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The History Behind Benjamin Netanyahu and Pope Francisís Awkward Jesus Moment
Daily Beast ^ | 06/01/2014 | Jay Parini

Posted on 06/01/2014 6:27:38 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

A tense exchange between the Israeli prime minister and the pope over Jesus’ language points to the complexity of the Middle East’s history—and suggests a way toward understanding.

Apart from when Pope Francis stopped to pray at the wall that divides Israel from the West Bank, perhaps the most provocative moment in his whirlwind tour of the Holy Land happened during his interview with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew,” said Netanyahu firmly. The Pope looked unhappy, correcting the prime minister. “He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew.”

Oh, dear. So what language, or languages, did Jesus speak? It’s more than just a small point of historical interest for linguists and historians. There is political content here.

Of course, Netanyahu made his point to emphasize that Jesus lived in the land of Israel over two thousand years ago, when no “Palestinians” were in view. Many Israelis today don’t like to think of this tiny region between the Mediterranean and Jordan as ever having been called Palestine, though the original word (peleshet) occurs at least 250 times in the Hebrew scriptures.

This complex geographical area was certainly called Palestine (in Greek) at least as early as the fifth century B.C.E., when Herodotus used that term. By the second century before Christ, the Romans widely called the region Palestine, probably in an attempt to undermine the Jewish presence in Jerusalem and neighboring states. The Ottoman Empire (1517-1917) preferred this term for the area during their four centuries of control, and during the British Mandate in the mid-20th century it was always called Palestine. Not until the Jewish state was restored in 1948 did the term Israel come back into active play, with native Arabs from the region demoted to “Palestinians.”

(Excerpt) Read more at thedailybeast.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: israel; netanyahu; popefrancis
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1 posted on 06/01/2014 6:27:38 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

2 posted on 06/01/2014 6:28:15 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: onyx

To me ... I hope I find this, AFTER, our FReepathon.


3 posted on 06/01/2014 6:30:18 PM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Apart from when Pope Francis stopped to pray at the wall that divides Israel from the West Bank, perhaps the most provocative moment in his whirlwind tour of the Holy Land happened during his interview with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew,” said Netanyahu firmly. The Pope looked unhappy, correcting the prime minister. “He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew.”

Oh, dear. So what language, or languages, did Jesus speak? It’s more than just a small point of historical interest for linguists and historians. There is political content here.

IB4TPWMA

4 posted on 06/01/2014 6:32:25 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: SeekAndFind

Well, it seems that some people in Judea still spoke Hebrew. The Talmud notes that when Hillel moved there from Babylonia (where Aramaic was the norm) he had trouble understanding his Jerusalemite wife (who spoke Hebrew). As well, around 100 AD a group of scholars in Galilee consulted a woman from Jerusalem about certain Hebrew words, as she was a native speaker.

When Jesus is quoted in the gospels a few times in Aramaic, it is more likely than not that these are exceptions to his general speech, and were recorded and preserved exactly as he said them, for that reason.

See Tresmontant, “The Hebrew Christ”, and Carmignac, “Birth of the Synoptic Gospels”, for more discussion.


5 posted on 06/01/2014 6:36:54 PM PDT by CondorFlight (I)
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To: All


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6 posted on 06/01/2014 6:38:54 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: SeekAndFind

The fact that the article references “BCE” instead of “BC” tells me all I need to know about the writer’s agenda.


7 posted on 06/01/2014 6:48:02 PM PDT by NoKoolAidforMe (I'm clinging to my God and my guns. You can keep the change.)
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To: NoKoolAidforMe

The article really doesn’t make any point except that it was always Palestine and the original Hebrews (people and language) were almost forgotten by the time of Jesus.

Christians used to try to erase Jews and Israel; now the torch has been passed to leftists.

To the Jews, it’s just same old, same old.


8 posted on 06/01/2014 6:51:59 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: NoKoolAidforMe

Before Christian era.


9 posted on 06/01/2014 6:53:51 PM PDT by Raycpa
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To: jjotto

Correct. And the Pope just proved the point that he thinks his “religion” won. He couldn’t help himself. Just plain rude.


10 posted on 06/01/2014 6:56:45 PM PDT by Tzfat
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To: Alex Murphy
The Pope looked unhappy, correcting the prime minister. “He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew.”

Sounds like the Bishop of Rome does not read his own book.

Jesus read from the Isaiah in the synagogue, the text was in Hebrew. Ergo, Jesus spoke Hebrew. Game, set and match Netanyahu.

11 posted on 06/01/2014 6:57:11 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
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To: Raycpa

Bookmark


12 posted on 06/01/2014 6:58:40 PM PDT by kinsman redeemer (The real enemy seeks to devour what is good.)
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To: Tzfat

Right. There are more and more cases where this Pope just can’t help himself, which does nothing but dilute his leadership capabilities. A Pope for our times indeed.


13 posted on 06/01/2014 6:59:21 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: SeekAndFind

Jesus prayed and read from Torah ( Hebrew). He lived close to a Largely Greek city where he probably secured work and provisions. Aramaic, a language related to Hebrew , was widely spoken or understood in the larger region. And Jesus and his fellow Jews lived under Roman occupation ( Latin). So there are reasons for them to know up to four languages. My best guess: he knew at least Hebrew and Aramaic with some understanding of the others. But of course that’s judging from a human perspective. Jesus’s gifts may have exceeded those of the average schlemiel


14 posted on 06/01/2014 6:59:25 PM PDT by faithhopecharity ((Brilliant, Profound Tag Line Goes Here, just as soon as I can think of one..)
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To: SeekAndFind

Why not mention that the so-called “Palestinians” are actually forcibly exiled Jordanians?


15 posted on 06/01/2014 6:59:32 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Raycpa

Before common era.


16 posted on 06/01/2014 7:00:20 PM PDT by NoKoolAidforMe (I'm clinging to my God and my guns. You can keep the change.)
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To: faithhopecharity
Jesus’s gifts may have exceeded those of the average schlemiel

Exactly. I doubt He would have had a problem speaking with literally anyone.

17 posted on 06/01/2014 7:00:41 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I do not understand what the difficulty is in stating that the vernacular used by Jesus was Aramaic rather than Hebrew. This was the vernacular of the Jews at the time and does not make him any less Jewish. Just as if the Gospel had been situated in eastern Europe in the modern era and stating that he spoke Yiddish. It is still the language of the Jews.


18 posted on 06/01/2014 7:07:39 PM PDT by Petrosius
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To: SeekAndFind

As I understand it, during the time of Christ, Hebrew was the common language spoken in Jerusalem and Samaria. In other parts of Israel Aramaic was spoken, so the Pope was right on one point. Jesus almost certainly spoke both languages, and probably a few more.


19 posted on 06/01/2014 7:13:05 PM PDT by pallis
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To: Petrosius
Because it is a convenient myth, invented to erase Jewishness. Scholars now acknowledge that Aramaic was the language of the upper crust. Common folk, am ha-eretz spoke Hebrew. It is sort of like how Mel Gibson had him speaking Latin - it is about owning "Jesus." The Pope could not let some silly Jew own "Jesus" - so he made a jerk of himself.
20 posted on 06/01/2014 7:14:45 PM PDT by Tzfat
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