaemenid Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great invaded Babylonia turning it into a satrapy and subsequently giving rise to the so-called Imperial Aramaic.

A ziggurat temple.

After the fall of Babylon Cyrus allowed the exiled Jews to return to Judah. Many of them never returned settling in Lebanon, Syria and Upper Mesopotamia areas where Aramaic was the dominant language.

Others went back to Judah and rebuilt Jerusalem and the Second Temple.

Return to Zion.

The exile to Babylon and  the settlement of the Jews in Aramaic speaking areas resulted in Hebrew gradually falling out of use in favour of Aramaic.

Hebrew ceased to be a spoken language between the 2nd and 4th century C.E. after the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire.

Mered Bar Kokhba
 מֶרֶד בַּר כּוֹכְבָא

Nevertheless it continued to be used as a liturgical language.

From this time on, a  Bible interpreter -the meturgeman (translator) translated orally the Bible from Hebrew to the vernacular Aramaic. This practice lead to the targumim  (translations).

The exile of Babylon in the Bible.

Ezra 1:1-4

Cyrus Helps the Exiles to Return 
 1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: 2 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. 3 Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. 
4 And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’


Why you cannot learn the language of Jesus Christ.

In a few words ,because it is an obscure dialect, very poorly attested.

There are articles,posts,videos all over the internet with pompous titles about 'the language of Jesus Christ' ,the 'Lord's Prayer in Galilean Aramaic'- the dialect Jesus spoke-,'Jesus Christ's Aramaic lives on'  and many other titles of the like.

But such claims are an overstatement out of place and out of time. I will try to explain some facts about the Aramaic language, Jesus's native Galilean Aramaic dialect.

Aramaic -not one but hundreds of dialects.

First off Aramaic in not one monolithic language unchanged through time. Every language undergoes many  changes from the moment it appears. In time it changes in vocabulary,grammar, pronunciation ,it breaks up into dialects and so forth.

The same goes for Aramaic. It has changed a lot since it first appeared in the ancient kingdom of Aram around the city of Edessa. It broke up in two major dialectal branches ,Eastern and Western from which in turn broke off many dialects/languages.

You cannot expect that Aramaic has remained one and the same from the 11nth century BCE since it is thought to first appear among the Arameans til modern days. 

So,when you hear about Aramaic you need to ask yourself what Aramaic? what dialect? what time?

What language did Jesus speak?

It is agreed by linguists and historians that Yeshua Mshiha, Jesus Christ spoke Aramaic as his mother tongue.

His dialect was Galilean Aramaic spoken in the region of Galilea.

Galilean Aramaic was different from the dialect spoken in Jerusalem.

It belonged to the Western Aramaic branch while Jerusalem Aramaic belonged to the Eastern Aramaic branch.

Galilean had many differences from Jerusalem Aramaic.

It was heavily influenced by Greek -a language of prestige at the time- to the point that even  its phonology had changed having Greek like features like the loss of of guttural and ejective sounds unlike its Jerusalem relative. That indicates that speakers of Galilean Aramaic were bilingual in Aramaic and Greek. A Galilean speaker would stick out in Jerusalem. His accent would immediately give him away.

The original Lord's Prayer in Aramaic.

There is no such thing as the Lord's Prayer in Galilean Aramaic.

The 'original' Lord's Prayer in Aramaic most of the time is in Syriac Aramaic. There is no such thing as the Lord's Prayer in Galilean. Not in it's original form anyway. Even the Syriac version is not the original since it's a translation from Greek.

There are though reconstructions of the Lord's Prayer in Galilean Aramaic but these are subject to future modifications since they are a reconstruction.

Why you cannot learn the language of Jesus Christ.

Because Galilean is an obscure, very poorly attested dialect. It is in the process of being reconstructed by linguists during the last 50 years by comparison with changes in other Aramaic dialects, living or dead.

It's closest living relative is the Aramaic of the Syrian village of Maaloula.But there is a huge time span since Galilean Aramaic was spoken and the language of Maaloula in modern-day Syria.

These two have distant similarity both belonging to the Western branch. Maalula Aramaic is a rare specimen of a surviving member of the Western Branch.

Nevertheless studying the Maalula dialect, comparing it with Galilean can help linguists see which changes occurred in phonology, grammar, vocabulary and reconstruct some attributes of Galilean.


Jesus did not speak Syriac Aramaic. 
Syriac belongs to the Eastern branch and it became the vehicle of Syriac Christianity in the Middle East.

Most Modern Aramaic languages like Assyrian Neo-Aramaic or Turoyo the mountain Aramaic,the two most widely spoken Neo-Aramaic languages, are descendants of Syriac.

So,which Aramaic should one learn?
That depends. Maybe you want to go for a modern spoken dialect of Aramaic. There is a huge variety of Neo-Aramaic languages differing from region to region ,from city to city,from village to village.
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic is the most spoken modern Aramaic dialect with about 1 million speakers.

If you choose an ancient dialect it would be wise to go for a well-documented one like the Imperial Aramaic of the Persian Empire or Classical Syriac to get a thorough grounding in an Aramaic language. Once you got one of these well under your belt you can branch off to obscure dialects
like Galilean Aramaic.


Assyrian Neo-Aramaic.

Assyrian Neo-Aramaic is the most spoken modern Aramaic dialect with about 9 hundred thousand speakers.It's most prestigious dialect is the Urmian dialect.

It is traditionally spoken in Upper Mesopotamia, Northern Iraq, North-northeast Iran , Azerbaijan, North-northeast Turkey and Northern Syria. But due to continuous wars in the region and persecution from the 20th century and onwards the bulk of its speakers have immigrated abroad.

Nowadays it is considered endangered because the second generation does not fully acquire the language being adapted in the language of the country they are living in.


Assyrian Neo-Aramaic is not to be confused with Assyrian , a dialect of the Ancient Akkadian ,another Semitic language,the language of the ancient Assyrians.

The Akkadian at one time adopted Aramaic as their second official language along with Akkadian. Bilingualism was widespread and due to the fact that Aramaic and Akkadian had similar grammar and vocabulary,both being Semitic, Aramaic eventually completely supplanted Akkadian.


Assyrian Neo-Aramaic is written in the Eastern Madnkhaya version of the Syriac script.

Syriac Eastern script (Madnkhaya).


Chaldean is considered a sister dialect of it by some but that is a matter of debate more like political than linguistic..

Modern Assyrians

Assyrian Neo-Aramaic and Turoyo make up the bulk of the modern Assyrian speakers.

Assyrian Neo-Aramaic phrases

Hello (lit. Peace be upon you).

Shmlam'alokh (singular male)

Shlam'alakh (singular female)

Shlam'alokhun (plural)

ܫܠܡ ܐܠܗܘܢ

How are you?


Dakheet(oon)? (pl.)

External links



Hebrew Niqqud vowels for Aramaic.

Hebrew script for Aramaic.

As I have explained many times the Hebrew alphabet known as ktav ashuri is often used to write Aramaic , Imperial Aramaic, Biblical Aramaic and Judeo-Aramaic dialects mainly.

So,it would be necessary to learn the Hebrew alphabet.


Development of the Niqqud vowels.

In late Antiquity ,early Medieval Age systems of diacritic dots were devised to denote vowels and teach the correct pronunciation, the so called Niqqud (נִקּוּד) -'diacritics' or Nikud for religious texts in Old Hebrew ,mainly for the Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible.

Due to phonological changes in Modern Hebrew  young Hebrews do not distinguish between the subtle differences that the various diacritics mark.

Here is a table of the Niqqud vowels.

Niqqud schools.

Various dotting systems appeared during Late Antiquity with the most popular being the Tiberian dotting system from the school of Tiberias devised for the Masoretic texts to denote correct vocalization and accent. 

Jewish scholars from the city of Tiberias in Israel under Arab rule came up with a system of diacritics for the correct reading of the Tanakh.

Other notable diacritics systems are the Babylonian Niqqud and Palestinian Niqqud.

Hebrew scribes were obviously inspired by the East Syriac dotting system (Sassanid Syriac) and came up with a similar system of their own for ancient Hebrew texts.

