I almost spit up my chai tea this morning when I read this from Rick Steve’s Istanbul:
“Aramaic is also the language spoken by Jesus Christ, most other New Testament figures, and Mel Gibson.” P. 159
For those of you who are not familiar with Aramaic, here’s my perspective on why this quote is so particularly funny:
o The Aramaic that Jesus and the other New Testament figures spoke is considered a “dead language” which means that it isn’t spoken any more. Not only that, we don’t actually know what it sounded like, so it’s kind of impossible for Mel Gipson to speak it. His version of Aramaic is probably based more on modern Syrian Aramaic. They probably have similarities, but that can’t exactly be proved. Seriously, Mel Gipson, leave the writing of stories about Jesus to the scholars. Please. Let’s not confuse people more.
o I also find this humorous in part because in Graduate School, I took a course in Aramaic so that I could read the Book of Daniel (The only Hebrew Bible book entirely written in Aramaic). It was one of the most traumatizing things I’ve ever done, learning Aramaic. Mostly because I sucked at it. Hebrew was easier for some reason (despite the fact that they are very similar). I partially blame the teacher.