ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Language of the Bible: Hebrew, Aramaic and Koine Greek

Updated on October 20, 2014

In The Beginning Was The Word

Biblical languages are any of the languages employed in the original writings of the Bible. Due to the significance of the Bible in society, the language of the Bible is studied more widely than many other dead languages.

The two main languages used to record the message of the Bible were Hebrew and Greek. This article will give a brief overview of these languages and discuss the possibility that divine providence had planned the very use of these languages to fit the message and the era to which the message was being conveyed.


Languages of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible)

The Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew Bible, or the Tanakh , was written in two languages: mainly Biblical Hebrew (Classical Hebrew ), with some portions written in Aramaic (most notably in Daniel and Ezra ). These languages are part of the Semitic Family of languages. The Semitic Family of languages have their origin with Shem: one of the sons of Noah.


There are four divisions in the Semitic Group of languages:


  1. The Eastern Division(Akkadian), sometimes referred to as Assyrian and even Babylonian.

  2. The Southern Division(Arabic and Ethiopic).

  3. The Northern Division(Amorite and Aramaic). Aramaic, also known as Syriac, was the language of Jesus and the disciples, and also the Syrians.

  4. The Northwest Division, which includes the Canaanite subdivision of four dialects: Ugaritic, Phoenician, Moabite, and Hebrew.


Hebrew was the most biographically suitable language because it is both a pictorial and a personal language, which allowed for God to easily reveal Himself through a message of divine intervention rather than through philosophical propositions. In other words, Hebrew was a language suitable for the expression of God rather than for the use of philosophical reflection upon Him.

For example, consider the story of the Exodus, the plight of the Israelites, and God's personal intervention, when examining the best language for expressing the truth of God to man in a story format.

Hebrew Letters Showing the Name of Jesus

There is still debate over the proper pronunciation, but I believe it is Yah-hoo-shew-ah rather than Yah-shew-ah.
There is still debate over the proper pronunciation, but I believe it is Yah-hoo-shew-ah rather than Yah-shew-ah. | Source

Language of the New Testament

The New Testament was written in Koine, also known as Hellenistic Greek, which was the language of the “common people.” The Koine Greek language found in the Bible is noticeably influenced by the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Latin languages; borrowing phrases, idioms, and even whole words in its usage. Its alphabet was derived from the Phoenicians (see Northwest Division of the Semitic Group of languages). Koine Greek was spoken and used in literature in the Roman Empire as fluently as Latin.

Koine Greek was an evangelistically suitable language because it was both an intellectual and a universal language, which allowed for the now expressed revelation of God to be interpreted in a theological sense and in a universal context across many people and nations who shared this common tongue.

Books for Bible Language Study

Conclusion

God chose the languages most suitable to communicate His truth according to the designated times of the various stages of His revelation to man. Hebrew was best suited for depicting the deeds of God in direct intervention with men, and the Koine Greek language was best suited for interpreting and propagating a clear understanding concerning God's intended purpose for man and his relationship with God. One can clearly see that God chose the best languages in accordance with time for His will concerning the communication of His message to mankind.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Mandrake_1975 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mandrake_1975 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I found a video on Youtube that gave a course in textual criticism and specifically dealt with the Greek. It was very interesting. I wish I could think of the video. It was a very educational video in which the guy was pretty much teaching Greek.

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 

      7 years ago

      I particularly have come to love studying Hebrew. I would eventually like to learn the Greek as well. It truly does aid in understanding more deeply and at times more accurately the scriptures.

      Nice hub and information.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)