Basic diacritics

niqqud with אאַאֶאֵאִאָאֹאֻאוּ

diacriticnamedescriptionhow to read
ַpatahhorizontal line under letterа
ָqamatza «т»  under letterа
ֵtseretwo dots under letters horizontallyэ
ֶsegōlthree dots under letters like a triangleэ
ִhiriqdot under letterи
י ִhiriq with yoddot under letter followed by yof
ֹholam haserdot over letterо
וֹholam marethe 'waw' letter with a dot aboveо
ָqamatz qatanthe «т» symbol under letter like qumutz, под буквой о
ֻqubbutzthree diagonal dots over lettersу
וּshurukletter 'waw' with a dot on the leftу


Let's take for example the word 'melek', king in Aramaic.

Here we got three dots, segols,/ɛ/, under the M and L and two dots ,a shewa under the K.

The letter Alef with a segōl underneath.

Read also

Syriac vowels


Write 'our Father in Heaven' in Galilean.


'Our father in Heaven' in Galilean Aramaic is:

Hebrew letters

אבנן דבשמייא

?bnn dbshmyy?

ʔabənan dəvəšᵘmaya


Handwriting - the Hebrew letter Alef


Print form




Handwritten form.

Due to its close resemblance to the square Aramaic alphabet and for ease nowadays the Hebrew alphabet is used to write Imperial, Biblical and Judeo-Aramaic dialects.

So,it would be very useful to learn it.

The handwritten forms of the Hebrew letters differ from their printed variants. They are call ktav (כתב), 'writing' in Hebrew.

Ezra 6:1

The sixth book of Ezra is written part in Aramaic (6:1-6:18) part in Hebrew  (6:19-6:22).


א בֵּאדַיִן דָּרְיָוֶשׁ מַלְכָּא, שָׂם טְעֵם; וּבַקַּרוּ בְּבֵית סִפְרַיָּא, דִּי גִנְזַיָּא מְהַחֲתִין תַּמָּה--בְּבָבֶל

ʾ bēʾdayin dārǝyāweš malkāʾ, śām ṭǝʿēm; ûbaqqarû bǝbêt siprayyāʾ, dî ginzayyāʾ mǝhaḥătîn tammâ--bǝbābel

 1 Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the scrolls, where the treasures were laid up, in Babylon.


the king

in Babylon

שָׂם טְעֵם
śām ṭǝʿēm
to issue a decree


The Aramaic monolith.

There are many people who go about the internet sharing stuff,for example the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic ,the Syriac version ,'in the language of Jesus Christ' as they say.

This is utterly wrong and a common misconception among those who know very little about Aramaic if any. They just share links of what they think is in the language of Jesus Christ.

First off Jesus did not speak Syriac but he spoke Galilean Aramaic. Syriac came later. It appeared at about 1 AD in Edessa and it became a major literary language of the Middle East for the Syriac Christianity from 4 to 7 AD.

Furthermore Galilean and Syriac belong to different branches within the Aramaic language family. Galilean belonged to the Western branch of the Aramaic languages while Syriac to the Eastern. 

Text in Galilean ,the Herodian script.

Text in Syriac.

Not only that but they are written in different alphabets ,too. Galilean is written in a square script, the so-called Herodian script is preferred which came from Phoenician and resembles the Hebrew alphabet. While Syriac evolved later and is written in a cursive form which was apparently influenced by  Byzantine Greek minuscule.

Syriac cursive

As you would have noticed I spoke about the Aramaic language family not Aramaic language. And that is true indeed. Aramaic is not a monolithic language but a whole bunch of related dialects-languages from different times too. From antiquity to modern times.

Byzantine Greek minuscule.

So, when you speak about Aramaic you need to clarify which Aramaic. Galilean? Syriac?  Classical Syriac?Assyrian Neo-Aramaic? Mandaic? Turoyo? And these are but a few of the Aramaic bunch.

You also need to know which time you are referring to. Proto-Aramaic ? Aramaic of the Persian Empire? Aramaic of Syriac Christians of classical antiquity?  Modern Neo-Aramaic languages?

So, keep in mind that Aramaic is not one language like a big monolith that stands from ancient times through eternity unchanged. Aramaic is a whole language family with different branches, dialects and from different times,too.

Languages change. They evolve ,break up into dialects,get influenced by other languages. Some survive the test of time ,others disappear. That's the way languages work.

I hope this helped a bit to clear up the Aramaic mess.


Did Christ and Pontius Pilate Need an Interpreter?


One of the lesser mysteries of Easter is the language in which Jesus Christ and Pontius Pilate conversed during their famous confrontation as reported in the New Testament. It's an old question and there's an ample literature about it both in the form of publications and of blog comments -- and controversy (see Sources below). I was unaware of how much controversy until I came to do the research for this post. But let's take a quick look at it in the perspective of this blog.

People assume that because Jesus was Jewish he must have known Hebrew, and because Pilate was a Roman he must have spoken Latin. That's no doubt true but it's a misleading simplification. Because both of them were bilingual (or multilingual) like most of the people in their respective communities. The problem is that on the face of it their languages didn't coincide.

First Pilate. As a Roman 'equestrian' from Italy and prefect of the Roman province of Judea, he had to know Latin, the official language of the Empire. Yet it may well not have been his first language. Because by his time Latin had been overtaken for conversation in everyday life by Greek. Not Classical Greek but the dialect that had permeated the Middle East and even Rome since Alexander the Great's conquests in the fourth century BCE: Koine. On the other hand, he is known not to have been sympathetic to his Jewish subjects; according to the Jewish historian Joesphus, he repeatedly caused trouble because of his insensitivity to Jewish customs. So it's unlikely he took the trouble to learn their language.

As for Jesus and all the native inhabitants of Judea, their everyday language wasn't Hebrew. Since the time of the exile to Babylon in the sixth century BCE it had been overtaken by another much more widespread Semitic language, Aramaic. There are still pockets of Aramaic speakers in Syria, or there were until the current conflict. I support the consensus view that as the child of humble parents, he spoke it as his mother tongue, and he continued to use it. Hebrew, however, was by no means out of the picture. Above all it had remained the religious language of the Jews, as it still is. It was the liturgical language, the language of the Old Testament and the language of disputation among the scribes and rabbis. As an orthodox Jewish male, Jesus would have been taken by his father to the synagogue from an early age and given a thorough grounding in it. Later he would need it for disputations.

As for the controversy over which was his dominant language, it need not detain us: the fact is he was bilingual. There's sometimes an element of chauvinism in the controversy. One scholar writes: "I was stunned by the extent to which some people get worked up about the language(s) of Christ." In 2014,
"Benjamin Netenyahu and Pope Francis appeared to have a momentary disagreement. 'Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew,' Netenyahu told the Pope at a public meeting in Jerusalem. 'Aramaic,' interjected the Pope. 'He spoke Aramaic but he knew Hebrew,' Netenyahu shot back." 
Thus far we seem to have two bilinguals confronting one another without a common language. But there remains one more possibility. Did Jesus, like Pilate, speak Greek? Koine Greek was widely used in the Palestine of Christ's time. There were Greek-speaking communities in Galilee, including one not far from Jesus' home town of Nazareth, and there's evidence in the New Testament that he spoke it on occasion. This, then, is the likely solution: the interrogation probably took place in Greek.

According to the Gospel of Luke, members of the Sanhedrin, a council of learned men, accompanied Jesus to Pilate, so it can't be ruled out that one of them might have acted as interpreter. However, there's no mention of an interpreter in the Gospels and the recourse to Greek would have made it unnecessary.

Even if you're one of the many who don't believe Jesus Christ existed (see Gathercole below), you can read the above as an exercise in historical sociolingistics.

Koine Greek. Wikipedia,  2017.

Pontius Pilate. Wikipedia, 2017.

Who, what, why: What language would Jesus have spoken? BBC Magazine Monitor, 27 May 2014. Click [here] or go to http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-27587230.

Mark D. Roberts. What language did Jesus speak? Why does it matter?  Patheos, 2010. Click [here] or go to http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markdroberts/series/what-language-did-jesus-speak-why-does-it-matter/.

Mark Ward. Did Jesus speak Greek? theLab, 9 December 2015. Click [here] or go to https://academic.logos.com/did-jesus-speak-greek/.

Simon Gathercole. What is the historical evidence that Jesus Christ lived and died? Guardian Unlimited, 13 April 2017. Click [here] or go to https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/14/what-is-the-historical-evidence-that-jesus-christ-lived-and-died


Word of God

 The Word of God comes in two meanings-the first being the Bible, the sacred writings of the Christian faith. That is the modern interpretation of the 'word of God'.

