Friday, May 17, 2019

Peter, Greek, and Ehrman

Peter J. Williams
‏Thread: clearly, as Bart Ehrman says, Peter was an Aramaic speaking peasant.

He knew no Greek.

He came from Bethsaida (John 1:44), which became a Greek polis (city) around AD 31 but studiously avoided learning Greek.

He traded in fish, but made sure he only sold to Aramaic speakers.

He lived in Capernaum on an international trade route, but avoided talking to foreigners.

He fished on the Sea of Galilee, but if in the middle of this little lake his boat met boats of fishermen from the Greek-speaking Decapolis on the far shore he made sure only to use Aramaic or sign language.

His parents somehow managed to give his little brother Andrew a Greek name uncommon for Palestine, but knew no speak Greek.

The fact that they chose names for both their sons which work in Greek (Simon & Andrew) was actually just to spite Greek speakers.

He signed up with an itinerant rabbi (teacher), but did not receive any language education.

He travelled as a preacher in the linguistically mixed villages of Palestine, but always spoke only to Aramaic speakers.

He travelled to the Decapolis & Caesarea Philippi, but always remembered to block his ears when the locals spoke Greek.

If he travelled from Palestine in later life, he worked hard not to learn Greek.


we all just KNOW he was an Aramaic speaking peasant.

1 comment:

  1. The fact that so many scholars appear to believe that peasants can't learn foreign languages is itself evidence of a very narrow range of experience.

    Have these people stepped outside of their little enclaves? The experience of many modern Westerners may have been of attempting to learn languages through the formal study of textbook grammar in a classroom - a method which for the great bulk of people delivers very little ability to converse in a language.

    But outside of that narrow field - for example, visit much of Africa - people (including "peasants") routinely learn multiple languages and think it utterly unremarkable.