Jesus was trilingual

According to a recent paper published by Professor Steven Fassberg (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Jesus spoke three different languages:

Although, the early church fathers do not often refer to the language that Jesus and the apostles spoke, but one can find scattered remarks such as that of Eusebius (Dem. ev. 3.4.44), who reports that the apostles spoke, “the Syrian language.” He also reports (Hist. eccl. 3.39.16) that, according to Papias (60- 130 C.E.), “Matthew organized the oracles in the Hebrew language.”; professor Fassberg historical data review lead them to conclude that

There is no denying that Jesus spoke Aramaic: the transliterated words attributed to him in the NT are Aramaic. As a Jew from the Galilee, he must have spoken some form of Galilean Aramaic that antedates the Galilean Aramaic we know from the Late Aramaic period. But as a Jew living in Palestine, he must also have spoken Hebrew, since Hebrew was still alive during this period and even later.

In the light of [the] evidence, it seems most unlikely that Jesus would not have known Hebrew in addition to Aramaic. Not only would he have been able to read from the Torah, but he would have been able also to converse naturally in Hebrew.

Prof. Bernard Spolsky, building on the work of others, suggests that the lan-guages spoken by community and in the region in the First Century were the following in descending order of frequency:


Judean villages – Hebrew

Galilee – Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek

Coastal cities –  Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew

Jerusalem, upper class – Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew

Jerusalem, lower class – Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek

Non-Jews in Palestine:

Government officials –  Greek and some Latin

Coastal cities (Greek colonies) – Greek

Elsewhere:  Aramaic


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