But what did the ,let's say ,the Apostles mean when they spoke about the word of God?

John 1:1 - ܒ݁ܪܺܫܺܝܬ݂ ܐܺܝܬ݂ܰܘܗ݈ܝ ܗ݈ܘܳܐ ܡܶܠܬ݂ܳܐ ܘܗܽܘ ܡܶܠܬ݂ܳܐ ܐܺܝܬ݂ܰܘܗ݈ܝ ܗ݈ܘܳܐ ܠܘܳܬ݂ ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ ܘܰܐܠܳܗܳܐ ܐܺܝܬ݂ܰܘܗ݈ܝ ܗ݈ܘܳܐ ܗܽܘ ܡܶܠܬ݂ܳܐ ܀ 
b݁rishiyti ʾiytiawh݈y h݈woʾ meltioʾ whuw meltioʾ ʾiytiawh݈y h݈woʾ lwoti ʾalohoʾ waʾlohoʾ ʾiytiawh݈y h݈woʾ huw meltioʾ ܀
John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

In a few words, they spoke about the manifestation and the mind of God.

The word of God is mentioned forty one times in the New Testament alone.

In the Peshitta ,the classical Syriac translation of the New Testament the word of God is meltiah daloho.

ܡܶܠܬ݂ܶܗ ܕ݁ܰܐܠܳܗܳܐ


'Peace be upon you.'

שלם לכון

 Shlam  lᵉḵon

Peace be upon you.

Shlam (שלם)- peace

lᵉḵon (לכון) or lkwn - upon you

Syriac Aramaic 

 Shlomo 'aleykhun 

ܫܠܳܡܳܐ ܥܰܠܶܝܟ̣ܽܘܢ 

Shlomo or Shlama means hello in Syriac.

Compare that with the  Hebrew:

שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם
shālôm ʻalêḵem

Vocalization of Galilean Aramaic.


Galilean Aramaic-belonging to the Western branch, had a distinct phonology compared to to Eastern Aramaic of Jerusalem and generally Judea.

Galileans tended to soften guttural and emphatic consonants in a Greek like way and they were probably were frowned up and seen as country bumpkins by locals of Jerusalem.

A Galilean would immediately stand out in Jerusalem as a provincial person with a thick accept to the ears of a local in Judea.

Transliteration to IPA (International Phenetic Alphabet):

1. ˀ/ʾ [ʔ]
2. b [b]
3. v/ḇ [β]
4. g [ɡ]
5. ḡ [ɣ]
6. d [d]
7. ḏ [ð]
8. h [h]
8. w [w]
9. z [z]
10. ṭ [tˤ]
11. ḥ [ħ]
12. y/i [j]
13. k [k]
15. 14. ḵ [x]
16. l [l]
17. m [m]
18. n [n]
19. s [s]
20. ˁ/ʿ [ʕ]
21. p [p]
22. p̄ [ɸ/f]
23. ṣ [sˤ]
24. q [q]
25. r [ʁ]
26. š [ʃ]
27. [t]
28. ṯ [θ]

• Vowels
1. ə [ə]
2. a [ʌ]
3. e [ɛ]
4. i [ɪ/i]
5. o [o]
6. u [u]

• Dipthongs
â/ai [aːj]
ê/ei [e̝]
î/i [ɪ̞]

Watch the whole playlist of Galilean vocalization.

Was Jesus a Hellenized Jew?

Nowadays most scholars accept that Jesus Christ was a Jew.But could it be that he was a Hellenized Jew?

Meaning of Hellenized
First let's take a look at what Hellenized means. It means under the influence of Greek culture.

Spread of the Greek language during
 the Diadochi and Roman times.

After the conquests of Alexander the great ,Greek culture spread far and wide eastwards including the middle East, especially around Antioch (modern-day Turkey) ,Western Syria , Lebanon and Alexandria in Egypt.

A portion of the local Jewish population came under the influence of Greek civilization and became Hellenized.

Antioch was one of the two biggest centers of Hellenized Jews -the other being Alexandria where the Septuagint was produced - the first translation of the Hebrew Bible in Greek.

Mother toungue of Jesus Christ.
It is also widely accepted that the mother toungue of Jesus was Galilean Aramaic- a dialect of the Western branch of Aramaic.

All Western Aramaic dialects came under the influence of Greek - Galilean Aramaic, Nabbatean, Samaritan, Palmyrene and others.

Traits of Galilean
Galilean though poorly attested has features attained obviously under the influence of the Greek language.

Galilean tended to soften ejected and guttural consonants unlike dialects of Eastern Aramaic in the area (Greek lacks emphatic and guttural sounds). It had a lot of loanwords from Greek as well as Latin.The choice of words was also different something like the differences between American English and British English.Even the word order was different resembling in some cases that of Greek.

Hellenized Jews bilingual in Greek and Aramaic would often mix the two languages. So, Jesus apart from Galilean could probably speak Greek fluently as well as Hebrew to some extent and some Latin.

Hebrew was already a dead language- centuries ago- by that time for the lower-class Jews whose native language was Aramaic. Hebrew was still used as a language of liturgy though.

A speaker of Galilean would sound strange in Jerusalem and his accent would give him away immediately.

After a little while those who stood by came and said to Peter, “Surely you are also one of them, for your speech gives you away.” – Matthew 26:73

Furthermore Galilea was north of Jerusalem closer to Antioch, a big urban center of Hellenized Jews.

The above would also explain why the New Testament was written originally in Greek .

So, could Jesus Christ be a Hellenized Jew?

Differences of a dialect.
Hellenistic Judaism


What kind of Aramaic is it spoken in the movie 'The Passion of the Christ'?

The well-known and for many the controversial film The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson is entirely in the Aramaic language.
But what kind of Aramaic is it spoken?

The Aramaic dialect used in the movie is a hypothetical one .It was infact reconstructed by a scholar of Aramaic- William Fulco- who was hired to translate the dialogues of the script into Aramaic.

This reconstructed Aramaic was mostly based on the vernacular and grammar of Eastern Aramaic dialects.

Fulco incorporated elements from the Book of Daniel and he also used Syriac Aramaic for words that were difficult to reconstruct.

Why wasn't the Aramaic spoken by Jesus used in the movie?

It is maintained that Jesus Christ spoke Galilean Aramaic ,a dialect of the branch of Western Aramaic, which  is very slim attested to this day and remains an obscure dialect. Efforts are continued by scholars to reconstruct Jesus mother toungue based on the few evidence that exists of it.

Read also

some Aramaic phrases from the movie. 

Shtey - drink. The scene when Pilate invites Jesus to water. 

Abba shbakhun - Father forgive them. The scene, after Jesus is put on the cross. 

Meleke Judaya - King of the Jews. The stage in the Great Council.

Nechek - kiss. The scene, Judas kiss.

Jeshuh men Nzaret - Jesus from Nazareth.

'Tree of life' in Aramaic (Galilean).

Galilean Aramaic¹
אילנה דחיה

אילן חייה (ʔilan ḥayya)

“The Tree of Life.”

ʔilana dᵉḥayyah

The Tree of Life.

Vocabulary and grammar
ʔilana - tree
dᵉ - of 
ḥayyah - life
The double y (יי) shows that the y is a consonant.

The tree of life is the source of eternal life in various mythologies and religions. It is the connection between heaven and earth. In Christianity it first appears in Genesis 2:9.

Genesis 2:8-9 The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Tree-Of-Life

1.Galilean was the Aramaic dialect Jesus spoke.

Sinner in Aramaic.

Sinner in Syriac Aramaic is xattaya.


As in:
Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me - a sinner.

ܡܪܝ ܫܘܥ ܡܫܝܚܐ ܒܪܗ ܕ ܐܠܗܐ ܪܚܡ ܥܠܝ ܚܛܝܐ

Mar Yeesho Msheeha breh d Alaha rahhem al xattaya.

Titulus crucis- the sign on The Cross.

The Titulus Crusis is a piece of the wooden sign(title panel or titulus) that was supposedly put on Jesus's cross when he was crucified.

On the sign it is inscribed the phrase-' Jesus Nazarene , king of the Jews' in three languages Latin,Greek and Aramaic.

