>Don Hosek doubts if Jesus spoke Greek.
Jesus may indeed have spoken Greek as well as Latin. Greek was the
international diplomatic language of the day, and most educated people spoke it.
>Greek had been the administrative language of Palestine since the time of
>Alexander the Great. We are told that Paul spoke Greek. Since Joseph was
>important enough to have to go to his home city for the census, the family
>*may* well have spoken some Greek.
There is no evidence to support the notion that there ever was a census, and
there certainly was not a census at the time described by Luke. It was
simply a literary device to get Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, to fulfill the
prophecy "And you, Bethlehem of Ephrata, are not least among the cities of
David..." which foretold that Mashiach would be born there.
>All this is guesswork. Unfortunately Pilate's report on the trial of Jesus
>for treason hasn't survived. (The claim that Jesus was King of the Jews was
>an allegation that Herod [whom the Romans supported] wasn't. Pilate seems to
>have taken Jesus's refusal to deny the title as a claim to it.)
Correct. It is also likely, however, that Pilate spoke Aramaic, and the
trial may have been conducted in that language. John has Pilate writing the
inscription on the sign above Jesus' head himself in Greek, Latin and
Aramaic. Again, this may be for dramatic emphasis, but it's a thought.
Michelle L. Eason
Marketing and Promotions Manager
Distance Education and Instructional Support
University of South Carolina [log in to unmask]