What’s the deal?
A few days ago, Chip Hardy (DailyHebrew) linked to an article by NT Wright discussing the KJV and the protestant theological basis behind translation of the Bible into vernaculars along with the issues that arise. In that article, Wright oddly states, “Jesus’ first followers were in any case already almost certainly bilingual. Their mother tongue was Aramaic (a language which developed from the classical Hebrew of the scriptures, a few hundred years earlier)” (emphasis mine).
This was followed yesterday by an article on NPR concerning Karen Stern of Brooklyn College and Jewish Aramaic tomb graffiti (circulated by Jack Sasson circulated via Agade). The article begins as follows:
Aramaic is the lingua franca of the ancient Middle East, the
linguistic root of modern day Hebrew and Arabic. (Emphasis Mine)
“Once you understand Aramaic,” says Karen Stern, “you can read
anything. You can read Hebrew, you can read Phoenician. I always call
it the little black dress of Semitic languages.”
Again, I say, “What?”
Apparently, Classical Hebrew developed into Aramaic which then morphed back into Modern Hebrew and Arabic.