Biblical Archaeology Review 44:6, November/December 2018

Saving the Aramaic of Jesus and the Jews

By Yona Sabar

Once spoken across most of the ancient Near East, Aramaic was most likely the mother tongue of Jesus. A considerable volume of Jewish literature is written in Aramaic, including parts of the Bible, Talmud, and Dead Sea Scrolls. Yona Sabar, a scholar and one of the last living native speakers of Aramaic, gives an account of the language and one of its peoples, the bygone Jews of Iraqi Kurdistan.

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