The phrase reads in the three languages as follows:

• (c). זה הוא ישוע מלך היהודים

The sign is nowadays kept at a church in Rome and it claimed that this is the original sign hang on the actual cross of Jesus.

This is rejected by scholars as a forgery of medieval times.

The Lord's prayer in Samaritan Aramaic.

In the picture below there's the Lord's prayer in Samaritan Aramaic.

Here is its' transliteration in modern Hebrew letters.

אבינו שבשמים : יקדש שמך : תבוא מלכותך : יהי רצונך כאשר בשמים וכן בארץ : לחמנו דבר יום ביומו תן לנו היום : וסלח לנו את חובותנו כאשר סלחנו לבעלי חובותנו : ואל תביאנו לנסין : כי אם הצלנו מרע : כי לך המלכות וגבורה וכבוד לעולם עולמים : אמן

Next there its' transliteration in the Latin script reading from left to right.

ʾbynw šbšmym : yqdš šmk : tbwʾ mlkwtk : yhy rṣwnk kʾšr bšmym wkn bʾrṣ : lḥmnw dbr ywm bywmw tn lnw hywm : wslḥ lnw ʾt ḥwbwtnw kʾšr slḥnw lbʿly ḥwbwtnw : wʾl tbyʾnw lnsyn : ky ʾm hṣlnw mrʿ : ky lk hmlkwt wgbwrh wkbwd lʿwlm ʿwlmym : ʾmn

Read also
The Samaritan alphabet.
The Lord's prayer in Aramaic.


'I love the Aramaic language!' (phrases)

Syriac Aramaic
ܪܳܚܶܡ ܐ̄ܢܐ ܠܫܢܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ

Transliteration letter by letter 
roḥem ʾ̄nʾ lshnʾ swryyʾ

Phonetic transliteration
Rohem Ana lishana suraya.

I love the Aramaic language.

roḥem to love (1st person sh)
ʾ̄nʾ - ana- I

lshnʾ -lishana- language
swryyʾ - suraya- Aramaic (Syriac)


Gospel of Barnabas- fake or real?

There is a great 'discovery' circulating for a long time now especially among Muslim circles- the so-called Gospel of Barnabas.

 This fake,fake, fake. The gospel is written in the Eastern Syriac script on blackened leather to make it look ancient.

Nevertheless the book is indeed quite old-it seems to have been written in the Middle Ages around 1500 C.E. by a European.

Its' translation in Arabic at the beginning of the 20th century became a major success in the Muslim world with hundreds of thousands of copies sold as it was forwarded as  proof that Jesus announces the coming of Mohammed. The book was supposedly  written in 1 A.D. and was deliberately hidden by Christians for a long time because of its' content according to a popular belief in the Muslim world.

But a close study of the book revealed that it contains basic linguistic, geographical and historical errors thus it couldn't have been written by Barnabas himself as claimed.

There are hundreds of such forged 'Syriac' documents .

Read more about how genuine the Gospel of Barnabas is here.

John baptizes Jesus. ( Aramaic movie clip).

The following clip is about Jesus's baptism by John is the Assyrian Neo-Aramaic language.
It comes with subtitles of various languages.


Matthew 3:13 - ܗܝܕܝܢ ܐܬܐ ܝܫܘܥ ܡܢ ܓܠܝܠܐ ܠܝܘܪܕܢܢ ܠܘܬ ܝܘܚܢܢ ܕܢܥܡܕ ܡܢܗ ܀  
Matthew 3:13 - Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 

Matthew 3:14 - ܗܘ ܕܝܢ ܝܘܚܢܢ ܟܠܐ ܗܘܐ ܠܗ ܘܐܡܪ ܐܢܐ ܣܢܝܩ ܐܢܐ ܕܡܢܟ ܐܬܥܡܕ ܘܐܢܬ ܠܘܬܝ ܐܬܝܬ ܀ 
 Matthew 3:14 - But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 

Matthew 3:15 - ܗܘ ܕܝܢ ܝܫܘܥ ܥܢܐ ܘܐܡܪ ܠܗ ܫܒܘܩ ܗܫܐ ܗܟܢܐ ܓܝܪ ܝܐܐ ܠܢ ܕܢܡܠܐ ܟܠܗ ܟܐܢܘܬܐ ܘܗܝܕܝܢ ܫܒܩܗ ܀ 
Matthew 3:15 - And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 

 Matthew 3:16 - ܟܕ ܥܡܕ ܕܝܢ ܝܫܘܥ ܡܚܕܐ ܣܠܩ ܡܢ ܡܝܐ ܘܐܬܦܬܚܘ ܠܗ ܫܡܝܐ ܘܚܙܐ ܪܘܚܐ ܕܐܠܗܐ ܕܢܚܬܐ ܐܝܟ ܝܘܢܐ ܘܐܬܬ ܥܠܘܗܝ ܀ Matthew 3:16 - And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 

Matthew 3:17 - ܘܗܐ ܩܠܐ ܡܢ ܫܡܝܐ ܕܐܡܪ ܗܢܘ ܒܪܝ ܚܒܝܒܐ ܕܒܗ ܐܨܛܒܝܬ ܀ 
Matthew 3:17 - And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased

“Saying Jesus’s Name Wrong”: A Fallacy of “Hebrew Roots”

Andrea Mantegna, Ecce Homo (1502)

Andrea Mantegna, Ecce Homo (1502) (WikiArt).

One of the most common and insistent tropes of the “Hebrew Roots” movement is the claim that the majority of Christians in the world are “saying Jesus’s name wrong” — that the name “Jesus” itself is improper, a Westernization and a corruption of the Messiah’s true name. The true name of our Lord, the proper way to address Him, these people argue, is by His original Hebrew name, ישוע (yēšūʿa) — most often rendered in English as Yeshua.

Make no mistake: It’s quite true that the original, Hebrew and Aramaic name of Jesus was probably ישוע, a variant of the name of the Hebrew leader and hero יהושע (yəhôšūʿa), meaning “The Lord is salvation.” And if you’d like to call the Lord that, then more power to you. But before you go around condemning traditional Christians who hail our Lord Jesus, here are a few things you should consider:

  1. There is nothing “traditional” about calling the Lord Yeshua (or Y’shua, or Yah’shua, or any variant).
  2. There is nothing “improper,” no form of syncretism or invention or corruption, in the traditional name Jesus.
  3. To insist that Yeshua is the only proper name by which to address our Lord is, in fact, to reject the entire received Christian tradition, to disown the Apostles and Evangelists, even to deny Scripture itself — and to contradict the very message of the Gospel.

An Invented Tradition

Hebrew Roots

Proponents of “Hebrew Roots” often support their arguments with claims that they are returning to the “authentic traditions” of the first Jewish Christians. But is this really true?

Tradition means what has been handed down. And the truth is that there is no tradition — no writings, no hymns, no inscriptions, no traditional teaching or custom — of our Lord being addressed as Yeshua, passed down by the earliest Christians or by anyone else at all, until the beginnings of the “Messianic” movement in the nineteenth century.

Proponents argue that the name Yeshua is what the Apostles themselves would have called the Lord; and that might very well be true. But they left us no record, no tradition of it. Historians believe that Jesus and the Apostles probably spoke Aramaic as their primary language — not Hebrew. Yeshua is a modern reconstruction, based not on Aramaic but on Hebrew pronunciation.*

* Jews wrote Aramaic with the Hebrew script, but pronounced it differently than the biblical Hebrew language. Our transliteration of Hebrew is based on the rabbinical pronunciation of the biblical texts. The original Hebrew texts had no vowels; the system of vowels and pronunciations we have of ancient Hebrew today was passed down (and in some cases made up, or at least formalized) by rabbis. So a rabbi reading ישוע in a biblical text would pronounce it completely differently than a first-century Jew on the street speaking Aramaic, reading the same characters. Syriac Christians (see below), whose liturgical language is essentially Aramaic as it would have been spoken in the first century, pronounce these same characters, ישוע, not as “Yeshua” but as “Isho.”

On top of this, there is the matter that Hebrew and other Semitic languages can only be transliterated incompletely into English, which lacks both the phonemes and the graphemes to fully express those languages’ sounds and meanings. Even presuming the rabbinic tradition of pronunciation — Yeshua, like any other rendering, is at best an approximation. Rather than adhering to the “true” name of the Lord, proponents of this are just as guilty of “translating” His name into their own language as the early Greek Christians were in calling Him Jesus.

