Aramaic

Entertainment / Literature / Aramaic: The Oxford Companion to the Bible discusses Chaldean Aramaic as a Northwest Semitic language closely related to Classical Hebrew. Classical Hebrew developed as an offshoot of proto-Canaanite around 1,000 BCE. And it was commonly used as a vernacular until about 500 BCE. Aramaic slowly replaced Classical Hebrew as a language of the common people. It was originally written in the 22 letters of the Phoenician alphabet, and it became common in territory controlled by the Chaldeans. It differed somewhat in its definite articles and its vocabulary from Classical Hebrew, but it had many close cognates (such as Hebrew shalom and Aramaic shelam, 'peace'). After the year 500 BCE, Aramaic gradually became the vernacular language used in the Palestinian region and especially in Galilee. Jeremiah 10:11 is written in Aramaic, as is Ezra 4:8-6:18 and 7:12-26 (c. 450 BCE). The original book of Daniel was probably written in Aramaic as well, though only Daniel 2:4b-7:28 remain in the original tongue. Genesis 31:47 contains an Aramaic place-name--indicating this section is a late revision to early Genesis texts. Many of Christ's quotations in the New Testament are in Aramaic, such as 'Talitha cum' (Mark 5:41) and 'Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani' (Mark 15:34, cf. Matt: 27:46 with variant readings in the Hebrew). See J. A. Emerton's entry in Metzer and Coogan, 45-46.

Zohar

Entertainment / Literature / Zohar: A medieval commentary on the Pentateuch appearing in several books written in Aramaic and Hebrew, widely considered the most important work of Kabala. It first appeared in 13th century Spain, publishe MORE

Cognate

Entertainment / Literature / Cognate: Cognates are words that (1) match each other to some degree in sound and meaning, (2) come from a common root in an older language, but (3) did not actually serve as a root for each other. For instanc MORE

Masoretic

Entertainment / Literature / Masoretic: (from Hebrew Masorah, 'handed over') The Masoretic texts are partly Hebrew and partly Aramaic versions of the Hebrew Bible (i.e., what Christians call the Old Testament) with accompanying explanatory MORE

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