I have a question concerning the two words, Arabic and Aramaic. In one of your most recent answers, you spoke about Aramaic being used in the Bible, but not Arabic. What is the difference between the two words? I understand that Arabic would be spoken by Arabian peoples, so where does Aramaic come from? I do know Greek was spoken by Jesus, did He also use Aramaic? And was the Hebrew language becoming obsolete during Jesus's time here on earth?

Arabic is a language spoken by those from Arabia, of which there are numerous dialects. Aramaic is a language spoken by the people in the region of Aram, which is just north of Israel. Modern day Syria is in this region.

Aramaic is very similar to Hebrew. When the Israelites were carried off into captivity, many of them began to pick up and use Aramaic. Some parts of the Bible are written in Aramaic: Genesis 31:47; Ezra 4:6-6:18; 7:12-26; Jeremiah 10:11; and Daniel 2:4-7:28. A few of the spoken words in the Gospel, and some of the place names are recorded in Aramaic, indicating that it was frequently spoken in Jesus' day. With the rise of the Assyrian, and later the Babylonia Empires, Aramaic became the "universal" language. That is many people spoke their native language and also Aramaic. Thus if you wanted to do business with people of other nations, you often did it in Aramaic. Latter, Greek became the common language. Today, English is used in a similar way.

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Questions and Answers regarding the Bible