There are in fact Christians who have been speaking Aramaic for the past two thousand years, since the time of the Apostles, who have passed down the Christian faith in what can be called its native language: the Syriac Christians, whose liturgical language is essentially Aramaic as Jesus would have spoken it — but they pronounce the Lord’s name not “Yeshua,” but “Isho.” Yeshua was passed down by nobody at all, but invented from imagined traditions in modern times.

What the Apostles did pass down to us, the earliest written records preserved of the Christian Church, are the New Testament Scriptures — written not in Hebrew, not in Aramaic, but in Greek.

The Name of Jesus

Jesus Christ icon

Contrary to arguments I am hearing increasingly from “Hebrew Roots” proponents, the name Jesus is not a late, syncretistic introduction by “Rome,” nor a “corruption” of the true Hebrew teaching, nor any other attempt to pull true Christians away from the “Hebrew Roots” of Christianity. When the Apostles and their associates wrote the New Testament Scriptures in Greek — under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit — they wrote His name as Ἰησοῦς (Iēsous). Every manuscript of every book of the New Testament attests to this.

And this was not a novelty, even for the first Christians. The name Ἰησοῦς had already been extant in Greek for several centuries, as the standard transliteration of the Hebrew name (commonly transliterated in English) Joshua. In the Septuagint, the classic translation of the Old Testament Scriptures into Greek, which can be dated as early as the second century B.C., Ἰησοῦς was used as the name of Joshua, both the man and the book. In applying that name to the Christ, Greek-speaking Christians were following conventions established long before His coming.

When the Apostle Paul, the first great missionary, carried the Gospel of Christ beyond Judea and Palestine, he carried His name not as Yeshua but as Ἰησοῦς. The name Iesus is a natural transliteration of the Greek name into Latin, and thence, with the translation of the Bible into English, Jesus. Is Scripture itself, then — the divine foundation that even “Messianic” Christians claim — compromised, or corrupt, or flawed? Were the Apostles agents of syncretization or dilution, of leading the people of Christ away from His “Hebrew Roots”? This is in effect what these arguments entail. Clearly, if there were any problem, any heresy or corruption or dilution, in translating the name of the Lord into the native tongues of each of His peoples, then the Apostles themselves would not have done it.

Every Tongue Shall Confess

Nesterov, Resurrection (c. 1892)

Resurrection (c. 1892), by Mikhail Nesterov.

St. Paul himself tells us, in fact:

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9–11)

Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” — declared in Greek, what was then the lingua franca of the civilized world. The word tongue in Greek, γλώσσα or glōssa, could also refer to language, as with the Latin lingua, and as we continue to use tongue in English. Was “every tongue” to confess the Lord, but only as Yeshua? Plainly not: in that very sentence, Paul hails Him as Jesus in Greek.

Arguing that only “Yeshua,” or any other rendition of the name, is the correct and proper address for our Lord, denies the entire received Christian tradition, the handing down of the faith to every people as the Apostles and their spiritual descendants have done. Just as the Greek people received the name of the Lord as Ἰησοῦς, the English people received Him as Jesus, the Spanish as Jesús, and so forth:

Names of the Lord in Various Languages
Greek (Koine)ἸησοῦςIēsous
Greek (Modern)ΙησούςIēsous
Hebrew (Modern)ישוYeshu
Irish GaelicÍosa
Church SlavonicЇисъ

… I think you get the idea; and I’m having far too much fun with this. This is only a random smattering of just a few languages, pulled from Jesus’s Wikipedia article.

The point is this: Are any of these languages “wrong”? Were the apostles, missionaries, evangelists, and translators who carried the faith of Christ “to the ends of the earth,” to each one of these peoples, “wrong”? To argue that there is only one name by which Jesus can properly be addressed is to deny the universality, the catholicity, of Christ’s message of salvation; to cast aside the very message of the Gospel, of forgiveness and acceptance and inclusion into Christ for all peoples. Is Jesus a Savior for the Jews only? Or did He come for the lost sheep of every nation, tribe, people, and tongue? The greatest danger of the “Hebrew Roots” movement, I fear, is that it in effect recycles the heresy of the Judaizers, in arguing that the only true way to be a Christian is to be a Jew — an argument that Scripture rejects again and again.


  1. You didn’t even get to the crazy part this time: that some people believe the word “Jesus” to actually have come from the name “Zeus” (because that’s how we pronounce it in English), and therefore “Jesus” is a pagan attempt to destroying the Christian faith.

  2. Good post Joseph,

    The Hebrew Roots movement has caused me some mental turmoil since coming in contact with them. This is probably due to me being fairly young in my faith and being more vulnerable to be swayed by “every whim of doctrine.”

    I really think they are doing some damage to the Body of Christ due to these scary accusations. I remember I was afraid for a little while that I was sinning by saying “Jesus” because they claimed it was Pagan.

    They are putting stumbling blocks in people’s walks of faith.

    While I think the Sacred Name Movement and “only Yeshua” folks are in error, I still have been confused on the topic of whether God wants all of us to observe the Torah (as much as is possible). Specifically these things would the the Sabbath, food laws, wearing tzit tzit, not wearing clothes of mixed fibers, festivals, etc.

    I see it as, whatever God wants us to do, we should do.

    BUT, I still do not know what our relation to the Law of Moses is because most Christians observe all of its moral precepts.

    Anyways, trying to figure this all out and I look forward to more of your posts.

    In Christ,

    Neil H

    • Neil, thanks. I am glad the post was helpful. I agree that these “Hebrew Roots” arguments are very divisive and harmful. I hope to write on these issues more soon.

      I admit I have a very hard time understanding how anyone can read from the New Testament any sense that God wants Christians to continue observing the ceremonial precepts of the Torah. A good portion of Paul’s writings are written specifically to reject that notion — the whole of the letters to the Galatians and Romans, and comments in nearly every one of his epistles. Given this — and given that nowhere in the New Testament are such ideas as Hebrew festivals, restrictions on diet and dress, or even Sabbath observance, addressed at all — I don’t see that the arguments stand on anything but their own bluster. I would be very glad if you would share some of why you find them persuasive.

      Not only is discussion of any of these things absent from the New Testament, but there is no indication from any historical document that the Christian Church ever observed any of these things. We have direct testimony (see Ignatius of Antioch, “Barnabas,” and others) that the Church abandoned even the Jewish Sabbath by the beginning of the second century.

      Any argument otherwise is not only extrascriptural (if not outright contra-scriptural), but also unhistorical.

      • Hey there Joseph,

        Thanks very much for your reply. You know it’s been an interesting journey for me theologically these past four years of initially believing in Christ (though I have not been baptized so I don’t really know what I am technically).

        And it has led me into such things as Conservative Protestantism, exposure to Catholicism, Liberal Christianity (which I clearly see as wrong now (thank God)), Christian Universalism, and finally this exposure to the Hebrew Roots Movement.

        Currently though, I’ve been seriously considering the Catholic Church again and giving it a deeper look (and taking RCIA inquiry classes). And I agree very much so with your argument from the early Christian writings saying the opposite of the Hebrew Roots Movement.

        And I don’t think Sola Scriptura makes much sense anymore so I am inclined to give those early writers like Ignatius more weight in their theology (especially when they are said to have known some of the Apostles themselves!).

        So the authority of the Catholic Church has been getting clearer to me, but I’m still not all the way there yet.

        Nevertheless, considering the things that have made me take notice at the Law movement, would you like me to tell you through these comment sections or to your email? I can do either, but email might be better.


        In Christ,

        Neil H

    • People always have excuses for why their religion is correct as it is. Early Christians had a decent amount of division. But then, the tradition was standardized.

      Of course, it’s not wrong to focus on the tradition as being valid, or you wouldn’t have much of a religion or common culture.

      Even so, if even the apostles didn’t care enough to teach the proper pronunciation of the Lord’s name so that following Christians would at least know it…

    • Hey jesusandthebible,

      Thanks for putting in a response. Of course, I do think those passages are pretty good considering this topic. But obviously, the Law people have ways of putting their view into those.

