Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus,
by David Bivin &
Roy Blizzards, Jr.
Trade Paperback: 130 pages
Publisher: Destiny Image Publishing
Released: October 1, 1994
Source: Bought online.
Book Description, My Take:
We've been told that Jesus would have spoken Greek and Aramaic and that the gospels were originally written in Greek. But there is strong evidence that Jesus taught mainly in Hebrew, that Hebrew was the common language of the people, and that some of the gospels are actually Greek translations of teachings originally written down in Hebrew.
Hebrew idioms were translated word-for-word into the Greek--which doesn't use these idioms--and then into English. They now confuse modern audiences. Many of Jesus seemingly obscure sayings suddenly make sense when you realize the meaning behind these Hebrew idioms and phrases.
Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus is a Bible study or Bible backgrounds book. The main part of the book was an argument that Hebrew, not Aramaic, was the "common language" of the Jewish people and the language that Jesus mainly taught in. The authors examined the problems with the Aramaic and Greek theories. They then talked about modern linguistic research and evidence outside the Bible and in the gospels for Hebrew being the everyday language of Jews in Israel.
Then they discussed some passages in the gospels where understanding the original meaning of the Hebrew idiom helps us to understand what Jesus meant. Many of these examples gave new or deeper insight into the passages. Others, I could see that their suggestions could be correct, but I wasn't completely convinced that their interpretations were more likely or enlightening than the usual ones. In any case, I found these sections very interesting and well worth reading.
The entire book was easy-to-read and -follow. I'd recommend this book to people who enjoy word studies or Bible background books.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt: A link to Amazon so you can use the Look Inside feature.