“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.”I must say that Bibi missed his chance to reply back to the Pope.
He could have said, "Ah yes indeed, Jesus spoke Aramaic - the language of our two Talmuds."
The DB continues, observing this:
Indeed, he would have spoken Aramaic, as the Pope said. That's one of many closely related Semitic languages with deep roots in the past, related to Arabic, Hebrew, Ethiopic, and Akkadian (the language of the Babylonians and Assyrians). Hebrew itself, in its written form, uses the original Aramaic script....To be clear, Aramaic is not the language of the Bible.
Aramaic had a wide currency among Jews at the time of Jesus...
Except for a few passages in Aramaic, the Tanakh aka the Hebrew Bible aka the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. And the New Testament, except for a few even shorter passages, was written in Greek.
The Talmud of the Land of Israel aka the Yerushalmi was written in Palestinian Aramaic (yes, that nomenclature ought to confuse people) and the Babylonian Talmud was written in Babylonian Aramaic.
Had Jesus lived into the 5th century and attended a Talmudic school in Israel or Babylonia, he would have understood both Talmuds since the later two dialects are not so distinct from one another or from the earlier forms of the spoken language.
On a related matter, some of us believe that the angels in heaven speak Aramaic, the language of the Kaddish prayer. See this 2013 controversy on that subject.
Lesson to learn: Be careful about claiming people or spiritual beings speak Aramaic. It's a touchy subject!
[Hat tip to K]