      I saw one man say that the burden or yoke spoken of in Acts 15 was circumcision, and not following all of the Law. When I first read this argument I was new to the whole topic so I thought it made sense. However, when I thought about it more, I realized that his interpretation didn’t make much sense:

      You notice how he says in Acts 15 ” a burden that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear”. If we was speaking of circumcision, then it would make no sense to mention himself because he would have been circumcised on the 8th day of his life (according to the Law). I personally was medically circumcised at my birth and I can remember nothing about it – no pain or discomfort. It is as if it never happened. Hardly a burden in my opinion.

      So I’d have to respectfully disagree with that interpretation.

      But those are some of the arguments that the Law folks put out to justify their position. However, I’d like to say that I believe most of these people are trying to sincerely follow God according to their knowledge and aren’t out for ulterior motives.

      Anyways that’s all

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  4. Neil,

    The reason you are experiencing “mental turmoil” in relation to the Hebrew Roots movement is because it is spiritual warfare and you are coming up against the AntiChrist spirit.

    I could say more about it, but I don’t think focusing on the HR movement gives any more clarity on Christ and his completed work at the cross.

    There are eight covenants listed in the Bible. Out of those eight, only the Mosaic covenant was conditional. As Joseph pointed out in his post, Paul makes it very clear in the book of Galatians that no one can be saved through the Mosaic covenant, that it just makes us aware of our sin.

    Regarding your question about what we as Christians are supposed to “do” with the Mosaic covenant. First, it is no longer in effect to begin with. Second, it’s purpose was to point the way to Christ.

    It never had the power to save. Genesis 15:6 states that Abraham was counted as righteous because of his FAITH. Faith in what? Faith in his deliverer, his redeemer, that God would do what he said he would do, in the Lord’s salvation (Yeshua Strongs 3444) Only those who have faith like Abraham are saved .

    There is a lot you can say about the plan of salvation and Jesus in the Old Testament. However, I think that Gen 15:6, along with Lev 17:11 (there is no purification from sin except through the blood of a life given in sacrifice) and Isaiah 43:11 (I am the Lord, there is no other Savior) makes it very clear that there is no way to reconcile even just these three verses without the person of Jesus Christ, son of God coming as Son of Man, giving his life in sacrifice.

    Why would one need tzizit if we have his law written on our hearts and the Holy Spirit inside us? How are some pieces of string even relevant?

    As for the food laws, God doesn’t give stupid instructions. The “unclean” animals listed are scavenger animals, they eat other animals and other gross things. Pigs especially are especially disgusting, they will eat literally anything even cannibalizing the carcass of other pigs. If you read about what science has discovered about food and nutrition, and you keep in mind God’s laws are because he wants the best for us, it should not be surprising that he nixed those animals saying, “Leave these off your menu.”

    The unclean animals were the “junk food” of the time and God wanted, and still wants for us, them to be healthy. If you don’t want to eat pork for health reasons, don’t. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking it will do anything for you spiritually. Paul said all things are clean if we bless it in the Lord’s name and Jesus himself said “What you eat cannot defile you.”

    Personally, I think it’s ridiculous when someone is all hung up on not eating pork when at the same time they guzzle down soda and eat fast food every day.

    Regarding the command about the fibers, I’ve read a couple different opinions about this. One is that it is just common sense, that they will wear differently. Another is that it was related to a Canaanite worship practice that was prevalent in the land they were entering and it was a prohibition against that.

    I’m kind of leaning to the second. The whole modern Jewish practice of not eating dairy and meat together stems entirely from the verses saying not to boil a kid in its mother’s milk.

    The Ugartic texts discovered at Ras Shemra illuminated those verses. That was a pagan practice in Canaan to ensure a good harvest. It had NOTHING to do with dietary laws. When you read passages it is very clear, it is part of passages that are giving instructions on grain offerings.

    God never said you couldn’t have a cheese burger. That is a rabbinic interpretation of something they didn’t understand. Instead of saying, “We don’t know what this means,” (because obviously the context had been forgotten) they came up with new laws. Man says.

    The command about the fibers feels the same to me. But who knows.

    Regardless, you know the saying “It’s not my circus, not my monkeys?” if you’re not ethnically Jewish, this isn’t your circus. Why spend any time worrying about something that was clearly spelled out almost 2,000 years ago at the Council of Jerusalem? Follow the Noahide laws and don’t worry about it.

    My advice to you is make a habit of reading the Bible daily. The best defense against unsound doctrines is being so familiar with what God’s Word actually says that you can pick out when something goes against it.

    • Hi Carla,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m no theologian or expert in any of this. Just a regular guy who is trying to figure things out.

      I feel like this is where I am at this time in my search:

      1. Jewish believers in Jesus are to remain living a Jewish lifestyle (Sabbath, kosher, etc.). Not relying on the Torah to be reckoned righteous, but living it out as their calling and the guidelines for a holy life.

      2. Gentile believers in Jesus are accountable to the four prohibitions given at the council of Jerusalem (Acts 15), the moral teachings of Jesus, and the morality evident in the epistles of the apostles. They are not accountable for the whole Torah (like Jews are), but are also not forbidden from practicing things like the Sabbath.

      I know this probably sounds alien. It’s been a long journey for me theologically and I still have much I feel I could learn. But that’s where I find myself.

      Peace in Christ,


  5. first off in Romanian just as in Russian is pronounce Iisus not Isus. Second you do pronounce it wrong because you pronounce it with a J instead of I . It is interesting that those become christians from english missionaires pronounce with J but all the rest pronounce with an I. Also the NT is written in Greek and Latin and both use the I so you are wrong. The mistake may have appeared because when english was germanic J could be pronounced both J and I. So it is a transliteration mistake on YOU.

    • Hi, thanks for the comment. I think you are missing the point I was making. Yes, certainly the English pronunciation of “Jesus” is different than the Hebrew pronunciation, the Greek pronunciation, and even the Latin pronunciation — as is that of my own name, “Joseph,” and many others. Pronunciation of names changes at they are transmitted, translated, or transliterated between languages. Does this mean the English pronunciation is “wrong”? A “mistake”? No, it simply means that’s the way the name passed from one linguistic context to another. The bottom line is if the original, “correct” pronunciation of the name “Jesus” were essential to His person or the salvation He brings, then — as with Islam and Arabic — the only valid language for reading the Scriptures or praising the Lord would be Hebrew (which, as I’ve argued above, it’s questionable if Jesus or the Apostles even spoke) or Aramaic. The Apostles would not themselves have translated His name and His words into Greek. From the start, Christianity was multilingual and multicultural. The peace of the Lord be with you!

      • I did understand your point. You missed mine. The only reason why names like your own are pronounced now as they are is because a mistake.And there are many other mistakes in english. For instance no one ever said “Ye” in old english. They just wrote “The” as “Ye”. When later people found old manuscripts after J was no longer used instead of I they read them wrong. So it was a mistake that no one was willing to correct. Also lets take the name James. There is no apostle with that name in the Bible. The name used is Jacob (read Iacob). Please explain how is ok to accept this change. Is like I would call you Dan just because I feel like it. Also from your own list most countries and languages pronounce the name in the same way, i.e.using I. And it is important.Because if I can change a name however I please then I can reach false conclusions like some researchers that claimed that Yahweh was derived from a pagan deity with a similar name when transcribed to english. But YHWH is just an abbreviation for “I am that I am”.This is further explained later in the verse “who was and is and is to come” explaining his unchanging eternal nature without a beginning or an end .Also please note that the differences between most languages regarding the names are minimal and one can easily identify the person. Also usually the apostles left words untranslated were the differences were to big and rather chose to add a commentary explaining what the word was supposed to mean. About the language to read the New Testament that language is Greek because it was first written in Greek and the apostles took great care not to make mistakes. And if you are zealous you can read the OT in Aramaic.

        • So, natural consonantal shift in a language is a “mistake,” but intentionally translating a name not only into a different language, but into an entirely different alphabet — thereby losing the pictographic context of the original characters, losing the precision of the original languages’ phonetics (Greek lacks even the basic phonemes of Hebrew and Aramaic), even completely discarding one or more entire syllables — is fine, because the Apostles didn’t make “mistakes”? How is it not a “mistake” to completely discard the voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant (the sh sound [∫] of the shin [ש]) — since that sound isn’t even present in Greek — but it’s a “mistake” to pronounce the letter j with a voiced palato-alveolar affricate (dʒ)?

