I read from the internet where most articles say:

A. The common language used by the Jews around 1st century BCE to (at least) the beginning of 1st century CE was Greek and the Scripture they use is in Greek too.

Example of source-A:

The Septuagint (also known as the LXX) is a translation of the Hebrew Bible into the Greek language.

By the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C., most people in Israel spoke Greek as their primary language.

But some other articles say:

B. The common language used by the Jews around 1st century BCE to (at least) the beginning of 1st century CE was Hebrew & Aramaic while the Scripture they use is in Hebrew language.

Example of source-B:

None of the Dead Sea Scrolls mention anything about the Septuagint. All of the Dead Sea Scrolls are in Hebrew or Aramaic.

The Dead Sea Scrolls do prove that the "sacred language" (the language used in sermons, rituals and commentaries) of the Jews in Palestine around the time of [Jesus] was Hebrew – not Greek.

My question:

Is there any reference text from the Rabbis who live around 1st century BCE to (at least) the beginning of 1st century CE from which can be concluded that the answer is A or B ?

I would like to add another reference link:

When the Hebrews returned to the land of Israel, around 500 BC, it was believed that the Hebrews had abandoned the Hebrew language and instead spoke the Aramaic language, the language of their captors in Babylon. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, in its first edition in 1958, stated; "[Hebrew] ceased to be a spoken language around the fourth century B.C." However, much textual and archeological evidence has been discovered over recent years, which has revised this long established theory.

One of the most compelling evidences for the continued use of Hebrew into the 2nd Century A.D. is a letter from the Jewish General Simon Bar Kockba (Shimon ben Kosva, as the first line of the letter states in the above picture), which is dated at 135 A.D., which he wrote during the second Jewish revolt against Rome. This letter, along with many others, was written in Hebrew, establishing the fact that Hebrew was still the language of the Jewish people, even into the second century AD.

  • Just to point out, both of your sources are clearly Christian in origin and represent a Christian-centric view of history which may not nicely match up with the Jewish view. – Daniel Jan 25 '19 at 15:04
  • 2
    In most religious Jewish houses in America, you'll find religious books in Hebrew, Aramaic, and English. I'm not sure why finding the exact same phenomenon on a smaller scale 2000 years ago is surprising to anybody. – Heshy Jan 25 '19 at 15:06
  • @Daniel, I realized that. That's why I put a question here hoping that I can get an input on how is the point of view from Judaism about this. Thank you. – karma Jan 25 '19 at 15:33
  • Just for the record, the Dead Sea Scrolls' official site deadseascrolls.org.il/explore-the-archive -- has 140 results for Dead Sea Scroll fragments in Greek, ranging from Biblical works to mundane stuff like receipts. – Gary Jan 25 '19 at 18:32
  • @Gary, for the Hebrew language, the link said it has 778 results. It seems among those 778 there are 12 results from the Scripture. – karma Jan 25 '19 at 19:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .