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Hebrews written in Greek?
Akhi Rob,

Here is an excerpt from Josephus' Preface to Wars of The Jews:

Quote: (1) Whereas the war which the Jews made with the Romans hath been the greatest of all those, not only that have been in our times, but, in a manner, of those that ever were heard of; both of those wherein cities have fought against cities, or nations against nations; while some men who were not concerned in the affairs themselves have gotten together vain and contradictory stories by hearsay, and have written them down after a sophistical manner; and while those that were there present have given false accounts of things, and this either out of a humor of flattery to the Romans, or of hatred towards the Jews; and while their writings contain sometimes accusations, and sometimes encomiums, but no where the accurate truth of the facts;I have proposed to myself, for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books into the Greek tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our country, and sent to the Upper Barbarians; (2) Joseph, the son of Matthias, by birth a Hebrew, a priest also, and one who at first fought against the Romans myself, and was forced to be present at what was done afterwards, [am the author of this work].
This is plainly an account of his writing about the war with the Romans.He wrote "in the language of our country", and translated it into Greek. Surely this establishes the language of Israel is not Greek, and that these books were not composed in Greek.

Here is an excerpt from the Antiquities:

. And I am so bold as to say, now I have so completely perfected the work I proposed to myself to do, that no other person, whether he were a Jew or foreigner, had he ever so great an inclination to it, could so accurately deliver these accounts to the Greeks as is done in these books. For those of my own nation freely acknowledge that I far exceed them in the learning belonging to Jews; I have also taken a great deal of pains to obtain the learning of the Greeks,
Quote:and understand the elements of the Greek language, although I have so long accustomed myself to speak our own tongue, that I cannot pronounce Greek with sufficient exactness
; for our nation does not encourage those that learn the languages of many nations, and so adorn their discourses with the smoothness of their periods; because they look upon this sort of accomplishment as common, not only to all sorts of free-men, but to as many of the servants as please to learn them. But they give him the testimony of being a wise man who is fully acquainted with our laws, and is able to interpret their meaning; on which account, as there have been many who have done their endeavors with great patience to obtain this learning, there have yet hardly been so many as two or three that have succeeded therein, who were immediately well rewarded for their pains.

Again, in Antiquities, Josephus shows, not only here, but throughout these books, that the language of Israel is not Greek.
There were scarcely any who knew it well among the Jews. Josephus could not speak it fluently, and he was among the most educated of his people ,being a priest and a Pharisee.

From Against Apion:Those Antiquities contain the history of five thousand years, and are taken out of our sacred books, but are translated by me into the Greek tongue.

Josephus establishes in "Wars" that he composed the work "in the language of our country" and then translated it into Greek.
"Wars" was written before "Antiquities".
In "Antiquities", he says that Greek was not his native tongue or that of Israel, and that he did not speak Greek well.This was written before "Wars"; why would he write "Wars" in Aramaic (which he plainly declares that he did) and then 20 books of The Antiquities in Greek, in which he declares that Greek is not his native tongue and that he cannot speak it well? Remember also that his books were also written first for his own people and translated later for the Romans.


Dave B

Messages In This Thread
Hebrews written in Greek? - by Rob - 02-17-2004, 01:12 PM
[No subject] - by gbausc - 02-17-2004, 03:25 PM
Re: Hebrews written in Greek? - by judge - 02-17-2004, 10:21 PM
[No subject] - by Rob - 03-06-2004, 09:27 AM
[No subject] - by gbausc - 03-06-2004, 03:38 PM
Re: Hebrews written in Greek? - by judge - 05-22-2004, 10:40 AM
[No subject] - by Rob - 05-22-2004, 11:52 AM
[No subject] - by judge - 05-23-2004, 10:28 AM
[No subject] - by Rob - 05-23-2004, 11:20 PM

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