          • I is a vowel, J is a consonant. Also not sure what is natural about the shift. The alphabet was not that different. S and SH or Ş are very similar . I and J are not. What they did is just dropping some inflections what is called now accent. For instance english people from different areas have different accents but use the same words. But in this case the word was changed completely. Also you did not answer my James challenge. Also I explained how the mistake occurred and why it was a mistake. The Apostles made the transliteration intentionally. The Iesus to Jesus change was unintentional. That is why it is a mistake. Also my humble opinion is that someone that knows the original language can transliterate a name better than someone that does not. Remember the Peking/Beijing example? For instance every native english speaker seems to fuc my name up. They read Ciprian as Siprian which is wrong. Instead the Ci is like the chi in chill. I hope you get what I am saying. The Apostles were right because they knew the original language and tried to match it. But the english change does not match the original. I does not sound as J.

          • The Hebrew yod (י) is certainly a consonant. In Latin, I before a vowel at the beginning of words is also a consonant, pronounced /j/ sound (“y” as in “Yulius Kaisar” (/juliʊs kae̯sar/) for Julius Caesar) and eventually spelled with a J in later Latin. This is a consonant and not a vowel. So if you are pronouncing the name of the Lord as if it begins with a vowel, then I’m afraid it’s you who are making a mistake. The name of the Lord came to be spelled in later Latin Jesus; and the letter J is pronounced in English with a /dʒ/. Is that a different pronunciation than the Apostles, or the Latin Church, used? Yes. Was it intentional? No, it was a purely accidental product of translating names from one language to another. Is it “wrong” or a “mistake”? Not unless you mean to argue that those who pronounce Julius Caesar in the traditional English pronunciation (/ˈdʒuːlɪəs ˈsi zər/) are also saying his name “wrong.” The classical pronunciation is fine for classicists, but in everyday speech, people give you strange looks. /sĭp′rē-ən/ is also the appropriate English pronunciation of the name Cyprian. Anglicized pronunciations are not “wrong,” they are simply the product of translating words and names between languages. I get what you are saying — but I disagree.

            If you are arguing from a point of linguistic purity, fine, you may continue tilting at windmills. If you are arguing from a point of faith — that those who pronounce “Jesus” in the traditional English pronunciation are “wrong” and their faith in the Lord is somehow deficient or less legitimate — that is what my article is about, and you could not be more wrong. If the Lord cared at all about the precise, original pronunciation of His name, then the Apostles would not have completely changed that pronunciation by translating it into Greek.

            Regarding James: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_(name)

          • well it is pronounved Iulius Cezar. I am not going to argue anymore because you seem not to want to accept you are wrong. Is the typical pride of the english: every other language and people on the earth is wrong, but you are right. Also not sure where you got yod as consonant. You ignored every argument Ii brought and apparently think you know latin better than latin speakers and speakers of romance languages and hebrew better than the jews in the time of Iesus. What can I say?

  6. Evolution of IEUESHUO into JEEZUs
    in chronological order, from oldest to youngest –
    01) IEUESHUO – English transliteration of the Ancient Hebrew Name
    02) IEUSHUO – English transliteration of the shortened Ancient Hebrew Name
    03) ISHUO – English transliteration of the further shortened Ancient Hebrew Name
    04) YESHUA – English transcription of the second shortest Massoritic Jewish Hebrew Name
    05) YESHU – English transcription of the shortest Massoritic Jewish Hebrew Name
    06) IESU – English transliteration of the early Greek Name
    07) IESoUs – English transliteration of the later Greek Name
    08) IESUs – First English Name
    09) JESUs – Second English Name
    10) JEEZUs – Today’s English transcription (sound match) of the letters of the Second English Name

    Plus the Ancient people were called Messianics not Christians and if we look up the word Cretin it derives from Latin Christianus which is a Christian and Christ derives from Greek Christos which derives from Chrestos which is Mithra Chrestos

    • Thanks for the comment. I don’t know where you’re getting this, but it’s not quite right. Would you care to cite some sources?

      Historically, the name of our Lord entered the English language via the Latin Vulgate Bible, around the twelfth century A.D. So the name by which our Lord was first known in English was Jesu or Jesus. This is documented fact; see the etymology section of the entry “Jesus” in any English dictionary. Notably, here is the Oxford English Dictionary:

      Jesus, n. Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈdʒiːzəs/, U.S. /ˈdʒizəs/
      Etymology: < Latin Iēsūs, < Greek Ἰησοῦς, < late Hebrew or Aramaic yēshūăʿ, Jeshua, for the earlier y’hōshūăʿ, Jehoshua or Joshua (explained as ‘Jah (or Jahveh) is salvation’: compare y’shūʿāh ‘salvation, deliverance’, and Matt. i. 21), a frequent Jewish personal name, which, as that of the Founder of Christianity, has passed through Greek and Latin into all the languages of Christendom. In Old English rendered by hǽlend ‘saviour’ (see healend n.); but during the Middle English period regularly used in its Old French (objective) form Iesu (Jesu). The (Latin nominative) form Iesus (Jesus) was rare in Middle English, but became the regular English form in 16th cent. Yet in Tyndale’s New Testament, 1525–34, the form Iesu was generally used where the Greek has Ἰησοῦ, the Vulgate Iesu, in the vocative and oblique cases. This was, as a rule, retained by Coverdale 1535, and in the Great Bible 1539, also, in the vocative instances, in the Bishops’ Bible 1568; but in representing the Greek oblique cases, this has Iesus. Iesu disappeared from the Geneva 1557 (except in one place), and from the Rhemish 1582, and the version of 1611. Jesu was frequent in the earlier forms of the Book of Common Prayer, and survives in one place; in later use it occurs in hymns, rarely in nominative or object, but frequently in the vocative. In hymns, the possessive Jesus’ is commonly sung /ˈdʒiːzjuːz/.

      The name Jesus passed through Greek and Latin into all the languages of Christendom. Because the New Testament was written in Greek, and translated into Latin, the name of the Lord was received in written word first as Ἰησοῦς and then as Jesus. The name could have been transmitted as you suppose above, being transliterated into English from Hebrew. For one thing, the New Testament was written in Greek, not Hebrew; the name of our Lord was never written in Hebrew. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew name “Joshua” likewise would been received into English via the Latin Vulgate (which spells the name Josue). English readers generally did not have access to the Bible in Hebrew — or even in Greek — until the sixteenth century, when the first polyglot editions of the Bible were published.

      So no part of your “evolution” is correct. In truth the path is much shorter:

      1. ישוע (yēšūʿa) – The name of our Lord in Hebrew and Aramaic [derived from יהושע (yəhôšūʿa, the name of the Hebrew leader Joshua)].
      2. Ἰησοῦς (Jēsous) – Greek transliteration of both the name Jesus and the name Joshua, as used by the Greek Septuagint translation of the Bible, which precedes the birth of our Lord by several centuries.
      3. Jesus – Latin transliteration of Greek name Ἰησοῦς, originating in earliest Latin translations of New Testament (early centuries A.D.).
      4. Jesu – The Latin name enters English through Latin liturgy and the Vulgate Bible.
      5. Jesus – The nominative form of the Latin name is eventually, in the past couple centuries, adopted into English.

      Also, there is no evidence that early followers of the Lord were ever called “Messianics.” In the first mention of His followers as a proper group in the New Testament, they are called followers of “the Way” (cf. Acts 9:2). They were first called Christians (Χριστιανόι) at Antioch in the time of the Apostles (Acts 11:26). The Greek name Χριστιανός (Christianos) derives from the Greek word for “Messiah,” Χριστός (Christos), which like the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ‎ (māšîaḥ) or “Messiah,” means “the Anointed One.” There is no connection between the word Χριστός and anything to do with Mithras.

      The peace of the Lord be with you.

