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.


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  1. The word Caiaphas uses for 'thirty' when he is paying Judas does not sound at all like the word as shown in an on-line dictionary. The actor seems to be saying "la-TAY". But that does not look like the dictionary term.

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