Saturday, October 20, 2018

Sabar on Saving Aramaic

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Saving Aramaic, the Language Jesus Spoke. One native speaker’s quest to preserve an ancient language (Robin Ngo).
Follow Yona Sabar’s life-long journey to safeguard the language Jesus spoke for future generations by reading his article “Saving the Aramaic of Jesus and the Jews,” published in the November/December 2018 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.
The article is in the current issue of BAR, which just came out. As usual, it is behind the subscription wall. But the BHD essay gives an overview of it. Cross-file under Aramaic Watch.

Yona Sabar is a retired UCLA Professor of Neo-Aramaic. I have mentioned him often at PaleoJudaica. He used to have a "Hebrew Word of the Week" column in the Jewish Journal. See here and many other posts in the archive.

His son, Ariel Sabar, wrote a book, My Father's Paradise, on his father's Aramaic-speaking Kurdish Jewish background. Ariel is perhaps better known for breaking the story that settled the controversy over the Gospel of Jesus' Wife forgery.

A somewhat-related recent post is here. And there are other ongoing efforts to save Aramaic as a spoken language. For some relevant PaleoJudaica posts, run "Modern Aramaic Watch" through the blog search engine.

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