      • I got the information from from a website about IEUE that we can see from Archive the website was called IEUE.org and it has information about IEUE being mentioned by Flavius Josephus (not his birth name) from the 2009 website pages and there’s about 64 pages on one of the links about the Tetragrammaton IEUE and many others witnessed IEUE even one of the earliest Popes mentioned IEUE and one of the men from the first century put IEUE in Trinity symbols they have the images and from finding the creator’s name I found IEUE and IEUESHUO before I found IEUE.org and the original Tetragrammaton was IEUE but it was removed by scribes and replaced by YHWH and YHVH and YHUH

        and in Flavius Josephus writings he mentioned that Priests wore the sacred name on there headbands (crowns) and it is 4 Vowels not consonants and about the word Christian it was not in the scriptures until after the 4th century and it is connected to christus and Christos and some sources connect Christos to chrestos it’s been talked about that the Greeks called there gods Christos and some that use the Tetragrammaton they call themselves IEUEISM instead of Messianics and Christians and scriptures states that our creator said he has a name but it was removed by scribes

        And yes Yeshua was never the Messiah name because there was no Y in Ancient Hebrew the Ancient Hebrew Alphabet has 22 letters except the letters J V W and Y these letters were later invented the W was invented by the Anglo-Saxons in the 13th century and the J was invented by a Italian man in 1524 and wasn’t used in English language until after the 1640s and the V came in the 15th century and I’m not sure when the Y was invented but a few Pastors confirms that Ancient Hebrew had no Y

        Plus a few Christians mentioned IEUE and IEUESHUO in there books even in the 18th century Christian books mentions IEUE and IEUESHUO and also AEIE and AEIE is I AM

        Also the creator’s name cannot be God because the god word is not found in original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and the Jews admitted to removing the creator’s name and replacing it with Lord and God

        And the word Lord cannot be the creator’s name the word Lord is connected to the Roman sun god called Lares/Larth both meaning lord and the word Lord is connected to Baalzebbub because Baalzebbub means Lord of the flies and a book published by Thomas Nelson publishers about people names and places in the Bible the book also mentions that Baal means lord and master this is also mentioned in Strong’s Hebrew concordance and not just this the Jewish Bible from 1980s mentioned Baalzebbub meaning lord of the flies and lord of heaven and also mentions that Baal means lord master and owner in the dictionary of the words and lord is also connected to Lordo another god

        And if we study the Greek word Kurios/Kyrios it also means lord but some sources say it’s connected to the sun there’s about 24 words in English Bibles that are derived from Greek and Roman gods and goddesses

        Christian author Lonnie Martin glossary in his books explains about many of the words and the book called Wars of the Jews by Flavius Josephus is where Josephus mentioned that the creator’s name is 4 Vowels

        Also the real word for prayer is Amein and it is in the Greek Bible and it was never Amen and in Hebrew Amein is Omeine we say it as Aw-Maine and it was a saint in second century that inserted sin into the scriptures and sin was a moon god and the real word to use instead of sin is Hhatah in Hebrew

        • All right, this is a good bit to address at once. I will try to break it down.

          I got the information from from a website about IEUE that we can see from Archive the website was called IEUE.org …

          I have not even addressed the issue of transliterating the tetragrammaton in this post or in my blog. This post has solely to do with the textual and linguistic transmission of the name of our Lord, the Son.

          … and about the word Christian it was not in the scriptures until after the 4th century and it is connected to christus and Christos and some sources connect Christos to chrestos it’s been talked about that the Greeks called there gods Christos …

          This is incorrect. The book of Acts was written in the mid-first century A.D., and contains the word “Christian” (Χριστιανός), as indicated above (Acts 11:2626:28), and supported by its very earliest manuscripts — as does the book of 1 Peter (1 Peter 4:16). There is no evidence in any manuscripts of the word Χριστιανός being added to these texts later. The word “Christ” (Χριστός), from which Χριστιανός derives, is present in every extant manuscript of every book of the New Testament save 3 John.

          Further, the word “Christian” is used extensively in both Christian and secular literature, in both Greek and Latin, dating to the first and second centuries A.D. — for examples of Greek texts, see the Didache (first century), the epistles of Ignatius of Antioch (ca. A.D. 107), and the Martyrdom of Polycarp (mid-second century); for Latin texts, see Pliny the Younger’s correspondence with the Emperor Trajan (ca. A.D. 112) and the Passion of St. Perpetua (ca. A.D. 203, the earliest extant Christian Latin text). The term “Christian” was in wide use by the end of the first century A.D.

          References to “some sources” and “it’s been talked about” are not actually references to valid sources. If “some sources” make these claims, can you show which? Just because “some source” makes a claim does not make it true.

          And yes Yeshua was never the Messiah name because there was no Y in Ancient Hebrew the Ancient Hebrew Alphabet has 22 letters except the letters J V W and Y these letters were later invented the W was invented by the Anglo-Saxons in the 13th century and the J was invented by a Italian man in 1524 and wasn’t used in English language until after the 1640s and the V came in the 15th century and I’m not sure when the Y was invented but a few Pastors confirms that Ancient Hebrew had no Y

          You are mistaken. Ancient Hebrew does have a letter yod (י). It is the first letter in the name of our Lord, ישוע (yēšūʿa).

          Also the creator’s name cannot be God because the god word is not found in original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and the Jews admitted to removing the creator’s name and replacing it with Lord and God

          The word “God” is the generic word in English for a deity. Used as a proper noun, it is used to refer to the Christian God. This is in parallel to biblical usage: In the New Testament, the Greek word Θεός (Theos) is used to refer to God. Like “god,” θεός as a common noun refers in Greek to any deity. And this is not a Greek invention: Even in the Old Testament, the words “el” (אל) and “elohim” (אֱלֹהִים) are generic words used to refer to any deity; the very same words are used to refer to Canaanite deities such as Baal and Chemosh.

          The name of God, spoken by Himself — “I AM” — represented by the tetragrammaton — has not been removed from the Old Testament at all, but is still very much present in the text. Jews in time came to view this name as too holy to speak or even write, and so most occurrences of the tetragrammaton are rendered as “Lᴏʀᴅ” in modern editions of the Bible. This is a case of reverent rendering of the texts in translation, not of anyone “removing” or “replacing” God’s name. Again, this is not the matter of my article here.

          And the word Lord cannot be the creator’s name the word Lord is connected to the Roman sun god called Lares/Larth both meaning lord … And if we study the Greek word Kurios/Kyrios it also means lord but some sources say it’s connected to the sun …

          The word “lord” in English is a Germanic, Anglo-Saxon derivation. It is simply the word for the head of a household or “master” — akin to “mister.” It is translated similarly in other modern languages, for example, el Señor in the Spanish Bible; il Signore in the Italian Bible; le Seigneur in the French Bible; der Herr in the German Bible. This is reflective of the original biblical texts, where κύριος (kýrios) is simply the word for “lord” or “master”; likewise in Latin, where dominus means the same. None of these words has any connection to the sun or sun deities.

          The bottom line is that the Bible itself uses these words in referring to the divine: “Elohim” (אֱלֹהִים) and “Theos” (Θεός) — of which the English word “God” is a simple Germanic translation, having exactly the same meaning; “Kyrios” (Κύριος), of which the English word “Lord,” the Spanish word “Señor,” the German word “Herr,” etc., are simple translations, likewise having exactly the same meaning; “Christos” (Χριστός), a translation of the Hebrew “Messiah,” meaning “Anointed One”; “Jesus” (Ἰησοῦς), a transliteration of the Hebrew name ישועIf you have a problem with the use of these words, do you also have a problem with the Bible? Do you believe the biblical texts are somehow corrupted? If you believe the biblical texts are corrupt, then with what authority can you speak about Christ or Christianity at all?

  7. I had gathered, from my reading, that (1) the West Syriac version of the name was Yeshu’ (the apostrophe here stands for the pharyngeal fricative ‘ain, a sound we do not have in English, German, Latin or Greek but they do have in Arabic, rather like the sound of one’s being throttled, and it occurs also in the Hebrew word), whereas (2) the East Syriac version of the name was Isho’. The Arabic-speaking Christians apparently refer to Jesus as Yesu’, whereas Isa’ is a form (descended from Isho’) in use in the Qur’an and among Muslims. [By the way, Latin from the mid-first century had articulated “ae” as short “e” and not as “ay” (as in “Maya”). And by the 5th century apparently palatalization had taken root in many parts of the Latin-speaking world, whence “chesar” in Italo-Roman Latin (and “ecclesiastical Latin”), “tsesar” in Gallo-Roman Latin, etc.] The eta in Greek IHCOYC came to be pronounced as “ee” of English “meet” by around the second century of the Christian era.


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